2008-12-06

Levels of Control: Christianity vs. Atheism

I recently removed the Obama bumper sticker from the back of my car since the election is over and I decided that I don't want to give people controlling very heavy equipment at very high speeds an extra reason to feel any antagonism toward me on top of their general disdain for humanity. Despite this, earlier today I was pondering what the theoretical reaction might be to a sticker which read, “Smile! There is no hell!” I think the response would be less negative than to most anti-theistic messages, but I'm sure some people would think it's an evil lie intended to deceive people and lead them into hell although its actual purpose is quite the opposite: to help people free themselves from the control of manipulative institutions teaching an evil untruth! This led me to ponder the stark contrast between religion and irreligion with respect to control, and I've complied a short list of differences between Christianity and atheism on this matter:

Christianity

  • We demand ten percent of your money.
  • We demand at least one hour per week of your time.
  • We demand total allegiance.
  • Don't think for yourself.
  • Obey all of our rules, even if they're absurd or evil.
  • Only vote for candidates of whom we approve.
  • If you disagree with us, you will be roasted in the flames of hell for all eternity.
  • People on the other side are either knowing or unknowing agents of the devil.
Atheism
  • We don't want your money.
  • We don't want your time.
  • We don't want your allegiance.
  • Think for yourself.
  • Live as you see fit.
  • Vote for whomever you want.
  • If you disagree with us, nothing bad will happen to you.
  • Most people on the other side are good people who are simply mistaken. 
I used Christianity as an example since I know it better than any other religion, but most of the points could apply to the majority of religions with little to no adaptation. Atheism offers us freedom from religious tyranny, but it's our responsibility to use it wisely.

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43 comments:

the chaplain said...

Nice contrasts. Thanks.

S.M.D. said...

Well, it's a good contrast, but I think it points more towards the fundamentalist side of Christianity than Christianity as a whole. I know quite a few people who are Christians who are more like the Atheists you described here...they just believe in God. I don't know if they're a minority though, which might make your contrast even more insightful...

soggybrowncoat said...

Even moderate Christians still lean toward the first list. I live in Seattle, one of the most liberal regions in the US, and even here "moderate" Christians regularly spout their ridiculous jibberish about evil and Hell to those of us who just want to be left alone. They're tolerant in word only.

jAESEN said...

How to be a better Atheist:

As an Atheist~ maybe you can straighten out some of the Atheist attacks on a Constitutional right to freedom of belief.

You seem like you have much "energy" on this topic.... like someone beat with a BibleBelt, perhaps?
Maybe my upbringing was more open-minded than some, but we were taught to choose... and to choose wisely with as many distinctions
as possible.


My comments are below yours:




06 December 2008
Levels of Control: Christianity versus Atheism
I recently removed the Obama bumper sticker from the back of my car since the election is over and I decided that I don't want to give people controlling very heavy equipment at very high speeds an extra reason to feel any antagonism toward me on top of their general disdain for humanity. Despite this, earlier today I was pondering what the theoretical reaction might be to a sticker which read, “Smile! There is no hell!” I think the response would be less negative than to most anti-theistic messages, but I'm sure some people would think it's an evil lie intended to deceive people and lead them into hell although its actual purpose is quite the opposite: to help people free themselves from the control of manipulative institutions teaching an evil untruth! This led me to ponder the stark contrast between religion and irreligion with respect to control, and I've complied a short list of differences between Christianity and atheism on this matter:

Christianity


We demand ten percent of your money
There is no "demand"... the government demands you show for a court appointment.

There is attention to generosity and giving back to that which you value.

There is a lesson in the law of reciprication.



We demand at least one hour per week of your time.

There is no "demand"... but an attention to the importance of spiritual awareness and development; wording another way self-exploration and questioning.





We demand total allegiance.
To the same degree that one has the "demand" of allegiance to the United States.

Again, Christianity is not about what you "do"-

unlike Kabala there is no "earning" .... there is only the acceptance of the grace of God as you've come to understand God.




Don't think for yourself.
These kind of statement are ignorant at best... it is like saying Liberty = don't think for yourself.

We didn't Create personal liberties... but have found that they are a favorable to an enhance life experience.





Obey all of our rules, even if they're absurd or evil.
How about obey the rules that enhance your life.

Surely the author is not stating that "evil" is to be performed?








Only vote for candidates of whom we approve.
Uh, vote your values. Again, very unfair and imbalanced.








If you disagree with us, you will be roasted in the flames of hell for all eternity.
Again, no... but nice use of control by "fear".

Christians believe that not experiencing post-life Heaven is a by product of a self-indulgent, selfish pattern of non-exploration of one's life and reason for being here.


People on the other side are either knowing or unknowing agents of the devil.
Again. Inflammatory.

People aligned as "agents" would include: John Wayne Gacey; Manson; Hitler -etc, - but it is not OUR job to have to figure out where people spend an eternity that Atheist do not believe in, in the first place.





Why do so many Atheist OBSESS with something that they say they don't even believe in?

It would be like me talking DAILY about a "Beef Stroganoff Monster-God" with a severe sense of urgency in every single one of our communications.

Seems like alot of energy toward Unicorns, yes???







Atheism

We don't want your money.
So where ARE you going to spend your money? Wouldn't it be beneficial to give to those less fortunate?

Or do you not do so for that would be the Christianly thing to do?

Realize that that is the thought process of re-investing one's money.

Christians are taught to be WISE stewards of money- not to invest in depreciating assests or vices.



Hm. Seems kinna wise- god or no God.






We don't want your time.
So where WILL you invest your time? ANY spiritual exploration at all? ANY self-reflection?

And if you do so is this the time you volunteer that was not demanded?

The difference in the minutes are WHAT exactly?

Christians are mindful of their VALUES- spending time toward the top.

How will doing the opposite serve the Atheist?




We don't want your allegiance.
But your allegiance goes SOMEwhere? Where? Why?






Think for yourself.
O.K. Think for yourself: What happened pre-Big Bang?

Or think what you are TOLD by "theorists" and or proponents of non-intelligent design.

Or do what you are told (ethical choices) by the God of Law-

i.e. I think abortion is not okay if the Law says it is now illegal*






Live as you see fit.
Christians are suggested that everyone get SOME guidance on HOW to live "fit"...

but, hey, don't invest any time in study of religion or morals or family values or ethics... because these would represent a "demand" for your time.








Vote for whomever you want.
Illusion of Choice~ but I assume most liberals are going to vote for the most liberal Candidate....

or did he vote for Obama because he is Christian / Muslim ?

OH, he voted for Obama because Obama was most inline with his Atheist Values?

Hm. Interesting.

Isn't that forwarding the Christian agenda if Obama is a Christian?

Why did he not vote for the Atheist Candidate?

Again, theoretical- we choose who is given for us to win.



*Ron Paul EVOLolution or a vote of "NO CONFIDENCE" for me this year ;)





If you disagree with us, nothing bad will happen to you.
So why are Christians the focus of his attack if nothing bad will happen to us?
Why so vocal then?







Most people on the other side are good people who are simply mistaken.
Why is there such a resistance to absolutes? Why is that made evil?

"Tolerance" is not a religion or the ultimate wisdom.

I am not tolerant of pedophiles or murders or adulterers....

the attitude of otherwise is my definition of "bleeding-heart-liberals" who want to open all the prison doors and let everyone out.








I used Christianity as an example since I know it better than any other religion, but most of the points could apply to the majority of religions with little to no adaptation. Atheism offers us freedom from religious tyranny, but it's our responsibility to use it wisely.

Posted at 2:00 PM





Atheism offers lack of freedom to choose a religion without being perceived by your Atheist peers as a "puppet" "pawn" or "mindless follower".



That to me seems like a very powerful form of Control.





If you ever want people to subscribe to a world free of anything beyond empirical evidence?

The suggestion would be to take a more elegant and convincing approach.


If you comment to this?
Please... no "hate speak" - just engage what you've come to believe.

Thanks in advance~




"Set an honorable intention."

J A E S E N

Icarus said...

Jaesen, you really make me sad. That was one of the dumbest posts I've seen in awhile. At the beginning, I was happy to see your side of the story. Then I realized you're exceptionally deluded. Christianity DOES 'demand' your time, money, and alleigance by saying, if you don't give us this, you will burn in hell for eternity. Plain and simple. Read the bible - I have.

In addition, you're seeing Atheism too much like it's another religion. Our money isn't going to any religious center - maybe it's going to my new car instead, or a birthday present for my son. Our time goes to enjoying life instead of clinging to the idea that death isn't the end, which in actuality means you're just wasting what little life you have.

Atheism isn't a lack of moral values. You say we try to be the opposites of Christians, and that we 'obsess' over proving Christianity wrong.

Don't flatter yourself.

We don't care that much about you.

We just get pissed when you screw everything up.

By the way, Hitler was endorsed by the Pope of his time. The current Pope was in the Hitler Youth. Check your facts, chief.

Fanboy said...

It would be different if Christian views were simply that; views, and that those who decide they're not Christian wouldn't have to follow them.

Fact is, that's not the case. Christian leaders throughout our government pass laws and restrict our rights to behave according to our own ideals. Maybe if God wasn't shoved in our face by our own government, we Atheists wouldn't be so 'angry'.

MonicaOntario said...

Amusing, and partly true. Three of the last straws that drove me from Catholicism years ago were their belief that a loving God could condemn anyone to hell (especially given the incredibly inept nature of all the humans I had met so far), their insistence that the pope was infallible (I could not bring myself to be a half-member of a group that demanded total allegiance), and a sermon from a monsignor stating that those who did not contribute money did not deserve to be at mass (which sent me indignantly to another parish the next week, but started the actual move out of the church).
Still, the Catholicism I grew up with did not tithe, and did not condemn non-believers to hell (only those who sinned in the full knowledge that they were committing serious wrong risked hell). Admittedly, my family were influenced by a relative who was an intellectual priest and a good man, but we were encouraged to think: my parents believed that honest thinking would lead to the church's view, but they also believed that truly honest disbelief was a misfortune, not a sin. We were always taught to disobey any order we felt was morally wrong.
I don't know whether there is a God or not; if there is, I don't believe any religion I've seen so far has THE truth. What is amusing is that in arguing about society's need to help the weak, I frequently find myself following Christ's teachings more than the Christians.
As for the Atheism list, people who disagree with you will be roasted in your satire for quite a long time.

Anonymous said...

Jaesen, My experience is that very few Atheist will claim to know everything about Christianity and acknowledge that not every "christian" practices in the same way. I think that you would find that most people have made their choices about religion without a devout and thorough research of all options.
However, from an atheist point of view the "Levels of Control: Christianity versus Atheism" seems an accurate overview of what we believe and how we perceive that religion is thrust upon us. The fact that we spend so much time talking about something is brought about by this. I can understand why a religious person would not understand that because they don't notice it like we do. (I am not saying that you intentionally ignore it or that you are unobservant. I am saying that it is easy not to notice things that don't go against what you believe.)
I can see that you feel that you were misrepresented and appreciate that you have taken the time to read the post and presented a retort without name calling.
I would implore you to try to learn more about why atheists see the world as they do as I see many instances in your reply that do not accurately represent the situation as well. You don't have to believe something to research it.

Zatarra said...

@S.M.D.

If liberal Christians reject the traditional the dogmas and practices of Christianity, of course the list doesn't apply to them. As a former Catholic, I tend to think of Christianity as taught by the Vatican or the Southern Baptist Convention, not what is actually believed by the masses who profess to be Christian. I can't address every possible variant that individual believers choose to believe or disbelieve.

@MonicaOntario

You're right that they will indeed by roasted by satire! I rather doubt, however, that it could ever be as scathing as unquenchable flame. :-)

Zatarra said...

As an Atheist, maybe you can straighten out some of the Atheist attacks on a Constitutional right to freedom of belief.

You will need to list the alleged attacks before I can address them.



There is no "demand"... the government demands you show for a court appointment.

You may dispute my word choice, but the point is perfectly valid. Churches ask for money and guilt people into giving.



There is no "demand"... but an attention to the importance of spiritual awareness and development; wording another way self-exploration and questioning.

As a former Catholic, I tend to think of Christianity primarily as what's taught by the Catholic Church. According to them, missing mass is a mortal sin, and a mortal sin is one which can damn you to hell. So if you don't spend at least one hour per week in church, you could be roasted in flames for eternity. That certainly qualifies as a "demand." 


These kind of statement are ignorant at best... it is like saying Liberty = don't think for yourself.

No, it's nothing like that at all.

We didn't Create personal liberties... but have found that they are a favorable to an enhance life experience.

I have no idea what you're talking about here.



How about obey the rules that enhance your life.

Even good rules are part of control.



Surely the author is not stating that "evil" is to be performed?

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. Most religious rules are good or neutral, but some are evil. There are plenty of examples in the bible (e.g., Abraham and Isaac), but the prohibitions against contraception and masturbation (in Catholicism) and same-sex relationships (in most Christian sects) cause unnecessary suffering and are thus evil.



Uh, vote your values. Again, very unfair and imbalanced.

Not at all. There are numerous reports of priests denying communion to citizens who voted for Obama. Search the news.



Again, no... but nice use of control by "fear".

Jesus repeatedly threatens his listeners with hell if they don't accept him. I have absolutely zero idea how my pointing out someone else's scare tactics, even if I'm wrong, would amount to control by fear on my part.

Again. Inflammatory.

Not at all. It's Christians who have been inflammatory by making these remarks. I just saw a video yesterday in which Bill Donohue called Dan Barker the devil on FOX News.



Why do so many Atheist OBSESS with something that they say they don't even believe in?

I'm certainly not obsessed with the supernatural. If anything, I'm obsessed with the belief in the supernatural, which does exist and which causes great harm.



Seems like alot of energy toward Unicorns, yes???

If my mother had told me that I would burn in hell for not believing in unicorns, then I would writing about belief in unicorns.



So where ARE you going to spend your money?

OK, this is the first in a long line of strawmen based on your misunderstanding of my point. The blog post was about the levels of control of religion and atheism. Religions tell you what you should do, say and think. Atheism doesn't say anything on this or any other matter. Period. There's no atheist authority telling people either to do or not to do anything. What each person does with their time, money and resources is entirely their decision.

Illusion of Choice~ but I assume most liberals are going to vote for the most liberal Candidate....

It's only an illusion to the extent to which every choice is an illusion. You're grasping at straws here.



OH, he voted for Obama because Obama was most inline with his Atheist Values?

There is no such thing as an "atheist value."



Isn't that forwarding the Christian agenda if Obama is a Christian?

First, every viable candidate for president in the past two hundred years was a Christian. Second, we have separation of church and state and Obama is certainly not a theocrat. Read his book. He's very clear on this point.

Why did he not vote for the Atheist Candidate?

Who is "the atheist candidate"? Atheism isn't a political party.



So why are Christians the focus of his attack if nothing bad will happen to us?

Read the list again for context. Nothing bad will happen to you after death if you're a believer.

Why is there such a resistance to absolutes? Why is that made evil?

Again, I have no idea what you're talking about here.

the attitude of otherwise is my definition of "bleeding-heart-liberals" who want to open all the prison doors and let everyone out.

Strawman.


Atheism offers lack of freedom to choose a religion without being perceived by your Atheist peers as a "puppet" "pawn" or "mindless follower".

Why would an atheist choose a religion? And there's no such thing as freedom from public opinion.



That to me seems like a very powerful form of Control.

You obviously haven't met many atheists. We're almost all very independent thinkers who don't give a rat's ass what anyone, including other atheists, think of us.

Anonymous said...

I take issue with several of these comments.

"Why do so many Atheist OBSESS with something that they say they don't even believe in?"

Why do so many Christians OBSESS with the theory of evolution, if they claim not to believe in it?

The answer, in both cases, is simple. We want to gain an understanding of the world around us, and to do so, it is necessary to understand the way other people perceive the world. Religion is an enormous factor in this. It's an extremely powerful force in politics, in leadership, in culture, and thus gaining an understanding of it is not "obsessing", it's simply trying to understand people. Atheists who take no interest in religious ideas are, in my opinion, insecure in their beliefs. Or disbeliefs. Whatever you want to call it.


The other comment I take issue with is by the original poster.

"We're almost all very independent thinkers who don't give a rat's ass what anyone, including other atheists, think of us."

Now, I've been stumbling upon atheist blogs for a long time now, and I must say, this simply isn't true. Atheists are subject to peer pressure and control just like anybody else. Many of them were raised atheist, like me, and others suffered a negative experience with Christianity, and thus chose atheism. The idea that atheists are somehow smarter, and more freethinking, is only an illusion created by the fact that they are a minority. I'd say about as few atheists consciously "chose" atheism, based on clear reasoning and independent thought, as Christians consciously "chose" Christianity, and as a matter of fact, many of them WILL do the opposite of what religious people are doing, on certain political issues, without really thinking independently.

There is really no sure way to tell, based on someone's religious [or nonreligious] convictions, whether or not they are an independent thinker.

Anonymous said...

** the "divine" impedes moral development **

Xian ethics is irrational, otherworldly, and impractical. It promises much, and delivers nothing. Jesus' "interim ethic" couldn't outlast one generation of true believers. The fideistic irrationality of Paul of Tarsus with its anti-intellectualism, misogyny, and revenge seeking has poisoned the West for 2,000 years.

Chinese culture was far luckier. From that very rational, this worldly, and practical book, The Analects, attributed to Confucius (500 years before a myth encrusted Jesus):

6:20 Fan Ch’ih asked what constituted wisdom. The Master said, “To give one’s self earnestly to the duties due to men, and, while respecting spiritual beings, to keep aloof from them, may be called wisdom.”

15:23 Tsze-kung asked, saying, “Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?” The Master said, “Is not 'reciprocity' such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” [trans. S.R. McIntyre 2003]

No prelate, priest, pastor, rabbi, imam is needed to police human behavior. All ethics is irreducibly social, but not utilitarian. Harming others can not be generalized; otherwise, no culture could exist.

bipolar2 ©2008

Joe of the Unknown said...

Ok, i'd just like to start with:
1) Why do i almost ALWAYS see "Don't think for yourself" in one of these lists? Christians, just as much as Atheists or any other group, are given the choice to think for themselves. If they don't want to agree with what they are being told, they can get up and leave that church, just as much as i could, for instance, move out of a country and seek asylum somewhere else if my leader was an evil dictator.

2) Atheists don't demand your money. Of course not. So, say you had an atheist government, would they not demand your money in taxes? And Christianity has never imposed a law or anything that demands you give 10%, it's more an... advisement, partly due to the rewards you're likely to get out in the end (reap what you sow), which will also apply to the time and allegiance.
3) And, whilst we're on allegiance, why on earth should i not give mt allegiance to something i believe in? Would you say that you don't feel any kind of loyalty to Atheism? My allegiance isn't demanded, but given freely.
4) Personally, i follow the Two Great Commandments (Love others & love God, can you pick holes in them?), followed by the usual 10 that everyone knows, especially the common sense ones like Thou Shalt Not Kill, etc. If you want, shall i name some stupid laws that have nothing to do with religion, and are therefore secular?
Juneau, Alaska: "Owners of flamingos may not let their pet into barber shops." Need i say more?
5) I'm not American, my church has no need to say anything about which candidates i needed to vote for, but we did all pray for Obama when he was voted to be President Elect. As we would have done if McCain or Clinton had won instead.
6) Um. I believe i've already sunk your battleship of "GRAWR EVERYONE WHO ISN'T WITH IS US IS EVIL :@" with the whole "Love others as thyself" bit.

BUT, of course, i know that this is going to be completely countered by another argument equally valid. Just thought i'd mention the fact that each and every one of the views i mentioned above are encouraged and agreed with by MY church. So, please, if you're going to use the word "Christian" for an accusing factor, try specifying a denomination. It's practically racist just lumping us all together, especially with the attributes you gave us.
Thanks for listening!

Zatarra said...

Why do i almost ALWAYS see "Don't think for yourself" in one of these lists?

Because it's common in religion? Because heretics are excommunicated (read Catholic Canon Law) and in the old days, burned at the stake or simply ostracized?

Christians, just as much as Atheists or any other group, are given the choice to think for themselves. If they don't want to agree with what they are being told, they can get up and leave that church, just as much as i could,

If you think for yourself, then you have to leave?

...for instance, move out of a country and seek asylum somewhere else if my leader was an evil dictator.

So you're saying Christians are as free as people fleeing evil dictators? I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

So, say you had an atheist government, would they not demand your money in taxes?

There is major distinction between a government taxing its populace and a church telling its members they must pay 10% or commit a sin.

And Christianity has never imposed a law or anything that demands you give 10%,

So the Church of England doesn't receive tax money from citizens of the UK and hasn't for hundreds of years?

And, whilst we're on allegiance, why on earth should i not give mt allegiance to something i believe in? Would you say that you don't feel any kind of loyalty to Atheism? My allegiance isn't demanded, but given freely.

Loyalty to atheism? That makes no sense. I can't be loyal to lack of belief or disbelief in something.

4) Personally, i follow the Two Great Commandments (Love others & love God, can you pick holes in them?), followed by the usual 10 that everyone knows, especially the common sense ones like Thou Shalt Not Kill, etc.

Well, that's what you personally do. That's not what many churches teach who condemn homosexuality, masturbation, etc.

If you want, shall i name some stupid laws that have nothing to do with religion, and are therefore secular?

Secular law <> atheist law.

I'm not American, my church has no need to say anything about which candidates i needed to vote for, but we did all pray for Obama when he was voted to be President Elect. As we would have done if McCain or Clinton had won instead.

That doesn't change the fact that a number of priests refused communion to people who voted for Obama.

6) Um. I believe i've already sunk your battleship of "GRAWR EVERYONE WHO ISN'T WITH IS US IS EVIL :@" with the whole "Love others as thyself" bit.

Yes, two thousand years of history was erased when you wrote that.

So, please, if you're going to use the word "Christian" for an accusing factor, try specifying a denomination.

I wrote a post about this the following day.

It's practically racist just lumping us all together, especially with the attributes you gave us.

Racist? That's completely absurd.

jerry said...

Dear all. I am sorry for your situation in America. I stand in a country that is ruled by people too stupid and greedy for power to impose the kind of sistematic abuses that you eat everyday: the break-down of your health system and the fact that americans are more likely to die of simple treatable diseases than any european [don't worry, in africa and central asia is worst], the educational perversion that your kids are subjected to by brain washing and history changes [don't worry, the russians tryed that too and it didn't work too good with all the "*-stan" countryes] and many many other "democratic" aberations that you have.

Fortunately, in my country, freedom is real. I can, and have, started and won an argument with a police officer, I can and have pissed on the door of a church, I can call a gypsy tzigan [that's the romanian politicaly incorect term] or nigger, but I peffer to call them crow, and many other stuff that I could be arrested for in the US. This is the real liberty of speech, and people [including niggers] don't mind, because I mean nothing wrong by it. My girlfriend is black and I care for her a lot.

Well, romanians still need a visa to enter the US, altough we are part of the European Union at the moment. And I got a visa for entering US 3 times in a row, for business trips that were consequently either delayed or cancelled. The fourth time I got it for 10 years, because the visa girl couldn't believe that I didn't use the previous 3, when other people in my country are fighting for it for months. I never was to US after all, for various reasons, and I'dd like to come to visit sometimes, but not so much. Your country is famous for intolerance and stupidity around the world, for fat and uneducated people and, from the about 30 americans I met, 2 made an exception of that rule. It's just sad.

But my post has a different purpose all together.

I read a/theisitic posts for fun and, generally [from my atheistic point of view], is a non dillema. But I keep wondering if all the christians/thestic people are worth it. Really, just let them go. Try to find a way to be among the people that take advantage of their stupidity: the priests make a nice living, the police, the politicians, the religios objects sellers, etc. Instead of opening their eyes, help them close the eyes further and take their money, their life, just like religion does. Really, they are like a subspeciaes, take the skin off them, make them work like sclaves, over time, put God in their faces if they comment, turn their belief in your profit. It has been happening for thousands of years, hasn't it?

I found myself in this dillema before: my home city of Sibiu, Hermannstadt became the european Capital of culture and was sudently overwhelmed by tourists, so it became increasingly expensive for me to live there. So I borrowed some money and opened a hostel. So, now the thousands of turists doesn't bother me, it translates into profit.

Further on my atheistic point, I rarely to never post a coment on this kind of sites because I really don't care about whatever thay could possibly say. The statistic showes that un-educated regions of the world [my english isn't so good, i hope you can follow my point] are more religious than the educated parts. No coincidence. Alexei the second, head of the russian church past away recently and 25.000 people gathered to pay their final respects. Press from all around the world fought for hours to find somebody in the crowd smart enough to articulate an interview. They were all embaresingly stupid.

I understand that all these atheistic movements in the US are a result of your abusive government, but in Romania nobody cares too much for religion. They realise they can't even speak in front of an atheistic man. They don't have the endorsment necessary, neither the guts.

Well guys, have fun with your atheistic movement, dinner is ready.

Helen said...

Thanks for the post! I'm glad you added that atheists must be responsible. I often have to tell people who ask me about being an atheist that I am responsible for my own life and I still have morals. I have just reached all of my own conclusions about life through reasoning. Much like Richard Dawkins, I believe the atheist life is a beautiful life.

Anonymous said...

Well. There are more christian religious texts and scriptures than the bible. And they are actually good. Books about self-worth and the laws of the world, and thinking independently and the power of the mind...

but our mainstream society has cut people off from that knowledge. so its pretty unlikely we'll ever see intelligent discussions about it. god also doesn't exist. it's obvious. the notion of "god" exists to make the create a frame of mind that leads people to be subserviant. at that point once you've convinced people that being subservient to a higher power is okay and actually "righteous" then its much easier for humans to accept that other mightier and more "intelligent" humans should rule over them.

Anonymous said...

This contrast assumes the worst corruption of the institution of christianit. People need to understand that there is a fundamental difference between spirituality and a relationship with God and the institution of religion. Man has butchered God's word through the institution of organized church and religious disciplines (catholicism, lutheran, etc...) There are good churches out there, mainly the non denominational ones where the message of god is clear and that is to live and love as Jesus did.

Anonymous said...

What i've learned over the past several years of mindful exploration is that too many people let religion get in the way of religion. They pay so much attention to the stories, the laws, the words, they completely lose sight of what said religion is trying to express. Relgions, all of them, are that culture and societies way of saying the same things. The stories vary based on cultural influences. They all tell the same story, some better than others.

Hindu, and Buddhist beleif's share the same moral code (to certain degree's) But where the westerns BELIEVE that the people and stories in their bible are HISTORICAL documents, the Eastern religions see the "gods, prophets, etc" as metaphors, and a worldly explanation for things that can't be expressed in words. Stop reading the the BOOK! and start reading the meaning. You'll get a TOTALLY different story ;)

J.S. Klarr said...

Why is it that so many people believe that the universe could not create itself or have always existed, but some sort of God could/can? I'd trust the universe with all of it's amazing laws and math over a petty, imperfect God to do it.

I cannot believe that there is STILL debate between theists and non-theists. If people would just think for themselves, then the only debate would probably be between agnostics/freethinkers and atheists.

Anonymous said...

Watch the first hour of Zeitgeist the movie about where religion stemmed from. Pretty damn accurate.

I don't wanna hate on Christianity or other organized religions if they promote positivity in this world--and many do; however, many don't. Pretty much every war ever fought has been religious-based. Who are these people who came up with these religious ideas to suppress the rights of other human beings? Why do they get a mandate? It's all so sad.

Fact: The bible is the oldest, best selling fiction novel on the planet.

Don't use religion as a scapegoat for forgiveness for your sins. Instead, think about the consequences of your actions before you do them, and if you make a mistake, own up to it yourself, for that is true honesty.

Aaron Burck said...

The sad thing is I am a Christian as well and I agree with you that that is what Christians have become as a whole. I hate Christianity as a religion, it is against the way it is suppose to be designed. But the problem with religion and many Christian churches is they don't read their Bibles or really know what it is and they listen to many churches that are tainted. So, since this is a moral argument it is important to argue about the morality of the post. Once again, I agree with the fact that Christians do what you posted, but my argument is that this is a faulty part of humanity and if we look at being a Christian from a true perspective, the results will differ than what you say.

Point 1 "We demand ten percent of your money." This was under the Mosaic law and many people do not believe in this anymore. (R.B. Thimem and Dr. McGee for example). Here is the basic reason why, that part of the Mosaic code is no longer applicable for nowadays. Therefore, Christians in the Church Age are suppose to follow the doctrine of giving, which is emphasized in the New Testament. Basically, our job is to give to others and fill needs when people have them. It is a community centered ideology. So, when people are having a hard time, we take care of them. Now, as another person responded it isn't giving their son a birthday gift, but we try to take care of each other. Now here is where your comment is right, most churches still require 10%, but one of the wrong statements made by someone is that if they don't follow these rules, they go to hell. We know people are imperfect, so requiring 100% following is foolish. That is why Christianity is focused on a relationship not a religion, realizing that their is no way to get to perfection. So any religion requiring perfection is ridiculous. But you are right about churches, but not about what Christianity should be. So, overall the point is correct on how Christians are but not what they are suppose to be.

Point 2. We demand at least one hour per week of your time. This is interesting because I don't go to church due to the fact of my work schedule. But the Bible doesn't demand going to church every week, it suggests that we follow the Bible. So, to study the word and apply it to your life, and be an example of the truth is a part of it. So, my focus isn't on clocking in and out 1 hour, but rather focusing on the needs of growing myself to be a better person, a better example of what Christ stood for, and a better student of understanding the Bible. Overall the point is accurate because many churches have this belief system.

Point 3. We demand total allegiance. I am not sure if you were talking about Churches or the Bible on this one. The Bible focuses on doing what is morally upright. Being the best Christians, stewards, friends, husbands, and citizens as we can be. So, I do not agree with him on this... it's not a part of allegiance as it is a part of personal growth.

Point 4. Don't think for yourself. Many churches, especially LDS, Catholics, have this attitude. However, it is not further from the truth. The great thing about Christianity is that it holds up!!!!! Now I know that some of you won't listen to a word I say about this, but their is reasons for me to believe and evidence that helps my faith. Here is just one example:

1) FACT the Bible is the oldest book, and came about before Jesus Christ (Old Testament only).
2) Fact their are 48 documented prophecy that refereed to Jesus Christ (Old Testament only).
3) FACT the chances of one man fulfilling all of them are about well basically mathematically impossible.

One example of this is the fact he was born in Betholham, he was crucified, he was the only one who was crucified without having a bone broken.

Here is a case study, "Professor Emeritus of Science at Westmont College, Peter Stoner, has calculated the probability of one man fulfilling the major prophecies made concerning the Messiah. The estimates were worked out by twelve different classes representing some 600 university students. After examining only eight different prophecies (Idem, 106), they conservatively estimated that the chance of one man fulfilling all eight prophecies was one in 10^17.If you mark one of ten tickets, and place all the tickets in a hat, and thoroughly stir them, and then ask a blindfolded man to draw one, his chance of getting the right ticket is one in ten. Suppose that we take 10^17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They'll cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would've had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote them in their own wisdom (Idem, 106-107). Now imagine, 456 rather than just 8!!!! The chances get WAY WAY WAY smaller.

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/radio034.htm

So Christianity encourages people to think for themselves, and it actually works.

Point 5. Obey all of our rules, even if they're absurd or evil. Ok, no... the rules of the Bible are very clear, and are always logical. Unless they are an outdated law in which their is evidence for us abandoning that law. (Looking at mistranslations too)

Point ?!? Only vote for candidates of whom we approve. I have to agree with someone else that this has to do with voting with our values. I have some friends that are Christians and liberals because they feel that Democrats need to be in office because Christians are not doing what they should (feed the poor, etc) and that if ALL Christians would do their job then he would vote for smaller government.

"If you disagree with us, you will be roasted in the flames of hell for all eternity." No, salvation is through Christ so as long as you believe in him, then you can disagree with me all you want. But humans are imperfect, God is perfect... so by our standards on our own their is no way to get to God except through Christ. He sacrificed himself as a passage for us to get to God. So, as long as we are human their is no perfection in us getting to God on our own.

Any questions or comments can be emailed to me at

aaronburck@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

This is the exact type of Ashiest shit that a high-schooler thinks of. Listen, if atheists were so damn accepting of everything, then they wouldn't be trying to wipe Christianity out. I'm a christian, and a Catholic at that, but I'm not a hell fire bigot, and I don't know anyone who is in my church, not even the priest! Ok, so just because you heard about tithing, you think that thats what Christianity's all about? It's not even mandatory, its totally optional, and I don't see anything wrong with trying to support a parish, most especially one's that are also schools. Listen if you don't believe in God, and you don't think Jesus was his son fine, but don't bring this type of ill thought out, dreadfully ignorant worldview and expect it just to be truth. To be fair, those born agains, they're nuts, and if thats the brand of christian you're talking about I whole heartedly agree, for the most part, however, I know a a lot of atheists who are just trash, not every atheist reads Nietzsche and listens to Bop, they're just spiritually apathetic, and hedonistic. So I guess the point is, you're just utterly wrong, ignorant, and arrogant.

rjaye said...

To the anonymous who posted immediately before me:

You're doing a terrible job at trying to prove anything at all, and while I'm not an atheist, I kind of take offense to some of the things you said.

This is the exact type of Ashiest shit that a high-schooler thinks of. Listen, if atheists were so damn accepting of everything, then they wouldn't be trying to wipe Christianity out.

That is completely unfair. NO ONE is trying to wipe out Christianity. The whole point of this is to believe in whatever you want to believe in, but don't go around calling another side "wrong" or "immoral" or whatever.

I'm a christian, and a Catholic at that, but I'm not a hell fire bigot, and I don't know anyone who is in my church, not even the priest!

I'm not sure what connection you were trying to make with "not being a bigot" and "not knowing everyone" in your church.


Ok, so just because you heard about tithing, you think that thats what Christianity's all about? It's not even mandatory, its totally optional, and I don't see anything wrong with trying to support a parish, most especially one's that are also schools.

If people want to support a church and all, that's totally fine. It's when churches begin to guilt trip people into giving money that it turns ugly.

Listen if you don't believe in God, and you don't think Jesus was his son fine, but don't bring this type of ill thought out, dreadfully ignorant worldview and expect it just to be truth.

What? No one was bringing out any ill thought. You have to admit that for some branches of Christianity and some that are much more "into" their religion, some of these things are true. I have been attempted to be "converted" more than enough times to know how Christians think of people like me.

To be fair, those born agains, they're nuts, and if thats the brand of christian you're talking about I whole heartedly agree, for the most part

What makes born-agains nuts?
I know a born-again Christian, she's one of my best friends- and she's totally fine. Nothing wrong with her beliefs.

I know a a lot of atheists who are just trash, not every atheist reads Nietzsche and listens to Bop, they're just spiritually apathetic, and hedonistic.

Being a hedonist makes someone "trash"? Guess that means I'm a trashy piece of shit for wanting to live a pleasant life.

So I guess the point is, you're just utterly wrong, ignorant, and arrogant.

Sorry, but no. You shouldn't be using words like that against someone when you're attacking them and basically acting like an asshole.


For the record, I can't label myself as an atheist. Sometimes I get equally as upset with atheists as I do hard-core Christians. I was raised Lutheran but quickly figured out that I didn't like to be told what to do by someone I didn't even know existed. I preferred to make my own judgments of the world throughout life rather than be told by other people what to believe in. I wouldn't even go so far as to label myself agnostic, because I prefer to not be lumped into a category with the beliefs of others in the same. I don't think I even have beliefs. To me it doesn't even matter. The only reason why religion exists is to answer questions that cannot be answered. Personally, I don't really care about the answers, because even if we did know, it wouldn't really affect me or my life. Same with death. It doesn't matter what's going to happen when I die, because I couldn't change it either way.

Anonymous said...

oooooooooooooooooook... i'm christian. cool with it? where i go to church; they DON'T crave 10 percent of your money, they DON'T crave 1 hour of your time pr. week. They DO NOT see "the other ones" as "agents of the devil" (willing or unwilling), they do NOT stick up a lot of rules for me to follow, they DO NOT tell me to "let them do the thinking for me" they do NOT tell me who to vote for. actually, only of your statements that is (somewhat) true, is the "hell" part, which is not exactly true either..

for the record; my church is a everyday protestant church, which only differs from EVERY OTHER protestant church, in how their building looks.

Sure, you COULD find a couple of sects, but ONE SECT, does NOT represent the ENTIRE christianity!

hey, one guy is saying that we all are descendants of the starfish (as in evolution), why, most surely, he represents the entire concept of science! (... if you get the point)

Oscarr said...

Out of curiosity, why does it SEEM that most atheists, at least here in these comments, are getting all the "evil" Christian things straight from Catholicism? There's a lot more denominations out there, some have more in common with others, some don't. But I don't think it's fair to pick out things in Catholicism you don't like and pass it off as representative of all Christianity, or even religion in general.

jerry said...

Regardless how your cross looks like, or the details of your religion, be you protestant or catholic, you are not wrong because of the details and the tiny symbols, you are wrong because your whole perception over existence, over life in general, is just plain WRONG!

The original post is about 10 commandments, give me a piece of chalk and a wall, I'll write you down as many more as you want, don't lose the essence of your stupidity while arguing over the appearance of your detailed imaginary world.

Mitchell said...

Wow, I don't even know how to reply to some of these comments... so I'll just post my own opinion on the subject.

So, I've recently decided to be decidely atheist. I wasn't raised with any awareness of religion at all. I didn't really know anything about the meaning of 'God' until I moved about 6.5 years ago, when I was about 12, and a bunch of my friends were Christian. Well, I went to their youth group on Friday nights for awhile, to have fun and play games and meet new people... but the devotion period killed me. I mean, I learned what the 10 commandments were one night, but I thought it was the stupidest thing to have to tell people to do. I mean, can't be people just be good, and not murder/steal/etc., because it's a dick thing to do, and not because you'll burn in hell if you do? I mean, seriously! If you need religion to tell you what good morals are, then you should think about the quality of your consciousness.
I think people who follow religion because it will make them a better person are pretty stupid. Unless you actually believe in God and think he's going to do something for you down here, or give you a nice afterlife, don't waste your time with the Bible. Just be a good person, believe in God or not, and just say to hell with religion. I don't care if you believe in God or not, or whether he created the universe etc. (I find the idea of evolution credible, personally, whereas religions are based on stories) Regardless of how you think things came to be, if just one Christian has some sense (or any follower of any religion) and realized what a sham religion is, I'd be happy.
By the way, I could post a lot about how corrupt and immoral religion is in general, but I'm not going to.. the list would be too huge, and it would not reflect the general individual. Organized religion has warped the meanings of the Bible into something it's not, and as a result, I often find myself at odds with believers who are otherwise very good people, because they believe the stupidest things.

Anonymous said...

I love Science. As a matter of fact, I use science and critical thinking everyday at my job in order to help sick people get better. So, I am guessing that most of the atheists on here would get along just fine with me.

In the evenings after I hang up my stethescope and I travel across town to study at the local Catholic Seminary. Do you think I check my intelligence and "ability to think for myself" at the door of the seminary? Of course not. Give me a break. The classes I have taken have been a mix of Theology and Philosophy. What is philosophy but a study in how to think and reason while in the search for wisdom. The seminarians study four years of philosophy before they study any theology at all. That's another four years. Add to that studies in two languages (Latin and Spanish). I think by the time these guys are ordained priests, they can think for themselves quite well. God and the teachings of the Catholic Church can be understood by reason. There is no conflict there.

Unfortunately, I think many atheists are just simply ignorant of what it is they are attacking. If your knowledge of Catholicism for example is forged by the secular media and the likes of Dawkins, you are being severley misinformed. I have also seen as much ignorance from many "former Catholics" who really don't know as much about their faith as they think they do.

Before you go on attacking Christianity or Catholicism in particular, have a bit more of an open and objective mind. Stop with all the tired arguments ...The Church is not against science or reason. Actually, there have been plenty of great christian scientists but I digress.

Zatarra said...

I have also seen as much ignorance from many "former Catholics" who really don't know as much about their faith as they think they do.

Read some of my other entries and see for yourself that I know more than 95% of the people in the pews each week.

The church does not allow one to think for themselves. If I think Jesus wasn't divine, then I'm a heretic worthy of the flames of hell. It's the worst sin according to Aquinas. Look it up.

Fido said...

Why do theists, especially christians, associate atheism with liberalism? That would be the same as associating christianity with conservatism. Yes I know the right are typically christian, but not all, just as not all on the left are atheists. Religion and politics do not mix, simple. Just as religion and education do not mix, or religion and freedom, in fact, religion does not mix with doing what is right, what is true or what is just and fair.
In other words, the sooner humanity grows up and leaves the security blanket of our ancestors, the better humanity will be.

Just my two-cents worth.

Ryan said...

All I know is I love Jesus and he's got my back.

Konraden said...

A lot of people see Atheism as a personal attack against christianty. It's not. Atheism is the lack of belief in a god. That applies to any and all gods.

The thing is, in the English speaking world, more specifically, the United States, where a lot of these arguments come from, is mostly christian. It isn't that we are attacking Christians, it's just you're the most abundant source of cannon fodder. If we lived else where, we would point out the flaws in those religions too.

Psybird said...

The replies to this post seem to consist of a long string of people who believe that their particular version of religion (generally the culturally dominant Christian one) is benign while those expressing other variants or other religions are the only ones at fault.

They all fail to notice that there are as many versions of (insert whatever religion you like) as there are people who practice it. The main variants are the degree to which people are genetically predisposed to conform to the prevailing group and community norms and the degree of freedom which they are able to exercise in associating with a group which comes close to matching their personality type, intellectual ability and independently achieved level of moral development.

The fundamental mistake these people make is assuming that the supernatural elements of their belief system are correct because the moral development of the group they belong to (or the writings of the teacher/preacher/guru they identify with) appears to be largely similar to their own.

Each person, group, community, nation, century and era makes their god in their own image. The main consistency is that this god is remarkably inconsistent in the moral values and practices it supposedly inspires in them. The other major consistency is that each person, group, community, nation, century and era has a narcissistic belief that they, and they alone, are privy to the one true infallible interpretation of what god wants (if they are loners or leaders) or that they have access to religious authorities who can tell them what it is (if they are followers).

Believing that one's moral code is divine, or divinely inspired, is a very dangerous thing. This is what is known in psychiatry as an "encapsulated delusion". It prevents reflection and critical thought about one's moral actions and decisions and provides the possibility of ego-concealed self-justification.

The mind will go to great lengths to conceal the origins of its beliefs. Contradictions between the person/group's values and moral code and those which could be attributed by history, experience, historical records and holy scriptures are ignored, suppressed or provided with semantically ingenious "explanations".

A modern example is the bizarre attribution of the "family values" espoused by the American South to the version of god espoused by US fundamentalist Christians and their international converts. Yet the holy writings revered by this same group describes their human manifestation of god very differently. According to them, the god-human was an itinerant Jewish heretic who was the illegitimate son of a family which (if you are Catholic) had no sex life and no other children. He never married or had children of his own. Nor did he take any responsibility for the day to day care of other people's children. He is reputed to have persuaded a group of 12 illiterate fishermen to abandon their families and their jobs and roam around the county-side with him. He had no job and apparently lived off the land and whatever handouts he got from those who came to hear him preach. He informed his listeners that rich men could not get to heaven unless they sold everything that they had and gave it to the poor. He did not seem to have given the wives and children of the rich man-turned-poor much thought.

It is lamentably true that most people who identify as "Christians" these days know little about the history of their religion or their founder, have not read their holy book from start to finish and have no idea who, why or how the books came to be written or deemed to be "holy".

According to the history books, Jesus of Nazareth was not turned into a god-man until the 4th Century Romans remade the Jewish Nazarene sect into the State-supported Christian religion. The Emperor Constantine elected a committee to decide on a State Religion in order to unite the country and prevent the current inter-religious strife. {Contrary to a belief which is popular among many modern day Christians, Constantine did not decide to become a Christian; he ordered a committee to come up with a suitable obligatory national religion. He simply accepted the results.} The committee decided on the Jewish sect as primary. In order to make the new religion more palatable to the citizens the committee combined it with features of other religions of the era: virgin birth, god-man, birth celebration on December 25th, rising from the dead, and so on.

The idea of Jesus being a god who was also his own father was strongly resisted by the Gnostic group who insisted that Jesus was merely a man. These dissenters were murdered in a blood-thirsty cue by those who argued that Jesus-is-a-god-man.

The first version of the modern Bible was produced by the Constantine committee after heated discussions about which books were to be included in the collection and given holy status. The dispute was never entirely settled. The Catholic Christian tradition continue to include books which other Christian traditions dispute or reject.

One writer claimed that he was a scientist who practised medicine part of the week and studied in a Catholic seminary for other parts of the week. He objected to the idea that he left his intellect and scientific training outside the door when he entered the seminary.

I doubt that he leaves his intelligence behind, but I doubt that he brings good scientific method in the door with him.

It is not so much that religion demands that its adherants not think. It is rather that it requests that they not ask certain questions, use certain methods of enquiry or come to certain conclusions For instance, it is not an acceptable form of enquiry to start with the scientific premise that the whole thing is false and to try to prove that this is so in order to test the possibility that it is not.

Instead, religion exerts pressure (anywhere along the continuum of social persuasion to torture) to start with the premise that the conclusions are inerrantly correct and invites (or stronger) its adherents to find evidence to prove it. Philosophical enquiry and logical semantics have been the traditional methods used by the Catholic tradition of Christianity. This philosophical approach has produced a long string of “proofs” of god’s existence, all of which are fatally flawed and all of which are generally taught, dissected and dismissed in introductory philosophy courses in the freshman year of Bachelor programs outside the US. As any good logician knows, “logic” can prove anything if the premise is flawed, subjective or unfalsifiable. The scientific method was developed to overcome these severe defects. Its application was responsible for moving the world out of the “dark ages” which were dominated by the methods used by religious enquiry into the technological age.

American fundamentalists prefer to use the tools of “personal experience”. For them, the final “proof” is the subjective experience of the divine presence. As any good psychologist knows, subjective experience is easily manipulated and extremely unreliable as a measure of reality. The science of psycholgy is firmly founded on methods of enquiry which seek to remove the contaminating effects of subjective perception. There have been many studies which have directly examined subjective experience. These include the ease with which religious experiences, ecstasy and altered states of consciousness and can be produced and manipulated. Of particular interest is the discovery of a section in the brain which is clinically abnormal in those who suffer from a certain type of epilepsy AND in those who have strong religious or mystical experiences. The abnormality is absent and/or diminished in those who express no interest in religion or metaphysics. The implication is that some people are genetically disposed to believe in the supernatural while others have a genetic deficit which impedes such a belief. There is no report of either condition being associated with inferior moral development, although it is known that some types of epilepsy are associated with poor social development and emotional immaturity.

andrew mccormick said...

I feel it is important to point out that both sides have responded somewhat angrily to posts "attacking" one another; this is silly. Your beliefs are your beliefs, we all, as humans build our opinions based on our personal experiences. All of us, including the religious believers, have met those who give man a bad name. Whether they be "atheist" or "theist", take all of this with a grain of salt, they are obviously generalized statements...

I was raised in a family where one half was very religious and the other side never seemed to discuss it, so perhaps I tow the line. I have met and been exposed to many different religions, and different type of believers. There are plenty of "theists" who know fully well that their beliefs are unfounded and somewhat illogical and still hold them very dear to their hearts. What is the problem with this? They have come to understand the faults in their belief structure and that the "atheist" side makes more sense and still reject it, partially do to the fact that it's how they were raised, as for others' it is a comfort to believe in it. Call it a crutch if you will but this does not make these people any less intelligent or reasonable...

I have also come into contact with plenty of the ignorant, hateful believers. They are what they are. It is stated in their religion to pass the word of god to all of those who will hear. I for one would not care to hear, and this is where my problems arise. Hold true and strong to your beliefs, but if I tell you I disagree and that I'm not interested, please don't try to cram your beliefs down my throat.

Let's hear the rhetoric people... and if you're not going to keep it civil and level headed... you are losing the battle for your cause... this goes both ways.

amccormick21@gmail.com

Shran said...

It's not difficult creating a list with the worst parts of religion versus the best parts of Atheism.

A little more insight in how heavy this level of control weighs... would however be welcome. Sure, some religious people will qualify all rules, but does it qualify for all... Christian people ?

B.t.w. How would one qualify an Atheist that behaves like he's on the wrong list ?

Telling us something new and giving us insight in matters would be nice.
Creating a list with difference is just another list with differences.

Aaron Burck said...

Once again this comes down to the issue of everyone thinking they are better than anyone else. But I find it strangely ironic that a lack of a god means people are except from this "universal condition." Random aside.

Now when it comes to earlier talking about flavors of religions. You are correct. There are hundreds of variations. However, where Christianity is different, is that it does not REQUIRE those things. Belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and accepting the free gift of salvation. So many church are overly human oriented. It's not about us being great or doing something for a repentance. Jesus is amazing because all he requires is belief! He does not require donating 10% of your money, he does not require for us to be perfect. If we were perfect or good hope that doing this penance spoken of will in some way earn us salvation we are dead wrong. Not a one thing that you listed as an atheist vs Christianity will earn us salvation. Only one thing... belief (which you even have in atheism my friend so it can't be too demanding).

So all of this comparison is folly because it is not focusing on belief. Belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are sinners, needing a savior. We are corrupt. All we are required to have is something that you have in something else. Really, not all that demanding is it?

aaronburck@yahoo.com

David Warmflash said...

Let me add a Jewish perspective

In a debate against Alan Keyes in 2000, Does Organized Religion Hold Answers to the problems of the 21st Century?, Alan Dershowitz recounted a wonderful Hassidic story about an old Rabbi in Eastern Europe who was approached by a student who said, "I know you say never to say anything bad about anyone," because it's a sin in Jewish law to engage in lashon ha rah - bad words. "But I know a group that you couldn't say anything good about."

The rabbi asks, "Who?"

The student says, "Atheists."

The rabbi says, "No. There's a time in your life when it's very important to be an atheist. When a poor person comes to you asking for charity, be an atheist. Act as if there is no god. Act as if you are the only person on the face of the Earth who can save that poor human being, and give him charity, not because god wants you to give him charity, but because that's the right thing to do."

Then Dershowitz added, "And I am suggesting to you that doing the right thing, *because* it is the right thing is even more moral than doing it, because someone more powerful than you told you to do it."

This resulted in the biggest applause of the evening.

Steve UK said...

"1) FACT the Bible is the oldest book, and came about before Jesus Christ (Old Testament only)."

FACT - you are an uneducated idiot. The oldest known book so far is a hindu text dated at about 4000 years BC. It is known to be that old because of what it describes.

There are plenty of books that are older then 2000 years

Aaron Burck said...

Correction: The Bible is not the oldest book by a long shot. I was attempting to draw a distinction between the historical gap between Old and New Testament. I apologize for my factual inaccuracy as I know it's not the case. Thank you for calling me out on my error.

Jon said...

Jaesen, I know you have already had responses to your comment, but I felt I needed to add mine to the mix to just a few of your comments:

So where WILL you invest your time? ANY spiritual exploration at all? ANY self-reflection?
There are plenty of things other than "spiritual exploration" to invest one's time in. How about furthering our understanding of the universe (which I might add, religion has on many occasions in history been a hinderance). Self reflection happens all the time for EVERYBODY, not just the religious. I, as an atheist, am self-reflecting all the time based on my interactions with people and how things are going in my life. You don't need to be religious to self-reflect.

But your allegiance goes SOMEwhere? Where? Why?
Why should one's allegiance be to a principal that can't be proven or has many principles that are considered vile by modern civilisation standards. You're question translates to me as "Well, seeing that there is nothing else to show allegiance to, it might as well be {insert religion here}". A rather ignorant and intellectually dishonest viewpoint in my opinion.

So why are Christians the focus of his attack if nothing bad will happen to us?
Why so vocal then?

The OP stated his reasons for christianity being the focus of his "attack" at the end of his post: "I used Christianity as an example since I know it better than any other religion". Atheist's around the world have been too quiet and allowed dogmatic religions to discriminate and suppress them for too long. It is about time there was some discussion about it. I disagree with your choice of the word "attack" because in essence, it was not. If you could construe this as an attack, then I wouldn't like to know what you would call religious publication when they speak of other religions or atheists. All the OP is doing is sharing his view (which is one of the great wonders of the internet, go figure) and starting discussion, which ultimately, is useful in broadening knowledge and understanding, whether the post is wrong or right. Why do the religious see every criticism against their religion as an "attack"? I reckon if they just chilled a bit more, there would probably be less war in the world.

Atheism offers lack of freedom to choose a religion without being perceived by your Atheist peers as a "puppet" "pawn" or "mindless follower".
I could say a similar thing about religious groups. In fact, with a religious group it's worse. The minute a person who was once religious reveals themselves as an atheist to their religious peers, the alienation begins. I can't speak for atheists reconverting back to religion because I personally don't know anybody. I can say, however, I probably wouldn't ostracize them unless they started becoming a pain in the ass but even then, it would only be on a friendship level because the friend by extension wouldn't be able to be friends with me on principle. Can't say I would hate the person. Atheists don't hate the religious, they hate the idea religion sells in that one must believe in something that claims itself above any rational criticism and testing. Quite different from the fury an atheist has to endure when leaving religion.

Just my two cents.

Soaren said...

Please allow a Christian to comment, and please take my words seriously here: The Bible says so many times that leading up to and during the End Times the Church will be a shadow of itself. It will make all Christians look horrible. I spend 6 hours plus a week on religious research, and I can tell you something:
- I do not go to church, it disgusts me.
- I do not give allegiance to the Church's mindset, it is corrupt and unscriptural to the letter.
- I vote for Libertarian candidates that would benefit the whole of the country, not just my Church.
- The last two are up the personal speculation, but I do not wander this Earth threatening people with Hell. Most Christians don't. It's a very extreme, and mind you, very cruel attitude to have towards non-Christians. These people are not centered. They are arrogant. They act as if non-Christians are unsavable. It is a horrible attitude.

While I'm at it, let me say that I cannot STAND WBC. Cannot tolerate them. At all.

Towards the End Times, most "Christians" will not make it past the gates, because they have chosen to worship a form of "Christianity" developed by Man, not by God and his Book.

thank you,

Devlin

Anonymous said...

Please allow a Christian to comment, and please take my words seriously here: The Bible says so many times that leading up to and during the End Times the Church will be a shadow of itself. It will make all Christians look horrible. I spend 6 hours plus a week on religious research, and I can tell you something:
- I do not go to church, it disgusts me.
- I do not give allegiance to the Church's mindset, it is corrupt and unscriptural to the letter.
- I vote for Libertarian candidates that would benefit the whole of the country, not just my Church.
- The last two are up the personal speculation, but I do not wander this Earth threatening people with Hell. Most Christians don't. It's a very extreme, and mind you, very cruel attitude to have towards non-Christians. These people are not centered. They are arrogant. They act as if non-Christians are unsavable. It is a horrible attitude.

While I'm at it, let me say that I cannot STAND WBC. Cannot tolerate them. At all.

Towards the End Times, most "Christians" will not make it past the gates, because they have chosen to worship a form of "Christianity" developed by Man, not by God and his Book.

thank you,

Devlin