Home > Apologetics, Atheism, Science > Honest belief, and disbelief, honestly.

Honest belief, and disbelief, honestly.

I like to write about science and religion. It seems to keep coming up in conversation, especially with individuals I haven’t chatted with much. Most people, however, who are actively involved in discussion of apologetics and atheistic aspects of their worldview realize that science does not disprove Christianity. It must be noted that science does readily disprove many Christians (and atheists as well as man individuals of various faiths). At what point, however, do we associate the beliefs of an individual with their religious ideology? Perhaps an easy question would be, what is the most concise definition of a follower of x ideology?

Ideology & Requirements:
Atheist: Not-theism.
Christian: Jesus Christ the son of God. Holy spirit lives and works. Christ died on the cross as sacrifice and rose triumphant over death. Christ lived as an example to all men across all generations and cultures. (Note, the last sentence carries all of the implications of living a righteous life, centered on Christ and not on our own deeds). In short: God is.

I would agree with those above. I have trouble writing anything positive for atheism, because since there is no real requirement other than to not believe in theism, there are, in fact, many different ideas, often conflicting. For example, an atheist can believe the Christian bible is not an authoritative historical text. Another atheist can believe the acts committed in history recorded with in the text are immoral. However, one single atheist does not need to believe both of these ideas, and quite frankly cannot as I wrote them there, they need qualifiers to make it noncontradictory. In the same way, I can live and serve God and believe the bible is an authoritative text, historically and otherwise, and also support homosexual monogynous marriage, believe God doesn’t give a shit if I cuss, not enjoy Sunday morning lectures, waiver between certain beliefs, and constantly question things that don’t seem right- sometimes results saying I’m right, sometimes evoking a change of thinking. The fact remains, I’m not really too sure about anything, and the more I learn who God is, the less I know who God is. All I know: God is. When I struggle and question, and fight for something to hold on to, some tradition to keep my faith alive, when I deny all that Christianity has to offer, I can do so with at least a shallow sense of peace, because I cannot deny God. Atheism is alluring in many ways, and I blame no one for choosing that ideology, but when their belief in not-god brings them to a point where they say “When I struggle and question, and fight for something to hold on to, some tradition to keep my non-belief alive, when I deny all that atheism has to offer…..” I hope they’re honest. And in that honesty, maybe they can find some truth, like I have. I wonder what that would be for the atheist in that moment. I wonder if in that moment, one could remain an atheist. Perhaps in conversation and writing, and even in thought, but is that person really atheistic?

God is. My positive belief allows me that confidence. What does atheism allow?

  1. Elisa Michelle
    July 26, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    ” In the same way, I can live and serve God and believe the bible is an authoritative text, historically and otherwise, and also support homosexual monogynous marriage, believe God doesn’t give a shit if I cuss, not enjoy Sunday morning lectures, waiver between certain beliefs, and constantly question things that don’t seem right- sometimes results saying I’m right, sometimes evoking a change of thinking.”

    You are one of the few people who believe God exists and is that feel as I feel about other Christian behaviors (like Sunday morning church services and the horrible standpoint on homosexuality). I applaud you for that, mostly because it takes a lot of humility and honest to admit you don’t really know what you’re doing, but you’re going forward anyway.

  2. July 26, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    Have you disproved every other religious belief set? Or do you consider all of them equally valid, equally correct versions in spite of glaring discrepancies between them? Of course not. You have arbitrarily selected your version of christianity as being true first (probably because you were raised in an environment populated by people who thought this one was the right one). Now you have the gumption to turn to others who do not share your belief and tell them that they – unlike yourself – have to disprove your belief set or it remains as true as the belief required to reject it.

    This is such broken thinking.

    Can you not see just how intellectually dishonest this is? You insist that others do the work that you yourself are unwilling to do and have the gall to then conclude that their non belief in your beliefs is just a different kind of belief! Have you even read the Quran? The Tibetan Book of the Dead? The Gita? To use your own words… how do you ‘struggle’ to maintain your non belief in their truth claims about god and the universe that stand contrary to your own? YOU DON’T! There is no struggle in your mind to reject the tenets of the Norse gods because there is no BELIEF in them to begin with! You simply believe FIRST that your version of christianity is true and go with that because you have no good reasons to think some other religious belief set is better informed.

    The atheist in western culture usually has gone to the next step you have avoided: they dare to question the truth value of a specific version of religious belief and have inquired into various theologies to see if any really are better equipped to be trustworthy. The result is predictable: they have found all of them them fatally wanting in any means to establish against an unbiased third party in their truth value. Non believers have CONCLUDED (unlike believers who first assume some truth claim is true in fact) that religious belief itself lacks any means to know if it is true. There are no good reasons to believe. When we ask the religious to provide good reasons for their belief, the answers remain at best untrustworthy, often unknowable, and usually incoherent when compiled. For example, you cannot even define what you mean by the term ‘god’ because you have already accepted that such a notion is not bound by any constraints of reality. You simply believe a man actually rose from the dead and yada, yada, yada, so that this belief you first assume to be true somehow ‘proves’ your belief a man was reanimated. This kind of thinking is flat out broken, yet to protect it from honest inquiry, you don’t deal with it honestly. You pretend instead – and as a, “‘Quick! Look over there!” technique to avoid honest inquiry – that it is some kind of equally valid belief to reject the belief you have first assumed rather than figure out why your belief is incoherent and, therefore, untrustworthy. Answering ‘Godidit’ is not an honest answer but an evasion, as is demanding that others disprove your incoherent beliefs, as is not inquiring honestly into your own religious assumptions.

    So you feel good to say God is. Your feelings and your beliefs, however and very fortunately, are not the arbiters of what is true. Reality is. And until you decide to subject your religious assumptions to the same arbiter you accept for every other aspect of your life, I’m afraid you will continue to delude yourself by empowering your base assumptions. That doesn’t make you honest; it makes you gullible.

    • July 26, 2011 at 1:44 PM

      Tildeb, what assumptions have I made? I did leave out an explanation for why I believe ‘God is’ but that is all, and I did not attribute that to an assumption. After all, if every other aspect of Christianity has been rejected, other than the FACT of God, why would I assume the FACT of God at all? I’ll answer this one for you, I don’t assume. I know God exits. I know as a result of two thing, which you brought up in your comment.
      1) defining reality. We have talked about this before, my friend. I do not reject the reality of the material world around me, it is very real, but I have no evidence saying that it is the absolute extent of what is real. “you cannot even define what you mean by the term ‘god’ because you have already accepted that such a notion is not bound by any constraints of reality.” This statement has a minor flaw with serious implications. Perhaps it would be better said, “you cannot define what you mean by the term ‘god’ because you have already accepted that such a notion is not containable within the finite understanding of definition”. Also, I think you have accepted that, and not me. If a definition eludes me, it’s not because I’ve ‘already accepted’ impossibility.
      2) Method of discerning truth. you said “until you decide to subject your religious assumption to the same arbiter you accept for every other aspect of your life, I’m afraid you will continue to delude yourself by empowering your base assumptions.” What arbiter is that, and what arbiter have I been using? You said, respectively, truth/reality, and feelings. I disagree, my good friend. First off, I did not say ‘I feel God exists’ I said I ‘know’ so if anyone is empowering base assumptions here, it is not me. (that was meant for good humor, I hope I didn’t lose it). Let’s talk about methods for discerning truth. Here I will recycle Bahnsen’s Crackers in the Panty fallacy. If one wants to determine if Crackers are in the Pantry all he needs to do is go and look in the panty. His findings are sufficient enough for determining truth. Bahnsen says “But this i s a far, far cry for the way we go about answering questions determining the reality of say, barometric pressure, quasars, gravitational attraction, elasticity, radio activity, natural laws, names, grammar, numbers, the university that you’re now at, past events, categories, future contingencies, laws of thought, political obligations, individual identity over time, causation, memories, dreams, or even love or beauty. In such cases one does not do anything like walk to the panty and look for crackers. There are thousands of existence or factual questions and they are not all answered in the same way in each case.” I discern truth of God’s existence much like I do my dreams, memories or even my grandfather. In such a case I wonder, would you feel comfortable telling me I did not have such and such dream, or my grandfather was not, in fact, my grandfather? I don’t think so.
      So we are on the nature of evidence, and I am becoming aware that there are a few things left to be said. my dreams and memories are subject to change and manipulation. I do not remember them as clearly as I did immediately after the fact. Since my belief in God is much due to the same kind of factual discerning, it is also subject to the same change and manipulation. I don’t know if it wise to admit that, or how true it is, but it is a noteworthy thought. In such a case, one can only conclude that to be completely accurate in what one thinks is true and what is true, one muse reduce belief to the most simple form. In this case: God is. Or my extended version in the beginning of the post.
      Now, let’s talk about atheism. If I say your car has been towed (oh the famous analogy!) and you go and look for it and find it missing, then it could have been towed, but it does not necessarily mean there an no other options for places it might be. There are infinite number of places it could be should the circumstances lend it to be removed to such places. If the towing company is unaccessible, how do you determine if it has been towed or not? At what point do you decide? Let me put it this way, if for some reason you believed going into wherever you were that towing was impossible from the place, and someone reported it had been towed, how strong would you disbelief be? Would you search everywhere you car could be before you decide it has, in fact, been towed? I don’t think anyone would require that much evidence for a towing.
      I was not, in my post, begging the atheist to disprove every religion. I simply pointed out that there is no positive belief to hold on to. Nothing to know for sure, because it is in fact a belief in nothing. It’s hard to grip that in a philosophical current that uproots the strongest and oldest ideologies. When challenged and uprooted, I beg the atheist to be honest about the situation. That is all.

  3. July 26, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    Why would someone assume the resurrection to be true Tildeb? I understand your perspective, if someone was raised in the church and was fed that since birth, but what about the others who came to believe this on their own?

  4. July 26, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    To gain some favour, I suspect Xander.

  5. July 26, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    A christian is someone who believes that:
    a) Jesus Christ the son of God,
    b) Holy spirit lives and works,
    c) Christ died on the cross as sacrifice and rose triumphant over death,
    d) Christ lived as an example to all men across all generations and cultures which you say carries all of the implications of living a righteous life, centered on Christ and not on our own deeds, and
    e) god is.

    A-D are used as premises for the conclusion E.

    Clearly, no one has a clue what A and B actually mean because they contain undefinable terms. You make a claim in C that assumes jesus as the christ and assumes he was reanimated because of his beliefs. This reanimation is contrary to all evidence in reality… and yet you believe it to be factually true. You assume D to be true based on jesus as the christ. (What if you’re wrong? And how might you find out?) E is simply an assertion that is as incoherent as it is absurd.

    Your argument then attempts to figure out some similar belief structure for atheism for some kind of assumed ‘meaning’ out there that atheists substitute. This is ridiculous because you cannot understand what non belief means without some kind of belief system similar to religious belief. But you ask atheists to disprove your god or accept that your belief is as likely true as the atheist’s, which again is as incoherent as it absurd… something I call ‘broken’ thinking, meaning it doesn’t work.

    Perhaps this will help show why your reasoning about proving god doesn’t exist is broken.

    • July 27, 2011 at 1:17 AM

      I watched the video. It was… yeah. Kind of off subject and bounced around a bit and hit a lot of important topics. In fact it basically left the door open to make a few funny comments in a similar to bash it. For one, a hidden commentary implied heavily is that since bad things happen God can stop it, if he exists, but obviously doesn’t, so he must not exist. Just thought it was funny that while satirically saying god cannot be proven false, therefore must be true, they did indeed provide evidences for god not existing, and they were also not a part of what they defined god as. Remember your undefinable term there that the video defined…. hmm…
      Anyways… do you agree with the premise of the video? because if you do, I wonder why you keep remiding how absurd and incoherent God existing is. I mean, either you can prove that he doesn’t exist, so it’s absurd to say that he does. Or you have an issue with the lack of positive evidence for the fact of God’s existence, so it’s just a belief, and not a proven fact. You cannot hold both stances, that would be “as incoherent as it is absurd”, for which I have given you reasons, I’d like in the future for you to offer the same courtesy.

      Aside from all that: No, I did not ask anyone to disprove God. However, if you’re going to claim he doesn’t exist, at what point in your honest search for truth do you stop looking. There aren’t many options here. In my mind the possibility of the existence of God is important so you need to look Him as if it is important, so you can’t ever really stop searching if you’re doing so honestly. But, if you believe it to not be very important if he did exist in some form, then atheism is acceptable. You can say “there is no god” and be fine, because there’s not a lot weighing on it. However, you’ve had many chats with me on here, so I have a feeling you think it’s important. Certainly you can agree that since God cannot be proven false, the search must go on, with an open mind. To think otherwise would be ‘as incoherent as it is absurd”.
      I never intended for anyone to disprove God, I merely wanted the atheist to be honest, perhaps not in this moment, but when a moment of philosophical turmoil does come, and their rock solid disbelief (if such a thing could exist. I’d rather phrase it ‘rock solid belief in atheism’) is called into honest question, and is perhaps even cracked a little. In that moment, can the atheist agree that maybe not all of the anecdotal proofs and a priori proofs and moral assumptions are necessary to the truth of the matter.

      • July 27, 2011 at 9:26 AM

        You write Most people, however, who are actively involved in discussion of apologetics and atheistic aspects of their worldview realize that science does not disprove Christianity.

        What do you mean by this? Well, you are suggesting that christianity has not been disproved by science when you think it could have been but has not.

        So ask yourself an honest question: what evidence would you accept that disproved christianity?

        I suspect your answer – if honest – is revelatory: there is no evidence you would accept to disprove your christian beliefs.

        Think about that for a moment and what it means: your assumption that science could have disproved christianity but has not is an empty assertion used strictly to pretend that the fault lies with science for failing to do something you know perfectly well it cannot do.

        But you then make a jump – as shown by the video – that upon this apparent failure by science you are then fully justified to build whatever belief you find most comforting and call it true… all the while maintaining the facade that you are willing to change if science disproves any of them. But we know you won’t because science cannot. Sure, science can examine any particular truth claim about reality and tell us something about that but the religious believer will duck and take cover and shape shift their beliefs to maintain the facade of respecting the contribution of science in matters of reality, but honestly? Science never stands a chance to alter religious beliefs because the believer like yourself has already decided what’s true. Such faith (again) is considered a virtue when in any other avenue of ‘inquiry’ to assume the truth of a conclusion prior to the inquiry subverts it entirely. That’s why you (and other believers) always have to cherrypick your support and ignore and ‘re-interpret’ whatever evidence stands in contrast to your beliefs.

        So pretending that science could do a job you have already dismissed as impossible is not honest but an attempt to appear honest and open-minded when the opposite is in fact true. You write that you “already KNOW god is” which is a clear and unequivocal admission that your inquiry – like science in regards to religious belief – never stood a chance of having any effect except in support of your assumed conclusion. That’s DIShonest, and by pretending that the fault lies with science shows and equally clear willingness to sacrifice your intellectual integrity on the alter of your assumed beliefs.is

      • July 29, 2011 at 12:51 AM

        Tildeb, no sir. I never asked science or anything else to disprove the existence of God, nor do I pretend to expect science to do so. You say I have inconsistencies and a facade of honesty and integrity when saying that I ‘pretend that the fault lies with science for failing to [disprove the existence of God]. Then use the very words I’ve written to point out that I do not honestly look for evidence that God does not exist, but have already decided that he does exist. Tildeb, there is not fault in science for failing to disprove God’s existence. The fault lies with the people that expect science to do so. It also lies with the beliefs some groups have had through the years that were known to that group to be essential to Christianity when the beliefs were actually not necessary for Christian faith. Science has proved some of those doctrines false and in doing so many have assumed God’s existence false as well. I am merely saying science has not done that, it has only disproved those Christians who believed such things. For example, geocentricism, heavenly orbs, or the all together ridiculous-not-actually-anyones-belief-but-ragged-on-by-atheists idea of god residing in the sky.
        The non-disproving nature of science toward God’s existence is not my proof for God’s existence. I said I believed in God as I believe in my memories or historical (or current) people, such as my grandfather. I have experienced them, and I have experienced God. My beliefs change when they’re incorrect, and I change based on truth. the only truth I have assumed is the existence of the fact of truth. God is not an assumed belief, He is an experienced fact. My belief in God is hardly a conclusion of some equation or tested experiment the same way my belief that yesterday I hate pizza at Eugene’s house is not a conclusion of some equation or tested experiment. I was there, and I’m not alone in my witness- so I’m mostly sane. haha. I do not cherrypick. That was kind of hurtful. I have been honest when I struggle with certain things, and I have done my best to not accept ‘explaining-things-away’ type answers to hard questions such as: homosexuality, natural disasters, evil, altruism, the holocaust, and also more Christiany teachings: “sell everything you have and give it to the poor”, “love your enemies”, “don’t look at a woman lustfully”, “let the dead bury their own dead. Come and follow me”. All these things I struggle with. yes, even altruism. Reciprocity makes a lot more sense to me, but altruism is alive and strong outside of Christianity. If I cherrypicked and ignored and re-interpreted stuff, it would be a lot more comfortable. I am uncomfortable many times because I don’t just accept what feels good as true.
        I think this is a good time to ask you a good question: are you comfortable? If so, maybe you’ve accepted truth based on something less than what’s true.

      • July 29, 2011 at 11:47 AM

        You write I have experienced God. the only truth I have assumed is the existence of the fact of truth. God is not an assumed belief, He is an experienced fact.

        And herein lies the problem. You explain I said I believed in God as I believe in my memories or historical (or current) people, such as my grandfather. For your grandfather as with many other historical figures, there is evidence in reality to differentiate these claims from those without any. But you know the same evidence is not true for your claim about the existence of god because you can’t point to any evidence except yourself and claim you have experienced him. To you, this is fact you say. To me, it is an empty assertion, completely unlike an historical claim for the existence of your grandfather. The very fact of your existence indicates the necessity for biological grandparents and there is oodles of hard and fast evidence from various sources all aligning with the prior existence of this particular person. Your claim to have known him is reasonable, whereas your claim about knowing god is not. There are no equivalent reasons to believe any such claim and your assertion of an interpreted personal experience does not equate with fact in reality. Other people interpret their personal experiences to tell us they are, in fact, jesus christ reincarnated. Are you suggesting that their assertion, like your own, makes the claim true in fact? More importantly, how is your claim any different?

        Your notions about god as an interactive agent in the world when applied to the reality we share means you are opening them up to critical review and scientific testing. You admit that particular theological claims based on scripture about the universe have been shown to be factually wrong by honest scientific inquiry and that christians who believed these claims only to fall away once these claims were shown to be false are somehow shallower or weaker believers. You don’t seem to appreciate that honest scientific inquiry reveals that the scripture from which these claims were drawn is fallible. The point you are not addressing is that if you know can’t trust this part of scripture, how can you claim to know that this other part is trustworthy? In other words, recognizing that science can and does inquire honestly is an excellent first step to respecting what’s true… but be consistent. Might there be any other (and testable) explanation for your experiences that doesn’t evolve your interpretation that it reflects the reality of a christian god? The honest answer, of course, is that in fact there are. You choose to pretend that these other explanations fall short of what you believe is factual.

        Just because I dreamed I could fly does not mean the content of the dream is true. It also does not mean the dream is a thing, but rather our interpretation of what the brain is doing while we sleep. Dreams in the physical sense, then, are not real… any more than your claim about god is real. But it sounds to me as if you are following the Karen Armstrong example of claiming the god you believe in is the real god that lies behind the god most people believe in.

      • July 30, 2011 at 8:03 PM

        Tildeb, no sir. I’m starting to think I might always be starting off my relies to you with that little sentence. For some reason you keep reading things into my words and not out of them. I don’t think I ever even used the word scripture in my last comments. Your words: ” You don’t seem to appreciate that honest scientific inquiry reveals that the scripture from which these claims were drawn is fallible.” My words: “Science has proved some of those doctrines false and in doing so many have assumed God’s existence false as well.“. Notice the difference? Science has proved some DOCTRINES incorrect, not the scriptures. Go and review the scriptures where such doctrines as geocentricism and young earth creationism were drawn from, and you’ll notice something interesting and obvious: those scriptures were not written to make any scientific stand point, and were ALWAYS poetic. Shakespeare: “Eternity was in her eyes and lips.” Genesis: “God said let there be light… and there was evening and there was morning…” Would you call shakespeare false or inconsistent with science or unquantifiable? Nope, you’d probably use words like brilliant or beautiful. Treat poetry like poetry, and understand the integrity as well as the beauty of scripture.
        About my grandfather. I do not believe in the man because of a social security number or a photograph or even because I exist he is necessary. All of those things could be denied as false. that’s a different man in the photo or the government forged an identity or my grandmother had many lovers. (In that case, he would be, the man I believe to be my grandfather, haha). In the same way, I do not believe in God based on the bible, that was not my answer, remember? I don’t not believe in Him based on ‘miraculous signs’ or the ‘mysteries of the universe’ or ‘the failings of science’. I believe in God based on the cloud of witnesses (some admittedly false), and my personal experience with Him. Now I do believe in the bible, just as I trust the government didn’t forge an identity complete with a social security number. This is because once you have reason for belief in God you’re allowed to believe in other things concerning him that may not be quantifiable (the bible is, however) if they have not been proved false, and make sense with the existence of God a contributing element to your worldview.

      • July 31, 2011 at 8:25 AM

        It must be a real confidence booster to know which factual claim from scripture is a part of a doctrine that has been incorrectly interpreted because they are really meant to be poetic references (all 60+ references to geocentrism) and which part is to be taken literally as fact because some claim is true (Jesus was reanimated after death). It seems to me that it is not some theology which allows us to know which is which but science which tells us how the universe really works. The choice, it seems to me, is whether we decided to let reality arbitrate what’s true or our a priori theological assumptions. You seem to want to be in both camps simultaneously… accepting reality (as science has shown us to be) over those bits there but your faith in these bits here (as scripture tells us it is)… am I wrong to call that little exercise ‘cherry picking’? I don’t think so.

        And no one (who should be taken seriously) is claiming that Shakespeare is god and that his writings are literally true and that we derive our morality from him. As for your grandfather, I notice you are not suggesting we sacrifice a chicken or read leaves or consult a medium to determine his prior existence. Some consistency in your analogies would be handy.

      • August 1, 2011 at 4:04 PM

        The gospels were clearly written as historical narrative. Dates, times, places, events all told straight forward in a mostly chronological narrative.
        The Psalms, Ecclesiastes, all of the prophets, proverbs, Job, parts of Genesis, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy were written as poetry, with meter, rhythm, imagery, even personification, and often times the grammatical errors and syntax issues within the hebrew reflect the emotional situation of the words. All elements of poetry. It is not cherry picking, my friend, it’s obvious styles of writing.
        When Paul wrote about the scriptures in 1 Timothy he writes, “All scripture is God-inspired and useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness.”
        Paul, an Old Testament Scholar, and expert in using the law and prophets, does not pretend they were written to explain the stars in the sky or molecular physics. When we read modern poetry, it is almost always unrelated to science. As we read contemporary historical narrative, it is the same way. Why should we expect poetry, and narrative from 3,000 years ago to be any different in intent? The scriptures were not written by God, but by people, inspired by God. no one is trying to fool you.
        Also, I am not suggesting we sacrifice a chicken or read leaves or consult a medium to determine God’s existence, or anything else for that matter…. ? perhaps read what I’ve read, try to figure out what I believe, you should have a pretty good understanding by now, as we’ve chatted like this quite a bit. Once you do that, you might see consistency.

      • August 1, 2011 at 7:38 PM

        Again, we know that many references found in the gospels are historically inaccurate (census data, geographic names, for two quick examples) and you pretend there are clear divisions between what’s poetic and what’s literal. Perhaps I’m simply biased, but then how can you explain this? You see, CJ2, the confusion is rampant, and when religious training crosses into the public domain, I think I have cause to be highly critical and deeply concerned and willing to take a stand against this kind of insanity. So do you.

        All I’m saying is that a good starting point for anyone is to be honest and recognize that what you believe to be true (derived as it is from religious indoctrination) is no basis for what is true in fact in reality. Until you allow reality to arbitrate contrary claims and maintain a healthy scepticism for all claims religious, you are part of the problem that religious belief causes in the public domain.

      • August 2, 2011 at 1:00 AM

        I don’t see what’s wrong with the article, or rather, the presentation. First off, if someone is in the military, it is no secret that war is going to be a big part of what they do, if not all of it. It’s also no secret that nukes exist. Also not a secret: what we have nukes for-> to prevent other groups from using them. In the even that they do, the military does not want a bunch of pussies to scared to pull the trigger. I am conflicted about the nature of war to begin with. I believe that turning the other cheek is more powerful than a nuke. On the other hand, I believe there are people out of their minds who do not respond to obvious logic, and nuclear weapons advertised to them is a better way to keep them in check. And so far, no one has launched one from ambitions of war, so it must be working for now.
        I don’t care if the government uses scripture or not. I really just don’t care. I don’t care if they quote Confucius or the Vedas or the Qur’an. It really doesn’t bother me. Also, the military is not public, so no I don’t.

        If you want to read some really interesting stuff about Wherner Von Braun and the V2 and his intentions, and involvement with the US I encourage you to read Space Race by Deborah Cadbury. It’s really interesting.
        Dude, we’ve talked about the nature of reality. I believe the material world around us which science is the exploration of is all real. However, I believe there is more to reality than that.. i.e. heaven. So yes, I do allow reality to arbitrate contrary claims and maintain a healthy skepticism for all religious claims. However, I do dig deep into those claims that superficially seem contrary to find which claim, or both if it happens to be so, are false.

        By the way, which historical references are inaccurate in the gospels? And, if you find any, did they come from Luke? What are the consequences of these inaccuracies? What are the implications?

      • August 2, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        The fact that you don’t see a problem is a problem. The fact that you think the military is not a public institution shows the depth of your confusion. That you see no problem using religious materials as a teaching tool in the exercise of public policy is an even bigger one; it shows you don’t understand the First, nor the reason why it is important to you. Perhaps if the military was teaching from the Quran to justify the killing of non believers and infidels like you, your attention might be piqued and your call for the removal of such teaching material might be better appreciated. But because the material favours christianity, of course you see no problem. That’s your bias in action and it skews your perceptions. The role of the military is to protect the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic. Those who are willing to subvert the Constitution in favour of a religious agenda and use the publicly funded, publicly staffed military to do so is an enemy of the state… a domestic enemy because it undermines the Constitution that demands sparation of the government favouring any one religion including christianity. That you see no problem with this subversion is not a trivial matter: it reveals the scope of just how significant is your bias and why that bias is a threat to the rights and freedoms of your fellow citizens.

        As for the historical inaccuracies of the gospels, there’s lots of scholarly information and online resources for you to check out if you really want to know.

      • August 3, 2011 at 11:58 PM


        I’ve looked into some sources but haven’t found anything of substance for inaccuracies of the gospels. Maybe a link? I mean, the burden of proof is on you right, since you made the claim?

      • August 4, 2011 at 9:11 AM

        Fine. Here are a few sources.

    • July 27, 2011 at 1:18 AM

      Also, to your “gain some favour” comment: have you read foxe’s book of Christian Martyrs? The first disciples did not find favor they found shameful and painful deaths, and frequent beatings if you read through Acts.

      • July 27, 2011 at 8:44 AM

        The favour in many of these cases was an exchange: martyrdom in this world for life everlasting in the next.

  6. July 28, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    atheism is the rejection of religious claims without any replacement.

    so atheism is not about behavioural codes or allowing anything – it is strictly and only the rejection of beleif

    whatever else a person who does not beleive in religion does beleive is down to them as an individual.

    • July 29, 2011 at 12:59 AM

      I agree, Random Ntygg. When I juxtaposed atheism with all of it’s requirements I merely wrote the term in simple english definitions. Not-God.
      There is however a basis for each individual that comes to atheism, and the way the individual approaches atheism can make it a positive belief. For example, many people base their belief in atheism on grounds of “lack of evidence” for theism. Others based on moral teachings they disagree with, and still others on personal experience with churchy people that they disagreed with or were abused by, more often the latter.
      If an individual atheist devotes large amounts of time to defending atheism say, online, then it is not a positive belief, for they are defending not-god ideas. If the individual pushes further to attacking theism (and attack is a strong word, applicable in some cases, but better said as oppose) then it is without a doubt a positive belief that they do believe is strong enough not only to stand up to theists, but ever persuade them. merely rejecting belief is not able to persuade, there must be a positive belief.

      • July 29, 2011 at 8:44 AM

        Perhaps this will help explain why people do not believe in a god. These reasons do not substitute something else in its place, some other belief set, some positive belief, some alternative to religious beliefs. These responses reveal why the god hypothesis is rejected. Hence, atheism.

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