Review: God Is Not Great 77

God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens, Twelve, New York , 2007, 307 pages.

Religion cannot survive in our Age of Science. Until I read this book I thought that there was life in it yet, enough for it to continue as an important force in human affairs for another century or so. But I am persuaded by Hitchens that it is already dead, even though there are many millions who still believe in gods or God and even more who observe the rituals of worship, and even though some act politically and devastatingly in its name.

How then is it dead? Hitchens puts it this way, with characteristic elegance: ‘Religion spoke its last intelligible or noble or inspiring words a long time ago … We shall have no more prophets or sages from the ancient quarter, which is why the devotions of today are only the echoing repetitions of yesterday.’

So – Hitchens encouragingly claims – although Islam has risen all over the globe to fight for its life with fire and tongue against scientific truth, against criticism, against freedom of body and mind, and continues successfully to rake in its converts by intimidation and even persuasion, it is doomed just as the other religions are doomed, being but the ritual perpetuation of a long-outdated belief, and will dwindle away to nothing as so many religions have done before it. Coming generations in an ever more closely communicating world will find it harder and harder to believe in the unbelievable.

We know that there are scientists who are religious. Amazingly, there are quite a few who find it possible to accept all that cosmology and physics tell us about the nature of the universe and yet still believe in a Creator God with mysterious purposes for His Creation. Of course – Hitchens says – you can do this, but ‘the theory works without that assumption’. God can be retained, but is not required. Believe in him if you will, but to questions of how the world has come to be as it is, God is irrelevant, superfluous, an added extra, an unnecessary decoration contributed by nostalgia and habit. Further knowledge of the stars will not come through prayer, and though an astronomer may pray for knowledge and go to church every seventh day to win the approval of his god, it is to his telescope he will go to find the truth.

Hitchens dismisses the argument for ‘intelligent design’ – part of religion’s last-gasp vocabulary of euphemism – with illustrations of how if nature were indeed the result of design, unintelligence would better characterize the designer who achieved such results: the ‘useless junk’ in our DNA string left over from lower creatures; our appendix; our vestigial tails; all of which are explained satisfactorily by evolution but make no sense at all as intelligent design. One could add many more. I like to cite the inability of bees to alight easily on a flat surface.

The presence among us of tormenting and life-destroying viruses does not say much for the designs of an intelligence that is also supposed to be beneficent to the human creature. Scientific discovery and skepticism have removed the need to justify horrors, to answer such questions as to ‘who inflicted the syphilis bacillus or mandated the leper or the idiot child’.

‘Intelligent design’ implies that intelligence existed before anything else. But we are aware that what we call intelligence requires human physiology – including most immediately a brain – which, of all things known, has taken longest to evolve. It has come at this – our – end of the process. An assertion that such a thing was already there at the very beginning is not rationally persuasive

I have long wondered why so many find it easier to conceive of there being an original Nothing then Something (the universe) and then again eventually Nothing, than to conceive of Something always having existed and forever to remain. We know Something exists. We know that matter is imperishable: it changes but does not dissolve into nothingness. Why, if we can accept the idea that it will have no ending, do we need to think of it as having had a beginning?

In the grip of the belief that there was ‘a beginning’ of existence, believers like to raise their favorite ‘logical’ argument that since everything must have a cause there must be a First Cause, Hitchens logically asks for the cause of the First Cause, or ‘Who designed the designer?’ No theologist or philosopher has ever satisfactorily answered that (Thomas Aquinas’s argument that God could set the cause-and-effect chain working in the universe because he is outside it does not abolish the question of how he came into existence) – or ever produced a sound argument for belief in a god of any sort.

The onus rests always on the believer to prove his case. It is not necessary for the unbeliever to prove that the object of others’ belief is not there. As Karl Popper expressed it: ‘Seeing no reason to believe is sufficient reason not to believe.’ It is an argument against belief most useful to be armed with. Another of course is David Hume’s, who asserted, in the light of the immense suffering that God coolly watches his creatures undergoing, that if he is omnipotent then he must be evil, or if good he cannot be omnipotent. (Hitchens mentions both philosophers but neither of these arguments which would have served him well.)

Hitchens does not accept the shop-worn argument that without religion there would be no morality. He is as certain as I am that religion is not the indispensable source of ethics or law. Reason and experience teach people, and have surely always taught them, that it is better and safer to live in a world where certain kinds of behavior are by and large avoided and certain rules by and large obeyed. I was interested to find, when I got round not long ago to reading the Hammurabi Code that it deals chiefly with what punishments should be imposed on those who disobey rules of conduct rather than in laying down or even reiterating the rules themselves. Rules against murder, adultery, lying, stealing pre-date all recorded codifications, any tablet of commandments. As Hitchens says, ‘Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.’

There surely cannot be any doubt that religion has been the cause of much human misery, cruelty, torture, oppression, and probably the majority of wars. It is fair to add that some religions have inspired good deeds as well as evil ones. But then, people have always done good and evil regardless of what they do it in the name of. And surely always will. As for great works of art which it has inspired, it is not unreasonable to suppose that if religion had not supplied the inspiration something else would have done for the same artists. There must be at least as many marvelous pictures of mortals and ordinary scenes as there are of angelic gatherings and Christians suffering; at least as many admirable buildings dedicated to secular as to religious uses; and many more great poems and plays without religious themes than with them. Hitchens points out that beautiful and valuable things that have grown out of religions can be and are as much enjoyed and valued by civilized non-believers, such as himself, as by the pious. (My own list of such things is long, including: the King James translation of the bible; La Chapelle; certain painted angels and saints of the Renaissance; Bach’s compositions dedicated to God.) Hitchens cites, among things that do not require faith to treasure and preserve them, and in this case would have lasted better without it, the Buddha statues blown up by the Taliban in Afghanistan in the name of their religion – a type of vandalism that atheists are very unlikely to commit, having no reason to.

The author confesses to once having had a faith of his own, the secular faith of Marxism. He is now recognizably conservative, even traces of his former leftism becoming almost imperceptible. We welcome him among us.

 

Jillian Becker

 

Posted under by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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  • Andrew Carlan

    You truncate Thomas Acquinas argument. Existing outside time and space means not that God endures through endless time which would suggest a beginning and introduce the posssibility of an end. The Chrisitian argumrnt is that God occupies a point in which our concept of past, present and future is inapplicable. That is why predestination doesn’t mean determinism. It rather means that since God knows without any sense of backwardness and futurity, it does not inhibit our free will. Therefore, the question of what preceded God is the religious analogy to atheism’s dismissal of God. The question has no meaning.

    • http://www.theatheistconservative.com Jillian Becker

      Thank you for your comment, Andrew Carlan. You are right, I certainly did truncate Thomas Aquinas’s argument, and you have given fuller, and therefore more accurate, information – about what the theologist actually said. However, in my opinion there can be no “information” about his imaginary “God” that would make such a being believable or even plausible. I mentioned Aquinas only to point out that even if a Creator God is conceived of as being outside of “the chain of cause-and-effect”, or if you or Aquinas prefer, outside of “time” which I think is another way of saying the same thing, the question of how (or why) that being exists – not necessarily what preceded him, which is what Hitchens asks those who posit the First Cause argument – remains unanswered and unanswerable. If the question has no meaning, nor does the concept of his existence. I myself don’t ask that question. As I see it, there are no questions to be asked, and no answers that are needed, about an implausible fiction. My position, as you say of atheism, is dismissal of the concept.

  • REALBEING

    Hello, Mr. Twotoes. Why do you think that an atheist, or anyone else, must believe that nature must’ve existed forever????
    Scientific theory postulates that time and our universe was brought into existence by the rapid expansion of a singularity 13.7 billion years past, known as The Big Bang.
    Prior to this event, to the best of our knowledge, their was no matter, and nothing but vacuum energy.

    The term “supernatural” denotes that which is not natural, but something outside of nature.

    No thing “supernatural” has ever been detected. So why should any reality-based, thoughtful person add anything into the “mix” of existence which hasn’t been found……anywhere?

    But on one hand the believers of a “god” created universe have a small point.
    A creation must have a creator.

    But a creator can be a system of energies pre- Big Bang that have “set up” the scenario for this primordial singularity to expand to our present day universe.

    But this quite possible scenario seems to be a very “impersonal” creator, IMHO.

    • Jim Twotoes

      You ask me why your scenario requires that nature must have existed forever. Well, you’ve answered your own question. On your view, before the universe came into existence there was something called vacuum energy. As well as that, there must also have been natural laws that governed the creation of the universe. As a matter of simple logic, the vacuum energy and the natural laws were not nothing as some scientists would have us believe. They are an
      initial state, that is, an initial state of nature. And this raises the
      question: where did this initial state come from? And who or what wrote those initial laws into the pre universe void? If there is no intelligent creator as you contend, they must be eternal. But that
      is a proposition that defies logic and any proper standard of reasonableness. Your pre-universe initial state was not nothing, it was a coherent system that was governed by laws that had awesome creative power. And the idea that that system and that creative power did not have an intelligent cause, but was itself the Creator, is, with respect, deeply unsatisfying and absurd.

      Also, you say that nothing supernatural has ever been detected. I disagree. Life, the universe and everything in it is compelling
      evidence of a supernatural creator. As well as that, God has revealed himself to us in His word, the Bible, and in the life of his son Jesus Christ.

      • liz

        Explain how God has revealed himself to us in the commands to stone adulterers, those who are caught working on the Sabbath, insulting their parents, practicing “witchcraft”, or suggesting heretical beliefs to fellow believers.
        By the way, ever notice how much closer all that sounds to the Koran and its followers than to 21st century civilization?

      • REALBEING

        My point was that no one knows anything without viable, logical evidence. No one has evidence for anything “supernatural,” none for a “god,” as well as zero evidence for an “eternity.”

        So, in all truth, you cannot make a logical, evidence-driven claim for something “supernatural,” or some “Supernatural Being” existing for “eternity,” or creating the universe, without the evidence to do so.

        Therefore, you can only make a personal, emotionally-biased claim for this scenario.

        This “gap” in your premise is simply a personal belief driven by a feeling you have. You, like many religious folks, fill an inner void with a wish or a hopeful feeling that you’ve brought to yourself, in order to realize some sort of closure, or a dependence on a false sense of security, when you fail to realize that there is no such thing as security…..anytime, or anywhere.

        An “initial state” does not require a Supernatural Being in order to be an initial state, especially if this initial state is nothing but quantum vacuum energy.

        However, viable proof of the Supernatural Being would be required before this claim of yours could be considered a valid possibility.

        Why did “Some Supreme Being” need to “write those initial laws governing the universe?”
        Have you never heard of “Conway’s Game Of Life?”

        What makes it a fact that life is evolving and a universe is filled with everything, because of a Supernatural Being’s presence? I’ve news for you: the universe and the life existing in it isn’t supernatural, nor did everything spring from superstition.

        I would guess that for you it is too “unsatisfying” to test your personal, emotionally-biased religious beliefs in the god scenario against the logical, reality-based scientific explanations, and then find that your beliefs are largely insufficient to explain reality.

        And just in the last two thousand years, why has this supposed “creator” stayed in hiding from his supposed creations, unlike those stories of His proliferate exposure in the Old Testament?

        Also, why would this supposed “creator” create immutable laws of physics that, according to the bible, He would every now and then break, allowing Him to meddle in, and manipulate the affairs of men? So much for the “God-given” right of free will.

        Why wouldn’t an all-knowing God know in advance what would happen, so as to not need to go back to Earth and change some outcome with humanity’s actions?

        (Eg., He supposedly saved the Israelites from the Pharoah by causing the Egyptian army to be consumed in the Red Sea, when it would seem more humane and benevolent for an all-merciful, all-knowing “God” to simply adjust the necessary events prior to this horrendous slaughter, thus saving many innocent Egyptian soldiers who were only working under Pharoah’s orders, and didn’t necessarily want to harm the Israelites.)

  • Jim Twotoes

    You apply one standard to yourself and another to believers. On your approach it is permissible to believe that nature has always existed but you demand to know who created God. In fact, God is eternal and exists outside of nature. Therefore, God being supernatural, a naturalistic belief system like science is useless as a tool for proving or disproving his existence. In the end belief in God comes down to faith.

    • Jillian Becker

      Everybody knows that “belief in God comes down to faith”. Hitchens points out the flaw in the First Cause argument to those who demand a First Cause. We do not make the First Cause argument. We do not demand to know who created God as we know that God does not exist, since we do not believe things on faith. We do not understand why people need to believe absurd and unnecessary things.

  • Gossman75

    Liz you’ve often said Evolution is backed by mountains of data, but the fact is, you haven’t shown one ounce of data yet, to prove that there is not a God. All I can say is that your type never do listen to science, so how can you be a scientist? My view of science is observation of the facts. I don’t just say, Oh that is a subject about God, so I must do away with it. Listen as sure as your here, you should evaluate the evidence for a God instead of all the evidence that seem to disprove God. You might be shocked that God’s plan is about to unfold in a way that will turn this world around and soon! There’s hardly any time left, and I’m not following some fairy tale. The way to know God is not by listening to those who hated God, but by studying Prophecies of the Bible.

    • Liz

      Gossman, I studied the Bible for years and I understand your point of view. 
      However, the more I studied it the more I realized that it does not agree with the facts of history or science.  Don’t you think something as important as God’s supposed Word would be proven true by what God himself created and directed rather than contradicted by them? 
      I have not shown you any data on evolution because there is so much out there I wouldn’t know where to begin. I would just direct you to start by reading a book by, say, Jerry Coyne (Why Evolution is True), or Richard Dawkins (The Magic of Reality, etc.)
      I also used to think that atheists hated God, but now I realize that they don’t hate him, they just don’t see any evidence that he exists.  Darwin himself was religious to begin with, but as he studied the evidence of evolution he was honest enough to admit the truth of it, even though it contradicted the teachings of the Bible.  It’s very hard to be honest enough to accept the truth when it contradicts your beliefs, but if you have to lie to yourself by ignoring facts in order to keep your beliefs intact, are they really worth keeping?   

      • hellosnackbar

        My feelings for God are identical to strangers feelings for the fairies at the bottom of my garden?

        • liz

          They could be!
          Who are you to judge what another person “feels” for the fairies he believes in?
          I’m sure your feelings for God are very sincere (if you have them), but that doesn’t make God any more real than fairies.
          There are no facts, historical, scientific, or otherwise, to give a foundation in reality to anything supernatural, whether it be fairies, demons, or gods.
          Our present religious concept of “God” can be traced back through history directly to ancient concepts of God, which in turn can be traced to ancient concepts of the supernatural such as magic.
          If you study the Old Testament, you might notice that many of the ancient laws, customs, and taboos are very similar to those found in the Koran and practiced by Muslims nowadays.
          If Christians were honest, they would have to admit that what they proclaim as the infallible “Word of God”, is actually a record of primitive religious practices and beliefs that, if they actually practiced them, would cause them to resemble fundamentalist Muslims more than modern 21st century people.

  • Gossman75

    Just like people have made cars on the earth that caused pollution which we hated and tried to do away with, So also God made some things that caused Hell to exist. God made Hell but not intentionally for it to last. He (God) has made a way out for those of us who will accept the sacrifice taking on the negative side of the cycles for us. I can elaborate on this surely. If you had to jump into the fire for others sake, it would take you a while too. This is why his face shines like the sun, and he is like a consuming fire. But God’s plan is not over yet. But besides this point and speaking of believing in a religion. Evolution is just another one of those religions that require faith to believe. Science is used by the omniscient God, more so than those of you who think Evolution hold the scientific awards. To think that Those pyramids that we could not construct today were built by a bunch of hunched backed Ape men having less of the abilities than us would not make sense. This is science applied. The pyramid builders were either smarter than us, or that a God came down to build them. Which is it. You say Aliens built it? Well if Aliens were so superior to travel the vast expanse without colliding into rocks on the way. You might as well call them Angels and Gods. Besides which came first in evolution, the whole cell, or half of a cell? Half of a cell would simply die off every time. Whereas a whole cell is nothing short of a miracle that could only be done by an intelligent designer. There is no such thing as a simple cell by the way. This is all science facts that atheist seem to overlook. If there was a God, wouldn’t you appreciate the fact of it being so? Instead you take it upon yourself to judge us as being wrong in every possible way. Which is wrong in itself.   

    • Liz

      Gossman – like I mentioned before, you should really do more studying on evolution.  It does not take faith to believe in it, because it is all factual.  It is facts proven by mountains of scientific evidence. 
      Just because something doesn’t seem naturally possible, don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that God must have done it.  Study the facts that have been uncovered about it by science before forming an opinion. 
      Many things that people used to attribute to the supernatural power of God have since been explained by science to be natural phenomena. (Lightning, rainbows, earthquakes, eclipses, etc.)  As mankind progresses in rational understanding of the natural world, we need supernatural explanations less and less.
      Even down to the level of cells, science has explained it!
      The pyramids are fascinating, and the people who built them had to know alot about math and building.  But we know that the Egyptians were a highly developed society.  It is even possible that they were built by another even more advanced society that preceded the Egyptians which could have been wiped out by a natural disaster or a war.  It didn’t have to be aliens, or gods. 
      It’s not atheists who overlook things.  Religious people purposely ignore facts and evidence because they don’t want to admit anything contradicts their beliefs.

  • http://twitter.com/AlkalineGrind AlkalineGrind

    Matter pops into and out of existence all the time.

    • George

      Nothing “pops” into existence from nothing and then exists and then dissapears into nothingness out of existence.  If it ” pops”  into existence then where did it come from ? What caused it to pop into existence ?   What cause it to “pop” out of existence . If it popped out of existence then where di it go ?     What made it vanish  ?  Explain how that is possible and show me an experiment how that is true . I’m certainly NOT going to accept it because you or even some scientists says so because of some proclaimed scientific THEORY.   Prove it . Show me .  Explain to me by exemplification how that is possible and I’m not referring to some conjured “theory”. I have read so-called scientific explanations regarding this and it is all unproven theory from what I have studied . Give me the impirical evidence that proves such pragmatically and not some exclaimed explanation based on some “so-called scientific theoretical  belief “.  Matter doesn’t pop into something and /or “pop”  into nothingness.  What made inorganic matter attain life ?  How did life forms develop into living life organisms from non-living matter ?   What caused or made this to happen and why ?    How does life exist ?  If matter doesn’t exist and is NOTHING , then how can it just “magically” “pop” into being from nothing ?  What is it’s origin ? If it has no origin , then it always existed. If it always existed then it will always continue perpetually to exist for all of eternity and always has .  Show me the proof —- plain and simple.   You’re making claims that you have yet to back up with any proof . You have yet to verify, substantiate or prove your claim.

      • http://themoonshinesbrighter.wordpress.com/ Andrew M

        I too am familiar with this claim, having read physicist Brian Greene’s take on the subject. The mathematics of quantum uncertainty govern the nature of these ephemeral particles, which are believed to spawn in pairs of oppositely-charged particles that annihilate each other in mere fractions of a millisecond.

        Because these particles are so tiny and short-lived, even our most advanced technology is too “blunt” to detect. However, we can still seek out some logical consequences of this behavior. Of these, the strongest indicator I know is Hawking radiation: these two particles spawn on the event horizon of a black hole. Instead of annihilating each other, one of them gets trapped by the black hole’s gravity, leaving the other particle to float freely in space.

        On the surface, this does seem like a strong indication Nevertheless, fitting the data to match the theory is a gross misapplication of science. Entering that territory is the prime cause of generating claims which, as the saying goes, are not even wrong. I am certainly not convinced of AlkanineGrind’s claim, but not enough to categorically reject it (I say the same thing about the tantalizing but holey string theory). The best I can say now is “I don’t know, but it certainly is an interesting enough claim with the potential to explain this phenomenon and many others to warrant further investigation.”

        Let us remember the lesson which Charles Darwin and Galileo Galilei taught us: the inability to collect evidence for a hypothesis doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Even amid great doubts on their respective proposals due to having such limited evidence, they spent their lifetimes collecting these scant data and found it to be exactly as their models predicted. Nevertheless, both of these figures were vilified in their day for opposing the holy stupidity of their age (and one of them still is today), to the point where they “recanted” some or much of their claims.

        Modern technology has vindicated both of them. For Galileo, ample data collected from the surfaces and atomspheres of other planets confirms that their motions only make sense when considering the Sun as their “fixer” and focal point, not the much more diminutive Earth. Likewise for Darwin, an outpouring of fossils from bygone creatures as well as the quite humbling genetic similarities between humans, fleas, and sponges shows that the animals, fungi, plants, and bacteria are not so different from us after all. A bonus for Darwin was the work of physical anthropologists verifying his speculation that, of all the continents, humans ventured out of Africa.

        Skeptics are not skeptical for the sake of skepticism. Taking that approach ensures that we never attempt to reach past the frontier of our knowledge, tarnishing our knowledge into an irreparable dogma.

        (On topic: the Hitchens book was an excellent read as usual. It was vastly more solid than Dawkins’s offering, whose depth of understanding evolution theory frequently overshadows his naïveté of life in the real world.)

        • Liz

          Thanks for the informative post! Really interesting.
          Ironic how we humans, the most highly evolved species, mirror the behavior of these “oppositely charged particles which annihilate each other in mere fractions of a second” over figments of our imagination.  

        • George

          I have studied much of this although asdmittingly so  , not as much as I would like. I’ve also studied , quantum theory, the theory of parrallel universes , dark matter, and time-space continuum , etc. and  I could go on and on ad nauseum. My point that I was addressing to AlkalineGrind is the assertion that something  (immaterial  : aka- non matter )   just magically pops into existence from absolutely nothing  or vise-versa —the belief that existing matter just magically vanishes into non-existence.  Even when sub-atomic particles collide and/or mix with other elements , their material existence still remains EXISTING  even though they may be even more micro-sized in mega-diminished scale proportions via  the prior comparison.  Scientiosts have asserted that matter has always existed and will always existed and the $ 50-zillion dollar question still remains of where does matter come from  ( if it came from anywhere )  and how did non-organic mater develop ino living organisms or life itself.  Scientists teach us that matter has always been developing from perpetual evolution and in it’s infinite existence along the way developed into artificial intelligence which eventually developed into bilogical organic-carbon form intelligence and then eventually to the evolved state of where we are now as homo sapiens and our current state of being.      Science  teaches us that matter CANNOT be created or destroyed although it  ( matter ) has been perpetually changing in it’s chemical composition and/or form .    Now , does this mean that I know for a fact that this is not possible . I do not know beyond any doubt the confirmed answer and we as humans may never know and I  would never claim such but  the general consensus of scientists ( which I have been taught and independently studied )   have exclamed , that  this is a scientific impossibility as I explained to AlkalineGrind.  While much of these scientifically theoretical claims  have a scientific connection and “leans” to the scientific theoretical belief that this may be the case , the bottom line still factually remains that it is STILL  [ theory ] just the same  ( meaning NOT totally or factually  conclusive ) .  

  • http://twitter.com/DunganLarry Larry James Dungan

    ONLY THE (FOOL) says in his/her heart: there is no GOD!

    • George

                      Larry  , you can quote all your biblical rubbish all you want but only fools believe in invisible , formless, imaginary , and indescribable super beings floating around in outer space. Only delusional nut-cases believe in gods, devils, demons, deities, ghosts, and other mythical and superstitions  theological make-believe crap.   It’s people like you that make me sick to my stomach by always trying to impose YOUR indoctrinated dogmatic theological beliefs upon everyone else.  It’s arrogant people like you who adamantly refuse to leave others alone .                     Just because you embrace the contents of some ancient book that was written around two thousand years ago by a bunch of superstitious ,   mindless and brain-dead closed minded individuals that can’t think for themselves doesn’t prove , verify, substantiate or support anything.     It’s too bad and very sad that you are incapable of thinking for yourself and have to result to quoting ancient mythological fairy tale writings in order to make it through life.
                                  The truth is Larry that only FOOLS believe in theological superstition and mythology .  So the next time you decide to come upon a secular website with your arrogant proselytizing , I suggest that you THINK first before you write or speak. Oh gee, I forgot  —YOU’RE RELIGIOUS  and  therefore incapable of rational thinking or reason.   I suggest you spout off  your arrogant proselytizing elsewhere because we don’t want or need such drivel  . Have a nice day !

    • Liz

      Larry – It’s interesting about that verse. 
      I’m sure that, being a member of the human race in this century, you would agree that any statement declaring something as a scientific fact requires a great preponderance of proof acquired through stringent testing and observation in order to merit anyone believing it and accepting it as a fact.  And that not to do so would be foolish! 
      Yet at the same time, some people are also willing to accept as fact declarations like this from the Bible (or other “holy” books), without requiring any proof of it’s claim whatsoever. How is that NOT foolish? 

      • George

                                      Liz, you’re wasting your time and effort trying to be rational with the irrational or rather by being  logical with the illogical.  P eople like  Larry only accept blindly their indoctrinated theological dogmatic beliefs without question and absolutely NOTHING you or I say that makes total reasonable , logical and rational sense matters to them . They are truly blinded by their gullible ignorance and you may as well be talking to a brick wall——-seriously.

  • George

    Eric—–
     
                    In response to the post by Eric of one month ago , it is NOT secular freethinkers who are forcig secularism upon the populace. At no time has any public school required students to stand and recite any pledge to atheism or swear or grovel to some secular being. That has always come from the religious community that has used the force of government to impose their religious ( read- Christian ) beliefs upon everyone .  The 1963 Supreme Court ruling did not ban any prayer from public schools. It only stated that public schools could not force or mandate public school students to engage in group prayer at schools. Students can pray any time on their own time and even read their Bibles or any other religious book on their time . The school is to remain neutral in such matters. Schools can and do teach about religion and how religions have influenced societies and laws but the schools are not to promote or TEACH religion. So therefore you Eric are wrong about your assertion.    Hitler was indeed a  Catholic and he even stated so himself in many of his speeches and in his book Mein  Kampf. Even the Pope at the time  supported  Hitler and his henchmen.  The nazis even wore on their belt buckles the words ” Gott Mitt Uns ” –meaning ” God With Us” .  Hitler was not anti-religious  , he was anti-semitic and a racist bigot and supremacist. As far  as evolution is concerned ,  Darwin never said we came from apes . He only asserted that we have a close relation in our genetic makeup to primates  [ and admitted such in his publication --- " Origin of the species"   ] . Christian proselytizers then took all this out of context  in intentional deception to malign his presentation which was NOT on the subject of where life or where matter began and he never claimed such.
                           Intelligent Design is nothing more than disguised christian creationism under a different name so as to slip it nto our public school classes under the guise of  science. I believe in a power greater than me —it’s called NATURE. No atheists are FORCING secular beliefs on anyone.   No atheists are pushing blasphemy laws for secular freethought or killing people because they make insulting remarks about atheists.    Get real !     
                    Atheists don’t control the mainstream media —, religionists ( primarily Christians ) do.    Name one major news source owned by a secular organization . Just one .  You can’t , because there isn’t any.
                Pol Pot ( or Saloth Sar  – which was his real name ) was not an atheist.  He was a Buddhist who later joined the priesthood and became a Buddhist preist. Pol Pot went to Paris and studied agrarian socialism and became an admirer of Karl Marx and then returned to  Cambodia and became the ruthless ruler of the Khmer Rouge to promote his socialist society .   He killed intellectuals, or anyone who he deemed to be a threat to his political agenda. Mao Tse Tung ( or Zedong ) was not an atheist. Chairman Mao was also a Buddhist , and and at times he flipped-flopped between Shintoism and Taosim and he also entered the priesthood.  Mao embraced socialism which was a precursor to his communism and had nothing to do with secularism.  Joseph Stalin ( which was not the name he was born with –I’ll post later ) was a staunch supporter and  follower of the Russian Orthodox Church .   Stalin was considered to be an atheist during the middle years of his life  because he took measures to start his own religion where he would apoint himself as it’s prophet. At age 15 Stalin attended a Seminary in Gedansk and later attended another seminary .  Stalin did not make  public announcements of being an atheist but a comrade stated as hearsay that he poked fun at Christians in a private conversation with him. This has been published in the archives of the old USSR  ( now known as simply the Commonwealth of States or Russia ).   Stalin’s actions had nothing to do with secularism but were purely political.  The archives of Russia indicates that it was after stalin converted back to his original religious beliefs that he became the msot ruthless. Fidel Castro did and still does embrace the belief of Liberation Theology  and was/is a Liberation Theologist.  He was never an  atheist.
                           It isn’t atheists going around engaging in acts of terrorism , murder , mayhem , subjugation and forcing secular beliefs upon the world. As far as murder is concerned. If your deity (god) is in control of the forces of nature  and is the almighty that is in charge of every thing that occurs , then your Christian deity is therefore responsible for hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, disease epidemics (plagues ) , famines, tsunamis, drought, blizzards, meteor strikes, miscarriages (stillborn births ) , natural deaths , etc etc etc . This therefore makes your alledged deity the most psychopathic, mass murdering, heinous, barbaric, and most evil mass murderer that ever existed which  has caused the death of hundreds of millions   (   if not billions )  of innocent men, women, children and babies since the beginning of the human race. Go figure.  Such a being doesn’t deserve praise but only scorn. Such a being is not merciful or beneficent but a murderous tyrant.  So go ahead and call me heathen , heretic or infidel and I will wear those labels proudly like a badge of honor.   As Ingersoll would say.  ” Christians ask me how could I dare attack their deity.   I ask them— How could they dare defend such a deity “.     Religion is based upon nothing but forced  indoctrination and is a product of superstitition, mythology and make-believe and ancient fairy tales.  Secular freethought is based upon scientific evidence , logic, common sense , rational thinking  nand pragmatic inquiry.     Try it on for size. It’s better than believing in some inmaginary , invisible , formless, indescribable   Daddy  In The Sky  ,  Space Ghost or Cosmic Santa Claus.  I rest my case !

  • George

    Eric—–

                    In response to the post by Eric of one month ago , it is NOT secular freethinkers who are forcig secularism upon the populace. At no time has any public school required students to stand and recite any pledge to atheism or swear or grovel to some secular being. That has always come from the religious community that has used the force of government to impose their religious ( read- Christian ) beliefs upon everyone .  The 1963 Supreme Court ruling did not ban any prayer from public schools. It only stated that public schools could not force or mandate public school students to engage in group prayer at schools. Students can pray any time on their own time and even read their Bibles or any other religious book on their time . The school is to remain neutral in such matters. Schools can and do teach about religion and how religions have influenced societies and laws but the schools are not to promote or TEACH religion. So therefore you Eric are wrong about your assertion.    Hitler was indeed a  Catholic and he even stated so himself in many of his speeches and in his book Mein  Kampf. Even the Pope at the time  supported  Hitler and his henchmen.  The nazis even wore on their belt buckles the words ” Gott Mitt Uns ” –meaning ” God With Us” .  Hitler was not anti-religious  , he was anti-semitic and a racist bigot and supremacist. As far  as evolution is concerned ,  Darwin never said we came from apes . He only asserted that we have a close relation in our genetic makeup to primates  [ and admitted such in his publication --- " Origin of the species"   ] . Christian proselytizers then took all this out of context  in intentional deception to malign his presentation which was NOT on the subject of where life or where matter began and he never claimed such.
                    Atheists don’t control the mainstream media —,religionists ( primarily Christians ) do.    Name one major news source owned by a secular organization . Just one .  You can’t , because there isn’t any.
                Pol Pot ( or Saloth Sar  – which was his real name ) was not an atheist.  He was a Buddhist who later joined the priesthood and became a Buddhist preist. Pol Pot went to Paris and studied agrarian socialism and became an admirer of Karl Marx and then returned to  Cambodia and became the ruthless ruler of the Khmer Rouge to promote his socialist society .   He killed intellectuals, or anyone who he deemed to be a threat to his political agenda. Mao Tse Tung ( or Zedong ) was not an atheist. Chairman Mao was also a Buddhist , and and at times he flipped-flopped between Shintoism and Taosim and he also entered the priesthood.  Mao embraced socialism which was a precursor to his communism and had nothing to do with secularism.  Joseph Stalin ( which was not the name he was born with –I’ll post later ) was a staunch supporter and  follower of the Russian Orthodox Church .   Stalin was considered to be an atheist during the middle years of his life  because he took measures to start his own religion where he would apoint himself as it’s prophet. At age 15 Stalin attended a Seminary in Gedansk and later attended another seminary .  Stalin did not make  public announcements of being an atheist but a comrade stated as hearsay that he poked fun at Christians in a private conversation with him. This has been published in the archives of the old USSR  ( now known as simply the Commonwealth of States or Russia ).   Stalin’s actions had nothing to do with secularism but were purely political.  The archives of Russia indicates that it was after stalin converted back to his original religious beliefs that he became the msot ruthless. Fidel Castro did and still does embrace the belief of Liberation Theology  and was/is a Liberation Theologist.  He was never an  atheist.
                           It isn’t atheists going around engaging in acts of terrorism , murder , mayhem , subjugation and forcing secular beliefs upon the world. As far as murder is concerned. If your deity (god) is in control of the forces of nature  and is the almighty that is in charge of every thing that occurs , then your Christian deity is therefore responsible for hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, disease epidemics (plagues ) , famines, tsunamis, drought, blizzards, meteor strikes, miscarriages (stillborn births ) , natural deaths , etc etc etc . This therefore makes your alledged deity the most psychopathic, mass murdering, heinous, barbaric, and most evil mass murderer that ever existed which  has caused the death of hundreds of millions   (   if not billions )  of innocent men, women, children and babies since the beginning of the human race. Go figure.  Such a being doesn’t deserve praise but only scorn. Such a being is not merciful or beneficent but a murderous tyrant.  So go ahead and call me heathen , heretic or infidel and I will wear those labels proudly like a badge of honor.   As Ingersoll would say.  ” Christians ask me how could I dare attack their deity.   I ask them— How could they dare defend such a deity “.     Religion is based upon nothing but forced  indoctrination and is a product of superstitition, mythology and make-believe and ancient fairy tales.  Secular freethought is based upon scientific evidence , logic, common sense , rational thinking  nand pragmatic inquiry.     Try it on for size. It’s better than believing in some inmaginary , invisible , formless, indescribable   Daddy  In The Sky  ,  Space Ghost or Cosmic Santa Claus.  I rest my case !

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tex-Taylor/1279760816 Tex Taylor

    I’m not here to debate the existence of God as I have no intent of arguing the obvious, but your science, or more specifically Hitchen’s science I guess, is many years dated.

    the ‘useless junk’ in our DNA string left over from lower creatures;

    Were only now gaining a full appreciation of what was once called junk DNA.  Much too long to explain:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013105809.htm

    our
    appendix;

    One of many redundant immunology organs, as are the tonsils and adenoids.  We can live without a stomach, spleen and gall bladder too.

    our vestigial tails

    Complete with spinal nerve, think of falling on your tailbone, starting with the role it plays in enabling us to sit, keep our anus closed, facilitating bowel and labor movements.

    This argument for Darwinian evolution explaining everything is at best incomplete.  If interested:

    http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/content/37/4/1011.full

    • Jillian Becker

      Thank you, Tex Taylor, for your comment. 
      The link to the argument for Darwinian evolution is not, I find, working at present. 

    • George

      Tex,   Back in 2009 I attended a secular conference and during the conference the subject of evolution vs creationsim came up.   Please pardon me if I sound rather hardcore at times and I do not mean to sound argumentative as that’s not my intent but I’m very assertive regarding secular freethought.   I questioned certain aspects of the  Darwinian evolution theory and a couple of  fellow atheists went “ballistic” .  It’s still a THEORY and is not conclusive although there is much evidence that supports  SOME aspects of Darwin’s presentation.     I explained that Darwinism does not explain where life or matter came from. I explained that Darwinism does not explain how inorganic non-living matter became living life forms.  By the same token I also asserted that creationism does explain anything by any proof whatsoever but is simply religious dogma that makes a claim which  they cannot verify, substantiate or prove.   When a Christian asked Robert Green Ingersol where did we come from and where did it all begin , Ingersoll replied –   ” I don’t know “.   I do not know either and I make no claim whatsoever.   Ingersoll also stated that he knows beyond any doubt that the claim made by Christians is an absolute impossibility–and I agree. If  Darwinism were totally provable then it would NOT be called  Darwin’s THEORY of Evolution but rather  Darwin’s FACT of Evolution . It’s still a theory nevertheless and many secularists push this as if it’s unquestionable proven fact  just like the Big Bang Theory  ( another theory ) even though there is some scientific evidence –it’s still theory.  I was always an A student in science and yet I had a college professor that gave me a failing grade during one semester in my physical science class because I challenged him constantly on what he was teaching and asserted that much of what he taught was only theory and I answered my test questions as such and he did  a number on me when the entire class turned on him and supported my position . The professor never spoke to me after that and turned his head looking the other way when I approached him in the hallway. One reason that this topic is so hard to discuss is because people in general become so emotional on the subject and get away from simply making logical and rational scientific dialogue and as usual their egotistical defense mechanisms kick in.  Hence , it becomes an argument rather than a dialogue.   Nice discussion anyway , and much ground could be covered if  people could stick to the basic scientific principles .  I loved to discuss quarks,  black holes,  dark matter , parrellel universes ,  quantum physics , etc. I would tell many science studenst that much of what they were being taught is still only theory and then sparks would fly.  I’m sure you get my drift (smile ).  

      • George

        Oh by the way,  in his publication   ” Origin of the species ”  , Darwin never claimed he had the answer to where life began and he never said we all came from apes .  Instead , he stated to the effect that homo sapiens have a close relationship to that of primates in our genectic structure and then the Christian propagandists took  it all out of context and proclaimed that  Darwin said the human race came from  gorrillas or monkeys which was a lie promulgated by the Christian proselytizers to discredit atheists.  I remember the charts showing  Java man , cro-magnon, Neanderthal , cave-man drawings , pictures of chimpanzees evolving into various stages of homo-sapiens, etc.   We could have covered much more ground over time if we weren’t swayed by those with religious or societal agendas getting in the way.    If we had evolved from apes then there would be no apes now as they would have died out after our evolvement into homo sapiens (  human beings ). Was this a species of primates that failed to evolve along with the others ?  I had to go and  dig into deep research and I  found things that I never knew before but had accepted because it was the popular teaching at the time ( whcich is what religion is all about ). I also realized later that much of what we have been taught in history was in itself rewritten history and when archives proved otherwise, then the people who had traditionally  accepted the popular academia accused the presenters with being revisionists ( and yes SOME  actually were ).

        • Keith

          Well I for one want to thank the invisible space ghost for George feeling better enough to scribble out a few paragraphs.

          You were much missed sir. I hope the recovery continues to progress.

          Coincidentally, on my commute to work I have been listening to biology lectures and the most recent were on Mr. Darwin. Did you know he was educated in the seminary? Did you know that the theory of evolution was around long before Darwin? What Darwin did was to give a reason why evolution could take place and he caught flak for it.

          He never suggested men come from apes but that was an extrapolation from the church regarding his “origin of species”. 

          Also, evolution doesn’t happen to individuals only populations meaning that a genetic change in an individual (mutation) may cause that individual to attract mates better then his/her genetic code can propagate enough to affect the population.

        • George

          Hi Keith  –

          I was unable to respond to your post below and I agree with all that you posted. I expressed those very same things in a discussion with others who would not accept such.  The fundamentalists took Darwin’s works totally and intentionally out of context .   There is a site on the internet that I have to go back and find on this issue. I’ll keep looking.  Going to  have to take a break again soon. You’re right ,  Darwin never said we came from apes and it was indeed as you stated an extrapolation ( actually intentionally hardcore deciet ) by the church to malign him and science.

  • Zeta

    The above writing is of an over-wise idiot. Biologically and scientifically we cannot argue against any theological concept, because common sense tells us that the extent of our knowledge about the world is insufficient to provide any evidence for the ‘exitence of god’ whether one does or not. Moreover, there are indeed many seemingly useless organs in the body. But again, if you had studied embryology, you would say otherwise. Such argument is old-fashioned and by reviewing the book in such way, you are insulting the author and many others who share the same ‘belief’. Likewise, you cannot argue with the support of the humankind’s past history of violence. You are an idiot who has just ‘undone’ your own exitence. You do not ‘be’ an atheist with that stupid brain of yours.

    • Frank

      I must say I have read some posts that we even more disjointed and incomprehensible than this one – but not many.

      • George

        Which post exactly and what  is disjointed and incomprehensible   ?  

        • Frank

          Zeta’s post and everything about it.

      • George

        Frank , I want to be totally honest here and state my position in a mature and direct manor.     First——on the subject of abortion which is indeed a “thorny” subject and has ruffled more feathers than probably any , except religion and politics.     I have absolutely NO intent whatsoever in telling any woman what to do with her body——————–PERIOD !! 
                        If I do say so myself , I have been more of a defender of women than 90% of the feminists I know.  Having said that  , here is where I stand  and I want to make this as perfectly clear as possible so that NO ONE misinterprets my position in any way.
                            Let me give a scenario if I may. Let’s suppose a woman meets a guy and it’s a casual encounter and they decide to have sexual intercource ( a one night stand or whatever ) . Please follow me here Frank  , as you and I have been internet close associates for some time now.  The man and woman meet , they start going out , they have a sexual fling and he uses a condom and/or she uses birth control ( or maybe neither ). Let’s say the condom breaks, or her birth control fails and he comes to ejaculation with a failed condom or birth control.    This was not a planned pregnancy, they are not married , and it’s an accidental pregnancy. The woman goes to a clinic a few weeks later and it is now determined that she is pregnant from the sexual encounter. Now at this point , she just became pregnant. Should she be allowed to get an abortion ? Now some people are going to be against me for saying this but my answer at this point is YES–she should be allowed to.  It wasn’t intended , it was accidental , neither wants the baby to be , and it’s at a stage now of just being a merged egg & sperm. I am not the one to determine where the life begins and at what point it starts and I have never claimed to be.  
                              Now , let’s examine the next scenario.    A woman is walking through a park at night , a man jumps from behind the bushes and at gunpoint or knifepoint , forces her into the brush and forcibly rapes her.  Should the woman be allowed to get an abortion  ? My answer to that question is –YES  she should and the scumbag rapist should get life in prison if he is indeed found guilty.  Furthermore, how does a man protect himself from false accusations of rape ? When a woman accuses rape by a man , the media automatically regards the woman as the victim and hides her identity.  At this point she is actually the  ALLEGED victim   since no guilty verdict has been found upon the suspect.  In the media , the man is automatically regarded as the perpetrator but his identity is not kept secret by the media . If it turns out that  the woman lied by being vindictive and totally fabricated the accusation, his life is ruined . His career could be ruined and people will destroy him with the stigma that “he just got off  because he had a good lawyer ” .  Suppose it was you in that position. Think about it–seriously.  No woman should be forced to have a baby by some low-life scumbag rapist ( her violator ).  That’s sick and disgusting and pathetic .   Please follow me here Frank and I want to be totally civil about this.    
                                  Now , I’m gonna throw a curve here.   Here’s another scenario.  A man and woman date , become engaged , get married and plan a family. They decide together to have a baby . She get’s pregnant by her husband .   During the pregnancy, the marital relationship sours and they decide  to get divorced ( yes it’s that quick —-and it happens ).   While the woman is 8 months or even 9 months pregnant , she decides to be spiteful against her soon to be ex-husband and decides she is going to abort the baby who is FULLY developed and healthy as far as tests are concerned . If the baby were born now , the baby would be maybe a little premature or even at 9 months or even less fully developed and  will have a  fully developed brain , arms , legs , heart , and everything to sustain life on it’s own as a fully developed baby. Should the mother be allowed to abort the baby at this point. My answer is f*** NO !!!!!!!!    The father want’s the baby and is willing to raise the baby at his expense and not even require the mother to pay him child support.  The mother looks upon the baby as a burden on her career ( and her terminating the baby is therefore a form of post-pregancy birth control and her way of shirking HER responsibility for a baby she doesn’t want ).  If the reverse were the case and the mother brought the baby to term , and the father didn’t want to be burdened with raising a child he didn’t want , —where is his option to opt out of taking care of an unwanted baby ?   If she brings the baby to term , then the father will be required by the GOVERNMENT  ( court system ) to pay the mother for at least the next 18 years or even more if forced college tuition is added ). If he doesn’t pay or loses his job  and can’t send the money to the mother , he will be thrown into debtors prison and labeled “deadbeat dad ” but if the mother doesn’t want to take care of an unwanted child , she can simply waltz into an abortion clinic and have the unborn baby killed via abortion.
                    The women feminists or women pro-abortion proponents say ——-  ” It’s my body ” as if the matter is closed and the rights of the father who is equally the biological parent of that unborn child is ignored and trampled upon.   The biological fathers are simply saying in return — ”  I have no intent to tell you what to do with your body , but there  is an unborn body within your body which is a separate life entity than your body and as the father of that unborn child , I decline to be so easily dispensed with . If you don’t want the child , then sign him/her  over to me after you bring the child to term and I would gladly welcome the opportunity to be so burdened . I would gladly raise and love that child which is indeed mine whcih we planned and now you don’t want but I DO ”
             
                            The women say that since men can’t get pregnant or have babies that men should have no say whatsoever . Nonsense . The reciprocal to this charge is that when women can be impregnated without the sperm of men and become asexual , then and only then can they exclude the male (father) from the claiming of his rights to what is equally his child as well.
                              The feminists say —-  ” Men just have to learn to keep their zippers zipped and keep it in their pants ” .  Really ?  Well , the reciprocal to that argument  suggests that –  Women need to learn to keep their legs shut and keep their panties on” .    If the feminists say that during the entire pregnancy it is not a human or baby , then why was it that when Scott  Peterson was charged with double-murder ( the murder of his wife and their unborn child ) the feminists were totally SILENT.   Where were the public outcries from the feminists to say—- ”  Hold on here. You can’t charge him with double murder . The unborn child isn’t a human because it wasn’t born yet  ? ” .  Where were their voices ?  The silence was deafening !!!  If a father causes the death of the unborn child by a gun he’s a murderer and deserves to be executed but if the mother waltzes into an abortion clinic and kills it –she’s just assering her rights  ” .  Excuse me ?   Say what !    What’s wrong with this picture ?  If Zeta didn’t agree with my illustrative points , she could have simply said —  ” George , I disagree for the following reasons     (  fill in the blanks  ) and we can discuss it like mature ,intelligent  , and grown up people . But oh no , Zeta comes on here calling me an idiot and other virulent insulting names and so I gave it back.   If Zeta wants to insult me for stating my position with her hate-mongering insulting name calling , then Zeta can kiss my a**  and go  f*** herself  .  What a  stupid braindead BITCH  !!!!  People like her really piss me the f*** off. I hate it when people start name calling right off the bat  because they disagree with someone. People with low or no intelligence  have to do that to compensate for their lack of vocabulary and lack of communicating skills and also to demonize those they disagree with  . I’ve been through this a million times .
                           Often times people who consider themselves to be so rational are themselves the most irrational people imaginable. My original post on this was not meant to cause a dispute or any uproar on such a sensitive topic but to look at ALL aspects of the issue and NOT be closed-minded on the subject. I don’t claim to have the answer and I merely stated my personal position  on the issue and I have always remained open to listen to all sides on the issue . The feminists that I have debated on this issue have all argued for their own  selfish  anti-male reasons  and nothing more or less. They only care about the rights of women and don’t give a %$# about the rights of men ( especially fathers ).
                               Anyone following my postings on this site know that no one else has defended the rights of women moreso than me . No one else has spoken out against the subjugation of women than I have.  No one else has spoken out against the sharia law treatment of women , or against so-called “honor killings ” , the forcing women to wear tents over their  bodies or forcing women to live as second class ( or no class ) citizens . I have been an outspoken supporter of women and I’m f***ing sick & tired of the lies , and personal attacks that I have been subjected to as a result.
                            Now , I’m at the coffee shop and I’m gonna enjoy a nice cup of fresh brewed coffee.  I told the cashier to make sure the coffee is steaming at  200 degrees because I like my coffee like I like my women —— REAL  HOT   !!!!!!!!!

    • George

      Zeta , if by the above post you’re referring to me , then the only IDIOT is yourself.   Typical brainwashed programmed non-thinking wacko.    Typical  stupid, and mindless  emotional drivel as usual.  I will bet a wager that I have more education in biology, advanced biology, and psychology than you could ever dream of.     Brain dead people like yourself always engage in senseless name-calling when you can posit a rational argument. So , therefore  will reciprocate  in  kind.
                          It is quite evident that you’re one of these radical zealot gender-feminists ( aka- feminazi ) with your vile hatred of the male gender and no respect for the rights of men ( and fathers in particular ).    I don’t know why I’m even wasting my time debating with a stupid fool moron as yourself. You can’t even come onto a discussion forum and make your point , but rather you come onto a website and right off the bat start your viciopus name-calling and personal ad hominem attacks.  If you had more than one brain cell in that hollow head of yours you would be dangerous.
                          I personally have read writing of feminists who supported immediate post-partum abortion and even late-term abortion even when the baby is FULLY developed just before birth.    This is indeed murder by any sense of the word and if you support this then you are one sicko murderous scum and a horrible excuse for a human being.  So STFU !!!!

  • George

    Richard Dawkins stated    : ”  We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have believed in  .    Some of us just go one god further “.  

  • George

    Richard Dawkins stated    : ”  We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have believed in  .    Some of us just go one god further “.  

  • George

    Check out the many quotes by Robert Green Ingersoll on Wikiquote on the internet.  Do a keyword search of  Wikiquote –Robert  G. Ingersoll  and read his great quotes and short excerpts of speeches . The man was brilliant and far ahead of his time .   It’s a long page of quotes by him . Read the entire page——you won’t get bored .  If only we had a high profile leader like him today. 

    • Jim

      Robert Ingersoll is one of my heroes. I recently paid his grave a visit at Arlington national Cemetary. Brilliant thinker and so far head o fhis time. In the collection of essays that make up the book “Superstition and other Essays” he even championed a woman’s right to choose. A position unheard of in those days by a mainstream political figure.

      His thoughts on religion and their place in society are second to none. Pick up any of his books. They take a long time to read because each paragraph makes such terrific points you’ll re-read them repeatedly in order to memorize them. 

      Here is a site which has virtually everything th eman has ever written:

      http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/

      • Jim

        Well, not everything, but many of his more popular essays and speeches. I still highly recommend seeking out the books as well.

      • George

        Thanks for your reply Jim. I will comment on one point you made and I’ll explain later.  I have always admired Ingersoll. He was a brave ,, intelligent and scholarly man—-the best of the best. I’ve been out of commission for a while now — undergoing medical treatments and care.  I continue to suffer from intense chronic pain from a multitude of injuries, but I push on. I enjoy reading his quotes and I’ve had two books written of him.  His eloquent writings inspire and motivate me  .  He was in my opinion a genious.

      • George

        I have two books by Ingersoll and I have a printout of many of his quotes . I also printed out several quotes of him which I pass out to Christians when they want to hand me their religious non-tract pamphlets.  When Ingersol spoke of a woman’s rights to choose as you say , it had absolutely NOTHING to do with abortion but rather was about a woman being able to choose her own destiny, occupation , right of service and employment/career and not having men dictate to them based upon Biblical law which is exactly the way it should be.   Biblical  laws in America promoted both racism and sexism and restricted many freedoms which we currently now have. The problem is that liberals went to the opposite extreme and promoted an “anything goes” agenda of perversion , decadence , socialism and reverse-bigotry & discrimination.  Liberals fought one form of bigotry only to institute the opposite form of bigotry as a replacement substitute.  In simple terms—-liberals liberated us to indecency and immorality and practically destroyed the family structure and the motivation to be self-sufficient with self-pride and self-respect. When the liberal left virtually “hijacked” the secular freethought movement in America , Christians automatically  thought ( although wrongfully so ) that liberalism automatically stood for atheism and they are wrong .  The liberals perverted freethought and have produced the horribly bad image we have now regarding secular freethought . As I have stated before , it will indeed be secular conservatives that will bring about respect and true recognition to secularism around the world.

  • George

    Keith , I was unable to reply under your post because the website won’t allow it , but you are right about your comment.   If a woman gets pregnant by a man  (of course ) and she doesn’t want to be burdened with raising the baby because she thinks the infant or child-raising will interfere with her career , she can simply waltz into an abortion clinic and have the unborn infant ( even though developed and viable ) killed via abortion . This allows the mother to to shirk her responsibility of taking care of an unwanted child. The mother is therefore using this as a form of post-pregnancy birth control .  The man ( father ) of the unborn child does NOT have any option to opt-out  from being forced to take care of an unwanted child . If the mother decides to bring the child to term and gives birth , then the father will be required by the courts (GOVERNMENT ) to pay child support for that child for the next 18 years or even more sometimes ( college, etc ) if ordered by the courts. 
                  The feminists and liberals in general ( both male and female )  always make cliches such as — ” If you play you pay “. But the  woman can just have the baby’s life snuffed out if she doesn’t want it –via abortion. If the father refuses to take care of the baby he doesn’t want , then he will automatically be  thrown in jail and labelled DEADBEAT DAD !
                   Then the feminists make one-sided remarks such as –  ” Well men need to learn to keep it in their pants and keep their zipper up ” .  Well excuse the %$#@ out of me. The same applies in reverse .  It can also be said that — ” Women need to learn to keep their legs shut and their panties on “.   Duhhh !!  The responsibility works both ways —but ONLY the man is ordered to pay by the government.
              Men even today in many jurisdictions in America are overwhelmingly discriminated against regarding child custody.  In many jurisdictions in America , women receive child custody around 98% of the time.    Men also get the “shaft” concerning everything else divorce related as well ( don’t get me started on this subject ). She gets the kids and the house  and he gets the blame and the bills !
            Feminists say– ” It’s my body ” as if the subject ends there and the father of the child has no say as to what is equally HIS child as well.  Men are saying— ” I have no intent of  telling you what to do with your body , but there is a body within your body which is a separate human life entity  from YOUR body and as the father of that unborn child it is as much mine as it is yours , and I  have a right to decide as well as you  the fate of what is equally MY child as well and I as the father decline to be so easily dispensed with  regardless of your bigoted and biased emotional reverse-sexist feelings and opinions “.    The feminists say that since men don’t give birth that they should have no say . Wrong again ! When women can become asexual without the sperm of a man , then and only then can the man (father of the unborn ) be ejected out of the equation . If the mother doeesn’t want the child and the father does , then the mother should be ordered by the courts to bring the child tom term , give birth and turn the child over to the father and sign her rights over to the father ( she won’t even have to pay chld support because it will be all his ). The mother will not be able to come back years later and claim rights  to the child that she was going to murder in the womb and now demand rights  to the child that she was going to kill.   The former Surgeon General C. Everett Coop  stated to the effect that it is extremely rare if ever that a woman needs to have an abortion to save her life or health. A woman can have a C-section if all else fails.   We currently live in a society today that is always concerend about the health and welfare of the woman and couldn’t care less about the well being and wellfare of the man. 
                    Look at how all ove the media we here talk about finding a cure for [breast cancer ] yet men are dying at about the same rate of prostate cancer and it’s not even an issue  and also considering that breast cancer research receives tons of funding mores so than prostate cancer, and testicular cancer research. Not to get off topic but I’m simply citing examples here.  All these issues need MORE discussion and not less.  Thanks for having an open mind  Keith and addressing the other side of the issue that has been overwhelmingly censured.

    • Keith

      Someone in the current administration or maybe it was a czar determined that a baby wasn’t viable for even a year after it was born. He was repeating a court ruling from somewhere in Europe that determined late term abortion could apply to a baby less than a year old. 

      Instead of the sides getting closer together in determining when life starts political pressures are widening the gap. Feminism has told women that they are special because they can do anything a man can do AND they can bring life into the world and they will get no argument from me. But that ability comes with a responsibility to protecting that life.

      The simplest meaning of life is to procreate. Single cell organisms collect nutrients to survive so they can split and multiply and repeat the process. More complex organisms fight to get the best mate to ensure the survival of their DNA. Humans throw babies in the trash because they don’t want to be bothered.

      Not to stay off topic but I for one as of late would like to see some better research on prostate cancer!

      • George

        Keith , you and I definately see eye to eye on this matter and “political  correctness ”  aka – (  political corruptness  ) has run its course.    I have seen men lose their jobs and can’t send the mother a check even though she and her new husband are making tons of money and they throw the unemployed father ( ex-husband ) in jail  ( debtors prison )  and label him DEADBEAT DAD. The great majority of these  fathers aren’t DEADBEAT ,  but rather are men BEATEN DEAD.   Yes their are misfit fathers out there just as there are treacherous moms out there as well exploiting fathers. But because we have such a PC media , the other side of the story never if rarely get’s told.  I have seen feminists actually support late term and even post-partum ( after birth ) abortion which is clearly MURDER in any sense of the word.   Also , the term pro-choice is a misnomer considering that no baby chooses to die.  Who protects the unborn ?  No , I’m not saying that every sperm or egg in a human is a human being . If that were the case every time a man ejaculates he would be committing mass murder or every time a woman passed an egg she would be commiting murder– and that would be absurd as well.
                   I’ve heard feminists say that those who are pro-life don’t go around and adopt babies .  I say–so what ? It’s not the responsibility of anyone to take care of other peoples children. That’s a voluntary thing.   I have seen mothers take a newborn healthy baby and flush it down the toilet, or drown it in the bath tub or throw   the newborn healthy infant in the trash can and then women would say —-  ”  Oh those poor women , they need help …..   I feel so sorry for them ,,,,,blah blah blah ,,,,,, ” .  Can you believe this.   If a father were to take his  newborn child and throw it into a dumpster , you would see the same feminists  and liberal women go berserk and scream like crazy calling for the man to be executed or lynched .   I read an article where a male movie star was paying recent his ex-wife  $27,000.00 per month in child support for an infant baby.  Can you believe this ? What on earth is a mother going to buy at the tune of $27,000.00 per month for a baby.  This is clearly legalized extortion of men.  Child support becomes noting but disguised alimony.  The mothers are not held accountable of how child support is spent  but the father is held under the microscope by the government and the threat of being jaioled at the drop of a hat. These same woman went to court to demand more money saying that the father could afford it ( after already receiving a ton of monthly that isn’t neeeded to support an infant )  just    because he made a lot of money as a famous actor. So what again ?
                             If these feminists keep this up and the rest of the liberal women in America and worldwide keep this up , then men around the world are going to probably cease fighting the sharia law muslims because they will come to the breaking point of being fed up  with being taken advantage of in this way and want payback . I don’t want to ever see that ever happen but the feminists are fueling this situation and too many people are silent on this. I don’t want to see anyone taken advantage of regardless of gender , race , class , or society of origin—period !   Political correctness has so many people in our society scared to speak out for fear of being attacked and publicly humiliated for standing up and speaking out.
                          The people who are promoting this and supporting  this social censorship are actually creating a social atmosphere whereby people who once gave or are giving support are going to say enough is enough and will eventually become rivals instead of supporters and the will not give a rat’s butt what anyone thinks but people never learn.

        • George

          Keith –in continuation to my above post :

               I am only stating what I have heard many men I have spoken to and interviewed across the country state .   The comments DO NOT necessaily represent me  ( some do and some don’t ).  Also, the comments  I made above are NOT directed at women in general but are regarding specifically the radical gender FEMINISTS  ( who by the way do not represent all or the  majority of women ).  Every group has it’s extremists who embarrass and hurt the image of the specific group itself as a whole.   For example —— you have racist whites and you have racist blacks.  You have sexist men and you have sexist women.  You  have religious extremists that are wacko and you have liberal atheists that drive me nuts as well.  We can find fault in virtually all groups —some are just more annoying or even  DANGEROUS  than others and it’s important that we make the distinction. I just wanted to clarify this so that no one gets a misconception of what was presented. Thank you.
                                   

      • George

        Actually I also agree with what Frank had stated on  an earlier post and on another page article in that it is the religion of Islam itself that is fueling the mindset , subjugation and terrorist  acts and not just a fringe minority inside the group.  Christians are also taught to ‘spread the word”  and proselytize and convert as many as possible.  I don’t see Rationalists  ( rational secular freethinkers ) going around trying to convert people to secularism or force non-belief upon anyone by coercion, force, fear or intimidating indoctrination.     We simply present the scientific evidence and let peopole judge for themselves.   No secular freethinker is telling people  if they don’t accept secular freethought that they will burn in hell forever or be beheaded or suffer torment and misery for rejection.  There is indeed a difference . I just had to add that one point in there just for the record Keith.

        • Eric

               I disagree, many secular “Freethinkers” force their non-belief on  Theists. Look at most Public Schools, Most Colleges and Universities, and anywhere public in general. The only difference between the U.S and China, on this issue, is that they don’t bulldoze churches, mosques, and temples. But in every facet of education, we are bombarded, and told what to believe by the Secular world. No atheist, darwinian, evolutionist, what have you, can find hard evidence of a transition from one species to another. There are huge holes in a theory of Evolution, which require a certain amount of faith to believe. There is no proof, yet you still believe that you will find evidence at some point, and that is faith. So to hold to a belief system with ardor and faith, is indeed a religion. A religion that just so happens to be imposed on people who may not believe it. So much so that the faith based people have removed their kids from schools, and placed them into home, or private schools at a high economic cost. Also, many Scientists who fall under Intelligent Design, Creationist, or Young Earth Creationists, who are well published in secular journals, will not publicly admit to believing in a higher power or a supreme intelligence, because of fear of loosing credibility, thereby losing tenure, not to mention, great science to the world. Somehow we blame Religion for most wars, and bloodshed, when it is not the religion, it is the ideology of wicked men who twist truths to their own ends. For Hitler, who some claim was a Roman Catholic, indeed was no believer at all, and denounced that belief for his own ethics of eugenics, and murder. A society that desensitizes itself to bring human life down to the value of microbes will have no problem executing people for their beliefs.

  • Frank

    Regarding abortion –
    What I personally think about abortion or what some believer thinks his imaginary friend in the sky thinks about it doesn’t matter. It comes down to a decision between a woman and her doctor within the constraints of our legal system. End of discussion.

    • George

      Actually it comes down to the mother  AND  father ( of the unborn ) and the  physician. If the unborn child is fully developed and viable it would indeed be murder if a baby is aborted ( killed ) at the very late term or nine  month human gestation period.  At that late term it is fully formed and developed and it is indeed human and not just a piece of meat.  And the discussion does NOT end there.    This is a very serious matter that merits much discussion and attention. Actually it needs MORE  rational and civil discussion  !

  • Adam

    “In the grip of the belief that there was ‘a beginning’ of existence,
    believers like to raise their favorite ‘logical’ argument that since
    everything must have a cause there must be a First Cause, Hitchens
    logically asks for the cause of the First Cause, or ‘Who designed the
    designer?’ No theologist or philosopher has ever satisfactorily answered
    that (Thomas Aquinas’s argument that God could set the cause-and-effect
    chain working in the universe because he is outside it does not abolish
    the question of how he came into existence) – or ever produced a sound
    argument for belief in a god of any sort.”

    Who designed the designer?  No one did. God is the the great I AM, the uncreated. God has always existed and always will exist. Just because our minds cannot reduce this spiritual truth to human-rational understanding  does not make it untrue.

    - “The picture of a fly sitting deciding what it is going to make of an elephant has comic elements about it.”

    • Jillian Becker

      Adam, you say - 
      “Just because our minds cannot reduce this spiritual truth to human-rational understanding  does not make it untrue.”
      What makes it true?

      • https://me.yahoo.com/a/vekAsew7lOvzPtoZhB61ECRhcAE-#43299 Liz

        Jillian-
        Good question!  I could also declare that fairies exist, and that just because you can’t see them, or reduce them to human-rational understanding, it doesn’t make it untrue that they exist. In fact, I could even say that it is insulting to the integrity of the Irish people, who, as we all know, have historically and verifiably actually seen them, to declare that they don’t exist!

      • Adam

        What makes it true, in part, is the epistemology of
        intuition that arguments on this site try to trump through worship of
        empiricism and the scientific method. Empiricism and the scientific method are
        useful, but not more legitimate than other routes to knowledge in the
        discernment of truth.

        So those who believe in God are told to believe by atheists
        that billions of believers throughout the world are under a greater delusion
        than the minority of atheists.

         

        An implicit assumption of many modern academics is this
        logical fallacy:  The book is old,
        therefore it is untrue.

        • Jillian Becker

          Thanks for trying, Adam. 

          The epistemology of intuition? You know because you feel it is so?  The Gnostic answer. 

          Now I feel, quite as strongly, that it is not true. Neither your nor my feelings prove anything. 

          That more people feel something to be true than feel it is not true is also no proof of anything.

          Sorry. Try again?   

              

        • George

          Adam , you have still failed to prove any argument. That’s why your make-believe [belief system ] is called a FAITH based belief. It’s because you can’t prove , verify, substantiate , give evidence of , or rationalize by any substantial and creidible scientific hyypothesis of the existence of your cartoon character you call GOD.       Since you want to assert  that we secular freethinkers [ Rationalists ] should accept your belief on faith , then fine , I will reciprocate and assert  that you and your cohorts accept the belief in  – The Flying Spaghetti Monster deity.  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Fair is fair.

        • George

          Adam , you have every right to express your beliefs in an American society and that is what freedom of speech is all about.  However, you are not on this discussion forum trying to engage in dialogue but rather to proselytize and push your christian beliefs upon us and tell us that we atheists are wrong for not accepting your theological indoctrinated dogma.  
                           We’ve heard it all before and you’re no different than all those before you. Nothing that you have posted here is anything new that we haven’t heard before .  If you want to say that we can’t disprove the christian god , then by that form of illogic , you should be believing in the God of Isis   ———-after all  , you can’t disprove that such a GOD doesn’t exist and anyone making a claim of the GODDESSS   Isis  , is no different than you making the claim of your invisible , formless, indescribable ghost god   via christianity.

      • Adam

        No, not the Gnostic
        answer. The Christian answer.

         

        But to simplify it
        even further, think of the deathbed when each of us will face the same fate and
        feel alone. When all the awards, people’s praises, and acolytes are gone. The
        intuition—spirit of each human being—will cry out: there has to be more. Is there
        anything or anyone who truly cares for my soul. Someone, Jesus, will cry back “yes, I am here.” And it does not matter what you have done in the past, what you are
        doing now, or what you do in the future. He will forgive and accept you even
        then. And he will even allow it to be a private decision between you, him, and
        perhaps some one person on this earth who you truly trust knows you the best
        and cares for you the most.

         

        Past all the
        prisons of pride that we make for ourselves—these tongues that “sets paths of
        life on fire” through our prideful stances and commitments—Jesus will be there
        for you. And at base, past all the jeering of the world; past the Stephen Hawkings
        who try to shame God away by saying God is a bedtime story for those afraid of
        death; past all our rebel yells that “if there is a God, then why does he allow…”  Jesus’ patience and love will be there for
        you for all eternity. To go on doing the science you love, studying the things
        about the world you love.

         

        “But He suddenly
        approached the old man in silence and softly kissed him on his bloodless aged lips.”

        • George

          Adam , all this superstition mumbo-jumbo that you  have  just posted makes about as much sense as the stories of Mother Goose,  Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs,  The Old Lady In The Shoe , and The  Tooth Fairy.    Who do you think you’re fooling ?   Anyone with at least one brain cell in their head knows that a man that supposedly lived 2,000 years ago would be dust,  bones and /or ashes by now and certainly isn’t going to come back in the future and walk the earth like a mummy in zombie form and save the human race .  Oh , I forgot ,  religion doesn’t teach people to think— –only to blindly believe by blind acceptance –aka [ FAITH  ].
                                Do you believe in the ancient religions of Thor, Zeus, Poseidon ,  Isis ,  Appolo , or any of the mass multitude of other gods that are known ?   Of course not. Why not ? They made the same claims about THEIR beliefs as you are now making about yours ?   Do you believe in the mass multitude of religious beliefs that currently exists around the world ? Why not ? They also claim that their belief is the way , is the true religion , and many proclaim just as you and your christian ilk that they have the answer so why are you accepting their religious belief as well ?   Many of these religions teach that YOUR belief is a false belief and just like yourself , neither of you brainwashed people can prove or disprove the other——  it’s  all according to what you have been indoctrinated to believe.
                            You are therefore ATHEISTIC toward everyone else’s religious beliefs and reject all the other religions and their beliefs which makes YOU  a “non-believer” toward everyone else’s religion and god. I simply reject one more religion than you do —-YOURS !!!!!!!!!!!!
                           If you had been raised in Syria , Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, or any one of the many Middle Eastern islamic countries , then yo would be ranting & raving right now calling christians, jews, atheists, buddhists, hindus, etc. a bunch of heathens, infidels, and heretics among other foul names !   However, you were raised ( I presume ) in America and taught to believe and accept christianlty and were told not to question but to blindly accept this doctrine as part of the systemic indoctrination of the belief system itself and  the radical fundamentalist proselytizers who promote it and force it upon the rest of society.  When I die , I simply return to the state of being that I was at before I was born. It’s all a part of the natural process of life/death. 
                            Yes  Adam , we atheists have a belief in a HIGHER POWER greater than ourselves and that higher power greater than ourselves that we believe in is called NATURE .  Everything that exists is a part of nature and certainly dosn’t come from  some invisible Space Ghost up in the sky or beyond our galaxies .   
                           If you want to continue believing this superstion and mythology Adam , then you go right ahead and while you’re at it don’t forget to include a belief in  The Flying Spaghetti Monster just to be fair and consistent.   After all Adam , I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be biased or discriminate .    If this superstition and mythology that you embrace works for you Adam then go for it and –have at it.      Just keep your religious superstition rubbish to yourself as we secular freethinkers have better things to do with our time than grovel and exalt some make-believe ancient cartoon character you call your christian god.
                I do give you credit Adam , in that you are persistent in trying to push your theological superstition and mythology on others —even though you continue to fail each time. I still give you an “E” for effort.     Perhaps you may want to  take your trolling somewhere that stupid fools will fall for your nonsense Adam , because we’re certainly not.  Try your proselytizing on those weak minded , closed minded , ignorant , and gullible people like the typical unthinking christians and perhaps you can hoodwink them to accepting your CAROON CHARACTER mentality and mindset.  Give it a rest !!!!!   Nice try though.  Just as before Adam , nice try again but you still DO NOT get the CIGAR !!!!!!   

    • George

      Adam , you can’t even define what your aledged god is  , let alone describe it , him or her .   Your belief in some invisible , formless , indescribable Cosmic Santa  Claus is no different than a child that believes in the  Tooth Fairy.  How can a being you call god be the creator of everything if the god itself had to have a creator ?  That means that the so-called  deity that you purport  to worship and praise had to have a creator and that being had to have a creator and so on.   If you claim that your deity has always existed then ALL christians are liars in their proclamation that everything has a beginning.  Oh , but that doesn’t apply to your god of course.  Amazing how christian fundamentalists like yourself always invoke the exclusionary rule when it comes to  YOUR make-believe deity.
                          I don’t have to try to disprove that your god doesn’t exist because the burden of proof is upon the person making a claim that something exists and NOT vice-versa.  You can’t prove ( or disprove ) a negative.  Your argument doesn’t hold water. You’re the typical bible-thumper that operates in a mindless vacuum relying only on blind acceptance ( aka- FAITH )—  [ another  PC term for brainwashing ].  Even if you did prove to me that there is a supernatural being out there in space that your refer to as god ,  I certainly wouldn’t praise or worship such a heinous monster .  If there is such a being then that being is the cause of hurricanes , earthquakes, tornados, volcanic eruptions , tsunamis, plagues  ( disease epidemics ) ,  drought , lighning deaths, floods,  and the list is endless.   Whats sins did little children and babies commit to deserve a horrible suffering and death ?  Where was your god during slavery ? Where was your god during the holocaust ? Where was your god during the Spanish Flue and the Bubonic Plague ? Your so-called god kills innocent men , women children and babies by the many hundreds of millions ( actually billions since the human race existed ) and you expect me ( or rather us ) to worship such a hideous being . 
                            The only reason you believe this  bullcrap is because you were indoctrinated ad nauseum to accept this superstition and mythology. We’ve heard it all before and nothing you have presented so far is anything new.    You’re going to have to do better than that because  you’re far behind the times .  I do give you an “E” for effort.

      • George

        In continuation  to Adam .    Adam, the Spanish Flu and the Bubonic Plague combined were  calculated  to have killed over 100 million people which included men, women , children and infant babies.   No terrorist on earth can claim such a hideous act.  If you proved  to me that there is a devil , then your deity (god) has got him beat by a long shot. And NO , we atheists don’t HATE your so-called god.  For anyone to accuse an atheist of hating god is the same as an atheist  accusing a religious person of hating the tooth fairy. You can’t hate something you don’t even believe exists in the first place.  That’s not only a misnomer but totally absurd and assinine.

    • George

      Adam ,  nothing you have posted here makes any sense whatsoever.  All you ever do is quote a bunch of bullcrap bible verses from some stinking ancient  Fairy  Tale book (bible )   that you bible-bangers mindlessly recite like puppets on a string.  You can’t even define what this purported god is that you profess to believe in. The only reason that you believe this superstition and mythical bullcrap is because you have been indoctrinated since childhood to accept this utter rubbish mindless by :  blind acceptance ( aka–FAITH ).    You say that your god always existed—  How would you know ?  Oh- I get it  ,  it’s because the ancient cartoon book —your bible says so.   Oh–WOW !!!   That sure answers the question. Pardon me while I barf !
                   Wait a minuite , it’s you UNTHINKING christians who proclaim that everything has a beginning and an end . Oh , darn , I forget —that applies to everybody else except  you bible-bangers  who invoke the exclusionary rule when I comes to your invisible, formless, indescribable  Space  Ghost , aka-  Daddy In The sky ,,,, aka- Sky “spook”  ,aka— Cosmic  Santa Claus.  
                       You can no more prove the existence of your so-called god than I can prove the existence of the Tooth Fairy.   If you want to say I can’t disprove the existence of your god, then so what . You can’t disprove the existence of the  Tooth  Fairy either.  So—-duhhhhhhhh  !!!!  The burden of proof is upon the person making the claim that something exists —-not vice versa.
                    Spare me with this childish fantasy nonsense.   Even if you did prove to me that there is a god , he/she/it isn’t worth a crap and is by far the most notorious mass murderer and monstrous being that ever existed.    Everytime we atheists go onto a christian website , we are insulted , called names, humiliated and even worse. No one has called you any names or made any threats, or intimidating remarks whatsoever ( and no –i’m not referring to you personally )  It’s simply that we are not  buying what you’re selling.  The only reason that you believe in your christian “god”  is because this is what you have been told via indoctrination since your youth, by apparently either /or parents, clergy, society , friends, associates, books, and society at large.
                        You talk about billions of people believing in some supernatural being and that atheists are in the minority. So what ?   In ancient times  approx. 99.9999 % of the people on the planet believed that the earth was flat. But guess what Adam. That tiny -miniscule number of scientific minded people who rejected the teachings and brainwashing of the church and challenged this false teaching later turned out to be the ones who were right.   That’s right , all  those ZILLIONS of god worshippers  believed wrongly while a mere  handfull of rational thinking , common sense people, scientific minded people and people of reason and analytical thinking  had it right .  It doesn’t matter how many people believe a lie –a lie is still a lie.
                        You always come upon this blog Adam acting as if you’re going to give us some convincing evidence of your imaginary Teddy Bear In The Sky –and you have failed miserably as usual.   Please do us a favor Adam and go play with your rattlesnakes on your arms, or go speak in tongues like you religious zealots love to do , or go stand around in your super churches  and raise your hands high in the air and sway side to side and chant to your sky ghost and all the other delusional rituals you love———just count us rational  thinking people out.      You see  Adam , we all have better things to do than grovel  and worship  some  make-believe  supernatural figment of  the imagination that brainwashed people who embrace theological nonsense dogma  continue to try to shove down our throats.   As usual Adam——nice try  again , but still NO CIGAR   !!!!!!!!

      • Adam

        The FACT of what you said:

        “No one has called you any names or made any threats, or intimidating remarks whatsoever”

        The FACTs of what others have said to me on this site:

        – “Adam…you are a seriously dangerous person and less than the value of 
        jock strap sweat.  Incapable of self…you are merely waste.”

        – “You can only love what completes you as you are a needy selfless piece of crap.”

        – “yup, millions of loser like you…incapable of standing on your own two
        feet…”I need you”…suck some winse and eat some bread…not for my
        sins asshole.  Yo Momma gave you sin sucka! ”

        –”that you bible-bangers mindlessly recite like puppets on a string. ”

        Now how would a “secular rationalist” understand your statement in light of the evidence?

        • George

          Adam , whenever we as secular freethinkers post on any religious ( specifically Christian site ,we are attacked viciously ). I have had Christians make threats , engage in harrassment , and even discrimination  to me and the typical terms for secularists by the Abrahamic top three religions is INFIDEL  , HEATHEN and HERETIC.  No one here goes onto any Christian site and try to tell Christians that they are wrong for  their beliefs but the facts still remains that you are indeed here on this site trying to proselytize and push your dogmatic religious ( Christian ) beliefs upon us –and that is a fact whether you want to acknowledge it or not. 
                               You come upon here reciting Christian phrases and Biblical sayings but yet you don’t see any of us anywhere going onto  Christian sites pushing  Rationalism upon any of them.   You haven’t proven anything . All you have done so far is quote and recite a bunch of religious jibberish and that’s all. 
                              There are a multitude of religions around the world —.    What makes you think that yours is the true, and definately one and only belief that people should follow ? The only reason that you believe this is because you have been indoctrinated to accept this belief since  your youth and that is putting it factually and bluntly  but you will never acknowledge such no matter what.
                                 Now  , having said that , if you had come onto this discussion forum and said — ”  Hello , my name is Adam  and I am a Christian and I would like to know why do you believe as you do and I want to get an insight to your bellefs —–etc ”  I would have gladly welcomed you  and explained such  and we probably could have had a rational dialogue. That isn’t what YOU did Adam.  Instead , you come upon here trying to engage in your radical proselytizing and trying to convince us that we are wrong for being Rationalists  ( rational thinking secular freethinkers ) . You started this mess , so don’t go around playing the innocent role here because it isn’t going to fly. I engage in conversations with my  Christian ,  Jewish , Muslim , Scientologist, Hindu, Buddhist , Wiccan, and other religious friends all the time and neither of us is trying to convert or denigrate the other whatsoever.  I don’t believe as they do and they do not believe as  I do .  
                 Having said that Adam —–the problem is YOU  , not just because you are a Christian ( and that is your right , and if that works for you then go for it ).  That is NOT the attitude that you came upon this  site with and you know it , so don’t play the mind games here because it isn’t gonna fly.
                                 Now if you simply want to engage in civil discourse and ask a question as to why we believe as we do I and others here would be more than happy to explain that to you and ( I’m sure vice versa ) . When you decide to put your proselytizing in your back pocket then maybe we just may have a dialogue –so lets set the record straight on that matter right now.    I don’t know you and you don’t know me and what you decide to believe is your business just as what I decide to believe is my business.    YOU  are the one that came upon this site aggressively pushing your fundamentalist Christian dogma upon us and we simply didnt’ let YOU walk over us and stood up to you and YOU can’t handle it.    If you want to know where we as secular conservatives stand  I would be more than happy to explain it to you. If you want to know why we believe as we do , I will also be more than happy to explain that to you as well. If you think you are going to come upon here reciting your Bible vesses and tell us that we must accept what you believe just because of what YOU have been indoctrinated into believing then you are at the wrong place. None of your arguments have any scientific proof , validity, evidence , substantiation or verification.  It’s all theological organized indoctrination and I have just invalidated your argument scientifically whether you acknowledge it or not because your presentation is based upon dogma and not any impirical facts or proof.   It’s that simple !

        • George

          Adam , whenever we as secular freethinkers post on any religious ( specifically Christian site ,we are attacked viciously ). I have had Christians make threats , engage in harrassment , and even discrimination  to me and the typical terms for secularists by the Abrahamic top three religions is INFIDEL  , HEATHEN and HERETIC.  No one here goes onto any Christian site and try to tell Christians that they are wrong for  their beliefs but the facts still remains that you are indeed here on this site trying to proselytize and push your dogmatic religious ( Christian ) beliefs upon us –and that is a fact whether you want to acknowledge it or not. 
                               You come upon here reciting Christian phrases and Biblical sayings but yet you don’t see any of us anywhere going onto  Christian sites pushing  Rationalism upon any of them.   You haven’t proven anything . All you have done so far is quote and recite a bunch of religious jibberish and that’s all. 
                              There are a multitude of religions around the world —.    What makes you think that yours is the true, and definately one and only belief that people should follow ? The only reason that you believe this is because you have been indoctrinated to accept this belief since  your youth and that is putting it factually and bluntly  but you will never acknowledge such no matter what.
                                 Now  , having said that , if you had come onto this discussion forum and said — ”  Hello , my name is Adam  and I am a Christian and I would like to know why do you believe as you do and I want to get an insight to your bellefs —–etc ”  I would have gladly welcomed you  and explained such  and we probably could have had a rational dialogue. That isn’t what YOU did Adam.  Instead , you come upon here trying to engage in your radical proselytizing and trying to convince us that we are wrong for being Rationalists  ( rational thinking secular freethinkers ) . You started this mess , so don’t go around playing the innocent role here because it isn’t going to fly. I engage in conversations with my  Christian ,  Jewish , Muslim , Scientologist, Hindu, Buddhist , Wiccan, and other religious friends all the time and neither of us is trying to convert or denigrate the other whatsoever.  I don’t believe as they do and they do not believe as  I do .  
                 Having said that Adam —–the problem is YOU  , not just because you are a Christian ( and that is your right , and if that works for you then go for it ).  That is NOT the attitude that you came upon this  site with and you know it , so don’t play the mind games here because it isn’t gonna fly.
                                 Now if you simply want to engage in civil discourse and ask a question as to why we believe as we do I and others here would be more than happy to explain that to you and ( I’m sure vice versa ) . When you decide to put your proselytizing in your back pocket then maybe we just may have a dialogue –so lets set the record straight on that matter right now.    I don’t know you and you don’t know me and what you decide to believe is your business just as what I decide to believe is my business.    YOU  are the one that came upon this site aggressively pushing your fundamentalist Christian dogma upon us and we simply didnt’ let YOU walk over us and stood up to you and YOU can’t handle it.    If you want to know where we as secular conservatives stand  I would be more than happy to explain it to you. If you want to know why we believe as we do , I will also be more than happy to explain that to you as well. If you think you are going to come upon here reciting your Bible vesses and tell us that we must accept what you believe just because of what YOU have been indoctrinated into believing then you are at the wrong place. None of your arguments have any scientific proof , validity, evidence , substantiation or verification.  It’s all theological organized indoctrination and I have just invalidated your argument scientifically whether you acknowledge it or not because your presentation is based upon dogma and not any impirical facts or proof.   It’s that simple !

  • George

    I have also taken a pro-life position regarding the abortion issue.  However I do IMO have exceptions and  will explain.   First of all the abortion debate is a very ‘thorny” subject.      While  I do not believe that right at the actual moment when an egg cell and sperm cell merge together  that it is a human being  at that point , I do not agree with the abortion upon demand, or using abortion as a form of post-preganancy birth-control .  I read a certain humanist type magazine and one of the staff writers stated clearly that he was pro-life and he is an atheist.  There is also a website on the internet titled  : Pro Life Atheists  ( or somethiing to that effect ).    If the fetus is viable and is developed and capable of living on it’s on and has developed a brain , heart , limbs , etc. then it is certainly NOT just a “glob of flesh”  as the radical feminists and many liberals try to portray.
      The feminists and the pro-abortion crowd   proclaim that since men do not give birth –men in their eyes have no say in the matter regarding abortion.   This is not true and is absurd.     The feminsts and pro-abortionist women say —  ” It’s my body ” as if the matter  is therefore closed and the man who is the father of the unborn child has no say to what is equally HIS  unborn child as well. 
                        Men  ( specifically the fathers of the unborn child ) are  simply saying .—- ”  There is a body inside your body which is as much mine as it is yours  and as the biological father of that unborn child I am equally the  parent of that unborn child and I therefore have a right toward having a say toward the fate of what is equally MY unborn child as well and I decline to be so easily dispensed with .  I have no intent of telling you what to do with YOUR body .  Just because you are carrying  OUR  child in your womb which serves as a human natural incubator does not eliminate the fact tht it’s equally my unborn offspring as well or erases my rights to what is equally my child equally ” .   The former surgeon general C. Everette Koop was quoted ( and I read the quote ) to the effect that it’s almost never or rarely  if ever does a woman  have to have an abortion to save her life as being endangered.  Not an exact quote but to that effect.   A woman can have a C-section.  The pro-abortion women say that since the woman is carrying the unborn child then it’s all her decision only and the father of the unborn child (man ) should butt out of the matter.  Nonsense again. If the mother decides to carry the child to term , the mother will demand from the courts ( GOVERNMENT )  that the father pay child-support for at least the next 18 years OR MORE  to support that child .   All of a sudden it’s magically HIS child also  that HE  needs to support.  Where is the father’s option to “opt out ” and not be forced into taking care of an unwanted child ?  If the mother doesn’t want to take care of the child and doesn’t want to be forced to take care of the child ( post-pregnancy ) SHE  can simply “waltz” into an abortion clinic and have the unborn child killed (literally –via abortion ).  In this manor, the woman can shirk her responsibility by not taking care of an unwanted pregancy that she claims may hinder her career or be a financial drain on her .  Yet the father has no such option.   Just because the mother is carrying the child in HER womb does not negate the fact that it is still equally 50% of the genetic and biological makeup of the father as well. You can’t have it both ways.  It’s both HER child and equally HIS child together.  If  she gets pregnant and doesn’t want the child –she can legally kill it via abortion. If HE doesn’t want to take care of the child and tells the mothers the child is all hers , if he doesn’t pay money monthly for the child’s upkeep , HE will be thrown into debtors prison and labeled   [ DEADBEAT ] if HE doesn’t continue to financially support a child that HE doesn’t want.
                      The feminists always have these assinine catchy phrases like –  ” If you play you pay ” . Oh but if she plays and wants nothing to do with the child she can legally kill it and shes free. If HE doesn’t  want anything to do with the child then it’s  ” too freakin’ bad—-PAY UP dude  !!! “. 
                       The feminists  say to men that men need to learn to ” keep it in their pants and keep their zipper up” .  Really ? Well then , the reciprocal of that same argument  states that women need to learn to   ”  keep their legs shut and keep their panties on ”  .  The sex act is a mutual act and it takes two to tango.  Even today in many jurisdictions in America women get custody of the child around 98% of the time. She gets the children and he gets the bills. That figure varies depending on jurisdictions .
                      The same applies to the act of PROSTITUtION .  Feminists say that women are exploited during the act of prostitution.  No they aren’t —it’s actually the MEN who are exploited during the act of prostitution .  The only time a woman is expoited during prostitution  is if she has a PIMP and even then the man (John) is being exploited.  According to the dictionary —the term EXPLOIT is defined as — ” To take advantage of a person or a group of people for the purpose of monetary gain “. When a man and woman have  sex  during the act of prostitution , the woman is offering  (renting ) the man her body during the sex act and he pays her a gratuity for the offering (pleasure).  By the same token the man is equally during the same sex act offering his body (pleasure)  as well during the same act. Where is his gratuity for his giving her sexual pleasure during the same sex act ?  Where is his monetary gain for his offering HER his body as well ?  SHE  gets paid for giving  him some VAGINA , but HE doesn’t  get paid DOODOO squat  for HIS giving her some PENIS  .   ( I’m trying to keep it clean here folks ) . She pleasures him and she profits from it while he is equally pleasuring her and he gets NOTHING.   She smiles all the way to the bank and he goes home broke and yet the man-hating feminsts claim that the woman is getting the short end of the stick. Nonsense !  
                          If a woman is raped and goes to a clinic and finds out that she is pregnant by the man that raped her  ,  I do  believe that at that point she should be able to have an abortion and not be forced to take care of the offspring of the man that violated her via rape. To force her to take care of her rapist’s child is totally absurd and assinine.  There is another aspect of the abortion issue and it is also a thorny subject.  For example —–  What if a woman that is  pregnant  has a sonogram and finds that the fetus she is carrying is severely deformed and will be a Siamese twin with no arms or legs and a bad heart and  brain damage with several internal organ deformations as well.   Yes we do have modern medicine but that only goes so far. Should a woman be allowed to terminate the pregnancy as a humanitarian thing ?  Would it be a form of torture and dis-service to bring a baby into the world that upon several doctors confirmed evaluation  will end up being a ” freak of nature ” so to speak ?   I don’t have the answer to that question and I’m only putting it out there. In my opinion I think it would be in SOME cases a humanitarian thing depending on the circumstances but that may very well be a judgement call by  the biological parents in discussion with their physicians.  I’m just putting this out there for discussion and please don’t let this turn into some  heated or  emotional angry debate or exchange .  Let’s be civil in discussing this and express different views on this maturely  if we could please . I am pro-life and I admit ( in my persoanal view that there are exceptions to even this ) . 

           Do you remember the  Scott  Peterson murder case ? Scott Peterson was charged with double murder. He shot his wife and the baby she was carrying was killed also .  If the unborn child is NOT a human being as the feminists and pro-abortion crowd proclaim then why was he charged with murder of the unborn child ?    Why didn’t the feminists come forward and say — Oh no you can’t charge him with murder because the child wasn’t born yet and therefore it isn’t a human being  ? If Mrs. Peterson had decided to go to an abortion clinic  and have the child aborted —-NO PROBLEM  !!!!       Which is it ? Is it a human being or isn’t it ?  If the mother kills the child via abortion it’s ok, but if the father kills the child via a bullet he’s a murderer ?  Huh ? Excuse me ?  What’s wrong with this picture ? What am  I missing here ? Which is it ?  We are suppose to be living in a modern day world society with modern day thinking and decision making and yet people are still emotionally driven , agenda driven and selfish &  dubious desire driven.  I don’t know if there is a  “common ground” but emotional squabbling and heated arguments will NEVER solve anything ( certainly not of a pragmatic basis ). I DO NOT claim to have the answer . I’m only putting a variety of viewpoints out there that  I have read on the subject and also express some personal views as well.  If both sides could come together and leave religion, politics and emotional anger out of the equation perhaps we all could come to mutual assesment and outlook on this matter that has our society split apart.  It’s worth discussing if only the discussion can remain civil , mature and intelligent.  Just my opinion and my two cents and I welcome yours  . Thank you !

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/vekAsew7lOvzPtoZhB61ECRhcAE-#43299 Liz

    I guess I missed this review before – glad I caught it.  I really enjoyed the book.  He even brings up the point that life does begin at conception.  I’ve rarely seen an atheist even get that close to hinting at a pro-life position.  I’m all for contraception, but in my opinion, once a human life is conceived, no 0ne should have a right to destroy it.  Sam Harris, for instance, who says alot about religion that I agree with, totally misses the point in regard to abortion. He thinks the only reason anyone could possibly have for being against abortion is that they think the fetus has a “soul” that will go to hell.  That’s irrelevant.  The point is, a fetus is a human being in its earliest stages of development, and as such, has a right to live, just like the rest of us.    

    • George

      I agree Liz , except that I differ concerning the moment of conception. At that point it is simply a merged sperm/egg and is not viable having  no brain, heart or developed mind or organs.    At what stage should we regard it as life ?  I don’t have the answer to that one but a truly viable baby even inside the mother’s womb is now at this point human.   Just because it hasn’t emerged outside of the womb (vaginal tract ) doesn’t make it less human than what it biologically and psychologically and developmentally is .

      • https://me.yahoo.com/a/vekAsew7lOvzPtoZhB61ECRhcAE-#43299 Liz

        George,
        the problem is, who is to say where the line is to be drawn as to when the fetus is or is not a human being?  To say that it isn’t one until it’s “viable” seems to me to be an arbitrary line. Sam Harris thinks that as long as it is unable to feel pain then its OK to abort it. With that logic, we could say that its OK to end the life of an elderly person as long as they have enough drugs in them to not feel any pain. George Carlin brings up the fact that many fertilized eggs are naturally rejected by the body, so whats wrong with aborting them on purpose?  With that logic, we could say that all people die naturally at some point, so whats wrong with helping them out a little bit when they become inconvenient?
        I do think that in the cases of rape or if there is something seriously wrong with the fetus or the mothers life is in danger, etc, then it should be a matter between the mother and doctor. Those cases are exceptions, though. To abort out of convenience, no.
        I also agree with you that there is a ridiculous double standard held by the feminists – its not human when the woman wants the abortion, but it is when they want the father to pay.

        • George

          Liz, that is indeed the problem per se  as  I  have seen abortion used as a means of post=pregnancy contraception and  have actually read articles where radical feminists have even “pushed” very late term abortion and even post-partum abortion . Post partum ( meaning immediately after birth )  which is outright MURDER. The baby is born and healthy and then is killed . Even Hitler, and  Stalin couldn’t be as sick as these individuals and I hate the mention of those individuals names. 
                 In addition Liz, the same feminists and pro-abortion supporters ranted that it isn’t a life until AFTER the baby is born ( no exception ) and yet when Scott Peterson was charged with double murder for killing his wife and unborn child via a gunshot , the same feminists had no qualms of the father being arrested for the charge of killing the UNBORN child  ( which was in addition to the mother ). They can’t have it both ways. It either IS a child or it ISN’T ! It can’t be both ( it’s can only either or ).  Also , by what  criteria do we use  to dtermine when life or rather human life begins. Even doctors and scientists don’t all agree on this one. Also, because a mother feels inconvienced by a developed fetus is not a justfied reason that a baby’s life that is developed be snuffed out because the mother to be has changed her mind during pregnancy when the baby is developed and viable. There are so many variables, factors  ,  and also moral & ethical parameters that come into play here .  Situations this serious have to move beyond personal biased opinions and perceptions on both sides.  The bggest problem with any dialogue on this topic is that people in general can’t put their emotional feelings aside and focus on the realistic moral , rational & ethical concept itself. 

        • Keith

          Left alone in the womb the embryo becomes a human being. It becomes nothing else. It may not have a brain or heart but it will. It may not be able to survive on its own but it will if given the chance. 
          An unfertilized egg will become nothing. Sperm on their own become nothing. Once the two join they have started a life. 
          There is an interesting case from Italy. Their high court has ruled that a divorced woman can have frozen embryos implanted from her and her ex-husband against his wishes because he consented to fertilize her eggs at some time and they ruled that life was created at that conception. It will be interesting to see if they will make him liable for child support.

  • Adam

    A man can no more
    diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the
    sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.

    CSL

     

    • George

      Adam , what utter rubbish.  If you believe that then you actually believe that frogs actually bring rain  by croaking.         god’s glory ?   Ha , spare me !    Yeah , right—   You can’t even define what your make-believe god is let alone claim some kind of glory.    A  person who believes in gods & devils or  deities  & demons , or ghosts angels , spirits & miracles is  no different than someone  who believe in the Tooth Fairy , Mother Goose, Tinker Bell,    Santa Clause or the  Easter Bunny .   
                      Just because massive numbers of people believe in superstition , mythology and ancient folklore fantasies doesn’t make it true . The only reason you believe this nonsense is because you have been indoctrinated since  youth to accept this make-believe dogma crap.
                              Even if someone dd prove to me that there was a supernatural being called “god”   ( and NO I won’t use capital letters for the name of your Space Ghost make-believe being  )  ,  I still wouldn’t praise or worship such a psychopathic monster that kills massive numbers of innocent people because of his so-called wacko “will” ( meaning -desire ).  If there is a god and this god is in control then your deity is responsible for hurricanes , earthquakes, tornadoes , famine, disease plagues, tsunamis, cancer , birth defects,  lightning deaths and the list is endless which makes your so-called god the most heinous mass-murderer that ever existed. And don’t give me that he is punishing sinners bullcrap.   Spare me that BS !  What sins did little children,  toddlers and even babies commit to deserve a horrendous suffering and death ?    Show me your god. You can’t .   You  only believe this crap out of blind acceptance called “faith” . A widely held lie is still a lie.
                             Anybody stupid and brainwashed enough to believe that a man can walk on water , that a woman was impregnated by a ghostlike  being and not the sperm of a human man , that a stick turned into a serpent, that some quack built a boat and walked and swam around the world and saved thousands of animal and insect species including tigers, crocodiles, elephants, lions, grizzly bears, rhinos , etc which  he  wrestled onto  a stinking boat he built by hand and he wrestled these animals himself . I suggest you  need to go  take your bible-humping  & trolling bullcrap  elsewhere instead of coming onto here claiming that anybody who doesn’t worship your make-believe Sky daddy is like some lunatic scribbling on a jail cell. Only lunatics believe that religious  BS  in the first place.  Nice try troll but no cigar . 

  • Ben

    Hitchens is intellectually dishonest . Scientists understand that humans are necessarily believers in many things including scientific hypotheses and most probable events. These believes turne into the knowledge or disappear in time.Scientists-believers of course stop their scientific thinking in the religious sphear.

    • George

      Hitchens is not intellectually dishonest. Just because you may have a different perception of his assertions and presentations doesn’t make HIm dishonest.  The same could be said by someone about you who disagrees with your view on this matter. You are entitled to your opinion sir but it’s opinion just the same.  So be it ( and yes for the record , the same applies to ME ).