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Atheist Billboard In San Diego To Tout ‘Personal Relationship With Reality’

Above: The design for an atheist billboard that will go up on Martin Luther King Jr. freeway on Thursday, Jan. 31.

Religious billboards are a fairly common sight in San Diego, carrying messages like “Jesus is Lord, Not a Swear Word.” But starting Thursday, San Diegans will be treated to a different message.

The San Diego Coalition of Reason and American Atheists are setting up their own billboard. Drivers on Martin Luther King Jr. freeway (state Route 94) will see the sign near College Avenue that carries the message, “Atheism: A personal relationship with reality.”

Aired 1/31/13 on KPBS News.

Atheists groups are setting up a billboard in the College Area celebrating what they call "a personal relationship with reality."

The two groups spent $4,000 on the billboard to tell people what the term "atheist" really means, said Debbie Allen, the head of The San Diego Coalition of Reason.

“Some people assume that atheism is an entire world view," she said. "It’s not. It is an opinion about one thing and one thing only. About whether or not there are deities, fairies, goblins, ghosts, any kind of supernatural deity.”

The billboard will also advertise an upcoming speech by David Silverman, the president of American Atheists. Silverman said part of his speech’s message will be that religion demands special treatment it does not deserve.

“There’s a big difference between respecting people and respecting their beliefs," he said. "I respect every person, but I do not respect the belief in an invisible man in the sky, because that’s ridiculous.”

Silverman’s speech will be at UC San Diego on Sunday, Feb. 24. He said he's debuting the speech in San Diego because it has a growing community of atheists, and he wants to nourish it.

The population of atheists is growing across the country as well, according to a recent PEW study. It found the number of Americans who say they don’t have any religious affiliation has more than doubled since 1972.

While Allen said she wouldn't be surprised by some negative reaction to the sign, she said her group also put up a billboard in 2009 and received a lot of positive response from it. American Atheists and the national Coalition of Reason groups have been setting up similar billboards across the country over the past five years.

Comments

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | January 30, 2013 at 3:19 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

College and the 94? Not exactly the best neighborhood to advertise a lecture on atheism at UCSD. Odd, but I suppose billboards are cheaper there.

At least atheists are advertising. It's about time!

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Avatar for user 'Fredric'

Fredric | January 31, 2013 at 1:15 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Love it! The belief in invisible superfriends really is a profoundly insane delusion, glad to see that there are still people out there advocating sanity, education, information, science, reason.

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | January 31, 2013 at 11:35 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

I feel sorry to see how atheists are so ignorant of the truth.

Will someone help me to put a billboard saying:

Atheism = The evolution mistake.

Also bumper stickers will help.

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Avatar for user 'Jed'

Jed | February 5, 2013 at 3:07 p.m. ― 2 years ago

That's a little intolerant JanusVI. You should forgive them for they know not what they do. Now go pray to you imaginary invisible superfriend for forgiveness.

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | February 7, 2013 at 9:42 a.m. ― 2 years ago

Jed, Do you recommend to be tolerant with ignorance?

The reality is so simple to understand.

If you do not believe in God, then in what do you believe?

If you believe in evolution, then what is the evolution's goal?

Look 3.6 billion years in the past and you will find no life in the universe, only one single cell being. What does this being wants?

A) To die the sooner possible?

B) To control the universe?

Atheists select option A) as their absolute truth. That is way they are an obstacle in the evolution chain.

Jed, Can you handle the truth?

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | February 7, 2013 at 1:22 p.m. ― 2 years ago

I can't tell if J6 is serious or not. If you are trying to be serious J6, consider that there need not be a defined goal or intended end state to a natural process. Also consider that there are a number of gods and "one true ways" in which not to believe. Atheists are only rejecting one more than you are.

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | February 7, 2013 at 1:41 p.m. ― 2 years ago

The math is off, but this is intriguing:

"Look 3.6 billion years in the past and you will find no life in the universe, only one single cell being. What does this being wants?"

Did that "being" cause cell mutations because it hates itself or has a sick sense of humor? Prayers don't cure congenital illnesses.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | February 7, 2013 at 3:35 p.m. ― 2 years ago

DeLaRick,

Funny...because it's true.

J6,

I agree that atheists are absolutists, but so are you.

But, I'd place more faith in those who say there is absolutely not a giant fire-breathing six-headed dragon standing behind me over those who say there absolutely is. Comes down to Occam's razor.

Agnostic I will remain.

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Avatar for user 'Jed'

Jed | February 7, 2013 at 4:28 p.m. ― 2 years ago

CADefender... I have to agree on the point of atheist vs. agnostic. When it comes down to the clear definition of atheist there are very few, and I don't really side with those absolutists. Even Richard Dawkins agrees that in the firm definition he is an agnostic. So am I... since there is the sliver of possibility that there is a God. I don't bank on this and don't buy lottery tickets, though there is more possibility of winning the lottery. You won't find many who believe in God that will acknowledge the possibility that there is none. This is why the religious appear as close minded.

J6... I don't argue with fools, they bring you down to there level and beat you with experience (Twain). If you could reason with the religious there would be no religion. (Dr House) :-)

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | February 7, 2013 at 5:22 p.m. ― 2 years ago


111111111111111111111111

Jed :"I don't argue with fools,"

..
that's your prerogative, good luck with your microscopic vision of the truth.

In the other hand..

2222222222222222222222
...................
benz72
"consider that there need not be a defined goal or intended end state to a natural process."

...
If there are not a defined goal, look around you benz72 and please mention something that has a defined goal: _______________

333333333333333333333333

DeLaRick,

"I agree that atheists are absolutists, but so are you."

..
Dear DeLaRick the truth is absolute

Look 13.5 billion years in the past and what do you see?

The universe the size of atom.

YES :_______ or NO:_________________

Now look 13.5 billion years in the future and tell us what do you see?

A) Only inert matter in the universe.

B) Life controlling the universe.

DeLaRick :__________________

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | February 7, 2013 at 5:27 p.m. ― 2 years ago

Line 33333333333 is for CaliforniaDefender

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | February 7, 2013 at 6:45 p.m. ― 2 years ago

Line 33,333,333,333 is for me? Why, thank you.

So the truth is absolute. So there absolutely must be a dragon behind me right now. But I know you can't see it as you're not here. So who told you? Why do you believe them? Are you absolutely, positively sure?

13.5 billion years ago, I see elementary particles. Anything else is debatable at our current stage of human intellect.

13.5 billion years from now, I see a mess. Earth will have been destroyed 5 billion years earlier as the Sun became a red giant, engulfing it. Plus our Galaxy will have collided with Andromeda. Good times!

Why do you think life controls the universe? I'd say it is much the other way around. But if I have to guess, I'd say life at that time probably exists somewhere else, in some other form.

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | February 7, 2013 at 8:08 p.m. ― 2 years ago

CaliforniaDefender
Why do you think life controls the universe?

Because that is the goal of the First being.

Just look at the facts. Day one, just a being the size of a bacteria, day 3.5 billions covers the earth.

Do you see a pattern?

Yes:_______ No:________

For the future astrophysicists tell us life will control galaxies and be immortal.

Do you see the obvious now?

Yes:____ No:______

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | February 8, 2013 at 7:12 a.m. ― 2 years ago

Will someone help me to put a billboard saying:

Atheism = The evolution mistake.

Revelation 1:8

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Matthew 13:31-32

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Conclusion: If you do not believe in God, then What do you believe?

Do you believe in LIFE?
Do you believe in the TRUTH?
Do you believe in THE WAY (The pattern life shows)?

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | February 8, 2013 at 7:14 a.m. ― 2 years ago

J6, presumably the defined goal of the posts you make is to persuade those who read them to share your beliefs. I may not have identified the goal correctly, but you had a goal when you wrote them did you not?

I know the defined goal of my posts is to encourage those who read them to critically examine the point I am intending to make, consider the context of the discussion, and then formulate and post a reasoned reply.

The defined goal of the Guidelines section (please correct any errors in this assumption KPBS) at the bottom of this page is to inhibit unacceptable behavior and encourage civil discussion.

This really should not be a surprise to someone capable of logging on to a computer and leaving a post.
Also, you may want to review the idea of a false dichotomy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_di...

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Avatar for user 'Jed'

Jed | February 8, 2013 at 7:23 a.m. ― 2 years ago

J6 believes in God, but not the bible. The bible makes reference to a timeline contrary to J6's 3.6 billion years in the past, and 13.5 billion years in the past. In the bible there is no mention of a single cell evolving, in fact quite the contrary. The bible also tells of the second coming and the rapture, but J6 is suggesting we may have to wait 13.5 billion years to see this happen. J6 is clever, much more clever than his God since he can pick and choose what to believe in his holy scripture. He can decide what God left out and choose his own holy scripture... the gospel according to Michio who tells us about extraterrestrial intelligent beings... something else his God left out of the bible.

The incoherent ramblings of a zealot.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | February 8, 2013 at 9:58 a.m. ― 2 years ago

FREDRIC, you label people "insane" based on what??? You're not exactly earning brownie points for your cause. But you keep up that self-satisfying smugness.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | February 8, 2013 at 10:01 a.m. ― 2 years ago

CA OFF, so we all know now you have neither faith in your fellow man (because for you they're all slime), nor in a Higher Power because that is "delusional". But that's okay. Enjoy your ego.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | February 8, 2013 at 10:47 a.m. ― 2 years ago

As fun as it is to anonymously debate the existence of a higher power in the comments section of a website, maybe we should all meet up at an Applebee's or something and discuss this over mozzerella sticks like civilized human beings.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | February 8, 2013 at 11:25 a.m. ― 2 years ago

lol It says something about our society that the issues that illicit our most emotional responses, more so than well thought out ones, have to do with race/ethnicity, sexual ethics (or lack thereof), and religious differences. Even more so than politics or economic or foreign affair issues. And I don't mean just on this website but all others.

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | February 8, 2013 at 11:48 a.m. ― 2 years ago

llk,

Meeting for lunch with all the regular contributors is a great idea. Just don't invite the folks who turned the topic of the private swimming program for Muslim women at the Y into a fiasco. They'd ruin everything. I'm sure Janus VI will bring proof of a supreme being, not just proof of worship.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | February 8, 2013 at 1:52 p.m. ― 2 years ago

An interesting proposal Ilk, care to set out an agenda and a time/address?

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | February 11, 2013 at 1:01 a.m. ― 2 years ago

1111111111111111111
Benz72:

You say that you and I have goals,

Are you and I part of a natural process call evolution?
Benz72: Yes :______ No :________

Are goals part of the evolutorary process?
Benz72: Yes:____ No:_________

Do you call my teaching of the truth a false dichotomy?
Benz72: Yes:____ No:_________

Is atheism Personal Relationship With Reality?
Benz72: Yes:____ No:_________

22222222222222222222222222222222222
Jed

If you do not believe in God, Do you believe in Life?

33333333333333333333333333333333

llk,

Is not about "The debate the existence of a higher power" is to understand what we can see to find reality.
Applebee's sound great for lunch.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | February 11, 2013 at 7:02 a.m. ― 2 years ago

J6, I'll answer your questions, but please stop presenting them in Y/N forms. There are degrees of accuracy in many descriptions and, especially when we are not certain we share a common understanding of the terminology we are using, it is likely to lead to confusion.

1) Somewhat a part of the process.
2) No
3) Not answerable, I don't see that what you are presenting is either truth or teaching
4) Too poetically worded to make a good foundation for discussion but mostly, yes

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | February 15, 2013 at 5:29 p.m. ― 2 years ago

Hello benz72

In the billboard we can read "atheism Personal Relationship With Reality"

So reality can not be vague.

The sooner atheists explains reality they will become theists.

I do not know why they can not see it.

Atheists please go to the basic, look at the first living being in the evolution chain and ask your self, What he wants to do?

The answer is: He wants to control the universe.

Or please write your answer so we can read what reality means for the atheists:____________

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Avatar for user 'danniella'

danniella | February 16, 2013 at 4:37 a.m. ― 2 years ago

I saw this billboard last week and was so excited. I feel like it's overdue. I don't disrespect other's beliefs nor do I complain about being offended when I see billboards saying Jesus wants to talk to me. For someone to call atheists ignorant in reality are in fact ignorant themselves. We have the freedom to choose. What makes any one person feel they are all knowing and superior above any one else?

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | February 16, 2013 at 7:39 a.m. ― 2 years ago

Please Danniella is Atheism a believe we can choose or a personal relationship with reality?

Danniella:________________________

Again if atheism is personal relationship with reality, can you explain us reality so we can be atheists too?

Please go to the basic, look at the first living being in the evolution chain and ask your self, What he wants to do?

The answer is: He wants to control the universe.

Or please write your answer so we can read what reality means for the atheists.

Danniella: ____________________

The San Diego Coalition of Reason :______________________________

American Atheists:________________

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg:___________________

Bill Maher :___________________

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Avatar for user 'Anon11'

Anon11 | February 16, 2013 at 11:49 a.m. ― 2 years ago

Reality includes things that have been proven to exist, which can be independently verified.

Where is the evidence for a supreme being? : ________________________

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | February 17, 2013 at 7:04 a.m. ― 2 years ago

Where is the evidence for a supreme being? :

LIFE is the evidence, It born from a single cell being and is in the way of controlling the universe.

The ALPHA (the first) of the evolution chain has the goal of controlling the universe, the OMEGA (the last) of the evolution chain is the almighty. The ALPHA and the OMEGA are one.

The ALPHA as no doubt in reaching the goal.

Anon11, you can independently verified this evidence.

Let me help you understand.

Take an apple seed and think if I place it under ground what it want to do?

a) Die.

b) Create an apple tree.

c) Create a forest full of apple trees.

Your answer will show us how much knowledge you have or how much atheism as been controlling your capacity to face the truth.

Anon11 answer: a, b or c.

-----------------------------222--------------

So for our friends of the billboard the question is the same:

Please go to the basic, look at the first living being in the evolution chain and ask your self, What he wants to do?

The answer is: He wants to control the universe.

Or please write your answer so we can read what reality means for the atheists.

Danniella: ____________________

The San Diego Coalition of Reason :______________________________

American Atheists:________________

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg:___________________

Bill Maher :___________________

(Your name) :____________________

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | February 18, 2013 at 12:39 p.m. ― 2 years ago

J6,

You still haven't explained how life controls the universe. Life is a condition of the physical universe and subject to it.

If I were to ask the first (or any) life form "what he wants to do" the answer would be to reproduce as it can't live forever. All other actions are subordinate.

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Avatar for user 'Anon11'

Anon11 | February 18, 2013 at 1:52 p.m. ― 2 years ago

I want to play.

"LIFE is the evidence, It born from a single cell being and is in the way of controlling the universe."

We have no proof of how the universe began, really. I like how you indirectly acknowledged that we all evolved from a single cell.

However you believe "god" came to exist is the same way I believe the universe came to exist.

"The ALPHA (the first) of the evolution chain has the goal of controlling the universe, the OMEGA (the last) of the evolution chain is the almighty. The ALPHA and the OMEGA are one.

The ALPHA as no doubt in reaching the goal."

I don't even know how to decipher this.

"Anon11, you can independently verified this evidence."

How, exactly?

"Let me help you understand.

Take an apple seed and think if I place it under ground what it want to do?

a) Die.

b) Create an apple tree.

c) Create a forest full of apple trees.

Your answer will show us how much knowledge you have or how much atheism as been controlling your capacity to face the truth.

Anon11 answer: a, b or c."

Depends on the climate, season and soil. Agricultural sciences have taught us this.

So really, the answer could be any of the 3.

"So for our friends of the billboard the question is the same:

Please go to the basic, look at the first living being in the evolution chain and ask your self, What he wants to do?

The answer is: He wants to control the universe."

Where did you learn this?

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | February 20, 2013 at 2:06 p.m. ― 2 years ago

111 C D 11

"Life is a condition of the physical universe and subject to it."

Life wants to give a new order to the physical universe.

Do you see it?

"You still haven't explained how life controls the universe"

Astrophysicists, explain us that life wants controls the universe using wisdom and being immortal.

.

"If I were to ask the first (or any) life form "what he wants to do" the answer would be to reproduce as it can't live forever"

Dear CALIFORNIAD, you say "any" life form has "to reproduce" as a goal, Do you see any being in the evolution chain trying to be immortal?

If you do not see Immortality as a civilization goal since 7,000 years ago, I do not know how can I help you.

Now once more time California Defender, let me help you to connect the dots so you can understand the truth.

-- 3.5 billion years ago life begun as a bacteria. His goal was and has been controlling the universe. First want to get the substance around him to survive and create more life.
Living creatures create new ways to using the environment and keep growing.

Wisdom came to life with thinking beings, the same goal still intact "control the universe", the only difference is that now we can use language to express the goal.

Now, Do you see "eternity" and a Almighty being as part of the origin of civilization?

California Defender:_

Today we have atheists that do believe in God, that is ok, but now if you ask them: ok there are no God, What you want to do with universe?

The only answer will be "control the universe and be immortal". Now you can understand that when atheists look at life and his goal in the universe, this one points to an almighty being.

But the atheists can have other answers, like "our goal is to die the sooner possible" and here you can understand their are an evolution mistake.

Any other goal, will end in the same.

I hope that you can understand that "Evolution is the gospel of life" and "Atheism is the gospel of death".

22222 ANON11 22222

"
Anon11 answer: a, b or c."

Depends on the climate, season and soil. Agricultural sciences have taught us this.

So really, the answer could be any of the 3.
.

I try to make simple questions to avoid misunderstanding, but your wisdom and knowledge is notable.

Let me help you understand again.

Take an apple seed and think if I place it under ground what it want to do?

a) To have bad climate, wrong season and bad soil to Die.

b) To have climate, season and soil to create one apple tree.

c) To be in a good soil, great climate and season to create a forest full of apple trees.

Your answer will show us how much knowledge you have or how much atheism as been controlling your capacity to face the truth.

///
"Where did you learn this?"

I learn this searching for the truth. I was an atheists but around 1995 I get to this conclusion: "God is the absolute truth even if your beliefs are based in evolution".

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | March 1, 2013 at 3:42 a.m. ― 2 years ago

So for our friends of the billboard the question is the same:

Please go to the basic, look at the first living being in the evolution chain and ask your self, What he wants to do?

The answer is: He wants to control the universe.

Or please write your answer so we can read what REALITY means for the atheists.

The San Diego Coalition of Reason :______________________________

American Atheists:________________

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg:___________________

Neil deGrasse Tyson:________________

Bill Maher :___________________

(Your name) :____________________

...........................................
“Atheism: A personal relationship with __________________?"

With what? Something atheists can not define?

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | March 4, 2013 at 12:53 a.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

Are atheists able to teach us what reality is?

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | March 4, 2013 at 6:41 a.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

Often, yes.

The idea that since we can't answer every question we must not be able to provide good answers to some questions is nonsense.

Turn the question around. Does a mystical worldview provide a better model of reality than a skeptical worldview? I do not know many people who think that it does. I know I would prefer having my medical problems tended by a medical doctor rather than a priest.

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | March 6, 2013 at 10:08 a.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

Benz72 the question I make is not mystical, it is so simple that help you understand reality.

Do you see life around you?

What does life want to do with the universe?

Again it is not mystical, look an a ant, a flower, a bee.

Do you have any sense of reasoning or you follow the atheist with a blind faith?

Look at the link from the Michio Kaku, does he talk about mysticism or about the goal of life?

.......................
One more time:

WHAT DOES LIFE WANT TO DO WITH THE UNIVERSE?

The sooner atheists answer this question we can understand what atheism is.

Think in a river, in the end of this river we have a waterfall.

But instead of water this river is full of brainless atheist. This is the time, is the opportunity to show us where the river goes, and let the thinking atheist came out of this caudal.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | March 6, 2013 at 12:25 p.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

J6, I find your line of questioning to be poorly worded and your aspersions to be insulting. I am neither brainless nor the product of someone's posterior. Try polite discussion.

To answer you though, LIFE is not a single or unified entity and can not possibly want in a collective sense like you seem to be implying. Therefore the answer to your question in "nothing". There is not some grand premeditated end state, nor does there need to be.

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | March 6, 2013 at 4:39 p.m. ― 1 year, 12 months ago

We are going in circles like politicians.

Ok benz72 if LIFE wants to do nothing with the universe. Please mention something that wants something?

..........
The sooner you mention something that wants something you will mention LIFE. and you will understand why atheists are in a river going to a waterfall call NOTHING.

Then I invite you to share the goal of evolution, and get out of the river of NOTHING.

..........

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | March 13, 2013 at 11:55 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

So for our friends of the billboard the question is the same:

Please go to the basic, look at the first living being in the evolution chain and ask your self, What he wants to do?

The answer is: He wants to control the universe.

Or please write your answer so we can read what REALITY means for the atheists.

The San Diego Coalition of Reason :______________________________

American Atheists:________________

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg:___________________

Neil deGrasse Tyson:________________

Bill Maher :___________________

(Your name) :____________________

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | March 13, 2013 at 12:22 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Did the overweight middle age anglo guy who put up a "Latina wanted" billboard ever find his Latina?

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Avatar for user 'Alex_Grebenshchikov'

Alex_Grebenshchikov | March 13, 2013 at 12:23 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm glad we live in a free country where we are allowed to believe whatever we want and enjoy freedom of speech. I do not, in all honesty, understand why atheists would care at all to evangelize... if they really believe in no god, why do they care about anything other people believe, and in particular why would they care if someone else does or does not believe in a god? I don't care that they put up a billboard, it's their money, it just seems odd/funny/pointless to me. Is there an atheist here that can enlighten me please?

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | March 13, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

AG, not that I would spend money to do this, but there is an interest by (some) atheists in reducing the 'collateral damage' of mystical thinking. E.g. Significant portions of the world refuse to use contraception or actively seek to kill members of other sects or ignore scientific discovery because of their affiliation.
Those who believe that good answers come from critical thinking, not divine inspiration posses an interest in having their neighbors and countrymen apply that critical thinking when considering issues that affect them.

Doubtlessly there are also those who delight in mocking those who still adhere to beliefs they find outdated. Remember the teasing that kid in grade school got for being the last one to discover Santa Claus wasn’t real? That kind of thing.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | March 13, 2013 at 1:02 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

J6, I want you to ask only sensible, answerable questions.

I am still not in a river, nor approaching a waterfall. Evolution still has no end goal, any more than gravity has a goal or oxidation has a goal. It is a process and anthropomorphization does not make understanding it any easier.

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Avatar for user 'Alex_Grebenshchikov'

Alex_Grebenshchikov | March 13, 2013 at 1:31 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

benz72, thanks for the perspective. I share your belief that good answers come from critical thinking, "just because" is not an answer. Throughout world history, there has truly been a lot of collateral damage due to mystical thinking. You don't have to waste your time answering me if you wish not to, but I would enjoy understanding a little more, purely for my own benefit (I have not had the opportunity to dialogue with a somewhat educated atheist regarding their beliefs without the conversation becoming a little emotional). My follow up question is this - do atheists have an interest in promoting atheism for their own benefit exclusively, or do they believe their efforts serve a greater cause, i.e., promoting their beliefs will benefit all of humanity?

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benz72 | March 13, 2013 at 2:21 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

I would be careful of questions that assume collective goals. I don't think there is really a meaningful answer that broad.

In the specific sense, I don't have much interest in benefiting all of humanity. There are a lot of reasons for this from the practical (I don't want North Korea or Al Qaeda to be benefited in any way because they would be more successful when they try to do me harm) to the apathetic (live and let live) to the lack of consensus on "better" (I don't relish the idea of someone in Beijing trying to make things 'better' for me in a way that I really don't want to have occur).

I generally think that people who find comfort in religion without harming others shouldn't be bothered, but when they try to impose restrictions based on their ideas I take offense. (e.g. I don't care if you still want to think that Santa left you a present, but if you try to legislate that all shops must be closed on Christmas I object).

Do you think the world would be better if nobody believed in the supernatural? I'm honestly not sure one way or the other. Presumably we would find some other thing to foolishly fight about.

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benz72 | March 13, 2013 at 2:54 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

AG, I just reread my post and find it might be misinterpreted to be saying that we are in a foolish fight. My intent was to say that we (humans, societies, nations, political parties, interest groups, religions) fight about things that don't matter much, rather than that you and I were arguing. Sorry for any confusion.

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JanusVI | March 13, 2013 at 3:13 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

@ benz72
J6, I want you to ask only sensible, answerable questions.

Let me make it simpler.

1) Do you see any goal in the next phrase:

"there is an interest by (some) atheists in reducing the 'collateral damage' of mystical thinking."?

Benz72 Yes ______ No ________

2) Do you think the previous Phrase was done for a member of the evolution chain?

Benz72 Yes ________ No _______

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benz72 | March 13, 2013 at 3:20 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

The goal of the author was to communicate. The phrase itself has no goal, as it is not a conscious entity.

I'm not sure what you mean by asking the second question. The statement was made by and made to persons who are the result of evolutionary processes. Is that what you wanted to know?

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JanusVI | March 13, 2013 at 3:24 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

1) Can we say the goal of the author is "avoid damage"?

2) The second question is: "If the statement was made by and made to persons who are the result of evolutionary processes?

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JanusVI | March 13, 2013 at 3:51 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Dear Alex_Grebenshchikov you can see how atheists can not explain reality.

.............................................
So for our friends of the billboard the question is the same:

Please go to the basic, look at the first living being in the evolution chain and ask your self, What he wants to do?

The answer is: He wants to control the universe.

Or please write your answer so we can read what REALITY means for the atheists.

The San Diego Coalition of Reason :______________________________

American Atheists:________________

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg:___________________

Neil deGrasse Tyson:________________

Bill Maher :___________________

(Your name) :____________________

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Alex_Grebenshchikov | March 13, 2013 at 4:47 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

@benz72, thank you for the honest, very well thought out and very well explained response, I really do appreciate it. My assessment is of little importance, but for what it's worth, you do seem to have a consistent worldview in my opinion. Many people, well, most, do not seem to have a consistent worldview in one way or another. I think I had been struggling to understand the basis for morality under the atheistic worldview, meaning, if I am an atheist, why should I care about working towards some sort of moral greater cause unless my efforts benefit me in some way, be it directly or indirectly? Your answer makes sense to me, and I think if I were an atheist, I would have a very similar worldview. But, being a theist myself, it is impossible for me to know exactly what my worldview would look like as an atheist, which is precisely why I value asking questions like this and learning from the answers.

I do think it is quite possible to have a reasonable and consistent theistic worldview. Unfortunately, the theists that get the most attention and make us all look bad are the ones who are the most aggressive and probably the least rational. Good science and good theology/philosophy should not be at war, but should compliment each other. There are philosophical and theological concepts that science is simply not designed to test, and on the flip side, there is a sound and logical scientific method established to help us better understand the world we live in, and which should not be rejected if the science produces unsettling data.

JanusVI, I sympathize with your cause. I am not sure exactly what type of theist you are, but you are likely driven by a strong conviction that the people here need to hear and believe the message you are giving, otherwise they will suffer severe consequences in the afterlife. I would encourage you, if you are a Christian, to remember that you do not have the power to "save" someone from hell through winning an argument, it is only God that has the power to save, and only God speaks to the heart and mind. It is good, and actually your responsibility, to be prepared with a reason for the hope that is in you. But, I honestly don't think your approach here is effective at all. The people you want to win over will likely see emotional and unreasonable bursts that have no relevance to them. To be heard and taken seriously, you need to be able to have meaningful dialogue with others. If you can't even make it to the discussion table, how can you discuss anything with anyone?

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benz72 | March 13, 2013 at 4:54 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

J6, You can say anything you like. I don't know what damage the statement would be intended to avoid? Also, your second question uses an "if" condition with no corresponding "then" and is unanswerable. I hope I am the only one having such a difficult time understanding what you are asking, but I doubt it. If you would like to continue with these questions, please make them clear.

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benz72 | March 14, 2013 at 7:29 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Thanks AG, for a more complete explanation of a similar position you may be interested in reading Godless Morality by Richard Holloway (who was a bishop).

I agree that the quiet and well behaved in any group are seldom remarked or reported on. I suppose "Nothing noteworthy happened here today" doesn't make a very interesting headline.

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JanusVI | March 17, 2013 at 8:31 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Alex_Grebenshchikov:
"I would encourage you, if you are a Christian, to remember that you do not have the power to "save" someone from hell through winning an argument, it is only God that has the power to save, and only God speaks to the heart and mind. "

Do you think we should go out to fish for people?

Alex_Grebenshchikov: Yes ________ No __________

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Alex_Grebenshchikov:
"It is good, and actually your responsibility, to be prepared with a reason for the hope that is in you. But, I honestly don't think your approach here is effective at all."

I really appreciate your criticism, it will help me to work harder.

Tell us if the questions I will make under this doble lines to Benz72 are hard to respond?

===============================================

Benz72
"If you would like to continue with these questions, please make them clear."

Ok Benz72, let me try it again.

you say:

"there is an interest by (some) atheists in reducing the 'collateral damage' of mystical thinking."

Look at your frase and tell us.
Do you see "Reducing Damage" as a goal?

Benz72: Yes ___________ No _________

Do you see this goal in humans only?

Benz72: Yes ______ No ________

=====================
=====================
So for our friends of the billboard the question is the same:

Please go to the basic, look at the first living being in the evolution chain and ask your self, What he wants to do?

The answer is: He wants to control the universe.

Or please write your answer so we can read what REALITY means for the atheists.

The San Diego Coalition of Reason :______________________________

American Atheists:________________

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg:___________________

Neil deGrasse Tyson:________________

Bill Maher :___________________

(Your name) :____________________

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benz72 | March 18, 2013 at 7:06 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Reducing damage is clearly a goal.

As to your second question, I don't know of any non-humans who are cognizant of religion and could therefore formulate goals regarding it. So, yes, I see this goal in humans only.

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JanusVI | March 18, 2013 at 7:27 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

You do not see "reducing damage" in a deer running away from a lion, that is ok.

You see this goal in humans.

Do you see Controlling the Universe as a goal since the genesis of civilization?

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benz72 | March 18, 2013 at 8:32 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

We were specifically speaking of the atheistic view that since religions cause damage a reduction in mystical thinking would be beneficial to the world. Of course prey flees from (or fights against) predators, but that isn't what we were discussing.

I think controlling the universe is an unattainable goal for anyone foolish enough to attempt it. I also think that attributing anything but the most immediate goals necessary for survival to as broad a category as all of civilization is a meaningless statement.

I can definitively state that I consider myself to be civilized and do not seek to control the universe. I expect I am far from unique in characterizing myself this way.

If you would care to lay out your chain of reasoning that causes you to reach the conclusions that support your position we can discuss it.

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Anon11 | March 18, 2013 at 9:20 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

"Please go to the basic, look at the first living being in the evolution chain and ask your self, What he wants to do?

The answer is: He wants to control the universe."

How did you derive this answer? Do you have any supporting references?

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JanusVI | March 20, 2013 at 11:23 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

@BENZ72
"I think controlling the universe is an unattainable goal for anyone foolish enough to attempt it. "

If you want to understand reality, ( like "atheists" say get), then you need to see 15 billions of years of the past and 15 billion of years in the future.

Evolution is similar to a train from San Diego to New York. Think that we live in Wichita, Atheist reality is that the train came from one side of the city and end in the other side of the city.

..........222222222..........................
@BENZ72
"If you would care to lay out your chain of reasoning that causes you to reach the conclusions that support your position we can discuss it."
@ANON11
"The answer is: He wants to control the universe."
How did you derive this answer? Do you have any supporting references?"

Both have the same question, lets try.
Please follow each question so we can draw reality.

Look at the genesis of life. We can see there is only one living creature, we can call him "Alpha"

The alpha is the size of a bacteria.

1
Person A say: I think alpha can cover an area of 1 square inch.
Person B say: covering that area is an unattainable goal for anyone foolish enough to attempt.

Who you think is right A or B

benz72 :________
Anon11 :_________
(your name) : ________

2
Person A say: I think alpha can create an Particle accelerator.
Person B say: To create a particle accelerator is an unattainable goal for anyone foolish enough to attempt.

Who you think is right A or B

benz72 :________
Anon11 :_________
(your name):_________

3
Person A (Michiu Kaku) say that life has the goal of controlling galaxies and be immortal.
Person B (benz72) say controlling the universe is an unattainable goal for anyone foolish enough to attempt it.

Who you think is right A or B

benz72 :________
Anon11 :_________
(your name):_________

==================================

I answering this questions help you have a clear understanding of reality.

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benz72 | March 20, 2013 at 1:11 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Are you attempting to convey that our failure to control the universe is somehow attributable to a lack of perspective or desire rather than real physical limits imposed by, for example, vast distance, energy production and the speed of communication?

I haven't said that we can't create particle accelerators and though I admit I may be misreading your statements and am not a microbiologist, bacteria are at least a few orders of magnitude smaller than an inch.

So, please tell me how you plan to control the universe. If I could ask for a meager demonstration of such awesome power, please have the CA state legislature pass a balanced budget, on time and have the US sovereign debt forgiven.

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JanusVI | March 20, 2013 at 2:12 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

@BENZ72
"Are you attempting to convey that our failure to control the universe is somehow attributable to a lack of perspective or desire rather than real physical limits"

....................................

I am talking about perspective of reality.

There are 2 options that you can select.

a) Atheists : We are the pinnacle of evolution. Any attempt of improvement is a waste of time because the physical limits.

b) Astrophysicists: Life have the goal of controlling galaxies and be immortal.

Which one make sense to you?

benz72 : _______________
(your name): __________________

.....................................................

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benz72 | March 20, 2013 at 2:28 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

There are certainly more than two options when it comes to perceiving reality. We are not a pinnacle of anything, and will continue to evolve. Which atheists are you consulting that claim no improvements to our current form are possible because of physical limitations? I'd also like you to quote an astrophysicist who maintains anything similar to "Life have the goal of controlling galaxies and be immortal". I’m beginning to suspect you don’t have a strong grasp of evolutionary biology or astrophysics. I also note that you have failed to explain your proposed method for gaining control of the universe. Please share your plans with us.

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JanusVI | March 20, 2013 at 2:51 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

....................11111111111111..........

This video is the astrophysicists quote you ask for.

........................22222222222222222..............
@BENZ72
"There are certainly more than two options when it comes to perceiving reality"

If there are more than this two please teach us one more please.

There are 2 options, or more, that you can select.

a) Atheists : We are the pinnacle of evolution. Any attempt of improvement is a waste of time because the physical limits.

b) Astrophysicists: Life have the goal of controlling galaxies and be immortal.

c) BENZ2: The limit of evolution is:____________________

Which one make sense to you?

benz72 : _______________
(your name): __________________

.....................................................

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Missionaccomplished | March 20, 2013 at 3:24 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Give example of this evil "damage," BENZ.

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benz72 | March 20, 2013 at 3:33 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Some interesting stuff in Dr. Kaku's presentation, but it is mostly speculation and delivered in a conversational rather than a technical style, introducing the potential for misinterpretation. (Also, according to Wikipedia he is a theoretical physicist, not an astrophysicist).
He didn't say that individuals were immortal; he said that civilizations were 'immortal' in the sense that the civilization couldn't be destroyed by a supernova because they could relocate or interfere with the process. That is hardly the same thing. Also, a galaxy is not the universe and drawing power from some source is not the same as controlling it.

There are all kinds of limitations to evolution. For a better explanation than I could give, pick up a copy of The Selfish Gene. There was also a good discussion of a similar process in (I think) The Moral Animal.

I'll try to put this as unambiguously as possible. Evolution is an unconscious process. It does not want; there are no pinnacles, goals or grand designs. There is a (partially) traceable history, but no predetermined future course towards a universe controlling immortal being.

Best of luck on your apotheosis.

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JanusVI | March 20, 2013 at 3:49 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

@BENZ72
"Evolution is an unconscious process. It does not want; there are no pinnacles, goals or grand designs. "

..................
Humans are a link in the evolution process,
Can we say: "HUMANS are an unconscious process. It does not want; there are no pinnacles, goals or grand designs."?

BENZ72: _________________________

.............

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benz72 | March 20, 2013 at 3:50 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Damage caused by religion? OK

Catholic/Protestant warfare during the Irish troubles
Spanish inquisition
The European religious wars of purification
Unwilling human sacrifice
Muslim/Jew and Sunni/Shia/Sufi problems in the Middle East
Westborough Baptist church protests of military funerals
Televangelists fleecing people of their savings
Salem witch trials
Religiously based social oppression and disenfranchisement throughout much of the world
Suicide bombers in search of virgins
Prohibition of or restrictions on contraceptives and family planning
Blue laws

I'm sure you can add a few to the list if you feel so inclined.

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benz72 | March 20, 2013 at 3:55 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

No J6, you cannot accurately say that. Be careful not to confuse an individual object with the description of a process that affects it. You can correctly state that a ball is red and also that a ball is affected by gravity but cannot accurately say that gravity is red.

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JanusVI | March 20, 2013 at 4:07 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

If we can not say
"HUMANS are an unconscious process. They do not want; there are no pinnacles, goals or grand designs."

Then

What humans want, which is their pinnacle or goal?

Benz72;____________________

......

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JanusVI | March 20, 2013 at 5:40 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

So for our friends of the billboard the question is the same:

Please go to the basic, look at the first living being in the evolution chain and ask your self, What he wants to do?

The answer is: He wants to control the universe.

Or please write your answer so we can read what REALITY means for the atheists.

The San Diego Coalition of Reason :______________________

American Atheists:________________

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg:___________________

Neil deGrasse Tyson:________________

Bill Maher :___________________

Morgan Freeman: ____________________

(Your name) :____________________

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Anon11 | March 21, 2013 at 9:44 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

@J6

First off, I'm upset you weren't able to directly answer my questions. I think it is safe to assume you have no evidence to support your theories. Maybe some self-reflection is in order, if you can tear down the stubborn walls of faith and indoctrination.

"Look at the genesis of life. We can see there is only one living creature, we can call him "Alpha""

How do you know this to be true?

"The alpha is the size of a bacteria."

Again, how do you know this to be true? (Especially considering bacteria come in different shapes and sizes)

"1
Person A say: I think alpha can cover an area of 1 square inch.
Person B say: covering that area is an unattainable goal for anyone foolish enough to attempt.

Who you think is right A or B"

The whole question is derived from unsubstantiated theory. It's like asking someone, "Which is faster, yellow or circle?". No content in your question has any merit, so until you establish that by referencing your sources, there's no answer to give.

"2
Person A say: I think alpha can create an Particle accelerator.
Person B say: To create a particle accelerator is an unattainable goal for anyone foolish enough to attempt.

Who you think is right A or B"

How can they know what a particle accelerator is if it hasn't been created?

"3
Person A (Michiu Kaku) say that life has the goal of controlling galaxies and be immortal.
Person B (benz72) say controlling the universe is an unattainable goal for anyone foolish enough to attempt it.

Who you think is right A or B"

This question is beyond the scope of current collective human knowledge. Asking it does nothing to prove any point you've even tried to make throughout this whole debate.

How about rather than structuring your replies the exact same way, just show us where you learned all this. Is it all from the Bible? Are there books you've read or websites you can share with us? Anything?

At some point, when reality can't validate faith, you should really consider switching from the latter to the former.

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benz72 | March 22, 2013 at 7:36 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

J6, I have to agree with Anon11. It seems like you keep dodging our questions. I'll answer this last one and then leave your questions unanswered until you provide some answers of your own.

Humans want many things. One of the most complete answers I can think of would be to reference Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I don't agree with some of the specifics but the general theory serves as a good basis for discussing they types of things and relative importance of things that humans want. Note that even the top of his explanation (self actualization) does not include a goal nearly so lofty as "control the universe".

Have a good day.

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DeLaRick | March 22, 2013 at noon ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Conversations about religion are always spirited. Everything else being equal, Janus' faith and the transcendent power of that faith is no joke. However, the existence of a supreme being hasn't been proven, all we have is proof of worship. What the faithful call "miracles," others simply regard as coincidence. Janus, the onus of proving the non-existence of a supreme being isn't on agnostics and/or atheists. In this day and age, the onus of proving a god's existence is on the believers.

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JanusVI | March 22, 2013 at 9:14 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

=================
@ANON11
Person A (Michiu Kaku) say that life has the goal of controlling galaxies and be immortal.
Person B (benz72) say controlling the universe is an unattainable goal for anyone foolish enough to attempt it.

Who you think is right A or B"

This question is beyond the scope of current collective human knowledge.

..........

Dear Anon11, I try to show is the pattern life shows all around us.

Do you understand at lease that?

If you see a orange seed do you understand that will give an orange tree?

You ask where I learn all this? and the answer is not in books, I learn by looking around me. I was an atheist and I was in search for the truth, I find it and I want share it with you.

===============================

@BENZ72
Note that even the top of his explanation (self actualization) does not include a goal nearly so lofty as "control the universe".

"Control the Universe" Is the obvious last step of the self actualization. Maybe not the obvious.

Tell us how much do you think humans want to control.

a) A house.
b) A city.
c) A country.
d) A planet.
e) A Galaxy.

Your answer is important so we all can see how atheist's reality sees the universe.

===================
@DELARICK

The conversation is not about religion is about the truth. Look around you and tell us if you believe in life.

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Anon11 | March 22, 2013 at 11:31 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

"Dear Anon11, I try to show is the pattern life shows all around us.

Do you understand at lease that?"

If your interpretation of life's patterns had any legitimacy, they would be documented and referenced as proof for your position. Where is the proof?

Hitchens put it nicely. "That which can be asserted without evidence, can also be dismissed without evidence".

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DeLaRick | March 23, 2013 at 12:44 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Janus, with all due respect, to paraphrase the Book of Job, where were you when God laid the Earth's foundations? What do you, or anyone else for that matter, know about life? If you believe in a Christian God, don't profess to have intimate knowledge of his actions (the true meaning of "taking the Lord's name in vain"). Life is life with or without us. Your idea of "controlling the universe" is speech for the powerless and dispossesed.

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Missionaccomplished | March 24, 2013 at 8:02 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

OMG BENZ, can I say OMG? Well, I don't text.

I thought you were going go give me something more ideological or examples from cultural history. Instead your response is superficial, generalized and reductionist--especially pertaining to Islam and the Irish Troubles and deliberately mixing secular with non-secular policies; the acts of institutions with those of rogue groups or lone wolves. You will have to try again.

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JanusVI | March 24, 2013 at 11:49 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

@ANON11
"If your interpretation of life's patterns had any legitimacy, they would be documented and referenced as proof for your position. Where is the proof?"

The proof that life's pattern is to control the universe is all around us.

Proof = Grass in your yard, will cover all the area possible.

================

@DELARICK

Excuse me Rick the idea of "controlling the universe" help you understand the truth.

To understand that God is the absolute truth you need to understand not what you do not see, but 3 things next to you.

LIFE
TRUTH
THE PATTERN OF LIFE.

Atheists can see life and believe in life.

Atheists believe in the absolute truth, their absolute truth is "God do not exists".

Atheists must explain the pattern of life. The sooner they see that life begun bacteria size, now covers the earth and it is in the way of controlling the universe they understand that God is the absolute truth.

If the atheists do not see "The control of the universe" as the life's goal they must provide their alternative view.=============>>>>>>

Look at the first living being in the evolution chain and ask your self, What he wants to do?

The answer is: He wants to control the universe.

Or please write your answer so we can read what REALITY means for the atheists.

Morgan Freeman:________________

(Your name):__________________

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benz72 | March 25, 2013 at 7:05 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm sorry MA, are you asserting that religion did not play a primary role in those incidents, that the incidents themselves are not damaging or something else? I'm sorry if you find the answer superficial, but most lists are by nature less than complete explanations.

Would a policy of abstinence counter to human nature combined with a policy of secrecy that led to repeated incidents sexual abuse count as damage caused by religion in your book? I can certainly see the argument that the proximal cause would be the homosexual pedophiles themselves, but I think many would claim that there was a significant role of religious policy involved in allowing the repetition.

Is that more like the answer you were hoping for? If not, could you provide an example?

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MacularDegenerate | March 28, 2013 at 5:25 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Grass growing in a yard is not an attempt at world domination, it is opportunism. There is a difference. Picking up a ten dollar bill blowing across an empty parking lot is a far cry from taking it from someone's pocket at gunpoint.

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JanusVI | March 28, 2013 at 5:51 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Dear MD

If you do an microbial culture do you think it will cover the petri dish in a couple hours?

MD: Yes [ ] No [ ]

Do you understand that this living creature will create planes, humans, plants, and a guy call MacularDegenerate using a computer in a couple billion years?

MD: Yes [ ] No [ ]

................................................

Do this questions help you understand the truth?

MD Yes [ ] No [ ]

====================================

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Missionaccomplished | March 28, 2013 at 11:39 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

BENZ, try reading a little world history. The situation in Ireland and later Northern Ireland has a lot more to do with British imperialism than any Catholic vs. Protestant conflict. American Anglophiles of course, love to whitewash the British and just focus on the religious conflict.

As far as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, remember that the PLO, formally created in 1964, was a purely secular organization, which Israeli instransigence failed to deal with. So after the Intifada, they had to less flexible Hamas to deal with. The Palestinian Arab revolt of the 1930s, was a secular, peasant-based rebellion against British colonialism and Jewish European settlements. It had nothing to do with religion either. I also think you are intelligent enough to know that suicide bombers are not a part of Islamic practice, but an aberration which was copied from the very secular Tamil-sinhalese conflict.

A little info on the Spanish Inquisition. The Inquisition was directed at "heretics," not Jews or Muslim, which by then had already been expelled or forced to convert. In fact, in New Spain, the native Indians WERE NOT subject to the authority of the Inquisition, so in practice they could continue with either their indigenous religious practice or their hybridization of Catholicism with local practices and were totally free to do see. This is a historical fact and you will find it in books by both Mexican and non-Mexican historians.

There are many other examples of wars, persecutions, etc., of whose origins were secular and mistakenly or deliberately blamed on organized religion. To bring up groups like Westboro is silly they are an anamoly and not part of mainstream Protestantism.

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MacularDegenerate | March 29, 2013 at 5:10 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

"This" living creature will not create planes or art or anything except a few more versions of itself and perhaps a stubborn residue. If, among those versions of itself, there happen to be a few mutations that are better suited to the environment or are reproductively more prolific, then evolution takes a step forward. But this process is not proof of an attempt at world domination. It is opportunism. You can also call it natural selection.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | March 29, 2013 at 8:35 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

MA, I do not dispute that there are political aspects of many (most? all?) of those conflicts. That does not mean that there are no religious aspects, or that those aspects do not cause harm. Do you honestly believe that religion plays no part in the Israel-Palestine conflict? If it does, do you see it as (on the whole) palliative or inflammatory?
I am also not claiming that the Spanish Inquisition persecuted jews or indigenous peoples, I am claiming that it is religious and caused harm. Do you not think torturing people to determine their adherence to aspects of their faith is harmful? Or do you somehow see it as not religious?
Further, I am not claiming that suicide bombers are mainstream muslims (if that were true, there would presumably be a lot fewer muslims). I am claiming that they are using religion to cause harm. They are not screaming “Free Iraq!” and blowing up their countrymen. They are shouting about their mystical beliefs and doing so. They are targeting others who are like them in almost every way except for the particular mystical beliefs they hold. Are you really claiming that those religious beliefs do not play a major part in that behavior?
Similarly with the WBC nutjobs, scamming televangelists, et. al. The only connection I am pointing out is that people are using mystical ideas to murder, defraud, rape, insult and intimidate others either directly or through people who believe in their claims and to justify those actions.
If you chose to see no harm caused by religion I will be unable to convince you. While popularity is not a strong endorsement of a position, I do not believe myself to be the only one who sees religions causing harm.

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Avatar for user 'js4cl2010'

js4cl2010 | March 29, 2013 at 1:50 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

I found this discussion too fascinating to resist. I love brainstorming.

I observe that nobody has postulated a fatalistic view of life, so I would like to present it for further discussion. I can't do it in condescending dichotomies, but I'll try to be brief.

First, assumptions. If any of these are objectively wrong, inform me so that I can learn more current theories. Otherwise, I believe they're all scientifically sound (i.e. both disprovable and not provable, which are the two fundamental properties of scientific thought.)

1) ~14 billion years ago the universe existed in a nearly infinitely small volume.
2) Then, it began expanding. There was so much mass in so little volume that the expansion, at least initially, involved physics that we cannot currently explain.
3) The universe a) is cyclical and b) tends toward entropy. B can never be fully achieved due to A.
4) ~3.5 bya life first appeared on this planet, and has since evolved into this surprisingly civil discussion

Assumption 3b, being a tendency, does not imply a linear progression. Thus, temporary states of decreased entropy do not violate 3b, provided they support the overarching tendency toward increased entropy. Thus, for discussion, I posit that life, and furthermore complex life is not only natural, but desirable, and quite possibly inevitable in a universe such as ours. Consider your 50+kg of mass, the constant reactions going on, the consumption of resources, etc spread out over your lifetime. You will convert exponentially more energy into increasingly degraded states that could possibly be achieved without you. I submit that there is little that is known to be a more efficient agent of the tendency toward entropy than life. The philosophical purpose of the human condition is always open for debate. However, the one thing we cannot possibly escape is that we create maximum entropy in our current form, regardless of "why we're here" or "what we do."

I believe that life is completely natural, doesn't require any higher being, and has no inherent philosophical purpose. Each of us is free to choose our own destiny because no matter what destiny we choose we degrade exponentially more energy than we would if we didn't exist. Thus, uniting diverse areas of the so-called hard sciences, our true purpose is to act as agents of entropy.

Brevity fail. Mea culpa.

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Avatar for user 'js4cl2010'

js4cl2010 | March 29, 2013 at 2:05 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

On a more concrete note, I believe it is disingenuous and rude of Theists to attempt to impose their particular brand of Theism on the rest of us. I think it is ignorant and equally rude of Athiests to ridicule Theism.

There is no denying that humans have especially complex brains. Often it is easier explained in the dichotomy of lower vs higher awareness, or consciousness. I personally prefer the lizard brain vs the human brain. The point? We take in too much sensory information to possibly process it all without descending into madness. Without coping mechanisms, we would all regress into gibbering idiots almost immediately, which would interfere with basic necessities like procreation and basic processes like energy conversion. Though in modern times some of us have eschewed religion in favor of contemporary or alternative mechanisms to cope with sensory overload, it is insensitive to ridicule those who have not done so. Religion is one of the first and most fundamental, if not the first and most fundamental coping mechanisms that we ever devised to explain the sensory input. Simply, if we can't explain the sensory input, then there is a supernatural explanation for said input. We must appease the supernatural mechanism. It is natural that we would frame this in forms and terms we could understand, such as human-like or animal-like gods. This simplicity is a large part of why it endures. To take away the religion of most people is to take away sanity itself, as the religion IS the sanity. It exists at the very boundary of the lizard and human brains. To many (most?) of the religious, religion does not define the moral compass or explain the world around them. Rather, religion IS the moral compass and explanation for the world. It is the sane keystone preventing utter mental (and on a larger scale societal) collapse. What value is in ridiculing the religious, or attempting to steal their one coping mechanism, especially when we can't even articulate a decent replacement?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | March 29, 2013 at 11:05 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

BENZ, I never said there were "no" religious aspects. I am saying that in these better known examples, Ireland, Palestine, etc., religion takes a back seat--that is, if you have read their history. Religion may have been the cheerleader, just like our American clergymen were cheerleaders during the Cold War, but little more. I can tell you this though, if you want to talk about pernicious influences, Calvinism has influenced our punitive measures-based criminal justice system--the death penalty, prohibition, the war on drugs, three-strikes laws, etc.

Interesting though, trying to sort out your . . . ideology. Above you state that humans fight for things not worth fighting for (nations, political parties, religions, interest groups, societies--do you mean secret societies???) Do you not believe in fighting for your own nation? Why your restictionist stance on immigration leads me to believe otherwise. I took you for a rightwing hawk--the kind that wants Federal money for the DOD and LE, but no one else.

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | March 30, 2013 at 1:39 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

11111111111111111111111111111111

@ MacularDegenerate
"This" living creature will not create planes or art or anything except a few more versions of itself and perhaps a stubborn residue"

If this living creature is not able to create planes or art, please tell us which creature create planes and art, and where this creature came from.

22222222222222222222222222222222222

Great conjectures js4cl2010, you are getting close to the truth.

You say:
"On a more concrete note, I believe it is disingenuous and rude of Theists to attempt to impose their particular brand of Theism on the rest of us. I think it is ignorant and equally rude of Athiests to ridicule Theism."

But there is only one absolute truth.

You say

" 4) ~3.5 bya life first appeared on this planet, and has since evolved into this surprisingly civil discussion"

Think in the first life in the universe 3.5 bya it has two choices.

A) To die the sooners possible.

B) To be eternal and control the universe.

Which one think matches the observations?

js4cl2010 : _____________________________

========================

The alpha wants to control the universe.

-------------------------------
Do this help you understand the truth?

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | March 30, 2013 at 1:38 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

j...,

A great coping mechanism is grammar. For without it, posts would read more like Janus' and less like yours. If you read the posts again, you'll find that no one argues against the transcendent power of faith. That religion and dogma are problematic in today's world is beyond obvious. In this country, the gloves are off for those who use their senses to cope with the world without projecting self-hatred onto others. Once the Evangelicals starting practicing exclusionary politics, they assumed the burden of proof.

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | March 30, 2013 at 7:31 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

@De la Rick
"That religion and dogma are problematic in today's world is beyond obvious."

Look at your sentence my friend and you will find the evolution goal inside.

You are able to find a problem and you want to solve it.

The sooner you get the world religion free, what do you want to do with the universe?

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | April 1, 2013 at 12:34 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

To understand that God is the absolute truth you need to understand not what you do not see, but 3 things next to you.

LIFE
TRUTH
THE PATTERN OF LIFE.

Atheists can see life and believe in life.

Atheists believe in the absolute truth, their absolute truth is "God do not exists".

Atheists must explain the pattern of life. The sooner they see that life begun bacteria size, now covers the earth and it is in the way of controlling the universe they understand that God is the absolute truth.

If the atheists do not see "The control of the universe" as the life's goal they must provide their alternative view.=============>>>>>>

Look at the first living being in the evolution chain and ask your self, What he wants to do?

The answer is: He wants to control the universe.

Or please write your answer so we can read what REALITY means for the atheists.

Morgan Freeman:________________

(Your name):__________________

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Avatar for user 'Anon11'

Anon11 | April 1, 2013 at 8:58 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

No proof, just speculation. Come back when you get some documented sources for your crazy, unsubstantiated beliefs.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | April 1, 2013 at 9:06 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

AL ANON, none of us know really, one way or another.

Thank you for trying to prove a negative, though.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | April 2, 2013 at 8:20 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

MA, OK, you think the political source of the conflict is more relevant than the religious one. I don't know of a good way to measure either but do not object to your statement. I would point out again that while you may be correct it does not invalidate the statement that whatever religious component remains causes harm. I know little about Calvinism and its influence on jurisprudence. I'll have to get smarter on the topic.

As to ideology, that is a very long conversation. Is this the quote you are referring to? "My intent was to say that we (humans, societies, nations, political parties, interest groups, religions) fight about things that don't matter much." If you reread it I think you will find that it does not imply that nations are not worth fighting for, but rather groups of humans (some of which are characterized as nations) fight over stupid things.

I view there as being limited legitimate government expenses, among them defense and law enforcement, but also infrastructure and public health (group, not individual). Subsidizing individuals (especially ones who have not paid into the system) is not high on the list, if it makes it at all.

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | April 2, 2013 at 12:32 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Dear Benz72 is your argument:

"If people is bad then God do not exists." ?

.

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | April 2, 2013 at 2:02 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

To understand that God is the absolute truth you need to understand not what you do not see, but 3 things next to you.

LIFE
TRUTH
THE PATTERN OF LIFE.

Atheists can see life and believe in life.

Atheists believe in the absolute truth, their absolute truth is "God do not exists".

Atheists must explain the pattern of life. The sooner they see that life begun bacteria size, now covers the earth and it is in the way of controlling the universe they understand that God is the absolute truth.

If the atheists do not see "The control of the universe" as the life's goal they must provide their alternative view.=============>>>>>>

Look at the first living being in the evolution chain and ask your self, What he wants to do?

The answer is: He wants to control the universe.

Or please write your answer so we can read what REALITY means for the atheists.

Morgan Freeman:________________

(Your name):__________________

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | April 3, 2013 at 7:37 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

No J6, that is not at all what I am saying.
There are still a few outstanding questions for you to answer before we continue this.
Why do you think an unconscious process can or must have a goal?
What makes a faith based explanation of reality superior to an observation based explanation?
How do you plan to control the universe?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | April 3, 2013 at 8:10 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

DE LA RICK writes: "That religion and dogma are problematic in today's world is beyond obvious. "

LOL, are we NOT a secular society??? Look AROUND you. . . . although I would agree that our deep-seated Calvinism is quite apparent in our "criminal justice system," even today. Throwing someone in prison for a nonviolent crime, publishing photos on a law enforcement websites or court-ordered HIV testing in nothing but a modern version of the pillory to shame the person. In that sense, yeah, one could say you are right as to a negative influence.

BENZ, just a little addendum on Ireland--yes, secular politics have been the source of most conflict, although I never meant to say that the disinfranchisement of majority Catholics in Ireland by British imperialism through their Protestant proxies in the north, did not play a role.

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Avatar for user 'Anon11'

Anon11 | April 3, 2013 at 11:05 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Not a huge fan of him, but this quote is pretty spot-on: http://i.imgur.com/oEdB3.png

In a country where more than 3/4 of people identify as Christian/Catholic, and only 15-20% identifying as 'non-religious'.

The only reason we (are supposed to) have a fully secular society is because doing otherwise would show religious favoritism (aka discrimination), which is unconstitutional. How hard is that concept?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | April 3, 2013 at 8:03 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Nominal? And Catholic IS Christian. But you will have to come up with chapter and verse on your 3/4 claim which seems a little high.

You atheists can't seem to make up your minds. Out of one corner of your collective mouths you claim to be (OMG) overrun by Religion even though we live in a thoroughly secular (yes, some say too secular) society. Out of the other corner of your collective mouths you claim that this same Religion is losing strength and numbers! So which is it, AL ANON, because it CAN'T be both! See, that's the contradiction of atheism, trying to prove a negative. Try reading Vincent Bugliosi's book (which also criticizes theists) on the subject where he points out the contradiction of atheists.

As forthe Maher quote, that is so superficial is not even worth commenting on. Look above at one of Benz's quote's, all it is is regurgitation, MOST of which can be explained by politics. I mean, is Maher really that stupid to think that suicide bombings (taken from the SECULAR Tamil Tigers) is part of Islam's tenets??? If he does he needs to take a course in world history! I take it also from his little list, he is also against pre-Christian paganism. Well, at least he is culturally diverse!

A really pathetically weak argument by a man with a very very scarred psyche. I don't think he's "mean," he just has a scarred psyche.

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Avatar for user 'Anon11'

Anon11 | April 3, 2013 at 11:06 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

I never said society was too secular, so I don't know why you're postulating that question.

As for the Maher quote, it's not superficial. It highlights real atrocities committed in the name of religion. You picked one you thought you could argue against, while ignoring the rest.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | April 4, 2013 at 7:46 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

We are talking past each other.
I am not claiming that suicide bombing is a pillar of islam. I am claiming that religion is being used for very destructive purposes and that it causes harm.
Look at it this way, absent a religious lever to trick people into believing in an afterlife, do you think that we would see the same suicidal behavior? Reasonable people can have productive discussions to deconflict opposing views. Zealots clinging to faith will (mostly) not allow themselves to be wrong and therefore often come into conflict with people who disagree.

This is the paradox of religion. If you accept new information and adjust your belief you lack faith, whereas if you reject new information and refuse to adjust you become increasingly wrong.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | April 4, 2013 at 9:26 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

AL ANON, I NEVER said that you did, I was refering to those religious people who think it is "too secualr.' Obviously you believe you are being swamped.

As far as Maher, yes it IS superficial, especially toward to end of his little Lettermen list. And no, I'm not just "picking one" thing and ignoring the rest. I don't expect you to apologize for him, but what human sacrifices does Maher want to talk about? The Aztec? The Mayan? The child sacrifices of the Carthagenians? Does he or you really want to put the paganism of the ancients under the same of umbrella of religion today and cry "foul"??? What say you, Maher, of the CLINICAL articles by say, National Geographic, on these very same human sacrifices??? Are you going to condemn NG too? No, wait, they are SECULAR, right?

Al Anon, I addressed some of the other points in posts above dircted to Benz. Obviously we cannot go through each and every one here, but I can sum up that most have power politics and/or conquest as their source for conflict. Okay, we will put the secular-insprired suicide bombigs aside--is anyone really gullibe/stupid enough to believe Sept 11 has to do with Islamic practice? Does ANYONE really believe that these guys were ORTHODOX Muslims or 100% SINCERE in their beliefs??? You and Maher and Faux News, in a strange bedfellows moment, give them way too much credit.

Relgion has been exploited and will continue to be for political purposes. Let me ask you, do you blame American Democracy for our genocide of Indians, expantionist war against Mexico, chattel slavery, suppression of unions, bogus war against Spain, and the various coups we fomented? No, because it is not Democracy which is at fault, it is man himself. Whom do you blame for the Cold War? Religion too, or secular power and ideology? And that went on for how long? What about our 150 plus year on and off conflicts with Mexico? Does that have a religious origin??? Do you and Maher also blame Pearl Harbor on Shintoism??? By his illogic he would.

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Avatar for user 'Anon11'

Anon11 | April 4, 2013 at 9:46 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

"Relgion has been exploited and will continue to be for political purposes."

Exactly why it is evil and unnecessary.

See, secularism is real life. It is the absence of a created story. It is indulging the idea that what we can perceive, and what science can prove, should be the basis of knowledge that is used to drive human progress.

Religion has every right to exist, but the moment it intrudes or infringes upon another person's rights, it becomes a real problem. Plus, the driving force behind many religions is the idea that one should not question, but rather have ultimate faith, and that is VERY dangerous. (Especially when we reference back to your quote.)

Can you explain to us what unique benefit religion offers society? Not privately, but publicly.

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Avatar for user 'Outside2view'

Outside2view | April 4, 2013 at 10:19 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Guys,
I am devistated! I had always thought the last bastian in religion for a peacenik like me would be Buddhism. But I just heard that Buddhists are killing Muslims in Burma.

Hindus and Muslims have been killing each other for decades on the Indian Peninsula,
Jews and Muslims .... Muslim Shiites and Muslim Sunis ..... Chistain presidents publically kneeling and praying before bombing Islamic Bagdad? I have seen it all in my lifetime.

But the Buddhists in Burma have now firmly booted my rear into an athiest camp.if only in the name of peace.

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Avatar for user 'bobsca'

bobsca | April 5, 2013 at 7:25 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

Wonderful! This makes me think that someday the human race may outgrow the primitive superstitious beliefs that cause so much unnecessary hatred, killing and suffering in the world. I intend to contribute to the groups responsible for this billboard and hope they greatly expand the scope of this project.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | April 5, 2013 at 11:36 a.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

ALANON, A LOT of things can be exploited. That doesn't make them negative, but rather a type of victim. And PLEASE stop calling them evil, that has a theological connotation.

Outsideview, that is not the first time Buddhist monks were at each other's throats in the 80s and 90s in S. Korea. But it is not Buddhism, it's the monks. JANUS 6 makes an excellent, point, because people behave badly or very badly, that is somehow proof for the atheist that "there is no (G)od." Another one of their fallacies and I want to see them tackle that one.

BOBSCAM, well those primitive superstitiuos beliefs have also helped hold civiliation together, both in the East and the West, for good and for bad, otherwise humanity would have really degenerated into some primitive anarchy. Wonderful paintings and architecture too, what did atheism give man in art appreciation/history???

A little over a hundred years ago, Freud wrote an essay that religious beliefs, an illusion, would soon perish. Yet today, look around, it is Freud who has all but perished, even in academic circles.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | April 5, 2013 at 1:39 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

There is no connection between poor personal behavior and the lack of existence of god. J6 is conflating two issues. It makes no more sense than it would to claim that because people treat each other badly there are no river nymphs.

We are getting wrapped up in conflicting definitions of religion (as a system of beliefs) and religion (as a social organization) and religion (as a power structure). Many (most?) religions are all of those things and it is very difficult to separate out those aspects.

All organizations are made of people. At some level, those organizations have to regulate the actions of their members. On a parallel thread on this board, some posters were suggesting restricting combat veterans to base after returning stateside as a response to an (incorrect and punishable) incident of road rage. There is certainly a great degree of personal responsibility involved in situations like this, but I think it is important to put the frequency of unacceptable actions and the response of the organization whose members take them into context when determining if there is an organizational responsibility and whether or not it is being fulfilled.

Cultures hold civilizations together, but they need not include mysticism. The fact that information about the natural world accumulates and culture assimilates this information into different ways of thinking is probably not a coincidence. E.g. it would be rare to find someone today who thought lightning was the result of an angry bearded divinity hurtling it from a mountaintop. 3,000 years ago (in some places) it would have been culturally expected that one hold this belief.

Freud (I believe) was predicting that mysticism would retreat in the face of advancing scientific discovery and as the need for magical explanations of observable phenomena diminished so too would the popularity of the institutions purveying them. He was wrong in many of his theories, but that trend seems to have been borne out. Gordon Moore is remembered for his (generally true, but specifically incorrect) prediction of the advancement of processing power despite his more remarkable achievements at Intel.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | April 9, 2013 at 8:33 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

RE: Paragraph 2

No BENZ, it is people like CA offender or yourself, attacking the religion of the river nymphs ONLY because some believers in those river nymphs behaved badly or using that as the "justification.". In other words, because X did Y, ergo the religion of X must be both false and pernicious. It is a common fallacy. Why is it so difficult for you to understand that?

And you couldn't be more wrong about paragraph 4, especially during the centuries before and during the Middle Ages in Europe as a temporal power.

Luther unwittingly started a social revolution which forever influenced secular Europe and even the USA. Calvinism gave early Capitalism its blessing and its ethics (See Tawney & Weber), (even when Luther would not), yes that same Capitalism which today BENZ 72 most strongly embraces and defends tooth and nail--and you're going to tell me religion has no role in culture??? Did you know that Islam spread to Indonesia by way of traders??? Yes, that was the start of primitive international trade and the EXCHANGE OF IDEAS in that part of the world at the time.

I don't know. Maybe read a little more on the subject

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | April 10, 2013 at 7:34 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

MA, For clarification, I did not say religion did not play a part in history or culture. Such a claim would be absurd. I did say that culture does not need to include mysticism. There are examples of cultures today that are increasingly insulated from it (e.g. the atheists who posted the billboard generating this topic).

Of course traders facilitated the exchange of ideas as well as goods. That still occurs, but is not what I was discussing. I was listing damage caused or endorsed by religious institutions (which I variously called religions or cults). Above I attempted to reconcile that phraseology with the separate ideas of doctrine and the cultists themselves, but it seems to have failed to sway you.

I see we are not going to be able to reach consensus and I will be unable to convince you that a cult can cause harm. I'm not sure what sorts of rationalization gymnastics are required to acquit all cults of damaging people throughout history, but it is beyond me. My disagreement with your position does not stem from a lack of information, but rather insufficient credulity. Have a good day.

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Avatar for user 'Anon11'

Anon11 | April 10, 2013 at 9:48 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

To the religious:

How would you be able to tell if your beliefs were wrong?

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | April 12, 2013 at 3:05 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

@Benz
Why do you think an unconscious process can or must have a goal?

If you are able to define a successful evolution then you can define the goal.

What makes a faith based explanation of reality superior to an observation based explanation?

Observation of life, truth and the pattern of life is not based in faith is the most simple thing you can understand.

How do you plan to control the universe?

Helping life reach the goal.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

@ Anon11
"To the religious:
How would you be able to tell if your beliefs were wrong?"

............................

That is what I try to explain since day one.

Which is the evolution goal?

What is right and what is wrong?

Look mars and earth which one have an successful evolution?

Which one is a wrong belief?

A) Death is going to control the universe.

or

B) Life will control the universe.

......................................................

So my friends which bumper sticker do you recommend me to do?

ATHEISM = The evolution's mistake.

or

THEISM = The evolution's goal.

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Avatar for user 'Anon11'

Anon11 | April 12, 2013 at 9:16 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

J6

You didn't answer my question. It's either "yes" or "no". If you have conviction in your beliefs, you shouldn't be afraid of answering directly.

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Avatar for user 'Anon11'

Anon11 | April 12, 2013 at 9:18 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Clarification: The question is "Can anything exist that would prove to you your religious beliefs are wrong"? Please answer that with a direct YES or NO.

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | April 12, 2013 at 10:19 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

@Anon11
"Can anything exist that would prove to you your religious beliefs are wrong"? Please answer that with a direct YES or NO.

YES.
this something is to prove that THE PATTERN OF LIFE is death.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
So my friend Anon11 which bumper sticker do you recommend me to do?

ATHEISM = The evolution's mistake.

or

THEISM = The evolution's goal.

..................................

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | April 13, 2013 at 11:06 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Hey, have you guys tried those new Taco Bell Doritos® tacos yet? Where the crunchy shell is actually Doritos® tortilla chips? They're pretty good. I don't like them as much as regular Taco Bell tacos (which are a better value), but they're nice for an occasional treat. I mean, what you're really paying for with the Doritos® taco shell is really just some flavoring dust, but like I said, it's a nice thing to treat yourself to every now and again. It's the little things in life that make it worth living.

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | April 15, 2013 at 1:25 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

What is wrong with you llk?

I try to save the universe and you want us to go to one of your Taco Bell restaurants.

Do you have any coupons for complementary Doritos tacos?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | April 15, 2013 at 8:37 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

I have said NOTHING in my above posts, Benz to indicate my "credulity" or lack thereof. Please point it out. In your case is it a reductionist view and a lack of knowledge of world history which brings you to your conclusions.

And you continue the contradictions: you CANNOT be both "insulated" from something that you at the same time fear it may overrun you. Which of the two is it?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | April 15, 2013 at 8:43 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

AL ANON, it is interesting you should ask. Arthur C. Clarke once commented that it would be terrifying to discover that man was alone in the universe and equally terrifying to discover that he (humankind) was not.

Now, you think you can prove a negative.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | April 15, 2013 at 9:07 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

MA, I believe I have presented numerous cases that demonstrate religions cause harm. You (apparently) believe that none of those cases link religion and harm. I suspect you may be disregarding evidence because it does not support the conclusion you wish to reach. You probably believe something similar about my reasoning. As I said above, neither of us is likely to be able to be able to convince the other of our view.
It will not surprise you to learn that I am very suspicious of religions and view most of their claims with incredulity. I make no claims about the ease with which you accept or reject evidence other than that you appear impervious to my presentation of it.

I don't know what your last sentence is about. What contradiction are you seeing?

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Avatar for user 'tkterry'

tkterry | April 15, 2013 at 2:07 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

This is made possible because of equal rights for religion. We must applaud this equality and allow all opinions to be heard.
The billboard will do nothing more than make people think - and we could certainly use a lot more of that in America.

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | April 17, 2013 at 4:12 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

One thing is to talk about God existence and another is to talk about what make more damage religion or not religion in civilization.

But Benz72 Think that you reach your goal: a religion free world.

What do you think should be the civilization goal?

...........................

tkterry, to understand that God is the absolute truth is so simple that a different opinion is bizarre.

So tkterry help me to decide what do the bumper sticker should say

ATHEISM = The evolution's mistake.

or

THEISM = The evolution's goal.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | April 24, 2013 at 10:47 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

BENZ, my last statement refers to your claim of being insulated, as a secular society, from religion, while at the same time you fear it is going somehow take over and establish a theocracy. I'm exagerrating a little of course, but it is your general belief that it is intruding in our daily affairs.

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Missionaccomplished | April 24, 2013 at 10:53 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Just last week an NPR reporter said that the friends and family of the Texas explosion victims were seeking solace in a church. She didn't say they sought comfort in any of the dot orgs listed above.

Just a thought some of you would like to know.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | April 24, 2013 at 12:17 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

MA, I think you may misunderstand my position.
I see religion as being increasingly irrelevant to the way much (most?) of society conducts it day to day affairs. This is a good thing in my mind.
I concurrently oppose attempts to use religion as a foundation for law. In part this is because I do not think ones personal mystical beliefs are a sufficient cause for restricting another's liberty. Additionally it encourages (what I view as) irrational behavior by lending those ideas official legitimacy they cannot derive on their own merit.
As a trivial example of intrusion, do you think a free people should be allowed by their secular government to purchase ethanol only on certain days of the week? If so, how would you justify such a restriction?

As for the seeking of solace, should it make any difference if the building they took refuge in were an athletic arena, a pub or a movie theatre? There are numerous public entertainment venues beside churches.

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JanusVI | April 28, 2013 at 8:01 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Benz72 the kingdom of heaven is the civilization's (also evolution's) goal. That is way people prefers church over stadiums, pubs and movie theaters.

.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | April 29, 2013 at 7:39 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

An interesting thesis J6.

1) A conclusion based on a faulty premise is invalid. Since there is no kingdom of heaven (please provide proof otherwise if you disagree) then it cannot be the goal of civilization and evolution (which, as I already mentioned above, has no specific goal).

2) Let’s check the trends on your claim. It is admittedly tough to make good comparisons on global sales but the movie, sport and alcohol industries are thriving while church attendance and donations decline and some of the major religious institutions are closing down ‘storefronts’ for lack of attendance. If the current average preference is for church (please cite BTW) over other forms of entertainment the fact that the situation is changing may necessitate a reevaluation of your position shortly.

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Missionaccomplished | April 29, 2013 at 10:27 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

BENZ, we are a secular society. Yes, it does play less in society than say the 80s or the 50s--or during WWII. (Even Stalin eased restrictions during WWII).

But as far as a basies for law, you're a little too late. Reader Weber and see how much Calvinism has influenced our criminal justice system for example--not to mention our economic one. We still SHAME people today, Whether it's forcing prostitutes and their customers to get AIDS testing, or uploading the pix of the latest LE arrest on a website. There is Prohibition also as a historical example--the culminaion of the temperance movements. You tell me religion (Protestantism in this case) hasn't ALREADY indluenced American jurisprudence. A system , by the way, that has for the most part been embraced by most political sides.

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benz72 | April 29, 2013 at 2:44 p.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

Sure it has already influenced law (and philosophy and early science and culture and almost every other aspect of pre-modern life). Just because an idea was espoused by a religion doesn't make it a bad one. It also doesn't make it a good one. Some of the legal influences are probably good. Some are observably harmful as you point out. Now we have to go about fixing the errors.

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Missionaccomplished | April 30, 2013 at 8:40 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

And don't forget the death penalty, which at least in Western culture has its origins in Jewish law--or Mosaic law. The great majority of Conservatives today, along with some liberals, fully support capital punishment--nevermind of its origins.. Why do you think that proposition here was defeated in November? How do you explain its secular support today??? The ONLY promiment Conservatives that I know for a fact opposed the death penalty were the late John Paul II and Jeanne Kirkpatrick.

But as far as its Jewish b.g. at least, however, Mosaic law insisted on a proportionate punishment for a crime.

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Avatar for user 'JanusVI'

JanusVI | May 3, 2013 at 1:21 a.m. ― 1 year, 10 months ago

@ BENZ
>

The goal means create something do not exists at this time.
But you being part of the evolution must take as your absolute truth, the other option is to take death as your ultimate goal.

To help you understand that the Kingdom of heaven is the civilization's goal please check if you hear about something in the list below


[ ] Cryonics
[ ] The Fountain of Youth search.

Any of those two will help you see people looking for a goal: LIFE.

Do this help you understand?

ATHEISM = evolution's mistake.

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