Posts tagged atheists
Posts tagged atheists
Did this just happen??
I’ve had an ongoing conversation taking place with a very persistent theist for the last several months. Today reached a new low.
I was basically asked “How do you explain answered prayers?” and I responded with this:
If you can thank god, you can blame him.
So… if you want to thank god for answering a prayer for a job, for example, a job which you went to school for, had huge amounts of experience for, applied for, interviewed well for, were qualified for and then had someone choose you for… fine.
But then you must also think that this same god that did all this for you decided to NOT “help out” the approximately 25,000 people that died from hunger-related issues yesterday. The 2000 children that were raped yesterday. The 1400 woman that died in childbirth yesterday.
Either god is evil or god doesn’t exist. I choose the latter.
I guess this comes down to the belief that when we sinned, it caused a divide between humans and God. It is in this divide where sin and its effects abound. God does not create these horrible effects, but does allow them to happen.
So he can do something, but doesn’t. You choose evil.
Sickness, death, pain, etc. are all a result of sin, a choice that we made as humans. So why doesn’t God just step in and wave His hand to rid the world of such injustices?
I believe that God works through these injustices. If there were no pain in this world, we would simply forget about God…He wouldn’t be needed. He allows these things to happen to bring us to Him…
So again… evil. God’s plan involves the raping of children in order to bring us closer to him. Sounds like a psychotic monster to me.
There have been many books written about this…why does God allow bad things to happen to good people. It is an odd combination where we can see that God is an incredible loving God, but yet He is a just God, and there are consequences for our actions as mankind. The Bible says that God will punish us to the third and fourth generation for those that sin against him, but yet He will show favor to a thousand generations of those that love Him.
Yup. The bible also says that god punished 42 children by having them mauled by bears because they called a prophet “baldy.” Pretty entertaining book.
It is much like you as a parent…when your son does something wrong, you love him, yet you have to punish him. When he is about to make a mistake, sometimes you have to let him make it so that he can learn even if you know what is going to happen. You are not a monster for doing this, you are a great parent. It’s hard, but necessary.
Right. Have children raped and mauled by bears to teach them a lesson. Makes perfect sense.
Yes, it would seem that some of the punishments are much too harsh, but it is not ours to decide.
I’m so angry I cannot even formulate a response right now. ~JJ
JJ is my friend, I mean my friend off of Tumblr not just on here, so I’m pissed that she had to deal with this asshole.
When I say that Christian apologists are in my opinion the lowest of the low, this is what I’m talking about. To say that atrocities visited on our children are generational punishment for things that happened in the past is one of the reasons why I cannot and will not ever return to religion.
This guy is a special breed of asshole, and his arguments show just how little he actually understands the Bible. When you are going to use scripture as a weapon, you better freaking understand it’s context or people like me will call you on your bullshit. He’s using Numbers 14:17-18 that says, “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”
Lets talk about the book of Numbers. The purpose of this book is to tell the story of how Israel prepared to enter the promise land, how they sinned, were punished, and how they had to try again. The audience were the people of Israel. Numbers 14:17-18 was SPECIFICALLY speaking to those who were a part of the Exodus from Egypt who had sinned against God in the desert. God was going to kill them, but Moses pleaded for their lives and when God was done throwing his temper tantrum over something his omniscience should have seen, he assured them that no one who saw the miracle in Egypt would set foot into the promise land.
How does any of that translate to kids who are abused today being punished for sins committed by the Israel? When people randomly pull quotes from the Bible to fit their purposes without knowing the
context, I absolutely lose it! Don’t pretend that quoting the Bible supports anything. If you think it does, make sure you know the full application and interpretation of the words you’re using to condemn people or support your arguments. When you fail to do so, the only thing you achieve is atheists like me, spending the time to highlight the errors of you arguments.
All of this is important, but irrelevant. If you are an adult that believes children deserve to be raped, murdered, abused, suffer unbelievable trauma and pain because it’s God’s will, then you need to come see me when something that horrible happens to your child. I want to see you look your son or daughter in the eye and tell them, “God loves you, that’s why this happened.” Unbelievable. ~ Kim
I hate hate HATE the “God is just being a loving parent trying to teach his beloved special babies a lesson” apologist bullshit. It REPULSES me. There are so many assholes out there who use this rhetoric to abuse their children and spouses; and to convince their victims that they are supposed to be victims. This came up earlier when I read an article about how Michelle Duggar said the way to keep a marriage together was total wifely submission. Like “even if you disagree, he knows best because he’s the MAN and you must hold back your own opinions and thoughts and feelings because they’re the DEVIL because you’re a woman and it’s YOUR FAULT all of the bad things happen in the world because your rib-made ancestor ate an apple that she wasn’t supposed to eat so never forget that all of the bad things in the world happen because you are a woman and you are lucky that a man even wants to make 19 million babies with you”-type wifely submission.
I’m sorry, anyone who says religion isn’t abusive needs to step the fuck back and look at themselves, not apologize for their abuser.
I apologize if this isn’t coherent but this type of apologism in particular just pisses me off so much I can’t even.
The struggle for social inclusion is being fought on many fronts at the moment, and one group that tends to take a backseat is atheists. Of course, the other groups seeking inclusion deserve all the attention they get, especially because the direction is not always toward progress. Washington state is about to legalize gay marriage, but Minnesota is seeking a constitutional ban; we have a biracial President, but one of his potential opponents frequently uses racially coded language, and bigoted laws targeting Hispanics have recently been passed in states like Arizona and Alabama.
Atheists don’t face the same discrimination as these groups — they aren’t violently bullied, and they don’t live in segregated neighborhoods or go to segregated schools — but they still do deal with a significant social stigma. A college campus in a big city is a relatively more nonbeliever-friendly place, but that isn’t true everywhere. Most atheists know that the best they can usually hope for if they mention their atheism in public, especially to older people, is a polite, “Oh,” followed by a slow nod and a quick, awkward end to the conversation. Atheists are often pressured into self-censorship; besides potentially making social situations awkward, they don’t want to have to defend or explain themselves every time it comes up.
But there are worse consequences as well. A 2006 University of Minnesota study found that atheists were the most distrusted minority group in America. The study’s 2,000 participants rated atheists less likely than Muslims, recent immigrants and gays and lesbians to share their vision for American society. Out of 535 members of Congress, only one has publicly said he does not believe in a god and didn’t say so until 2007. Being “openly atheist” still has significant negative consequences in America, and it shouldn’t.
I’m convinced that most of the public disdain for atheism is due to misconceptions and bad examples. One misconception based on poor reasoning is the idea that because atheists don’t believe in a god, they have no system of morals or are moral relativists. On the contrary: most atheists apply some form of humanist philosophy, formally or informally, meaning they focus on human concerns using human values while rejecting supernatural concerns and religious dogma.
As the International Humanist and Ethical Union says, “Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities.” This should not be interpreted to mean that the humanist can do whatever he or she wants. Humanism is not hedonism, and religion does not have a monopoly on compassion and empathy.
In fact, a report called “World Public Opinion and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” showed in 2008 that those with no religious preference were more likely to support an “unequivocal prohibition on torture” than members of major religions (torture is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
The assumption that atheists have no values or are amoral can also prevent those who have serious doubts about the existence of a god from calling themselves atheists. Mistakenly thinking that rejecting one’s ethics and conscience is necessary for atheism can be scary and daunting, so people hedge their bets, call themselves agnostics and become firmly noncommittal about the existence of a god.
In addition to seeing atheists as immoral, religions as institutions might interpret atheism as a competitive threat — something that threatens their “market share,” so to speak. Older generations may also associate atheism with the old Soviet Union, which actively oppressed religious expression. The above factors help explain in part the dirty looks society still gives atheism.
But some of the problem comes from atheists themselves. Often, atheists feel a missionary zeal to convince others that there is no god, and this is especially true in the media and popular culture. The general public’s experience of atheism is frequently contentious arguments featuring Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens or Bill Maher, all of whom are capable of coming off as smug and harassing. Atheists seeking converts will bring up brutal wars waged in the name of religion and mock the idea of a “bearded man in the sky,” which I highly doubt is anyone’s true conception of God. The word “atheist” becomes a synonym for “annoying contrarian” in the minds of many people as a result.
Arguments about the existence of a god have their place, but they are separate from arguments for the wider acceptance and tolerance of atheists and atheism in society. Despite the contentious public perception of atheists, I suspect most are perfectly willing to live and let live. Atheists may privately think religions are wrong-headed (and vice versa), but there can be space for both.
We live in a cultural moment where social inclusion is expanding. People are realizing the intense emotional and sometimes physical pain that the harassment and exclusion of gay people causes. Cultural diversity in cities and universities has meant that social discrimination against minorities has been slowly decreasing, especially among younger people, even if progress lags woefully behind in areas like housing and employment.
Atheism should be a part of these movements, too. No one should be afraid to identify themselves as an atheist, and no one should face dirty looks or other social consequences as a result.
As a member of several minority groups, I sometimes struggle with the concept of atheists as a minority. Then I read something like this, or read that atheists are distrusted to the same degree as rapists, it’s then that I realize that I have every right to be upset. I won’t compare the things I have to deal with as an atheist to the discrimination faced by others, but no one can honestly admit that it does not exist. To be viewed as immoral simply because I choose to think outside of the theist box is insulting on a very deep level. ~ Kim
Yesterday, I posted a story about a woman who was receiving conservative support for refusing to do her job. She refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because she felt that it violated her religion.
As I thought about the issue more and more, I realized that this woman truly feels that she is being persecuted for her beliefs. How incredibly sad. And not in the, wow-it-sucks-to-be-her way, but in the, wow-I-can’t-believe-that-you-honestly-believe-that kind of way.
The idea of Christian persecution in the United States is becoming more frequently voiced and I find the whole debacle to be entirely trite. It reminds me of an only child gaining a new sibling and being outraged that they now have to share.
In this country, Christians are extremely privileged. They are the vast majority and yet, any instance where they are expected to be tolerant of other beliefs or allow for non-discrimination policies, they claim that they are being persecuted. How absolutely absurd. I doubt that most US Christians would even know what persecution was if it stared them in the face.
Being expected to maintain a secular country isn’t Christian persecution, it’s following the Constitution and the wishes of our Founding Fathers. Being expected to treat everyone fairly isn’t Christian persecution, it’s the law. Being held to the same laws and legislation as every other citizen isn’t Christian persecution, it’s equality.
So please Christians, before you start claiming that you’re being persecuted for your beliefs, take a look at your own privilege. Making such outlandish statements will just embarrass you and make you look incredibly ignorant.
Reblogging this again from the long time ago because it’s just sooo pertinent to the whole “THE GOVERNMENT IS DISCRIMINATING AGAINST THE CATHOLICS WAAAA” debacle that was all over the cable news tonight. And how fast Romney, Gingrich, and *ergh* Santorum have ALL been “The President is a bad man and there is a war on the Christians because we can’t oppress anyone now, boo hoo hoooo!” Sorry the fucking government grew a pair and decided to actually allow people access to fucking reproductive health care! SORRY THAT OFFENDS YOUR POOR WIDDLE FEEFS.
700 Club on Why Atheists Should Hate Trees
Pat Robertson’s co-host Kristi Watts explains why atheists should demand that we cut down all the trees
I really needed that laugh. I used to delude myself into believing that once Pat stepped down, maybe some of the rhetoric that comes out of The 700 Club would die down. Clearly I was mistaken. WTF?
I’m not sure. I think that this lady might be an idiot even by Robertson’s standards, and that takes some INCREDIBLE skill. By what possible logical connection would we cut down the trees…oops…there’s my mistake. Assuming a logical connection. Silly me.
I WANNA CHOP DOWN TREES CAUSE THEY OFFEND ME
I seriously can’t stop laughing.
On this date in 1941, feminist author, journalist, editor, lecturer, organizer, atheist and activist Robin Morgan was born in New York City. As she notes in her memoir, Saturday’s Child, ”Saturday’s child has to work for a living.” Robin began at age two, as a tot model. She had her own radio show by age four, then acted in the role of Dagmar on the popular series, “Mama,” in the 1940s and 1950s. She left show biz to write, and became a founder and leader of the contemporary feminist movement. Robin’s columns and articles for Ms. magazine appeared from 1974-1988. She was editor in chief of Ms. for four years and is now its International consulting editor. Her groundbreaking anthology, Sisterhood is Powerful, came out in 1972, followed by Sisterhood is Global (1984) and Sisterhood is Forever (2003). Robin is a distinguished poet, and her fiction includes her 2006 novel about the witchhunts, The Burning Times.
Robin has traveled the globe as a feminist activist, scholar, journalist and lecturer. She is a Patron of Feminist Dalit (the “Untouchables”), in Nepal. She is an honorary member of Pan Arab Feminist Solidarity Association and likewise an honorary member of Israeli Feminists Against Occupation. She is a cofounder of the Feminist Women’s Health Network, the Feminist Writers’ Guild, of Media Women and the National Network of Rape Crisis Centers. Her timely The Demon Lover: On the Sexuality of Terrorism tells the personal story of her travel to refugee camps in the Middle East, with a post 9/11 introduction and afterward. This author of some 20 books will be releasing Fighting Words, defending a secular America. A recipient of many feminist and other awards, she was named Freethought Heroine 2005 by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
“When Attorney General John Ashcroft repeatedly invokes religion, the Founders must be picketing in their graves. They were a mix of freethinkers, atheists, Christians, agnostics, Freemasons and Deists… . … the Founders were, after all, revolutionaries. Their passion—especially regarding secularism—glows in the documents they forged and in their personal words.”
— Robin Morgan, author and editor of Ms. Magazine, born on this date in 1941. “Fighting Words for a Secular America,” Ms. Fall 2004
I read The Age Of Reason eons ago and it still resonates. If you have not already done so, you might want to check it out.
I know there are those purist against owning an e-reader, but since I like being able to carry around hundreds of books at at time, I’m not. If you own a Nook, The Age Of Reason for the Nook is available for FREE today. Other Thomas Paine favorites, Common Sense and The Rights of Men are available for $0.99 today as well. I’m unsure if this the regular price, but I’d take advantage of it today. ~ Kim
On this date in 1737, Thomas Paine was born in England. Paine wrote “Common Sense” in 1776, fanning the flames of the American Revolution. On the cutting edge of revolution, Paine is best known for his political writings. No better index to Paine’s character can be found than his reply to Franklin’s remark, “Where liberty is, there is my country.” “Where liberty is not,” said Paine, “there is mine.” Without the pen of Paine, said one contemporary, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain. A radical freethinker in the 18th century mode of deism, Paine wrote the classic criticism of the bible, The Age of Reason (1792), completing the second volume under arduous conditions of imprisonment in France. “I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow creatures happy. I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.” Organized religion was “set up to terrify and enslave” and to “monopolize power and profit.” Paine repudiated the divine origin of Christianity on grounds that it was too “absurd for belief, too impossible to convince and too inconsistent to practice.” He was vilified for his unabashed analysis of the bible when he returned to America in 1802. Even a century after his death, Theodore Roosevelt referred to Paine, the man who named the United States of America, as “a filthy little atheist.” D. 1809.
— Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason (1792)
31-year-old Alexander Aan faces a maximum prison sentence of five years for posting “God does not exist” on Facebook. The civil servant was attacked and beaten by an angry mob of dozens who entered his government office at the Dharmasraya Development Planning Board on Wednesday. The Indonesian man was taken into protective police custody Friday since was afraid of further physical assault.
The posting was made on a Facebook Page titled Ateis Minang (Minang Atheist), which Aan created. At the time of writing, it had over 1,700 Likes. Aan’s posting has been removed, but supporters on the Page are urging police to release him.
Dharmasraya Police Chief Sr. Comr. Chairul Aziz said the district branch of the council and other Islamic organizations believed Aan had defiled Islam by using passages from the Koran to denounce the existence of God and highlight his atheist views. “So it meets the criteria of tainting religion, in this case Islam,” Chairul told The Jakarta Globe.
On Facebook, Aan said he was brought up as a Muslim. In 2008, however, he came to the conclusion that God could not exist. In addition to his comment about the possibility of a deity, he also declared that he did not believe in angels, devils, heaven, hell, as well as other “myths.” He was aware he could lose his job and was prepared to do so to defend his beliefs.
Atheism is a violation of Indonesian law under the founding principles of the country. Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, recognises the right to practice six religions in total: Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhism and Confucianism. Atheism is, however, illegal. According to Indonesian criminal law, anyone who tries to stop others believing in a faith could face up to five years in jail for blasphemy.
Aan was charged because he used Facebook to spread beliefs that violate the law. Furthermore, it was pointed out he lied on his job application by saying he was Muslim. Aan asked police investigators: if God really exists and has absolute power, why didn’t God prevent bad things from happening in this world?
We are not all the same. —RobertLovesPi
THANK YOU!!! We are unified only by our lack of belief in deities. Any other similarities are merely coincidental. There is no typical atheist. If one exists, I can promise that I am not it. We don’t all agree, we’re not all friends, and that’s perfectly fine with me. That’s just a reality of life, not changed by religious beliefs or the lack of religious beliefs.
The same applies for theists. We cannot wrap them all in the same blanket. I was a Christian for many years and I guarantee you that I was far from the typical Christian either. I know many theists that run the full spectrum from liberal inclusiveness, to fundamental hate mongers.
Bottom line for me is there are people, both religious and not, that I’d not want to associate with because of who they are as individuals. However we must all coexists so for that I will acknowledge our differences and choose my friends and associates accordingly. ~ Kim
This, all of these things.
Okay I had more thoughts on this. I think we must be very careful to not become apologists for other atheists who are also heterosexist, racist, etc… Even in the case of someone who I admired certain words of—Hitchens being a prime example—it’s very important that we acknowledge that there is a whole lot of the patriarchy up in our sphere of influence. If that makes sense. I’m feeling very social-justicey tonight I suppose. I just have these thoughts.