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Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by nferyn(m): 3:33pm On Feb 08, 2006
Copied from: http://www.ffrf.org/timely/dawkins.php
"Time to Stand Up"
By Richard Dawkins

"To blame Islam for what happened in New York is like blaming Christianity for the troubles in Northern Ireland!" Yes. Precisely. It is time to stop pussyfooting around. Time to get angry. And not only with Islam.

Those of us who have renounced one or another of the three "great" monotheistic religions have, until now, moderated our language for reasons of politeness. Christians, Jews and Muslims are sincere in their beliefs and in what they find holy. We have respected that, even as we have disagreed with it. The late Douglas Adams put it with his customary good humor, in an impromptu speech in 1998 (slightly abridged):

Now, the invention of the scientific method is, I'm sure we'll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked. If it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn't withstand the attack then down it goes. Religion doesn't seem to work like that. It has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. What it means is, "Here is an idea or a notion that you're not allowed to say anything bad about; you're just not. Why not?--because you're not!" If somebody votes for a party that you don't agree with, you're free to argue about it as much as you like; everybody will have an argument but nobody feels aggrieved by it. If somebody thinks taxes should go up or down you are free to have an argument about it. But on the other hand if somebody says 'I mustn't move a light switch on a Saturday,' you say, "I respect that."

The odd thing is, even as I am saying that, I am thinking "Is there an Orthodox Jew here who is going to be offended by the fact that I just said that?" But I wouldn't have thought "Maybe there's somebody from the left wing or somebody from the right wing or somebody who subscribes to this view or the other in economics" when I was making the other points. I just think "Fine, we have different opinions." But, the moment I say something that has something to do with somebody's (I'm going to stick my neck out here and say irrational) beliefs, then we all become terribly protective and terribly defensive and say "No, we don't attack that; that's an irrational belief but no, we respect it."

Why should it be that it's perfectly legitimate to support the Labor party or the Conservative party, Republicans or Democrats, this model of economics versus that, Macintosh instead of Windows--but to have an opinion about how the Universe began, about who created the Universe . . . no, that's holy? What does that mean? Why do we ring-fence that for any other reason other than that we've just got used to doing so? There's no other reason at all, it's just one of those things that crept into being and once that loop gets going it's very, very powerful. So, we are used to not challenging religious ideas but it's very interesting how much of a furor Richard creates when he does it! Everybody gets absolutely frantic about it because you're not allowed to say these things. Yet when you look at it rationally there is no reason why those ideas shouldn't be as open to debate as any other, except that we have agreed somehow between us that they shouldn't be.

Douglas is dead, but I think he would join me in asking people now to stand up and break this absurd taboo. My respect for the Abrahamic religions went up in the smoke and choking dust of September 11th. The last vestige of respect for the taboo disappeared as I watched the "Day of Prayer" in Washington Cathedral, where people of mutually incompatible faiths united in homage to the very force that caused the problem in the first place: religion. It is time for people of intellect, as opposed to people of faith, to stand up and say "Enough!" Let our tribute to the dead be a new resolve: to respect people for what they individually think, rather than respect groups for what they were collectively brought up to believe.

Notwithstanding bitter sectarian hatreds over the centuries (all too obviously still going strong), Judaism, Islam and Christianity have much in common. Despite New Testament watering down and other reformist tendencies, all three pay historic allegiance to the same violent and vindictive God of Battles, memorably summed up by Gore Vidal in 1998:

The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal--God is the Omnipotent Father--hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates. The sky-god is a jealous god, of course. He requires total obedience from everyone on earth, as he is not just in place for one tribe, but for all creation. Those who would reject him must be converted or killed for their own good.

In The Guardian of 15th September, I named belief in an afterlife as the key weapon that made the New York atrocity possible. Of prior significance is religion's deep responsibility for the underlying hatreds that motivated people to use that weapon in the first place. To breathe such a suggestion, even with the most gentlemanly restraint, is to invite an onslaught of patronizing abuse, as Douglas Adams noted. But the insane cruelty of the suicide attacks, and the equally vicious though numerically less catastrophic 'revenge' attacks on hapless Muslims living in America and Britain, push me beyond ordinary caution.

How can I say that religion is to blame? Do I really imagine that, when a terrorist kills, he is motivated by a theological disagreement with his victim? Do I really think the Northern Ireland pub bomber says to himself "Take that, Tridentine Transubstantiationist bastards!" Of course I don't think anything of the kind. Theology is the last thing on the minds of such people. They are not killing because of religion itself, but because of political grievances, often justified. They are killing because the other lot killed their fathers. Or because the other lot drove their great grandfathers off their land. Or because the other lot oppressed our lot economically for centuries.

My point is not that religion itself is the motivation for wars, murders and terrorist attacks, but that religion is the principal label, and the most dangerous one, by which a "they" as opposed to a "we" can be identified at all. I am not even claiming that religion is the only label by which we identify the victims of our prejudice. There's also skin color, language, and social class. But often, as in Northern Ireland, these don't apply and religion is the only divisive label around. Even when it is not alone, religion is nearly always an incendiary ingredient in the mix as well.

It is not an exaggeration to say that religion is the most inflammatory enemy-labelling device in history. Who killed your father? Not the individuals you are about to kill in 'revenge.' The culprits themselves have vanished over the border. The people who stole your great grandfather's land have died of old age. You aim your vendetta at those who belong to the same religion as the original perpetrators. It wasn't Seamus who killed your brother, but it was Catholics, so Seamus deserves to die "in return." Next, it was Protestants who killed Seamus so let's go out and kill some Protestants "in revenge." It was Muslims who destroyed the World Trade Center so let's set upon the turbaned driver of a London taxi and leave him paralyzed from the neck down.

The bitter hatreds that now poison Middle Eastern politics are rooted in the real or perceived wrong of the setting up of a Jewish State in an Islamic region. In view of all that the Jews had been through, it must have seemed a fair and humane solution. Probably deep familiarity with the Old Testament had given the European and American decision-makers some sort of idea that this really was the 'historic homeland' of the Jews (though the horrific stories of how Joshua and others conquered their Lebensraum might have made them wonder). Even if it wasn't justifiable at the time, no doubt a good case can be made that, since Israel exists now, to try to reverse the status quo would be a worse wrong.

I do not intend to get into that argument. But if it had not been for religion, the very concept of a Jewish state would have had no meaning in the first place. Nor would the very concept of Islamic lands, as something to be invaded and desecrated. In a world without religion, there would have been no Crusades; no Inquisition; no anti-Semitic pogroms (the people of the diaspora would long ago have intermarried and become indistinguishable from their host populations); no Northern Ireland Troubles (no label by which to distinguish the two 'communities,' and no sectarian schools to teach the children historic hatreds--they would simply be one community).

It is a spade we have here, let's call it a spade. The Emperor has no clothes. It is time to stop the mealy-mouthed euphemisms: 'Nationalists,' 'Loyalists,' 'Communities,' 'Ethnic Groups.' Religions is the word you need. Religion is the word you are struggling hypocritically to avoid.

Parenthetically, religion is unusual among divisive labels in being spectacularly unnecessary. If religious beliefs had any evidence going for them, we might have to respect them in spite of their concomitant unpleasantness. But there is no such evidence. To label people as death-deserving enemies because of disagreements about real world politics is bad enough. To do the same for disagreements about a delusional world inhabited by archangels, demons and imaginary friends is ludicrously tragic.

The resilience of this form of hereditary delusion is as astonishing as its lack of realism. It seems that control of the plane which crashed near Pittsburgh was probably wrestled out of the hands of the terrorists by a group of brave passengers. The wife of one of these valiant and heroic men, after she took the telephone call in which he announced their intention, said that God had placed her husband on the plane as His instrument to prevent the plane crashing on the White House. I have the greatest sympathy for this poor woman in her tragic loss, but just think about it! As my (also understandably overwrought) American correspondent who sent me this piece of news said:

"Couldn't God have just given the hijackers a heart attack or something instead of killing all those nice people on the plane? I guess he didn't give a flying Bleep about the Trade Center, didn't bother to come up with a plan for them." (I apologize for my friend's intemperate language but, in the circumstances, who can blame her?)

Is there no catastrophe terrible enough to shake the faith of people, on both sides, in God's goodness and power? No glimmering realization that he might not be there at all: that we just might be on our own, needing to cope with the real world like grown-ups?

Billy Graham, Mr. Bush's spiritual advisor, said in Washington Cathedral:

But how do we understand something like this? Why does God allow evil like this to take place? Perhaps that is what you are asking now. You may even be angry at God. I want to assure you that God understands those feelings that you may have.

Well, that's big of God, I must say. I'm sure that makes the bereaved feel a whole lot better (the pathetic thing is, it probably does!). Mr. Graham went on:

I have been asked hundreds of times in my life why God allows tragedy and suffering. I have to confess that I really do not know the answer totally, even to my own satisfaction. I have to accept, by faith, that God is sovereign, and He is a God of love and mercy and compassion in the midst of suffering. The Bible says God is not the author of evil. It speaks of evil as a "mystery."

Less baffled by this deep theological mystery were two of America's best-known televangelists, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. In a conversation on Robertson's lucrative television show (religion is tax-exempt), they knew exactly where to put the blame. The whole thing was obviously caused by America's sin. Falwell said that God had protected America wonderfully for 225 years, but now, what with abortion and gays and lesbians and the ACLU, "all of them who have tried to secularize America . . . I point the finger in their face and say you helped this happen." "Well, I totally concur," responded Robertson. Bush, to his credit, swiftly disowned this characteristic example of the religious mind at work.

The United States is the most religiose country in the Western world, and its born-again Christian leader is eyeball to eyeball with the most religiose people on Earth. Both sides believe that the Bronze Age God of Battles is on their side. Both take risks with the world's future in unshakeable, fundamentalist faith that He will grant them the victory. Incidentally, people speak of Islamic Fundamentalists, but the customary genteel distinction between fundamentalist and moderate Islam has been convincingly demolished by Ibn Warraq in his well-informed book, Why I Am Not a Muslim.

The human psyche has two great sicknesses: the urge to carry vendetta across generations, and the tendency to fasten group labels on people rather than see them as individuals. Abrahamic religion gives strong sanction to both--and mixes explosively with both. Only the wilfully blind could fail to implicate the divisive force of religion in most, if not all, of the violent enmities in the world today. Without a doubt it is the prime aggravator of the Middle East. Those of us who have for years politely concealed our contempt for the dangerous collective delusion of religion need to stand up and speak out. Things are different now. "All is changed, changed utterly."

Richard Dawkins is professor of the Public Understanding of Science, University of Oxford, and author of The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker and Unweaving the Rainbow.





"Could we get some otherwise normal humans and somehow persuade them that they are not going to die as a consequence of flying a plane smack into a skyscraper? . . . Offer them a fast track to a Great Oasis in the Sky, cooled by everlasting fountains. Harps and wings wouldn't appeal to the sort of young men we need, so tell them there's a special martyr's reward of 72 virgin brides, guaranteed eager and exclusive.

"Would they fall for it? Yes, testosterone-sodden young men too unattractive to get a woman in this world might be desperate enough to go for 72 private virgins in the next. . . .

"Give them a holy book and make them learn it by heart. . . . As luck would have it, we have just the thing to hand: a ready-made system of mind-control which has been honed over centuries, handed down through generations. Millions of people have been brought up in it. It is called religion. . . Now all we need is to round up a few of these faith-heads and give them flying lessons.

". . . I am trying to call attention to the elephant in the room that everybody is too polite--or too devout--to notice: religion, and specifically the devaluing effect that religion has on human life. . . . Religion teaches the dangerous nonsense that death is not the end. . . .

"There is no doubt that the afterlife-obsessed suicidal brain really is a weapon of immense power and danger. . . .

"Religion is also, of course, the underlying source of the divisiveness in the Middle East which motivated the use of this deadly weapon in the first place. . . . To fill a world with religion, or religions of the Abrahamic kind, is like littering the streets with loaded guns. Do not be surprised if they are used." --Richard Dawkins, The Guardian, Sept. 15, 2001

1 Like

Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by exu(m): 7:17pm On Feb 08, 2006
Personally I'm of the opinion that far worse atrocities have happened than the September 11th attacks used as a reference point in this piece...

Also, religion was simply used as a smoke screen by the attackers to mask their general hatred of Anglo-Saxon culture (which often has nothing to do with religion)  and the perceived cultural invasion of their homelands...

However, I agree with pretty much everything else he says...
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by Seun(m): 6:25am On Feb 09, 2006
Wow. Thanks. What can we now do?
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by imhotep: 7:11pm On Jan 29, 2008
Joseph Stalin was an atheist. He presided over a communist, atheist russia for many years.

He believed in logic and common sense.

He was also responsible for the killing of up to 20 million Russians during his regime.

There are two extremes:

1) Religious fanaticism
2) Downright atheism

BOTH ARE DANEROUS PATHS and should be avoided like plagues.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by KAG: 8:52pm On Jan 29, 2008
imhotep:

Joseph Stalin was an atheist. He presided over a communist, atheist russia for many years.

He believed in logic and common sense.

He was also responsible for the killing of up to 20 million Russians during his regime.

Poor reasoning. I don't know whether Stalin believed in logic and common sense; however, that in itself is irrelevant unless you can show that "belief" in those things caused precipitated the Russian holocaust. What's more you'd also have to explain how belief in either of those things is not only exclusive to atheists, but also don't produce the same result in others. Good luck.

Incidentally, my point is that it's unlikely that Stalin's atheism was what influenced those decisions that led to millions of deaths.


There are two extremes:

1) Religious fanaticism
2) Downright atheism

BOTH ARE DANEROUS PATHS and should be avoided like plagues.


What is "Downright atheism"? Are you sure those are the only extremes?


P.S. Thanks for bumping the thread; it has given me a chance to read the article.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by imhotep: 10:28am On Jan 30, 2008
KAG:

Poor reasoning. I don't know whether Stalin believed in logic and common sense; however, that in itself is irrelevant unless you can show that "belief" in those things caused precipitated the Russian holocaust. What's more you'd also have to explain how belief in either of those things is not only exclusive to atheists, but also don't produce the same result in others. Good luck.

Incidentally, my point is that it's unlikely that Stalin's atheism was what influenced those decisions that led to millions of deaths.

What is "Downright atheism"? Are you sure those are the only extremes?

P.S. Thanks for bumping the thread; it has given me a chance to read the article.

The article is laying the blame of some past misdeeds at the foot of religion. Indeed, bad things have happened in the name of religion.

I am also saying that unspeakable crimes have also been committed in the name of a rationality based on atheism (individual or collective). In this 'rationality', man is god unto himself. God is dead. Religion is opium.

Stalin used his powers to unscrupulously eliminate those who did not agree with him. Other atheists may not have his powers, so they wreck their destruction in another sphere (intellectual/cultural/etc)

This way we see two extremes emerge. I am not aware of any other extreme. Pls educate me.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by dafidixone(m): 10:52am On Jan 30, 2008
@everybody,

I think we should let the history to the past. Let come to face the reality of our time.

Jesus Christ came to die for all of us. He is the way the truth and Life you are eligible for heaven through him only.

Religion is not what matter as far as God is concern what is important is your way of life. Is your way of life in conformity with the set down plan of God?

A bible beleving churches are not practicing religiosity they prepare you for the Kingdom.

It is a good thing to go to church. grin grin grin
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by KAG: 11:38pm On Jan 30, 2008
imhotep:

The article is laying the blame of some past misdeeds at the foot of religion. Indeed, bad things have happened in the name of religion.

Indeed.

I am also saying that unspeakable crimes have also been committed in the name of a rationality based on atheism (individual or collective). In this 'rationality', man is god unto himself. God is dead. Religion is opium.

Which is why I asked you to provide some evidence to buttress your utterances. I haven't seen any evidence to support the idea that the likes of Stalin committed misdeeds in the name of rationality - where, it would seem from your suggestions, rationality is the sole representation of atheism.

By the way, the idea of "God is dead" is an acknowledgement of the hypocrisy and misdeeds interlaced in modern religious beliefs. It's not necessarily an indication of atheism per se.


Stalin used his powers to unscrupulously eliminate those who did not agree with him. Other atheists may not have his powers, so they wreck their destruction in another sphere (intellectual/cultural/etc)

Really? What atheists have been doing those destructions? #And once again, you haven't shown any evidence that Stalin was motivated by atheism.

This way we see two extremes emerge. I am not aware of any other extreme. Please educate me.

Well, for one thing atheism isn't an etreme - at least not anymore than theism is also one.

Jingoism* is a form of extremism. I'm sure other ideologies that morph into an extremist stance mst also count for something.


* See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingoism
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by imhotep: 8:32am On Jan 31, 2008
If religious fanaticism is on the right and atheism is on the left, theism (and many other -isms in the same category) lies somewhere along the line that connects left to right.

You might want to look at Fredrich Nietzche's influence on Hitler and the Nazi movement here -> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influence_and_reception_of_Friedrich_Nietzsche). You are aware of the level of destruction brought upon Europe by the Nazis.

He was an atheist who did not have Stalin's political and military machinery.

A jingoist can be either an atheist or a religious fanatic (or one of the intermediate -isms). Jingoism (and other -isms in its category) lies on a totally different level.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by KAG: 9:22am On Jan 31, 2008
imhotep:

If religious fanaticism is on the right and atheism is on the left, theism (and many other -isms in the same category) lies somewhere along the line that connects left to right.

Uh, what? Simply creating arbitrary categories isn't going to cut it, I'm afraid. By the very definition of the words, theism and atheism are the two that are in diametrical opposition; or, to use your scale, theism is on the right, while atheism is on the left. Religious fanaticism is a subset of theism.

You might want to look at Fredrich Nietzche's influence on Hitler and the Nazi movement here -> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influence_and_reception_of_Friedrich_Nietzsche). You are aware of the level of destruction brought upon Europe by the Nazis.

You do know that they, the Nazis, totally misunderstood and misrepresented Nietzsche, right? That in itself mitigates any influence he works may have had on both their policies and ideology. What's more, if that is your example of an atheist destroying intellect, then you too have completely misunderstood Nietzschean philosophy.

He was an atheist who did not have Stalin's political and military machinery.

Your example was a wrong one.

A jingoist can be either an atheist or a religious fanatic (or one of the intermediate -isms). Jingoism (and other -isms in its category) lies on a totally different level.

On a different level from what? Of course a Jingoist can be an atheist, theist, agnostic, or pantheist; that isn't the point. The point is that Jingoism is generally an extreme position.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by imhotep: 8:29pm On Jan 31, 2008
KAG:

You do know that they, the Nazis, totally misunderstood and misrepresented Nietzsche, right? That in itself mitigates any influence he works may have had on both their policies and ideology. What's more, if that is your example of an atheist destroying intellect, then you too have completely misunderstood Nietzschean philosophy.


He gave them the platform on which to misinterpret him, with catastrophic consequences. That is the point.

Perhaps you should read about Near Death Experiences (NDE). A number of atheists (and theists) have had this experience. What they 'saw' is at variance with the concepts they carry about in their minds.

You can search wikipedia for this.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by KAG: 7:13pm On Feb 01, 2008
imhotep:

He gave them the platform on which to misinterpret him, with catastrophic consequences. That is the point.

Not quite. For one thing their misinterpretation of his works had little to do with and wasn't what created the Nazis ideology and anti-Semitism. The fact that they had to take several of his aphorisms and ideas totally out of context to fit into their beliefs shows that much - that is, they were already ant-Semitic nationalists before finding misunderstandings of Nietzsche. For another thing, Nietzsche's stance on German nationalism and anti-Semitism should have been more than enough to inform a reader of his works that he would have been staunchly against the Nazis.

Incidentally, it'd be easier to find more direct influence of Nazi ideology in the likes of Martin Luther, than in Nietzsche.

Perhaps you should read about Near Death Experiences (NDE). A number of atheists (and theists) have had this experience. What they 'saw' is at variance with the concepts they carry about in their minds.

You can search wikipedia for this.

Okay? I fail to see the relevance of that.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by imhotep: 7:39pm On Feb 01, 2008
Well, I just used F. Nietzche as an example.

Near death experiences can make you review your outlook on life.

They can also expose the brooding chasm on which atheism rests.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by Gamine(f): 7:55pm On Feb 01, 2008
If one could give me the disadvantages of being a christian

i will consider being an atheist
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by KAG: 7:47am On Feb 02, 2008
imhotep:

Well, I just used F. Nietzche as an example.

And it wasn't an apt example.

Near death experiences can make you review your outlook on life.

They can also expose the brooding chasm on which atheism rests.

While I agree that NDEs can make a person review their outlook on life, I don't see how it "expose[s] the brooding chasm on which atheism rests"

Gamine:

If one could give me the disadvantages of being a christian

i will consider being an atheist

I suppose it depends on the type of society and era one lives in.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by imhotep: 5:42pm On Feb 02, 2008
KAG:

While I agree that NDEs can make a person review their outlook on life, I don't see how it "expose[s] the brooding chasm on which atheism rests"

If NDEs point to the existence of life-after-death and the Divine, then atheism must be an exercise in futility.

Atheism becomes a case of "so much motion and no movement".

Then, atheists should review their belief system, based on OBSERVED FACTS.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by Seun(m): 5:47pm On Feb 02, 2008
If NDEs point to the existence of life-after-death and the Divine, then atheism must be an exercise in futility.
They don't. Near death experiences merely demonstrate that the human brain
is hyper-active when deprived of oxygen. They are mere hallucinations.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by Logical(m): 6:08pm On Feb 02, 2008
Gamine:

If one could give me the disadvantages of being a christian

i will consider being an atheist

I would just give you a few good reasons.

1. Christianity promotes discrimination against those that do not believe in its doctrines.
Is it is morally right for you to discriminate against other people that do not share the same personal beliefs?

2. Christianity seems to think everything that is living is a sin and this is very dangerous.
Do you think it is right to assume that a new born baby comes to this world with sin from someone 100,000+ years ago. Where does innocence stand in Christianity?
Why does Christianity believe that I am responsible for someone else's sins?


3. Christianity promotes a living being known as Satan that is responsible for all sin's made by man be it directly or indirectly. When someone commits a crime or a heinous act, he blames the devil and has the right to do so. This is very dangerous.

4. Christians still keep the old testament, and use it whenever it suits them yet dismiss it whenever it doesn't suit them, even though the new testament is supposed to upgrade it. This is very dangerous too, because the old testament is full of a lot of heinous crimes and atrocities beyond human imagination.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by imhotep: 8:29pm On Feb 02, 2008
Seun:

They don't. Near death experiences merely demonstrate that the human brain
is hyper-active when deprived of oxygen. They are mere hallucinations.

Nice one. Then how come the hallucinations are THE SAME for everyone, irrespective of gender, race, age, religion, etc
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by goodguy(m): 9:50pm On Feb 02, 2008
Logical:

4. Christians still keep the old testament, and use it whenever it suits them yet dismiss it whenever it doesn't suit them, even though the new testament is supposed to upgrade it. This is very dangerous too, because the old testament is full of a lot of heinous crimes and atrocities beyond human imagination.

So true.  It's really amazing how the God of the Bible suddenly transformed from being jealous and extremely violent to being a very gentle, loving and caring being; despite having being told in the same Bible that "He changeth not".
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by KAG: 10:24pm On Feb 02, 2008
imhotep:

If NDEs point to the existence of life-after-death and the Divine, then atheism must be an exercise in futility.

Atheism becomes a case of "so much motion and no movement".

Then, atheists should review their belief system, based on OBSERVED FACTS.
Seun:

They don't. Near death experiences merely demonstrate that the human brain
is hyper-active when deprived of oxygen. They are mere hallucinations.
What he said.

imhotep:

Nice one. Then how come the hallucinations are THE SAME for everyone, irrespective of gender, race, age, religion, etc

Um, wouldn't that be an indication that they are in fact caused by material factors? Not that I agree that they all the same, as there have been varying accounts and experiences.

Also, what about those that almost die and have no near death experience? Don't they count?
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by Seun(m): 2:21pm On Feb 03, 2008
Nice one. Then how come the hallucinations are THE SAME for everyone, irrespective of gender, race, age, religion, etc
Hmmm. Actually, they are not the same. What is your source?
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by imhotep: 6:22pm On Feb 03, 2008
Seun:

Hmmm. Actually, they are not the same. What is your source?

Similarity or disparity in NDEs does not point to hallucinations. A person pronounced dead cannot be having hallucinations. He/she is DEAD.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by dafidixone(m): 12:03pm On Feb 04, 2008
Christianity promotes discrimination against those that do not believe in its doctrines.
Is it is morally right for you to discriminate against other people that do not share the same personal beliefs?

Christianity promotes the truth about the sure end of the world. Jesus said "Anyone who do not beleive in Him (Jesus) is condemed already. My man, you know truth is bitter in so many ways. I think is the reason you call it discrimination. grin

Christianity seems to think everything that is living is a sin and this is very dangerous.
Do you think it is right to assume that a new born baby comes to this world with sin from someone 100,000+ years ago. Where does innocence stand in Christianity?
Why does Christianity believe that I am responsible for someone else's sins?

Christianity teaches us not to question the Authority of God. It also teaches us that every unrigheousness is a Sin. You must understand that naturally, "man is born free but everywhere in chain" - J.J. Everyone born of woman inherited sin from Adam. It is only through Jesus that we can be saved. So any Child born into Christ is not like every other child born into other contrary beleive. God is Vengeance He visit iniquities of Father from the the son. Get that secrete today.


Christianity promotes a living being known as Satan that is responsible for all sin's made by man be it directly or indirectly. When someone commits a crime or a heinous act, he blames the devil and has the right to do so. This is very dangerous.

Yes! the word of God make us to understand that devil (satan) is the father of all sinners. If you have Holy Spirit in you, you will be protected from the power of sin. If you commit any sin, it is because devil is so subtle he entice you into it. The machanism of this is what occur to you at a point as common reasoning. Everyone knows that if you stay on a rail road while the train is on the move; death is the end result. So tell me what kind of spirit will go into a man that makes him to sant on the rail road? grin You as an atheist within you, there is a spirit telling you if what you are doing is right oe wrong because the Word of God is powerful.

Christians still keep the old testament, and use it whenever it suits them yet dismiss it whenever it doesn't suit them, even though the new testament is supposed to upgrade it. This is very dangerous too, because the old testament is full of a lot of heinous crimes and atrocities beyond human imagination.

Old testament is the fulfilment of the New testament. They are both the word of God. The mistake you might be having is when you try to read the old testament in isolation of the new testament.

A true Christian is a perculiar People in the sight of God so why not come on board and be save?

Shallom!
smiley
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by Logical(m): 12:56pm On Feb 04, 2008
@dafidixone
I am impressed. The first Christian that actually dissected points so far in this forum properly and staying in topic.

Ah before I proceed, Just so that you should know. I believe in the concept of God, that is a source of creation, but I do not agree to the concept of Religion, so am I an Atheist? I really wouldn't want to call myself that nor would I want to belong to a group based on supposed divine doctrines.

From what you said this is my conclusion. You agree that

1. Anybody not Christian is condemned and you do not want to have anything to do with that person because the bible says so. Which agrees to my premise, that you discriminate.

2. Christianity is a robot religion, that is to say, you are not allowed to think for yourself, question the doctrines, judge your actions, but follow blindly. As you said and I quote "Christianity teaches us not to question the Authority of God."

3. I don't know what to understand by your statement "Everyone born of woman inherited sin from Adam. It is only through Jesus that we can be saved.", that is a Christian doctrine right? but you present it as if it is the universal word of authority? Help me here, Should I understand something blindly?

4. And please, I don't want any funky spirit in me. Especially one that would prevent me from my natural thinking process, that sounds scary. I pass smiley And no I make my own decision based on my conscience as human, and guided by established society acceptable laws that govern the peace and harmony of mankind.

5. When you say fulfillment, what do you mean exactly in this quote "Old testament is the fulfillment of the New testament. They are both the word of God.". I would like you to explain constructively, as you have been so far. I really appreciate that. And No the bible is not the word of God, but of philosophers over time. With variations of course across different books. Some part of it is nice, especially when it talks about love. The question is, do we accept those philosophies blindly. smiley
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by dafidixone(m): 2:05pm On Feb 04, 2008
Ah before I proceed, Just so that you should know. I believe in the concept of God, that is a source of creation, but I do not agree to the concept of Religion, so am I an Atheist? I really wouldn't want to call myself that nor would I want to belong to a group based on supposed divine doctrines.

Thanks for beleiving at least in the God. But I will like you to establish your beleive more because GOd is not a concept. He is the one that exist in Himself nothing was created except by Him. that is why I say God is the existence. grin

Anybody not Christian is condemned and you do not want to have anything to do with that person because the bible says so. Which agrees to my premise, that you discriminate.

I would want you to get things correctly even if you try to get the understanding, I said anyone who do not beleive in Jesus Christ as His Lord and Saviour is condemed already. Not has been "discriminated against already". It may interest you to know that if a christ beleiver is to discriminate, it will be difficult if not impossible to walk in the likeness of Christ Jesus. Jesus taught us to Love everybody so issue of discrimination is out of it. I like you to get htis one fact, there is no other name giving unto man under the Sun except the name of Jesus Christ.
Christians love you all but only hate your sinful acts and that is the reason for teaching you on how to avoid sin. It is natural for man to sin but it takes the grace of God for man to be saved of the sin.

Christianity is a robot religion, that is to say, you are not allowed to think for yourself, question the doctrines, judge your actions, but follow blindly. As you said and I quote "Christianity teaches us not to question the Authority of God."

I think you will agree with me that even if you are a true atheist, you must follow the rules of nature you claim to beleive hookline and sinker. If you beleive in the law of nature, what does it take you to beleive in yhe power that rules that nature. In truth, we Christian does not have the knowledge of our own but God owe our knowledge. He (God) guide our ways and doings. This is why we see most things beyound physical. You too can choose to be saved today. grin

I don't know what to understand by your statement "Everyone born of woman inherited sin from Adam. It is only through Jesus that we can be saved.", that is a Christian doctrine right? but you present it as if it is the universal word of authority? Help me here, Should I understand something blindly?

It is not a doctrine it is the fact. In my own opinion I think it is not out of place if we understand anything fact Blindly cheesy for example, if someone handed to you an explosive and said you must not remove the lead else it will be detonated. Knowing fully it is an explosive, will you not take that blindly? grin Please wake up to reality of time.

Philosophy was part of my course in the college and I know there is limitation to human reasoning but God wisdom is endless.

And please, I don't want any funky spirit in me. Especially one that would prevent me from my natural thinking process, that sounds scary. I pass And no I make my own decision based on my conscience as human, and guided by established society acceptable laws that govern the peace and harmony of mankind.

I must commend you for this, but you need to take it further by making your conscience a divine one. You will receive the power to know the end of this world when the Holy Spirit is come upon you. Only accept Him as you Lord and saviour Q.E.D grin

When you say fulfillment, what do you mean exactly in this quote "Old testament is the fulfillment of the New testament. They are both the word of God.". I would like you to explain constructively, as you have been so far. I really appreciate that. And No the bible is not the word of God, but of philosophers over time. With variations of course across different books. Some part of it is nice, especially when it talks about love. The question is, do we accept those philosophies blindly.

Yes, new testament is the fulfilment of the plan of God for the World after the first man fall from grace of God. God made man in His own image, but this samer man trusted in his own human sense of judgement and fell into Sin of disobedience to God his Creator. He placed the word of devil above the word of God. Isn't this a grveous sin? smiley

So because God still love the World He decided to send His only Son Jesus to come as a living sacrifice for we belevers. So, When you read the whole of the bible it tells you about Past, Present and Future. Past in the sense that you are able to know what happened between Man and God in the past, What present provision of God for man and the future of man as regards the present plan.

I beseech you in Chirst name be reconciled to God. smiley cheesy grin
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by Logical(m): 2:26pm On Feb 04, 2008
Interesting but i must said this.

1. When it comes to Atheism, the laws are established by mankind, approved by mankind, rational to mankind, logical to mankind and followed not blindly by mankind. Don't we understand our laws and follow them and respect them. I don't know about you, but I do ?

2. Your analogy "if someone handed to you an explosive and said you must not remove the lead else it will be detonated. "

You see it doesn't apply, because if I have the knowledge of what an explosive is, and I have experience or have seen the effects or read different documentation on the effects of an explosive.

I would be aware of the effects of removing the lead. This is through education not blind faith. It does not apply to the concept of religion, because religion is not an accepted authority, does not have rational proofs, requires blind assumption, and lastly goes against my principle of living.

I love every creed, race, tribe and tolerate different views and opinions. I cherish people for their diversity in insights, but accepting religion is totally betraying that established love. Its blind, wicked, heartless and irrational to accept religion.

And lastly I find it interesting when you say "I think it is not out of place if we understand anything fact Blindly",

How can a fact be blind?

Thanks anyway for your time, to each his own.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by dafidixone(m): 2:33pm On Feb 04, 2008
love every creed, race, tribe and tolerate different views and opinions. I cherish people for their diversity in insights, but accepting religion is totally betraying that established love. Its blind, wicked, heartless and irrational to accept religion.

I am not saying you should accept religion, I am only telling you to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and saviour.

If you are following your knowledge, you may fall into tempation of learning by trail and error. I wish you are wiser than this smiley
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by goodguy(m): 5:14pm On Feb 05, 2008
Rationally speaking, the only sensible parts of the Bible, IMO, are:

- Some parts of Job
- The Psalms
- The Proverbs
- Ecclesiastes
- The entire new testament.

Am I still considered a Christian if I choose to believe in, and live my life around just these parts of the Bible?
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by Logical(m): 8:31am On Feb 06, 2008
goodguy:

Am I still considered a Christian if I choose to believe in, and live my life around just these parts of the Bible?

I think you are a Christian once you believe in the concept of salvation? The rest is secondary, Do you?
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by goodguy(m): 1:36pm On Feb 07, 2008
The problem is that the concept of Salvation is still tied up in some way with those "secondary parts" of the Bible.
Re: Dawkins On Religion - Do Not Read If Easily Offended by huxley2(m): 1:04pm On Jun 04, 2009
What a god!

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