Can't We All Just Get Along?: Theological Edition

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My closest friend in my time in the Army was a devout Christian, and he once asked me why atheists are so hostile towards those that have faith.

 

I theorized that some people were probably resentful at being told to be religious, and then took out their anger at religious people.  I also guessed that most of those people are probably positive atheists, those who assert that there is no higher power.  It was difficult to answer with any certainty, though, because none of it applied to me.

 

It’s not that difficult to understand how some people have faith, nor how some do not.

 

Being religious is something of a natural instinct.  People are both curious and creative, and we create myths and religious concepts when those two attributes are mixed.  “Why do the seasons change?  Well, there was this girl, and a pomegranate, and this guy that lives underground…”, as one obvious example.  People noticed aspects of the world and came up with numerous creations to explain our existence and everything about it.

 

In this day and age, many still have an inclination to believe in something greater.  It provides a sense of hope, of perspective, of security in a world where we can’t possibly know what death brings us.  Tradition is obviously a factor as well, since parents tend to raise their children with their own set of beliefs, while our inherent drive to survive leads us to form and adhere to groups of those that are similar to us.  Further, we’re born as blank slates, and we only know what we’re taught; if you are kept in your house without any outside influence and told that books are called “rutabagas”, then you will leave that house some day bound to have an odd conversation whenever you first enter a library.  When we’re taught that something is true, there is a tendency to accept it, since that’s the only way that the world can make any sense at all.

 

To make it even clearer, there’s nothing wrong with the result of faith, as a matter of personal belief.  If it brings a sense of peace, community, inspiration, or whatever else, I say to just go with it.  So, I personally don’t understand the need to lash out at people who believe something that I don’t.

 

On the flip side, I find hostility towards atheists to be just as odd.

 

Think of the entire concept as a locked safe, and nobody alive knows what’s in it.  Those that have faith believe that a certain object is in it.  This group thinks it’s a piggybank, that group thinks it’s a toaster, etc.  The positive atheist will insist that there’s nothing in it at all, which to me seems even less logical.  But the typical atheist, also known as an agnostic, simply does not accept a belief about what’s in there.  We have no way of knowing, so there’s no logical reason to make a claim about it one way or another.

 

To expand on that, it is literally impossible to prove that a deity exists.  And that includes anything that appears to be self-revelation by a deity.  That may sound odd at first, but think about the nature of a higher power.  It is, as suggested by the term, higher.  That means that we lack the capacity to understand it.  It’s a bit like being a goldfish and theorizing about what the humans are doing based on sounds or the warped view through the glass; it doesn’t really matter if you’re the smartest goldfish in the world, you still couldn’t possibly have a clue.

 

So, the undeniable possibility of other life in the universe precludes us from stating as fact that a deity exists, because any possible occurrence could be the work of that other form of life.  And, yes, a booming voice from the sky which says “I am God and everything in the Bible is true” would make such a belief more justifiable and understandable, but it could not logically prove it to be true.  We simply can never be in a position to make that call.

 

Further, I’ve probably seen every “there must be a God” argument out there.  “It’s like if you found a watch on a beach, you’d know that there’s a creator….”  Yes, but there’s no similar contrast between the natural and the manufactured in our existence.  “What happened before the Big Bang?”  What happened before there was light and the animals and the tree of knowledge with the forbidden fruit?  “What are the odds that this planet could create and sustain life on its own?”  It doesn’t matter one whit, since even if the odds are one in seventy-four quadrillion, the people on that one lucky planet would then be asking the same question.  It’s sort of like a worldwide raffle where you ask “what are the odds of this random person winning” and comparing that to the existence of a winner anywhere; someone was going to win, so the odds of this person or that person winning it are irrelevant to the general existence.  I’m sure that there are others that I will be reminded of, but those are the ones that I’ve heard the most often.

 

Finally, we have the issues of morality and law, which are actually separate concepts.  There doesn’t need to be any belief in a deity to be moral, and there especially doesn’t need to be any such faith in order for one to form or follow laws.  American laws aren’t generally based on any religious text or tablets, or else it would be illegal to disrespect your parents, to have an affair, or to work on a Sunday.  Instead, our laws are largely based on a sense of harm, which is usually objective in nature.  Don’t kill, injure, rape, endanger, steal, or impede justice.  Outside of anti-drug laws, age restrictions on certain purchases, and a handful of inappropriate “you can’t buy beer today”-type of laws, that would seem to cover the bulk of forbidden acts in our society.  Why would I need to believe in a higher power to follow any objective laws, or to understand their basis?  As a member of a society, I know that I must follow rules just as I expect others to.

 

So, the obvious converse of the question posed to me seems like a natural query as well.  What’s the purpose of hostility towards people that don’t believe in a deity, since there is nothing either logically or ethically to assert a need for the belief?  Why are we somehow assumed to be immoral or amoral, when any number of religious people show a lack of morality themselves?  As long as we’re not telling those of faith that they are wrong, and as long as they are not trying to force others into their system of belief, then what possible reason could there be for there to be any animosity on either side?

Comments

Utpal Patel Added Sep 8, 2018 - 4:09am
Generally speaking I think people of faith coexist nicely with atheists.  However, on internet chat forums and other places where people are unafraid to state their opinions, it gets quite heated between these two groups.  The disagreement boils down to the fact both sides are telling the other they are wrong.  They don’t have to explicitly say that, the simple fact one person believes Jesus is the son of God and someone else thinks God doesn’t exist, is the same thing as saying “you’re wrong.” 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 8, 2018 - 6:18am
Yawn. Yuuge. 
Brabantio Added Sep 8, 2018 - 8:52am
"Yawn. Yuuge."
 
I'm not sure how I could have edited it down much without removing important concepts.  It's also fairly compact compared to quite a bit that I've seen posted here already.
 
Thank you for your in-depth analysis, though.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 8, 2018 - 9:44am
My pleasure 
Bill H. Added Sep 8, 2018 - 11:26am
Great write!
Someday we may figure out what really happened. I think we are close.
My only issue with religion is that there are many who feel that their version is more correct that other versions. In the end, we will most likely find out that they are all way off base, but in the mean time many people need to grab on to something, rather than spending time analyzing and reasoning.
I have the belief that we are some alien kid's science fair project. In their world and dimension, the time span of the existence of life on Earth only lasts for about one semester. We are one of probably multiple experiments observing evolution changes based on different variables, such as average temperatures, differences in sunlight spectrum, and compositions of the atmosphere.
This theory most likely originated when I was given an Ant Farm as a Christmas gift as a young child. Not only did it cause me to concoct this theory, but it also left an everlasting appreciation and respect for life of all kinds here on Earth and finally the best example of the results of over-pollution and overpopulation when the entire population was wiped out by a fungus caused by their own waste.
Brabantio Added Sep 8, 2018 - 11:51am
Thank you, Bill!
 
I like the "ant farm"-type theory.  If we're going to conceive some sort of causation for our world, as opposed to random development, then that is an entirely valid possibility.
Even A Broken Clock Added Sep 8, 2018 - 12:32pm
A belated welcome to Writerbeat, Brabantio. How would you like to be addressed?
 
You raise a great many issues in this compact post, and it will be interesting to see what emerges in the discussion that follows. My own thought is that the violent antipathy that is sometimes expressed between those on the opposite side of the believer / atheist dichotomy is caused because humans are repulsed by that which they cannot conceive is true. It is a visceral reaction to having their most cherished beliefs questioned and ridiculed. Anyway, that's a thought.
Brabantio Added Sep 8, 2018 - 12:36pm
Thank you, and either the full name or "Brab" is fine.
Dino Manalis Added Sep 8, 2018 - 12:40pm
 Hostility breeds more hatred, we should get along to change our way of doing things and make improvements.
opher goodwin Added Sep 8, 2018 - 12:42pm
As a devout atheist who went through his religious phase and came out the other side more enlightened I am totally tolerant of people of faith.
However, I am angered by religious people who indoctrinate kids. I consider that child abuse. I also despise people who try to foist their views on others.
Religion should be a personal thing.
I believe religion is an evil. One of our worst ideas. It has been the cause of endless strife, torture and war and serves to terrify people stuff them full of guilt and stop them enjoying and experiencing the fruits of life. It is also a source of misogyny, homophobia and racism.
I hope we are growing out of it!
We are over here. Our churches are nearly empty. If it wasn't for immigrants they'd be completely empty.
 
 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 8, 2018 - 1:02pm
Can't we all get along?
 
We never have. 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 8, 2018 - 1:05pm
Opher
 
"However, I am angered by religious people who indoctrinate kids. "
 
Would you say the same about atheists who indoctrinate kids? I know a lot of 60s brats that were trained by their  parents to hate capitalism and Republicans. 
 
Absolutism again Opher??
Jeffrey Kelly Added Sep 8, 2018 - 1:11pm
I don’t really believe in anything but I don’t care when other people do.  My main deal is don’t push it on me and we will get along nicely.
Eric Reports Added Sep 8, 2018 - 1:46pm
People don't change.  Atheists block the spiritual side of themselves.  They resent others who believe in something they can't see.
Bill H. Added Sep 8, 2018 - 1:52pm
 
When religion becomes part of politics, the outcome can only be negative as we have witnessed throughout history. The only way to have politics that are good for the majority of the people is to leave religion out of the decisions. Once religion becomes a deciding factor, it opens a window for many disagreements and offers the benefit to only a few.
opher goodwin Added Sep 8, 2018 - 2:03pm
rycK - yes I would. I think kids should be left to grow to maturity without being indoctrinated with politics and religion before they are able to reason.
opher goodwin Added Sep 8, 2018 - 2:04pm
Jeffrey - I'll go along with that as long as they don't abuse children.
opher goodwin Added Sep 8, 2018 - 2:07pm
Eric - I think that is rubbish. I went through my religious period before I realised it was bollocks. I am not blocking my spiritual side at all. I just woke up to the fact that all religion is created by people who crave power and wealth. It's a con. Religion is being used in American politics all the time. It's full of hypocrisy and crap.
My spiritual side comes out with nature. Nature is beautiful.
opher goodwin Added Sep 8, 2018 - 2:08pm
Bill - I agree. America is a backdoor theocracy. Nobody gets elected without kow-towing to the evangelicals. Religion should be booted right out of secular government. We see enough of that with ISIS and the Taliban.
James Travil Added Sep 8, 2018 - 2:24pm
I'm with Opher on this. I also was raised in religion, graduated from a Christian high school and studied the Bible. And I found nothing of merit to it. That said I don't generally have a problem with people of faith unless they try to push their beliefs on me or others. Usually it's the fundamentalists who are the problem. My best friend to this day is Catholic but he's not a fundy so there is no problem. Extremism in anything, including religion, leads to the problems of intolerance and draconian ideology. 
Brabantio Added Sep 8, 2018 - 2:49pm
"Atheists block the spiritual side of themselves.  They resent others who believe in something they can't see."
 
Nonsense.  I was raised in the Mormon faith, and I just never bought it.  I didn't have any motivation to "block" anything of the sort.  I don't envy people who do believe in the slightest, because I don't view it as an ability, and I don't see the inherent good in buying into matters of faith.
James Travil Added Sep 8, 2018 - 2:54pm
That's funny because I went through a Mormon faze myself! After years of failing to believe in pure magic and supernatural hocus pocus or be moved by the spirit in the Baptist church I met some Mormon missionaries and decided to give them a shot. It lasted about a year, still no inspiration. After that I rejected the idea of god or gods all together. 
Brabantio Added Sep 8, 2018 - 3:04pm
"Would you say the same about atheists who indoctrinate kids? I know a lot of 60s brats that were trained by their  parents to hate capitalism and Republicans."
 
Because there are no atheists that lean right or support capitalism?  Bizarre.
 
I would agree that it's wrong, personally, but I'm just not sure what that would have to do with telling your children that you don't believe in a deity.
Brabantio Added Sep 8, 2018 - 3:07pm
"Religion should be a personal thing."
 
I agree completely.  I would rather see people develop their own faith than to buy into a set of beliefs as dictated by a group.  It would seem to me to be more genuine and more conducive to personal benefits than it is when simply following others.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 8, 2018 - 3:08pm
Hmmmm.  Seems WB Xtains, for the most part, hide behind the "beliefs," and when it comes down to it, unless others suspend their disbelief, they are horrible people "without faith."  Look at ol Eric Retorts, railing against "disbelievers," yet is one of the first to slam the door on people not mouthing bible verses.  And then there's that font of integrity and truth, syck ryck.  He goes on like a lot of rightists how children are "indoctrinated" into being communists, the usual rightist crap.  It's always Marxists, Leninists, Maoists and Stalinists that 'children" are indoctrinated to be that way,but none of them can define what that really, practically means or even really is.  It just "sounds good" and is a "virtue signal" the writer is another "good rightist," deserving support.
Mustafa Kemal Added Sep 8, 2018 - 3:12pm
I think the actual theoligical difference is a red herring.
 
The primary reasons for not getting along is because of power.
The power to influence our children in schools, the power to have tax free churches, and the power to have political influence on peoples' lives. 
 
Mustafa
Lindsay Wheeler Added Sep 8, 2018 - 5:20pm
"Only a fool says in his heart, there is no god". 
Cullen Kehoe Added Sep 8, 2018 - 5:29pm
I have no problem with people who believe anything they want.
 
I find it interesting in the comments that some already state the religious shouldn't be able to talk to kids. (And even went so far as to call it child abuse) Does that extend to their own kids in the wise opinion of these commenters?
 
Of all the filth in this Western world we call 'Western culture' that includes Beyonce making an exhibition of herself and teaching millions of young girls to do the same, these horrible movies full of violence, evil, sexual displays, violent pornography, addicting video games for kids, all of this is called 'normal' today.
 
Kids having experiences with these, and people shrug their shoulders and say "how can parents possibly protect their kids from the vile aspects of this world". None would ever call it child abuse.
 
"I saw my 12 year old looking at violent porn on the Internet using the computer I bought him to use alone his room and my Internet that has no filter for porn."
 
No one would call that child abuse. But don't you dare teach him to love his neighbor or turn the other cheek. That there is child abuse?
 
Is that how that works?
Cullen Kehoe Added Sep 8, 2018 - 5:34pm
I thank Opher for his honesty. That is how I find many atheists.
 
"Believe what you want but don't you dare try to open your mouth and speak of it or tell anyone about it."
 
Sounds about right. These are the folks that who actually sued a church for performing baptisms at a public park . Bizarrely the ACLU defended the church and won. Religiously people can't be persecuted for practicing their faith in public. They still have that right.
James Travil Added Sep 8, 2018 - 5:46pm
"Only a fool quotes a false god that insults people who don't believe in it." 
James Travil Added Sep 8, 2018 - 5:55pm
"But don't you dare teach him to love his neighbor or turn the other cheek. That there is child abuse? Is that how that works?"
No. I don't think anyone objects to teaching children ethics and morality. But attaching a deity or religion to it is unnecessary. Why not just teach right from wrong and let the kids grow up to find their own beliefs? That's what I did and my kids turned out alright. It seems to me that these weak ass religions are so flimsy that unless people are indoctrinated in them from birth, they wouldn't have any believers.
Is that how this works? 
David Montaigne Added Sep 8, 2018 - 6:30pm
Atheists might sometimes be hostile to the religious because when religion was unchecked, and supported by the state, in ran rampant over human rights, not only forcing the dogma on everyone but literally burning those who questioned it at the stake, and holding back scientific advances.
 
Christians might sometimes be hostile to atheists because atheists ask them to question their beliefs, something few ever wish to do.  And some Christians have what many others consider extremely silly beliefs like a flat earth, a creation just thousands of years ago, or a solid glass-like firmament dome surrounding the Earth.
 
Of course, some people get upset just because you disagree with them, regardless of the facts or specifics.
opher goodwin Added Sep 8, 2018 - 7:15pm
Brabantio - Yes I would rather that too.
opher goodwin Added Sep 8, 2018 - 7:16pm
Lindsay - "Only a fool says in his heart, there is no god". 
Perhaps the fool is the one who believes in something that there is no evidence for just because he has been instructed to?
Lindsay Wheeler Added Sep 8, 2018 - 7:18pm
Opher---The Cosmos is the evidence of God. Cosmos in Greek means "ordered beauty". Chaos does not create ordered beauty. 
opher goodwin Added Sep 8, 2018 - 7:20pm
Cullen - I believe children should be brought up with clear morality, to love their neighbours, nature and everything else, to appreciate the world's a beautiful place and that they have responsibilities. They should be protected from adult things - from violence, porn and cruelty. They should also be protected from indoctrination with politics and religion until they are old enough to reason.
That's how I was brought up and I brought up my children. 
opher goodwin Added Sep 8, 2018 - 7:21pm
Cullen - religious people can go practicing their faith in groups and in public - just as long as they don't foist it on others - particularly children. Indoctrination is brainwashing.
opher goodwin Added Sep 8, 2018 - 7:23pm
James - that is exactly right. Why attach a fictitious supernatural force to morality?
Indoctrination is the main way they get their converts. It's abusive.
opher goodwin Added Sep 8, 2018 - 7:26pm
David - that is right. Whenever religion gains power it becomes coercive, oppressive and cruel. The deployment of torture and wicked forms of death are rampant in theocratic States. ISIS is par for the course. Just read some Hilary Mantel to see theocracy at work.
There is no logic in religion.
James Travil Added Sep 8, 2018 - 7:28pm
"The Cosmos is the evidence of God. Cosmos in Greek means "ordered beauty". Chaos does not create ordered beauty. "
And the "uni" in universe means one, even though we now have the multiverse theory. So word meanings change. As for the Cosmos being ordered, there IS order in chaos. Anyone who has studied chaos theory knows this. Besides this is just one time period of the universe. It began in disorder and will end likewise (or in absolute darkness). 
Brabantio Added Sep 8, 2018 - 7:57pm
"Opher---The Cosmos is the evidence of God. Cosmos in Greek means "ordered beauty". Chaos does not create ordered beauty."
 
A name is just a name.  That doesn't prove the existence of a God any more than there's proof of royalty in the back room of a Burger King.
 
I also like to ask what is the alternative to having the cosmos, exactly?  What conditions would Christians expect to see in order to say "OK, there's no proof of God in the world around us"?  About nine times out of ten it boils down to the idea that any sort of existence at all "proves" the existence of a deity, which doesn't logically allow for an alternative.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 8, 2018 - 8:47pm
Look, folks like ol Lindsay will always fall back on gawd, because they can be real shits to people, espouse hateful and cruel ideas, but GAWD will forgive them...maybe, but nobody else should forgive them.  Belief structures, if a person has them, should be personal stuff, not political "power:""Gawd gave us Trump!" "Believe in gawd OR ELSE crapola. I've even had a WB Xtain lacky call down the wrath of gawd on my head for my disbelief.  And no, it wasn't Ryan "I'm Geezus" Messano, either. 
Neil Lock Added Sep 9, 2018 - 4:25am
Brabantio: Welcome to WB.
 
As an agnostic, my take is that religious thinking has its place right down at the bottom of our minds, below the level of rational thought. Therefore it's impossible to have a fully rational discussion about religion, or to come to a rational agreement about its dogmas. So we might as well not bother. As I've said many times before, my view is that if you let me have my religion (or lack of it), I'll let you have yours.
Cullen Kehoe Added Sep 9, 2018 - 5:20am
@James 
"It seems to me that these weak ass religions are so flimsy that unless people are indoctrinated in them from birth, they wouldn't have any believers."
 
You must be a young person because this is an argument that seems to hold a lot of water the younger a person is. As you grow older you see that a lot of people who grow up religious reject it in adulthood and a lot of people who grow up secular choose to be religious (a Christian let's say upon adulthood). It would seem even you are an example of this. 
 
My wife didn't grow up religious and converted to Christianity as an adult (and even had elements of what you call a 'miraculous conversion'). She had people praying for her though. 
 
As to your assertion, the number of Christians in China is growing so fast it's going to displace the U.S. as the nation with the most Christians in about 10 years: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/10776023/China-on-course-to-become-worlds-most-Christian-nation-within-15-years.html 
 
Southeast Asia: https://www.economist.com/asia/2018/01/04/evangelicalism-is-spreading-among-the-chinese-of-south-east-asia 
 
Africa: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/19/sub-saharan-africa-will-be-home-to-growing-shares-of-the-worlds-christians-and-muslims/
 
This is no longer white missionaries going to these places, it's the locals themselves. So if the only way to spread Christianity is brainwashing children, how can you explain this in areas of the world that were not traditionally Christian? 
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 5:53am
Lindsay - the Cosmos is chaos on a grand scale. The laws of physics merely create a veneer of order. Gravity creates spheres and orbits.
It's sheer beauty. It's majestic. What it isn't is designed.
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 5:59am
Brabantio - exactly right. The existence of the universe proves nothing.
Because something is beyond our comprehension does not mean that we have to invent a supernatural explanation in order to explain it. It just is.
The structure of the universe is merely the interplay of basic laws of physics on chaos. Nothing more.
Likewise the human body - a product of evolution. If it had been designed it would have been a hundred times better. I could produce a better design out of a class of eleven year olds. Some problems created by evolution are a complete mess. Hardly divine unless this superpixie has a wicked and evil sense of humour.
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 6:30am
Cullen - to an extent religion is hardwired into our brains through evolution. We have evolved intelligence. Our success is our ability to see patterns and solve problems. There is a purpose to everything. That works great with hunter gathering. It enables us to work with the patterns of seasons and weather, to see the patterns of behaviour in predators and prey, to find water, to seek out fruits, berries and plants, to make tools, invent things and develop knowledge and technology.
This problem solving ability has enabled us to become masters of science and technology to the point where we are actually not only the predominant species but we are actually changing the whole planet. This is now the Anthropocene. Science and technology, stemming from our intelligence, our ability to see patterns and solve problems, has brought us control over our environment and all creatures. It has brought us agriculture and civilisation and enabled us to prosper in huge numbers - now pushing 8 Billion. 
It falls down when confronted with the big questions that there are no answers for. Such as what is this immense universe? Where did it come from? What is life? Where did it come from? Am I immortal?
As I said at the beginning - we are hardwired to provide answers. We do not have answers to these and other such questions. They are too immense for our puny brains. Those brains have evolved to solve more mundane, practical problems. But that does not stop us from searching for answers and providing answers.
Early man was subjected to the vagaries of nature. If they could not find food through hunting or their crops failed because of unseasonal weather they starved.
They worshipped things such as the sun which gave life. They thought they could control it, appease the god they had created and performed rituals to please her. They performed rituals to produce rain, to have a good hunt, to harvest crops, for fertility, health and prosperity. They had holy men who could converse with the gods they had created. They invented explanations for the world, the sequence of life and death, creation myths and morality stories. They created reasons for when things went wrong and how they could put them right. They created fascinating tales of the afterlife to remove fear of death - death that was so prevalent.
They held great ceremonies, pageants and developed elaborate sacrifices and costumes. They built pyramids, temples and powerful spectacle. 
The bigger and more lavish the greater the ease in believing in the story.
Through time these religions grew in sophistication and adapted as our knowledge of the universe and life grew. We see this with Christianity. In the beginning Hell was under the ground, Heaven was just above the firmament, the heavens were a dome. The stars chinks in that dome letting through the light of god, the sun rotated around the earth. As our knowledge grew these concepts were changed. We no longer look for hell under the ground or burn people for saying the earth goes round the sun.
We still cling on to the supernatural explanations though. Our minds have evolved to require answers. We still need to believe there is a purpose. Even in the face of no evidence we cling to the supernatural answers we find satisfying. They give us the assurance of order, purpose and answer our questions. They are much more psychologically satisfying than to accept there are no reasons, no order and no purpose. The universe just is. Life is an accident. We have a life and that is it. The only reasons we have are the ones we sort out for ourselves.
But I reckon that it is best to face up to the truth and accept it as it is. I see no evidence of god, an afterlife or a purpose for life.
Best to get on with it and enjoy it while we can. All we have is now. Let's try to make this wonderful experience as good as we can make it, wring as much love, fun, creativity and pleasure out of it as we can and make the planet as good as we can make it for everybody else and all living things. That's fulfilment enough for me.
 
Cullen Kehoe Added Sep 9, 2018 - 6:50am
Opher - I take away from your comment "Let's all get along". Sounds good to me. 
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 7:13am
Cullen - sounds good to me too.
Ken Added Sep 9, 2018 - 8:43am
“Why do the seasons change?  Well, there was this girl, and a pomegranate, and this guy that lives underground…”, as one obvious example.
 
Completely dishonest.   You claim a Greek myth about persephone while talking about christianity and discounting it?
 
 
On the flip side, I find hostility towards atheists to be just as odd.
 
what hostility?  It is the atheists that are going after religion, not the other way around.  FFRF and others are tearing down anything religious they can.  The Cristians are "live and let live".  Examples please where Christians are being regularly hostile to atheists?
 
Absolutely pathetic, shameful, christian bashing post.....I am not even religious, but so sick of this over and over HATRED of faith...
Lindsay Wheeler Added Sep 9, 2018 - 9:03am
Cullen applauds the "Let's all get along" theology of Brabinto the Atheist!
 
The Atheist Machiavelli laid out the plan "to eliminate the Ancient way of life". Opposite the teaching of the Virtue of Righteousness which teaches to preserve ancient customs and traditions of one's patrida! The Atheist Machiavelli is the author of the Modern World!
 
Yes, Atheists are cuddly-warm-non-harming ethical people!  
 
Did not the so-called Enlightenment, in which practically all the authors of it were Diehard Atheists?  Did that not destroy Christendom? And Cullen wants to "All get along"?  What part of history shows that Cullen?  Who burned the Churches down and raped nuns and killed priests in the Russian, Spanish, Greek Civil Wars?  Cuddly, warm, non-harming ethical Atheists?
 
Who filed a lawsuit over prayer in School in American?  The Atheist Madilene O'Hare!  Why is America sinking?  Because Atheists are stripping America from her Christian heritage!
 
Here in Michigan a cross was planted over 80 years ago to commemorate a French Catholic missionary. Atheists filed a lawsuit to remove it. 
 
Cullen, the Protestants are groveling before the Atheists as the Atheists DEMAND that the Christians live according to their wishes and desires!  You accommodate them! 
 
It says in Scripture, "Dishonor me, and I will dishonor you. Honor Me, and I will Honor you". We can not honor God in our schools or at our Sports events anymore because of the Atheist. 
 
"Go along to get along" With Atheists. Cullen, you don't understand, Atheists are a religion--a religion of non-religion!  They proselytize just the same. They change the culture to suit them! Who is taking down our monuments of the Ten Commandments?  The Atheists!
 
The Atheists are full of Hate. Does not Scripture teach: "Shall you love those that hate the Lord?"  
 
They speak out of one side of their mouth "Get along" while their actions is about destroying Christian heritage and shutting down anything Christian! They are haters by nature.
 
"Let's All go along to get along". Bah Humbug!  That is why Multiculturalism is wrong. You can't serve two masters!  Either you serve the Atheist, Cullen, or you serve God. You can't do both! Atheists are out to destroy Christianity!  They are also hypocrites. While they tell you "Let's all get along", they are busy destroying you!
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 9:13am
Gosh Lindsay - is it religion that has made you so aggressive and truculent? Not really a good advert is it? It comes over to me as intransigent, irrational and unpleasant.
Never mind.
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 9:14am
Lindsay - you do seem stuck in the old testament to me. Perhaps you should move on a bit to what Jesus taught. He was a bit more mellow and welcoming. I think I prefer that. Not as nasty.
Doug Plumb Added Sep 9, 2018 - 9:18am
No one knows better reasons to believe in God than scientists.
Doug Plumb Added Sep 9, 2018 - 9:19am
Most would lose their jobs by saying it openly. Retired ones still do. Look at the evolutionary debate.
Lindsay Wheeler Added Sep 9, 2018 - 9:32am
In response to Opher, Jesus Christ said, "Man lives BY EVERY word that proceeds out of the mouth of God"!  Every Word. 
 
I mean to obey EVERY word of God.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 9, 2018 - 9:53am
Would you say the same about atheists who indoctrinate kids?
 
Most atheists I know (including me) let their kids choose if they want to believe or not. My first two daughters chose to be religious (the older), the younger atheism according to their logic/feelings. Religion was never even a subject in our home, so the kids started uninfluenced in that matter.
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 10:36am
Lindsay - are you hearing voices now?? I've never heard a word from any god. If he exists then perhaps he should make himself known.
Thing is that he doesn't exist. All the religious books purporting to be the word of god are historical artifacts written by people. Believe it if you must. I find them contradictory, ambiguous and facile.
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 10:37am
Stone - same as my kids. I let them chose rather than indoctrinate them.
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 10:38am
Doug - really? Where do you get that from? Most of the scientists I know are atheists.
BTW - we don't have a fear of saying we're religious or not over here. Not like in the States.
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 10:47am
Lindsay - I suggest you consider cutting your prick and balls off! God wants it!

target="_blank">MT 19:12 Men are encouraged to consider making themselves castrates for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
 
Oh Oh! Perhaps not!
 
target="_blank">DT 23:1 A castrate may not enter the assembly of the Lord.
 
Which words are you going to obey??
 
Do you want me to go on with the thousands of other contradictions?
Neil Lock Added Sep 9, 2018 - 11:13am
Ken: Examples please where Christians are being regularly hostile to atheists?
 
How about "Sunday trading" hours in the UK? I wanted to go to the supermarket early today, but couldn't because it wasn't allowed to open until 10am.
Steel Breeze Added Sep 9, 2018 - 11:15am
"can't we all just get along?"......no,never have.....never will...
Neil Lock Added Sep 9, 2018 - 11:21am
...and banning selling alcohol on Sundays in the southern USA?
Lindsay Wheeler Added Sep 9, 2018 - 11:27am
See, Neil makes my point exactly!  No respect. Atheists grew up in Christian countries and then demand that Christians change their culture. 
 
If you don't like the blue laws---Move.   Why Neil, The Soviet Union was a perfect Atheist/Materialist State!  Cuba is another excellent Atheist state. The West is now Atheist as well. That is why the Muslims are taking over!  Can't wait to see the future atheists faces when the Muslim hordes take over!  Where will your precious freedom be then?!  Huh?
Bill H. Added Sep 9, 2018 - 11:27am
When I was a child, I attended church at both a Protestant and a Methodist church. Back then the messages were of love for fellow man and respect for the Earth. It seems lately that not only has the "respect for the Earth and it's creatures" message been virtually eliminated and even inverted, but the "love for fellow man" seems to have disappeared and in many cases I am seeing displays of hate and revenge, along with interpretations of the Bible that are being applied in negative ways. About 20 years ago, my brother in law joined up with what appears to me to be a "cultish" mega-church that broadcasts their sermons on a low-budget satellite transponder. I have watched some of his sermons over the years that are shown on the church's wet site, as I have always wondered by my brother in law has seemed to have withdrawn from society and only associates with people from his church. He has also become very self-centered and elusive concerning his finances. From what I have gathered from an ex-member of his church, members are encouraged to rid themselves of excess money by giving it to the church, as money is the root of all evil and creates a life who's priority is based on how much money they have and how much they own. 
Lindsay Wheeler Added Sep 9, 2018 - 11:28am
Christians are Pro-Life. 
 
Atheists are Pro-Baby killing. Only one atheist was ever pro-life and their morality is based on reason!  What a joke. 
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 11:33am
Steel - well most of us can. But you can't please fundamentalists. We've seen that with ISIS and American Evangelists. They're too brainwashed and fanatical.
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 11:35am
Lindsay - I didn't think either the USA or UK were theocracies? I did not grow up in a Christian State. The country I live in is secular. We got rid of our theocracy they were too brutal - kept killing and torturing and imposing stupid rules by force and coercion. 
I see you haven't cut your balls off yet?
Brabantio Added Sep 9, 2018 - 11:52am
"You claim a Greek myth about persephone while talking about christianity and discounting it?"
 
I was referring to our tendency to come up with creative explanations to satisfy curiosity.  I have no idea what you think is "dishonest" about that.  Are you trying to say that one set of beliefs is somehow more provable than another?
 
"what hostility?  It is the atheists that are going after religion, not the other way around."
 
I wasn't talking about groups, I was talking about personal attitudes.  And when the religion is being sanctioned by government in any way, why shouldn't we challenge that?
 
"Absolutely pathetic, shameful, christian bashing post.....I am not even religious, but so sick of this over and over HATRED of faith..."
 
Maybe you should try reading the post.  There isn't any "HATRED of faith" in it at all.
Brabantio Added Sep 9, 2018 - 11:58am
"Who filed a lawsuit over prayer in School in American?"
 
There shouldn't be organized prayer in public schools.  What a horrible example.
 
"No respect. Atheists grew up in Christian countries and then demand that Christians change their culture."
 
We have freedom of religion here.  You don't get to impose your beliefs on anyone else.  You keep your culture in your house and in your church, since your neighbor may not believe what you do.  That's how it works, and that's exactly how it should work.
 
"If you don't like the blue laws---Move."
 
Or, better yet, strike down laws that are based on religious belief, since they don't belong in our society at all.  I'm pretty sure that if someone passed a law that said that you couldn't go to church on Sunday that you would object to the law instead of moving somewhere else.
Bill H. Added Sep 9, 2018 - 12:38pm
"Pro-Baby Killing"?
Are you saying that Atheists possibly get together at local bars and organize baby hunts, or what?
I know of nobody who is obsessed with killing babies.
One can only say they are "pro-life" only if they respect all life on Earth and the Earth itself.
James Travil Added Sep 9, 2018 - 12:53pm
"You must be a young person because this is an argument that seems to hold a lot of water the younger a person is. "
I'm fifty, is that young? When I was young I gave mythology and the supernatural a chance, then I grew up. Will you ever? 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 9, 2018 - 1:26pm
Brabantio
 
"Or, better yet, strike down laws that are based on religious belief, since they don't belong in our society at all."
 
Does that work for Sharia too?
Brabantio Added Sep 9, 2018 - 1:41pm
"Does that work for Sharia too?"
 
If they actually affect people that aren't Muslim, then obviously so.  Has Congress passed Sharia Law into effect?
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 2:24pm
Lingsay - In response to Opher, Jesus Christ said, "Man lives BY EVERY word that proceeds out of the mouth of God"!  Every Word. 
 
I mean to obey EVERY word of God.
I see you are evading my question. Which words of God are you going to follow? Or do you just decide according to how you are feeling?
To castrate? Or not to castrate?
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 2:26pm
Brab - Or, better yet, strike down laws that are based on religious belief, since they don't belong in our society at all.  I'm pretty sure that if someone passed a law that said that you couldn't go to church on Sunday that you would object to the law instead of moving somewhere else.
Well said.
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 2:28pm
Bill - It seems lately that not only has the "respect for the Earth and it's creatures" message been virtually eliminated and even inverted, but the "love for fellow man" seems to have disappeared and in many cases I am seeing displays of hate and revenge, along with interpretations of the Bible that are being applied in negative ways. 
Very well said.
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 2:29pm
rycK - Sharia law stinks as much as any other religion.
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 2:32pm
Lindsay - I'm an atheist and I don't remember killing any babies. My own babies were a bit testing at times - crying through the night and shitting more than their body weight, but somehow I refrained from strangling them or throwing them out the window.
Who are these people who are out there killing babies?
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 2:53pm
Lindsay - I thought I'd help. Here's a few more words of god for you to follow:
target="_blank">PR 26:4 Do not answer a fool. To do so makes you foolish too.
target="_blank">PR 26:5 Answer a fool. If you don't, he will think himself wise.
 
target="_blank">MT 5:39, target="_blank">MT 5:44 Do not resist evil. Love your enemies.
target="_blank">2JN 1:9-11 Shun anyone who does not hold the proper doctrine.
target="_blank">MT 5:43-44, target="_blank">MT 22:39 Love your enemies. Love your neighbor as yourself.
target="_blank">MT 10:5 Go nowhere among the Gentiles nor enter a Samaritan town.
 
target="_blank">MT 26:52 Dispose of swords. All who take the sword will perish by it.
target="_blank">LK 22:36-38 Buy swords.
 
You follow every single word! I'll not bother. I find it a bit confusing.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 9, 2018 - 2:57pm
Brabantio
 
""[rycK] Does that work for Sharia too?"
 
If they actually affect people that aren't Muslim, then obviously so.  Has Congress passed Sharia Law into effect?"
 
Some on SCOTUS and states have been thinking about this. 
 
Under the U.S. Supreme Court: Islamic law in U.S. courts
 
https://www.upi.com/Under-the-US-Supreme-Court-Islamic-law-in-US-courts/64481368948600/
 
 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 9, 2018 - 3:01pm
opher goodwin
 
"Who are these people who are out there killing babies?"
 
Abortionists and many doctors are although there is some political definition by activist judges about when a fetus becomes a person or not. 
 
For liberals this is just a matter of convenience. Not  a person was murdered!
 
Social Justice at work
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 3:12pm
rycK - you are surely educated enough to know that an embryo is not a baby?
 
Abortion is a terrible thing. There are no winners. You would rather have desperate women trying to abort themselves in hotel rooms with knitting needles?
Or perhaps you want to drive them into being exploited by back-street abortionists?
Perhaps you like the idea of many of these women dying from haemorrhage or massive infections?
Or perhaps you just like to impose your views on others?
 
Aborting embryos is not killing babies. You might as well suggest that we keep all sperm and eggs. They are all potential babies to.
Brabantio Added Sep 9, 2018 - 3:42pm
"Some on SCOTUS and states have been thinking about this."
 
That would be "no", then.  Either way, my previous answer stands.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 9, 2018 - 4:02pm
opher goodwin
 
"rycK - you are surely educated enough to know that an embryo is not a baby?"
 
Opher--you are surely educated enough to know that an embryo probably will become a baby and that the difference has only political significance. Death is death Opher.
 
"Aborting embryos is not killing babies. "
 
How about aborting late term fetuses?
Did you know they sold baby parts for profit?
 
Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Business Partners Admit Guilt in $7.8 Million Settlement--http://www.centerformedicalprogress.org/2017/12/planned-parenthood-baby-parts-business-partners-admit-guilt-in-7-8-million-settlement/
 
"“The DaVinci companies’ admission of guilt for selling baby parts from Planned Parenthood is a ringing vindication of CMP’s citizen journalism methods and accuracy,” says CMP Project Lead David Daleiden. “In light of the news that Planned Parenthood is now under federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for the sale of fetal body parts, the next step is for Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties to be held accountable under the law for their 7-year-long aiding, abetting, and profiting in DaVinci’s criminal scheme to sell baby parts for profit.”"
 
"You would rather have desperate women trying to abort themselves in hotel rooms with knitting needles?"
 
How or why did they become desperate?
 
One wonders at this point just where the suspect notion of 'education' wandered away when certain ladies do not understand the possible outcomes of screwing. Or is this just a matter of convenience where  certain votes are preserved for the left?
 
On a different vector one might wonder why the right should protest certain voters from canceling the future votes of  their offspring. It is amusing to ponder this and the assertion that  women have a 'right'  to 'control their bodies' and prevent future life.
 
But, liberalism and its variants have several sticky conundrums to dally with as they scrounge for other people's monies with solemn if not convincing essays on 'rights."
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2018 - 4:59pm
rycK - The potential to become a baby is not being a baby is it? We have the technique to make every cell in your body a baby don't we? Millions of them die each day. Should we start collecting your dandruff?
I do not believe that late-term foetuses should be aborted unless there are extreme reasons.
I think that selling embryo parts is immoral.
You know how and why they became desperate. They got pregnant.  I don't believe that you are stupid enough to think that the sex drive isn't a huge force. People make mistakes. Contraceptives fail. Are you taking a callous view that they deserve all they get?
I think it is you that wants to take away women's rights. You think you are superior and can make moral decisions better than they can.
Cullen Kehoe Added Sep 10, 2018 - 2:05am
@James - "When I was young I gave mythology and the supernatural a chance, then I grew up. Will you ever?"
 
(I'm being a bit trollish now, I admit but here goes:)
 
Aren't you a Satanist now? Doesn't that qualify as the supernatural? 
James Travil Added Sep 10, 2018 - 4:48am
"Aren't you a Satanist now? Doesn't that qualify as the supernatural? "
No. Try reading my article "Satanism for Dummies", or reading our official website www.churchofsatan.com We are an atheist religious group. Satan is only our mascot. 
James Travil Added Sep 10, 2018 - 4:54am
Opher, women hating scum like sycK rycK can't be reasoned with. They take their marching orders from an immignary false sky god, of bigotry and would rather die than question it. 
Stone-Eater Added Sep 10, 2018 - 7:36am
The same ones who fight abortion are often accepting war. Or famines in foreign countries (doesn't concern me).Send your soldier son to war but don't you touch my embryo.
 
*sigh*
Stone-Eater Added Sep 10, 2018 - 7:37am
James
 
Atheist religious group ?? Atheism is lack of religion ;)
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 10, 2018 - 1:11pm
Opher
 
"I do not believe that late-term foetuses should be aborted unless there are extreme reasons.

I think that selling embryo parts is immoral.

You know how and why they became desperate."
 
Agreeing with  you on these three cases. 
James Travil Added Sep 10, 2018 - 4:54pm
"Atheist religious group ?? Atheism is lack of religion ;)"
Not in the case of Satanism. 
Stone-Eater Added Sep 10, 2018 - 6:17pm
Ah ok.....well.....solve that contradiction for me, please :-)
Brabantio Added Sep 10, 2018 - 7:38pm
"Nontheistic religious group" might be a better term.  It is possible to have a religion without a deity, so followers of that religion would still be atheists.  The phrasing does make it sound sort of odd, though.
James Travil Added Sep 10, 2018 - 8:02pm
Brabantio is correct Stone. Being atheist (without observing deities) does not necessarily mean being areligious (without a church and religious tradition). Satanism being the opposite of the theistic religions celebrates the carnal side of mankind, not imaginary spirituality. 
Flying Junior Added Sep 11, 2018 - 3:46am
Believe it or not kids, people are free to teach their children whatever it is that they please.  And as much as I oppose it personally with my every fiber and sinew, home schooling is currently quite legal.  People are free to raise their children as they wish.  It is the most basic freedom that there is.
 
I figured this out once when I criticised a retired Army Staff Sergeant for buying each one of his children age-appropriate, (supposedly,) firearms.  He was teaching his little girls and his boy to shoot.  Oh how they loved the shooting range!  This freaked me out.  He bought his thirteen-year-old girl an AR-15 because, apparently, they make a great hunting rifle!  lol
 
When I realised my mistake, I had to apologize to my bloggy friend.  Of course he had every right to buy his children weapons and teach them how to shoot.  As completely crazy as that might seem to a normal person.
 
Welcome to the WB Brab.
 
You have a connection to your childhood self which is not universal.  Becoming a Christian in a Baptist Church, of course, I was taught that Mormons are blasphemers.  They are, of course.  But one thing that I have noticed about...  You can't call them Mormons any more.  The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints has some damn good-looking, healthy and strong women!  So they must be doing something right.  The lore of the West tells us that Mormon cowboys were good trail riders and could do the work of two men.
 
It's cool.  I mean, of course we should all get along.  When some little twit starts telling everybody else that they are damned to hell...  I'm like, "Where is Christ in this?"
 
This is probably the first and last time I will ever agree with anything that Utpal said.
opher goodwin Added Sep 11, 2018 - 4:29am
James - people do become very tribal and entrenched don't they? If we are too rigid with our views we can never grow.
opher goodwin Added Sep 11, 2018 - 4:30am
rycK - you see - we've found some common ground! It's a start.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 11, 2018 - 4:31am
James.
 
Ok. So from now on I call myself areligious. Case closed :))
opher goodwin Added Sep 11, 2018 - 4:37am
FJ - I don't agree that parents should have the right to teach and indoctrinate their children with whatever beliefs they might have.
I find this brainwashing of children totally repugnant. It is prevalent in many Christian religious groups and also Islam. I equate this with child abuse.
Those madrassas with rows of children reciting the Koran or the Catholic schools reciting prayers - its an abomination. Then there's all those weird cults like the Jehovah's, Witnesses, Plymouth Brethren and ISIS. They work on getting them young.
Whether it is religion, nationalism or politics. It is obscene.
I don't know why you think it is OK for children to be brainwashed this way.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 11, 2018 - 5:20am
I don't know why you think it is OK for children to be brainwashed this way.
 
Yeah goddamn it! The only brainwashing that is allowed in the leftist world is PC, LGBTQXYZ, SOYBOY, socialism run by a one world government presided over by Barry Soetoro. Talk about obscene. 
 
Flying Junior Added Sep 11, 2018 - 5:24am
Sorry Opher.  That would be totalitarianism.  Maybe worse than has ever been seen.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 11, 2018 - 10:15am
@ Brabantio. Perhaps it is that there is a lower/unseen power that informs our existence, but we have placed it on a pedestal and called it a higher power. I gather a being returning to the Earth after eons of space travel would theorize the monitor is the source of the wonderful displays and sounds possible from a computer found working. It is the unseen CPU.
 
Surely, if it is that this earth solely fomented life, it did so from an elemental particle and that is what must be thanked for our present existence as intelligent beings. That perhaps is what we deemed as God-the creator.  The earlier God worshippers--the animists-- may be closer to the truth in their worship of stone, trees, and such inanimate objects.
Eons before this Jesus-God concept that resulted from Whites' colonization of religion, folks were giving thanks as soon as they became folks and began to depend on the flora and the fauna.  They worshipped the sun, trees, and such for giving them life and sustenance.
 
Admittedly, folks were eating each other, as some ate their deads, as they were into sacrificing babies to please a God. Perhaps it is this intelligencing of the humans to stop blood sacrifices that the Christian religion represented. Imagine being around in South America and other places when religious-based human sacrifice was rampant. This thing about Issac killing his firstborn was also about the practice of baby sacrifice to serve a God.
 
The divisiveness in religion is seen in my bias for Christianity and confirms you piece on nurturing as the informer of one's culture. There are other religions, but I cannot speak of them because of my Christian acculturation in Jamaica, WI.  Here I am saying Christianity is the religion.  Situate me as an individual in the Middle East, the Orient, or such. I would have a different religious belief and would be advocating it is the right one. Here we can discuss our beliefs as civilized individuals, but prior to being civilized (intelligenced) or even in the current enlightened periods, people kill, murder, main, and annihilate others to convert them to their --the right religion.
 
The Crusades, the Inquisition and such are examples of converting the heathens to religion at the point of the swords. Interestingly, Jesus and Christianity is an infant in the realm of religions. However, his teaching appears to be one of the most successful at the colonizing of religion and the proselytizing  thereof.  Significantly, the Christianity emerged from the little the Romans and Greeks learned/stole from Egyptian knowledge of 5000 years ago. To be nice, I will say a whole heap of plagiarizing took place.
As for your info about laws and not killing, raping; stealing, they can be found in the Egyptian 40 negative confessions. They predated and informed Moses's 10 commandments.
 
An interesting topic for which I merely nonchalantly responded. I may get into it deeper as we proceed.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 11, 2018 - 10:56am
IF indoctrination is not preferred by parents then we could look to the interesting concept of "It Takes a Village," by Hillary:
 
"“It Takes a Village offers a universal, unifying message. It captures perfectly Clinton’s vision of a multicultural America working toward a constructive goal. So hopeful and forward-looking.” —The Washington Post"
 
Now, this is not indoctrination [Agitprop]by the left?
 
We have seen what Hillary was and is and how she escaped jail. This is a prime example of government-inspired indoctrination of the citizens. Lenin, Mao and Hitler could have not have done much better. Her book, written by somebody else, is a ungainly version of  the education edicts of the Young Pioneers and the Komsomol [All-Union Leninist Young Communist League, b.1918].
 
Any lie is good enough for the left to grab power. No pathology is too disgusting to be enamored by the left. 
 
 
opher goodwin Added Sep 11, 2018 - 12:30pm
FJ - so you think it is acceptable for children to be gathered together to be brainwashed? The tactic used by Jesuits, ISIS, Catholics, Islam, Boko Haram, Jews and all religious fundamentalists.
Why do you think that is OK?
I can certainly hear the Rightists bleating if the boot was on the other foot and Marxists, Atheists and Trotskyists were putting kids into classes to indoctrinate them.
It disgusts me. My kids were brought up without politics or religion. When they were old enough they could make up their own minds. I think that is non-abusive parenting.
Flying Junior Added Sep 11, 2018 - 3:54pm
I admire your determined stance.  And I certainly agree that there has been terrible damage done.  More destruction shall follow, particularly in a theocracy where indoctrination takes place without any other positive influences on young lives to ameliorate its dangers.  The children never see any alternatives.  Examples of modern countries that have very oppressive theocracies include Saudi Arabia, Iran and perhaps Afghanistan before the war.
 
I think that an enlightened citizenry in a free country can for the most part educate children in other ways.  For instance, in the U.S. or the UK, a child educated in a Jewish, Catholic or Muslim school should still be able to see enough freedom of choice around them to understand that they can make their own decisions about how they choose to live their lives.  We all know people who were taught religion but rejected it.
 
To me it is a question of freedom.  Just as I am free to live the life that I choose, parents are free to raise their children as they see fit.  My only understanding of religious education comes from the Catholic school that my wife attended between 1955 and 1964 in rural New Jersey.  It was better than my early education.  She turned out okay.
John Howard Added Sep 11, 2018 - 4:34pm
The purpose of religion is to sell a particular moral code.  Religionists often accuse the non-religious of immorality since the religious premise is that morality originates within their religion.  
 
There does - always - need to be a debate about morality, but religion makes the debate difficult because it argues that this or that is good or evil because god says so.  That causes the debate to veer off into the question of the existence of god, which in turn veers off into an epistemological debate about faith and fact.
 
The result is essentially to wreck any debate about morality which, in my ever-humble yet consistently valid opinion, is the only debate really worth having.  God doesn't like people who study morality.
 
Nearly all political debates are moral debates where the not-to-be-questioned religious morality is constantly implied and applied, yet rarely made explicit and never supported in reason.
 
This is why political debates are so uncomfortable. They really boil down to debates about the virtue of self-interest vs. the virtue of altruism.  Yet that is almost never faced straight on.  It needs to be. 
 
The existence of god is unimportant.  Morality is all-important.  The purpose of religion is to sell a particular moral code.  It is a false and destructive moral code and that is why the debate needs to be side-tracked. 
 
 
James Travil Added Sep 11, 2018 - 9:58pm
Well Opher and FJ, I for one never raised my kids in religion, mine or otherwise. As a matter of fact the Church of Satan frowns on teaching children religion untell they are 18. My three adult children choose to be agnostic, pagan, and one did follow in my path, but of her own adult choice. Indoctrination in any adult subject matter should never be done to kids. 
Flying Junior Added Sep 12, 2018 - 1:07am
Satan is beautiful!
John Howard Added Sep 12, 2018 - 9:17am
Flying Junior.  Do expand on that, please, and tell us why you think it.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 12, 2018 - 10:33am
If some people do not have the faith then that is fine. 
William Stockton Added Sep 12, 2018 - 3:42pm
Can't We All Just Get Along?
 
The anthem for Communists . . . 
John Howard Added Sep 12, 2018 - 4:22pm
If anyone has faith, they ought to reconsider.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 12, 2018 - 4:42pm
IF you have faith there is nothing to reconsider.
John Howard Added Sep 12, 2018 - 5:04pm
Actually, there is nothing with which to reconsider.
Brabantio Added Sep 12, 2018 - 5:16pm
"The anthem for Communists . . ."
 
Promoting acceptance of both atheists and theists reminds you of Communism, how?  Do expand on that, please.
John Howard Added Sep 12, 2018 - 5:42pm
Our author asks,
 
"What’s the purpose of hostility towards people that don’t believe in a deity..."
 
Bad ideas need to shame and scold the disbeliever since they can't convince by reason.  
William Stockton Added Sep 12, 2018 - 10:53pm
Promoting acceptance of both atheists and theists reminds you of Communism, how? 
 
Because that statement is as sophomoric as any I've heard.  
 
First, how do you "promote" acceptance?  Write an article on WB?  Secondly, what the hell does "acceptance" even mean?  
See, idiots like yourself will say these things but they are like seeing Disney cartoons in clouds.  It means nothing.  Atheists and theists will never "accept" each other -- if you mean they will stop disagreeing with each other. 
If you mean they should never argue --  why?  Not only is that a pipe-dream, it's just plain stupid.  Arguing is very healthy if both sides are allowed to voice their opinions.
 
For your original question -- why is "Can't We All Just Get Along?" the anthem for communists:
Getting along requires everyone to be the same and have the same opinion/values.  That is at the core of communism -- or of a monoculture.   The only place on earth that truly has a monoculture is N. Korea.  The N.Koreans get along great with each other as well.  Crime rates are very, very low there.  But for a lefty as yourself, N. Korea would be nirvana.
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:44am
"First, how do you "promote" acceptance?"
 
Promote: v - to encourage or support something, or to help something become successful: (Cambridge English Dictionary)
 
Acceptance: - the fact of accepting a difficult or unpleasant situation (Cambridge English Dictionary)
 
The more common definition of "acceptance" works as well, but this one is especially apt when dealing with religious differences.  And am I not supposed to encourage or support an idea here because this one article may not have much effect?  Why are you here at all, then?
 
"Atheists and theists will never "accept" each other -- if you mean they will stop disagreeing with each other."
 
I obviously don't mean "they will stop disagreeing with each other", it's about the nature of the disagreement.
 
"Arguing is very healthy if both sides are allowed to voice their opinions."
 
How is it "very healthy" to argue against people that aren't going to change their views about religious beliefs?  You said that there will never be an end to the disagreement, so what does that accomplish?  I find it amusing that you criticize an article here because it's not going to achieve something, but then you want to bang your head against an ideological wall.
 
"Getting along requires everyone to be the same and have the same opinion/values."
 
That's patently false, of course.  People can get along perfectly well while having religious or political differences.  It does help if one doesn't engage in knee-jerk hostility the way that you do, which may be why you don't understand this.
 
"That is at the core of communism -- or of a monoculture."
 
But I'm clearly not advocating for a "monoculture", since I'm saying that atheists and theists should be able to coexist.  The system that you're talking about would obviously try to eliminate one side or the other, and "communism" especially would suggest that only atheism is allowed.  If you can find something in my post to support that conclusion, please point it out.
 
Continue?
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 13, 2018 - 2:02am
Promote acceptance by putting away your Trump Acceptance Resistance Disorder (TARD). 
Flying Junior Added Sep 13, 2018 - 2:11am
John Howard,
 
The idea of Satan being beautiful comes from the psychedelic era although I am sure that it is much older than that.  Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones were at one time called Satan's Jesters.  I don't really know all of the popular legend surrounding the fallen angel.  He was once favored by God as the Angel of Light.  But Lucifer wished to place himself upon a throne and be like unto God.  For this blasphemy and insubordination, he was cast out of Heaven to fall to the Earth and even the depths of Hades.  The fall from Grace.
 
I am sure that my own perceptions are hopelessly twisted by Christian morals and feelings of guilt.  But in my darker times I fully knew when my actions were preventing me from being in communion with God.  Some psychedelic drugs can enhance spirituality.  Others do no harm.  But there are drug experiences that simply cut you off from being able to speak with God.  These experiences are often quite seductive.  Hence the philosophical among the sub-culture give Satan his due.  Something which would make a person sacrifice their morality in the destructive pursuit of pleasure might very well be considered satanic.  Some people might find pleasure in the same types of activities and not feel that it in any way separates them from the love of God.  It is personal.
 
I decided that I wished to exit this sub-culture and throw in with the Brethren.  I have never regretted my decision.
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 5:44am
"Promote acceptance by putting away your Trump Acceptance Resistance Disorder (TARD)."
 
Troll harder.
John Howard Added Sep 13, 2018 - 10:25am
How is it "very healthy" to argue against people that aren't going to change their views about religious beliefs? 
 
How can you say that people are not going to change their minds?  That is not a fact, it is merely a cynical and unfounded prediction.  People change their minds about religion and politics all the time and tell of these conversions regularly.
 
Religion and politics are about morality.  Debating about morality is exactly what everyone ought to be doing.  And "ought" is a moral term.
John Howard Added Sep 13, 2018 - 10:34am
Thanks, Flying Junior. 
 
If Satan is the angel of light, it makes for interesting rhetoric to hear of his being fired.  
 
As for sitting on the throne of god,  one could interpret that as what atheists are doing, i.e., deciding for themselves what is good and evil instead of leaving it up to the superstitious authorities from the church.
 
However, I think discussing morality by way of metaphor and myth is imprecise and non-objective.  The subject deserves better.
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:14pm
"How can you say that people are not going to change their minds?  That is not a fact, it is merely a cynical and unfounded prediction.  People change their minds about religion and politics all the time and tell of these conversions regularly."
 
Occasionally, yes, but not in general.  And it goes both ways, since some atheists become theists.
 
I don't think I've ever heard of either way being the result of arguing with people over it, though.  Personal experience is more likely to be the basis for such a change.  I'm also not talking about politics; that's a conversation that needs to be had regardless of who ultimately changes their mind, because a reasonable public dialogue should be what influences our laws and the behavior of our elected officials.
 
There's no reason for me to try to change someone's beliefs, since it doesn't make any difference in my life what other people think about a deity.  There is a reason to try to influence behavior, such as using religious beliefs as a basis for law.  That's where the argument begins.
John Howard Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:38pm
Exactly.  The argument starts when we try to control the behavior of others.  It's a moral argument.  Theism is far more than a debate about the existence of a deity;  it's about the proper source of morality, and therefore about the content of a proper morality.
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:50pm
"Theism is far more than a debate about the existence of a deity;  it's about the proper source of morality, and therefore about the content of a proper morality."
 
I appreciate the clarification, but I thought it was evident that I was speaking merely to personal religious views here.  Naturally, I reject any efforts to push those views onto society at large quite vociferously.
 
Sorry for any ambiguity there.