The Bible Defeats Its Own Resurrection Story

I’ll be attending the American Atheist conference in Charleston, SC this weekend. Look me up if you’re there!

Let’s step through the gospel’s crucifixion and resurrection story. With careful attention to the details, we’ll see that some of the popular arguments made by Christian apologists fall apart.

Many Christian apologists insist that the resurrection was documented by eyewitnesses. Their motivation makes sense—the resurrection is the punch line of the story, and the authors can’t simply be passing along a popular yarn. Only eyewitness authors would be credible.

We must start by setting a baseline: to witness a man’s resurrection from the dead, you must (1) see him alive, then (2) see him dead, then (3) see him alive again. Obvious, I realize, but you’ll see why this is important.

Matthew’s passion narrative

We’ll start with the crucifixion story in Matthew. If this was an eyewitness account, then one of the disciples has to author Matthew. This requires that the author personally experience the three elements of any resurrection above.

Let’s pick up the story when Jesus is arrested. What happens next is, “Then all the disciples deserted him and fled” (Matthew 26:56b). The next day when Jesus was crucified, “Many women were there, watching from a distance” (Matt. 27:55) including Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph. There were men present—passersby who insulted Jesus and Roman guards—but no disciples.

With no male disciples to observe the crucifixion, this eyewitness claim fails in point 2 above: you must see him dead if you want to later claim a resurrection. Matthew doesn’t even claim any disciples at the empty tomb. Note that Matthew never claims to be an eyewitness; that addition is made by Christian apologists.

The women’s tale

But what about the women? They were there. The two Marys saw the crucifixion, they saw Jesus die, they saw the burial in the stone tomb, they saw the empty tomb, and they saw the risen Jesus. They were part of the inner circle, and surely their word was good enough.

The first problem is that the author of Matthew is still not an eyewitness. At best, he simply reported a story he’d been told.

And as for the women’s story being a reliable report, a popular Christian apologist argument won’t allow that. Here’s Greg Koukl’s version:

Women, disrespected in the ancient world, are the first to witness the risen Christ. Why include these unflattering details if the Gospels are works of fiction?

I’m arguing that the gospels are legend, not fiction, but set that aside. Koukl is using the Criterion of Embarrassment: why say something embarrassing about yourself unless it’s true? If women witnessing the empty tomb is embarrassing but that story element is still in each gospel, doesn’t that point to it being true?

It turns out that women being the sole witnesses at the tomb is not at all embarrassing. In fact, it’s the only way an empty tomb works in a culture where caring for the dead was women’s work (more here), but let’s ignore that as well and watch the apologists dig their hole deeper.

[The reasons supporting Jesus’s empty tomb] include the potentially embarrassing but unanimous agreement in all four Gospels that women were the earliest witnesses. (Gary Habermas)

The discovery of the tomb by women is highly probable. Given the low status of women in Jewish society and their lack of qualification to serve as legal witnesses, the most plausible explanation . . . why women and not the male disciples were made discoverers of the empty tomb is that the women were in fact the ones who made this discovery. (William Lane Craig)

Anyone trying to pass off a false resurrection story as the truth would never say the women were the first witnesses at the tomb. In the first century, a woman’s testimony was not considered on par with that of a man. An invented story would say that the men—the brave men—had discovered the empty tomb. Yet all four gospels say the women were the first witnesses—all this while the sissy-pants men had their doors locked for fear of the Jews. (Frank Turek)

These apologists insist that women were seen as unreliable witnesses. This means that they can’t argue that while the author of Matthew wasn’t technically an eyewitness, that’s unimportant because he trusted the women’s report. They’ve left Matthew with no authority from which to document the most important (and least believable) part of the gospel.


See also: Why the Gospel of Mark Is Likely NOT an Eyewitness Account


Gospel of Mark

Another reason to discount Matthew as an eyewitness is that that book liberally copies from Mark, the first gospel. More than half of Matthew comes from Mark. Why would an eyewitness account copy from someone else . . . unless it wasn’t an eyewitness account?

Perhaps then Mark is the more authoritative gospel. However, Mark’s story is almost identical. After the arrest, “everyone deserted [Jesus] and fled” (Mark 14:50). Again, women watched the crucifixion from a distance. The two Marys are mentioned along with Salome, but there are no male disciples. The women saw the burial and they brought spices on Sunday morning, where they saw the empty tomb.

Mark’s ending is the big difference when compared with Matthew. The women see a young man in a white robe who tells them that Jesus has risen and that they should tell the disciples to meet Jesus in Galilee. The gospel ends, “Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.”

The problems with Mark are the same. The author wasn’t an eyewitness to the death or resurrection, and the apologists’ own “women are unreliable” argument prevents the author from using them as reliable sources. Mark adds a unique problem: with its abrupt ending, how did anyone learn of the story since the women kept it to themselves?

Mark is traditionally said to be authored by John Mark, who documented the eyewitness story of the apostle Peter, but the book itself makes clear that neither Peter nor any disciple was an eyewitness to the death, so no disciple could claim to be an eyewitness to the resurrection.

Gospels of Luke and John

Luke and John correct most of the problems. Luke doesn’t have the disciples run away at the arrest of Jesus. At the crucifixion, “All those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching,” so the men were presumably there.

Men are also added to the empty tomb element: women saw the empty tomb and told the disciples, and Peter ran to the tomb to see for himself. Here again, though, Peter was only an eyewitness to an empty tomb. He only had the women’s authority that this was the one that had held Jesus’s body, since no disciple witnessed the burial.

The story in John is similar except that one disciple is mentioned as a witness along with a few women, and two disciples ran back to see the empty tomb.

(This is an aside, but I can’t resist pointing out one more awkward element in the crucifixion story. According to John, when Jesus is on the cross, he sees his mother and “the disciple whom he loved.” Presumably concerned about who would care for Mary after his death, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother” (John 19:26–7). But Mary already had another son! Why would Jesus do this when James the Just was his brother? One simple explanation is that James’s assuming leadership of the church after the death of his brother Jesus was a later tradition, and the gospel of John documents the original tradition, that Jesus had no brothers.)

 

The resurrection is a ridiculous claim that needs a mountain of evidence to support it. Where is this evidence? We could explore how implausible it would be for this dying-and-rising god story to be history, unlike all the others and unlike the supernatural stories of other religions, but we don’t need to go there. Staying within the Bible, the claim that Matthew and Mark are eyewitness accounts fails, and apologists’ own “women were unreliable” argument makes their situation even more desperate.

Acknowledgement: This post was inspired by an insightful comment by Bradley Bowen, an author at Secular Outpost here at Patheos.

See also:

Blasphemy:
a law to protect an all-powerful, supernatural deity
from getting its feelings hurt.
— Ricky Gervais

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • JustinL

    Women’s testimony wasn’t trusted, which explains why they immediately trusted the women’s testimony.

    • S Cruise

      Yep… they trusted the women’s testimony because they didn’t trust the women’s testimony. hmm… so the resurrection is true because of an oxymoron. oh dear.

    • Joe

      About something completely unnatural which had never previously happened in the history of the world (not counting all the other biblical resurrections).

      Makes sense.

    • Bob Jase

      Even though the women had to wait seven days before they could tell the men – what with cleanliness laws about handling dead bodies & all.

  • Tony D’Arcy

    “The things that yo liable,
    to read in de Bible,
    it ain’t necessarily so”

  • Dan F.

    Still tilting at fundamentalists I see. So to sum up, your claim is that Jesus didn’t die? Because there are reports of eyewitness accounts of before and eyewitness accounts of after but those eyewitness accounts didn’t see him die or be buried thus the claims fall apart?

    As much as I enjoy tweaking the noses of fundamentalist literalists with stuff like this, I think that this particular counter-argument falls flat. You would have to argue that Jesus wasn’t crucified by the Romans at all (which seems to not be in much dispute) since there is only one way that a crucifixion ends (i.e. death of the crucified). So the “(2) see him dead” criterion would seem to be specious.

    • adam

      ” Because there are reports of eyewitness accounts of before and eyewitness accounts of after ”

      Nope, there are neither, there is only a STORY about eyewitnesses.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b8e21f4f245797969c0947a765da8794c812826b9b5e6d1a040a884b1ee550af.jpg

    • Michael Neville

      I’m confused. I thought that all Christians believed that Jesus was crucified and resurrected. So it appears to me that pointing out that there’s no eyewitnesses to either event is a reasonable argument about general Christianity, not just fundamentalism. Please explain what I’m missing in Bob’s argument.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      If someone doesn’t claim that the gospel authors were eyewitnesses, then you’re right–they’re probably on board already. Nevertheless, this is a popular claim among millions of US evangelicals.

    • wtfwjtd

      The way I read it, Bob is stating that the apologist’s claim that the gospels are “eyewitness accounts” can’t possibly be true because…the gospels themselves rule out this possibility because none of the disciples actually saw how Jesus died in Matthew and Mark, or even if he died at all. How did they know he was crucified? Because the women were there and told them. How did they know he actually died? Because the women told them. How did they know he resurrected? Because the women told them.

      Don’t you see the problem here with claiming that the gospels are eyewitness accounts? By their own reckoning, they are re-tellings of first- and possibly second-hand stories, that in a court of law would be deemed hearsay, and not eyewitness testimony.

      • SparklingMoon,

        How did they know he was crucified? Because the women were there and told them.
        —————————————————————————————————————-
        There are not only descriptions of women in the Gospels but also many others to confirm that Jesus was placed on cross. For example we read in Matthew (27:15–26):

        ”(15) Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the people any one prisoner whom they wanted. (16)At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas.(17) So when the people gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

        (18)For he knew that because of envy they had handed Him over. (20)But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. (21) But the governor said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” (22) Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Crucify Him!” (23) And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Crucify Him!”

        (24)When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” (25) And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” (26) Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

    • Greg G.

      by the Romans at all (which seems to not be in much dispute) since there is only one way that a crucifixion ends (i.e. death of the crucified).

      That is not so.

      Josephus, Life 76
      And when I was sent by Titus Caesar with Cerealins, and a thousand horsemen, to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to know whether it were a place fit for a camp, as I came back, I saw many captives crucified, and remembered three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician’s hands, while the third recovered.

      The Bible stories say Jesus was only on the cross for a few hours and they rushed to take them down. John seems to have added the spear to the side to try to dispel this, just as Matthew had to add guards and bribery to eliminate the question of the body being removed.

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        The spear in the side would be a mercy kill too. Usually people were left on the cross to die slowly. After all, that was the intent. So why were the Romans being merciful with Jesus, in the story?

        • Greg G.

          My first thought was that Mark uses the word for immediately 42 times so it may be about keeping the story moving, rather than drawing it out with a week-long death scene.

          But I think Mark was using Paul’s letters as one of his sources for the story. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 is about yeast, unleavened bread, and the comparison of Jesus to the Passover lamb. I think Paul was referring to the blood on the door that signaled the non-omniscient angel of the Lord whose babies to kill. (The angel knew which of the offspring of people and animals were the oldest but not which families to attack, but I digress.) In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Paul refers to Isaiah 53:5 for the “died for sins”, Isaiah 53:9 for “buried”, and Hosea 6:2 for “raised on the third day”, so Paul probably got the lamb idea from Isaiah 53:7.

          But the Passover would be a dramatic setting so Mark went with it. Mark could fit in the “raised on the third day” if Jesus “died for sins” and “buried” on Passover, then using a sabbath to while away a day, and have him “raised on the third day”.

          Mark also worked in the Atonement Day ritual, Yom Kippur, where a goat is killed for the sins of the nation and a second goat is released into the wilderness to carry the sins away, by having a second “Son of the Father”, Barabbas, introduced and released. For the story, it would have been more logical to have it set at Yom Kippur but the 1 Corinthians 5:7 reference to Passover made it imperative to set it at Passover.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          It does seem like much of this was allegorical. I still don’t know what the “spear in the side” means though.

        • Greg G.

          John 7:37-39 seems to be foreshadowing that.

          John 7:37-39 (NRSV)Rivers of Living Water37 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38 and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

          I’m not sure what scripture John is thinking of but from John 7:2 to this point, Jesus is attending the Festival of Booths. Nehemiah 8:13 to 9:37 is also about a Festival of Booths celebration where Ezra talks about Moses and the water flowing from the rock (Neh 9:13-15).

          John 7:39 says Jesus was not yet glorified, so the water running from his heart may signify that he was now glorified.

          So the spear stab may be Moses’ staff that brought the waters and it also might be to quash complaints of Mark’s Jesus really being dead after only a few hours on the cross.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          That makes sense. It seems like a lot of this alludes to earlier prophecies in the Old Testament, which they claim were fulfilled this way.

        • Pofarmer

          Basically all of it is retelling OT stories. What isn’t can be found in Homer.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          I’ve also read there are references to other Greek literature and myths, unsurprisingly.

        • Greg G.

          Review of The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark by Richard Carrier is an in-depth review. MacDonald says that he points out many things that might be coincidences just to be thorough but with so many that are unlikely to be mere coincidence, it makes the questionable ones more likely.

          Carrier says he noticed something that MacDonald missed. While checking out the Odyssey after reading the review but before reading the book, I found something that neither the author nor the reviewer mentioned. It’s like the author of Mark was giving a wink to his readers that Legion, the demoniac, was the Cyclops.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          I’ll have to read it. Why do you think Legion is the Cyclops?

        • Greg G.

          I think Carrier covers it pretty well which made me want to read it in the Odyssey. I saw that the Cyclops name was “Polyphemus” and recognized that the “poly-” form “polygon” that I learned in grade school so I looked up the verse in Greek to see if the word “poly” was in the phrase “for we are many” in Mark. It was “polys”. Then my eye caught “lego legio” with gammas instead of “g”, which I knew from physics formulae for wavelengths but didn’t associate it with “g”. The translation verified that the wording was like, ” he said, ‘Legio my name, for we are many.'”

          I investigated the name “Polyphemus” and found it means “famous” because its roots are “poly”, as in polygon, and “phem” as in “blasphemy” so, literally, it is “many talk about”. “Lego” is a Greek word that refers to speaking. “Legio” is a Latin word that refers to a specific large number of soldiers but the number varies through time and Mark emphasized the “many” with the phrase that follows it.

          Since Mark is written in Greek, we can assume his intended audience was educated in Greek and would have learned to read and write by studying Homer. Mark used Latinisms and Aramaicisms and he explained most of the Aramaic words but not the Latin words, even explaining the value of a Palestinian coin in terms of a Roman coin, so his intended audience was familiar with Latin, but no so much Aramaic.

          There are other Greek words that could have been used for “lego” and to use a Latin word there right next to it that differed in spelling by one iota seems to have been intentional to create a visual bilingual pun to catch the reader’s eye, just as it did to me. Someone who knew Greek and Latin should recognize that the visual pun meant “many speak about” instantly without having to look it like I did.

          I don’t think that MacDonald was comparing OT verses being used to modify some of the Odyssey elements. Mark 5:3-4 says Legion lived in tombs and tore apart chains and fetters which is influenced by:

          Isaiah 65:4 (NRSV)4 who sit inside tombs,    and spend the night in secret places;who eat swine’s flesh,    with broth of abominable things in their vessels;

          and

          Psalm 107:10 (NRSV)10 Some sat in darkness and in gloom,    prisoners in misery and in irons,

          The Isaiah verse also would make Legion herd pigs instead of sheep like Polyphemus, though Odysseus’ men had been turned into pigs by Circe.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Very interesting. I read Carrier’s review of that book (also interesting).

        • TheNuszAbides

          Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.

          great stuff for the Classics tradition of vampires in one of my favorite games, who refer to blood as aqua vitae.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqua_vitae

        • Greg G.

          I expected that might come from the Vulgate. Close but no cigar.

          John 7:38 (Vulgate)
          qui credit in me sicut dixit scriptura flumina de ventre eius fluent aquae vivae

        • TheNuszAbides

          Longinus is a stock character for the wish-I’d-been-a-fly-on-The-Cross brand of tale.

          In Irving Pichel’s 1939 film The Great Commandment Albert Dekker portrays him as the commanding officer of a Roman army company escorting a tax collector about Judea. Subsequently, he is converted to Christianity through the kindness of Joel bar Lamech and by his own experiences at Golgotha.
          In the George Stevens’s 1965 film The Greatest Story Ever Told, Longinus is identified with the centurion who professed, “Truly this man was the Son of God” on Golgotha (portrayed by John Wayne in a cameo role).
          Longinus is a leading character in the 2005 four-issue comic series The Light Brigade by DC Comics. The comic takes place in 1944 during World War II and features an immortal Longinus doomed to walk the Earth to atone for his deed by fighting fallen angels and their allies.
          Casca Rufio Longinus, in a popular series entitled Casca by Barry Sadler, accidentally ingests some of Christ’s blood after lancing him. He is condemned by Christ to walk the earth as a soldier until they meet again at the Second Coming.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longinus

          According to the Lancea et Sanctum, Longinus was a vampire, transformed when he tasted the blood that poured from the wound in Christ’s side. A sinful man in life, Longinus eventually became a Christian and preached a version of the religion to the Kindred. He is the author of the Testament of Longinus, the central text of the Lancea et Sanctum. The sect also claimed to have custody of Longinus’ lance, the Spear of Destiny, until the Night of One Hundred Martyrs in 947.

          https://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Longinus

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Is Longinus even in the Bible? From what I recall it’s a Medieval addition.

        • Greg G.

          From Wikipedia:

          No name for this soldier is given in the Gospels; the name Longinus is instead found in the pseudepigraphal Gospel of Nicodemus that was appended to the apocryphal Acts of Pilate. Longinus did not start out as a saint. An early tradition, found in the 4th-century pseudepigraphal “Letter of Herod to Pilate”, claims that Longinus suffered for having pierced Jesus, and that he was condemned to a cave where every night a lion came and mauled him until dawn, after which his body healed back to normal, in a pattern that would repeat till the end of time.

        • Pofarmer

          The people that wrote this shit weren’t right.

        • epeeist

          he was condemned to a cave where every night a lion came and mauled him until dawn, after which his body healed back to normal, in a pattern that would repeat till the end of time.

          So just a variant on the Prometheus myth.

        • Greg G.

          Prometheus! I was trying to think of that name and could only think of the first letter.

        • RichardSRussell

          Prometheus means “forethot”, as opposed to his twin brother Epimetheus (“afterthot”). The were the titans in charge of handing out traits to the various animals created by the gods, but only Prometheus could foresee that humans in particular would benefit from fire and language, so he “borrowed” a starter set from Zeus when the big guy’s back was turned and donated them to the first people. Zeus eventually found out about this and got all bent out of shape about it (“because now the humans will think they’re as good as we are”, or something like that), so he condemned Prometheus to an eternity of punishment, having his liver chewed out nightly by raptors, only to be healed in the morning so he could go thru it again.

          Aside: This idea of eternal punishment from Greek mythology doesn’t appear in the Hebrew Old Testament, but it sure puts in a major supporting performance in the New.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          he condemned Prometheus to an eternity of punishment, having his liver chewed out nightly by raptors, only to be healed in the morning so he could go thru it again.

          Wait–are you saying that Jesus didn’t have the worst death in the world ever ever ever?? That’s not what pastor Jim told me.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Funny how things grow in the telling…

        • Michael Neville

          Was Longinus’ cave anywhere near where Prometheus had his liver eaten daily by an eagle?

        • Greg G.

          Next door, in fact. Longinus was always begging to have his liver pecked out for a change.

        • rabbit

          Oh! Good stuff. Thanks :-)

        • SparklingMoon,

          The spear in the side would be a mercy kill too
          ———————————————————————

          Jesus was taken down alive from the Cross, like the two thieves. That was the reason why there came out blood when his side was pierced. The blood however, conceals after death. And, here, it appears that all this was the result of a conspiracy. Pilate was a God-fearing and a good-hearted man; he could not openly show favour to Jesus for fear of the Caesar; for the Jews had declared Jesus a rebel. All the same, Pilate was lucky to have seen Jesus but the Caesar was not so fortunate; the former not only saw Jesus but also showed him a great favour — he did not desire that Jesus should suffer crucifixion.

          The gospels point out clearly that Pilate had several times resolved to let Jesus go, but the Jews said that if he would let him go he would be disloyal to Caesar; they also said that Jesus was a rebel who wished to be king.(John 19:12.) And the dream which Pilate’s wife had, further prompted the freeing of Jesus; otherwise, Pilate and his wife themselves would have been exposed to disaster. But, as the Jews were , ready even secretly to inform the Caesar of Pilate’s action, Pilate made use of a device to rescue Jesus: first, he fixed Friday for the crucifixion, only a few hours before sunset, and the night of the Great Sabbath was about to fall. Pilate knew very well that the Jews, in accordance with the commandments of their law, could keep Jesus on the Cross only till the evening, and after that it was unlawful to keep anybody on the Cross.

          Accordingly, it all happened in this very manner; and Jesus was taken down from the Cross before it was evening. It is improbable that the thieves who were crucified at the same time as Jesus should have remained alive, but that Jesus should have died within two hours. It was an excuse made up to save Jesus from the process of leg breaking. The fact that both the thieves were taken down alive from the Cross is sufficient evidence for an intelligent person: and taking down the victims alive from the Cross was the usual custom; they died only when their bones were broken, or when they were allowed to remain on the Cross without food or drink for some days. But Jesus had none of these experiences — he neither remained for any number of days on the Cross, nor were his bones broken; and by making it appear that Jesus had died the Jews were made to forget the whole matter. The thieves, however, were killed immediately — their bones were broken. It would have been different if it had been said in regard to one of the thieves also that he was dead and that there was no need to break his bones. (Ruhanikhazain)

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          I’m not sure where you get these ideas. All historical accounts beside the Gospels depict Pilate as hardly God-fearing or good-hearted. This makes the Gospel stories pretty suspect. He would have crucified any Jew without a qualm.

          I realize that you’re trying to make this fit the Muslim view of Jesus surviving the crucifixion. The Gospels that you cite say otherwise though.

        • SparklingMoon,

          All historical accounts beside the Gospels depict Pilate as hardly God-fearing or good-hearted. This makes the Gospel stories pretty suspect.
          ————————————————————————-
          The study of Gospels confirm that Jesus was a God-fearing or good-hearted and it was his plan that helped Jesus to escaped from the death of cross.

          Jesus was a prophet and had no interest for worldly kingdom therefore had no direct contact with Roman government of his time. He, as a prophet, always remained confine to his divine mission to bring the people of Israel real teachings of Mosaic Law. It states in the Gospel Matthew 22:

          ”(15)Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said. (16) And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any .…(17) “Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” (18)But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? (19)”Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax. “And they brought Him a denarius .…(20)And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” (21)They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” (22)And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.

          Gospels are full this kind of conversations between Jesus and his opponents Jews of his time. The Jews of that time had been waiting for a Messiah who would free them from Roman’s government. They had been waiting for a political type Messiah (because of their misunderstanding of the prophecies of previous prophets of the Bible). First addressers of all prophets had opposed them and Jesus also had to face opposition of his addressers who were Jews. It was their plan to prove him a rebel of Roman government . They used to ask this kind of questions to trap him in their mischievous plans. In the end they got success to bring Jesus to cross but God Almighty failed their plan of killing him.

          There is no doubt that Pilate was representative of Roman government at that time of Jesus in Jerusalem. We can understand from various statesmen of the Gospels that it was not Roman government but the Jews of that time who struggled to bring Jesus to cross to prove him a rebel of Roman government. We read in the Bible (From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” (John 19:12).

          The Jews of that time compelled the Pilate to cross him by using different devices. They tried to prove him a rebel of Roman government by misrepresenting his sayings that he had used the word of king for himself. We read in the Gospel: (11) Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” (12) And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not answer.

          Jesus was indeed innocent in the eyes of pilate. He personally as a judge had found no error in Jesus that he should be brought to cross. The harsh judgement passed by him was under duress. It is quite clear from the New Testament that the powerful Jewish community had colluded against Jesus and were determined to have him punished. So any decision by Pilate contrary to Jewish wishes could have resulted in a grave law and order situation. This was Pilate’s compulsion which rendered him helpless and was displayed in the act of washing his hands.

          Pilate had made many attempts to save Jesus. He gave the enraged crowds an option either to save Jesus’ life or that of a notorious criminal called Barabbas. (Matthew 27:15–26):

          ”(15) Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the people any one prisoner whom they wanted. (16) At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas.(17) So when the people gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” (18) For he knew that because of envy they had handed Him over. (20) But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. (21)But the governor said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” (22) Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Crucify Him!” (23) And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Crucify Him!” (24) When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” (25) And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” (26) Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified”.

          This action of Pilate to wash his hands is an enough proof that he was not willing to cross Jesus and wanted to release him but Jews compelled him then he made a hidden plan to help Jesus.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          I was talking about Pilate, not Jesus. My point was that his depiction in the Gospels is at odds with the extra-Biblical accounts, who show him as a vicious brute who killed Jews at the drop of a hat. He would have had no problem crucifying anyone alleged to be the Messiah. Also he would never be compelled by the Jewish leaders-they were Roman puppets at this point, and knew his reputation. It would have been insane to attempt something like that, and they had no reason to anyway.

        • SparklingMoon,

          Sorry, in my first sentence of my post I wrote the name of Jesus instead of Pilates (I have corrected it now). Pilate was no doubt the representative of Roman government and the condition of Jews of that time was very rough. The had become the victim of materialism that was born out of their worldliness. Roman government had controlled their area and they were waiting for a political Messiah who would free them from Roman rule and Jesus on the other hand had the message to forgive even their enemies. It is not a hidden matter that during the time of three years , the conflict remained between Jesus and Jews of his time. All Gospels confirm in their statements that Pilate wanted to release Jesus but Jews of Jesus ‘ time compelled him to crucify him. The washing of his hands of Pilates before all Jews is an enough proof that the decision to bring Jesus to cross is not of his and he is not agree with them in this sinful action. We read in the Gospel Luke: 15 the same:

          6 Now at the feast he ( Pilates) used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. 7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. 8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. 9 And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that pit was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. 12 And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” 14 And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas,

          In Gospel Luke:23 we read the same:

          2)“Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,” Jesus replied. 3)The chief priests accused him of many things. 4)So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.” 5) But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. 6) Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. 7) A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8) The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. 9) “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, 10) knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11) But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. 12) “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. 13) “Crucify him!” they shouted.14) “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          I’m aware of the historical background generally, though unsure whether you have every detail right. Regardless, the extra-Biblical sources are why the Gospels’ view of Pilate seems dubious to me. They are greatly at odds. You don’t have to repeat the Gospel stories-I’ve read them. I suggest that you look into what other writers like Josephus say about Pilate and ponder why that depiction is so different.

    • RichardSRussell

      You would have to argue that Jesus wasn’t crucified by the Romans at all …

      No, all Bob has to do is question the credibility of those who make the claim. They’re the ones who bear the burden of proof, and they’ve done a remarkably poor job of carrying that load. Heck, they haven’t even done a particularly good job of demonstrating that Jesus even existed!

      • rabbit

        He’s like King Arthur or Aeneas, a legendary character.

    • Joe

      So basically, you’re saying ‘nobody knows’?

      I agree. Maybe he didn’t die. Maybe he did die, maybe he didn’t exist?

      Which is why I don’t give any credibility to the stories. I am struggling to see what point you’re trying to make here.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      No, my claim is that Mark and Matthew can’t be said to be eyewitnesses.

      I don’t much care whether Jesus was crucified or not. What I care about is the claim of resurrection. This is just one angle attacking that claim (from within the Bible and apologists’ arguments) that I thought was pretty clever.

    • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

      There are accounts of people surviving crucifixion, if taken down early.

      • Bob Jase

        Happens in the Phillipines every year.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Mock crucifixions, right?

        • Bob Jase

          Real nails, real blood – what’s mock about it?

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          I didn’t know they went that far.

    • Kevin K

      I certainly dispute the notion that Jesus was crucified. The entire story stinks from top to bottom.

      According to the accounts, Jesus was arrested by the Jewish authorities on a charge of blasphemy. He was tried in the Jewish courts. There was zero need for them to take him to Pilate. They had the perfect authority to deal with him — stoning was the legal, authorized and in-vogue penalty of the day. The Romans would not have cared nor interfered with this. The Jewish authorities had every bit of legal sanction they needed.

      Getting Jesus to Pilate so that the Romans could crucify him is a plot device so full of holes — well, more holes than in the alleged Jesus in the end.

      • TheNuszAbides

        that’s useful to the inferences that gMark dates to after/around the sacking of Jerusalem in 70 — adding/emphasizing the Roman Oppressor element could be just as helpful as aMatthew’s retcon scramble, at least for fans of underdog-martyrdom narrative.

    • Steven Watson

      Paul wasn’t aware of any Roman involvement; according to him demons did it, ignorant of who or what Christ was. He was aware only of a god called Christ, and unaware of a man called Jesus. I’ll go with Paul; not some anonymous person writing long after Paul was dead, tah very much.

    • Ignorant Amos

      Except we know that surviving crucifixion is not unheard of at the time.

      Clearly it would be difficult to survive a crucifixion, but it was not impossible. Josephus, for example, reports that he came upon three of his former colleagues among a large group of crucified captives. He went to Titus asking for mercy, begging that they might be taken down. Titus agreed, and the three men were brought down from the cross. Despite professional medical attention, two of them died, but the third survived.

      If one believes the crucifixion as a real here on Earth event, I don’t, then the Swoon Theory isn’t as ridiculous as the alternative.

      http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/2006/04/could-jesus-have-survived-the-crucifixion.aspx?

      • Steven Watson

        Three of them crucified and only one survives. Three rebels crucified and only one is resurrected. I hazard where the Gospel idea came from, G. Luke’s author certainly used Josephus in their fiction.

  • RichardSRussell

    Hey, Bob, gonna be on any panels at the convention? Say “hi” to Herb Silverman when you see him. I know he lives in Charleston (emeritus faculty on the college there), and I’ll bet he had something to do with the convention’s being held there.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      No, I’m just a regular participant.

      I had lunch with David Silverman about 6 months ago. Nice guy, with lots of energy.

      • RichardSRussell

        Yeah, I’ve heard that about David as well, but I was referring to Herb. AFAIK, no relation. Herb looks like an elderly Jewish pixie who’s been up to some kind of mischief. He’s almost always wearing a T-shirt and cargo shorts. His sense of humor is Olympian. For example, when some religious person once asked him where he thot he was going to go after he died, he responded “Where my dear old Jewish mother always wanted me to go: to medical school.”

        Have a great time at the conference. I’ll be in the middle of Nebraska looking at a solar eclipse.

  • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

    They conflate women not having been considered reliable witnesses in court with them telling stories outside there. On that note, though, would we ever consider it reliable when the only evidence for something is not actually eyewitness testimony, but accounts claiming what other people saw, which don’t agree with each other on who was even a witness? No, I don’t think so in any other case. I know under legal evidence rules now, that would be completely inadmissible too.

  • Ficino

    Other fishy stuff:

    Bradley the other day pointed out that in Mark 15:40-41, the people looking on at a distance are only women: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome, who had followed him in Galilee, and many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

    Matthew 27:55-56 is largely the same except that the second Mary is mother of James and Joseph, and there’s mention of the mother of the sons of Zebedee. These three are among a group of women from Galilee.

    As Bob notes, in Luke 23:49, men now are added to this group. There is no word “men,” but the pronouns are masculine: “all those known to him.” The masculine endings in “all those known” signal either a group of men or else a mixed group, since mixed sex groups get masculine gender endings in Greek. Women are then mentioned, with feminine pronouns, who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee, but no woman is named.

    Where is this addition about the men coming from?

    Well, maybe there were also male disciples there. But look at Psalm 37 in the Septuagint, which is Ps 38 in our translations. verses 11-12 in the KJV of Ps 38 say:
    My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague,
    And my relatives stand afar off.
    12 Those also who seek my life lay snares for me;
    Those who seek my hurt speak of destruction,
    And plan deception all the day long.

    In the Greek Septuagint, there numbered ps. 37, the text has some of the same Greek words as Luke’s about the men in 23:49. It looks to me like another case of taking OT verses and applying them to NT agenda. Here the whole psalm can’t fit Jesus, since the psalmist speaks of his sins. But no worry. A verse here or there can have many applications!

    So Luke is reading the males in from the Septuagint.

    Who has been missing so far?
    As Bob also pointed out, in John we get the male disciple Jesus loved. We also meet, FINALLY, Jesus’ mother at the cross. Can she really have been missing from the crucifixion scenes in the Synoptics? I don’t see her there. BIG omission.

    • Kevin K

      Mary is completely missing from the entirety of Jesus’ preaching career, isn’t she? Nary a mention of her anywhere, except to state that she thought him mad at one point — until she appears at the end. It’s a curious omission from the accounts — almost as if she’s a minor character in a fictional story who served her initial purpose and isn’t needed again. Like Gabrielle Delacour in the Harry Potter novel (and yes, I had to do actual research to come up with that.)

      • Greg G.

        Matthew and Luke have Mary in the birth and youth narratives, then, in all three Synoptics, when they think Jesus is a nut, he rejects them. In Mark and Matthew, Jesus is recognized as her son. John has her asking Jesus to conjure up some wine at the wedding in Cana and again at the cross, but her name is never given.

        • Kevin K

          You know, that whole “nut” thing bothers me just a little. Here’s a woman who — it is claimed — was visited by an angel, had the spirit of DOG come inside her to make her pregnant, had another angel visit her fiancee and made him mute until after the birth, had ANGELS singing her newborn’s praises (not to mention the shepherds and wise men), had another ANGEL tell Joseph to flee to Egypt…

          You’d think after all that, she’d remember this when he started preaching and not think him a kook. Wouldn’t you?

          Selective memory, I guess.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe she thought the visitations were alcohol dreams when she got so drunk on her birthday that she decided to get laid, which she blacked out about.

          The guy who was made mute was her cousin’s husband, Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. I thought that was unfair. He got the mute treatment for questioning how his elderly wife could get pregnant but when Mary questioned how she could have a child without ever having sex, the angel kindly explained it to her.

        • Kevin K

          My bad on the “mute” thing … but sounds like the Zacharias had a stroke when he heard his wife was preggers…

        • Greg G.

          That’s more plausible than being divinely attacked in the Temple while wearing the proper protective gear like an ephod.

        • adam
        • rabbit

          Ah, but she, like Scheherazade, knew how to weave tales to improve her lot in life. Moral? Girls, never underestimate the power of a lit major.

    • Greg G.

      Mark 6:3 is the only place in that gospel where the name of Jesus’ mother is given. John 6:42 is very similar to Mark 6:3 but Mary is replaced with Joseph. John refers to Jesus’ mother at the Wedding at Cana, but not by name, and again at the cross, but not by name while the names of the other two women are given, both named Mary, and one is the sister of Jesus’ mother. It seems that John doesn’t know the name of Jesus’ mother but he seems to think it was not Mary.

      We also meet, FINALLY, Jesus’ mother at the cross. Can she really have been missing from the crucifixion scenes in the Synoptics? I don’t see her there. BIG omission.

      Perhaps it is because Jesus rejected her in Mark 3:31-35, Matthew 12:46-50, and Luke 8:19-21. She is mentioned obliquely in Mark 6:3 and the parallel in Matthew 13:55. Otherwise, Matthew and Luke just have her in the birth and childhood narratives.

    • Greg G.

      BTW, are the genders of Greek pronouns as simple as in Spanish? What are the indications? I can recognize a few words and phrases in Greek and once was able to identify a verse in Greek from the few words I knew. I can usually guess English words with Greek roots when they have “ph” pronounced as “f” and “th” pronounced as in “thin” and not as in “then”. I’d like to add a new trick to my repertoire.

      • Ficino

        When I said “pronouns,” I was speaking imprecisely. In Luke 23:49, “all the ones known to him” is a phrase with masculine endings. “all” is an adjective, “the ones” is my expl. of the plural definite article, and “known” is an adjective formed from a verb. The phrase about the women uses “the ones having followed along with him” as a phrase w/ the feminine def. article and a feminine participle. Technically, none is a pronoun! Greek is pretty complicated, and there isn’t an easy way to tell these gender forms apart except that “known” ends in -oi and “having followed…” ends in -ai. Those two are commonly used for masc. plural and fem. plural, but sometimes -oi refers to a mixed-gender group and on some nouns, these endings match the opposite gender.

        Sorry, too confusing to get into in a combox!

        • Greg G.

          on some nouns, these endings match the opposite gender.

          Something like “el agua” in Spanish.

        • Ficino

          There are some masculine nouns in Italian that end in -a but go back to Greek forms that shared many endings with feminines. E.g. nouns in -ista, like turista or communista. Then there are other Italian nouns in -a that go back to Greek neuters in -a, like telegramma. Maybe Spanish has equivalents. BTW if “agua” means “water,” in Italian it’s feminine, from the Latin, aqua — acqua. What do you do with the gender ending of an adjective that modifies “el agua”?

          Language is endlessly fascinating.

        • Greg G.

          I figure that agua comes from aqua but they consider it masculine. I had two years of it in high school and a year and a half was with the worst teacher I ever had.

          My wife is Vietnamese so I have tried to learn that language. Most words are one syllable with tonal changes. The polysyllabic words seem to be borrowed from French. There is no conjugation of words for tense or plurality. I’m too old to become fluent but I can order food and say thank you. “Ma” and “Pa” is “Mei” and “Ba”, though, so some things don’t change.

        • Susan

          I’m too old to become fluent

          It turns out that’s a myth

          If it turns out that your marriage is good and that you can live well in another country without doing so, that’s another thing.

          but I can order food and say thank you

          What is more important than that?

          :-)

          (‘Cept those other things.)

        • Cozmo the Magician

          but I can order food and say thank you

          What is more important than that?

          You need to know how to swear in at LEAST 3 diff languages IMO. Especially if you work with ESL folks. Who dafuq cares if you know what they call their lunch, as long as you can say ‘the boss is fucking prick’ (or proper variant) in their native language , you improve your odds of getting along (:

        • Susan

          You need to know how to swear in at LEAST 3 diff languages IMO

          I understand the value of this strategy but I don’t think it would work for me.

          I prefer fluency before swearing. That’s how I try to learn my own language.

          But I can’t wait until I’m good enough in another language to swear when all other attempts to communicate fail.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          In my experience one of the best ways to bond with somebody is to know how to cuss in their language. I’ve met people from many different cultures and it seems to be a great way to learn about each other. Translating a simple phrase like ‘Mother Fucker’ or ‘Asshole’ and seeing how they compare to levels of profanity across cultures is not only educating but FUN! Your millage may vary (is that a multi-cultural phrase or just something unique to US folks who know how advertising in the USA works)

        • Ignorant Amos

          Having lived in the states, Spain, Germany, and Ireland…”kiss my ass” is handy to know.

          “Kiss my arse” would be colloquial to me, but it is….”póg mo thóin” in Irish, “leck mich am arsch” in German, “besarme el culo” in Spanish.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          Aint it COOL that the phrase is equal in ALL those languages. So yeah, I think I made my point. ‘God is good’ sux. But, “Kiss my ass” unites EVRYBODY

        • Cozmo the Magician

          OTOH learning how to say ‘OH FUCK, I said that wrong’ can help too (:

        • Kevin K

          I was told that surgeons are trained to say “there” instead of “OH FUCK” in the operating suite. Could be just a story…but if you’re not under general anesthesia and the surgeon says “there”, you should say “what’s wrong?”

        • Greg G.

          What if a nurse is trying to comfort me and says, “there, there,” should I ask, “How long have I got?”

        • Kevin K

          Ha! Probably.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          Citation?

        • TheNuszAbides

          i’m assuming “Could be just a story” was sufficient clarification that there is no citation.

        • rabbit

          hmm–that’s something I will work at unlearning

        • Michael Neville

          While my Latin is adequate for many purposes, I don’t know how to swear in it. I can swear in the other three languages I have some fluency in, German, French and, of course, English.

          French swearing is the most fun and inventive. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail the scene where John Cleese plays the French soldier swearing at King Arthur “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries” is not that far-fetched. French swearing is like that. I fart in your general direction.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The swearing in the series “Deadwood” is anachronistic, because the swear words with the same shock value from the time the series is set were religious based and would appear comical in today’s setting, removing the shock element the creator was trying to achieve.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadwood_(TV_series)#Use_of_profanity

          I thought “Deadwood” was excellent and only recently revisited it after it first aired over 13 years ago would ya believe?

        • TheNuszAbides

          i was appalled that it was cut short. not that Milch should have scrambled to ‘wrap things up’ in the 3rd season, just that at least one more wasn’t deemed possible.

        • Greg G.

          I knew a guy who worked at the post office and was taking a sign language course. He asked a deaf co-worker for help with his assignment for the next session which was to sign what your job was.

          The next class he signed as he was taught. The instructor asked him to do it again. Then he asked, “You’re a fucking mail processor?”

        • Cozmo the Magician

          Ayup. Case in point. While working as a dishwasher I specifically asked everybody how to say ‘I love my fucking job’. And then made sure I got the inflection for sarcasm correct. At the time I learned it in German, Spanish, Japanese. Don’t ask me to repeat it know because A) I only learned to SAY it not write it. B) it was over 20 years ago. But it WAS a great way to make friends with the crew. (especially since I was the ‘foreigner’ being from NY and working in Portland OR)

        • rabbit

          and to ask where the restroom is (or the train station)

        • Greg G.
        • Michael Neville

          A légpárnás hajóm tele van angolnákkal. Or if your Hungarian is a bit weak, here’s the German: Mein Luftkissenfahrzeug ist voller Aale.

        • al kimeea

          IIRC ‘sar’ is shit in Hungarian as well as being short for Sysout Archival & Retrieval

        • Michael Neville

          I got that from the Translations of My Hovercraft is Full of Eels [link] website. My Hungarian is completely non-existent.

        • al kimeea

          Lol thought u might have known some. Only hungarian I know with ‘feh’ head…

        • al kimeea

          donde esta la casa de peypey

        • Susan

          Something like “el agua” in Spanish

          “Agua” is feminine in Spanish but with some feminine words “el” is used for the singular article (because it’s easier to say). The plural is “las aguas” (f).

          Most of the Spanish masculine nouns I know that end in “a” (el alma, for instance) come from the Greek.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          OMFSM ! “The plural is “las aguas” (f).” Lasagna is spanish? Who knew?

        • Ficino

          Italian has some masc sing fem plural words, too, but the only examples I can think of offhand are body parts: il dito, le dita; il labbro, le labbra; il sopraciglio (eyebrow), le sopraciglia.

          Mamma mia!

        • Susan

          Italian has some masc sing fem plural words

          In Spanish, the singular noun remains feminine even with the “el” as an article.

          The adjective attached is feminine. For instance, “el agua fria”.

          Is it the same case for Italian?

        • Ficino

          I can’t think of examples, except with occupations that used to be mostly men but became open to both sexes, like il dentista and la dentista. But the gender would depend on the gender of that person.

          As I said, there are some Italian nouns that end in -a that are masculine, but they are derivatives of Latin or Greek nouns that had a or e in their final syllable but were masculine. So you use the masculine adj., e.g. “il pianeta congelato,” the frozen planet.

        • Ficino

          Hi Susan, I don’t see a link to the video you mentioned. I have heard Italians say that they can pretty well understand Spanish but that Spanish speakers have trouble understanding Italian. I myself know Italian fairly well and when I’m in practice, can converse pretty well with educated speakers in standard dialect. I can’t really follow slang or slurred speech (typical of middle-aged and elderly Mediterranean men!), dialects, etc. I read it quite well. I don’t know when I can get back to Italy, so my conversational skills are slowly fading.

        • Susan

          I don’t see a link

          Sorry about that. I missed one of the equal signs when I inserted it. It’s there now.

        • Ficino

          Oh, I just wondered: does Spanish change the article on ‘agua’ from la to el in order to avoid the hiatus in saying ‘la agua’? Italian does this by eliding the ‘a’ in the article when the noun begins with a vowel: l’ acqua is “the water” in Italian. But before a consonant, the full feminine article is spoken, “la bambina.”

        • Susan

          does Spanish change the article on ‘agua’ from la to el in order to avoid the hiatus in saying ‘la agua’?

          If you mean what I think you mean by “hiatus”, then yes. Interestingly, they don’t do it for all nouns that begin with “a”. La accion, por ejemplo.

          Italian does this by eliding the ‘a’ in the article when the noun begins with a vowel:

          Which is what they do in French.

          In Spanish, they seem to use the masculine article in front of a noun that remains feminine in some cases. (el agua, el aguila are a couple of examples).

          The noun remains feminine, the modifiers are feminine and the plural form is normally feminine. No apostrophes in Spanish.

          I don’t know if you’re a native speaker of Italian whose English is excellent or a native speaker of English who’s fluent in Italian or a native speaker of English who knows some Italian and/or is studying Italian.

          I found this video (ignore the hoaky intro) fascinating.

          Especially this bit. “I’d like to share with you my own experience as a native speaker of Italian and how it is to hear Spanish… you hear Spanish and you realize it’s another language… but you understand everything… and it’s an amazing feeling.”

          If you watch the whole video, you’ll eventually see that he thinks the native Italian has a slight edge over a native Spanish speaker when listening to the other language.

          Language is fascinating.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    After the arrest, “everyone deserted [Jesus] and fled” (Mark 14:50)

    By everyone, he didn’t mean everyone. He meant everyone except himself, of course. And Matthew, Luke and John. Disciples don’t see each other at a crucifixion the same way Southern Baptists don’t see each other at the liquor store.
    /s

    • james warren

      Mark was not an eyewitness. He was using oral tradition, legends, myths and metaphors in writing his account.

      We do not possess any original texts. What we have are copies of copies and many translations. If you can’t believe in a copy or a translation, you might have nothing left to believe IN.

  • Kevin K

    Again, the resurrection is quite easy to prove. Just produce the living Jesus. Holes-in-hands, Aramaic-speaking-in-tongues, miracle-performing Jesus in all his resurrected glory.

    Otherwise — “the dog ate my homework.”

  • Ficino

    Just to sum up what I said below: I think we’re justified in pronouncing the presence of male disciples at The Cross as extremely doubtful. Luke is pretty clearly importing them from Psalm 38 (from the Septuagint Greek version, there numbered Ps. 37).

  • Ignorant Amos

    Carrier thwarts the argument that the women claiming to have come across an empty tomb and such, being unreliable and therefore representing the criterion of embarrassment, as being pure unsupported modern Christian apologetic nonsense.

    https://infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/improbable/women.html

  • Lerk!

    “Only eyewitness authors would be credible.”

    This is not what I’ve heard all of my life. Generally, the fundamentalist teaching I’ve been exposed to says that the authors didn’t have to be there because the Holy Spirit made sure they didn’t make any mistakes. The Holy Spirit was telling the story, and the authors were writing it in their own words. The implication is that the authors didn’t have to interview anybody to tell their version of the story, and that even though they included different details, the stories couldn’t possibly contradict each other. John Mark, it is admitted, may not have even been born yet, or if a child he would not likely have been an eyewitness to any of it.

    Of course, the fact that they stories do contain irreconcilable differences blows the Holy Spirit hypothesis out of the water. I’ve seen people say that the contradiction where the angels were both standing on the same end of where the body had been, versus one at the head and one at the foot, can be resolved by assuming that one of them moved after the women went in! And they claim that the missing young man on the stone in 3 versions is explained by the possibility that the women didn’t notice the guy, but that the author knew because the Holy Spirit told him he about it! In both instances, the author is presenting the scene as the women approached and entered the tomb. The authors all write about details that aren’t really significant, but help paint the picture. And the pictures they paint are different. (The big one being that the women can’t have not told anyone, and yet Peter and John.)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      And if you want to see some impressive tap dancing, ask who Peter denied Jesus to those 3 times. It’s a different story in each gospel, but somehow they can imagine how it was a single series of events as witnessed from different vantage points.

      • Ficino

        Can some math person calculate how many times Peter actually did deny Jesus? Assuming that each different respondent marks out one occasion of denial.

        Not a contradiction, of course. If Peter denied Jesus 14 times, he denied him three times.

        • Greg G.

          Mark was written in a chiastic format which produces those Markan sandwiches. The technique shows some simultaneous events where Peter is being asked if he was one who was with Jesus while Jesus is on trial, being slapped around, and ordered to “Prophesy!” while is prophecy is being fulfilled. John preserves the format of the scene but omits the order to prophesy so he kind of misses the point.

        • LastManOnEarth

          “Not a contradiction, of course. If Peter denied Jesus 14 times, he denied him three times.”

          One thumbs up!

      • Ignorant Amos

        Could happen…have ya not seen the movie “Dunkirk”?

      • Ficino

        I added up seven different interlocutors when Peter denies Jesus, if you count the group of bystanders as one. But maybe there are even more than seven.

        If there are seven, though, first: no contradiction, because when there are seven, there are three. Second, seven and three are numbers of deep symbolic import. This hidden message of the scriptures, just now disclosed, teaches us that …

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Curses! You’ve outsmarted me this time, Jesus, but I’ll get you yet!

  • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

    You know what guy? You would have done yourself a lot more good to leave that ‘aside’ out of the picture. All you did was show that you don’t know the book of John that well. Jesus indeed did have brothers that belonged to Mary and Joseph. The fact that Jesus made sure to put his mother in the hands of John the aposlte was because the other brother of Jesu sdind’t believe Jesus to be the Messiah until after his death dn resurrection.Apparently the fact that the 2 books in the Bible, James adn Jude, are those 2 half brothers of Jesus and then his spiritual brothers according to the faith they put in him after jesus’ dath and resurrection.

    Also, I didn’t see you mention anything against Luke who himself definitely wasn’t an ‘eyewitness’ himself. But you know what he was? He was a man who collected the accounts of many many many eyewitnesses (like Matthew did perhaps with the women at the tomb??) then he wrote them all down in an official way with the blessing of God upon him.

    When Matthew says that no one was around did it occur to you that that was from is perspective of the believers he was around while another group of believers was somewhere else together that did show up at the death of Jesus on the torture stake? Is he telling a lie if this was the case from where he was? No. In fact he certainly could be telling the truth that looks somewhat differently from the other truth from John’s witness of the events that took place.

    Then of course there is the whole account of Saul-Paul who met Jesus after the resurrection some time later that Luke told us about in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. Then Paul mentioned the 500 who saw Jesus alive after his resurrection that walked with Jesus while he was alive before Jesus’ death adn resurrection (that did take place).

    • Tommy

      The gospels are fiction. Dead people don’t come back to life after being dead for days – ever.

      • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

        Hello to you Tommy and thank you for taking the time to comment

        Those gospels are all true. would you mind explaining how you know God can’t raise the dead (according to the flesh) even after a number of days? He is going to raise ppl who have been physically dead for far longer than 3 days on resurrection day.

        If an act of accidental existence can ‘create’ unintentionally all that fills the earth, then it certainly stand to reason that a highly intelligent God that far surpasses mankind’s intelligence can not only create life but bring a torn down human body back to existence like humans can ‘recreate’ things, right?

        Jesus is alive Tommy. And all who exercise faith in him will live again too. This does include you Tommy.

        • Tommy

          The gospels aren’t and never were ‘true’. God can’t raise the dead for the same reason Superman can’t save anyone – they’re both fictional characters. Dead is dead, there is no second chance. Have as much faith in the impossible as you like, but have faith in one hand and defecate in the other and see which hand is fulfilled first.

          Jesus can’t save you. He never could and he never will. Accept it.

        • james warren

          That’s because biblically, salvation actually means transformation in this life. It has nothing to do with a human blood sacrifice or getting to heaven.

        • Tommy

          It doesn’t matter. It’s all bunk.

        • james warren

          It matters to me. Facts inform faith. We can know these facts. One thing they show me is the wide differences between what Christian believers say ABOUT Jesus and what Jesus actually TEACHES.

          Nothing is “ALL” anything. The adverb is too general and imprecise to be factually correct.

        • Tommy

          The Bible is man-made – that’s not a matter of faith but a matter of fact. Transformation in life starts with yourself. Jesus didn’t and never has done anything for you because he’s only a character in stories.

        • james warren

          It’s not what I see. It is the interpretation I make of what I see.

          I read the Bible. I see and reflect on his compassion for the homeless, the stranger, the immigrant and the poor under the Roman empire is an inspiration to me. His nonviolence, his social activism and his trenchant critiques of family values and the domination system of the emperor have done much for me.

          If I visit a church, I no longer have to leave my intellect at the door before I enter.

          I can also set up believers on blind dates with Jesus. His actual teachings found in the New Testament: he never claimed divinity, he was a party animal that loved mixing with the deplorable and the expendable in his culture. He did not think or speak of himself as a blood sacrifice for humankind’s sins. His focus was not on heavy en–it was on earth where the problems were. Heaven was good and could take care of itself. His major parables show that God is unclean and corrupt.

          Christians worship Christ on a pedestal they themselves have built. They do not follow Jesus. For instance, they have left “Love your enemies” blowing in the wind.

        • Tommy

          Cool story, bro. But seriously, you’ve set yourself up as a True Scotsman where you have the correct interpretation on a book of fairytales and Christians don’t. The Bible is and always will be bunk – no matter how much you believe otherwise.

        • james warren

          It is not bunk to me. The Bible is a human product that includes oral traditions, legends, parables, remembered history, different and oppositional theologies, metaphors and myths.

          Taking a religious text literally allows one to forfeit the book’s great claim and hope.

          I guess I could say that the Bible is and always will be the definitive source´of the history of Judaism that focuses on their people’s relationship with Yahweh. And Jesus as the definitive disclosure of God.

          The biblical myths and metaphors point beyond themselves to a larger truth.

          For example, the doctrine of the virgin birth has nothing to do with the state of Mary’s genitals. It has to do with the importance of Jesus.

          And finally I would never characterize your opinion as “bunk.” I don’t agree with it, but I will not label it something and affirm that I am absolutely right about my personal opinions.

          Jesus teaches me how to be a better human being. His vision of humankind is much more persuasive than the vision of Christianity and its followers. For me Jesus offers a sane and moral way to live in the world.

        • Tommy

          The Bible is a man-made book of myths and fairytales. That’s a fact. Jesus can’t save. That’s a fact. The dead never come back. That’s a fact. To believe all of these things is to embrace fantasy.

          That goes for every other so-called holy book.

        • james warren

          Here is some intelligent comment–in my opinion–from an astronomy website:

          http://www.astronomynotes.com/science-religion/truth-metaphor.htm

          I get my jollies in engaging the Bible, wrestling with its meaning, exploring its mysteries, and understanding its relevance.
          I have found to encounter the Bible in a fresh way that rejects the limits of simple literalism and opens up rich possibilities for our lives is a much better way than to see it through the lens of supernatural theism.

          Unfortunately, the conventional way of seeing the Bible’s origin, authority, and interpretation has become unpersuasive to millions of people in our time. We need a fresh way of encountering the Bible that takes the texts seriously but not literally, even as it takes seriously who we have become.

          The Bible is a combination of “history remembered” and “metaphorical narratives” [which includes “history metaphorized”].

          The question is no longer simply, “What does the Bible say?” as if that would settle everything.

          Rather the question becomes, “Give what their words meant for their then, what might their meaning for our now?”

          Personally, I don’t think the gospel writers were people, not parrots.
          Thinkers, not memorizers.
          Disciples, not reciters.

          They were inspired human beings who used parable, metaphor and myth to articulate reality that is beyond words and human concepts.

          Metaphorical truth and factual truth are not the same. And because something is true does not necessarily mean it is factually correct.

        • Tommy

          I get my jollies in engaging the Bible, wrestling with its meaning, exploring its mysteries, and understanding its relevance.

          I don’t give a sh*t.

          I have found to encounter the Bible in a fresh way that rejects the
          limits of simple literalism and opens up rich possibilities for our
          lives is a much better way than to see it through the lens of
          supernatural theism.

          I don’t give a sh*t how you spin it. The Bible is bunk.

          Unfortunately, the conventional way of seeing the Bible’s origin,
          authority, and interpretation has become unpersuasive to millions of
          people in our time.

          Thank goodness there’s you to set this straight. /s

          We need a fresh way of encountering the Bible that takes the texts
          seriously but not literally, even as it takes seriously who we have
          become.

          Who’s ‘we’? Go preach to those who like you who “get my jollies in engaging the Bible, wrestling with its meaning, exploring its mysteries, and understanding its relevance.” ‘Cuz I ain’t one of ’em.

          The Bible is a combination of “history remembered” and “metaphorical narratives” [which includes “history metaphorized”].

          The question is no longer simply, “What does the Bible say?” as if that would settle everything.

          Rather the question becomes, “Give what their words meant for their then, what might their meaning for our now?”

          Personally, I don’t think the gospel writers were people, not parrots.
          Thinkers, not memorizers.
          Disciples, not reciters.

          They
          were inspired human beings who used parable, metaphor and myth to
          articulate reality that is beyond words and human concepts.

          Metaphorical
          truth and factual truth are not the same. And because something is true
          does not necessarily mean it is factually correct.

          This is your only life in this world and there will be no resurrection because the dead don’t come back. You know this right?

        • james warren

          Using obscenities in any adult discussion is not helpful. In this case it says more about yourself than it says about me.
          It is a turnoff.

          Believe it or not, the points you make can be effective without turning to insults and inappropriate language. Know how you feel and fully feel it. Give it a name such as “anger,,” “outrage.” “frustration, etc.” Then simply express those emotions without descending to immature ways of expression.

          You might have said “I disagree with this point and here’s why.”

        • adam

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04570f3531aa4e675333fdcce29973e95d6ad5b518125333d607badb96b99c03.png “Using obscenities in any adult discussion is not helpful. ”

          It certainly can be.

          ” In this case it says more about yourself than it says about me.”

          ” Then simply express those emotions without descending to immature ways of expression.”

          Demonstrate your deity instead of your immature ways of expression.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • BlackMamba44

          When you’re a kid, you’re told that cuss words are “grown up words”.

          As a grown up, you’re told that cuss words are “immature” and “childish”.

          Fuck ’em.

        • james warren

          I think this comes from childhood and the way I was raised. Both parents brought get be up in an atmosphere of decency, caring, respect and fairness. I learned at a young age the meaning of small-town values. Cursing in front of some people feels offensive to them–especially older people.

          So I just don’t believe in using profanity and/or weaponizing it with a dollop of irresponsible glee.

          If someone’s feelings are hurt because of something I said, I was taught to immediately apologize and to refrain from doing it again in the future.

          To me that’s common sense and morally correct.

          We just see things differently.

        • james warren

          Your posts–read in order–show me someone who thinks that unless something is factually correct cannot demonstrate absolute truth. This is the soul of evangelical literalism.

        • adam

          “Your posts–read in order–show me someone who thinks that unless
          something is factually correct cannot demonstrate absolute truth”

          What kind of ‘truth’ can something ‘factually incorrect’ ( a lie, a dishonesty) actually demonstrate?

        • Fred Knight

          “The biblical myths and metaphors point beyond themselves to a larger truth.”
          this is so basic that I’m left wondering why so many don’t get it. hyper-literalism seems to be a defense mechanism. I’m not sure why atheists feel the need to take this approach. Argue the moral message of the text, taken in it’s context seems pretty reasonable to me.

        • Tommy

          Tell that to the fundamentalist Christians who take the bible as “truth”. They’re the ones who ‘take that approach’.

        • Fred Knight

          but yet so do knee jerk atheists…rather than rise above their basic fallacy, they perpetuate it, often to a worse degree…why is that?

        • Tommy

          It’s not the atheist’s position, it’s a response to a position.

        • Fred Knight

          which makes it all the weaker, do you not get that? It’s awful easy to take potshots from the dark, it’s another thing to bring a workable real world answer…..this is my problem with all this.

        • Tommy

          You’re not making any sense whatsoever.

        • Fred Knight

          really? you like to have your cake and eat it too. “I don’t have any kind of worldview, I simply object to Christianity! ” how is that a healthy alternative? It is a copout. Christianity at least puts itself out there, for good or bad…..

        • Tommy

          So you don’t have anything intelligent to say?

        • Fred Knight

          I’m rubber you’re glue….what are you asking Tommy? And more importantly, what are you saying? Speak the truth and set me straight.

        • Tommy

          I’ll take that as a ‘No’.

        • Fred Knight

          you and those like you seem to use that tactic a lot. since atheism, in your view, is built upon one single binary point, I’m left wondering why you reject all the healthy aspects of Western Christianity as a well-developed, systematic worldview. Do YOU have anything intelligent to say about that?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m left wondering why you reject all the healthy aspects of Western Christianity Christianities as a well-developed, systematic worldview.

          FTFY.

          Do you reject all the unhealthy aspects of Western Christianities as a not so well-developed, systematic worldview?

        • Fred Knight

          “Do you reject all the unhealthy aspects of Western Christianities as a not so well-developed, systematic worldview?”
          yes I do, the point being is that I think before I react blindly.

        • Susan

          the point being is that I think before I react blindly.

          Give us a single example of you doing that.

        • Greg G.

          Western Christianity as a well-developed, systematic worldview

          I do not think “well-developed” necessarily means “developed well”. The best parts of Christianity are what people already believe without Christianity.

        • adam

          “The best parts of Christianity are what people already believe without Christianity.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Could never be repeated or upvoted enough times chum.

        • Fred Knight

          but they collate it in an incredibly well developed fashion, and atheists, like a herd of cats, do not. proof is in the pudding.

        • Greg G.

          but they collate it in an incredibly well developed fashion, and atheists, like a herd of cats, do not.

          If by “incredibly well developed”, you mean “well developed incredibility”, then I agree, but that is what I dislike about it. They have been controlling thoughts and beliefs for nearly two thousand years while never trying to discern what is true. They have silenced atheist thoughts for many centuries by destroying writings and murder. The defining characteristics of Christianity that are agreed upon and their “systematic worldview” are lies. That is the problem with religion in general and is why I oppose it.

          Christianity still has over 45,000 different denominations, that range from Ed Senter over to toypoodle1 and over to james warren. Their worldviews differ dramatically. How is that not like a “herd of cats”?

          proof is in the pudding.

          I think your thumb is in the pudding when you put it on the scale.

        • adam

          “but they collate it in an incredibly well developed fashion,”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/71f3381208d933f12f13799886a78bdcc552c0093e78866bebadf67a538af4a4.jpg

          Not, even close.

          Religion is divisive, by its very nature
          Science is what collates human beings with nature.

        • Fred Knight

          Let me present your argument back to you and see if it holds water.

          “Atheism is divisive, by its very nature”
          I don’t believe this at all, but there is a TYPE of atheism that is divisive by it’s very nature…and sadly, you are participating in it to some degree.

          in-group thinking, ideological mindsets (as science will attest) draws upon our most primal instincts – why would you think atheists are magically above this? Or are atheists somehow genetically superior and immune?

        • TheNuszAbides

          who anywhere claims atheism as The Answer to our ills in anything remotely resembling the pompous way Christianity [for example] is marketed?
          and no, setting nice pro-social examples isn’t intrinsic to Christianity or any organized religion. politics is politics, making any of it ‘sacred’ is cynical and backward.

        • Fred Knight

          “who anywhere claims atheism as The Answer to our ills in anything
          remotely resembling the pompous way Christianity [for example] is
          marketed?”
          so you are content to remain in the margins, quietly protesting? Or do you feel a need to project your views in some manner? Atheism is no more benign than quiet Christianity.

        • TheNuszAbides

          who here is actually attributing to atheism the characteristics you are so bent on contrasting with poorly-grounded attributes “of” Christianity?

        • Fred Knight

          do you mean explicitly? Lots of assumptions are quietly being made every day by all of us, all the time, who has the actual balls to come out and say it as such? that’s not likely to happen. And when it does, it’s gross….some have tried that approach.

          So, the real question is, does one’s “atheism” give some kind of edge or special insight that makes it less likely to behave poorly? Or perhaps more likely? I’m told this is irrelevant and shouldn’t even be asked, as atheism does not concern itself with such trivial matters.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i quickly tired of wedging in a “but there’s also racism and jingoism and blahblahblah” every time i saw an excitable fellow online atheist gush about something like a post-religious utopia or rail against exclusively religious authoritarianism/dogmatism, but yeah, i get that one’s response to [insert godclaim here] doesn’t magically determine how sensible/astute/trustworthy an individual (or company, or society) will be in every endeavor. I sometimes find it worth making that clear when i venture into spaces where atheists are a distinct minority, but not so much in this neck of the woods unless it’s particularly on-topic.

          i personally don’t agree with those who pooh-pooh, e.g., Atheism+ as divisive or impossibly idealistic or agenda-hound-y or whatever. i think it’s well worth anyone’s while to rationally and even rhetorically establish their grounds for pro-social/moral/ethical causes and convictions. it’s certainly been both cynically and apathetically left up to religio-political figures (both beneficent and contemptible) for more than long enough. i have mixed feelings about any ‘movement’, part of which is to recognize that without some kind of diversity + solidarity formula, ‘purity’ can stagnate or fester without ever being subjected to a rigorous sniff test. the most sensible theist sects, it seems to me, are those who realize they can do away with the irrational thumpy baggage and still be Good People. how strange that those ones aren’t as renowned for raking in the donations …

          such a thing is tangential to this blog sometimes i suppose, but it’s rarely (if ever, nothing off the top of my recall) the theme of a post.

        • Fred Knight

          “I personally don’t agree with those who pooh-pooh, e.g., Atheism+ as
          divisive or impossibly idealistic or agenda-hound-y or whatever. i
          think it’s well worth anyone’s while to rationally and even rhetorically
          establish their grounds for pro-social/moral/ethical causes and
          convictions. it’s certainly been both cynically and apathetically left
          up to religio-political figures”
          I’m actually feeling that you are getting my point, thank you.

          If we cynically and apathetically relegate such moral questions to the religious, then it seems to me that we should also honor them when they take up that noble task.

          cynicism, for me, is not a virtue.

        • Susan

          the real question is, does one’s “atheism” give some kind of edge or special insight

          No. The only question on the subject of theist claims is whether the theist making the claim has defined and supported their claim.

          So far, no.

          Morality is a whole other subject until you can show a connection between an unsupported claim and morality.

        • Fred Knight

          “Morality is a whole other subject”
          and yet morality is the only subject I’m interested in….as I said before, we have different agendas coming into this…..I don’t care about belief or non-belief as much as I care about whether we are moral. Does that make me a bad guy?

        • Susan

          morality is the only subject I’m interested in

          Then, show it.

          I don’t care about belief or non-belief

          Yet you accuse those who don’t believe in Yahwehjesus of terrible things and claim that those who believe in Yahwehjesus have gotten it right.

          I care about whether we are moral.

          Saying something is so doesn’t make it so.

        • Fred Knight

          I don’t blame you for being defensive, given our history…I am actually being vulnerable with you…

        • epeeist

          and yet morality is the only subject I’m interested in

          Ethics is massive subject in philosophy to which religion is only tangential. The ethics of Christianity is mainly derived from Plato, Aristotle and the Neo-Platonists largely because those documented in the gospels are sparse and inadequate (and also not specific to Christianity, but that is another matter).

        • Fred Knight

          “Ethics is massive subject in philosophy”
          You can take that approach into the deep technical esoteric realms of philosophy – I’m going for something much more basic.

          Again, I do wonder why I’m not being taken at face value.

        • epeeist

          You can take that approach into the deep technical esoteric realms of philosophy – I’m going for something much more basic.

          So why don’t you want to delve, because your knowledge is inadequate or because you know it would undermine your position?

          Again, I do wonder why I’m not being taken at face value.

          Oh you are, your ignorance over a wide number of fields, your inability to form a coherent argument (or even to recognise one) and your mendacious behaviour have been noted by a number of people here.

        • Fred Knight

          “So why don’t you want to delve, because your knowledge is inadequate or because you know it would undermine your position?”
          because it’s boring, and it avoids my point by taking us into the abstract and theoretical.

          Interesting that you use the word mendacious as truth-telling is my precise point. How much self-analysis have you done in regards to why abstract theory appeals to you more than plain speaking? ….only you can answer this for you.

        • epeeist

          because it’s boring

          Ah, I shall make sure I carry on treating you like a recalcitrant 14-year old.

          How much self-analysis have you done in regards to why abstract theory appeals to you more than plain speaking?

          Oh look, over there, a squirrel.

        • Fred Knight

          you continue to prove my point….

        • epeeist

          you continue to prove my point….

          Nope, there are many domains of human discourse of which I am ignorant, others of which I am uninterested or unable to understand. To simply dismiss a subject as “boring” is, as I said, behaviour I would expect from a recalcitrant 14-year old rather than a “free thinker”.

        • Fred Knight

          “who anywhere claims atheism as The Answer to our ills in anything
          remotely resembling the pompous way Christianity [for example] is
          marketed?”
          so shut the hell up and move on?

        • TheNuszAbides

          so shut the hell up and move on?

          no, you nincompoop, try reading the second and third sentences and addressing them in some way.
          although yes, shutting the hell up and moving on would be time and energy better spent than the derail factory you’ve been around here so far. maybe it’s just that nobody’s pushed the right buttons to get you to make a compelling effort? it seems like you only come here to make citation-free, substance-free pontifications about how we’re Doing It Wrong.

        • Fred Knight

          “and no, setting nice pro-social examples isn’t intrinsic to Christianity”
          but what if, through great effort on their part, they do a better job of actually doing it, then what? do we continue to not give credit and insist any of us “could” do it, it’s just that we don’t want to?

        • TheNuszAbides

          maybe if explicitly atheist individuals and organizations (along with numerous other minority demographics) weren’t irrationally labeled threats to the precious way of life they needlessly attribute to an external/mysterious/ineffable agency … i really have no beef with the ones who have a clearer picture of how society functions.

        • Fred Knight

          I’m not sure what brand of “religion” you object to then. Even among the most conservative I know of would not in any way be a threat to your way of life. There seems to be a bogeyman here in the mix.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i guess you don’t know ’em all. go figure.

        • Fred Knight

          No, I don’t know ’em all, but once we start down that road, the “bad Christian” or “bad atheist” argument becomes all too easy to appeal to. I will say this, if the numbers of “bad” truly rise to a significant level (within any group), it seriously calls into question that ideology. As far as I know, Christianity, overall has pretty good percentages compared to any other social grouping.

        • adam

          “Even among the most conservative I know of would not in any way be a threat to your way of life.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cdf1945c329723ddbb7c03a5aa7c5a3ef1bae3c5f93caabe7aed79f438227c78.jpg

        • Michael Neville

          Care to guess again? Here’s one of your fellow Christians calling for the death of atheists.

          All atheists should be killed. [link]

          Atheism is detrimental to the progress of humanity and therefore you dont [sic] deserve to live.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s like shooting fish in a barrel isn’t it?…I think Fred is living in a fantasy bubble…or an alternative universe. Or Stepford…or he just know all these lovely Christians he talks about as well as he thinks he does.

        • Pofarmer

          What a fuckin maroon.

        • Pofarmer

          Can Fred really be this fuckin ignorant of history and what actually goes on in the World? Is he ignorant of atheists being killed around the world? Is he ignorant of the family and marital breakups, people losing jobs, etc, because of atheism in this country? The guy is just a total airheaded dipshit.

        • Kodie

          Fred is for sure insolated from reality. I mean….. for me, where I live and have always grown up, it seemed to me like atheism wasn’t that big a deal. I had some precedence to observe a lot of tolerance for religions other than Christianity. If you were a Jew or a Hindu or whatever, it didn’t seem like everyone was reacting to that like it was any issue at all, if they were a Christian. I guess it was primarily Catholic, but other kinds of Christians were around, and the times and culture seemed to accept others like it was just who you choose to be. To me, that means atheist is a valid answer, but it has turned out to be the exception. In the northeastern US, it’s pretty diverse, but I have not felt safe enough to say I’m an atheist to anyone in a long time. The last time I did might have had something to do with the loss of employment.

          For Fred Knight, it seems to be a Christian belief that atheists have no morals. He claims to be an atheist but at the same time thinks Christian morality is something, so maybe he doesn’t believe in god but believes that society runs better with Christian morals, or that he doesn’t know what to do without following a prescription for morality from Christianity. Christianity has a lot of ways to brainwash people, including the idea that humans have no idea how to behave without god. He doesn’t seem to realize the bible is basically a human guidebook. Some of it makes some sense, and a lot of it is outdated. His pal, James Warren, seems to adhere to a lot more of the bible than Fred, and be less independent-thinking, but they are both handicapped by biblical tradition, and the Christian propaganda that feeds society to think they are the best chance we have. I mean, Christianity poisons society!!! Imagine this, even if you are brought up without religion like me, the culture is just buzzing with this garbage, no matter what you were taught as a child.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m not sure what brand of “religion” you object to then.

          Those that do or say the sort of things that get Greta Christina angry, fr starters…

          http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2007/10/atheists-and-an.html

          Even among the most conservative I know of would not in any way be a threat to your way of life.

          More bullshit methinks.

          Define “conservative Christian”?

          You either don’t know those Christians like you think you do, they really are not at all as conservative as you think they are in the grand scheme of things, or you are very naive and don’t have the foggiest idea what “the most conservative Christians” actually means to the rest of us when you use that term?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_right

          There seems to be a bogeyman here in the mix.

          And you are living in cloud cuckoo land.

          Don’t you know a single Christian evolution denier? Anti-abortionist? Anti LGBT rights denier? AGW denier? Then you don’t know any conservative Christians.

        • Fred Knight

          “i really have no beef with the ones who have a clearer picture of how society functions.”
          well said, let’s build upon that. that is pretty much every Christian I’ve ever known.

          I have many axes to grind with my former Christianity, logical and otherwise, but they still are some of the very best human beings I’ve ever met, and by no means any kind of threat to you or my free-thought.

        • TheNuszAbides

          it’d be even better if their imaginations could be put to better use than perpetuating fantasy, though. religious humility (e.g. attributing all goodness to glorified overseer, all badness to infinitely deceptive Adversary and/or Doing Free Will Wrong) is an awful cop-out, even if on balance it prevents a few heads from getting too swelled.

          and call me fussy, but “trying their best” is only a step or two ahead of “just following orders from my trusty authority”. intentions aren’t much of a consolation when the methodology is crap.

        • Greg G.

          You don’t seem to have understood the difference between an idea that a person holds and the person. When we criticize an idea, it is not criticizing the person. If the person holding the idea feels attacked, the person is making a false assumption and it may be the idea that a person is defined by the ideas the person holds. If a person holds a wrong idea, they should be able to abandon the idea. They should be able to consider it the idea in light of new evidence.

          Most Christians are good people holding bad ideas and the bad ideas can cause them to do bad things while thinking the bad things are good things.

          Religious ideas are often deeply ingrained by brainwashing before the person was able to do any critical thinking. Some people can respond to rational argument and some cannot. They might need an emotional trigger to start thinking. When a person has demonstrated the inability to think rationally about their religious ideas, then arguing religion isn’t going to work. Sometimes it takes ridicule to make a person realize his ideas are ridiculous. Sometimes a person goes away and has to work through the problems and feelings and come back as an atheist.

        • Fred Knight

          “When we criticize an idea, it is not criticizing the person.”

          I’m not sure this is true…we are deeply attached to our ideas, especially when one calls me a dumbass for holding my idea….how is it not reasonable to take that personal? (or the upvoting one who does so.)

          “Most Christians are good people holding bad ideas and the bad ideas can cause them to do bad things”
          “most people are good people” or “most people are good” – do we agree with that premise? I’d like to, that is my approach, I consider everyone good until you prove otherwise, I do that with everyone (often to my own hurt)

          I don’t see Christians as particularly good or bad, nor do I see atheists or anyone else particularly good or bad, I presume innocence until shown otherwise (again, to my own hurt, but hey, I take the hit because to presume the bad is not acceptable)

          Cut to the chase, this I have done here at Patheos, and been bitterly disappointed at many atheists, as I’ve also previously done in Christian dominated forums – it’s pretty depressing, but also predictable. What keeps me going is the surprising exceptions to the rule. I sincerely hope I can be that for others out there.

        • Greg G.

          I’m not sure this is true…we are deeply attached to our ideas, especially when one calls me a dumbass for holding my idea….how is it not reasonable to take that personal? (or the upvoting one who does so.)

          Much of the attachment to ideas is ingrained by religion. A critical thinker is willing to drop an idea when the evidence shows it to be wrong. An idea should be held as strongly as the evidence supports it. If you can’t back up your opinion with facts and evidence, is it worth holding it tightly?

          I don’t think one should read too much into up votes. Sometimes I will upvote for a particular insightful or funny comment. Sometimes because I completely agree. Sometimes it is just to pee on the fire hydrant so I know where I have been in a conversation. Sometimes I do not upvote because I do not agree, I disagree very much with some point, the post is making me think about something and the window gets closed before I come back to it, or, most likely, I didn’t read it.

          “most people are good people” or “most people are good” – do we agree with that premise? I’d like to, that is my approach, I consider everyone good until you prove otherwise, I do that with everyone (often to my own hurt)

          I don’t see Christians as particularly good or bad, nor do I see atheists or anyone else particularly good or bad, I presume innocence until shown otherwise (again, to my own hurt, but hey, I take the hit because to presume the bad is not acceptable)

          I agree. Even in games theory, that is a winning strategy when any type of memory system is involved, unless the game is rigged to exploit that.

          Cut to the chase, this I have done here at Patheos, and been bitterly disappointed at many atheists, as I’ve also previously done in Christian dominated forums – it’s pretty depressing, but also predictable. What keeps me going is the surprising exceptions to the rule. I sincerely hope I can be that for others out there.

          Many of the things you have brought up are factually wrong. You have been given evidence that those things are wrong and you don’t back up those points with evidence in favor of the points. Many of the points are lies that Christians tell about atheists. You get pushback because your claims are wrong.

          If you want to criticize atheists, at least criticize things atheists actually do instead of criticizing a straw-atheist created by Christians.

          I think you have not come to grips with the degree to which you were misinformed while you were a Christian.

        • Fred Knight

          “Much of the attachment to ideas is ingrained by religion. A critical
          thinker is willing to drop an idea when the evidence shows it to be
          wrong. An idea should be held as strongly as the evidence supports it.
          If you can’t back up your opinion with facts and evidence, is it worth
          holding it tightly?”

          What is crazy ironic is that it is extremely likely I’ve been an atheist longer and possibly more hardcore than you have been. (I don’t know for sure, but you seem to assume I’m new to the game or a novice – I assure you, I’m not…I’m just asking the harder questions…I’m doubling back and cleaning up any easy assumptions – in essence, I’m doing my due diligence as a free-thinker)

          “Many of the things you have brought up are factually wrong.”

          With all due respect, I really don’t think you get what I’m trying to do at all. You keep appealing to “factually wrong” – my only “sin” is offering my opinion that I don’t find atheism a shining light on the hill and worth abandoning all other considerations – I question it’s basic goodness and relevance to the wider society of humanity – for the most part, I’ve not even attempted to bring “facts” at all! I don’t even question the facts, I agree with the facts!

          But what I’m saying is: SO WHAT? WHAT GOOD IS IT? – I’m questioning it as a uniquely superior worldview. In fact, I find it severely lacking. How is that a logical fallacy? It is my considered and painful conclusion on the matter. That does not make me a liar, it is my honest (and somewhat regretful) opinion.

          “If you want to criticize atheists, at least criticize things atheists actually do”
          sadly, that is EXACTLY what I’ve been doing…again, regretfully….I’m responding in real time to actual real world atheists…..It so happens that Christians have a pre-conception of atheists that I once dismissed out of hand and argued hard against…..my argument (again) to the atheists here and elsewhere is to not prove them right!

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m not sure this is true…we are deeply attached to our ideas, especially when one calls me a dumbass for holding my idea….how is it not reasonable to take that personal?

          Why are you lying? You weren’t called a dumbass for holding your idea’s, you were called a dumbass for being a dumbass.

          You pitched up here with a straw man and being a pompous dumbass about it. Numerous times you have been educated as to why you’ve been a dumbass beginning with your strawman.

          Everyone here knows there are multitudes of good Christians, or even not so good Christians that are good most of the time. Some here are even married to them. Others have many family and close friends that are good Christians, or good most of the times. But those are not the Christians that are causing the issues. When I say good Christian, I’m talking from the atheist perspective, as in they are not shoving it down our throats at every hands turn. They don’t insist that everyone follow their silly rules, rituals and ignorant foibles.

          You have made baseless unsupported and unsubstantiated assertion after assertion and have yet to acknowledge any flaw that has been pointed out by various others. That is not how critical free thinking works am afraid.

          (or the upvoting one who does so.)

          Upvoting is done by different folk for different reasons. From acknowledging having read a reply without having to do it in comment, to agreeing whole heartedly with the sentiments in a comment, or even part f a comment…or the work that has been invested a comment….there are others. But it well could be that the upvote is a seconded on deserved ridicule and mockery for being a dumbass.

          “most people are good people” or “most people are good” – do we agree with that premise?

          Nope. It depends doesn’t it…on a complex collection of criteria. All you can say is “most people you know are good people ” or “most people are good most of the time” or “some people are good and some people are bad depending on who you are and who you are talking about”. Let me rephrase it for my purpose, to “most people I know are good people most of the time”.

          Those fuckwits in the Westbro Baptist Church would consider most people bad, but among those they know at hand are good, when most people consider them bad.

          I have many friends, close friends, and family, that are sectarian bigots some of the time, but most of the time they are good people.

          Most Muslims are good people, but most of them advocate sharia law, which is bad…very bad. Of course that is geographical…but even where some Muslims want sharia law, they are mostly good Muslims most of the time.

          http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/09/muslims-and-islam-key-findings-in-the-u-s-and-around-the-world/

          Christian thinking ain’t much better. In the U.S. it’s atheists that are the most despised and unless you live somewhere special, at least some of those good Christians surrounding you are bad because of this, probably those conservatives Christians you referenced earlier.

          https://www.thoughtco.com/study-american-attitudes-towards-atheists-248478

          I’d like to, that is my approach, I consider everyone good until you prove otherwise, I do that with everyone (often to my own hurt)

          A luxury not all of us can afford unfortunately.

          I don’t see Christians as particularly good or bad,…

          You don’t see Westbro Baptist Christians picketing U’S. military funerals as them being bad?
          You don’t see R.C. Christian clerics fucking children, those that helped cover it up, and those that give succour as bad?
          You don’t see those racist Christians that make up the clan as bad?
          The list could go on.

          … nor do I see atheists or anyone else particularly good or bad,…

          The problem is, and for the umpteenth time, there are many Christians out there that hold the counter position. They give their reasons, we argue about the veracity of those reasons and the background support they give for those reasons. You don’t seem t be getting this important detail.

          We are dealing with the Christians that pitch up here, not those good Christians that are inert. That is why you are attacking a straw man.

          Greta Christina wrote an interesting piece that covers the issue, you should try and read it …

          Why Religious Believers Are So Desperate for the Atheist Seal of Approval

          http://academic.laverne.edu/~ear/ls/Foundations/Reading_Room/GretaChristina_Complete.pdf

          I presume innocence until shown otherwise (again, to my own hurt, but hey, I take the hit because to presume the bad is not acceptable)

          Good for you if ya do…like I said, not all of us have that luxury, and the hurt received is not only to feelings.

          Cut to the chase, this I have done here at Patheos, and been bitterly disappointed at many atheists,…

          Disappointed at atheists for doing what?

        • Fred Knight

          “Why are you lying?”
          I’ve never lied once, neither to your dumb ass or to anyone else’s….Neither am I taking the time to read anything you have to offer. Congratulations, you are one of the few who’s douchery is so complete that it’s not worth my time to respond to your pettiness.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ve never lied once, neither to your dumb ass or to anyone else’s….

          Holy fuck ya dumb cunt…you lied right there when you wrote…

          Neither am I taking the time to read anything you have to offer.

          Two Armadillo’s….ya Dime Bar.

          Congratulations, you are one of the few who’s douchery is so complete that it’s not worth my time to respond to your pettiness.

          Another lie…two in a row ya lying cretin. How to be ultra asinine with just one head.

          Btw, I could give zero fucks about you or your time. You are a class one fuckwit who knows fuck all, yet is to stupid to know ya know fuck all, but seem to think it is everyone else that either knows fuck all…or it’s their fault you know fuck all.

          I will continue to respond to your fuckwittery at my leisure, for my own entertainment and that of other forum members…and the silent lurkers of course.

          You are a too much of a bit of craic at this point to not engage…your absolute nonsense and bullshit is hilarity of a kind that has been missing here for a while.

        • adam
        • Kodie

          That’s the problem. Christians put Christianity out there, believe it sincerely and devoutly, and expect us to be quiet when they tell us we have to believe and respect their superstition.

          It is bad. We’re at least opening it up for dialogue, which is better than just being a dumb sheep, do you get that?

        • james warren

          I agree.
          Your post is well put.
          And, unlike many. free of disrespect. name calling, etc.

        • Fred Knight

          the weird thing is, I’m actually a non-believer (they think I’m lying about this) – but when you get right down to it, I cannot and will not reject truth. Therefore I end out defending Christianity because it often gets things right.

          here is one that I’ve been thinking about lately:

          “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 KJV

          It’s not that atheists could not come up with something similar, it’s just that they never seem to do so. In fact the opposite. Thus pretty much proving that the Bible was right in calling the “godless” out on this point.

          Oh boy, now I’m really a Christian troll in their eyes. (actually, I’m just doing the hard math that they seem unwilling to do.)

        • Ignorant Amos

          – but when you get right down to it, I cannot and will not reject truth.

          Like what?

          Therefore I end out defending Christianity because it often gets things right.

          Like what?

          It’s not that atheists could not come up with something similar, it’s just that they never seem to do so. In fact the opposite.

          Whaaaa? You are a feckin’ eejit.

          You think an atheist or non-Christian has never written something as profound as…

          “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 KJV

          Which is ironic given the passage is found in a book full things that are not true, dishonest, impure, rotten, bad report, unvirtuous , and unpraiseworthy.

          What is also interesting is that it ain’t that profound once investigated.

          whatsoever things [are] pure; or “chaste”, in words and deeds, in opposition to all filthiness and foolish talking, to obscene words and actions. The Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions render it, “whatsoever things are holy”; which are agreeable to the holy nature, law, and will of God, and which tend to promote holiness of heart and life

          http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/philippians-4-8.html

          Profound, my arse!

          Thus pretty much proving that the Bible was right in calling the “godless” out on this point.

          You do know who the godless are that the buybull is talking about, right?

          I note you quote the KJV in which no where will you find the word “godless”, but anyway.

          The Hebrew word “Chaneph”, isn’t synonymous with non-believer or atheist. It means to be polluted or profane.

          http://biblehub.com/hebrew/2610.htm

          But perhaps you have a particular usage in the buybull in mind?

        • adam

          “But perhaps you have a particular usage in the buybull in mind?”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f36dbd3ba6f32f5dc9377c44b78c9999880e47055c54fd90ccb1fddbf3a4d843.jpg

        • adam

          “Therefore I end out defending Christianity because it often gets things right.”

          Like what?”

          Probably stuff like this:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b6b5240f53deb4a0141b0d9196de29540d1f8931a4c8d5713b9547eca65cbd2f.jpg

        • Fred Knight

          “”Like what?”

          uh, like basic morality?

          “Like what?”
          uh, like basic morality?

          “Which is ironic given the passage is found in a book full things that
          are not true, dishonest, impure, rotten, bad report, unvirtuous , and
          unpraiseworthy.”
          based upon highly subjective, literaliistic and dishonest interpretations. – you assholes just don’t know when to quit, do you?

          you literalists literally prove the point. keep it up, dumb dumbs.

        • Kodie

          You think we don’t have morality because we don’t have a superstitious regard for a book you like? Fuck you, you’re a lying Christian.

        • adam

          “”Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are
          honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
          whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if
          there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
          Philippians 4:8 KJV”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f94b0037eccec85b544dc3d581c61382e53517cfe2cd379c0be014b4d64b78f9.jpg

          “It’s not that atheists could not come up with something similar, it’s just that they never seem to do so. In fact the opposite.”

          You can ONLY reach this conclusion by rejecting truth:

          https://duckduckgo.com/?q=atheist+poets&t=ffnt&ia=web

          “I’m just doing the hard math that they seem unwilling to do.”

          2+2=5 is not ‘hard math’, it is rejecting truth.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/75f6018d11b7534565e1a271187120582baef1ebe1da0dc5c353b6e7ba36dab5.jpg

        • Fred Knight

          more potshots from the cheap seats, right on queue.

        • adam

          What?
          NOW you dont like Bible quotes from your ‘loving’ Jesus?

          Why do you reject truth?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

          2 Timothy 3:16

        • Fred Knight

          I accept it as a mixed bag, do you? Or is it all bad, all the time? Do some moral inventory and check yourself once in a while…or am I being unfair for pointing this out?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If you don’t like potshots, don’t defend a book that is so inconsistent. You can make the Bible say just about anything.

        • Fred Knight

          and yet how we interpret it and what we choose to emphasize tells us more about the reader than the book.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, that’s true. But what are you saying? That Christian critique is inherently flawed?

        • Fred Knight

          no, quite the opposite, it’s just that there are better arguments and techniques than what I’m seeing being used. Truth be told, they are likely not to listen to my arguments any better, but at least I’LL know that I’ve brought forth my very best and honest objections without any shortcuts. I was a devout, orthodox (small “o”) Christian the entire time, a true believer, followed all the rules without any regard to myself, gave up the best years of my life (not healthy) – as well as virtually everyone I knew did (both as an evangelical and even as a Catholic) – a lot of what the atheists here are putting forth would not even put a dent in the true believer, because it points to the hypocrite, the fakers, they walk the walk, ’til it hurts, big time.

        • Greg G.

          Most believers are that way for emotional reasons. But some will get a seed of doubt that will grow in their minds against their will until they can no longer hold the belief. When they let go of it, everything makes more sense and they are amazed by how much better life is. That is where many explicit atheists come from.

        • Fred Knight

          And many folks convert from atheism because it’s emotionally shallow and bullies it’s way on the rational side…as if they have some kind of exclusive claim….over my lifetime, I’ve seen many converts and de-converts….and I can pretty much identify with every one….god bless ’em all.

        • Susan

          many folks convert from atheism

          Far more deconvert from theism to atheism. A few claim to convert from atheism to theism, but I don’t care.

          I can pretty much identify with every one

          It’s not about you, Fred.

          It’s about claims and support for those claims.

          god bless ’em all

          Except those fucking atheists who just won’t shut the fuck up about christian claims and who don’t recognize that “christianity” “gets it right as far as Fred is concerned and anyone who asks Fred to clarify is just another fucking atheist who doesn’t understand Fred’s genius

        • Fred Knight

          get a grip, Suze, it’s not about you or me….if you knew me you’d not be so cantankerous. god bless us atheists, every one!

        • Fred Knight

          but keep grasping at straws, at some point even a thousand monkeys can type out Shakespeare

        • epeeist

          And many folks convert from atheism because it’s emotionally shallow

          Here in the UK 44% of those brought up in the Church of England become non-religious, similarly 32% of Catholics become non-religious. Of those brought up to be non-religious 4% become religious. So in the UK at least your claim doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

        • Michael Neville

          You write this twaddle and whine when I call you a faux atheist and Christian apologist. Read your comment carefully, you’ll see that it’s (a) a non-specific jibe at atheism and (2) something that a Christian anti-atheist would write.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Natterings of a nitwit.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The balloon is a lying joke.

        • epeeist

          And many folks convert from atheism because it’s emotionally shallow and bullies it’s way on the rational side

          Citation required.

          As it is, what do you think of this report?

        • MR

          Thanks for posting, epeeist!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Atheists and agnostics account for a minority of all religiously unaffiliated. Most are secular. Atheists and agnostics account for only about one-quarter (27%) of all religiously unaffiliated Americans. Nearly six in ten (58%) religiously unaffiliated Americans identify as secular, someone who is not religious; 16% of religiously unaffiliated Americans nonetheless report that they identify as a “religious person.”

          Probably because the label’s “agnostic” and particularly “atheist”, are anathema, and very much so in the states.

        • epeeist

          It goes both ways doesn’t it, as well as not reporting themselves to be non-believers because of the social pressures there is also evidence that people report themselves as being religious even when they are not because of the same pressures.

          There is an annual Gallup poll in the States which has reported church attendance as constant at roughly 40% for decades. However if you do an actual count of people attending church then the figure is half this.

        • Fred Knight

          epeist, I’ll respond to you because you are more courteous than your fellows….I don’t speak as an apologist or representing any “side”….that is being done ad nauseum by folks who are far more interested and invested in these topics than I am.

          I hope you can take me at my word on this, that I don’t speak for anyone other than myself.

          “Citation required.”
          you need proof that I think many folks find atheism (especially the virulent, obnoxious stupid atheism that is on full display here) is something many don’t like and end out gravitating instead to a believing community? (who shows kindness, gentleness, sincere love of neighbor and fellow man?) As I’ve told some here, their poor conduct as atheists makes the case for Christianity better than Christians ever could.

          “As it is, what do you think of this report?”
          I don’t like it. I don’t think secularism is a good thing at all and that the West is seriously abandoning some precious, hard won values we’ve inherited through our Christian Culture that once lost, we most likely will never get back.

        • Kodie

          Nobody’s asking for a citation on your fucking opinion, but it does seem like you’re making a claim.

          You’re also sounding awfully Christian (or wish you were), when you speak as though atheists have no values or morals without Christian influence. You suck as an atheist, because you don’t even know what you’re talking about, and you are lockstep in with the stupid things Christians think. You have a slightly more sophisticated air about you, the nicest thing I can say to you, than your pal james warren, but you are ignorant and prejudiced. Every word you say sounds like you are still brainwashed and Christian – so don’t be surprised when people accuse you of believing in god! You have retained all the shit we think is wrong with Christianity, and don’t seem to have any of the “good” kind of Christianity that you claim exists, and with which I would not disagree! You fucking suck as an atheist so much that you are the worst kind of Christian.

        • Fred Knight

          “but it does seem like you’re making a claim.”

          While it may seem that way, I”m being careful not to make extraordinary claims…just simply appealing to what is already in the common debate and also pretty settled science or acceptable normal historical claims

          If I go outside of that, then I’m happy to provide additional resources.

          I’ve found this to be a tactic, to demand that your opponent endlessly run about, gathering up the very same evidence you and all of us readily know exists. This is my very point, and therefore the very thing I’m most likely not to do – do your own moral homework…don’t demand I do it for you. capisce?

          “You’re also sounding awfully Christian (or wish you were), when you speak as though atheists have no values or morals without Christian influence.”
          sadly, I’m growing more so after spending time here….it’s as if (some) of the atheists here are eager to fit the stereotype, rather than what I know true skepticism to be. The group think is troubling to me, I won’t lie.

        • Kodie

          It seems like you are the uptight kind of Christian who can’t handle words before stomping off in a huff. You have a biased opinion because you are as brainwashed as a Christian to think there is no morality outside of a theistic approach. We live in a fucking society, you dummy. We are accountable to each other based on the culture we live in. You are obviously brainwashed still by your cult.

          While I was raised without a church, I didn’t really feel like I became an actual atheist until I stunningly realized that adults take their superstitions seriously. I used to be a lot more like you – why don’t we just get along, and, taking religions as some sort of tradition or culture that people benignly stuck with for generations, like having a national heritage like Irish or Chinese, something like what many Jews in the US do – identify as a Jew culturally but not religiously. I really thought that’s what religions were, and I wished to have one too. When it dawned on me that you can’t say you’re an atheist without people getting scared you’re going to turn into the devil in front of them! Holy shit, motherfucker. These people are not “moral”. They are deceived and deceitful. They are frightened little pawns afraid of damnation and having their soul sucked out. They are easily manipulated scared little children afraid to break the rules and go to hell when they die. That’s a motherfucking superstition.

          If you think “obedience” makes a better moral code rather than natural human empathy… which I don’t even think you acknowledged. I mean, you think without some kind of book like the bible, atheists are …. well you regard atheism exactly like an idiot Christian. You don’t know shit about the species. Nobody gives a shit about your opinion, since it’s demonstrably incorrect. We’re trying to correct you, but you judge us for being immoral when we display honest impatience at your arrogance. Your arrogance was the hostile attack, not words like fuck and asshole and motherfucker. You’re arrogant like a Christian, you defend morality like a Christian, you have the same idiot biases of a typical Christian, and none of whatever you consider “the good stuff”.

          If your opinion is bad, and you’re arrogant, why should we listen to you any further? You hate us, we get it, we know you suck, and you can’t argue your point any deeper because you are a shallow moron Christian.

        • Fred Knight

          “You fucking suck as an atheist so much that you are the worst kind of Christian.”
          believe it or not, I’m trying hard not to respond back in kind….in that sense, I’m not very Christian at all, and am not likely to turn the other cheek…you see, atheists can be total assholes since we have no such restrictions! 😉

        • Kodie

          Keep being such a moron like a Christian who thinks all atheism is “rejection of god so we don’t have to follow any rules and be our own gods.” That’s brainwashing for you. If you want to be taken seriously as an atheist when you claim to be one, you would know some other shit. You wouldn’t still suffer from apologetics.

        • Fred Knight

          “If you want to be taken seriously as an atheist when you claim to be
          one, you would know some other shit. You wouldn’t still suffer from
          apologetics.”
          I don’t suffer from apologetics, in fact I appear to be the only one here who does not. I live in the real world, and I know how people outside the atheistic bubble perceive it. If it helps you get through the night, keep saying (and acting as if) it doesn’t matter and we’ll see what folks believe, their own eyes or your denunciations that it’s all an illusion.

        • Kodie

          All the Christians you have known is your own seriously ignorant bubble. Bob doesn’t just write articles because he is imagining things. He primarily, if not entirely, crafts his articles based on something a prominent Christian leader, author, authority has proclaimed. You are a fucking idiot if you don’t see Christianity creating a culture of willful ignorance, and that Christianity itself creates a whole fiction about what atheism is and how atheism is so bad, that we atheists tend to bear the brunt of – with bigotry, hatred, etc. You said it yourself, you an alleged atheist, that atheists have to shut up now. Christians keep saying and thinking and believing things, [edited to add] about us, and mistaken ideas about the laws we have [/edit] and you want them to live in our world without any pushback at all. Fuck you for living. This shit affects all of us, and you are enabling it, protecting it, acting as though it isn’t a really big deal.

        • epeeist

          you need proof that I think many folks find atheism (especially the virulent, obnoxious stupid atheism that is on full display here) is something many don’t like and end out gravitating instead to a believing community?

          Your claim, your burden. If you can justify it then I will simply dismiss it out of hand.

          I don’t think secularism is a good thing at all

          You would rather the state promote a single religion?

          we’ve inherited through our Christian Culture

          Here in the UK we have a parliamentary democracy, the idea of a parliament is derived from the Nordic ‘þing’ which predates Christianity in those countries. As for democracy, this was an idea that came from ancient Greece, again nothing to do with Christianity. We derive other aspects of our culture from many other sources, Roman and Celtic for example. Christianity is only one element of our culture amongst many others.

        • Fred Knight

          “Christianity is only one element of our culture amongst many others.”
          You live the UK and that is your final takeaway on European history? If I remember right, you did something similar in our discussion about the unprecedented growth of Islam in Britain. While what you are saying is technically not untrue, it seems to me you are trying to scrub history of the great influence Christianity has had on Western Civilization. Why would you feel the need to do that?

          I’m not pushing some hardcore Christian culture argument and yet your responses seem to suggest that you feel we are in imminent danger until the very last vestiges of Christianity are removed.

          “I don’t think secularism is a good thing at all”
          secularism, to some degree, will always exist, and thank goodness it does, as it serves as a counter balance…but when it moves into greater and greater proportions and the general society embraces “secularism”, in my view, it has a de-stabliizing effect and opens the way for far more dangerous ideologies to blossom and spring forth. Christian Culture has a built in resistance to such things as atheistic Communism or Nazi fascism, or radical multi-culturalism or Islamism.

          Well-intentioned secularists may not intend any of these things, but in turbulent times, such as the French Revolution, or Bolshevik Russia all bets are off. Those are the kinds of things I’m more concerned about .

        • epeeist

          You live the UK and that is your final takeaway on European history?

          Do I acknowledge the influence of Christianity on British and European culture? Of course I do, to do otherwise would be foolish. What I object to is the simplistic and erroneous claim that the culture is purely derived from Christianity, there are multiple other influences both major and minor.

          Christian Culture has a built in resistance to such things as atheistic Communism or Nazi fascism, or radical multi-culturalism or Islamism.

          Look at the countries where fascism has occurred, Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Chile, Argentina amongst others and tell me whether Christianity opposed or was well disposed or even collaborated with the fascist governments.

          Look at Russia before the revolution and tell me whether the church was opposed to the feudal system that was in place there or was an essential part of the ruling system.

          To be blunt, if you want religious freedom then secularism, the idea that the state does not support or approve any particular religious institution, is the only system that guarantees this.

        • Fred Knight

          “What I object to is the simplistic and erroneous claim that the culture is purely derived from Christianity, there are multiple other
          influences both major and minor.”
          Christianity itself is of the very same amalgam. It has ever been a morphing cultural concept even within itself. Thus for you to seemingly be in opposition to it is incongruous to me. (again, I’m only defending the best of healthy Western/Christian/Secular Culture, so not sure how we are at odds?)

        • epeeist

          Christianity itself is of the very same amalgam. It has ever been a morphing cultural concept even within itself.

          Which rather undermines its claims to be a holder of some kind of eternal truth.

          Thus for you to seemingly be in opposition to it is incongruous to me.

          Rather a non sequitur don’t you think? But if you read through my posts you will find that it is the historical embedded privilege that I am against. I have no issue with people who believe in Christianity and follow its precepts in their lives. The problem comes when they insist that I follow its precepts.

          again, I’m only defending the best of healthy Western/Christian/Secular Culture

          But this kind of “healthy culture” only came about once Christianity was essentially defanged, something that only really happened during the Enlightenment. And even now it retains a number of its privileges, such as running a good proportion of the nation’s schools, guaranteed places in the second chamber of the legislature, tax exemptions etc.

        • Fred Knight

          “Which rather undermines its claims to be a holder of some kind of eternal truth.”

          I don’t claim it’s eternal truth, but rather good religion chooses to uphold the very best kind of truth that comes into it’s view…it rather AFFIRMS truth that is worth holding…and that is a good thing.

          “I have no issue with people who believe in Christianity and follow its
          precepts in their lives. The problem comes when they insist that I
          follow its precepts.”

          Ah, so you think that faith, in their view, is compulsory? That is not even classic Christianity so you are right to reject it, as would they.

          “But this kind of “healthy culture” only came about once Christianity was
          essentially defanged, something that only really happened during the
          Enlightenment.”
          As I say, healthy Christianity is a healthy amalgum of the very same forces that healthy secularism embraces…in fact, indistinguishable from each other. We are on the same side….let’s focus on true enemies of freedom and enlightenment….my objection is that religion is the source of all evil…I’m bringing a moderate opinion here, but let’s see if I’m heard or not.

        • epeeist

          I don’t claim it’s eternal truth, but rather good religion chooses to
          uphold the very best kind of truth that comes into it’s view.

          And yet you provide no basis for that claim or any examples of the “very best kind of truth”. In other words, you are simply hand-waving and not very convincingly at that.

          The second thing is, even if your claim was true is it the only organisation that embraces and upholds the “very best kind of truth”, because what it looks like is special pleading on your behalf.

          Ah, so you think that faith, in their view, is compulsory?

          Your reading comprehension is shocking. I didn’t claim that following their faith was compulsory, but their precepts. As a simple example, I was up in the island of Lewis a while back, it is only recently that ferries to the island have operated on a Sunday because of opposition by the local churches. As far as I am aware they still lock children’s playgrounds on Sundays.

          As I say, healthy Christianity is a healthy amalgum of the very same forces that healthy secularism embraces

          And yet another unsubstantiated claim. I have mentioned my parents wedding in a Catholic church (my father a Catholic, my mother not) recently. This is a story I haven’t told for a while.

          I used to take my younger brother to church, my parents didn’t attend. He was impossible to control and I stopped taking him. The priest came around to talk to my mother about it. During the conversation he asked whether she had any more children and should she not consider getting rid of the dog and having some more. My mother and the dog chased him down the garden path. Once he got to the other side of the gate he turned and told my mother she would burn in hell for this, to which she replied that they wouldn’t be able to get near the fire “because of you buggers stoking it”. Needless to say I left the church and Catholic school shortly after.

          Is this the “healthy amalgum (sic)” that you were referring to? Or is it just special pleading on your part again?

        • Pofarmer

          Ok. THAT was a great story. Thanks.

        • Fred Knight

          I’m absolutely flabbergasted at your responses – I won’t resort to tactics of accusing you of lack of reading comprehension or some other undesirable defect – but the communication is almost zero between us. I ask you sincerely why are my honest inquiries being re-buffed and I’m being accused of outright lying by you and others?

          “‘I don’t claim it’s eternal truth, but rather good religion chooses to
          uphold the very best kind of truth that comes into it’s view.’
          And yet you provide no basis for that claim or any examples of the “very
          best kind of truth”. In other words, you are simply hand-waving and not
          very convincingly at that.”
          notice how you frame your response, you first declare I have provided no basis for my “claim” and that I fail to provide any examples/evidence.

          so, now I have to somehow prove that there is good religion and bad religion? what kind of defense mechanism do you have that what I’m saying is controversial or in need of proof? I’m simply saying the the good person (who is motivated by the better human impulses) gravitates to the better, more benign aspects of whatever religion, philosophy, atheism or other – while the “bad” person, motivated by his/her lower instincts, will gravitate to various aspects of his/her religion that the good person would never in a million years gravitate toward, in fact would hate.

          You then bring up yet another example of extremely hypocritical and hideous type of religious bigotry. You accuse me of special pleading when I’ve only spoken in very generic terms, and yet each time you bring back specific negative anecdotal evidence (for what reason I’m not even sure.)

          I’m happy to keep bantering back and forth with you, as you at least have remained civil in your conduct, but I’m not sure it’s even possible that we have a genuine conversation about these things.

        • Susan

          . I ask you sincerely why are my honest inquiries being re-buffed

          They’re not. You’ve been given genuine responses since you got here and used that to conitnue to lie and troll.

          the communication is almost zero between us

          It seems you just want to see how much time you can spend here, using honest efforts at dialogue and levelling accusations (with long streams of modifiers) that you can’t support.

          so, now I have to somehow prove that there is good religion and bad religion?

          Well, as you keep making the claim that there are only those two categories and that you know the difference, people would like you to show some work. Sadly, our efforts to get you to engage in the discussion you started are met with more unsupported claims and longer and longer streams of unsupported modifiers against atheists.

          That is, you are a troll

          The rest of your comment falls into that category

          You are a wanker. I doubt you are a new wanker. You are a useless wanker who has been here before.

          If you ask me to support that, I can just level accusations at you and your kind for suggesting such a thing and I will never have to clarify my position, let alone justify it.

        • Fred Knight

          You, Sue, are a bird of a slightly different feather, please don’t mix my statements with epeist or others with my statements to you, which were in a very specific context….what I’ve said to each of you is based upon the feedback/pushback/abuse I’ve been given.

          “They’re not. You’ve been given genuine responses since you got here and used that to conitnue to lie and troll.”

          Again, I’ve responded to you very specifically and would be happy to address our conversations, but don’t conflate my every response to mean something universal towards all atheists, it is not. To quote you, it’s not about you.

          “It seems you just want to see how much time you can spend here, using honest efforts at dialogue and levelling accusations (with long streams of modifiers) that you can’t support.”

          I’m offering up my personal opinions and critiques about what I see as weak and ineffective atheist arguments and/or tactics – all right, you got me, guilty! Because that is exactly, and almost exclusively what I’m doing.

          These are not “claims” nor do they demand “proof” – I’m simply saying that I don’t like them, I think they are weak and they are likely to convince nobody, anywhere, ever.

          And you might say, well that is very trollish behavior! Well, it could be, or it could be a very sincere and honest perspective….and from one who is willing to take a few unrighteous hits for saying so. (whoever said truth was popular?)

          “You are a wanker. I doubt you are a new wanker. You are a useless wanker who has been here before.”

          no, you are mistaken, and perhaps a bit paranoid. I’m sure I’m not the first, nor will I be the last to convey similar sentiments, but you’d shut me down nonetheless.

          “If you ask me to support that, I can just level accusations at you and your kind for suggesting such a thing and I will never have to clarify my position, let alone justify it.”
          If you are a rational, thinking (and caring) adult, I’d be happy to hear your honest thoughts, free from agendas or pretense.

          (are we creating robots here? the very best ideologies are bought into because they produce life and freedom to those who embrace them.)

        • Susan

          .what I’ve said to each of you is based upon the feedback/pushback/abuse I’ve been given.

          No, it’s not.

          I’m offering up my personal opinions

          And haven’t supported a single one. You’re a troll.

          and critiques

          No. Critiques have structure.

          These are not “claims” nor do they demand “proof”

          Of course they are and you have never supported a single one of them.

          no, you are mistaken

          Sure. Maybe.

          But you’ve given me no reason to take your word on anything at all.

          and perhaps a little paranoid

          No. Trolls and sockpuppets are pretty common in these discussions. We’ve had a lot of them around here over time.There’s no paranoia involved.

          I don’t accuse Karl Udy, Sparkling Moon, Ed Senter, Ameribear and many others of being trolls or sockpuppets. You looked like one early and a few weeks later, you still look like one.

          “honest thoughts, free from agendas or pretense”.

          Declaring them so does not make them so.

        • Fred Knight

          “No. Trolls and sockpuppets are pretty common in these discussions. We’ve had a lot of them around here over time.There’s no paranoia involved.
          I don’t accuse Karl Udy, Sparkling Moon, Ed Senter,
          Ameribear and many others of being trolls or sockpuppets. You looked like one early and a few weeks later, you still look like one.”

          and yet I’m not, though I don’t think I can prove this to you.

          “”honest thoughts, free from agendas or pretense”.
          Declaring them so does not make them so.”
          And yet if they are, they are. I’m sad for you that this has become such a cynical and malicious game….

          I suppose I could prove it to you, but I’m not sure you’re actually looking for the truth…gotta love internet apologetics

        • Ignorant Amos

          and yet I’m not, though I don’t think I can prove this to you.

          You are definitely a troll by definition. Prove it or not, it is academic. Even if that other eejit isn’t a sockpuppet, it is still ridiculously naff to go out into meat world to recruit someone, just as dopey as yerself, to create an account in order to big up your asinine bullshit…which is essentially what creating a sockpuppet amounts to, just without any of the recruiting donkey work and cutting out the middle man.

        • Fred Knight

          you folks are literally retarded.
          living in a fantasy of your own making

          “what I’ve said to each of you is based upon the feedback/pushback/abuse I’ve been given.
          No, it’s not.”
          Oh, Sue declares it’s not, so it’s not, she clams up every time it gets real, then chimes in on other people’s posts and makes it about her….maybe Sue is the troll?

          “I’m offering up my personal opinions
          And haven’t supported a single one. You’re a troll.”
          haven’t supported a single opinion! more of that classic logic we’ve come to know and love.

          “and critiques
          No. Critiques have structure.”
          obvious points “lack structure” – this is someone desperate to vindicate herself, but lacks the basic tools so lashes out instead.

          “:These are not “claims” nor do they demand “proof”
          Of course they are and you have never supported a single one of them.”
          no, never, not once, so overwhelming was the evidence.

          “no, you are mistaken
          Sure. Maybe.”
          Sure Absolutely.

          “and perhaps a little paranoid
          No.
          Trolls and sockpuppets are pretty common in these discussions. We’ve had a lot of them around here over time.There’s no paranoia involved.”
          And yet I’m not one, so how do you explain that?

          “”honest thoughts, free from agendas or pretense”.
          Declaring them so does not make them so.”
          And yet they are so, not because I declared them, but because they are, you have a hard time dealing with that concept.

        • Fred Knight

          I know you do not believe in the Bible, but do you believe that bearing false witness against your neighbor is wrong?

          As an atheist, you have no accountability whatsoever, you are off the hook, as far as any moral repercussions, but what if you are wrong about me? You have slandered me, accused me falsely, and sought me harm, is that moral and upright to you?

        • epeeist

          As an atheist, you have no accountability whatsoever, you are off the hook, as far as any moral repercussions, but what if you are wrong about me?

          Oh FFS, really? One needs to have a religion in order to be morally accountable? That presumably explains the plague of atheists raping, looting and pillaging and the fact that the prison population is dominated by atheists.

        • Fred Knight

          prove me wrong by your actions, not by your rhetoric. Theoretically all things are possible, and yet at some point we have to believe actual real world evidence….it may not be a duck, but it sure quacks loudly and often.

        • Michael Neville

          Your martyrdom is noted, Fred.

          You have not been slandered or falsely accused and nobody here has sought you any harm. You’ve been trolling us, as Susan notes your trolling was apparent with your first posts and nothing you’ve said has changed that. It is moral to note that a liar’s lies have been noticed and commented on. I’ve already told you in so many words that you wouldn’t be called a liar if you stopped telling lies.

          Your atheists have no morals canard is straight out of the anti-atheism Christian apologetics handbook. That’s just one more piece of evidence that you’re lying when you pretend to be an atheist.

        • Fred Knight

          just more blah blah blah white noise in the background, I await meaningful discussion, I don’t have time for the minor league pretenders.

        • Greg G.

          You have slandered me, accused me falsely, and sought me harm

          That’s what you have done continuously against atheists. When the responses show the accusations are way off the mark, you come up with more false accusations. If you have realized that your Christian friends were lying to you about God, you should realize that they were also lying about people who don’t believe in gods. Repeating Christian talking points against atheists and atheism is quacking like a duck. The more you sound like a duck, the more likely you are to be thought to be a duck.

        • Fred Knight

          ironic argumentation. Again, my comments are not against all atheists, that is an assumption on your part. Perhaps this is a wake up call to make better arguments for atheism? No, of course not, it must be I’m a troll or a sock-puppet!

        • Greg G.

          The atheist position is simply that there is insufficient evidence for believing in gods. Nobody believes in gods for rational reasons. Theists aren’t interested in logical reasons to not believe.

        • Fred Knight

          and yet the strictly rational is not the fullness of the human experience, nor does it address every aspect (as freely admitted by all atheists), so some form of “Atheism +” is required to address it all. And yet no atheist can agree on the “+” part….so it remains a stunted movement

        • Greg G.

          That plus part is something else besides atheism. I can be an atheist and a pedestrian at the same time but those are two different things. An atheist can have other beliefs and non-beliefs. Just because atheists agree on one point does not mean they agree on everything.

          so it remains a stunted movement

          It’s a bunch of people realizing independently that religion is bullshit. We would like religious people to stop pushing their religions on other people. We are generally for kindness and fairness. We would like a little more freedom and less push back from religious nuts. In the Bible Belt, people lose jobs when they are outed as an atheist.

        • Fred Knight

          “That plus part is something else besides atheism.”

          and that’s why it remains a stunted (dead) movement. I saw that for what it was and thus knew it never would, nor ever could speak for “atheism” – (and to be fair, I don’t think that was their claim) But I appreciated the fact that they realized the absence of belief is a negative claim, it does not add anything meaningful to the human discussion.

          “It’s a bunch of people realizing independently ”
          independently, and yet there is a very real pack mentality. Why is that?

          “that religion is bullshit.”
          this is where the rub comes in, there is a whole lot more to “religion” than the supernatural theism you rightly reject.

          Culture, ethics, society, science, enlightenment, balanced and stable worldview, healthy gender roles, protection for the weak, sexual modesty and fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, hard work, personal responsibility, and so much more – is this all bullshit to you as well? And yet it is all these things that the good and pious religious person incorporates daily, as a matter of life and faith for themselves, their family and their society. Why and how is this bullshit?

          Or, just because atheism does not address any of these things is somehow a lack of bullshit?

          “We are generally for kindness and fairness. We would like a little more
          freedom and less push back from religious nuts. In the Bible Belt,
          people lose jobs when they are outed as an atheist.”
          And yet I’m outed as a false atheist simply for asking the questions we dare not ask. It’s ok, because I do know a lot about religious bullshit because I dared question it as well. In the end, we are all human, and prone to the same human bullshit – that to me is where the bullshit really lies.

        • Ignorant Amos

          and that’s why it remains a stunted (dead) movement. I saw that for what it was and thus knew it never would, nor ever could speak for “atheism” – (and to be fair, I don’t think that was their claim)

          Ya see this is why everyone here is coming to realise you are such a fuckwit. YOU brought up “Atheism +” for some reason known only to you, and you were then informed that the “+” bit is a non sequitur to the issue of atheism. Then you come back with this absolute fuckwittery.

          ATHEISM IS THE LACK OF BELIEF IN THE EXISTENCE OF DEITIES….how many times already? You are dead set on trying shoe horn in some extra factor in order to make your point and then tear it down.

          Every atheist is an atheist “+“…the plus bit is extra and differs, sometimes extensively, from atheist to atheist. It is a red herring that you are making a straw man. Since you have been told this a number of times and choose to ignore it, that makes you a dishonest arsehole.

          But I appreciated the fact that they realized the absence of belief is a negative claim,…

          Holy fuck…you are dumb as they come. Atheism is the default position. People aren’t born with a belief in a particular god then lose it, thereby creating a negativity. They are born a clean slate and a belief in some god or gods, depending on place of birth and culture, is added on. When they lose the belief in gods, they are back to default. Soft boy.

          Now, if you knew what you were talking about…

          Negative atheism, also called weak atheism and soft atheism, is any type of atheism where a person does not believe in the existence of any deities but does not explicitly assert that there are none. Positive atheism, also called strong atheism and hard atheism, is the form of atheism that additionally asserts that no deities exist.

          Implicit “negative” / “weak” / “soft” atheists include agnostics (and infants or babies) who do not believe or do not know that a deity or deities exist and who have not explicitly rejected or eschewed such a belief.

          …it does not add anything meaningful to the human discussion.

          Ffs…how many times? You are one stupid, ignorant, no, (strike ignorant because you’ve been told so many times it has now become imbecilic lies) moron.

          How much does the television channel “off” add to the human discussion? How much does the hair colour “bald”add to the human discussion? How much does not collecting stamps add to the human discussion? How much does not believing in the invisible pink unicorn add to the human discussion?

          What not believing in the existence in ALL deities does do, is set a level of rationality, usually, where folk are free to explore areas that are retarded by beliefs and religions, thus adding to the a lot to the meaningful human discussion.

          This is demonstrable…but being the dumb fucker you are…you choose to ignore it.

        • TheNuszAbides

          to be fair, i might have been the one who brought up A+ first. but the way Freddie throws in MRA-dominated vocab isn’t helping his image or case [or lack thereof].

        • Ignorant Amos

          Culture, ethics, society, science, enlightenment, balanced and stable worldview, healthy gender roles, protection for the weak, sexual modesty and fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, hard work, personal responsibility, and so much more – is this all bullshit to you as well?

          It is when you claim it is the domain and more prevalent in those that religious. It isn’t. It is less prevelant. But being the lying wankstain you are, you refuse to admit it.

          And yet it is all these things that the good and pious religious person incorporates daily, as a matter of life and faith for themselves, their family and their society. Why and how is this bullshit?

          No one here has ever claimed it is bullshit ya lying arsehole. That is the cross you’ve chosen to hang yourself on and it’s a lie. The error being corrected by everyone from Bob S down.

          What is bullshit is your position here. Some, it is some pious religious people that incorporate some of those things daily. And you have been told from the moment you got here that those pious religious persons are those that we have no truck with. We are surrounded by some of them. Some are even family members ffs. But you need this straw man in order to keep going on your crusade of fuckwittery. Making you the arsehole you are.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And yet I’m outed as a false atheist simply for asking the questions we dare not ask. It’s ok, because I do know a lot about religious bullshit because I dared question it as well. In the end, we are all human, and prone to the same human bullshit – that to me is where the bullshit really lies.

          Dishonesty piled upon dishonesty.

          You were not “outed” as a false atheist simply for asking questions we dare not ask. You were accused of not being the atheist you claim to be, because you displayed no understanding of what the term means. You made unsubstantiated, upon unsubstantiated, assertions that were soundly refuted by many here, yet you refused to admit, or concede, your errors, while continuing to repeat your asinine ballix. And lastly, you display all the tactics and fuckwittery we’ve all witnessed here countless times before, of the proverbial Christian apologist. Just saying you are an atheist, while acting to the contrary, is going to make folk suspect of your claim and your motivations, as nefarious.

        • Pofarmer

          independently, and yet there is a very real pack mentality. Why is that

          Because Humans are social animals that tend to live and congregate in groups dipshit.

          Culture, ethics, society, science, enlightenment, balanced and stable
          worldview, healthy gender roles, protection for the weak, sexual modesty
          and fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, hard work, personal
          responsibility, and so much more – is this all bullshit to you as well?

          Why are you so concerned about “Healthy Gender roles” and “Sexual Modesty” and “Teh Gays?”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why are you so concerned about “Healthy Gender roles” and “Sexual Modesty” and “Teh Gays?”

          Given that fuckwit Fred “claims” to be talking for the “good” non-fundie Christian’s, I was giving him the benefit of the doubt in that those folk deem “healthy gender roles” and “sexual modesty”, as the same things that you and I would define them.

          But I suppose I could be making a major boo-boo given this is lying fuckwit Fred we are talking about.

        • Pofarmer

          Well, this isn’t the first time he’s brought it up. He just shows such a complete lack of historical awareness. It’s disconcerting. I suppose if someone woke up from a lifetime of cultlike indoctrination into “Oh shit, there really isn’t this God creation.” Than you might not be able to shake the rest of it? I’m trying to give Fred the Benefit of the doubt, but it’s more and more seemingly unwarranted.

        • Kodie

          I would honestly believe him at face value as labeling himself an atheist. Religious guidance doesn’t just stick to the bible and whatnot about Jesus. They put a lot of effort into casting aspersions on atheists and this is something we all culturally absorb. Fred thinks he is in scientific basis with evo devo, with the gender roles, that that is something religions got right, and he is ultra-conservative, and I don’t see why an atheist couldn’t be. I am not like, everyone on the internet forums is the only true kind of atheist. Anyone who doesn’t think there’s a god is an atheist, but Fred is trying to argue for being a kind of atheist who thinks Christian values are the best, even if there’s no god, which makes Christians superior to atheists, while I am the kind of atheist who thinks Christians, being people, and the bible, written by people, occasionally makes some valid observations by the accident of being people and having nothing to do with god, but get burdened down with the dogma of ideas that can and should be discarded because we are not enslaved by a god but able to think it through and care about other people. Fred is just not that way. He thinks men and women are different and should stay different, he says he used to fight for the gay rights when they were “underdog” but no longer thinks they need his help, and should now shut up. He also is reluctant to call himself an atheist lest some Christian mistake him for the kind we are – the kind who don’t shut up when “Christians know best”.

        • Kodie

          Your understanding of atheism seems to come from the lies religions teach.

        • Fred Knight

          it comes from my own experience – at least in my religious experience they had some form of self critique (I always did) – atheists, not so much. do you think I revel in this? No, it’s to your shame (and mine tangentially) self-styled atheism of the type I’m addressing is akin to only the most screw ball fundamentalist Christians, but hey, they are also unhinged and maybe I no longer have a finger on the pulse of general society, maybe it’s not about atheism or christianity, but a general dumbed down individualism I’m encountering.

        • Susan

          More vague and unsupported crap from Fred

          Yay!

        • Fred Knight

          hey Suze! my opinion don’t count, as I’m a total creepster and fraud/sock puppet! 😀 !

          (ad hominem seems to be the fallacy de jour)

        • Susan

          Hey Fredz!

          my opinion don’t count as I’m a total creepster and fraud/sockpuppet!

          Your opinions don’t count because every effort you’ve met to have you support them has been met with nothing but hostility and more unsupported opinions. 😀

          I accused one of your sockpuppets of being a creepster but thanks for backing me up on that one.

          (ad hominem seems to be the fallacy de jour

          That’s “du jour”.

          Fascinating that someone who entered the discussion with numerous fallacies complained about the technicalities of fallacies.

          The same person is happy to appeal to fallacies when it suits their purpose.

          Even though they haven’t bothered to understand what “ad hominem’ actually means.

        • Fred Knight

          do you prefer Suse? whatever, I’ve not gained one whit of insight from you as a person whatsoever, and that is shocking, as I’ve actually tried. perhaps you are a smart and interesting person but just unable to show it? I await better arguments from you, but I’ll not hold my breath. Surprise me, or don’t…I lack interest at this point.

        • Kodie

          Fred, you’re a fucking creep. I did look at your posting history, and you picked on Susan very early on for no fucking reason. Must be your small penis. I’ve noticed a tendency in male Christians to diminish female interlocutors with their condescending bullshit language. You do the same to me. Treating Susan’s direct questions like you think they are frivolous…. if we are judging posters, no one is more penetrating than Susan, and it’s just that you’re threatened and have to pat her on the head to keep your penis from crawling up inside yourself. Sorry to be such a sexist asshole to prey on your toxic masculinity triggers like not having a huge penis compared to everyone else, but that’s what you’re doing to Susan. You are not addressing her serious questions, and then you lie, and then you treat her as just lesser than you because you can’t answer her questions and make that as though it is a flaw in Susan when it is your own shortcoming. You are a weasel. You suck. You fucking don’t get that you are so fucking transparent. Where are your balls if you are getting off on putting down women just to seem smarter than you are?

        • Fred Knight

          how embarrassing for you, and telling…go your own way…you are the dumbass I feared you were….hope to not see you again, peace out.

        • Fred Knight

          literally dummy, but buy into all that sexist bullshit, Suse is dumb on her own accord, nothing to do with her sex, as are you…congrats and whateves.

        • Kodie

          She’s intelligent and honest and direct. You can’t handle it, so you do whatever you can to discredit her.

        • MR

          She’s intelligent and honest and direct. You can’t handle it, so you do whatever you can to discredit her.

          After two years of participating here, I find that to be true of virtually all the atheists who participate here. Sure we have our faults. We can be condescending and abusive, for example, but that’s generally a reflection of the theists attitude.

          Now, some of the theists I find to be intelligent, but almost never are they honest and direct. Take our friend Fred, here. Many of them try to start out with every intention of honesty, but the ones who stick around invariably result to some form of dishonesty or deception. Directness? Bwah-hah-hah…! “Dance our little puppets, dance!”

          I just find that fascinating.

        • Fred Knight

          “She’s intelligent and honest and direct.”
          I actually agree with that. I think she is far brighter than the arguments (and dumb accusations) she brings. I call her out on it (just as I would a dude) and for you, I somehow “can’t handle it”….it’s time we all grow up and move beyond this bs…you are just white knighting, knee jerk responding to the bullshit in your own mind/psyche…..I don’t have time for any of it. Move On.org

        • Kodie

          You got nothin’.

        • Ignorant Amos

          From the get go.

        • Paul B. Lot

          .hope to not see you again, peace out.

          Dumb-fuck, dick-less, wonder-weasel is finally taking off?

          Oh, thank God.

        • TheNuszAbides

          ah, you upvoted him for the “peace out” part?
          how optimistic!

        • Fred Knight

          y’all are literally crazy….but if it helps you get through the night….this is batshit level….but awesome for atheism! rock on!

        • Fred Knight

          kodie, stop playing the cuck, nothing about my dislike of Suse has anything do with sex whatsoever, stop buying into the narrative

        • Fred Knight

          stupid motherfucker,,,jeesh

        • Kodie

          You answered the same post 4 (or more) times, you must be so frustrated right now. You hate me because I hate you because you hate atheists for no reason. You make up your own terrible dishonest prejudiced reasons, and no, I’m not leaving you alone. Everyone can see you’re just a fucking douche with nothing to say. I’ve been here for years, not leaving. You didn’t come here for honest, intelligent discussion, so fuck off now.

        • MR

          I totally understand Bob’s policy, but it can be frustrating with trolls like these.

        • Fred Knight

          “I’ve been here for years”
          and yet you come across as a novice, whatever.

          I see baby arguments being made by supposed seasoned veterans, what’s up with that? Frustrated only with the lack of maturity displayed – I’m coming in fresh (unless you somehow buy I’ve been here before) super lame and leaves me wondering what the hell happened to make arguments this fucking weak in the atheist camp?…..shit, I took a break for a couple years and come back to find this horseshit. But feel free to rail on and claim your longstanding status as some form of comfortable privilege.

        • Kodie

          I don’t value your opinion about anything. You are all sour grapes because nobody will listen to your stupidity.

        • Fred Knight

          you are so wrong and so dumb that I don’t even know how to deal with you. Sour grapes? are you kidding me? again, pull your head out of yer ass and address me honorably as a man and we’ll talk….not holding my breath, though.

        • Kodie

          I’m not deferring to you, you asshole. You want it your way, and I don’t think you deserve it.

        • Fred Knight

          all hail the mighty sir Galahad, Sir Kodie, white knight extraordinaire, bow before sir kodie….shut the fuck up douche and fade into the silence and irrelevance you deserve.

        • Kodie

          Do you have anyone here who really cares what you are talking about? I think everyone has a name for you and nobody is buttering your ass with the kisses you want. You are basking in unpopularity and nonsense that you keep blathering. You are deluded and dishonest, and apparently oblivious, but really just a troll.

        • Fred Knight

          Kodie on the other hand is smart, listen to him!

          dumbass!

        • Fred Knight

          In terms of integrity, do you and other atheists understand how little respect you have in the real world? an utter laughing stock, and yet you glory and are proud of it! you stupid fucks! you prove the point over and over….and you are offended that my dumb ass points out the obvious, wake the fuck up already!

        • MNb

          Still you’re the one who produces nothing but empty rants.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Fred Knight

          you stupid fuck, do you think you do?

        • TheNuszAbides

          here are the most telling clues scattered among your ham-fisted calls for calm/fairness/reason/whatevs:
          “sexual modesty”
          “white knighting”
          “cuck”

          … plus at least one overly-narrow definition of atheism as a claim other than “I haven’t been convinced of the truth of any theistic claims”
          … and several times, the over-broad definition of atheism as a worldview unto itself (absurd and not at all implied nor so categorized by any of these people whom you persist in ill-considered lumping together with fundamentalist/literalist specimens which we supposedly mutually despise/rebuke)

          those, plus your defensive and dismissive responses when you’re called out on any of them – the MRA-esque bits seem to have been largely ignored so far – may be sheer coincidence and not a clear indication that you share some bigoted traits with some rather awful people; but your consistent indignation isn’t doing you or anyone else any favors.

          to recap:

          we can all agree that atheism (regardless of which generally-recognized definition) isn’t a singular cure to the seamy underbelly of human nature.
          we can all agree that a subset of persons who happen to have theist leanings/allegiances have made positive contributions to society, science, etc. (regardless of where they or anyone else posits the credit/”glory”/origin/ground-state of said contributions).
          but seriously, honestly, no matter how offended you are at all the pushback, no matter how much you intermittently calmed down for a volley or two, your conduct over the weeks has been neither corrective, nor chastening, nor informative, nor insightful, nor encouraging of any attitude other than “all these atheists here are doing _____ wrong, no wonder they’re such a despised minority!”
          it makes nearly zero sense that you would be flummoxed at receiving pushback. unless there’s something you’re missing. and you did seem to have been missing key elements of the average stance around here from the very first moments of your debut. hint: expecting it’s our job to calmly and politely correct you after you’ve shot off a bunch of generalities that only stick to any of us in some paranoid corner of your psyche … isn’t particularly sensible. it isn’t a cunning test of our characters or collective moral fiber to stack up against the lovely fuzzy specimens of Christianity in your life. not if you’re genuinely intending to make some headway here, socially or otherwise.

          your tactics in dealing with us have been nigh-absolutely ill-chosen. blame that on what you imagine is our inability to see through your hyper-defensiveness and accusatory bluster. but you’ve already expressed more than enough contempt that it’s something of a marvel that you keep coming back and reacting to the reactions.

        • Fred Knight

          Hey TNA, I actually appreciate you taking the time to respond rather in depth. It shows that at least you are not blasting me out of hand. thank you. :)

          I will say that you have gotten me wrong on a few points, though.

          “those, plus your defensive and dismissive responses when you’re called out on any of them – the MRA-esque bits seem to have been largely ignored so far – may be sheer coincidence and not a clear indication that you share some bigoted traits with some rather awful people;”

          by MRA do you mean Men’s Rights Activists? I have no clue, I just want to be clear on how you are interpreting me.

          “we can all agree that atheism (regardless of which generally-recognized definition) isn’t a singular cure to the seamy underbelly of human nature.”
          hold and full stop.

          why can’t we have a conversation about this? why am I an enemy for wanting to discuss it?

          “we can all agree that a subset of persons who happen to have theist leanings/allegiances have made positive contributions to society, science, etc. (regardless of where they or anyone else posits the credit/”glory”/origin/ground-state of said contributions).”
          then it is not meaningless, are we agreed?

          “but seriously, honestly, no matter how offended you are at all the pushback,no matter how much you intermittently calmed down for a volley or two, your conduct over the weeks has been neither corrective, nor chastening,nor informative, nor insightful, nor encouraging of any attitude”
          I appreciate that my efforts or methods have not born any fruit, I can accept that. Maybe I’m not the one able to get the point across.

          “other than “all these atheists here are doing _____ wrong, no wonder they’re such a despised minority!”
          again, I accept your chastisement, maybe I’m a very bad spokesman for what I’m trying to convey.

        • TheNuszAbides
          …[atheism] isn’t a singular cure to the seamy

          underbelly of human nature.”

          hold and full stop.

          why can’t we have a conversation about this? why am I an enemy for wanting to discuss it?

          you seem to have entered driving the premise that it’s controversial among the regulars on this page.
          it isn’t. not remotely.
          but who the hell ever said we can’t discuss it or that you’re an enemy for wanting to? you got pushback for your attitude, not the topics you may or may not have been clearly suggesting at any particular moment.

          [non-shitty theists have existed.]

          then it is not meaningless, are we agreed?

          “it” meaning what? theism? obviously not. the contributions of theists? well there i’d be ready to leap down the rabbit-holes of attribution, map/territory, etc. humanity is more complex than any religion it invents; society likewise. various religious elements seem to have a ‘good-cop/bad-cop’ dynamic, in the sense of overcomplication/oversimplification. “I’m a Christian” is something I’ll generally take at face value without playing the No True Scotsman game; on the other hand, “I couldn’t have done it without Jesus” is about as unfalsifiable as they come, and i can’t imagine running out of challenges to that any time soon, for the speaker who was honestly interested in addressing them.

          Maybe I’m not the one able to get the point across.

          you seem articulate enough when you’re not slinging vitriol and/or in defensive crouch – and i think you have to admit, you were up against some excruciatingly articulate insults – but you so often seem to lose focus, and most people one’s already offended aren’t exactly liable to help one back onto the trail. and yeah, frankly i don’t think anyone was impressed by the early/condensed version of your ‘bona fides’. as i recall, they were essentially nonexistent – like we were such reprehensible specimens that you didn’t ‘owe’ us an explanation for anything. in my opinion you carried that resistance waywayway farther than was warranted. your brief mentions of what you were ideally striving for were pretty much lost in the noise.

          we all get the being defensive part, to some degree. we’re arguably a mental minority, inarguably a vocally/textually-explicit minority, and we know it. the average theist visitor inevitably flogs ad populum.

        • Fred Knight

          ” you got pushback for your attitude, not the topics”

          ditto, can you handle that? I may be guilty of the pot calling the kettle black fallacy – maybe I’m a hothead, or maybe I’ve landed in the middle of a hotbed or maybe both. Are you willing to take the same medicine you think I need? Or is this a one way street for you? (ah, I’m the pompous ass for coming back to you in kind.) Maybe irritation only goes one way for you and you are entitled to respect you’ve not earned…..oh dear, this one is not going to go well either, I can tell….

          “we all get the being defensive part, to some degree. we’re arguably a
          mental minority, inarguably a vocally/textually-explicit minority, and
          we know it.”
          and yet you blast me for calling attention to it. I don’t even mind a strong atheist defensive voice, but at some point it enters into entitlement and rudeness for rudeness sake – and yes, I push back, because it’s unnecessary.

        • TheNuszAbides

          no, no, no. i am not blasting anyone “for calling attention” to anything. the subject matter is not my beef, your intention is not my beef, your focus is not my beef; your demonstrable lack of focus over the majority of your responses is my beef. i’m pointing out what i think is wrong with the way you’re “calling” attention. i’m not pretending that you have never done anything similar over the course of the last month; just observing that your presentation has problems.
          i seem to recall you casually dropping another generalization of atheism as perhaps hinting at a nihilistic

          Maybe irritation only goes one way for you and you are entitled to respect you’ve not earned

          nope. overshot again.

          maybe I’m a hothead, or maybe I’ve landed in the middle of a hotbed or maybe both.

          that might be a model that fits the data. have you at any point suggested that Bob is misusing the platform, or unwisely tolerating others’ misuse of it? if and when you did/do so do you think you were/will be presenting it as a “measured argument”? (i seriously don’t have the time to dig through this page for quotes any more, it’s become a ridiculous memory hog.)

          it’s also possible that there’s a problem with any attempt at calculating an equivalence when you are coming here with the baggage of a monolithic reaction to atheism-as-practiced-by-vague-unnamed-masses, and are met with [multiple] individual reactions to your individual presentations of this baggage. some of those individual reactions are built upon the baggage that accumulates as visitor after visitor unloads irrelevant, inaccurate, offensive [et al.] perceptions (or parroted talking points) of atheism/atheists. if you rely on a plank of “atheists have a duty to set a good example if ____” [whatever incentive/motivation you care to insert], do you think being a hothead about it is ever effective, on your part, in striving for that good example? it seems like you’re intensely, endlessly ambivalent about being righteously indignant and just throwing in the towel shaking your head sadly over the whole mess. i can identify with that, but when i have the luxury of the combox for filtration …

        • TheNuszAbides

          Are you willing to take the same medicine you think I need?

          feel free to show evidence that i’m in as much need. a rather rude point-blank ego-pissing question to level at someone who’s been patient with you. here’s a thought, again: why not move on to discussing interesting ideas?

        • TheNuszAbides

          by MRA do you mean Men’s Rights Activists? I have no clue, I just want to be clear on how you are interpreting me.

          that’s my reinforced personal association with terms like ‘white knighting’ and ‘cuck’, yes. i can just as easily imagine that you picked them up from 4chan or some other den of edgy chatspeak, or from a formative influence once removed from such a place. maybe you’ve trod the shadowlands of MGTOW; maybe some GamerGater or PUA has managed to appeal to your sense of fairness/humor.
          don’t get me wrong, i’m not big on assuming large swathes of identification from vocabulary markers alone. i generally don’t consider individual identities of particular significance in forums where ideas are the issue – e.g. i couldn’t care less what someone else on Patheos thinks about my use of a pseudonym and a picture of something other than my face, since i’m not doxxing or dispensing/seeking professional advice or anything else that (as far as i can tell) makes the basic risks of exposure especially relevant, let alone of crucial significance. i can live without an intertubes-stranger putting total trust in my words – it’s enough for me that anyone reading them applies an optimal dose of critical reasoning to the ideas expressed; beyond that there’s only so much i can be persuaded to do in the name of quelling their fears of some kind of trojan-horse-of-the-brain.
          … okay, bit of a tangent there, that was a riff on a recent bluster-fest but nothing directly to do with you. i just wouldn’t generally expect that jargon to fly as an advertisement for freethought, no matter what mood you’re in and no matter how provocative your ‘opponent’ may be.

        • Fred Knight

          I can appreciate where you are coming from, TNA – I like the fact that while you obviously don’t like nor agree with my style or manner of posting, you are taking the time to address my actual points. (don’t think that goes unnoticed.)

          ” i just wouldn’t generally expect that jargon to fly as an advertisement for freethought”
          that’s an interesting concept…that “freethought” has a general outline or orthodoxy….it seems that all groups have this basic sense of identity or logical cohesion (as it should be) – I do tend to stretch and challenge traditional boundaries – but not for controversy’s sake – in truth, I’m pretty straight up the middle on classic definitions and no, I’m not a part of any of the groups you mentioned.

          I guess the question is, will you take me at my word or join in to some of the overly-defensive interpretations of the members here who are upset with me?

        • TheNuszAbides

          you are taking the time to address my actual points. (don’t think that goes unnoticed.)

          keep that in mind if you review the fact that several of the people who have been even harsher with you have also been just as willing to take time to address actual points – when you present them.

        • Fred Knight

          “been even harsher”
          if you look closely, you’ll find that my responses have been defensive – ‘harsh” is one way of putting it, abusive and constant dickheaded belligerence while addressing my points is not something I’m going to discourse with.

          You, at least, while harsh at times, kept on task enough to make communication at least a possibility. Let’s hope this can continue.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I guess the question is, will you take me at my word or join in to some of the overly-defensive interpretations of the members here who are upset with me?

          sorry, but that’s a question that leans pretty far in the direction of all-about-you. if you’re pressing me to pick sides, consider that the balance of Times I Have Seen _____ Contribute To A Discussion By Expressing Themselves Clearly And Consistently is nowhere near in your favor at this juncture. and is there some compelling/objective reason for me to concur with your determination of “overly-defensive”?

          you do realize that your comments that contain clear statements of ideas and points and questions aren’t being jumped up and down on, right? they’ve been considered and addressed by those who are interested in considering and addressing them (and probably haven’t been seen by those to whom you’ve only responded with insults or CCR videos or other dismissive gestures).

        • TheNuszAbides

          another note about who has[n’t] seen your clearly-stated comments: nobody here is at all obligated to go back to a month-old page to check on a thread, and most don’t care to. i have the ‘luxury’ of infrequent visits and a taste for threadnecro – i hadn’t had an exchange with you in weeks and had not noticed that others had continued [off and on] to spar, and i read numerous threads which were not all being participated in by the same people – so realistically you should not expect anyone else to be giving anywhere near this much attention to ‘the bigger picture’ at this point.

          it’s not about giving you another shot – the one and only Mod has consistently been doing that, obviously.
          it’s also possible that Disqus format is too messy for you and that could be the root of your ‘focus issue’.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I guess the question is, will you take me at my word or join in to some of the overly-defensive interpretations of the members here who are upset with me?

          Take you at your word? Your lying weaselling bullshit word? Naaah…just because you want to treat him like a mug, doesn’t mean he is going to act like one, wise up.

          Overly-defensive interpretations? Fuck off Fred, the commenting history is it’s own evidence…no “overly-defensive interpretation” is necessary. Your unsubstantiated bullshit and lies are there for all to see.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I appreciate that my efforts or methods have not born any fruit, I can accept that

          i reckon that’s the least any of us can (and should) say in such circumstances, if the goal is indeed to build bridges. beyond that, blame us all you want for some portion of you-not-‘getting-through’-to-us; just expect that you’ll have to make a clear case to convince anyone to share/shoulder it. the blunter your rebuke, the blunter the retort is likely to be. i don’t think anyone’s claiming that this community is a finely-tuned, well-oiled machine of ‘you get what you give’, but there really is a big difference – which the regulars are rather well-practiced at recognizing – between being angry and insisting that your reasons are painfully obvious and don’t need/deserve to be openly questioned, and being angry and taking a breath in order to spell it out.

          it seemed to me that every time one more person added to the pushback, you reacted like they were interfering or “jumping in”. these people have known each other in the context of this counter-apologetics blog (several from prior [a]theist prattlefields) for years. we aren’t lock-step thought-crushers, but we are particularly sick of ill-founded ideas and slipshod delivery, and we won’t preface every attack on things we categorize that way with this sentence. each of us will gladly take a turn raking a new arrival over the proverbial coals. the cockier Christians do love their baptism-by-fire metaphor, don’t they? to varying degrees we do or don’t enjoy the discomfort that can ensue, but we are only in the ‘diplomacy business’ to the extent that we respect/value Bob’s platform and to the extent that people who think there’s a point we need to grasp are actively attempting to explain it to us. you got around to actively explaining some shit to Greg G. (i see it already happened to some extent with epeeist and Pofarmer as well), so now so am i, mainly because i disappeared from these particular threads for a couple of weeks and didn’t realize they’d bubbled over again (and again), and wouldn’t blame the others for running out of patience.

          btw, to any regulars reading, sorry-not-sorry-but-a-little-sorry for speaking for ‘us’, gang. i figured i was overdue for some practice, but i doubt it fit to a tee. how could it? 😉

        • Fred Knight

          “if the goal is indeed to build bridges. beyond that, blame us all you want for some portion of you-not-‘getting-through’-to-us; just expect that you’ll
          have to make a clear case to convince anyone to share/shoulder it.”
          it’s interesting you use the word “us” – until now, I’ve really never spoken with you. I’ve said quite a few times that my responses were often made to individuals (I meant it, and yet this notion was rebuffed as ignorant that a comment on a public forum wasn’t open to all) …and yet you perceive it to be about “us”.

          ” these people have known each other in the context of this counter-apologetics blog (several from prior [a]theist prattlefields) for years. we aren’t lock-step thought-crushers, but we are particularly sick of ill-founded ideas and slipshod delivery”
          There are some built in assumptions here – and perhaps for me, the shoe is on the other foot – I’ve moderated several forums over the years and do hear what you are saying. Perhaps I’m being allowed to experience the other side of the coin on this one. Please don’t assume I’m stupid, ignorant or naive on any of this, it’s just that I’m challenging the basic assumptions that these forums are about “truth” in perhaps any sense at all, but rather about re-affirming social in-group mentalities.

          ” you got around to actively explaining some shit to Greg G. (i see it
          already happened to some extent with epeeist and Pofarmer as well), so
          now so am i”
          I’m a part timer at best – I don’t even enjoy religious debate or bantering, but I got sucked in because I get email updates from Patheos. I’m only responding to those who keep responding back to me – I’m not part of this community, and sadly, I don’t think I want to be, it is rather toxic and argumentative for my tastes, about issues I largely am apathetic about at best…..I find this notion of promoting atheism to be equally absurd as defending religion – two sides of the same exact coin. I don’t hold your (a fellow non-believer) view any more interesting than the local fundamentalist Baptist down the street – perhaps less so, as it makes no sense to me to be promoting the absence of religion as somehow something praiseworthy and necessary for society. I get the point, but I don’t get militant atheism – that to me is some kind of wounded, bitter pill reactionary type shit that only addresses the bad aspects and is coming from a place of unhealed bitterness…thou dost protest too much.

        • TheNuszAbides

          and yet you perceive it to be about “us”.

          not really (and this smells like fishing, btw), i just seek out shorthand for “the various individuals whom you’ve pissed off” sooner or later.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Please don’t assume I’m stupid, ignorant or naive on any of this

          i take longer (in data-point-collection-time) to apply those than some, and i think the tendency to project conscious negativity, where any of the three may or may not be in effect, is unfortunately close to universal. and usually by the time i come to a conclusion of stupidity, i prefer to discuss the stupidity with a third party rather than engage in the futility of “you’re stupid”.
          on the other foot, another unfortunately common tendency is to hear/read [e.g.] “that is the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard/read” and misinterpret it as being about the identity of the speaker/writer. smart people do stupid things all the time, are just as good at fooling themselves as (if not moreso than) idiots, etc.

        • Fred Knight

          “smart people do stupid things all the time, are just as good at fooling themselves as (if not moreso than) idiots, etc.”
          very true

        • TheNuszAbides

          you might get a more agreeable taste of the medicine you claim to prefer with Shem the Penman’s pieces at Secular Spectrum. but yeah, it seems once again like you are too ready to jump to conclusions about monolithic fallacious agendas leading everyone at C.E. by the nose, to ever find it a sufficiently comforting environment for your crystal-clear purposes.

        • Fred Knight

          your seemingly snarky advice aside, I largely fail to get your point. Perhaps shoot honestly and sincerely and maybe we have a chance? stop playing games

        • TheNuszAbides

          implication that i’m playing games is noted. not, upon reflection, found to be insightful, and therefore not respected as relevant, but noted.

        • Fred Knight

          “implication that i’m playing games is noted.”
          not implication, a direct call out. stop it.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i’m sorry you feel like you’re being played with, but i’m not seeing where i stopped being serious. i mostly find it hard to believe you’re taking any of it as seriously as i am.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ha haa…it didn’t take long, did it?

        • TheNuszAbides

          O, how naive I was! 😛

        • TheNuszAbides

          issues I largely am apathetic about at best.

          yes, it hasn’t helped that you are frequently either hotheadedly the opposite of apathetic about an issue, or shrug it off as totally irrelevant after someone has gone to the trouble of explaining themselves.

          promoting atheism

          for the umpteenth time, WTF are you talking about??????
          what does “promoting atheism” mean? what does it look like to you?
          is that seriously what you think the mysterious, underlying, unconscious, whatever purpose of a counterapologetics blog is? or just this one?
          or have you got “atheism” confused with “secularism” now?

          where has anyone “praised atheism”? you seem to be projecting every one of [not-you] onto a monolith of high-fiving over how awesome atheism is. if you want to get someone talking about nationalism or economic ideologues, have at it, but maybe try harder to avoid giving the impression that you think this blog is a one-dimensional echo chamber of goose-stepping atheismists. you seem highly susceptible to cognitive bias, particularly the sharpshooter fallacy, in this context (and several others).

          promoting the absence of religion as somehow something praiseworthy and necessary for society

          again, lumping something you’ve seen some atheist(s) do together with everyone who doesn’t [seem to] fit your “smart” “moderate” peg. how many times have you been told that we’re not concerned with the squeaky-clean happy-nice-nice compassionate considerate churchgoers who aren’t led by the tribal nose in politics? i’m pretty sure Bob wasn’t the only one that mentioned it, but he mentioned it weeks ago. why won’t you move on from that talking point? it’s almost as though you’re forgetting key threads that have occurred here and responding to messages in contextual isolation and preferring to remember your feelings being hurt more than any other content/context.

          two sides of the same exact coin

          i call utter bullshit. justify the supposed symmetry. i’ll wait. pretty sure we’ll all wait, because nobody’s justified it yet (or perhaps they locked it up at the Vatican and won’t share with the swine? c’mon, where’s that “best of the best”?).

        • Fred Knight

          “yes, it hasn’t helped that you are frequently either hotheadedly the opposite of apathetic about an issue,”
          ok, we are debating tactics and approaches here, fine, as I did bring it up. You say I bring opposite of apathetic, it’s an interesting question on how a convinced moderate should respond to some hardened position – I suppose we are all passionate for standing for the truth and we see it as fighting error.

          “for the umpteenth time, WTF are you talking about??????
          what does “promoting atheism” mean? what does it look like to you?
          is that seriously what you think the mysterious, underlying, unconscious, whatever purpose of a counterapologetics blog is?”
          ah, you actually see yourself as a righteous defense to Christian apologists’ relentless attack. You see what you are engaging in as counter-apologetics….I perceive myself as a counter to your counter (an equal and opposite reaction to dare I say, almost bullying nature of atheist counter-apologetics).

          I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective. But please don’t assume that your indignation is 100% pure righteous indignation….especially at this point in our culture…..there may have been a time when militant level atheism was truly defensive in nature….again, I’m starting to see it as bullying the rest of society at this point.

          “i call utter bullshit. justify the supposed symmetry.”
          sadly, you are still beating the same old drum…this is no longer the Middle Ages….get a grip. I equally call utter bullshit on this notion that atheists are somehow the oppressed minority at this time and place in Western culture.

        • TheNuszAbides

          ah, you actually see yourself as a righteous defense to Christian apologists’ relentless attack.

          wrong.

          please don’t assume that your indignation is 100% pure righteous indignation

          not a problem on my end, as much as you seem to hope it were so you can feel better about your position.

          militant level atheism

          still waiting for a clear definition of terms.

        • Fred Knight

          “wrong.”
          how so?

        • TheNuszAbides

          well, i don’t see myself as righteous, i don’t see myself as having defended anything to you other than the sensibilities of the people you seem determined [on and off] to trash because they don’t tolerate your shitshows, and i don’t think “relentless attack” is a realistic or even sensible way to characterize apologetics lately. except maybe Presup, within the duration of an actual debate.
          so, triply wrong at the least, unless you can make a fucking case instead of flippant remarks and saying i shouldn’t take things personally (like you didn’t take your treatment personally?).

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Greg G.

          I go around not threatening people with not burning in hell forever for not believing in the non-existence of God.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s a bit heavy dude….glad I don’t have to not get in the way of you mate.

        • TheNuszAbides

          this is no longer the Middle Ages

          scintillating rhetoric. you sure showed me!

          get a grip

          go fuck yourself. now onto something worth responding to with substance:

          this notion that atheists are somehow the oppressed minority at this time and place in Western culture

          again, just because i pointed out an aspect of minority status doesn’t mean i’m cleaving to an all-victim-all-the-time narrative. get a grip.

        • Fred Knight

          “go fuck yourself. now onto something worth responding to with substance:”
          how the mighty Nusz has fallen! stop whining and taking things personal already….(I did not mean it as such)….for Christ’s sake, how on earth are we ever going to have a conversation? Jeesh, what hope is there for any communication whatsoever?

        • TheNuszAbides

          less when you’re flippant. you still don’t see how that works?

        • Fred Knight

          I had hopes for you Nusz, sadly, I think you are unstable and untrustworthy…the search goes on

        • TheNuszAbides

          stop whining and taking things personal already

          oh, the fucking irony. again, go fuck yourself. can we get back to these “measured arguments” of yours yet?

        • Fred Knight

          you will have to be more clear, Nusz stop telling me to go fuck myself and explain what the hell you are talking about.

        • TheNuszAbides

          if after days of this i haven’t been clear then i can only assume you are not remembering how any of this started. then only recently i made a point of describing the commonality between [the fights you were having with people who at one point or another took the time to calm you down] and [the fights you were having with people who quickly took umbrage and threw it back in your face]. that commonality was and still is the dropping of classic well-poisoning phrases – i honestly can’t tell now whether it’s a strong suspicion on your part, or casual spit-balling, or random “ball-busting”, or whether they’re chosen with any deliberation at all – but from where I’m sitting they are not recognizable as any activity that we engage in here, ever, let alone in the context of all the shouting matches with you. the aspersions are nonsensical AFAICT but you can’t seem to avoid casting them and never seem to reflect on whether they are misplaced. which is why it has been supposed by some that you are a troll and/or dishonest. my ‘benefit of the doubt’ was that you confused the reactions with other behavior you’ve found discomforting in the past, but at this point i feel no assurance that you’re paying attention to more than two or three small comments in a row (and even then, skipping over questions for no discernible reason).

        • Kodie

          Look, you have achieved what you have set out to do if your mission was to piss everyone everyone everyone off with your dishonesty. Jesus FUCK already, you are not really capable of keeping up with adult conversations without dodging and weaving.

        • Fred Knight

          what have I’ve achieved to set out? Do you think my goal is to piss you off? It really is not. How much should I hang in? How much should I hang in and prove?

        • Kodie

          You shouldn’t hang in, you are free to get the fuck out.

        • Fred Knight

          oh, I’ve always been free in that regard…but delivering unwelcome truth to an audience that desperately needs it (even if they hate you for it.) is another matter. I don’t serve at your pleasure or displeasure, kodie, let that be established.

        • Kodie

          I’m sure the janitor will be along for you eventually.

        • Fred Knight

          you really do have to try to be that stupid, at this point it’s not an accident for you, kodie. best of luck, you are going to need it.

        • Kodie

          What happened to your mustache, asshole? What happened to your capital letters?

        • Fred Knight

          way to focus on the non-essentials, dummy

          (if you ever want to have an actual conversation, let’s talk.)

        • Kodie

          No, your grammar and punctuation is like a completely different person.

        • Michael Neville

          So when are you going to start “delivering unwelcome truth”? All we’ve ever seen from you is whines about atheists and lies about you supposedly being an atheist.

        • Fred Knight

          At this point, Mike, I’m beyond quibbling with you…to be honest, I’m not even sure how we got off on the wrong foot…I never held any personal animosity towards you until you started attacking me personally. The same is true for Ignorant Amos…..or Suse or anyone else….I never came here with any personal agenda. In real life, you may in fact be an honorable guy – I admit that….but you have been an utter douchebag to me online, and that is what I’m responding to…pure and simple.

        • Michael Neville

          We “got off on the wrong foot” when it became obvious that your claims to be a skeptical atheist were shown to be lies because you (a) attacked atheists using theist arguments and (b) you made Christian apologetics claims. If you had presented yourself honestly as a Christian apologist then I wouldn’t have gone off on you.

        • Kodie

          Smells just like a reset.

        • TheNuszAbides

          what does “promoting atheism” mean? what does it look like to you?”

          in your self-righteousness riff immediately following a quote of these questions, you managed to decline to actually, y’know, answer them. they aren’t rhetorical.

        • Fred Knight

          please re-phrase, in what manner do you think I’ve avoided your questions?

          do you object to my perceiving you as “promoting atheism”? when in your mind you are “defending” against hostile religious attacks? I’m confused, how have I failed to address your points?

        • TheNuszAbides

          this is what this particular line of inquiry looks like to me. again, it wasn’t the first time it was brought up but you haven’t ANSWERED THE QUESTION, it’s not about “addressing points”:

          me: what does “promoting atheism” mean or look like?
          you: it’s what all of you self-unaware atheists are self-evidently doing. if you can’t see it i can’t help you.
          me: when? where? why aren’t you explaining how this behavior is being exemplified?
          you: get a grip.

        • Fred Knight

          please help me here, dude, I’m not even trying to bust your balls, really. you seem to think I’m putting words in your mouth….help me understand how I’m twisting your intentions.

        • TheNuszAbides

          show a concrete example of “promoting atheism”.

        • Fred Knight

          are you saying you don’t? perhaps it’s a matter of semantics. I don’t “promote atheism” I just “resist religion in all it’s various forms!” and the absence of such is glorious! and deeply preferable! I’m not sure why this is a sticking point for you? How should I better frame your position?

        • TheNuszAbides

          by dropping the parts that don’t fit. you can start by comparing any of those statements to anything i have actually said and showing how they match up.

        • Fred Knight

          do you think I’m married to the term? It certainly appears to me as if you do, but I’m open to correction….I’m trying to understand your point of view..perhaps you don’t like atheism, perhaps you reluctantly hold it as a view, perhaps you are ashamed of it, perhaps atheism has no meaning whatsoever and you shun it as a thing? hell, I don’t know, enlighten me on how I got it wrong.

        • Kodie

          You’re dishonest, Fred.

        • Fred Knight

          how so, Kodie? stop it, you are baiting me…

        • Fred Knight

          “You’re dishonest, Fred.”
          I’m not….just stop and make a point or shut the fuck up

        • Ignorant Amos

          it’s interesting you use the word “us” – until now, I’ve really never spoken with you. I’ve said quite a few times that my responses were often made to individuals (I meant it, and yet this notion was rebuffed as ignorant that a comment on a public forum wasn’t open to all) …and yet you perceive it to be about “us”.

          What an unadulterated liar.

          This is an in-group/out-group environment by its very nature. You came here claiming to be a member of the in-group, not this particular section of the in-group…which you strawmanned. And denigrated “us” as a group.

          I’ve been reading a few of your [james warren] posts and it appears that we find some common themes….it seems to me that atheists are buying, hook line and sinker, into crass fundamentalism. Me, I know better, as I was a long time, serious believer….and literally NO ONE in my circles thought what they accuse Christianity of being….it is troubling to see all the dumbed down conversations going nowhere.

          TheNusz is a long time poster here, so yeah, he is part of the “us” with regards to fuckwits coming in and shiteing all over the place and generalising the crass fundamental regulars and their dumbed down conversations. The irony being, you are one of the most crass fundamental dumbed down folk commenting at present, which says a lot when considering Ed Senter and Robert Lockett are commenting too.

        • MNb

          “It is rather toxic and argumentative for my tastes”
          Still you keep coming back to taste it, even it’s part time.

          “to me is some kind of wounded, bitter pill reactionary type shit”
          You seem to be addicted to it, as you return over and over again like a scabby dog to his/her vomit.

          “I don’t get militant atheism.”
          None of us do. So none of us run around shooting militant believers.

          “…..I find this notion of promoting atheism to be equally absurd as defending religion”
          I find your notion of promoting your apathy equally absurd as defending religion. Take this for instance.

          “it makes no sense to me to be promoting the absence of religion as somehow something praiseworthy and necessary for society”
          You are fucking a strawman, because you need to feed your superiority complex.
          Nobody here thinks so. That’s great the irony – you’re even on the wrong blog.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Perhaps I’m being allowed to experience the other side of the coin on this one. Please don’t assume I’m stupid, ignorant or naive on any of this, it’s just that I’m challenging the basic assumptions that these forums are about “truth” in perhaps any sense at all, but rather about re-affirming social in-group mentalities…thou dost protest too much

          Oh Irony, you saucy minx, I name thee @disqus_LShqROD33E:disqus.

          Freddie dear, no one “assumed” any such thing about you, not from the start anyway. Unfortunately you’ve opened your mouth since, and in that time you’ve simply made your stupidity, ignorance, naivete, and quite a few other pernicious traits like cowardice and unconcern with the truth, known to us.

          The only thing you’re “challenging” is the boundary of just how malignantly moronic and unaware a person can be.

          The man you’ll be wanting to address your complaints to is the man in the mirror.

        • MNb

          “I’ve noticed a tendency”
          Well, what do you expect?

          Gen. 1:26 “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion ….”
          Gen. 2:22 “the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man”

          The woman is the help meet of the man, not the other way round. Combine this with for instance Titus 2:4-5 “That they may teach the young women to be ….. keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands” (not the other way round) and it’s clear that such a tendency is unavoidable, even if we avoid a literal interpretation.

        • Ignorant Amos

          He’s s feckin’ full of it.

        • Kodie

          Wow, you just ooze hatred and prejudice! Go fuck yourself already.

        • Fred Knight

          “Wow, you just ooze hatred and prejudice! Go fuck yourself already”
          and fuck you very much! : bow

          (another dummy weighs in, thanks for proving my point (a point I didn’t even want to make))

        • Fred Knight

          even dumbass Christians must be reveling! you, and others of your ilk make it surprisingly easy for them, congrats!

        • Kodie

          You came here to “prove your point”, i.e. support your prejudice. You haven’t learned one fucking thing. You want people to hate the fuck out of you so you can support your confirmation bias without taking any fucking responsibility for being such a biased asshole.

        • Fred Knight

          kodie, you are really not too bright. I came with a prejudice that atheism has a point. you and others shit on that point by your stupid arguments and make me sorry I ever tried to defend it. And yet I still defend it, despite stupid asses such as yourself who dumb it down. How about this, I support a superior atheism than the stupid shit you are defending? Or is Smart Atheism something you oppose openly?

        • Kodie

          I don’t know what the fuck you are even talking about now. I know I am way fucking smarter than you, being that I know there are other people than ME in this world. You think your shallow bubble of perception is reality, and then condescendingly dictate to everyone here why we shouldn’t be such assholes to you. There’s this thing, you know, where someone pretends they are being polite while taking a shit in your living room, but they are actually taking a shit in your living room. That’s you. You think it’s everyone else’s fault but you’re own, pretend you’re fucking innocent.

          I don’t know what the fuck you are talking about at all now. You seem to have a bitter chip on your fucking shoulder and should probably excuse yourself if you think we suck that much. You are absolutely hostile despite particular words that you choose or ways you think you are expressing yourself. You’re a fucking liar, you hate, you are prejudiced, and you blameshift. It’s like you’re not even trying to have a conversation but setting us up so you can prove to yourself that atheists are horrible people. Just like I told lunatic Susana Gonzalez, and many Christians before – we don’t hate god, because god is a fictional character. Christians just don’t get their own responsibility, because LIKE YOU THINK, they think they are being good, wholesome individuals, instead of intrusive, uneducated, and hateful. God isn’t any of those things, they are.

          You might have missed where I practically defended you, you dumbass. I think you don’t believe in god, but you are messed up in a lot of ways. No, you don’t have to be liberal to be an atheist, but you did come here with bias. You did come here thinking, and thence, dictating to us all, what you think atheism is – an inferior moral framework. What the fuck. You missed all the lessons. You are so fucking dishonest it’s pathetic. Atheism isn’t a moral framework!!!!!!!!! But that doesn’t mean atheists don’t have morals. You even said you used to stick up for gay people, but you switched because they got too much for your fucking taste. What is “the right thing”? What is “moral”? Switching your position about issues because you don’t like the people all of a sudden? They have more than you’re personally comfortable allowing them to have, so they have to be subdued, you have to root for people to keep them shut up? What a control freak you are!!!!!!!!!!

          I don’t know what the fuck you’re even still doing here. You lost, nobody gives a fuck about your point of view. You are as much as a Christian as any believer, and every fucking shit out of your mouth is dogma. Don’t you fucking dare tell me I’m not too bright just to make your dick feel huge. You have a prejudice, you’ve been called out, nobody is fooled by your fake humility. You lie and pretend to not be lying.

        • Fred Knight

          “I don’t know what the fuck you are even talking about now.”

          wow, you suddenly don’t get i? I’ve been being polite to your dumb ass, hoping you bring forth something of importance.

          keep heaping your dumbass abuse upon me, and you don’t expect any repercussions? another dummy move. I’ve grown tired of your abusive and assumptive behavior.

          “I know I am way fucking smarter than you, being that I know there are other people than ME in this world.”

          really wiseguy? super smart comment.

          “I don’t know what the fuck you are talking about at all now. You seem to have a bitter chip on your fucking shoulder and should probably excuse yourself if you think we suck that much.”

          that’s precisely it, I don’t presume for all or anyone, I’m only responding to your dumb ass – stop with the generalizations, make a valid point on you own and I’m happy to meet it.

          “You might have missed where I practically defended you, you dumbass. I think you don’t believe in god, but you are messed up in a lot of ways.”
          you defended me in that I don’t believe in god but am messed up in a lot of ways? Jeez, thanks!

          Look, I’m not trying to break balls unnecessarily, don’t get me wrong, I’m not even opposed to you personally, but if you come at me, I will come back, is this wrong?

        • Kodie

          I stopped reading when you said you were being polite. You’re the opposite of polite. Nobody here is fooled by your act.

        • Fred Knight

          goodbye dummy

        • MNb

          And you being an arrogant christian of course are going to decide when breaking balls is necessary and when not.

          “if you come at me, I will come back, is this wrong?”
          According to Jesus it is. Left cheek and right cheek and stuff. So this is just another way you wipe your sorry christian ass with his teachings.

        • Fred Knight

          ah, I see, you are another lazy atheist jumping in on the bandwagon. Funny thing is, if one actually takes me at my word, that I’m a non-believer who is unwilling to sit in an endless circle jerk of self-congratulating smug atheist apologetics of the type that I’m pointing out, it all snaps into focus.

        • Paul B. Lot

          That picture is much blurrier than the image of you as a narcissist troll whose only motivation for engaging here is the meager validation that even [negative] attention gives you.

          A spine-less, insight-less, uninteresting troll.

        • TheNuszAbides

          that’s the thing – even if we slog through the mire and can excavate nuggets of agreement from his hyper-defensiveness and nuance-pratfalls, it’s still weeks of unpleasant noise to a femtosecond of signal.

        • Ignorant Amos

          A spine-less, insight-less, uninteresting troll.

          Not too bad as a chew toy though.

        • Susan

          I’m a non-believer

          I don’t care.

          You make shit up that you can’t support.

          You insult people and play the victim when that’s pointed out and insult people and play the victim when people start to get cranky about that weaselly strategy. You ignore clear and thoughtful responses to your unsupported shit and hit the reset button.

          And then lecture us.

          In terrible English.

          Over and over and over and over. You opened with insults and unsupported bullshit and you haven’t progressed an inch since then..

          who is unwilling to sit in an endless circle jerk of self-congratulating smug atheists … blah.. blah.. blah…

          You’re the wanker here.

        • MNb

          Yeah, my bad, me being human, fallible and prejudiced and stuff mistook you for a christian. So let me reformulate.

          And you being an arrogant ex-christian of course are going to decide when breaking balls is necessary and when not.

          “if you come at me, I will come back, is this wrong?”
          According to Jesus it is. Left cheek and right cheek and stuff. So this is just another way you wipe your sorry ex-christian ass with his teachings while claiming they are the backbone of your ethical system.

          “a non-believer who is unwilling to sit in an endless circle jerk of self-congratulating smug atheist apologetics of the type that I’m pointing out.”
          The important thing of course is you having found a way to feel superior to both christians and atheists – by creating your own endless circle in which you can jerk off undisturbed by anyone.

        • epeeist

          The important thing of course is you having found a way to feel superior to both christians and atheists

          I presume you are thinking of this:

          https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/atheists.png

        • MNb

          Sure.

        • Ignorant Amos

          BULLSHIT! You came here with a pile of bullshit. When anyone…do ya get that? ANYONE. Pitches up here spewing bullshit all over the place, they will be challenged. You have been unable to substantiate or support any of your bullshit. What is worse than that is you keep repeating the same feckin’ bullshit ad nauseam, even after your errors have been repeatedly been corrected. That is dishonest. You are a lying whining arsewipe. Stop whinging about being called out for acting like the twat you are ffs.

        • Pofarmer

          What the hell is “Smart Atheism”?

        • Fred Knight

          the fact that you have to ask is telling. for you it seems, there is only one atheism. it is a form of fundamentalism.

          If you really want to know what I mean by this, it is a type of skepticism that acknowledges that not all religions are equal, and in fact can be extremely good. It acknowledges that while one finds no evidence for ultimate belief, there are many valuable and beneficial elements that healthy religion offers, in fact an evolutionary purpose and even a necessary role for human society at large.

          This is classic agnostic atheism. I’m not sure when “atheism” became so black and white….and simplistic.

        • Paul B. Lot

          You said you were “out” 5 days ago. Why are you back, you no-talent cretin?


          a type of skepticism that acknowledges that not all religions are equal, and in fact can be extremely good. It acknowledges that while one finds no evidence for ultimate belief, there are many valuable and beneficial elements that healthy religion offers, in fact an evolutionary purpose

          Nothing you wrote here is inconsistent with accepting a definition of “atheism” as espoused by Po or anyone else here, you lying sack of shit.


          This is classic agnostic atheism.

          No, it’s not. “Classic agnostic atheism” has to do with epistemological claims regarding “(g)God(s)” and ONLY epistemological claims regarding “(g)God(s)”. Everything you wrote there “is” history and sociology and philosophy and anthropology and evo. psychology. You dumb sack of shit.


          I’m not sure when “atheism” became so black and white….and simplistic.

          Of course you’re “not sure” – you’re a fucking moron. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

          You’re like a child, who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know what’s going on. Shut the fuck up, Fred, you’re out of your element.

          Dunning Kruger motherfucker.

        • Fred Knight

          Hey Paul, empty your diapers and join in on a real conversation, if you dare. literal baby suffering from diaper rash.

        • Paul B. Lot

          literal baby suffering from diaper rash

          I would accuse you of having meant “figurative”, if I thought you were intelligent enough to understand the distinction. :)

          You’re a troll, @disqus_LShqROD33E:disqus. A worthless piece of shit whose only purpose here is to rile others up. I’m game: I don’t mind mudslinging.

          But if there’s any part of your pustulent and withered psyche which is deluded into thinking you have anything of substance to offer….

          …then I almost feel sorry to be the bearer of bad news: you don’t.

        • Fred Knight

          so sorry for you, but there is a place for the mentally handicapped in society, ADA!

        • Paul B. Lot

          Haha, just like any other troll desperate to gain superiority, you’re relying on making fun of the mentally handicapped.

          Utterly predictable.

          Dance for me monkey.

          Dance.

          :)

        • Fred Knight

          ah, pauly, you got me right in your sights! let’s dispense of all this foolishness and make this personal. what actual axe do you have to grind with me? bring it loud and proud and direct….be specific and be a man….

        • Paul B. Lot

          what actual axe do you have to grind with me?

          I’m not going to do your homework for you, child. If you don’t understand, go back and try to read my previous replies – and this time read for comprehension.


          bring it loud and proud and direct….be specific and be a man….

          Dear sweet little Freddie, I fear that if I were to bring it any louder, prouder, directer or manlier you wouldn’t be able to stand it.

        • Fred Knight

          too big of a diaper load? bye bye dummy

        • Paul B. Lot

          bye bye, worm

        • Kodie

          Why does Paul have to “be a man”? Are you measuring dicks?

        • Pofarmer

          No Fred, that is not Agnostic Atheism. It’s more like some kind of progressive theism. Words mean things

        • Fred Knight

          yes, they certainly do. It’s just that the sun don’t shine upon the atheist asshole for me.

        • Pofarmer

          Dude, religion can be terribly harmful. Just look on Patheos. Neil Carter has experienced it, Captain Cassidy have experienced it, I have experienced it. Many of us have. And you’re on here trying to sell us sweetness and light. Religion almost ended my Marriage. It did end Neil Carters Marriage, and many others. Kids who become Athiests get thrown out of the house. Spouses get thrown under the bus. And yet, you’re here telling us to just pick and choose the best stuff out of religion and it’s all good. That’s a buncha bullshit, dude. To get the good stuff, you don’t need the religion. It’s really that simple.

        • Fred Knight

          I think I’ve found the shallow pool of atheism – I have to believe this or lose my sanity. goodbye!

        • Susan

          goodbye!

          I wouldn’t miss you if you meant it.

          As it’s likely you’ll just show up in sockpuppet form, I won’t even be given the chance to miss you.

          Here’s hoping that you and your incarnations mean it this time.

        • Fred Knight

          keep clinging to your version of reality (I always knew the religious had this, it now confirms atheism has their version as well, awesome!) thanks Suse!

        • Greg G.

          it comes from my own experience

          It appears to be confirmation bias from your religious experience.

        • Fred Knight

          My religious experience was a mixture of good, bad and ugly. So has my atheist experience.

          All I can say is that I’m comparing apples to apples – with no axe to grind either way. And yet, because my critique here has taken on the rosy atheist claims, I’m seen as biased, or religious, or whatever…I understand suspicion…..I was falsely accused of being a closet atheist back when I was an actual true believer – they thought I was being harsh or had some kind of agenda against them…..

          I think free-thinkers should cut me more slack in this regard, but I’m finding they are every bit as bad as Christians, and sadly, often worse. (in my personal experience)

        • Paul B. Lot

          in my religious experience they had some form of self critique (I always did) – atheists, not so

          What the fuck are you selling, you pitiful dope. You want anyone to believe that [atheists] are…..less self-critical than religious people?

          Bwhaha.

          You’re a liar or a moron or both.

        • Fred Knight

          empty your diapers, Paul, powder up, and then come back and talk.

        • Paul B. Lot

          empty your diapers, Paul

          DiaperS?

          Plural?

          Like…were you trying to conjure the mental image of….a human infant wearing many layers of them?

          Lol.

          Do you *always* fail at *everything* you try? :)

          Anyway, the sartorial choices I do or don’t make in the face of the incontinence that I do or don’t suffer from is immaterial to the point at hand.

          You are either:

          A) a liar,
          B) a moron, or
          C) both.

          My money’s on C).

        • TheNuszAbides

          my wager, very ungenerous monetarily and perhaps too generous in character, is on (D): some undiagnosed antisocial-ish disorder, which may or may not have been instilled/exacerbated by theist upbringing and/or extrication from his personal theism – i.e. an unintentionally ironic blend of elements of (A) and (B) (cluelessness/denial at best).

          Anyway, the sartorial choices I do or don’t make in the face of the
          incontinence that I do or don’t suffer from is immaterial to the point
          at hand.

          pure gold. my hat is off, as are every last one of my diapers.

          see, it’s my turn to be optimistic 😛

        • Fred Knight

          Paul, you poor bitter shriveled up man. If at any time you want to pull your head out of your ass and have a real conversation, I promise I won’t hold your childish tantrums against you. But until then, please stop embarrassing yourself.

        • Paul B. Lot

          and yet the strictly rational is not the fullness of the human experience, nor does it address every aspect (as freely admitted by all atheists), so some form of “Atheism +” is required to address it all

          So what’s your point?

          “Atheism” is the answer to a single question.

          There are others….and I’ve yet to encounter an atheist who is not aware that there are others. Nor have you, by your own admission.

          So….what’s your point?

          And yet no atheist can agree on the “+” part….so it remains a stunted movement

          Oh, I see. You’re a deeply confused (or deeply dishonest) fellow. In the space of a few bare sentences, you went from seemingly-grokking that “atheism” is the answer to a single question to seemingly-not-grokking that “atheism” is the answer to a single question.

          Let me clear it up for your dumb-fuck-self: “atheism” is the answer to a single, solitary, lonely question.

          Of course “atheists” aren’t all going to agree on the answers to other questions.

          Just like some vegetarians like motorcycles, and some vegetarians don’t like motorcycles and some vegetarians don’t give a shit about motorcycles.

          WHY?

          Why is it that “no [vegetarians] can agree on the [motorcycles or no motorcycles] part”? Why do vegetarians remain “a stunted movement”?!

          Well…because they’re not a “stunted movement”! Because the question was invalid….because [someone being vegetarian] tells you nothing about whether they [like/dislike/are indifferent to motorcycles]…because BEING a vegetarian is the answer to a single question: “do you eat meat?”.

          Just like BEING an atheist is the answer to a single question: “do you believe in ‘(g)God(s)’?”.

          The act of pretending otherwise is the act of either a) a profoundly stupid mind, b) a profoundly dishonest one, or c) both.

          Edits for word choice, grammar, and style.

        • Fred Knight

          “So what’s your point?”Atheism” is the answer to a single question.”
          you wear this like a badge of honor, you don’t get the irony that as much as it let’s you off the hook it also discredits you as having anything meaningful to say whatsoever.

          pull your head out of your ass for a half a second and process. you claim atheism as some kind of sublime bullet point, one shot wonder…..and I’d counter, in the bigger scheme of things, who gives a shit?

          by your own admission, it really means very, very little.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I know you do not believe in the Bible, but do you believe that bearing false witness against your neighbor is wrong?

          Why are you asking such a retarded question if you know Susan holds no truck with the Buybull? You are one condescending prick.

          As an atheist, you have no accountability whatsoever, you are off the hook, as far as any moral repercussions,…

          More bullshit pulled from your sphincter. There is the same accountability for atheist’s as far as any moral repercussions go, as there is for anyone else, ya rhubarb. It’s silly nonsense like this that has us all thinking you are waffling about your non-belief.

          …but what if you are wrong about me?

          Your problem is that Susan is not alone in her assessment, and you have done nothing in any of your comments to demonstrate she, or the rest of us, are wrong in our judgement. On the contrary, you have only reinforced that early evaluation time and again. Until something changes dramatically, there is absolutely no reason to believe we are in error.

          You have slandered me,…

          Where has she done this? You don’t have a reputation of any standing here to damage.

          …accused me falsely,…

          Accused you falsely of what?

          …and sought me harm,…

          Susan? See, this is the sort of thing that makes a mockery of your position. Probably the last person on these boards that would wish harm on anyone is Susan, which means you are spewing more bullshit.

          …is that moral and upright to you?

          Since your opinion is unsupported bullshit, that question is moot…so pah!

        • TheNuszAbides
          You have slandered me,…

          Where has she done this? You don’t have a reputation of any standing here to damage.

          …accused me falsely,…

          Accused you falsely of what?

          …and sought me harm,…

          Susan?[!!????!?!?!?!???!? – Ed.]

          ffs, now i have Messiah stuck in my head:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S28VTR8HfAU

        • adam

          “I know you do believe in the Bible,”

          Is owning another human being as PROPERTY wrong?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/86effa5e2bc761ae95f687bf44f1632c13ebd40a54b07502d779f242a887cc3e.jpg

        • Kodie

          Why do you lie about atheists so much?

        • Susan

          Why do you lie about atheists so much?

          Because he can.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s what Fred does…amongst other nefarious shenanigans…the list is long…he is shameless.

        • TheNuszAbides

          nefarious shenanigans

          another great album or blog title.

        • Susan

          I know you do not believe in the Bible, but do you believe that bearing false witness against your neighbor is wrong?

          I’m not a big fan of lying liars.

          As an atheist, you have no accountability, whatsoever

          Bullshit.

          you are off the hook, as far as any moral repercussions

          Bullshit.

          but what if you are wrong about me?

          What if we live in The Matrix?

          You’ve acted like a troll since you got here. A familiar one, too.

          On top of that, you turned into J.B for a few comments. Then decided to make some parting remarks as J.B. including some personal details about me neither you nor J.B. would know about from the discussions you’ve had here. Which crosses the line into creepy and seems to be just another way of yelling, “Hey! I’m a troll!” (and a creep)

          You have spent weeks waggling your troll bum in our faces.

          I have no reason to think that I’m wrong and all kinds of reasons to think I’m right about you.

          You have slandered me, accused me falsely, and sought me harm

          i have done none of those things.

          You’re a troll. And its sockpuppets.

          Whatever.

          It’s hard to get banned around here.

          And Trolls gotta be Trolls.

          I argue with christians but I hate trolls.

          Trolls insult us all. They insult Ed Senter and Ameribear and Karl Udy. As much as I have issues with their positions, and the way they approach the discussions, I don’t consider them trolls.

          You “Fred” are a troll.
          .

        • Fred Knight

          “You’ve acted like a troll since you got here. A familiar one, too.”

          from your perspective, maybe you really believe this, but I assure you, I’ve never met you or anyone else at these forums before.

          “On top of that, you turned into J.B for a few comments. Then decided to
          make some parting remarks as J.B. including some personal details about
          me”

          this is crazy talk, I don’t know you personally nor do I know who J.B. is – he seemed to me to be an atheist troll designed to discredit me, to be honest.

          “Which crosses the line into creepy and seems to be just another
          way of yelling, “Hey! I’m a troll!” (and a creep)”

          I’m neither, but coming from your perspective, one cannot be too careful.

          “You “Fred” are a troll.”
          I’m actually not. But take care and feel free never to respond to me again if you think I am. Peace.

        • epeeist

          but the communication is almost zero between us

          Is it? I thought I was providing a set of reasoned arguments, some data and some anecdotes. All you seem to be doing is flailing around and not answering the arguments I am making.

          so, now I have to somehow prove that there is good religion and bad religion?

          Your claim, your burden. If you don’t substantiate your claim why should I accept what you say.

          I’m simply saying the the good person (who is motivated by the better human impulses)…

          Which is trivial. However what you miss is that ideologies can inspire good people to do bad things, especially if they are tightly held.

          You then bring up yet another example of extremely hypocritical and hideous type of religious bigotry.

          Yes, as a counter-example to your meanderings about the unremitting goodness of religions. As I said, ideologies (and in these cases religion) can be used in extremely nasty ways.

          Again anecdotes, and these are going to be vague for a reason. In my life the two worst people I have met have been Christians, one an evangelical and another Church of England. Both of them using their religion to justify their treatment of people in the “out-group”.

          I have no idea of the religion of most of the coaches in the region in which I coach. However there are a couple who I know are Methodists, they are amongst the nicest people you would care to meet.

          You need to step back and see what religion has done. In the UK has it positively contributed to the culture in terms of education, health care, opposition to things like slavery and child labour? Yes it has. Has it also been a cause of strife, plots against the body politic, led to possible invasions, been socially regressive when it comes to human rights? Yes it has.

        • Fred Knight

          “‘but the communication is almost zero between us”
          Is it? I thought I was providing a set of reasoned arguments, some data
          and some anecdotes. All you seem to be doing is flailing around and not
          answering the arguments I am making.”
          And all you seem to be doing is interlacing your anecdotes among rather nasty and unflattering insinuations about either my intellect, my personal character, my reading comprehension, my general lack of honesty, etc. – cut the crap, epeist. (and good grief, you’re one of the better ones. can we agree to stop with the passive aggression or are you just another game player?)

          “‘I’m simply saying the the good person (who is motivated by the better human impulses)…
          Which is trivial. However what you miss is that ideologies can inspire good
          people to do bad things, especially if they are tightly held.”
          Trivial? ok, and how about tightly held atheism? Of the kind that’s on display here? I don’t think all these people are necessarily bad, but they sure appear to be assholes in the name of atheism to me.

          “Yes, as a counter-example to your meanderings about the unremitting goodness of religions. As I said, ideologies (and in these cases religion) can be used in extremely nasty ways.”
          you assume way too much, I never suggested anything close to “unremitting goodness of religions” – are you kidding me? You’ve been hunkering down in your bunker way too long if you got that out of what I’ve been saying. I hold a moderate atheist/agnostic position, and only point out that it’s not all or nothing in terms of moral high ground – IN EITHER DIRECTION.

          “In my life the two worst people I have met have been Christians, one an evangelical and another Church of England. Both of them using their religion to justify their treatment of people in the “out-group”.
          While interesting as a way to better get to know you, why on earth would I care or what would such a thing prove?

          And yet, ironically, you continue to challenge my “claims”?

          “… However there are a couple who I know are Methodists, they are amongst the nicest people you would care to meet.”
          Of course, as I’ve found incredible human beings who were non-religious…I’m not sure why we keep going in the weeds in almost every direction…again, no communication going on, as apparently the trust level on your part is zero as to where I’m coming from.

          “You need to step back and see what religion has done. In the UK has it positively contributed to the culture in terms of education, health care, opposition to things like slavery and child labour? Yes it has. Has it also been a cause of strife, plots against the body politic, led to possible invasions, been socially regressive when it comes to human rights? Yes it has.”
          And give atheism/secularism half a chance and it will do that and more, and likely to a greater degree. This is a human problem, or maybe an ideological problem, religion when it grows beyond personal and is an ideology is dangerous, atheism/secularism when it grows beyond personal and is an ideology is dangerous…..moderate secularism is healthy and good, moderate Christianity (Church of England, etc) is healthy and good. The best of all is a unique blend of balanced Christianity and balanced secular thought. That is my view, at least.

        • epeeist

          cut the crap, epeist.

          Given that everyone else here seems to be moaning about the difficulties they have in getting you to respond to the points made, misunderstanding the arguments put to you and your unsubstantiated claims might it just be possible that it could be a problem at your end?

          ok, and how about tightly held atheism?

          You see this is a typical example, you have been told a number of times that atheism is simply the lack of belief in the existence of gods and yet you constantly want to imbue it with other properties. What on earth is “tightly held atheism”?

          I never suggested anything close to “unremitting goodness of religions

          And yet you say ‘I don’t claim it’s eternal truth, but rather good religion chooses to uphold the very best kind of truth that comes into it’s view.’

          Incidentally you still haven’t told me what constitutes “the very best kind of truth”.

          And give atheism/secularism half a chance and it will do that and more, and likely to a greater degree.

          And your basis for making this claim is?

          atheism/secularism

          Are not synonymous, the first (as we keep telling you) is simply the lack of belief in the non-existence of gods while the latter is the position that the state should not favour any particular relgion.

          good, moderate Christianity (Church of England, etc) is healthy and good

          Well the CofE seems destined for extinction, the only forms of Christianity growing the UK are the evangelicals.

          However, let’s go around the houses again. Why should a religion in which only 1.4% of the population is active control over 20% of state funded schools, why should it have its representatives in the legislature by right?

          Oh, I would also ask whether you have any gay friends, they might disagree with you when you make claims that the CofE or the RCC are good, healthy or moderate.

        • Fred Knight

          “Given that everyone else here seems to be moaning about the difficulties they have in getting you to respond to the points made, misunderstanding the arguments put to you and your unsubstantiated claims might it just be possible that it could be a problem at your end?”
          I sure have an uphill battle here, that’s for sure. Surprising and also perplexing to me, as I feel we are basically on the same side of secularism….I’m super middle ground, and yet I’m perceived as a radical or a lying troll, go figure.

          “ok, and how about tightly held atheism?
          You see this is a typical example, you have been told a number of times
          that atheism is simply the lack of belief in the existence of gods and
          yet you constantly want to imbue it with other properties. What on earth
          is “tightly held atheism”?”
          the kind that is being expressed here, intolerant, militant, uncompromising, self-assured, simplistic….I don’t see any of these qualities reflective of classic agnostic atheist free thought whatsoever, or demanding that all hold that level of certainty.

          “I never suggested anything close to “unremitting goodness of religions
          And yet you say ‘I don’t claim it’s eternal truth, but rather good
          religion chooses to uphold the very best kind of truth that comes into
          it’s view.’
          what part of “good” do you not understand? I’ve made that point repeatedly and consistently.. I’d say the same for good and bad atheism….I suppose appealing to good and bad is another philosophical fallacy on my part for you?

          “Incidentally you still haven’t told me what constitutes “the very best kind of truth”.
          That is one of your better questions, thanks for asking, as it is closer to the heart of what I’m addressing.

          I’ve tried to shoot straight with you, but it goes south every time, and I’m left wondering why. You don’t trust me, that is apparent. And I’m not even sure why that is. I’m struggling to make my points in a way that you will accept.

          “the very best kind of truth” is what we assume for ourselves. We know our own motives and reasons we hold what we do. Good atheists, such as yourself, assume the very best rationale and motives (as you should), but so does every good person assume and gravitate to the very best of the best (otherwise they would discard it and move on to another ideology) – do you think that good Catholics have not asked even harder the questions you have asked, and yet they choose to remain? Why? Because there is a greater good at play.

          “And give atheism/secularism half a chance and it will do that and more, and likely to a greater degree.

          And your basis for making this claim is?”
          Firstly, I know because that is the kind of hypocrisy that lurks in my own heart. Also by personal observation, and quite honestly, this is on full display here on these forums. And even though the attempt has been made by atheist apologists to divorce themselves from the some of the worst examples in human history of despotic, atheistic dictatorships, I don’t find them convincing. Within each one of us exists the capability of both the most heroic virtues and most demonic evils.

          “Well the CofE seems destined for extinction, the only forms of Christianity growing the UK are the evangelicals.”
          and that should be a clue to all of us, liberalism is milk-toast and weak and not convincing to the dummy primate instincts that appeal to all of us. I’m assuming this is also why militant atheism is also attractive to some….we are all up against it, and yet we fall into tribalistic party lines, almost every time.

          “However, let’s go around the houses again. Why should a religion in which only 1.4% of the population is active control over 20% of state funded
          schools, why should it have its representatives in the legislature by
          right?”
          Atheism is even less of a percentage. I’m not sure why we should seek dominance?

          “Oh, I would also ask whether you have any gay friends, they
          might disagree with you when you make claims that the CofE or the RCC
          are good, healthy or moderate.”
          One gay friend of mine is far to the Right of me, which is quite shocking, it’s just goes to show that stereotypes always have outliers.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          and yet I’m perceived as a radical or a lying troll, go figure.

          What’s there to figure? We’re trying to help you out. epeeist is pointing out where your approach has not made your position clear and has gotten people annoyed. I’ve tried the same thing. Instead of internalizing the evidence, your response has been to conclude that the atheists here must be assholes.

          There might be another interpretation of the facts.

        • Fred Knight

          “We’re trying to help you out.”

          that is an interesting concept. to a degree and for a notable few, I do see that. And yet I claim the same exact thing. Would you acknowledge that as a possibility as well?

          “epeeist is pointing out where your approach has not made your position clear and has gotten people annoyed.”

          in my defense, I’ve simply mirrored the same approach back in my responses – is that the wisest or best tactic? Probably not. I don’t claim to being a Saint in this regard.

          “I’ve tried the same thing. Instead of internalizing the evidence”
          the evidence that my arguments are intrinsically wrong or that my tactics are failing to win people here over?

          “your response has been to conclude that the atheists here must be assholes.”
          certain ones here have undeniably been utter and complete assholes, but they don’t speak for everybody, only themselves.

        • Ignorant Amos

          in my defense, I’ve simply mirrored the same approach back in my responses –

          You are lying. The commenting history since you got here is evidence of this lie.

          certain ones here have undeniably been utter and complete assholes,…

          Certain ones here don’t suffer fools as gladly as others here suffer them, but even those that do, have a breaking point you will find. When Bob’s breaking point is attained, you will know all about it.

          When some fol pitches up here and starts off being an arsehole, whether they are a theist or atheist, they will be meet with what you have perceived as arseholliness in kind. It isn’t, but you being as stupid as you are, I can see why you might think we are being arsehole. But you don’t get to come on here and make up any old shite ya like and expect that just because you claim to be an atheist, you will get a free pass. You won’t. As a matter of fact, you will get hammered even harder, because we all expect, foolishly I admit, that you should know better. When you carry on like the typical theist we see here, then we think we are vindicated on our assumptions.

          Pro tip: when someone can demonstrate where you are talking shite, the correct action to adopt it to hold your hands up and admit your error, not move the goalposts, use obfuscation, ignore the point, double down, or play the victim card…those are the actions of the arsehole…recognise any of it?

          but they don’t speak for everybody, only themselves.

          Which should really cause you some concern and drive you to a bit of introspection.

          When there are a number of people, even those doing it benignly, telling you are wrong and also doing it wrong, the problem might just be you, not them.

        • Fred Knight

          “Certain ones here don’t suffer fools as gladly as others here suffer
          them, but even those that do, have a breaking point you will find. When
          Bob’s breaking point is attained, you will know all about it.”

          So far I have no problem with Bob, he’s held my feet to the fire, and I surely disagree with him on many points, but he’s been a gentleman. Unlike you, for instance. I appreciate not suffering fools, but you have been a total dick…and unnecessarily so, I might add. That is why I respect Bob and loathe your sorry ass. You are a low level, dishonest bottom feeder.

          “When there are a number of people, even those doing it benignly, telling
          you are wrong and also doing it wrong, the problem might just be you,
          not them.”
          I disagree with every one of your sorry pack mentality asses. dumb and predictable.

        • Paul B. Lot

          …[I] loathe your sorry ass. You are a low level, dishonest bottom feeder….[you are] dumb and predictable

          Good lord, @disqus_LShqROD33E:disqus – do you never tire of hoisting yourself by your own petards?

        • Fred Knight

          stop jumping into private conversations….what has this between you and me, Pauly?

        • Paul B. Lot

          “Private conversations”?

          Do you know where you are, Freddie my lad?

          “what has this between you and me”

          I enjoy pointing out your stupidities. The more you comment here, the more enjoyment I get.

          Dance, monkey.

          Dance.

        • Fred Knight

          wow, you really are retarded…and special Olympics….i gave you opportunity and yet you double down dumb

        • Paul B. Lot

          i gave you opportunity and yet you double down dumb

          Bwhahahah

          You “gave” me “opportunities” the way a pigeon gives a chess-player a good match.

          Hehehe, oh Freddie, what a funny fellow you are.

        • Kodie

          Can’t you think of any way to insult Paul, if you really must, without comparing him to people with disabilities?

        • Kodie

          What private conversation?

        • Greg G.

          If he jumps into private conversations, how would we know? He is responding to public comments in a public forum on the World Wide Web.

        • Fred Knight

          and yet very specific comments to very specific people…generalize and expand if you must, but it detracts from the original intention….but of course, context does not matter.

        • Fred Knight

          at some point, all this pretending that it’s about “truth” is total bullshit, right Greg?

        • TheNuszAbides

          @Greg G.

          firstly, Fred, you were replying to yourself, so I wouldn’t hold your breath for an answer.
          secondly, i’ll do us all a favor and answer for him:
          wrong.
          I eagerly await his rebuke!

        • Greg G.

          My goal is to believe as many true things as possible and as few false things as possible. What is your goal?

        • Fred Knight

          again, the devil is in the details. What do you mean by “true things” – I’m familiar with the quote, but I find it wanting. It assumes a hyper-rational definition of “truth” – nice bullet point for atheist apologetics – sounds profound at first but it ends out leaving me cold for the very reasons I’ve been bringing up since I came here.

          Do you think I fail to get that point? I just don’t think it ends the conversation, rather it’s only the beginning. Given that religion is likely not literally true (ie there is likely no literal God or gods behind it all) – your view and my view as well, then where do we go from here? To what degree do we cut ties with the attached values and moral/ethical truths that have been co-opted and woven into religion’s very fabric? How do we surgically remove the cancer without killing the patient?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Being specific comments to very specific people doesn’t make them “private conversations” on a public forum ya eejit.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Who is the asinine dick again Fred?

        • Fred Knight

          thanks for proving my point yet again, dumb dumb.

        • Kodie

          Nobody asked you if you had a problem with Bob.

          How high do you consider the quality of your content for us to deal with, patiently? I see zero quality and 100% trolling and bullshittery. How much longer do you think you have with that type of contribution? Bob has a lot more patience than many of the rest of us, but he eventually runs out. If you think we’re all assholes, why do you stay? If you pretend to want serious discussion, and that’s not what you think you’re finding here, why do you keep talking? Because we know you’re a troll, that’s why. People who don’t find the conversation productive would find another place to get what they’re after. People who want to confirm their prejudices will keep being an asshole and then whine a bunch when they’re called out.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So far I have no problem with Bob, he’s held my feet to the fire, and I surely disagree with him on many points, but he’s been a gentleman.

          Who the fuck cares? Way ta go to completely miss the pint ya dufus. Two armadillo’s, ya Dime Bar.

          Unlike you, for instance. I appreciate not suffering fools, but you have been a total dick…and unnecessarily so, I might add.

          You were a dick the minute you made your first bullshit post here. You rapidly became a fool after that. It’ll not belong before you become loathsome. At the moment you are the village idiot, the court jester, so a bit of entertainment.

          That is why I respect Bob and loathe your sorry ass. You are a low level, dishonest bottom feeder.

          I could give zero fucks what you think. I care not a jot. So pah!

          I disagree with every one of your sorry pack mentality asses. dumb and predictable.

          That’s because you are a sorry arsed dopey cunt with no inkling to be educated on your errors, which is why you are getting treated with the contempt you deserve, so pah again.

        • Fred Knight

          iggy, your festering malignancy actually outweighs your stupidity – and that’s quite an accomplishment.

        • epeeist

          I sure have an uphill battle here, that’s for sure. Surprising and also perplexing to me, as I feel we are basically on the same side of secularism

          To be blunt, you don’t appear to be a secularist, rather an apologist for religion.

          the kind that is being expressed here, intolerant, militant, uncompromising, self-assured, simplistic.

          Ah, you don’t like the tone that people are adopting.

          “the very best kind of truth” is what we assume for ourselves.

          This is simply gibberish.

          Firstly, I know because that is the kind of hypocrisy that lurks in my own heart. Also by personal observation, and quite honestly, this is on full display here on these forums.

          So nothing but personal anecdote.

          Atheism is even less of a percentage.

          Is it? Can you substantiate this, or is it something that you simply pulled out of the air. As it is the latest British Social Attitudes survey report that 53% of British people said they had ‘no religion’ (which I would accept is not the same as being atheist).

          I’m not sure why we should seek dominance?

          You assume I want atheists schools, I don’t. I want secular schools.

          One gay friend of mine is far to the Right of me

          Being to the right of you says nothing about whether he is religious or not.

        • Fred Knight

          “To be blunt, you don’t appear to be a secularist, rather an apologist for religion.”

          I appreciate you being frank with me, I’ve no problem with that whatsoever. I’m being frank with you as well, and yet I’m “an apologist for religion” – as if you think that is a bad thing? How is that some kind of insult, btw? I am what I am, nothing more, nothing less. I’m outside the definitions that you (and the religious) have so safely crafted. I don’t fit into either of your camps. I’m a reluctant atheist at best, I’ve never denied that. But if you think I’m on the side of “religion” you’d be dead wrong. (btw, I don’t find it an insult to be counted among the classic Christian Western Culture, I’ll wear it as a badge of honour.)

          “Is it? Can you substantiate this, or is it something that you simply
          pulled out of the air. As it is the latest British Social Attitudes
          survey report that 53% of British people said they had ‘no religion’
          (which I would accept is not the same as being atheist).”

          nor would I, I go with established statistics over the course of Human history….let’s say in 70,000 years, give or take? why is it atheism is a crazy level minority? (and I’m not saying this is good or bad, only that is our social evolution) modern secular trends don’t mean anything (please believe me, I’m coming from an evolutionary psychology point of view here….why is atheism such a minority? could it be we are superstitious natives as a species? – not good news for atheists, facts be damned – you will fail to see that I’m on your side and think I’m arguing for religion, I’m not….this is bigger than you or me, it’s what actually proves out in the real world……since I can’t even get basic points across, how likely is it than we can talk subtleties? – see I’m being completely honest and let’s see where this gets me?)

          “Being to the right of you says nothing about whether he is religious or not.”
          As far as I know, he’s not religious. I feel sorry for the gay religious, btw.

        • Greg G.

          “the very best kind of truth” is what we assume for ourselves.

          I can’t believe you actually said that. That would be the worst kind of “truth”. The best kind of truth is the kind that is true and the best way to determine that is the strength of the supporting evidence.

          But that may be why you make such wrong assumptions about atheism. You are filled with the non-sense you heard in church and have ignored the evidence. It also explains why you don’t back up those claims with evidence nor do you change your position when contrary evidence is presented.

        • Fred Knight

          “I can’t believe you actually said that. That would be the worst kind of
          “truth”. The best kind of truth is the kind that is true and the best
          way to determine that is the strength of the supporting evidence.”
          no, you miss my point by being too literal. Each of us knows the honest intentions of our own heart, we know we are being honest, rational and fair, and yet it is easy to assume that others are not holding their views from a rational, fair and just perspective, in fact, they are likely to be “superstitious” “prejudiced” or some other faulty motivation or reasoning…..hence, we assume for ourselves the best and can easily falsely judge others.

        • adam

          “”the very best kind of truth” is what we assume for ourselves. ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/576b5354eb99d2993f45ae1c298d7ea1beb6be63a081a92e69a99632f9b856b3.jpg

        • adam

          “”the very best kind of truth” is what we assume for ourselves. ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b6b5240f53deb4a0141b0d9196de29540d1f8931a4c8d5713b9547eca65cbd2f.jpg

        • adam

          “”the very best kind of truth” is what we assume for ourselves. ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c8d5bd08c8b3b8360c2087d04c839f3dbdda32730bcc5d35cb37e46f751cd979.jpg

        • Fred Knight

          you have to try REAL hard not to get the actual point or else you are on autopilot…perhaps both…congrats

        • adam

          I get the point of lying and deception.
          The LIES of OMMISION.
          I get all that.

          I am just not buying your bullshit.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a72ede90057a03d93246b89f5f6af212d1a62912382c4a332861f3cac3cd7a64.jpg

        • Fred Knight

          you get that? I doubt it. nor am I buying yours, after all, you are cartoons man.

        • Ignorant Amos
          However, let’s go around the houses again. Why should a religion in which only 1.4% of the population is active control over 20% of state funded
          schools, why should it have its representatives in the legislature by
          right?”

          Atheism is even less of a percentage. I’m not sure why we should seek dominance?

          More ignorant bullshit.

          More than half UK population has no religion, finds survey

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/04/half-uk-population-has-no-religion-british-social-attitudes-survey

          Of course no religion does not mean atheist, but don’t go kidding yourself that less than 1.4% of the population.

          https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/religion-and-belief-some-surveys-and-statistics/

          You just don’t think through anything you write…you just pump out pure unadulterated bullshit.

          Even in government the percentage of open non-believers is way higher.

          Over 100 Parliamentarians in the UK are members of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group, which means the non-religious have substantial representation among MPs and Lords.

          Even in the states the percentage is much larger than 1.4%, it was 10% of the population by last years figures, ya muppet.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And give atheism/secularism half a chance and it will do that and more, and likely to a greater degree.

          You have already been shown why this is just not the case. Almost a week ago… here…

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/the_bible_defeats_its_own_resurrection_story/#comment-3509659250

          Now, the first time you made the assertion, it could be put down to your ignorance,you display plenty of that here, that’s for sure. Repeating your error after being corrected though, is you being both stupid and a liar. How many more times does a thing have to be demonstrated to you before you stop being a stupid lying cunt about it?

          One consistent assertion made by religious people is that if a society or country loses faith in God, or becomes secular, the results won’t be good. It is a theo-sociological claim: societies characterized by significant levels of belief in God are expected to fare much better than those without. And it is a claim that is easily testable. The results, however, indicate that the claim is unsupportable. For when we compare more secular countries with more religious countries, we actually find that — with the exception of suicide — the more secular fare markedly better than the more religious on standard measures of societal well-being (Zuckerman, 2008; Crabtree, 2005; Norris and Inglehart, 2004). Admittedly, nations with atheistic dictatorships, such as Vietnam, formely Communist Albania, or the former U.S.S.R., do miserably on various indicators of societal well-being. However, this is most likely due to the dictatorship element of the equation, and not the atheistic element. After all, nations led by religious dictatorships — such as Chile under Pinochet, Haiti under Duvalier, Spain under Franco, or modern-day Iran — also fare poorly, particularly concerning civil and human rights.

          As noted earlier, the most secular democracies in the world score very high on international indexes of happiness and well-being (Kamenev, 2006) and they have among lowest violent crime and homicide rates (Paul, 2005). But there’s more. A perusal of any recent United Nations World Development Report reveals that when it comes to such things as life expectancy, infant mortality, economic equality, economic competitiveness, health care, standard of living, and education, it is the most secular democracies on earth that fare the best, doing much better than the most religious nations in the world (Zuckerman, 2008; Norris and Inglehart, 2004; Bruce, 2003). Consider women’s equality and women’s rights: women fare much better in more secular countries when compared to women in more religious countries and that women’s equality is strongest in the world’s most secular democracies (Ingelhart, Norris, and Welzel, 2003; Inglehart and Norris, 2003). And a 2007 UNICEF report found that the least religious nations on earth — such as Sweden and Holland — are simultaneously the best countries for the care and well-being of children. Of the top ten best countries in the world within which to be a mother, all are highly secular nations; of the bottom worst ten, all are highly religious (Save the Children, 2008). And the nations with the lowest levels of corruption are simultaneously among the most secular (Beit-Hallahmi, 2009). When it comes to intolerance of racial or ethnic minorities, levels are lower in less religious countries, and higher in more religious countries (Gallup Poll, April 7, 2009). Concerning environmental protection, secular nations fare much better than religious nations, with the most secular democracies on earth doing the most to enact strong and progressive laws and green programs (Germanwatch, 2008). According to one international ranking, the “greenest” countries in the world are simultaneously among the most secular (Reader’s Digest, 2009). Additionally, the nations that score the highest when it comes to the quality of political and civil liberties that their citizens enjoy tend to be among the most secular nations on earth (Nationmaster, 2009). As for reading and math skills and scientific literacy, it is again the more secular nations that fare the best (Lynn, 2001; UNICEF, 2002). The most secular nations in the world are also the most peaceful, while the most religious nations are the least peaceful (Vision of Humanity, 2008). And according to the Legatum Prosperity Index, secular nations are far more prosperous than religious nations. Finally, according to The Economist’s Quality of Life Index (2005), which takes into account multiple indicators of subjective well-being as well as objective determinants of quality of life, the “best” nations on earth are overwhelmingly among the most secular, while the “worst” are overwhelmingly among the most religious.

          Within the United States, we find similar patterns: the states with the highest rates of poverty tend to be among the most religious states in the nation, such as Mississippi and Tennessee, while the states with the lowest poverty rates tend to be among the most secular, such as New Hampshire and Hawaii (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). The states with the highest rates of obesity are among the most religious in the nations, while the states with the lowest rates of obesity are among the least religious (Calorielab, 2008). And it is the more religious states that tend to have infant mortality rates higher than the national average, while the less religious states tend to have lower infant mortality rates (United States Census Bureau, 2005). Additionally, it is among the most religious states that one finds the highest rates of STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance, 2007) and teen pregnancy (Guttmacher Institute, 2006). America’s Bible Belt also contains the lowest rates of college-educated adults, and of the states with the highest percentage of college educated adults, most are among the most secular in the country (United States Census Bureau,2007). ~ Phil Zuckerman, Atheism, Secularity, and Well-Being: How the Findings of Social Science Counter Negative Stereotypes and Assumptions

          https://pitweb.pitzer.edu/academics/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2014/12/FAC-Zuckerman-Sociology-Compass.pdf

          This is a human problem, or maybe an ideological problem, religion when it grows beyond personal and is an ideology is dangerous, atheism/secularism when it grows beyond personal and is an ideology is dangerous…..moderate secularism is healthy and good, moderate Christianity (Church of England, etc) is healthy and good.

          And your view is bullshit, as has been demonstrated. Even moderate Christians are nasty bastards.

          MP and ex-vicar quits ‘evil’ Church of England over anti-gay stance

          http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/01/15/mp-and-ex-vicar-quits-evil-church-of-england-over-anti-gay-stance/

          How many times must it be explained to you that we atheists are happy enough with religious folk to be as religious as they want, just as long as they keep it to themselves and don’t foist their ballix on others that want no part of it? It’s as simple as that.

          The best of all is a unique blend of balanced Christianity and balanced secular thought. That is my view, at least.

          Making such an asinine comment is how we all know you are lying about what you believe, or don’t believe. Your view is retarded.

          Do you even know what secularism means ffs? I think not.

          Holyoake invented the term secularism to describe his views of promoting a social order separate from religion, without actively dismissing or criticizing religious belief. An agnostic himself, Holyoake argued that “Secularism is not an argument against Christianity, it is one independent of it. It does not question the pretensions of Christianity; it advances others. Secularism does not say there is no light or guidance elsewhere, but maintains that there is light and guidance in secular truth, whose conditions and sanctions exist independently, and act forever. Secular knowledge is manifestly that kind of knowledge which is founded in this life, which relates to the conduct of this life, conduces to the welfare of this life, and is capable of being tested by the experience of this life.”

          Now when are you gonna wise up and stop saying bullshit nonsense?

          Let’s see if you can work out what about your comment is bullshit…a wee clue…you are favouring Christianity.

          The best of all is a unique blend of balanced Islamism and balanced secular thought.

          The best of all is a unique blend of balanced Hinduism and balanced secular thought.

          The best of all is a unique blend of balanced Mormonism and balanced secular thought.

          The best of all is a unique blend of balanced Sikhism and balanced secular thought.

          The best of all is a unique blend of balanced [insert religious belief here] and balanced secular thought.

          Nope…there is very good reason why church and state should be separate.

          The best of all is a balanced secular thought. No religious woo-woo of any stripe required.

        • Ignorant Amos

          My partner is one of eleven…her parents use to pack those big enough to walk off to Sunday School, it was the only time of the week her parents were guaranteed a couple of hours baby making time as one worked day shift and the other night shift.

          The clan hadn’t been to church for a couple of weeks due to the chicken pox doing the rounds. Anyway, the ma wanted the latest and last addition Christened, but because they all had missed a couple of weeks attendance, he refused the baptism until attendance was maintained. My partner’s ma told the pastor to go fuck himself and they were all sent to a different Sunday School.

          A few years later, my partners ma had reason to tell Ian Paisley to go fuck himself too. One of my partners older siblings had gotten pregnant very at a young age by a local UVF paramilitary, a member of Paisley’s Free Presbyterian fuckwittery. At a meeting to talk about them getting wed in the Church, Paisley passed a snide comment abut the only reason they are getting married was because of her condition. My partners ma immediately closed down the meeting, told Paisley to fuck away off and shove his Church, and promptly pulled her daughter outta there. My partners mother was a bit of a well known matriarch in the area back in the day.

          Even at a thruppence a head on the collection plate, in the 60’s that sort of money was nothing to be sniffed at in numbers.

        • Pofarmer

          Thruppence?

        • epeeist

          Britain used to have three penny bit, known colloquially as “thruppence”

          https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.johnwinter.net%2Fjw%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2011%2F10%2FThreepennyBit.jpg&f=1

          EDIT: I should note that thruppence is different to three ha’Pence

        • Ignorant Amos

          British informal another spelling of threepence

          https://24carat.co.uk/images/1967threepencerev400.jpg

        • Michael Neville

          Thruppence is just like tuppence only 1d more.

        • epeeist

          It’s half a tanner and a quarter of a bob.

        • TheNuszAbides

          okay, ‘tanner’ was news to me. i was still ready for farthing, florin, [half-]crown, quid or guinea …

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Thruppence is just like a groat only 1d less.

          Now, that’s the fun of a nonmetric system. That’s why miles are better than kilometers and quarts are better than liters. Bring back the furlong!

          Why should Liberia and Myanmar be the only other countries (besides the good ol’ US of A, of course) who haven’t figured out that metric is too boring? If the yard was good enough for the King of England, it should be good enough for anyone.

        • Greg G.

          Bring back the cubit while we’re at it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Thruppence is just like a groat only 1d less.

          Ya can take that English and Scottish shite and cram it…. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coins_of_Ireland

        • TheNuszAbides
        • Ignorant Amos

          I was unfortunate enough to be going to school when decimalisation and metrication was being introduced in the UK…a right pain in the backside it was too, I can tell ya.

        • Steven Watson

          All right, sensible and true… now all you need to do is spell the Queen’s English. :-)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          just be glad he doesn’t lay “groat” or “crown” or “guinea” on you.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Or farthing, tanner, shilling, two bob bit, half a crown, ten bob note.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It’s great to hear that she could manage that from deep within the church. I guess some changes of heart are epiphanies.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Churches are ten a penny here…twenty a penny back in the sixties, with plenty of open doors. One wonders why those Holy Joe’s reacted how they did? Arrogance a guess. Getting the rabble of kids “looked after” for an hour or so was just a means to an ends for her parents…what surprises me is that the parents never got castigated for not going to church, but then again, if baby production was paramount and new pew sitters was more favourable, perhaps the ma and the da had a pass out on that score.

          On another note, my partner has lifted the Bible again after a lengthy sabbatical and is giving it another go. She got as far as finishing Joshua and then all the begetting bored the trunks of her. She is on The Songs of Solomon at the minute and is aghast at the antics going on…again. I was giving her a short synapses of Job last night and she was that shocked she is skipping to that book today.

        • Michael Neville

          Your partner’s ma does not sound like someone who suffered fools gladly.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya don’t raise 10 girls and a boy in a two bedroom terraced house without some strict management skills. Her mother passed before we met, so I didn’t know her, but she had a reputation I know about by association with those that did.

        • J.B.

          “Needless to say I left the church and Catholic school shortly after.”

          I am confused, my friend Fred, has asked me to help clarify the situation – your dislike for this specific priest is, perhaps understandable -why
          not just go to a different church? A Christian’s faith is rooted in the Bible and instructs you how to have healthy relationships with God and your neighbor – Your faith should be strong enough to withstand this priest who cursed you in your garden. And, the Bible is it’s own Resurrection Story – The Old and New Testament survived many attempts to discredit and contradict its message – further, it is a story of survival – the message of God was all spoken – to be written down later, at different times, by different people, in different places – yet all the writings match – I hope I helped, Fred.

        • Greg G.

          Looks like Fred changed his socks.

        • MR

          What a farce this guy is! =D

        • epeeist

          Looks like Fred changed his socks.

          Yep, same difficulties with reading comprehension, same inability to drive the comboxes in terms of using HTML tags and inserting line breaks (presumably at the bounds of the combox) and only 5 posts since he signed up on the 7th March.

          The only difference is that this version actually admits that he is religious rather than covering the fact up.

        • MR

          this version actually admits

          It must be exhausting for him to play this game. Sometimes you just gotta say what you wanna say unfiltered. Liars for Jesus are an interesting bunch. Using Satan’s tools to do the Lord’s work. Sigh.

        • Ignorant Amos

          WTF…three days it took for this comment to find my inbox.

        • epeeist

          I am confused, my friend Fred, has asked me to help clarify the situation

          Got you out of his sock drawer did he?

          your dislike for this specific priest is, perhaps understandable -why not just go to a different church?

          My dislike? You seem to have the same sort of reading comprehension difficulties as Fred, strange that. You might want to read the story again.

          As it was the new school I went to gave me far more encouragement than the Catholic one. I became a voracious reader devouring almost everything regardless of subject. It was at this juncture I started to question the dogma I had been inculcated with on a daily basis. I became what would today be called “apatheist”, I knew that some people were religious, but it didn’t impinge on my daily life (apart from perhaps the scouts, but as I recollect nobody took the religious aspects of this too seriously).

          I became an actual atheist after my father died. By this time he had discarded his upbringing as a Catholic and was a member of a Trotskyite group. However my grandmother was still alive and a devout Catholic so we gave him a Catholic burial. The priest who officiated took an active delight in deriding my father’s political position and it was all I could do to avoid decking him at the end of the service. After this I would declare myself as atheist if anyone asked my religion and would object if, as was common in the UK when you said you had no religion, the person asking the question said “I’ll put you down as Church of England then”.

        • J.B.

          epeeist, your’re a good guy and I wish you well.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You and your alter ego Fred go to the same school of bullshit?

        • J.B.

          I know I could school you, on the Bible, (but Fred said you’re unteachable) – and is that really your picture? (what’s that stuff on your face-kinda scary, just sayin’)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          what’s that stuff on your face-kinda scary, just sayin’

          I think this is where you say, “Thank you for your service.”

        • J.B.

          aah, a most definite, thank you for your service, is in order – and well deserved. Thanks for that clarification..

        • Steven Watson

          “Thank you for your service.”… What the hell for? If you’ve done a tour in H.M Forces in the last fifteen years, you did it knowingly, prepared to murder for lies – never mind ‘The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum Pro patria mori.’ Most assuredly not in MY name. Platitudinous hogwash.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…but when the bogeyman comes knocking at your door…you’ll be scurrying to hide under your bed, because there will be nobody left to protect your cowardly arse.

          Ya see, by your fucked up logic, no one should join the military, because they “knowingly” would be preparing to murder for lies…and those that were already in prior to 15 years ago, should leave at their earliest convenience, because by not discharging, they are “knowingly”,still prepared to murder for lies.

          So there ya have it…a nation with no military, and nobody to train anyone else when there is no one to send to murder for lies. How would that work out for you smart Alec? Who will be the thin line and stand on the wall if your simple thinking was adopted?

        • Susan

          I think this is where you say, “Thank you for your service.”

          That’s not going to happen. Fred is an attention-getting troll who came here to insult people and clog up the discussion.

          I don’t think it’s “Fred’s” first visit. I think it’s just a sockpuppet.

          And now, he is JB.

          .

        • Fred Knight

          “I don’t think it’s “Fred’s” first visit. I think it’s just a sockpuppet.
          And now, he is JB.”
          not a troll, not a sock-puppet, it is my first time here, I don’t know J.B.

        • J.B.

          Your manner of analyzing an apologists position is the most respectful of all the contributors here – it is serious and quite penetrating – one would almost believe your profession was in the field of science rather than song writing – would love to know if there is anything you have published…in any case, I look forward to continuing to follow the arguments in which you engage….

        • Susan

          So, trolling and sockpuppeting doesn’t give you enough of a thrill?

          So, you’ve got to get creepy.

        • J.B.

          After I was recruited, I was able to read past comments – but you see, you’re not used to Christian Apologists being civil, and on the other end of questions – btw, what’s a sock puppet?

        • Ignorant Amos

          It was a blank cheque we signed…..and am proud to say that on a number of occasions a had reason to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in support of my U.S. comrades.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Awesome! That wasn’t my path, but I’m glad some chose it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I know I could school you, on the Bible,…

          Not one bit arrogant are ya? I very much doubt it. Many have tried and been found lacking.

          (but Fred said you’re unteachable)

          That’s ironic. Fred has been an ignorant clusterfuck since he got here. A number of others and I have went to great lengths to correct his errors and educate him on his mistakes, but to no avail. He displays no notion that he has made the error and just moves along to the next bullshit error or repeats the same bullshit error over and over.

          – and is that really your picture?

          Yep.

          (what’s that stuff on your face-kinda scary, just sayin’)

          http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vOpYKXRBGPI/U7gq_xPmi2I/AAAAAAAA8gU/OyVFvSXWrLA/s1600/British-Royal-Marines-River-Crossing.jpg

        • J.B.

          Thanks for sharing this information. You’re actually an amazing person, In my opinion, the most humble of all the contributors here.. be well.

        • Fred Knight

          “I am confused, my friend Fred, has asked me to help clarify the
          situation – your dislike for this specific priest is, perhaps
          understandable -why”
          just to be clear, I don’t know J.B. he’s free to make his own points, but nothing to do with me. peace out.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So when J.B. claims to be your friend and that you asked him to butt in, he is lying too?

        • Fred Knight

          Iggy, you are far more of a troll than I. I haven’t a clue who J.B. even is, likely an atheist troll, whatever, again, grow up and join the real world.

        • adam

          “I don’t claim it’s eternal truth, but rather good religion chooses to
          uphold the very best kind of truth that comes into it’s view…it rather
          AFFIRMS truth that is worth holding…and that is a good thing.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9bfb7cbb09a39ae8911c3879d7def113ab5277eb302961e16b02b2a649a0e7d6.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          …but when it moves into greater and greater proportions and the general society embraces “secularism”, in my view, it has a de-stabliizing effect and opens the way for far more dangerous ideologies to blossom and spring forth.

          You just can’t help yerself, can ya?

          What is, in your view, is just more unsubstantiated bullshit pulled outta yer arse. But you’ll claim to have done the math.

          Do you even know what “secularism” means?

          The most secular countries in the world have the best track records. Those with the least belief in gods fair better even better again.

          One consistent assertion made by religious people is that if a society or country loses faith in God, or becomes secular, the results won’t be good. It is a theo-sociological claim: societies characterized by significant levels of belief in God are expected to fare much better than those without. And it is a claim that is easily testable. The results, however, indicate that the claim is unsupportable. For when we compare more secular countries with more religious countries, we actually find that — with the exception of suicide — the more secular fare markedly better than the more religious on standard measures of societal well-being (Zuckerman, 2008; Crabtree, 2005; Norris and Inglehart, 2004). Admittedly, nations with atheistic dictatorships, such as Vietnam, formely Communist Albania, or the former U.S.S.R., do miserably on various indicators of societal well-being. However, this is most likely due to the dictatorship element of the equation, and not the atheistic element. After all, nations led by religious dictatorships — such as Chile under Pinochet, Haiti under Duvalier, Spain under Franco, or modern-day Iran — also fare poorly, particularly concerning civil and human rights.

          As noted earlier, the most secular democracies in the world score very high on international indexes of happiness and well-being (Kamenev, 2006) and they have among lowest violent crime and homicide rates (Paul, 2005). But there’s more. A perusal of any recent United Nations World Development Report reveals that when it comes to such things as life expectancy, infant mortality, economic equality, economic competitiveness, health care, standard of living, and education, it is the most secular democracies on earth that fare the best, doing much better than the most religious nations in the world (Zuckerman, 2008; Norris and Inglehart, 2004; Bruce, 2003). Consider women’s equality and women’s rights: women fare much better in more secular countries when compared to women in more religious countries and that women’s equality is strongest in the world’s most secular democracies (Ingelhart, Norris, and Welzel, 2003; Inglehart and Norris, 2003). And a 2007 UNICEF report found that the least religious nations on earth — such as Sweden and Holland — are simultaneously the best countries for the care and well-being of children. Of the top ten best countries in the world within which to be a mother, all are highly secular nations; of the bottom worst ten, all are highly religious (Save the Children, 2008). And the nations with the lowest levels of corruption are simultaneously among the most secular (Beit-Hallahmi, 2009). When it comes to intolerance of racial or ethnic minorities, levels are lower in less religious countries, and higher in more religious countries (Gallup Poll, April 7, 2009). Concerning environmental protection, secular nations fare much better than religious nations, with the most secular democracies on earth doing the most to enact strong and progressive laws and green programs (Germanwatch, 2008). According to one international ranking, the “greenest” countries in the world are simultaneously among the most secular (Reader’s Digest, 2009). Additionally, the nations that score the highest when it comes to the quality of political and civil liberties that their citizens enjoy tend to be among the most secular nations on earth (Nationmaster, 2009). As for reading and math skills and scientific literacy, it is again the more secular nations that fare the best (Lynn, 2001; UNICEF, 2002). The most secular nations in the world are also the most peaceful, while the most religious nations are the least peaceful (Vision of Humanity, 2008). And according to the Legatum Prosperity Index, secular nations are far more prosperous than religious nations. Finally, according to The Economist’s Quality of Life Index (2005), which takes into account multiple indicators of subjective well-being as well as objective determinants of quality of life, the “best” nations on earth are overwhelmingly among the most secular, while the “worst” are overwhelmingly among the most religious. ~ Phil Zuckerman, Atheism, Secularity, and Well-Being: How the Findings of Social Science Counter Negative Stereotypes and Assumptions

          Read the complete essay at….

          https://pitweb.pitzer.edu/academics/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2014/12/FAC-Zuckerman-Sociology-Compass.pdf

          Or you could just go read the conclusion…and weep….and maybe, just maybe, might learn something.

          Philip “Phil” Zuckerman is a professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. He specializes in the sociology of secularity. He is the author of several books, including Society Without God (2008) for which he won ForeWord Magazine’s silver book of the year award, and Faith No More (2011).

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Zuckerman

          Even with in the states the more secular and atheist are better.

          Within the United States, we find similar patterns: the states with the highest rates of poverty tend to be among the most religious states in the nation, such as Mississippi and Tennessee, while the states with the lowest poverty rates tend to be among the most secular, such as New Hampshire and Hawaii (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). The states with the highest rates of obesity are among the most religious in the nations, while the states with the lowest rates of obesity are among the least religious (Calorielab, 2008). And it is the more religious states that tend to have infant mortality rates higher than the national average, while the less religious states tend to have lower infant mortality rates (United States Census Bureau, 2005). Additionally, it is among the most religious states that one finds the highest rates of STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance, 2007) and teen pregnancy (Guttmacher Institute, 2006). America’s Bible Belt also contains the lowest rates of college-educated adults, and of the states with the highest percentage of Census Bureau,2007).

          Pwned again

        • Ignorant Amos

          Christian Culture has a built in resistance to such things as atheistic Communism or Nazi fascism, or radical multi-culturalism or Islamism.

          More mind rot.

          Atheist Communism? What about Christian Communism…is that okay?

          As for Christianity and fascism…give me a break. Never heard of Christofascism in the states?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christofascism

          As for Christianity and fascism in Europe and South America, there’s regular bed fellow’s.

          Read “Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII” for an example of Christian resistance to fascism.

          Pacelli’s predecessor, Pius XI was just as big an arsehole.

          [M]ussolini saw that he could use the church to legitimise his power, so he set about wooing the clergy. He had his wife and children baptised. He gave money for the restoration of churches. After two generations of secularism, there were once again to be crucifixes in Italy’s courts and classrooms. Warily, slowly, the Pope became persuaded that with Mussolini’s help Italy might become, once more, a “confessional state”.

          When it comes to the “Jewish question”, Kertzer demonstrates that the Pope’s failure to protest effectively against the fascist racial laws arose not simply from weakness, but because antisemitism pervaded his church. Mussolini scored a painful hit when he assured Pius that he would do nothing to Italy’s Jews that had not already been done under papal rule. Roberto Farinacci, most brutal of the fascist leaders, came close to the truth when he announced: “It is impossible for the Catholic fascist to renounce that antisemitic conscience which the church had formed through the millennia.” And Catholic antisemitism was thriving. Among Pius’s most valued advisers were several who – as Kertzer amply demonstrates – saw themselves as battling against a diabolical alliance of communists, Protestants, freemasons and Jews.

          https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/06/pope-mussolini-secret-history-rise-fascism-david-kertzer-review

          As for Franco’s fascism and Christianity, I don’t believe even you are that stupid t deny those shenanigans…are ya?

          In the early years of the Franco regime, church and state had a close and mutually beneficial association. The loyalty of the Roman Catholic Church to the Francoist state lent legitimacy to the dictatorship, which in turn restored and enhanced the church’s traditional privileges.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Catholic_Church_in_Spain#Franco_regime

          Other examples of the Church and fascism…

          Clerical Fascism

          Clerical fascism (also clero-fascism or clerico-fascism) is an ideology that combines the political and economic doctrines of fascism with clericalism, i.e. a specific religious tradition. The term has been used to describe organizations and movements that combine religious elements with fascism, support by religious organizations for fascism, or fascist regimes in which clergy play a leading role.

          Father Jozef Tiso’s régime (Slovak People’s Party) in the Slovak Republic (1939–1945)

          The Ustaše movement in the Independent State of Croatia (1941–1945)[7]

          António Salazar in Portugal

          Engelbert Dollfuss in Austria

          the Iron Guard movement in Romania, which was led by the devoutly Orthodox Corneliu Zelea Codreanu

          the Rexists in Belgium

          Vichy France.

          the Lapua movement in Finland

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clerical_fascism

          Christianity and Latin American dictatorships? Please, behave yerself.

          http://churchandstate.org.uk/2016/03/the-catholic-church-and-latin-american-dictators/

          Radical Multiculturalism…wtf?

          And as for Islamism….you do know they are the Abrahamic faiths baby sibling, right? And Christianity can shoulder a lot of the blame for the problems we have with fundamentalist Islam.

          Christianity has a built in resistance to these things? My arse!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well-intentioned secularists may not intend any of these things, but in turbulent times, such as the French Revolution, or Bolshevik Russia all bets are off. Those are the kinds of things I’m more concerned about .

          You don’t think the French Revolution was a god thing for the French…and subsequently, the U.S…???

          Or the Russian Revolutions a god thing for the Russians?

          What “built in resistance” do you think that Christianity had, that had any impact on the situation after both those monumental events?

        • Michael Neville

          Christian Culture has a built in resistance to such things as … Nazi fascism

          Priests and bishops resisting Nazi fascism.

          http://alamoministries.com/content/english/Antichrist/nazigallery/28priestssalutehitler.jpg

        • Fred Knight

          another bad Christians do bad things, therefore Christianity as a whole is wrong – typical No True Scotsman fallacy, just in reverse. http://bit.ly/1pYLFPE interesting note on the origin of the NTS fallacy – Antony Flew http://bit.ly/2gUJsfa

          “For much of his career Flew was known as a strong advocate of atheism, arguing that one should presuppose atheism until empirical evidence of a God surfaces…. However, in 2004 he stated an allegiance to deism, more specifically a belief in the Aristotelian God. He stated that in keeping his lifelong commitment to go where the evidence leads, he now believed in the existence of a God.

          In 2007 a book outlining his reasons for changing his position, There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind was written by Flew in collaboration with Roy Abraham Varghese. The book (and Flew’s conversion itself) has been the subject of controversy, following an article in The New York Times Magazine alleging that Flew’s intellect had declined, and that the book was primarily the work of Varghese;[8] Flew himself specifically denied this, stating that the book represented his views, and he acknowledged that due to his age Varghese had done most of the actual work of writing the book.”

          I notice you don’t bring up Dietrich Bonhoeffer to help support your argument, or faithful Catholics such as Maximilian Kolbe http://bit.ly/1gG3CU4 – of course not, why would you?

        • Kodie

          The thing you’re not willing to acknowledge, or may be just too ignorant or actually Christian to accept is that it’s a superstition. It’s not about morals. It’s about superstitious adherence to traditions in order to make it into heaven. Once you fool someone into thinking there’s a magical sky daddy who is watching them and watching out for them and designing their life path, they are super-easy to manipulate. They will believe anything. If you are not a believer, you are as much as Christian because the culture has poisoned you that it’s the one true thing. That’s how fucking stupid you are. That’s the religious poisoning you’ve suffered as a result of living in a primarily Christian culture that tells you it’s the only thing there is, it’s the best, it’s the one you should listen to. They don’t just lie about god existing, they lie about atheists, and you believe those lies which makes you either Christian or poisoned by propaganda. It seems you’re only here to shut us up, so you can tell us why you have fallen for that bullshit without critical thinking abilities.

        • Fred Knight

          “It’s not about morals. It’s about superstitious adherence to traditions in order to make it into heaven. ”
          or so dumb atheists would have you believe. you, apparently have never been a true believer. morals count, being a good person counts, imagine how shitty you feel when you’ve been immoral or even evil – how do you cope with that as an atheist?, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. conscience is a motherf*cker.

          “Once you fool someone into thinking there’s a magical sky daddy who is watching them and watching out for them and designing their life path, they are super-easy to manipulate. ”
          some people, good people, want to do right, and maybe make restitution for the bad they’ve done, I don’t see how that is a bad thing.

          “They will believe anything. If you are not a believer, you are as much as Christian because the culture has poisoned you that it’s the one true thing. That’s how fucking stupid you are. That’s the religious poisoning you’ve suffered as a result of living in a primarily Christian culture that tells you it’s the only thing there is, it’s the best”
          and yet, you’d propose all bets are off, all things are equal, get your freak on, all is good….welcome to dumb atheism.

          “They don’t just lie about god existing, they lie about atheists”
          that atheists such as yourself advocate no morality, that all things are equal and cool, by your own words you admit that’s accurate, and yet you accuse them of falsely judging you.

          “and you believe those lies which makes you either Christian or poisoned by propaganda. ”
          and me, as an an actual free-thinker, who doesn’t ascribe to your brand of amorality, I also take you at your own words.

          “It seems you’re only here to shut us up, so you can tell us why you have fallen for that bullshit without critical thinking abilities.”
          I’m not here to shut you up, keep on speaking and keep proving their point. I don’t need to condemn you, you do a fine job all on your own.

        • Doriblue

          Even if you are not a Christian, what would be wrong wit living by the ten commandments and treating people how you want to be treated. Religion isn’t a guide to live by, that should be something that is inherent to being human.

          It’s nice to have someone to talk to about problems or just the day. I can feel his presence and know he is with me always, it’s a comforting feeling…..

        • Michael Neville

          Even if you are not a Christian, what would be wrong wit living by the ten commandments

          As a non-Christian, why should I care that an imaginary, fictitious, non-existent god is jealous and doesn’t like worship of other gods? I have a friend who’s a Hindu and continually violates the first commandment. He doesn’t observe either the Jewish or Christian sabbaths which violates another commandment. Taking The Lord™’s name in vain happens on a regular basis in English speaking countries.

          The other commandments like not killing, not stealing and not lying are not unique to Jews and Christians. Humans have general social prohibitions against these actions, that’s part of living reasonably amicably in groups.

        • Doriblue

          Well as a non-Christian I would think you would just pick out the commandments that speak to you. It always fascinates me how most Atheist have anger towards religion and what it stands for, you even feel the need to say imaginary, fictitious, non-existent god, you probably could have thought of a few more adjectives to throw in the mix. I was always taught to respect other peoples beliefs and part of that is not to be disrespectful their religion. I would rather you say nothing at all then to mock and belittle God and his teachings. Is it non-Christain or Atheist.? Also as a Hindu why would he observe Jewish sabbaths or Christian service? I only observe Sunday service as a Christian, I don’t observe any other religions.

          Then you go on to say in a round about way that Jews and ‘Christians are killers, steal and ly. I realize you are above reading the 10 commandments because it’s just the way people should naturally live.

          “Are Atheist always this rude and angry or does religion bring this out? Your delivery and complete disrespect of my religious beliefs has given me a outlook on Athiesim and, you don’t seem happy, just angry

        • epeeist

          Well as a non-Christian I would think you would just pick out the commandments that speak to you.

          Why should we adopt the wholly inadequate “Christian ethics” when better systems of ethics are available?

          I was always taught to respect other peoples beliefs

          People are deserving of respect, systems of ideas are not. Once you start insisting that any system of ideas is somehow sacrosanct then any idea of freedom of speech becomes impossible.

        • Doriblue

          I disagree if I only respect people without respecting their beliefs then I’m saying your beliefs mean nothing and my ego is more important. This sentence “As a non-Christian, why should I care
          that an imaginary, fictitious, non-existent god is jealous and doesn’t
          like worship of other gods?All that needed to be said was as a non christian I would rather adhere
          to my own belief system than one from a religious based set of rules
          that doesn’t speak to who I am Your delivery was very condescending and actually a bit rude. I totally believe in freedom of speak but I try to make it a point to not offend with my speech with my freedom of speech

          Here is another line you wrote today “Why should we adopt the wholly inadequate Christian ethics when better systems of ethics are available, says who you? Thats your opinion and again the delivery filled with ego. You have to put down something you find offensive to make yourself feel better. I pray you will take this the right way and take your ego out and open yourself to trying to see something from another point of view. You don’t do it in a smart tongue and check way, which could be light and fun way, you perceive your messages as witty and enlightening, when it’s just the opposite, maybe you do it for your followers who get a kick out of reading your take down of religion.at this point I highly doubt your system of ethics is better,than mine. I see you clearly .

        • Greg G.

          I disagree if I only respect people without respecting their beliefs then I’m saying your beliefs mean nothing and my ego is more important.

          You, as a person, are more important than your beliefs. If I believed incorrect information, it would be a greater sign of respect to point that out to me as if I was capable of understanding and changing my mind. Since we live in a democracy, it is very important that people make informed decisions in elections. If you are voting for a senator because he is a Christian without considering that he is a denier of global warming, you are harming everybody. If you are voting for somebody for school board because they are a Christian, you may be voting for a stealth creationist.

          If your beliefs cannot stand scrutiny, you should reconsider your beliefs, rather than be offended by the challenge.

          Actions based on beliefs have consequences. Actions based on wrong beliefs tend to have more dire consequences than true beliefs.

        • Doriblue

          Listen don’t try and justify bad disrespectful behavior, Did you read what I wrote, there wasn’t any conversation or dialogue just insults, go back and read what he said in the text, he used words like Imaginary, fictitious non-existing God. how is that a dialogue and then when you say something about not respecting my views, you say only people can be respected not views. how is saying my imaginary fictitious non-existing God anything other than disrespect and blatant disregard, every sentence was like that, where is the dialogue and scrutiny, he is saying in no uncertain terms that God doesn’t exist. Who are you to tell me what belief is right and what is wrong? Oh I get it, If I believe like you do then you will respect my views I have zero respect for your views on anything, I respect you but not your views, you are ego driven, believing you know more than anyone and your views are always correct and if you don’t believe like you do then you will just dismiss anything not in your universe. I could go a lifetime without another encounter with an atheist, You are void of empathy, compassion, understanding and kindness, but have an abundance of ego, bravado, arrogance.I tried several times to have a conversation and express views but you only want to talk about your views because when I tried to express myself I was meet with disrespect and told my God was Imaginary, fictitious and a non-existing God with values that are sub par at best. and why would you want to even entertain talking about my God, you said you were doing me a favor not talking or giving credence to something that isn’t real and there was no disrespect because my views don’t exist.

        • Greg G.

          The way to argue against an “imaginary fictitious non-existing God” is to provide evidence for it or to give a method to distinguish it from every other thing the human mind is capable of imagining. There are hundreds of things in the room I am currently in and I accept that all of them are real, so it isn’t very difficult to convince me of the reality of something.

          Who are you to tell me what belief is right and what is wrong?

          Try using critical thinking to decide for yourself. How do you determine whether some idea that popped into your head is real? You look for evidence. You hold beliefs as strongly as the evidence supports the idea. If you get more evidence regarding something, you readjust the belief according to the evidence. If you believe you have over $53 dollars in your wallet, but you find only $44, then it is best to adjust your belief.

          Oh I get it, If I believe like you do then you will respect my views I have zero respect for your views on anything, I respect you but not your views, you are ego driven, believing you know more than anyone and your views are always correct and if you don’t believe like you do then you will just dismiss anything not in your universe.

          If a child believes the moon is made of green cheese, should I respect his belief? I can still respect the child even if I don’t entertain his beliefs for a second.

          I was once a creationist. I read all the books about the things scientists say that “revealed their true opinions” and there was a conspiracy to push evolution. So I started reading the books and found that what they said actually made sense. Then I found a few of the quotes I had seen in the creationist books, but in context, it was obvious that the scientists were not saying what the creationists were implying. I heard preachers preaching about what scientists say but after having read the books, I knew that was not what they said. I knew the preacher hadn’t read the books, though. Then two minutes later, the preacher was telling us what heaven would be like with the same confidence. If he was making false statements about what scientists say, how could I trust what he said about heaven, when it wasn’t even in the Bible.

          I learned that apologetics was not about truth but about belief of things that had nothing to do with truth. If you are willing to believe things on poor evidence or no evidence just to get a warm, fuzzy feeling in your stomach, why should I respect the belief?

          You are void of empathy, compassion, understanding and kindness, but have an abundance of ego, bravado, arrogance.

          I respect you enough to tell you use evidence to distinguish true things from imaginary things but you accuse me of being “void of empathy, compassion, understanding and kindness”. If you prefer pretty lies to the truth, I can’t do anything for you.

          I tried several times to have a conversation and express views

          What are your views based on? Your own wishful thinking or somebody else’s wishful thinking. If you can’t defend your beliefs, why express them? Many of us used to have those beliefs but figured out they were wrong, why they were wrong, and why we believed them. You should put your beliefs to scrutiny and keep the ones that pass. You seem to fear that. It is a sign that you need better beliefs.

        • Doriblue

          I’m not falling for that

        • Susan

          I’m not falling for that.

          It’s not a trap.

          Greg took the time to write a thoughtful response and you are unwilling or unable to address a single one of his points.

        • epeeist

          you are unwilling or unable to address a single one of his points

          I’m going for “unable”. Looking through her responses to posts of substance it becomes obvious that she is incapable of a studied reply.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Kodie

          Of course, you have to set your limits on wishful thinking but not evidence.

          Good for you!

        • Michael Neville

          he is saying in no uncertain terms that God doesn’t exist.

          That is what I’m saying. It’s my belief that your god doesn’t exist. You make a big deal out of your beliefs not being respected. But I’m not seeing a whole lot of respect for my beliefs from you. Why should your beliefs be respected but mine not? You might want to consider Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)

          3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

        • Doriblue

          Oh please, atheist love to talk in circles, open your eyes, it’s the way he talks to me about my beliefs, imaginary, fictico8us non existing God, then told me he would only respect my beliefs if it was also his beliefs. I’m done with you guys anyway, your arrogance amazes me. Please don’t respond

        • Michael Neville

          You really are an asshole (see, I told you I’d be rude to you if you misrepresented what I say again). I asked why you whine about your beliefs not being respected and then go out of your way to show disrespect for my beliefs. I don’t actually need my beliefs to be respected but I feel justified in pointing out your hypocrisy that your beliefs require respect but you shit on mine.

          I’ll respond to your dumb ass if I feel like it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh please, atheist love to talk in circles, open your eyes, it’s the way he talks to me about my beliefs, imaginary, fictico8us non existing God,

          Well, until you can successfully demonstrate that what you believe about your god is no more imaginary, fictitious, or non existent, than all those other imaginary, fictitious, and non existent gods, that you believe are imaginary, fictitious, and non existent, then you are screwed. Fuck your beliefs…no undeserved respect given or expected.

          …then told me he would only respect my beliefs if it was also his beliefs.

          Nah, that is not what he said. try reading for comprehension.

          I’m done with you guys anyway,…

          Excellent, because you’ve been nothing but a boring, lying, hypocrite…with nothing of substance to say, so pah!

          …your arrogance amazes me.

          Spoooiiiinnnng!

          Please don’t respond

          You don’t get to decide…a bitch, isn’t it?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I have zero respect for your views on anything,…

          So, not only are you a stupid ignorant eejit…your a liar too? No surprise there then.

        • Michael Neville

          Your delivery was very condescending and actually a bit rude. I totally believe in freedom of speak but I try to make it a point to not offend with my speech with my freedom of speech

          You are getting very close to tone trolling. That’s a form of the ad hominem fallacy which attempts to detract from the validity of a statement by attacking the tone in which it was presented rather than the message itself.

          I’m going to warn you right now, the language on this particular blog can be robust. If we think someone is an asshole then we’ll say “you’re an asshole.” This is the way adults speak and, if you don’t like it, you are free to leave.

        • Doriblue

          You should know this is the tactic you use

        • Michael Neville

          Which tactic, tone trolling or using coarse language? You need to be more specific in your whining about me.

        • Kodie

          You have a weird hypocrisy about the use of ego. What made you stop by and write a comment in the first place? Your own need to say what you want to say. So what you said carries a lot of messages that are rumors from church and religions about who atheists are and what kind of ethics we need, according to you, since you’re the latest Christian who thinks we just never got the good news.

          I get it too, you think you learned that ego lesson real good when you let Jesus take the wheel, but you’re the one talking, not him. You’re the one deciding we needed to hear what you had to say.

        • Doriblue

          You guys are so boring I commented on something and I can’t get rid of the den of atheist I ran into. quit trolling you contacted me

        • Kodie

          What? You are posting on a public blog, and I get responses in my inbox. If you want to say something, you said it, but you don’t want to hear responses, and call it trolling because you don’t know how blogs work.

          You keep yammering on about how so and so lets his ego get in the way while you use yours to bully people and pretend your religion carries you above it. Bullshit. Own up to what I said. Recognize yourself in your own comment. How can you see anything with that plank in your eye.

        • Greg G.

          It looks like the Doriblue Disqus account was created the day before.

        • epeeist

          I disagree if I only respect people without respecting their beliefs then I’m saying your beliefs mean nothing and my ego is more important.

          So you are effectively saying that I cannot criticise any system of ideas that people strongly hold to. In other words you deny freedom of speech to those who do not hold to specific ideas. That way lies totalitarianism and, if the the system of ideas that cannot be criticised is a religion, to theocracy.

          Here is another line you wrote today “Why should we adopt the wholly inadequate Christian ethics when better systems of ethics are available, says who you? Thats your opinion and again the delivery filled with ego.

          No, it is a statement of fact. Much of so-called “Christian Ethics” is imported from Plato, Aristotle and the neo-Platonists. Where do you think the “cardinal virtues” and “heavenly virtues” come from?

          You have to put down something you find offensive to make yourself feel better. I pray you will take this the right way and take your ego out…I highly doubt your system of ethics is better,than mine. I see you clearly .

          Your arrogance and hubris at thinking you can analyse and categorise someone based on posts in a combox is stunning.

        • Pofarmer

          I disagree if I only respect people without respecting their beliefs
          then I’m saying your beliefs mean nothing and my ego is more important.

          Congratulations, you just basically shut down all discussion.

          I totally believe in freedom of speak but I try to make it a point to not offend with my speech with my freedom of speech

          This may come as a shock, but you don’t have a right to not be offended, especially on the innerwebs.

          I pray you will take this the right way and take your ego out and open
          yourself to trying to see something from another point of view.

          You see, here’s the problem, most of us already did that. We think that view is flawed because we lived it, no praying is necessary from you. This is just ignorant arrogance on your part.

          I see you clearly .

          You don’t see anything, you just imagine you do. I hope epeeist comes back around and replies to your comment himself.

        • Kodie

          But let’s be clear. Ideas are not going to hurt you without people. It’s not god or religions that do the damage, that act presumptuously, that judge us and tell us what to believe and how they’re going to get so pissed because we have another idea to counter it. I don’t go anywhere to say “there is no god.” It’s a response to the claim, made by the people, that there is one. God is a fictional character, but people are real, believers are real and have real power to do real damage that they act all innocent and well, what’s wrong with telling you what I think you should do (and so just do what I suggest and shut up).

        • epeeist

          Ideas are not going to hurt you without people.

          As you are probably aware I like Rushdie’s idea that one should not personalise but one can be as ruthless as one likes when it comes to systems of ideas.

          Unfortunately this fails when people are so bound to a system of ideas that it becomes part of their personal identity and of course one of the principle cases of this is religion. For these people any attack on a system of ideas is regarded as an attack on the person, Doriblue is a classical example of that.

        • Kodie

          It’s not the system of ideas that’s bothering me, it’s the people who have them. I’m not mad at god, because he’s a fictional character. It’s the people. People believe that we talk an awful lot about something abstract then, that can’t do anything to us or for us, then why complain so much, and let the believers believe what they want to believe. I don’t have a problem letting people believe what they want to believe.

          I mean, this is all part of how dumb they are, easily manipulated to repeat whatever they hear, even as it’s inconsistent. They are lied to about atheism and that we’re just rejecting god because we want to break a lot of rules and behave bad and not have any morals, and THEN, they think we’re just starting up with them and not letting them keep their quietly held beliefs to themselves.

          It’s the people.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Dear Lord, protect me from your followers.”

        • TheNuszAbides

          “Oh, Sky-Cake …”

        • Greg G.

          Then you go on to say in a round about way that Jews and ‘Christians are killers, steal and ly. I realize you are above reading the 10 commandments because it’s just the way people should naturally live.

          No, he didn’t. He said the opposite of that. He said, “Humans have general social prohibitions against these actions, that’s part of living reasonably amicably in groups.”

          Are Atheist always this rude and angry or does religion bring this out? Your delivery and complete disrespect of my religious beliefs has given me a outlook on Athiesim and, you don’t seem happy, just angry

          Maybe you just misread his post. Casting aspersions the way you did might get him going, though.

          Also, there is no need to capitalize “atheist” or “atheism” if it is not part of a name or title or the beginning of a sentence. It is not a religion. It is just the position that there is insufficient evidence for the existence of any gods.

        • Doriblue

          No I didn’t misread it he leads with his ego and enjoys belittling every aspect of the religion he can. Well he can certainly dish it out hopefully he can take it because, I generally give what I get, I am respectful and will gladly have an intelligent discussion about anything and would never belittle or tear down anything he believed in, it;s a shame he dosent have the same respect

          I never have the occasion to type the word atheist thanks for the tip, I though it was a belief system. I type very fast so I tend to make mistakes anyway You are much more pleasant and have manners, something your friend is lacking.

        • Greg G.

          Well he can certainly dish it out hopefully he can take it because, I generally give what I get, I am respectful and will gladly have an intelligent discussion about anything and would never belittle or tear down anything he believed in

          Michael is retired Navy and battle-tested. No need to hold back on his account.

        • Michael Neville

          No I didn’t misread it he leads with his ego and enjoys belittling every aspect of the religion he can.

          I see reading comprehension is not one of your attributes. Previously I said that I respected the ahimsa aspect of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, which is hardly belittling those three religions. You’ve accused me of being angry even thought I specifically said that I wasn’t angry and you accused me of being unhappy for reasons which only you know. I’ve explained that while I respect you I do not respect your beliefs. If you need further explanation of my attitude towards your beliefs then all you have to do is ask.

          I suggest that instead of arguing with the atheist who lives solely between your ears that you spend some time reading what I and others on this blog have written. You appear to feel quite insulted that I gave reasons for not appreciating the 10 Commandments instead of saying “Oh Doriblue, the 10 Commandments, being the Word of God™, is what everyone should follow.” Personally I prefer the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts [link] but that’s just me.

          Also, as I told you before, you haven’t seen rude from me yet. But if you continue to misrepresent what I write then I guaran-fucking-tee you that you will.

        • Doriblue

          Obviously you aren’t as bright as you try hard to be, I just copied and pasted your quote which you state that” God doesn’t exist, It’s my belief that your god doesn’t exist.” I’m sorry what did I miss, I don’t see Christianity in the above mention of a religion that you respect, maybe reading comprehension gets overwhelming for you at times.

        • Michael Neville

          I see, other religions don’t need to be respected, only your particular religion. Why is Christianity deserving of respect and other not?

          I believe that your god and every other god that human imagination has ever spewed up do not exist. I’ve made this belief plain but you feel insulted by my belief. Why is that? You make a big deal about respecting beliefs but you’ve made it plain that you don’t respect mine. In short, you’re a hypocrite.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well as a non-Christian I would think you would just pick out the commandments that speak to you.

          Why? As a non-Mormon do you pick through the bits f the Book of Mormon that speak to you? What about as a non-Hindu and the the Veda’s? How about as a non-Sikh, the Guru Granth Sahib? Do you realise how condescending you sound?

          It always fascinates me how most Atheist have anger towards religion and what it stands for, you even feel the need to say imaginary, fictitious, non-existent god, you probably could have thought of a few more adjectives to throw in the mix.

          It always fascinates me how ignorant theists don’t have a clue why atheists get angry towards religion and what it stands for, but that’s probably because theists are so ignorant about stuff and walk around with a stick shoved up their arse thinking they do no wrong.

          Coincidentally, I already cited this within the past hour or so, to a non-believer who also doesn’t get it, would ya believe?….

          But perhaps most of all, I get angry — sputteringly, inarticulately, pulse-racingly angry — when believers chide atheists for being so angry. “Why do you have to be so angry all the time?” “All that anger is so off-putting.” “If atheism is so great, then why are so many of you so angry?”

          There’s actually a simple, straightforward answer to this question:

          Because anger is always necessary.

          Read on at…

          http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2007/10/atheists-and-an.html

          I was always taught to respect other peoples beliefs and part of that is not to be disrespectful their religion. I would rather you say nothing at all then to mock and belittle God and his teachings.

          Hold on a minute…you came here, remember?

          [M]any other atheists maintain that “respect” should be earned and be generated as a consequence of an individual being able to clearly explain and defend their beliefs as empirically justified, rather than effective in shaping ‘good’ behaviour regardless of factual accuracy.

          Now, quit with the tone trolling and victim card playing and ante-up.

          Is it non-Christain or Atheist.?

          Are you playing at being stupid or are you serious?

          Also as a Hindu why would he observe Jewish sabbaths or Christian service? I only observe Sunday service as a Christian, I don’t observe any other religions.

          Bingo!

          You don’t observe any other religions and so, as soon as you figure out the reasons why you don’t, then you’ll realise why we atheists don’t observe yours. You are atheist with respect to all other gods except YahwehJesus, we atheists just go one god further.

        • Doriblue

          He asked a question and I answered it in the previous thread. Most of the commandments are just helpful ways to remember to live, which is mostly good commandments to follow, Don’t gossip, don’t steal, don’t covet other peoples possessions, don’t kill, don’t cheat on your spouse, honor your parents, don’t worship material things,

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Where the commandments are useful (don’t steal, don’t murder), they’re not interesting. And where they’re interesting (don’t blaspheme, no idols), they’re not useful.

          The Constitution has a better set of guideline for society.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Most of the commandments are just helpful ways to remember to live,…

          Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is absolute garbage.

          For starters, which commandments are you referring to here? There are more than just the ten commonly, but illegally, posted on some U.S. government buildings.

          But leaving that aside, let’s look at the memo you claim we all need.

          Thou shalt have no other gods before me

          Nope, this only applies to those that believe in the Abrahamic faiths and if you are an adherent of those faiths and can’t remember that detail, then you are an imbecile and a reminder is moot. What makes it helpful?

          Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image

          Everyone ignores this one. Believers lives are littered with graven images and for the rest of us not believers in this particular flavour of nonsense, it has no application. What makes it helpful?

          Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain

          Seriously? How’s that been working out. Who pays the blind bit of attention to that bit of the memo and why should they? What makes it helpful?

          Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy

          Seriously? Which Sabbath? I presume you only keep the pagan Sabbath holy, and you probably don’t even do that? Another useless piece of nonsense that is largely ignored by the majority of believers. The memo is silly pants.

          Honour thy father and thy mother

          You need a memo to remind you to respect your parents? And if you were going to disrespect them, do you think the memo would pop into your head and check ya? Do all those billions of offspring that disrespect their parents, do so because they can’t read the memo…conversely, those respectful children that have never seen the memo, how do they remember? More nonsense methinks.

          Thou shalt not kill

          Now we get to the nitty-gritty. You need a memo to remind you not to kill other people? Really? And what happens to the memo when killing is necessary? What about all those Christian folk cluttering up the jails who got the memo, but ignored it anyway. Not much of a memo, is it?

          Thou shalt not commit adultery

          Again, I don’t think the memo is of any use at all in this area either. Memo readers ignore it incessantly, even the most righteous and best of them…even those in the buybull itself, Abraham allowed his wife to be adulterated by the Pharaoh, he is at it again with his wife and Abimelech. It seems Abe was a bit twisted. Abe did some adulterating with his servant girl. Both King’s David and Solomon were adulterers..so that bit of the memo is more useless tat, that is ignored when two folk get the horn.

          Thou shalt not steal

          Everyone steals… memo believers are as prevalent at it as everyone else at it…again, the jails are full of memo ignoring Christians who got caught stealing. But worse than that, the world is full of memo ignoring Christians that never got caught stealing. From stationary pilferers to tax evaders…they don’t care about the memo, it isn’t helpful.

          Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour

          Everyone lies… memo believers are as prevalent at it as everyone else…again, the jails are full of memo ignoring Christians who got caught lying. Mostly about their killing and stealing. Then there are those that get caught lying about their adulterating, but they are not in jail, because adulterating isn’t against the law. But worse than that, the world is full of memo ignoring Christians that never got caught lying, only they know they’ve done it. From innocuous little white lies to full on perjury and all lies in between, the buybull makes little note by way of severity, all lies are bad in the buybull, unless YahwehJesus is telling them of course, whatever happened to lead by example?…folk don’t care about the memo, it isn’t helpful.

          Thou shalt not covet (neighbour’s house)

          Thou shalt not covet (neighbour’s wife)

          Thou shalt not covet (neighbour’s servants, animals, or anything else)

          This is the most ridiculous bit of the memo of the, all the shall not covet bullshit…thought crime fer feck sake. Complete and utter tosh. Here, the memo is unintentionally ignored, we can’t help it, because regardless of what you might think, we can’t help the thoughts that pop into our heads, and once they have been thought, they can’t be un-thought, ergo the crime has been committed…too late…the memo is really, really, useless as a deterrent to thought crimes.

          …which is mostly good commandments to follow,…

          Ya say “mostly” good?

          Don’t gossip, don’t steal, don’t covet other peoples possessions, don’t kill, don’t cheat on your spouse, honor your parents, don’t worship material things,

          Crapola. The commandments are not helpful in reminding folk about those things. If one thinks they are bad things to do, then requiring a memo to remind a person they are bad, makes that person a saddo. Furthermore, what should be more important in reminding the saddo is the belief that there is an all powerful sky daddy that is watching your every moment 24/7…so if your not following the memo, he knows it. But here’s the rub, believers don’t really give a fuck. It is just a game. Deep down inside they know this is all just a lot of nonsense. They disregard the memo day-in-day-out, because they know it is a loada ballix and the only repercussions is for breaking those that coincide with man’s law’s, thse are the only ones there will be punishment for breaking…and even then it’s mostly believers who don’t give a fig.

          You have bought a pup, I know it, most commenting here know it…and deep down inside I bet you know it too.

          BTW…you do know that the Decalogue is actually a list of category headings for the 613 Mitzvot, yes?

          Aseret ha-Dibrot: The “Ten Commandments”

          http://www.jewfaq.org/10.htm

          And all 613 are equally binding…but you will have no truck with any of that shenanigans…you are a memo cherry picker and a hypocrite.

        • Michael Neville

          It always fascinates me how most Atheist have anger towards religion and what it stands for, you even feel the need to say imaginary, fictitious, non-existent god, you probably could have thought of a few more adjectives to throw in the mix.

          I’m not angry with religion or gods. It’s one of the great myths theists have about atheists (note the small “a”, there’s no one called Athe). I do get angry about things done using religion and the gods as an excuse, but that’s a different topic. I call all gods (there’s more than the one you favor) imaginary, fictitious and non-existent for the simple reason that that’s what they are. If you think differently then trot out some evidence to show the existence of gods.

          I was always taught to respect other peoples beliefs and part of that is not to be disrespectful their religion.

          Unless you give reason for me to disrespect you, I respect you as a person. However you’ll need to justify why some beliefs that I consider erroneous deserve respect. I respect as an ideal the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain idea of ahimsa, the principle of nonviolence toward all living things. However I do not follow ahimsa since I’m not a vegetarian and I am a combat veteran (something I have mixed feelings about). Plus there are some things in Hinduism and Buddhism which I don’t care for, so I don’t respect those religions. I don’t know enough about Jainism to have an opinion about it.

          I would rather you say nothing at all then to mock and belittle God and his teachings.

          Why should an imaginary, fictitious, non-existent critter be above criticism or mockery? Especially since according to your own propaganda your particular god isn’t a very nice or moral person? Someone who kills people just because he can, orders genocide and rape, and condones slavery is worthy of criticism and even mockery.

          Then you go on to say in a round about way that Jews and ‘Christians are killers, steal and ly.

          Nowhere did I even hint that Jews and Christians kill, steal or lie. I said that the Biblical commandments against those things are not unique to Jews and Christians. Neither is the Golden Rule since it’s found in the Sermons of Buddha and the Analects of Confucius, both of which predate Jesus by around 500 years.

          I realize you are above reading the 10 commandments because it’s just the way people should naturally live.

          Again you don’t understand what I wrote. I’m familiar with the 10 Commandments. I was raised as a Catholic and went to Catholic grade school, high school and college. I’ve also done something most Christians haven’t done, I’ve read the Bible cover to cover, including the begats and leprosy of houses and the weirdness called “Revelation”. So I do know something about Christianity. The first three commandments are specific to one particular god and the rest are, as you say, the way people should live.

          Are Atheist always this rude and angry or does religion bring this out?

          You need to be less thin-skinned. I am neither rude nor angry. You would know if I become rude. I’m a retired Navy Chief. I’ve had formal instruction on how to be rude, crude and socially unacceptable and years of practice.

          Your delivery and complete disrespect of my religious beliefs has given me a outlook on Athiesim and, you don’t seem happy, just angry

          As I’ve already said, your beliefs aren’t entitled to respect. You are, until you give reason to be disrepected. Why you think I’m unhappy and angry is something that only you know because I’m quite happy and not angry at you, your religion or your poor spelling.

        • Kodie

          You’re mistaken quite a bit. Atheists aren’t mad at religion. You’re the believer, you’re talking, you’re writing, and you’re making a lot of assumptions, like atheists should just be quiet after someone like you says there’s nothing wrong with living by the 10 commandments. Why are Christians allowed to be so wrong, so presumptuous, and so vocal, but it upsets you when someone tries to give you a little information from our their perspective as a response? There is no god, the bible is fiction, but there are plenty of believers yapping away and we’re supposed to shut up. How dare you.

        • Doriblue

          I never said be quiet why don’t you read, I said be respectful, there is a difference

        • J.B.

          Doriblue – I believe there are some people here to which the following phrase applies – “I don’t have grace, I don’t want grace, I don’t say grace” – don’t let it get you down – down deep, they know you’re right!!!

        • Michael Neville

          Sockpuppeting is not a nice thing to do, especially when you’re still posting as Fred.

        • MR

          Deception is never a good tactic for convincing someone you hold some truth.

        • Susan

          It always fascinates me how most Atheist have anger towards religion and what it stands for,

          You asked a simple and specific question and Michael responded with a simple and specific answer. There was nothing angry about it.

          Then you go on to say in a round about way that Jews and Christians are killers, steal and ly

          He said nothing of the sort.

        • Doriblue

          I don’t have to answer to you, there was a series of text look them up, not worth my time and effort

        • Susan

          I don’t have to answer to you

          No, you don’t. But this is a public forum and I will respond to you.

          I read the discussion between you and Michael. You asked a question and Michael responded clearly and specifically. You didn’t like the answer so accused him of being angry and disrespectful.

          What answer would you have accepted?

          You also falsely accused him of saying that Jews and christians kill, steal and lie. Pretty nasty of you to to do that when he said no such thing.

          not worth my time and effort

          I see. I spoke to you with respect and this is how you respond.

          Are you always this angry and disrespectful?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Doriblue is just another lying arsehole liar for Jesus…they are coming quick and fast these days, maybe it’s the pending end of the world that is driving the fully fledged woo-woo’s out of the woodwork.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I don’t have anger against religion; I have anger against Christians who want to dismantle the separation between church and state. If you have supernatural beliefs that don’t affect society, I accept that.

        • Doriblue

          Who wants to dismantle the separation between church and state? I haven’t heard one word about that, sounds like propaganda to turn people against religion. What supernatural beliefs could I have that would affect anyone other than myself. I’m not a Physic Medium. I do realize that the liberal media and company put out false news and stories to scare and divide people, most people today are quite stupid and don’t take tine to research something they don’t have knowledge on and blindly think it’s the truth and spread lies and hate.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Who wants to dismantle the separation between church and state?

          If neither of us do, that’s great to hear. Unfortunately, lots of Christians are eager to do so.

          What supernatural beliefs could I have that would affect anyone other than myself.

          Busybody Christians are often eager to impose their particular views on the rest of society—making abortion illegal, making same-sex marriage illegal, prayers in city hall, Creationism in public schools, and so on.

          I do realize that the liberal media and company put out false news and stories to scare and divide people

          Like what?

          most people today are quite stupid and don’t take tine to research something they don’t have knowledge on and blindly think it’s the truth and spread lies and hate.

          Who’s spreading lies and hate? And what are these lies?

        • adam

          “What supernatural beliefs could I have that would affect anyone other than myself.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc554b74af68425056b8a4228b7f09490a1e80f6c6bf14f85bbce2e8015a0bfb.jpg

        • Pofarmer

          Then you go on to say in a round about way that Jews and ‘Christians are killers, steal and ly.

          No, no he didn’t, like, at all.

          It looks like you came here just looking for reasons to be butthurt.

        • BlackMamba44

          I would rather you say nothing at all then to mock and belittle God and his teachings. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2aeaa424ccfd31b74181bdea2dd5b7cc9f11915cbff0de29ed463b8f8cc1441a.jpg

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          what would be wrong wit living by the ten commandments and treating people how you want to be treated.

          The commandments worth following are covered by “treating people how you want to be treated,” which is found in Galatains 5:14, which seems to be taken from Rabbi Hillel’s maxim that the Torah can be summed up as “don’t do what your neighbor hates.” James 2:8-10 agrees with Paul that it is a good start but insists that one must follow all the laws of the Old Testament because breaking one point breaks the whole law.

        • epeeist

          which seems to be taken from Rabbi Hillel’s maxim that the Torah can be summed up as “don’t do what your neighbor hates.”

          And of course not only there, the Golden and Silver rules can be found in multiple other cultures, many pre-Christian. It really would help if people had more than one book in their libraries.

        • Greg G.

          Very true, but I was saying that Paul most likely got it from Rabbi Hillel than any other source, while Hillel may have received the idea from a conversation with a passing Buddhist, for all we know.

        • Steven Watson

          Quite possible and plausible. Ashoka sent missionaries to Alexandria in the 3rd century BC if I recall correctly and “Gymnosophists” were known to Philo.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Except, “treating people how you want to be treated”, the Golden Rule, is inferior to, “don’t do what your neighbor hates”, which is more like the Platinum Rule.

          We have all heard of the Golden Rule-and many people aspire to live by it. The Golden Rule is not a panacea. Think about it: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Golden Rule implies the basic assumption that other people would like to be treated the way that you would like to be treated.

          The alternative to the Golden Rule is the Platinum Rule:

          “Treat others the way they want to be treated.” Ah hah! What a difference. The Platinum Rule accommodates the feelings of others. The focus of relationships shifts from “this is what I want, so I’ll give everyone the same thing” to “let me first understand what they want and then I’ll give it to them.”

          The goal of The Platinum Rule is personal chemistry and productive relationships. You do not have to change your personality. You do not have to roll over and submit to others. You simply have to understand what drives people and recognize your options for dealing with them.

        • Pofarmer

          Either beats the hell out of “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.”

        • Kodie

          1. Try not to be an asshole.
          2. We’re all in this together.
          3. Sometimes, you’ll fuck it up, and it might not be that big a deal, but it might be.
          3a. You’re only human, so do the best you can to make it right.

          On the other side, you got where if you don’t play the game, you might lose out socially, i.e. economically, so sometimes you might have to be a little bit of an asshole just to stay alive.

          Translated for Christians
          – you’re probably more of an asshole than you think you are.
          – we don’t need god to help others
          — especially when the “help” is to make sure the “others” know what sins YOU A PERSON think they are committing and that they need Jesus to straighten their lives out and turn things around. Just feed them and stop judging.
          – you’ll never admit you’re a little bit of an asshole for intruding on people’s lives
          — and this is the part where they pretend to forgive themselves via a zombie because they’re told they are filthy sinners, but they don’t really deep down think they are.

          On the other side, you got where you superstitiously adhere to nonsense even if you lose out socially or economically because you believe you’re part of an army and whatever suffering you have on earth will be rewarded after you die.

        • Steven Watson

          James 2:8-10, a summary before the fact of G. Matthew. Either a True Miracle or seed to the Matthean Mustard Tree :-) I’d like to say you can’t make this stuff up; but obviously…!!!

        • Pofarmer

          Because the Ten Commandments START with a violation of the First Ammendment, for one. Most of them are irrelevant, or ignored. The Golden Rule is probably all you really need.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The 10 Commandments (I’m thinking primarily about the first 4) are incompatible with the US Constitution.

        • Doriblue

          How are they incomparable wit the constitution, incomparable with an atheist but why the constitution

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The first 4 commandments are: have no other gods before me, no idols/graven images, keep the sabbath holy, and no blasphemy. Those are in contradiction with the Constitution (with the amendments). I assume you’re familiar with the First Amendment?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Too dumb to know or understand yer own constitution….colour me un-surprised.

          The First Amendment states, in relevant part, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion….” This is commonly known as the Establishment Clause. The Framers inserted this provision because they recognized, as did de Toqueville, the dangers of the “tyranny of the majority.”

          The fact that a majority of Americans hold a particular religious view does not mean they can impose that view on their fellow citizens. This was why the First Amendment, which also protects unpopular speech and the free exercise of minority religious practices, was added to the Constitution—to serve as a bulwark against politicians like Justice Moore who seek to trammel upon the rights of minority groups for political gain.
          Consider, for example, the hypothetical case of Abramson v. Patel (I am using the names of two of my college friends, one of whom happens to be Jewish and the other Hindu) before the Alabama supreme court. Mr. Abramson might walk into the courthouse, see Justice Moore’s monument and be pleased with this government vindication of his personal religious beliefs. But what about Mr. Patel? He will see not only the First Commandment’s admonition, but by implication, that of the Alabama Supreme Court, to “have no other gods” but “thy God, which have brought thee out of Egypt.” Mr. Patel, a Hindu, does not worship the God of the Old Testament. In essence, the Alabama supreme court has already ruled against his personal spiritual beliefs before he even steps into the courtroom. What confidence can Mr. Patel feel about his prospects of a fair hearing before Justice Moore’s court?

          Moreover, the Ten Commandments are not the only basis for our legal system. Justice Moore’s monument does not include homages to Hammurabi’s Code, Roman civil law or Blackstone’s Commentaries, all significant forebears of modern American jurisprudence. The Ten Commandments are displayed in the Alabama Supreme Court not for their historic value but for their religious value. Justice Moore has a right to follow the Ten Commandments.

          http://publici.ucimc.org/the-conflict-between-the-first-commandment-and-the-first-amendment/

        • Fred Knight

          “Even if you are not a Christian, what would be wrong wit living by the
          ten commandments and treating people how you want to be treated.”

          thank you Doriblue, that is exactly my point!

          “It’s nice to have someone to talk to about problems or just the day. I
          can feel his presence and know he is with me always, it’s a comforting
          feeling…..”
          It very much is. And since it is rooted in and affirms our internal basic human goodness, it objectively can help us be better people….I’ve thought long and hard about this, even as one who does not believe – god bless!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I prefer to believe true things and not believe false things. Wouldn’t that be a good principle to adopt?

        • Fred Knight

          factually true or morally true? one can bend the rules if one is inclined.

        • epeeist

          What does “morally true” even mean?

        • Fred Knight

          I noticed a while back that you substituted my use of the word “morality” for “ethics” – you are coming at this philosophically, and are seemingly willing to go to great lengths to avoid everyday common meanings and more importantly intentions. Is there room in your universe for someone being technically “right” and yet acting in such bad faith (such as duplicity or evil intent) or with extreme selfishness or self-righteous pomposity that they are only clinging to a technicality?

          You (and others) seem to be taking things so literally, that somehow I expect that I will once again be accused of not providing evidence for this outrageous and dubious claim I’ve made.

        • epeeist

          and are seemingly willing to go to great lengths to avoid everyday common meanings

          The trouble with “common meanings” is that they are common and can often be used with equivocation. As a classic example just look at what Ed Senter is doing with the word “faith”.

          Oh and I see, as seems usual with you, that you have wandered off the point and avoided answering the question as to what “morally true” means.

        • Fred Knight

          “The trouble with “common meanings” is that they are common and can
          often be used with equivocation.”
          As can philosophical meanings. I’m presuming basic honesty, the kind where one’s word and a hand shake means something. I can’t speak for the UK, but this kind of basic, down home wisdom and plain common sense is being supplanted by a level of douchery, trickery, double talk, & as you say equivocation that is off the charts in American society. Another thing honest skepticism and good religion get right, they don’t tolerate such foolishness.

          “As a classic example just look at what Ed Senter is doing with the word “faith”.”
          I don’t know that name at all, but William Lane Craig is a classic example of a religious douche who plays philosophical games…..which I HATE, HATE, HATE.

          I’m making a non-partisan point here.

          “Oh and I see, as seems usual with you, that you have wandered off the
          point and avoided answering the question as to what “morally true”
          means.”
          If you want to have an actual common sense conversation on morality, fine.

        • epeeist

          As can philosophical meanings.

          Strange then that you don’t give any examples of philosophical terms that are used equivocally.

          I can’t speak for the UK, but this kind of basic, down home wisdom

          Which has nothing to do with the kind of equivocation that was under discussion.

          I don’t know that name at all

          A poster here who uses the two meanings of faith given here equivocally, he effectively claims that his religious faith corresponds to definition 1. while trusting in all the science and engineering that go into producing an aeroplane is using the 2nd definition of faith.

          If you want to have an actual common sense conversation on morality, fine.

          So having avoided the subject for two posts all you want to do is talk at the level “common sense”. Tell me would you want to talk about, say, quantum tunnelling at the common sense level?

        • Fred Knight

          “Strange then that you don’t give any examples of philosophical terms that are used equivocally.”
          I’ve done nothing but point these out to you ad nauseum since I’ve been here, you in particular, tend to hide behind philosophical argumentation. The terms are not the problem, it’s how one uses them and why..I’ve probed, you’ve deflected.

          “I can’t speak for the UK, but this kind of basic, down home wisdom
          Which has nothing to do with the kind of equivocation that was under discussion.”
          Because your brand of deflection is so radically different from the rest of humanity? Gotta love the hubris of that.

          “A poster here who uses the two meanings of faith given here
          equivocally, he effectively claims that his religious faith corresponds
          to definition 1. while trusting in all the science and engineering that
          go into producing an aeroplane is using the 2nd definition of faith.”
          I agree with you on opposing that, that’s not where I’m coming from.

          “If you want to have an actual common sense conversation on morality, fine.

          So having avoided the subject for two posts all you want to do is talk at
          the level “common sense”. Tell me would you want to talk about, say,
          quantum tunnelling at the common sense level?”
          Let’s just stick to common sense topics and leave quantum physics for the experts. Please make a common sense, practical case for your atheism – I may not see eye to eye, but at least it’d be a good start. My general point is that while I’m a fellow non-believer, I don’t necessarily find it self-satisfying or superior, it is what it is.

        • epeeist

          I’ve done nothing but point these out to you ad nauseum since I’ve been here, you in particular, tend to hide behind philosophical argumentation.

          You will have to help me out, I can’t find any posts to me in which you have done this.

          As for me using “philosophical argumentation”, I try to pose good arguments (I am not going to claim I always succeed). If you can’t cope with that then tough.

          Let’s just stick to common sense topics and leave quantum physics for the experts.

          What makes you thing something like ethics is a “common sense topic”?

          Please make a common sense, practical case for your atheism

          I suspect I may be slightly different to some here, while I see no substantive evidence for the kind of god that is put forward by theists here my real difficulty is that I don’t see the concept of “god” to be meaningful. All the attributes assigned to such an entity are either simply relational or negatively defined.

        • Fred Knight

          “You will have to help me out, I can’t find any posts to me in which you have done this.”
          now who’s being disingenuous? that has been the very crux between you and me since the beginning. I appeal to common, everyday language and meaning and you call me out on my “claims” I’m not sure if you are f*cking with me or trying to be serious – it feels like you are messing with me.

          “As for me using “philosophical argumentation”, I try to pose good
          arguments (I am not going to claim I always succeed). ”
          a little bit of honest humility goes a long way and is appreciated.

          “If you can’t cope with that then tough.”
          you know what I hear from you in that? Dismissive pretense. “then tough!”

          Are we trying to be real or posturing for some kind of bullshit court of our peers?

          “I suspect I may be slightly different to some here, while I see no
          substantive evidence for the kind of god that is put forward by theists
          here my real difficulty is that I don’t see the concept of “god” to be
          meaningful. All the attributes assigned to such an entity are either
          simply relational or negatively defined.”
          that has been perhaps the most real and genuine I’ve seen from you yet.

        • epeeist

          now who’s being disingenuous?

          Not me, it was a genuine query. I simply cannot identify any of your posts which identify “examples of philosophical terms that are used equivocally”.

          you know what I hear from you in that? Dismissive pretense. “then tough!”

          I make arguments, I attempt to make them as strong as I possibly can. If you are unable to make a considered response to these arguments then it really isn’t my problem.

          that has been perhaps the most real and genuine I’ve seen from you yet.

          Fine, so why don’t you tell me (and anyone else who reads your posts) why you are an atheist.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What’s hard to understand?

          I want to know whether God exists or not and believe the correct thing. I’d prefer not to bend the rules, thanks.

        • adam

          “I’d prefer not to bend the rules, thanks.”

          Well that pretty much rules out the God thingie, and all its’ ‘believers’

        • Fred Knight

          but that’s precisely my point, not bending the rules. who gets to define ultimate truth? Is it hard science? philosophy? religion? materialism? the rules are being bent even as we speak, even as we embrace whatever model we see fit. what if no God exists but the underlying premises that defined him were the best thing out there for classical morality and the very best of logical consistency for our well being as rational creatures? what then?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Are you determined to find ambiguity?

          There’s insufficient evidence to believe in Yahweh. So I don’t. It’s pretty simple.

        • Fred Knight

          “Are you determined to find ambiguity?”
          Let’s flip that question on it’s head
          Are you determined to find certainty?

          Anyone who has ever been a true believer and found grace, peace, sanity, clearness of thought by realizing that the universe rarely has square corners and straight lines…and far less does the fullness of the human experience.

          The argument that you seem to be bringing to support your atheism is towards the certainty, square corners kind of rationale.

          No, I’m certainly not into ambiguity for it’s own sake, but even as I move into more/most likely certainties, I almost always find shades of gray or mitigating/qualifying philosophical considerations and practical circumstances surely that make holding the hard line untenable for me.

          “There’s insufficient evidence to believe in Yahweh. So I don’t. It’s pretty simple.”
          Perhaps too simple, as it’s only one pinpoint of “truth” or “fact” in the much wider definition of those words. And to make matters worse between you and I, I don’t even agree atheism is a fact – I hold it to be a more reasonable interpretation of the available historical facts. (Rational Christians also agree on the same facts, they just explain them differently.)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Are you determined to find ambiguity?”
          Let’s flip that question on it’s head
          Are you determined to find certainty?

          Why flip the question on its head? You don’t like participating in the conversation?

          I’m not certain that there are no dragons, fairies, or unicorns, but there is insufficient evidence to believe. Ditto Yahweh.

          I gave you no clue that I’m determined to find certainty.

          The argument that you seem to be bringing to support your atheism is towards the certainty, square corners kind of rationale.

          I can’t imagine why you think I’m gravitating toward or determined to invent certainty. I’m not certain.

          “There’s insufficient evidence to believe in Yahweh. So I don’t. It’s pretty simple.”
          Perhaps too simple, as it’s only one pinpoint of “truth” or “fact” in th e much wider definition of those words.

          I’m trying to meet you halfway, but all I get are deepities.

          There’s insufficient evidence to believe in unicorns. So I don’t. It’s pretty simple. Are you going to quibble with that as well?

          And to make matters worse between you and I, I don’t even agree atheism is a fact – I hold it to be a more reasonable interpretation of the available historical facts.

          I’m not certain that there is no god, either.

        • Fred Knight

          “Why flip the question on its head? You don’t like participating in the conversation?… I gave you no clue that I’m determined to find certainty.”

          And I gave you no clue that I find ambiguity an end in itself, and yet you asked the question. I’ve said repeatedly that I’m coming from a moderate agnostic atheist perspective. (I’m not sure why that should be controversial?)

          “I’m trying to meet you halfway, but all I get are deepities.”

          If you are trying to meet me halfway, I do apologize if I’ve hampered that process in any way, that is my intention as well, I’m not looking to convert anyone in any direction, I sure want to acknowledge reasonable points on any side.

          “There’s insufficient evidence to believe in unicorns. So I don’t. It’s
          pretty simple. Are you going to quibble with that as well?”

          If you take me at my word, you know that I don’t. In fact I share the same view.

          “I’m not certain that there is no god, either.”

          Well said. As I’ve said before, you are one of the more reasonable ones…perhaps at times a little strong for my tastes, no point in fighting over non-essentials, “In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas”

        • Joe

          And since it is rooted in and affirms our internal basic human goodness,

          What “internal basic human goodness”?

          it objectively can help us be better people.

          How?

        • Ignorant Amos

          thank you Doriblue, that is exactly my point!

          There ya go lying again!

          It very much is. And since it is rooted in and affirms our internal basic human goodness, it objectively can help us be better people….I’ve thought long and hard about this, even as one who does not believe – god bless!

          More bullshit from the bullshit artist.

        • Joe

          Even if you are not a Christian, what would be wrong wit living by the ten commandments and treating people how you want to be treated.

          The ten commandments are not about ‘treating people how you want to be treated”. Which is exactly what’s wrong with them.

          It’s nice to have someone to talk to about problems or just the day. I can feel his presence and know he is with me always, it’s a comforting feeling…..

          How do you know that feeling is God?

        • Pofarmer

          Fred, Fred, Fred, Fred, Fred, Fred, Fred.

          Holy shit Fred. So much condensed stupid and wrong.

          you, apparently have never been a true believer. morals count, being a
          good person counts, imagine how shitty you feel when you’ve been
          immoral or even evil

          Kodie may not have been, but many of us have. The problem with your statement here is that religion TWISTS morals to use against us. Saying, for instance, that Gay marriage is against God, that homosexuality is a sin(think Westboro Baptists) etc, etc, and on and on ad nauseum. Religion can actually be used to dislodge your moral compass.

          conscience is a motherf*cker.

          Which applies to everybody, well, except some religious. “Better to let them burn on the pyre than consign others to burn in the flames of Hell.” Sound familiar, at all?

          and yet, you’d propose all bets are off, all things are equal, get your freak on, all is good….welcome to dumb atheism.

          Except no one here has proposed that. That’s you being dishonest, or stupid, or whatever, I’m not sure.

          that atheists such as yourself advocate no morality, that all things are
          equal and cool, by your own words you admit that’s accurate, and yet
          you accuse them of falsely judging you.

          Once again, this is simply not true. I don’t even know where this is coming from.

          and me, as an an actual free-thinker, who doesn’t ascribe to your brand of amorality,

          You don’t come across as a free thinker at all. You come across as a troll, or an ill educated douche. I”m honestly not sure which it is, at this point, and I don’t care.

          At this point I’d advocate for your banning.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Holy shit Fred. So much condensed stupid and wrong.

          Since the moment he got here.

          Once again, this is simply not true. I don’t even know where this is coming from.

          The same place he pulls all his asinine fuckwit mindwankery…out of his arse hole.

          At this point I’d advocate for your banning.

          Spoil sport….at this point, Fred’s idiocy is still quite entertaining. There is still a wee bit of distance to be extracted from his crapola before he’s run his course…but I admit his boorish comments could well be peeving others off already.

        • Fred Knight

          “At this point I’d advocate for your banning.”
          THAT is telling! Free Thought! Irony Meter Indeed!

        • Pofarmer

          Luke, is that you?

        • Kodie

          Interesting theory, but Luke’s too Luke to pull it off.

        • Susan

          Luke’s too Luke to pull it off.

          And I don’t think Luke’s the type to sockpuppet.

          I don’t think this is a first visit for “Fred” but I could be wrong.

          Sometimes, the trolls start to blur together.

        • Fred Knight

          Hey Pofarmer, why should I give you the time of day? You’ve been a total douche, why shouldn’t I just tell you to fuck off?

          “Holy shit Fred. So much condensed stupid and wrong.”

          thanks, douche, way to initiate your point….so dazzle me, bro

          “Kodie may not have been, but many of us have. The problem with your
          statement here is that religion TWISTS morals to use against us.
          Saying, for instance, that Gay marriage is against God, that
          homosexuality is a sin(think Westboro Baptists) etc, etc, and on and on
          ad nauseum. Religion can actually be used to dislodge your moral
          compass.”

          I get that point more than you could ever know, believe me. But there is a healthy aspect to it that I was bringing up. Or are you so bitter and twisted against religion that it is only bad all the time?

          “Once again, this is simply not true. I don’t even know where this is coming from.”

          Ok, since you called me an absolute idiot for addressing what one does when they feel bad or regretful for the bad they’ve done in life, advocate for me what healthy religion or healthy atheism has to offer those struggling with these issues?

          “You don’t come across as a free thinker at all. You come across as a troll, or an ill educated douche.”
          I’m not only a fellow ex-religionist, I’ve wrestled with all these points on a very deep personal level. Even feel abused by some of the religious bullshit I’ve endured. But atheism often fails to give any kind of answer at all, and yet claims absolute superiority – I find that unacceptable. And yet my bona fides as a free thinker should be revoked – says you, you don’t know me but you call me a douche a troll – yet you are the one acting like a douche, again, why shouldn’t I just tell you to fuck off and move on?

        • Pofarmer

          Do you even read what is written in response to you? You certainly don’t seem to.

          I get that point more than you could ever know, believe me. But there
          is a healthy aspect to it that I was bringing up. Or are you so bitter
          and twisted against religion that it is only bad all the time?

          If you’ve got to ignore the bad parts to get the good parts, then you are admitting that religion isn’t a good basis for morality. You can get the good parts without any religious doctrine involved, AT ALL, because it’s good anyway. That’s kinda the point, in large part, Secular forces have tamed the Church. It hasn’t moderated on it’s own.

          advocate for me what healthy religion or healthy atheism has to offer those struggling with these issues?

          the two are NOT the same. There is no healthy atheism to help you struggling with your life issues. That isn’t what Atheism is. I’m a Materialist, I believe in philosophical Naturalism. Those are related to my atheism, but don’t have anything to do with it. Atheism is not a philosophy, it actually, generally, takes other philosophy’s to come to atheism. I don’t know how to get this through to you, obviously. atheism isn’t about dealing with life problems. Sorry.

          But atheism often fails to give any kind of answer at all, and yet claims absolute superiority – I find that unacceptable.

          Once again, because that’s not what atheism IS. Atheism is an answer to one question, that’s it. I don’t know what kind of answers you want. I find meaning in my kids, and my volunteer work, and my farm, etc, etc, etc. That doesn’t have much to do with athiesm, other than you have to find meaning in something other than your church and your imaginary friend with it’s imaginary commandments. Maybe this isn’t obvious? What you are giving us is a religious persons caricature of atheists. That’s why we’re skeptical and that’s why you come across as disingenuous and insincere.

        • Fred Knight

          “Do you even read what is written in response to you? You certainly don’t seem to.”
          notice how you have to get in a snide remark before answering, I do.

          “If you’ve got to ignore the bad parts to get the good parts, then you are admitting that religion isn’t a good basis for morality.”
          I’m actually not claiming religion is a good basis for morality. Rather good religion tends to adopt (and often claim for themselves) the better aspects of human morality.

          “You can get the good parts without any religious doctrine involved, AT ALL,
          because it’s good anyway.”
          Agreed. But here is the kicker, why do so few atheistic ideologies gravitate to the best of the best? While it’s theoretically possible, it’s often not the case. They tend to defend the fringe morality, and often oppose the established moral codes that have successfully guided stable societies for millenia.

          We can go to the hot button topics likes sex out of wedlock, abortion, trans-gender issues, excessive gay pride, etc…..why do so few “atheists” tend to defend “traditional” social values? Huge blind spot and “anti-religion” kicks in and they lose their common sense on these issues.

          “That’s kinda the point, in large part, Secular forces have tamed the Church. It hasn’t moderated on it’s own.”
          That is a very valid point, and in some cases EXTREMELY valid…but I wonder how kicking and screaming will go the militant atheist who has to back up on some of it’s over-reaching claims on societal issues when we see the ramifications.

          “the two are NOT the same. There is no healthy atheism to help you
          struggling with your life issues. That isn’t what Atheism is.”
          Yes, that is my point. It claims less, but it also does far less. At some point, a little humility might be appropriate.

          “I’m a Materialist, I believe in philosophical Naturalism. Those are related
          to my atheism, but don’t have anything to do with it. Atheism is not a
          philosophy, it actually, generally, takes other philosophy’s to come to
          atheism. I don’t know how to get this through to you, obviously.
          atheism isn’t about dealing with life problems. Sorry.”
          Then it should politely refrain from asserting itself as if it’s the ultimate. Never has an anti-philosophy claimed so little, yet asserted so much!

          “Once again, because that’s not what atheism IS. Atheism is an answer to one question, that’s it.”
          no atheist here is going to appreciate this analogy, but this kind of thinking is as weak as when you ask a Born-Again if they are religious. And they sincerely proclaim that they’re not religious they just have a personal relationship with the Lord.

          So too, atheists proclaim that they have no other agenda or claim outside of simply not believing. (ok, go ahead and pile on.)

          “I don’t know what kind of answers you want. I find meaning in my kids, and my volunteer work, and my farm, etc, etc,etc. That doesn’t have much to do with athiesm, other than you have to find meaning in something other than your church and your imaginary friend with it’s imaginary commandments. Maybe this isn’t obvious? ”
          Thank you for addressing my question, and no, it’s not made obvious by most atheistic arguers on typical forums. Christianity claims to provide these very answers, and yet I don’t often see atheists addressing this point. We should at least not ignore it.

          “What you are giving us is a religious persons caricature of atheists. ”
          I’m simply asking “us” what they ask. And want a direct response with no avoidance.

          “That’s why we’re skeptical and that’s why you come across as disingenuous and insincere.”
          I’m neither. At least you attempted to address my actual questions, which is, have we heard THEIR questions or have we simply dismissed them as irrelevant? I don’t find meaning of life questions irrelevant at all, and maybe that’s something for each individual atheist to answer for themselves, as “atheism” has no answers…..not sure how being all on our own is a great big win for atheism, but if that’s the final answer, I’m willing to accept it.

        • Pofarmer

          Rather good religion tends to adopt (and often claim for themselves) the better aspects of human morality.

          Then the religious part is superfluous. We can do the good morality without the religion, obviously.

          We can go to the hot button topics likes sex out of wedlock, abortion, trans-gender issues, excessive gay pride

          What the hell does any of this even mean?

          and often oppose the established moral codes that have successfully guided stable societies for millenia.

          Gee, I dunno, could it be because some of those established moral codes have been to excommunicate, minimaze, ostracize, punish, or outright kill atheists? Gee………………

          Then it should politely refrain from asserting itself as if it’s the
          ultimate. Never has an anti-philosophy claimed so little, yet asserted
          so much!

          It’s one claim, numbnuts.

          and yet I don’t often see atheists addressing this point. We should at least not ignore it.

          It’s addressed literally all the time, because theist buffoons keep bringing it up. Dawkins has addressed it, Harris has addressed it, Carrier has addressed it, Sean Carroll has addressed it at length. Just for starters. In fact, it’s been addressed so completely, that modern philosophy pretty much ignores it.

        • Fred Knight

          “Then the religious part is superfluous. We can do the good morality without the religion, obviously.”
          how obvious is it really? I’m finding it exceptional in atheist circles. not impossible, but a minority

          “What the hell does any of this even mean?”
          yeah, crazy talk, who could even comprehend? (kind of a non-answer, and rather revealing – wouldn’t you agree?)

          “Gee, I dunno, could it be because some of those established moral codes have been to excommunicate, minimaze, ostracize, punish, or outright kill atheists? Gee…..”
          Kill atheists! yeah, that’s not paranoid…

          “It’s one claim, numbnuts.”
          and yet it claims so much, numb nuts

          “It’s addressed literally all the time”
          how come I’m not convinced? Meaning of life questions are dismissed out of hand….and for god’s sake, I’m a fellow non-believer! Lazy and lame. I still await the same lame level that believers bring for their pre-suppositions – atheism is so superior that this should be child’s play, yet I await.

        • Kodie

          You’re not convinced because you think how we treat you is how we are in general as people, without acknowledging that it’s you. You want to be a hostile, deceitful, Christian apologist who insults us, just so you can continue to hate atheists and think we’re not nice people. We’re not nice TO YOU. YOU SUCK. What about that is so hard to understand? You treat us like scum, you say terrible lies about us, and you expect us to shut the fuck up – you even said we should shut the fuck up. When we don’t shut the fuck up, you feign surprise and hurt, just for the purpose of confirming your own bias against atheists. This alone is the reason you’re treated unwelcome here. You are so much like the Christian who doesn’t listen to a word we say. How patient should we be when you ignore us, at the same time persist in hanging around being totally oblivious? It’s AGGRAVATING TO ANYONE. That’s why you are called a troll, because you are trying to aggravate us, just so you can hate us.

          You’re not a friendly person having a friendly discussion, Fred. Nobody here is fooled.

        • Fred Knight

          “because you think how we treat you is how we are in general as people, without acknowledging that it’s you.”
          so how you treat people is dependent on how they treat you?

          suppose I’m testing you to see if atheists are equally moral to the Christianity I knew from before? and it proves that you are lacking, what then?

        • Fred Knight

          kodie, I do ask this sincerely as a heart attack..stop and make us all ask and think….it’s nothing personal, I assure you

        • Pofarmer

          It proves you’re really, really bad at this, is what it proves. You’ve got multiple atheists here telling you that you’re the problem……………….

        • Fred Knight

          and yet I’m unconvinced. I think you have the problem. This is not a popularity contest. I stand by my every point. What do you think of that?

        • Pofarmer

          I think you’re confused, mainly.

        • Fred Knight

          I think mainly positive of you pofarmer – what do you think of that?

        • Greg G.

          If you were able to show that, your sample would be inconsistent with other measures, so your sample size would be suspect or you were cherry-picking.

        • Fred Knight

          all scientific jargon aside, I’m human, and I do judge by my experience – for you to say my human experience is not valid, especially when I take great measures to keep myself objective, rings hollow. At some point, it becomes a matter of using logical fallacies as a means to deny what is plain and obvious.

          I’m intentionally bringing very measured human arguments to a pretty loaded and pre-determined discussion – in hopes of finding bits of our shared humanity….that is my stated goal and perhaps why I’m at odds with certain individuals.

        • Paul B. Lot

          so how you treat people is dependent on how they treat you?

          Of course it is, you fucking dolt. You goddamn imbecile.

          Walk up to a cop with a pleasant demeanor and ask for directions. Walk up to a cop shouting erratically while brandishing a weapon. Are their reactions going to depend on your behavior?


          suppose I’m testing you to see if atheists are equally moral to the Christianity I knew from before? and it proves that you are lacking, what then?

          Suppose the very act of naming yourself as a) competent to, and b) justified in, setting up such a “test”, per se, disqualifies you on the grounds of both a) incompetence, and b) moral turpitude.

          What then?

        • Fred Knight

          hey dummy, thanks for chiming in. it seems that I’m chumming the bottom feeders….hey, this is the best and brightest atheism has to offer! NOT! thankfully, I recognize that you and your dopey fellow minions do not speak for atheism….thank god!

        • Paul B. Lot

          thanks for chiming in. it seems that I’m chumming the bottom feeders….hey, this is the best and brightest atheism has to offer! NOT

          If you’re as malignantly incompetent as I say you are, then an insult like this from you would be a compliment, right?

          What are the chances, then, that I’m right about you? :)

          I recognize that you and your dopey fellow minions do not speak for atheism

          1) I have no minions here. The only one who has anything like would be the owner of the blog, Bob.

          Bzzzzt, yet another wrong answer from @disqus_LShqROD33E:disqus. (Will he ever tire of showing himself to be a nimrod?)

          2) Of course I don’t speak “for atheism”….because no one speaks “for atheism”….because “atheism” isn’t a movement. It’s just a label which means “lack of belief in ‘(g)God(s)'”.

          Jesus goatfucking Christ, but you’re a sad sack of shit.

        • Fred Knight

          “If you’re as malignantly incompetent as I say you are, then an insult like this from you would be a compliment, right?”
          If checking your diaper is a compliment, then have at it, hoss! 😀

          “What are the chances, then, that I’m right about you? :)”
          about zero percent if you care about actual facts rather than fantasy facts that dumbass atheists cling to. 😉

        • Paul B. Lot

          If checking your diaper is a compliment

          Oh come on now, Freddikins, do we really have to do this again? Do we have to show everyone that you’ve made another mistake? My poopy diaper wasn’t the antecedent, now was it? Take your time dear, before answering. You can even go ahead and look up the definition of “antecedent”.


          “What are the chances, then, that I’m right about you? :)”

          about zero percent

          Tut tut, @disqus_LShqROD33E:disqus. You’ve been wrong on so many of the other things you blustered about before now, why should we start believing you here?

        • Fred Knight

          Pauly, your poopy diapers aside, bring forth something worth talking about….start baby powder fresh please.

        • Paul B. Lot

          “Antecedent” was too much for you, eh?

          Oh well, baby steps Fred, baby steps.

          PS. I’m tickled pink as a newborn’s bottom that you had no answer to the question “why should we start believing you here”. I mean, it makes sense – there’s no answer to give because there’s no reason present – but the fact that [no answer] makes sense is why I didn’t expect it of you.

        • Fred Knight

          again, hit me up with some real issues

        • Paul B. Lot

          Freddie, dear, you’ve never had the stones to engage on “real” issues before now – why should anyone think that you’d suddenly grown a pair?

        • Kodie

          You are in fact trying to provoke us to act like you think atheists are because we lack the “morality” that you think religious people have. You’ve done nothing but trolling here since you arrive. I already told you – it’s just you. You want to beg us to be punched and then complain when someone punches you so you can whine about how atheists are belligerent assholes because you wanted to confirm your fucking bias. Get the fuck out.

        • Fred Knight

          just one more, pull your head out of your supposed veteran atheist ass and act like an adult and I’d be happy to address you.

        • Kodie

          You think I want you to “address” me? You’re a whining uneducated troll liar, and you want me to give a shit whether I impress you enough to “address” me??????

        • Fred Knight

          stop posturing,, you are embarrassing yourself…blushing for your dumbass, bro, truly…

        • Fred Knight

          thank god atheistic standards allow such a low level! ok, kodie, bring forth your very best, we all eagerly await! don’t dissapoint!

        • adam
        • Pofarmer

          I’m finding it exceptional in atheist circles. not impossible, but a minority

          What the hell are we talking about here, Fred?

          yeah, crazy talk, who could even comprehend? (kind of a non-answer, and rather revealing – wouldn’t you agree?)

          No, Fred, it means I don’t understand what to fuck you’re on about.

          Kill atheists! yeah, that’s not paranoid…

          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-religion-atheists/atheists-face-death-in-13-countries-global-discrimination-study-idUSBRE9B900G20131210

          how come I’m not convinced?

          Because for most of your life you’ve been brainwashed? I dunno. Because you really, really want to believe?

          Meaning of life questions are dismissed out of hand.

          If there’s a question like “What is the ultimate meaning of the Universe?” And the theist answer is “To serve God” then all you can do is dismiss it out of hand, because there is no God. Questions of ultimate purpose are irrelevant, as uncomfortable as that may be.

          I still await the same lame level that believers bring for their
          pre-suppositions – atheism is so superior that this should be child’s
          play, yet I await.

          Once again, I haven’t a clue what you are talking about.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Kill atheists! yeah, that’s not paranoid…

          Yeah…because no atheist has ever been persecuted to the point of death…more Fred bullshit.

          There Are 13 Countries Where Atheism Is Punishable by Death

          https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/12/13-countries-where-atheism-punishable-death/355961/

          Man ‘sentenced to death for atheism’ in Saudi Arabia

          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-man-sentenced-death-atheism-ahmad-al-shamri-hafar-al-batin-appeal-denied-a7703161.html

          Don’t think for a moment that there are no fuckwits in the states that would wish death to atheists and would carry it out if they could get away with it.

          And they would use their holy texts as the warrant to do so….

          Atheism is just another way of serving another god! Atheism is a religion too. Atheists worship man rather than God. Although I do not suggest that our first impulse must be to stone these heathens, stoning is a Biblically acceptable approach to atheism. First, I believe that we should try to convert them and to show them the light of Christ our Lord and Savior. Then, ONLY if they still refuse to repent and embrace Jesus our Lord and Savior, should they be stoned. I am being more merciful than Deuteronomy might necessitate, but Jesus taught us to show mercy, so I suggest that we first give the unbeliever a chance to repent from his unbelief before he is stoned.

          https://creationsciencestudy.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/should-we-stone-atheists/

          Fred the bubble dweller strikes again….feckin’ eejit.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists#United_States

        • Greg G.

          Meaning of life questions are dismissed out of hand

          Religion tells you that there is some teleological meaning of life and you believe it? They lied about the existence of gods, your soul, atheists, morality, history. What religion gets right was right before there was religion.

        • Fred Knight

          Greg, I will answer you honestly and I’m not sure you will be able to hear me (yet again).

          The questions you ask make me pause, but please don’t assume I’m feeding you some kind of a line, I’m not. These are my true views.

          “Religion tells you that there is some teleological meaning of life and
          you believe it?”

          No, I don’t believe it. And that is perhaps not a good thing. I’m emptier as a person for it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an atheist by necessity (I started to say by choice, but actually that’s not true, I no longer believe because that’s where the uncomfortable facts personally led me. I’m not an atheist fanboy (you may have noticed) – in fact, my experience here could easily make me bitter if I allowed it. And yet I continue to disbelieve. Why? because it lacks evidence and to claim I was a “believer” would be fundamentally dishonest (and an affront to the Imaginary God if He existed.)

          “”Religion tells you that there is some teleological meaning of life and
          you believe it?”
          And to be further frank and honest, going back to my years as a true believer, I was the most sincere, committed Jesus person you’d ever want to meet – me, and those I fellowshipped with (“communion”) were some of the most dedicated, give the shirt off their back, lay down their life for their fellow man, even those who hated us kind of people you’d ever meet.

          I’m frankly a bit embarrassed looking back, but that is the gospel truth. And the level of peace and certainty that all was right with the world was off the charts.

          Was I delusional? Yes, I can put it in no other terms (even from a moderate, more liberal Christian point of view.) But never was I more happy, more self-assured, more at peace and perhaps the most righteous I’ve ever been, before or since.

          When I encounter my old friends from that time in my life, they annoy me with their simplistic certainty. When I try to share why I no longer believe, they look me straight in the eye with deep concern and say “I know you are a good person, I’ll be praying for you!” – and I tell them, “Thank you very much, I appreciate it.” (because I honor their intentions….they do care about me, but I think it’s utter horseshit their reasons why…I can choose to get offended at their horseshit, or appreciate that they are the very salt of the earth, never hurt a fly, not a problem to society whatsoever (outside of annoying beliefs)

          “They lied about the existence of gods”
          not lied – that would imply dishonest intention on their part…..

          ” your soul,”
          in that, they are a little more culpable….but also to their own souls as well – and in this I find evangelicalism and the fundamentalists to be more at fault – even to the point of emotional abuse on the level they take it – make no mistake, I find it damaging, angering and even abusive and dangerous.

          “atheists”
          they don’t understand atheism, for sure. Stereotypes abound. As a religious teacher, I defended atheists from unfair criticism every chance I got.

          ” morality, history.”
          again, I don’t think they lie as much interpret it from their own vantage point. I would point out that it is very hard to be a sincere believer….they heroically struggle to live the perfect life they set up for themselves and others. Be grateful you are not under that kind of burden.

          “What religion gets right was right before there was religion.”
          I would not agree that it was necessarily “before” religion – but outside, or at least alongside religion for sure. We all have the advantage of hindsight – the human race has been evolving over time, with new knowledge comes new insight – wise people continue to evolve – and wise people also continue to cling to the good that has righteously/carefully been preserved through the ages, but also not afraid to cast off into the dustbin of history the bad and malignant ideas as well. Good religion does this, and so does thoughtful atheists or any other group.

        • TheNuszAbides

          in fact, my experience here could easily make me bitter if I allowed it.

          HOLY SHIT. newsflash, Fred, you ‘allow’ it every time you get pushback. nearly every comment from you is seething with suspicion and projecting outrageous hyperbole about ‘amorality’ and ‘you’re off the hook, right’ and ‘atheism declaring itself superior’ and whatever else, I was too irritated to take notes, onto and into everyone who responds to you, not “measured arguments”. it’s like at least once a week some reset button gets pushed and you don’t seem able to restrain yourself from putting words and attitudes into your half-baked impressions of any one of us (let alone the regulars in generalities) that ARE. NOT. THERE. please get that the fuck through your skull or all the angry snarky horseshit has no end in sight. WE are not in any way, shape or form responsible for the behavior of other atheists to which you allude, and you admit as much when you manage to calm down, but the rest of the time it’s like you’re screaming out a nightmare you can’t wake up from.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • TheNuszAbides

          that would be a turn-up if he’s actually run through the MGTOW mill …

        • Fred Knight

          “into your half-baked impressions of any one of us”
          oh, I admit that my impressions are half-baked because I have at least given you a chance to prove me wrong if I’ve somehow been too hasty in my judgment. (I do wonder how many have done that in my direction – perhaps it’s a matter of the pot calling the kettle black, I’m willing to entertain that notion.)

          ” please get that the fuck through your skull or all the angry snarky horseshit has no end in sight. ”
          so the onus is on me? or are you the bigger man willing to make the first move?

          “WE are not in any way, shape or form responsible for the behavior of other atheists ”
          thank god for that, that’s something I cling to with each encounter.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Fred…what is your purpose for being here? Really, what are doing on this forum?

        • Fred Knight

          that is literally the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me

        • TheNuszAbides
        • Kodie

          And the nicest thing you answer back their question with your personal opinion of their remark (nobody gives a fuck, Fred) but not answer the actual question, troll?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Your memory is another thing that isn’t too sharp either, hmmm?

        • TheNuszAbides

          Greg, I will answer you honestly and I’m not sure you will be able to hear me (yet again).

          it’s unclear whether you mean to imply that he didn’t ‘hear’ you before. which (if that’s your meaning) i’d find extremely difficult to believe. everybody you’ve been fighting with is sharper than you give them credit for.

          The questions you ask make me pause, but please don’t assume I’m feeding you some kind of a line, I’m not. These are my true views.

          you came on condescending, patronizing and casting aspersions – many of them personal – and repeatedly acted FOR WEEKS like you had no reason whatsoever to back up any of it. so if anyone gives you the impression that this testimony was too little too late, you might want to chew on that a bit. but FWIW, thanks for sharing instead of off-the-handle ridiculing and rebuking for once.

        • Fred Knight

          “but FWIW, thanks for sharing instead of off-the-handle ridiculing and rebuking for once.”
          Greg has been decent and respectful and asks good questions, so have one or two others.

        • TheNuszAbides

          if you have a problem with the fact that a majority of participants here tend to raise “asks good questions” far above the other factors, then that problem is extraordinarily unlikely to go away.

        • Fred Knight

          your phrasing is unclear…that most are more hostile and likely not to engage my actual points, unlike Greg, you and a couple others and it is not likely to go away? how exactly is that my problem? I do have an agenda, but it is at cross purposes to a bullet point, militant atheist agenda….how would you suggest I alter my agenda to accommodate these folks?

        • TheNuszAbides

          again … your agenda, or the bare fact that you have one, is not [generally] my concern.
          are you sure you aren’t just confusing [atheists getting pissed off at you for one or more reasons] for [militant atheism]? let’s try to clarify terms and avoid a bogeyman rabbit-hole. what would your ‘poster child’ for “militant atheist” be? i don’t think there’s even a David Silverman type among the regulars here – though Bob may have met him face-to-face somewhen.

          i’ll try to clear up my phrasing:

          .that most are more hostile and likely not to engage my actual points

          they’re hostile to ideas and attitudes they perceive as unjustified and/or deplorable. … i think you need to remind yourself (since i’m running out of energy) that the pushback is in response to when you aren’t actually making points or when you embed them in a paragraph full of unsupported generalizations or jeers at what a ‘novice’ or ‘dumbass’ someone is.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Lies, lies, lies, and more lies…you just can’t help yourself…it’s compulsive.

        • Kodie

          Is your agenda to lie about why you’re here and never listen to what we’re telling you? You can alter it by fucking leaving.

        • Fred Knight

          another classic example of what I’m up against. TheNusz seems to think that I’m the one stirring up trouble, and yet I’m only responding to the climate I’m attempting to engage….at some point, acrid and bitter douchebag atheism has to be called out for what it is. Am I the man for the job? Probably not, but I’ve given it an honest try.

        • Kodie

          You are fucking lying.

        • Ignorant Amos

          …but I’ve given it an honest try.

          Naaah…ya really haven’t. Do you think we are all as dense as you are and have forgotten all the dishonest unsupported bullcrap you have spewed out in the last month or so?

          I’ll repeat what I said to you over a month ago…

          There is no agenda against you, don’t play the victim card. You post comments that are bullshit. The particular bullshit comment on this sub-thread was to Greg. It was me that challenged your bullshit. I challenged your unsupported assertion, because it flies in the face of my knowledge on the subject. Now I could be wrong in my understanding, but you have offered nothing to support your position. So while I really am up for being corrected for being wrong, that is how one learns a lot, from their errors. I’m not just going to accept your word for it,while at the same time ignore years of research and reading. Demonstrate the veracity of your argument or concede the argument. If you can demonstrate I’m in error, then I will concede the argument.

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/the_bible_defeats_its_own_resurrection_story/#comment-3506411873

        • Paul B. Lot

          I’m only responding to the climate I’m attempting to engage….at some point, acrid and bitter douchebag atheism has to be called out for what it is

          What was *the first* example of this that you, innocently and unawares, blundered into?

        • TheNuszAbides

          right, but what does “and I’m not sure you will be able to hear me (yet again)” mean?

        • Fred Knight

          it means that even among the very best and most generous that my points are (apparently) hard to hear. I’m a little surprised, to be frank, but I’m simply responding to reality….I would pose the exact same comment to you Nusz, it’s not about condescension, that’s not where I’m coming from, only that what I’m saying appears to be so unwelcome and outside the box (for whatever reason)….and for a freethought community, that should be troubling.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I’m a little surprised, to be frank

          yes, and you were “absolutely flabbergasted” by one of epeeist’s comments (which wasn’t even remotely hostile). i’m neither of those things in this context, so i dunno what else to tell you. maybe one more recap:

          repeatedly rambling about monolithic atheist attitudes which nobody here shares or extols is not “simply responding to reality”.

          you are oversimplifying your intentions and actions with the rosiest of lenses. yes, countless humans habitually do the same thing. no, occasionally admitting that you/we have faults doesn’t do anything to correct the actual errors fed by those faults.

          the main differences and difficulties this seems to be hinging on, from my perspective:

          – people here want you to try harder to communicate more clearly, particularly because the unclear way you are so often expressing yourself isn’t conducive to anything other than pissing them off.

          – you want people here to try harder to not get pissed off at you (among any number of other things which may or may not be relevant to their annoyance, anger, etc. – but who knows, since you also have a habit of (1) asserting stuff about what they think (2) with zero evidence (3) which makes any exchange that much more difficult to de-escalate into something resembling a discussion).

          – – you repeatedly mistake [people being pissed off at your signal-to-noise ratio] for [people being pissed off at you for bringing up specific points]. you seem to have an overly favorable perception of how clearly you present these specific points (in the overwhelming majority of your comments here).

          – – people here are not in a position to mistake [what you mean to say] with [what you actually end up saying or not saying]. hence, for example, a cloud of suspicion when you dredge up Not-Even-Wrong talking points about atheism, or about atheism as supposedly ‘practiced’ by locals.

          so, as much as you are offended by the belligerence of the pushback, to pretend there’s anything resembling symmetry between the problems you’re having and the problems “we’re” having, in the context of this [exponentially-increasingly-tedious] discussion of your reception at this blog, is self-absorbed at best, disingenuous somewhere in the middle, or desperately egocentric at worst.

        • MNb

          “it’s not about condescension, that’s not where I’m coming from,”
          It’s what you have taken with you from where you came from.

          “only that what I’m saying appears to be so unwelcome”
          Yes.

          “and outside the box (for whatever reason)”
          Actually not at all. There are hordes of unbelievers who take your position of “yeah, I’m not a believer (anymore), but you know, christianity is still the most fantastiwastic religion ever developed, so we should still be proud of it and keep it safe from criticism if we don’t believe.”
          About all Dutch white supremacists maintain that view. As soon as I meet the term Judeo-christian tradition I can spell out the rest: western culture is superior thanks to Jesus, even if he was not the Son of God. Modern science? Thank Jesus for it. Democracy? Thank Jesus for it. Equal rights? Thank Jesus for it. Abolition of slavery? Thank Jesus for it.
          You saying that the Bible is special (and ignoring that about all other holy texts are equally special) and is psychologically so accurating is a sign of white supremacy. Disclaimer: I don’t think you’re one. But the non-argument sucks just as badly.
          And for various reasons that is most unwelcome to me.

        • Ignorant Amos

          it’s not about condescension,…

          It ends that way when your bullshit is challenged…it’s all you seem to have.

          …that’s not where I’m coming from,…

          It’s where ya end up though, no answers as far as I can see.

          …only that what I’m saying appears to be so unwelcome and outside the box (for whatever reason)…

          It’s not welcome because it has been a straw man from the get-go and it has been explained in detail exactly why, many times. Your nonsense is unsupported and unsubstantiated bullshit and is not outside the box, it is stupid fuckwittery that has been demonstrated to you time and again with nothing from you by evidence in not one attempted rebuttal.

          …and for a freethought community, that should be troubling.

          You want to come to a freethought community, shite all over the place what you seem to imagine are deeply thought out pearls of wisdom, they’re not, they have been shown to be big steaming piles of keek, and then you demand that we suck it up as some very astute and profound thinking. What sort of freethought community do you think this is that your bullcrap won’t go unchallenged?

        • Ignorant Amos

          and yet it claims so much, numb nuts

          Here is a prime example of Fred’s bullshit. After numerous attempts to correct this fuckwittery, he continues with his erroneous nonsense. Which makes him a dishonest troll.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i still doubt it’s entirely deliberate – that is, giving him some kind of benefit of the doubt still loads him down with major hypocrisy and recurring loss of focus. for every lengthy, calm-ish explanation of where he’s coming from, there are two dozen bat-shit (if not outright insulting) accusations and piss-poor taunts. he seems to have a severe suspicion problem and had horrible concentration issues as far as who’s said/implied what before he even showed up here. plus the whole pluck-one-sentence-out-of-several-paragraphs-at-which-to-take-offense-and-forget-entirely-about-all-other-content-unless-strongly-reminded-AGAIN-that-we-actually-compose-comments thing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          how come I’m not convinced?

          Because you demonstrate having no understanding of knowing any of this stuff and appear too stupid to learn it.

          Meaning of life questions are dismissed out of hand….

          No they’re not…but the fact remains, they have fuck all to do with atheism. You have been told again and again and again, atheism is one claim, numb nuts.

          …and for god’s sake, I’m a fellow non-believer!

          A claim you keep banging on about like it gives your bullshit some credence. It doesn’t, you still don’t know what you are talking about.

          Lazy and lame.

          Yes, you are.

          I still await the same lame level that believers bring for their pre-suppositions – atheism is so superior that this should be child’s play, yet I await.

          Jaysus fucking wept….therein in lies the reason why we don’t believe you are a fellow none believer and too dumb a fuckwit to realise why. Think about it and see if you can work it out for yourself.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You make a convincing argument–atheism is bullshit. The only puzzle is: why do you still masquerade as an atheist?

        • Pofarmer

          I’ve not seen where you are capable of much of any thought, up to this point.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Irony meter indeed alright ffs.

          Freethought doesn’t mean you get to clutter up the place with all your bullshit mindwankery and get to say whatever nonsense pops into that vacuum between yer ears ya clown.

          You are conflating “free thought” with “free speech” because you are a lazy ignorant fuckwit who can’t even be bothered to do basic due diligence and learn the definition of the terms you choose to use.

          Probably down to that Dunning Kruger effect you display. You think you know stuff that you really don’t know, and are too stupid to realise how stupid you are about it.

          Here let me help….

          Freethought (or “free thought”) is a philosophical viewpoint which holds that positions regarding truth should be formed on the basis of logic, reason, and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, revelation, or other dogma. In particular, freethought is strongly tied with rejection of traditional religious belief. The cognitive application of freethought is known as “freethinking”, and practitioners of freethought are known as “freethinkers”. The term first came into use in the 17th century in order to indicate people who inquired into the basis of traditional religious beliefs.

        • TheNuszAbides

          aaaand pretend nothing else in that comment was worth answering. e.g. pointing out how you inconsiderately and absurdly shoehorned “amorality” into the mind/mouth/message of someone who had communicated no such thing.

        • Fred Knight

          “how you inconsiderately and absurdly shoehorned “amorality” into..”
          oh no, I don’t draw that card lightly I assure you…but when the shoe fits, well I guess it does fit. What precise code of morality do atheists follow? I’d be curious on how far you’d argue that point, as it seems pretty loose and vague at best.

        • TheNuszAbides

          but when the shoe fits, well I guess it does fit

          fits what?! how exactly did you infer that Kodie is amoral or pursues amorality or supports amorality or undermines or dismisses or rejects morality? i think i can guarantee that you weren’t thinking anywhere close to clearly if/when you did so.

          What precise code of morality do atheists follow?

          what makes you think, now, still, ever, that anyone here would/should consider that a coherent question? (or at least not a grossly leading one.) you so often phrase things as though atheism dictates something or is in any way even supposed to be an alternative construct that matches theism (or any single theism). it’s an absurd category error that is shared by all too many theists, which is one of the red flags involved in the pushback you’ve received. yes, mistaken people do suppose that it’s an alternative construct. NOBODY HERE SUPPOSES THAT. and every time (that i’ve seen) someone points this out to you you just drop it or dismiss them as being novices or making a trivial point, instead of clarifying that you actually understand it.

        • Fred Knight

          “you so often phrase things as though atheism dictates something or is in any way even supposed to be an alternative construct that matches theism (or any single theism)…..NOBODY HERE SUPPOSES THAT”
          Perhaps you have not read it, but in many, many posts…ad nauseum I have asked this same very basic question…..and with the very same PREDICTABLE results…as if by hive-mind.

          But what I will again tell you is that this is a lame, weak and ineffectual response. You reject all that healthy “religion” has to offer based upon the superstitious element – on that single point atheism rules! yay! rah rah rah!, etc. but you want your cake and eat it too. Because atheism is a very modest claim…it only addresses one single aspect of “religion” – the supernatural. POINT GRANTED! I HEAR YOU! AGREED!

          ok, now that we are done shouting, what about the rest that healthy religious systems cover and get right?

          Now who is silent?

          It’s not apples to apples….atheism only addresses one single point….and therefore doesn’t get to claim superiority in any sense…and truth be told, the ethics and morality portion of atheism is confused, muddled and murky at best….and suffers from a huge public image campaign big time – and yet, I’m the asshole for bringing this up!……or, as you say, my approach is so bad no atheist can actually hear it.

        • Greg G.

          I have asked this same very basic question…..and with the very same PREDICTABLE results…as if by hive-mind.

          It could be that you keep getting the right answer each time. It could be coming from critical thinkers. Great minds think alike.

        • TheNuszAbides

          and therefore doesn’t get to claim superiority in any sense

          i really wish you’d stop obsessing over this “claim superiority” that you see in every shadow. you’re utterly unnecessarily presupposing it and it seems to be getting in the way of everything else you want to express.

          ok, now that we are done shouting

          when was that, exactly?

          , what about the rest that healthy religious systems cover and get right?

          Now who is silent?

          ah, the “whataboutery” derail. always refreshing when it’s in the service of projecting positive attributes.

          was this your opening comment on this blog? no it fucking wasn’t. if it was The Point all along, newsflash, you have done a monumentally shitty, shitty, shitty job of getting it across. but i don’t believe for a second that it was consciously The Point in your head when you unleashed your scorn.

          you mentioned something like this to Bob and he responded and it went nowhere. maybe you weren’t paying attention to part of his answer and missed the opportunity to delve; maybe you’re expecting more from him or this specific platform than is forthcoming; but the response was not silence, nobody attacked you for bringing it up, etc.

          you also somewhere said something to the effect that Atheism+ is a dead movement. speaking broadly, not about specific people using that label but generally about people with the mission of unity via mere atheism and expansion beyond it, why do you suppose this deadness?

          and why, Fred, self-described bringer of measured arguments, why are you skipping the part where you establish the colossally-unquestioned maxim that people can’t “cover and get right” _____ without a religious system?

          worse yet, why are you skipping the part where this is supposed to be a counterpoint to something that someone involved in the conversations on this particular blog has ever posited – namely, that All Things In Any Way Identifiably Religious Must Be Removed And Dismantled From Society? how much more inane and ridiculous a straw-man (which i think i quite justifiably infer) can you construct? if anyone here actually thinks that way i’m sure they have a response equally absurd, and everyone with a distaste for absurd arguments will gleefully tear it down.
          did you ask a parent who was raised religious but doesn’t want their children to be? do you know how many of those there are here? do you think they’re motivated to discuss this chestnut-conundrum under every post of every blog that contains a significant atheist readership?

          suffers from a huge public image campaign big time

          yeah, i don’t think you’ll find anyone pretending otherwise here, either. and?

          are you worried that uninformed theists will wander into this swamp with the desire to inspect “the atheist alternative to theism” (because they’re uninformed) and be upset that we aren’t projecting their idea of happiness? is the problem with the angry informed people or the clueless uninformed people? yes, it becomes everybody’s problem when [all the nice things which people who happen to be religious do] is treated as The Intellectual Property Of, Impossible Without, Theism [X].
          what’s your solution, if you’re so angry that there’s a lack of focus on one here?

        • TheNuszAbides

          as if by hive-mind.

          or it could just be consistency, jackass.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Fred seems to think that claiming to be a card carrying atheist gives him carte blanche to spew whatever asinine bullshit he can pull out of his arse and not get challenged.

          Fred doesn’t seem to understand that by claiming to be an atheist, his feet will be held even closer to the fire. He doesn’t realise that a higher level of critical thinking is part and parcel that comes as part of the claim and he will be held to, and be expected to provide, support and evidence for dubious assertions being made.

          Do you remember cygnus? He was an atheist that come off with bullshit at the opposite end of the spectrum to Fred. In that be did exactly what Fred is erroneously accusing us of here, that was, he piled all Christians into the same bag and generalised them as stupid know-nothings that had nothing to offer. I was all over his arse for being such a fuckwit, as were others here too. That alone makes Fred’s accusations ignorant bullshit.

        • TheNuszAbides

          at this point the most charitable explanation i can tease out is that he’s deeply conflicted over partially mentally abandoning all the wonderful theists in his life.
          i don’t remember a cygnus at Patheos but i remember a CygnusXIII in the Kinja boards who held some rather monstrous opinions about people who deserved better.
          i still can’t think of any atheist who even breezes through CE irregularly whom i’d consider ‘militant’ – rationalobservations? might be the most cocky, assured of a rosy theism-less future on the horizon or something.

          … feet will be held even closer to the fire … a
          higher level of critical thinking is part and parcel that comes as part
          of the claim and he will be held to, and be expected to provide,
          support and evidence for dubious assertions being made.

          better put than whatever i kept bogging myself down in. i was too caught up in his shrill narrative of “look at all the lovely things some theists get right sometimes”, like they don’t have an image problem to answer for as well.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Fred’s accommadationism is at such an extreme it makes me wanna boke. He is lying for Jesus even though he isn’t a Christian…allegedly.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • TheNuszAbides

          oh, shit, Cygnus!
          yeah, i really only remembered him as the chap with a high opinion of his English chops and sense of humor, and low opinion of everyone and everything else.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Somewhat like Fred in many respects.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Perhaps you have not read it, but in many, many posts…ad nauseum I have asked this same very basic question…..and with the very same PREDICTABLE results…as if by hive-mind.

          This is why we think you are nothing but a dopey cunt.

          Ask a million people what the answer is to the basic math nursery question 1+1 is, and I’ll bet the “PREDICTABLE” answer will be 2…that’s not because of a hive mind, that’s because the correct answer is 2 ya fucking moron.

          But what I will again tell you is that this is a lame, weak and ineffectual response.

          Only to you, because you are one dumb fuck who is still repeating the same erroneous bullshit that started folk off laying into you in the first place.

          You reject all that healthy “religion” has to offer based upon the superstitious element – on that single point atheism rules! yay! rah rah rah!, etc. but you want your cake and eat it too.

          And that comment makes you one lying bastard too. You’ve been told that many times already, we are blue in the face, that is not our position…it is the fucking straw man you have trailed onto this thread ya lying toerag.

          Because atheism is a very modest claim…it only addresses one single aspect of “religion” – the supernatural. POINT GRANTED! I HEAR YOU! AGREED!

          Then try acting like you understand that point then, ya lying knuckle dragging imbecile…is that too much to ask?

        • Ignorant Amos

          ok, now that we are done shouting, what about the rest that healthy religious systems cover and get right?

          Answered…multiple times…ad nauseam

          Now who is silent?

          No one…stop lying ya prick.

          My first interaction was to point out that Bishop Fulton, a Catholic you set on a pedestal as one of the great and the good, couldn’t have been so great and good, given what he must’ve had knowledge of, but kept schtum about it. So straight away Christians you naively think did great good, is tainted.

          But onto your straw man bullshit. It was pointed out by me first here…

          And this is where you and your like minded are major malfunctioning. Atheists are kicking back against fuckwits who are not content to believe their woo-woo is myth and metaphor…leaving the rest of us ta fuck alone. Something you seem to be ignoring.

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/the_bible_defeats_its_own_resurrection_story/#comment-3494453096

          Others pointed out the same.

          Then again here…

          And nobody gives a shit, even though those perceived values are nonsense, given the texts they come from…unless cherrypicked. Just as long as it is actually invoking them to do the right thing. Unfortunately, very often it doesn’t, and historically so. That’s the problem. Pretending that it isn’t, or that there is no problem, just gives even more succour to those you believe we are being unjustly critical.

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/the_bible_defeats_its_own_resurrection_story/#comment-3494667159

          You spouted more shite here and were shot down…

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/the_bible_defeats_its_own_resurrection_story/#comment-3497461388

          Then here to your new bestie james, here…

          And they are not the problem…something that you have been repeatedly been informed, yet ignore it anyway. That is why you are getting the bums rush here.

          It is those other ones who believe that their religion gives them carte blanche to run roughshod over everyone else that are the problem. When will you get it? Sheeesh…talk about being a thicket.

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/the_bible_defeats_its_own_resurrection_story/#comment-3497764147

          Then here…

          but I’m talking about being a good person, true moral goodness and genuine sacrifice of one’s self for others….the earmarks of sincere, unjaded Christian belief…somehow, that keeps getting overlooked by cynical atheist literalism.

          This is the straw man your argument hangs upon and it has been explained to you why it is erroneous. Repeating it makes you a dishonest individual.

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/the_bible_defeats_its_own_resurrection_story/#comment-3499274116

          That was over a month ago…I can’t be arsed counting the number of times you were were corrected on this straw man since, but it is many.

          And this is why your character and assessment of the atheists here is so fucked up…

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/why_we_disagree_on_moral_issues_42/#comment-2766466105

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s not apples to apples….atheism only addresses one single point….and therefore doesn’t get to claim superiority in any sense…and truth be told, the ethics and morality portion of atheism is confused, muddled and murky at best….and suffers from a huge public image campaign big time – and yet, I’m the asshole for bringing this up!……or, as you say, my approach is so bad no atheist can actually hear it.

          More lying cuntishness. Your an asshole because you are an asshole. Your unsupported and unsubstantiated lying bullshit has been shown to be unsupported and unsubstantiated lying bullshit time and time again… here, your bullshit laid open a month ago…

          Atheists, non-believers, secular humanists, skeptics—the whole gamut of the godless have emerged in recent years as inarguably the most generous benefactors on the globe. That’s right. Hordes of heretics are the world’s biggest damned philanthropists. Both individually and in groups, heathen infidels are topping the fundraising charts.

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/the_bible_defeats_its_own_resurrection_story/#comment-3497461388

          You are a dishonest dimwit with no credibility…time for you to go methinks.

        • Kodie

          You keep asking the same question and getting the same answer but you don’t believe it. It’s not a hive-mind, you douche. It’s your personal misapprehension of what atheism is. I don’t know what you think “healthy religion” offers that we’re not getting without the superstitious junk. There is no “morality portion of atheism” because it isn’t a religion. That doesn’t make atheists without any morality. Get that all through your very thick, very illiterate, very prejudiced skull, you dummy.

        • Fred Knight

          Kodie, you are unable to grasp my simple points, made even more simplistic in hopes that you might actually get it, and yet you continue to embarrass yourself by assuming too much. At this point, it would be wrong of me to rub your nose in it. Sit back and listen, and you might actually learn something. (you think I’m being an asshole, and yet I’m trying hard not to be towards you.)

        • Kodie

          It occurs to me that I never even see you posting in threads where we have Christians posting. It’s like you’re slithering around in the dark.

        • Ignorant Amos

          He posted here in support of james warren…so there is that, but then very few Christians would entertain James warren’s version of woo-woo as Christian, so technically you are sound.

        • Kodie

          Fred’s characterization of Christians seems to be very suspect as well as his characterization of atheists. He doesn’t know why we’re here, what we’re talking about, and who we’re talking to because they talk to us and say such silly things. It’s weird enough he finds his way from thread to thread, but doesn’t appear in any which feature actual Christians like Ed Senter, Ameribear, Robert Lockett, and ScriptureSearch.

          I understand the bible and Christianity have their secular merits, I just don’t understand the hostility and persistent misunderstanding that we are initiating attacks against innocent harmless people, attacking a fictional character or the literal bible because itself is just so literally awful and not for the believers. Fred and james should come to see what the Christians are actually saying. It’s just another clue that they wish to preserve their biases by not exposing themselves to it, or backing away, both of them, so as to preserve the illusion to us and to themselves. I don’t think they are the same person, to me that’s a pretty drastic assumption, that there just can’t be two people with similar opinions, and one inviting the other to team up.

        • Kodie

          Oh, you’re looking for a straw man. Atheism is the answer to one fucking question, Fred. It doesn’t mean we don’t have morals. It doesn’t mean Christians don’t have morals. What we don’t pretend to do is follow a prescribed ancient book of wisdom whenever it suits us and reject what it says when it doesn’t suit us, just like every flavor of Christian, or that we behave a certain way according to our personal cherry-picked pamphlet-full of ideals for fear of getting burned in a lake of fire after we die. We’re humans, social creatures, who are alive, and live in societies. Just because we’re not nice enough to you doesn’t mean we’re not nice people, well I speak for myself, but you are purposely ignoring what people tell you, and then complaining just like your buddy james warren when people don’t give you the answer you presupposed that they should, and one of the qualities of human social interaction is that you’re going to be marginalized when you behave like a fucking asshole like you do. People get impatient and vocalize their impatience in whatever doses they feel necessary to get their emotions across.

          However, you believe you are such a good, well-behaved citizen because of your Christian morality, the dishonesty, the ignoring what others say, being a bad listener, on top of your prudishness, like you are some sort of victim. You’re not a victim of “evil behavior by atheists”. You are being treated to the escalating impatience that you deserve for being such a liar after everything has been explained to you. If you think we lack morals because of how you’re treated here, it’s because you decided from day one to be an ass and get what’s coming to you, and then reframe it according to your prejudices against atheists. How would YOU treat a liar?

        • Kodie

          Fred, you might be too stupid to read.

        • Fred Knight

          Yep, I’m so stupid…typical ad hominem by a dumb atheist who can’t come up with a valid response. Just like the religious dummies who think that believing in Jesus makes them cool, the dumbass atheist similarly swells with pride at the knowledge that he/she is a non-believer. Congratulations, you are just another tribal dumbass, a fellow fundamentalist thinker.

        • Kodie

          It’s a response to your empty fucking response, Fred. If you read what I wrote, you could have formulated a relevant response, but you didn’t. You are TOO STUPID TO READ.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yep, I’m so stupid…

          Yep, you are.

          …typical ad hominem by a dumb atheist who can’t come up with a valid response.

          Demonstrating you haven’t a clue what the definition of the ad hominem fallacy actually is, no surprise.

        • Susan

          another bad Christians do bad things, therefore Christianity as a whole is wrong – typical No True Scotsman fallacy,

          No, Fred. It was a direct response to your inane and unsupported statement that “Christian culture has a built in resistance to such things as… Nazi fascism.”

        • Fred Knight

          “Christian culture has a built in resistance to such things”
          when you see the word “Christian” you seem to have a knee jerk reaction, the best aspects of Western/European/Christian/Secular Culture is what I’m referring to. Since the word “Christian” is in the mix (and perhaps some idiots have proclaimed this as such) you seem to be fighting against my points as if it’s all the same thing. Fundamentalist dumbass Christianity is not balanced Christian worldview….and actually I’m even less so, more of a secular balanced Christian worldview…..but you seem to react to the lowest common denominator and run with it.

        • Susan

          “Christian culture has a built in resistance to such things”
          when you see the word “Christian” you seem to have a knee jerk reaction, the best aspects of Western/European/Christian/Secular Culture is what I’m referring to.

          There is no knee-jerk reaction. Michael Neville countered your unsupported claim with an example to the contrary.

          the best aspects of Western/European/Christian/Secular Culture is what I’m referring to.

          Noi. You made the statement that “Christian culture has a built in resistance to such things as… Nazi fascism.:”

        • Fred Knight

          “No. You made the statement that “Christian culture has a built in resistance to such things as… Nazi fascism.:””
          notice how you choose to accept what others think I meant vs what I say I meant. You love the controversy, and yet when it gets down to real brass tacks, you remain silent. I just ask that you reflect.

        • Michael Neville

          another bad Christians do bad things, therefore Christianity as a whole is wrong

          Damn, freddy, you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried.

          Nowhere did I say that (a) bad Christians do bad things or (2) therefore Christianity is wrong. All I was doing was showing that your blather about “Christian Culture has a built in resistance to such things as … Nazi fascism” was so much bullshit. That individual Christians like Bonhoeffer, Kolbe and Bishop Konrad von Preysing (who died in Dachau Concentration Camp in 1943) resisted Nazism does not mean that there is anything inherent in Christianity either for or against fascism.

          I notice you neglected to mention Clemens Cardinal von Galen who denounced Nazi “euthanasia” (his term) but said he was motivated merely by a desire to “point out mistakes that some overzealous followers committed”. He also said “the church had never sought the overthrow of the regime”.

          You also ignored Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber who rejected the Weimar Republic as rooted in treason for the overthrow of the monarchy and had included in its constitution the separation of church and state. A political conservative, he opposed democratic government in general. As the senior German bishop, he wrote a pastoral letter which included: “The German bishops consider it their duty to do their utmost to support the leader of the Reich (Führer des Reiches) with every available means.”

        • Fred Knight

          hey mike, much as I love to banter with you (actually I don’t) – I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and see if we can make some headway.

          Since I’m only defending the best parts, what is it about healthy Western Culture that you find offensive?

          I’m not arguing against your atheism, god bless. I’m just not agreeing with atheistic supremacy. Why make fun of decent people who don’t hold your view? That is pretty much my basic and only point and don’t even mean to be preachy about it, I just find it odd at the pushback.

        • Michael Neville

          Since I’m only defending the best parts, what is it about healthy Western Culture that you find offensive?

          Why do you think I find anything about healthy Western culture offensive? I am not fond of the excesses of religion, not just Christianity but any religion, just like I’m not fond of political excesses either of the right or left or corporate excesses. But I’m comfortable with Western culture because I know it, understand it and appreciate it.

          I’m not arguing against your atheism, god bless. I’m just not agreeing with atheistic supremacy.

          No, you’re sneering at atheism because atheists make you uncomfortable. I don’t know and, frankly, don’t care why you’re uncomfortable with atheism. I suspect that it’s the atheists who live in your head rather than atheists like us who you dislike but you’re not smart enough to notice the difference between your suppositional concept of atheism and the atheism which the regulars on this blog practice. People have tried to explain the difference but you’re not interested in learning things which contradict your assumptions.

          Why make fun of decent people who don’t hold your view?

          Why do you think I’m making fun of decent people? Indecent people annoy or anger me (for instance I can’t abide liars, that’s why I dislike you because of your obvious, blatant lies about your bogus atheism) but I have no problem with decent people nor do I make fun of them. I don’t consider Christians or any other theists to be stupid, I think they’re wrong. Do you understand the difference?

          You I do consider stupid, not because you’re a Christian but because you have this weird idea that you make a convincing atheist (hint: you fail miserably at your charade) and because you respond to what you think people say to you rather than what we actually do say to you. You accused me of claiming “bad Christians do bad things, therefore Christianity as a whole is wrong” when I not only didn’t make that claim but I said nothing even remotely like that claim. Note that I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt, you could be dishonest rather than stupid but I’m using Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”.

        • Fred Knight

          “Why do you think I find anything about healthy Western culture
          offensive? I am not fond of the excesses of religion, not just
          Christianity but any religion, just like I’m not fond of political
          excesses either of the right or left or corporate excesses. But I’m
          comfortable with Western culture because I know it, understand it and
          appreciate it.”

          bingo!

          “No, you’re sneering at atheism because atheists make you uncomfortable.”

          I’m sneering against blind atheistic superiority, dumbly held.

          “People have tried to explain the difference but you’re not interested in learning things which contradict your assumptions.”

          I’ve been down the road more than a mile or two, but had to back up.

          “You I do consider stupid, not because you’re a Christian but because you have this weird idea that you make a convincing atheist”
          who ya calling stupid, stupid? you wouldn’t know smart if it hit you upside your head…but I still hold out a little hope that others might benefit from me responding to you.

        • Michael Neville

          You and I don’t hold each other in high regard. I don’t like you because you’re a blatant liar and not very good at it. You don’t like me because I point out your lying and general hypocrisy.

        • Fred Knight

          I’ve never lied once, that is where you are wrong. There has been one or two times I’ve misspoken, and I’ve actually apologized when I did. I don’t pretend to know the twisted world you inhabit as it makes no sense to me. To be a blind, obnoxious, ideologically driven atheist internet apologist such as I’m encountering just proves how much I’ve been fighting for the wrong cause, as I’ve been defending your dumb asses and am now regretting it. Human tribalism is ugly, in all it’s forms…sadly, religion does not have a corner on the market.

        • Michael Neville

          You lie continuously. You say you’re an atheist and free thinker when all you give are sneers at atheists. If you want me to believe you’re an atheist then stop acting exactly like a Christian apologist. Even a died-in-the-wool Christian like yourself should be able to figure that one out, given enough hints.

          In other words, Freddy, you’re a fucking liar.

        • epeeist

          You say you’re an atheist and free thinker when all you give are sneers at atheists.

          Freddy is one of those people who believes in belief.

        • Fred Knight

          “You say you’re an atheist and free thinker when all you give are sneers at atheists.”

          NO, that’s where you are wrong, I’m not sneering at all atheists, just a certain kind of dumbed-down atheist. You have somehow concluded that I’m talking about you, or that you (and your brand of atheism) speaks for all atheism It doesn’t and you don’t.

          “stop acting exactly like a Christian apologist”
          how about this, you stop acting like the dumbed-down version of atheism and I’ll drop my Christian apologetics.

          Seriously, Mike, grow up, be a man, act the gentleman and bring forth the very best of secular agnostic atheism and I promise you, I’ll be your biggest fan. deal?

        • Michael Neville

          Seriously, Fred, you’re the one who needs to grow up. First stop lying, especially when your lies are blatantly obvious as lies. Then stop whining about the atheist you, as a Christian, hate so much. And finally, stop thinking that I’m as stupid and immature as you are. While you’re at it. you can also fuck off and die, lying asshole.

        • Fred Knight

          perfect response! god bless you!

        • Michael Neville

          And fuck you too.

        • adam

          ” and I’ll drop my Christian apologetics.”

          So WHY are you doing Christian apologetics?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/784d8199f09dff075b2d3ecc7333f0de5901857775bf803c837cc5f630ff0a3e.jpg

        • Joe

          another bad Christians do bad things, therefore Christianity as a whole is wrong – typical No True Scotsman fallacy, just in reverse.

          So, not a fallacy then.

          When in fact, you’re the one using the fallacy as it is correctly described. Saying those weren’t true Christians.

        • Ignorant Amos

          another bad Christians do bad things, therefore Christianity as a whole is wrong –

          You really are a knuckle-dragging moron.

          You said….“Christian Culture has a built in resistance to such things as … Nazi fascism”

          MN…and I….provided evidence that you are spewing unsubstantiated bullshit…for the umpteenth time.

          What do you do?

          Admit your error?

          No feckin’ chance.

          What you do is pull even more bullshit out of your arse about MN making a logical fallacy, which he didn’t…and then even more irrelevent muck about Antony Flew.

          typical No True Scotsman fallacy,…

          No it really isn’t. Demonstrating you haven’t a clue what ta fuck you are on about.

          just in reverse.

          D ya wanna explain this particular piece of fuckwittery?

          http://bit.ly/1pYLFPE

          Linking to an explanation of the fallacy that doesn’t fit your claim, doesn’t help your position. Particularly when most here are well familiar with the NTS fallacy and understand its application…something you have demonstrated that you don’t.

          interesting note on the origin of the NTS fallacy – Antony Flew http://bit.ly/2gUJsfa

          No it isn’t. It is just more of your bullshit obfuscation because you fucked up and think it is a good distraction. The rest of your comment on Flew is irrelevant ballix, which is you making an actual fallacy…the non sequiturhttps://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/136/Non-Sequitur

          I notice you don’t bring up Dietrich Bonhoeffer to help support your argument, or faithful Catholics such as Maximilian Kolbe http://bit.ly/1gG3CU4 – of course not, why would you?

          Of course not, why would he indeed? They are irrelevant. Another non sequitur on your part. Michael and I are providing evidence to counter your claim. It only takes one example, but there are many examples of Christians, as institutions, supporting fascism. Not just your two inspirational individuals showing resistance to fascism. There were many more than your two examples. But they are not relevant to your claim that Christian Culture has a built in resistance to Nazi fascism…or even just fascism for that matter.

          Fascism is alive and well in “Christian Culture” right now in the U.S., some of it Nazi fascism to, so your claim is bullshit.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Fascists:_The_Christian_Right_and_the_War_on_America

          http://www.occupy.com/sites/default/files/field/image/hero_image_main_2.jpg

          As for Christian resistance to Nazi fascism…it was the withdrawal of Catholic resistance on the orders of the Holy See that removed the last hurdle preventing Hitler and his Nationalist Socialist Party taking total control of German politics and unchallenged power over the German people…the rest is history.

          You seem to forget, the German nation was a Christian nation…it’s culture was that of Christianity.

          Read the book I referenced…

          “The evidence was explosive. It showed for the first time that Pacelli was patently, and by the proof of his own words, anti-Jewish. It revealed that he had helped Hitler to power and at the same time undermined potential Catholic resistance in Germany. It showed that he had implicitly denied and trivialized the Holocaust, despite having reliable knowledge of its true extent. And, worse, that he was a hypocrite, for after the war he had retrospectively taken undue credit for speaking out boldly against the Nazis’ persecution of the Jews.” Excerpted from Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII

          https://www.vanityfair.com/style/1999/10/pope-pius-xii-199910

          You really don’t know as much as you think you do…you really haven’t done the math at all.

        • Kodie

          Holy shit, what kind of Christian bullshit did I skim past? Secularism is a society that is neutral with regard to anyone’s particular religion. An actual atheist might fucking know that! A pretend atheist Christian would repeat such bullshit that Christians believed because their church leaders tell them to be on their guard against secularism and atheists in particular.

          Busted!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Fred Knight

          ah, you got me! another retard atheist bites the dust!

        • Fred Knight

          what’s worse, a dumb atheist or a dumb fundamentalist Christian? I know who I’d rather have for a neighbor. You worry me.

        • Ignorant Amos

          what’s worse, a dumb atheist or a dumb fundamentalist Christian?

          Nip round and ask your neighbour there Fred.

        • Susan

          what’s worse, a dumb atheist or a dumb fundamentalist Christian?

          An obnoxious, lying troll?

        • adam
        • Pofarmer

          it seems to me you are trying to scrub history of the great influence Christianity has had on Western Civilization.

          Ever heard of “The Divine Right of Kings?” That was the system that Christianity pushed. It lost to secular values of equality and self governance. The problem is, we’re so far away from the events, that some folks like you can ignore them or act like they didn’t happen.

        • epeeist

          Ever heard of “The Divine Right of Kings?”

          Is that a rhetorical question?

        • Pofarmer

          I just don’t see how someone can come on here and tell us how horrible secularism is and be so clueless as to it’s whereabouts.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Hardly matter…Fred ignores the awkward questions that show up his bullshit.

        • MR
        • Fred Knight

          “and they are amazed by how much better life is. That is where many explicit atheists come from.”
          follow your bliss, I’m a little bit tired of your politeness to me in direct responses, but passively aggressive in your upvotes of others who shit on me, don’t be a coward….

        • Susan

          I’m a little bit tired of your politeness to me in direct responses, but passively aggressive in your upvotes of others who shit on me, don’t be a coward..

          He can be polite to you and disagree with you. He can be polite to you and agree with others about their criticisms of you.

          The only difficult part for you seems to be when it’s not all about you.

        • Fred Knight

          again, suzie to the rescue….I don’t much care either way, but say it to my face if ya got issues with me…..ironically, I do show you that respect, yet you hate me for it.

        • Fred Knight

          “Most believers are that way for emotional reasons….That is where many explicit atheists come from.”
          Including myself, I do get that point, but there is a harshness, a hyper-rationalism that becomes a permanent fixture of this adopted new non-faith worldview that I find unattractive and unappealing, even within myself. It’s truly sad we cannot have our cake and eat it too.

        • TheNuszAbides

          a lot of what the atheists here are putting forth would not even put a dent in the true believer

          1. perhaps you fail to interpret the intention?
          2. what possibly could “put a dent” in the “true believer”?

        • Fred Knight

          “1. perhaps you fail to interpret the intention?”
          perhaps I do. what is the intention?

          “2. what possibly could “put a dent” in the “true believer”?”
          probably nothing, that is why I say I don’t pre-suppose that I could do any better.

          Does trying count for anything?

        • TheNuszAbides

          sure – even failing counts for something.

        • TheNuszAbides

          perhaps I do.

          well there’s a change of mood. try holding that thought for an hour or two.

          what is the intention?

          the ideal time to ask that question is before making your monolithic assumptions.

        • TheNuszAbides

          “2. what possibly could “put a dent” in the “true believer”?”
          probably nothing, that is why I say I don’t pre-suppose that I could do any better.

          then why are you implying that anything being done here is motivated by “putting a dent in the true believer”?

        • Ignorant Amos

          This is another major malfunction in your limited thought processes.

          No one has dragged anyone to this place to “put a dent” in anything. The owner writes honest articles open to anyone to come along and comment on. Christians pitch up and invariably start talking nonsense…a veritable variety of nonsense…and they get taken down in a variety of styles. Atheist don’t proselytise. They don’t go out into the world giving it large about everyone abandoning Christianity and the rest should jump on the bandwagon. Yes, there are some who go onto religious sites to challenge the woo-woo assertions, but generally speaking, atheist would rather believers come to their sense by thinking it through.

          As TheNusz says, the “true believer” is beyond help…it is the not “true believer” that has a chance of off loading the religious mind virus…thankfully there are a hell of a lot more of the later than there are of the former, at least in Judaism and Christianity anyway. Islam has a few centuries of catching up time.

        • Susan

          no, quite the opposite.

          Oh, so the opposite of what you’ve said? Explain.

          it’s just that there are better arguments and techniques than what I’m seeing being used

          Provide them and demonstrate that they are better.

          I’ve brought forth my very best and honest objections without any shortcuts.

          You bluster, accuse, make claims and ignore basic points and have refused to answer simple questions about your position, diverting to character attacks immediately and when asked simple questions about that, you change the subject.

          So, no. God, I hope not.

          it points to the hypocrite, the fakers, they walk the walk, ’til it hurts, big time.

          There you go again.

        • Fred Knight

          “There you go again.”
          If anything, I’m consistent. 😉

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If you’re saying that approaching Christians in an insensitive way won’t do much, I agree. Do you want to sketch out how to achieve maximum results?

        • Fred Knight

          You’d have me sketch out the details? I’ll settle for what most experts in the field of social psychology and conflict resolution have to offer. Firstly, I’d start by not distorting their actual positions to fit one’s agenda. Putting words in other people’s mouths that “coincidentally” fit one’s own position is a lack of fairness to your opponent at best, rude, selfish and dishonest at worst. Also, I’d say scrupulously apply equal and fair measure to all (perhaps to a fault against one’s own position).

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Good points.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Putting words in other people’s mouths that “coincidentally” fit one’s own position is a lack of fairness to your opponent at best, rude, selfish and dishonest at worst.

          http://www.esreality.com/files/placeimages/2012/87504-irony-meter-exploded.jpg

        • adam

          ” I’ll settle for what most experts in the field of social psychology and conflict resolution have to offer.”

          that being that MAGIC is IMAGINARY…………

        • Michael Neville

          I see, you’re not a Christian anti-atheist, you just play one on the internet.

          If you didn’t support Christian apologetics and make unevidenced, vague sneers at “atheist fantasies” then maybe we wouldn’t think that you’re a Christian. But other than your unsupported, unreliable word that you’re not a Christian, you look exactly like an ordinary, common or garden Christian trolling an atheist blog.

        • Fred Knight

          sorry, mike, I call out bullsh*t where I see it…just so happens that there are bunch of intellectually lazy, obnoxious boorish atheists that have concentrated in this one spot for whatever reason….don’t feel too bad, when I was an evangelical, I gave hell to the idiot fundamentalist Christians as well (and got along surprisingly well with all the atheists, go figure)

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Therefore I end out defending Christianity because it often gets things right.

          Soooo…because Spider-Man takes place in New York City, which is true, then Spider-Man has to exist?

          You CAN’T logically assume that the truth of a part extends to truth claims about the whole.

        • Fred Knight

          “You CAN’T logically assume that the truth of a part extends to truth claims about the whole.”

          believe me, I don’t. I’m not focused on the literal untruth of Christianity….in fact, I’d most likely be harder on that point than most atheists would, it’s often utter bullsh*t. but I’m talking about being a good person, true moral goodness and genuine sacrifice of one’s self for others….the earmarks of sincere, unjaded Christian belief…somehow, that keeps getting overlooked by cynical atheist literalism.

          “but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?
          We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” John 10:32-33 NIV
          and this proves to be true to this day, I judge them by their fruits. And if they are good Christians, they will do the same for me, even though I’m not a believer.

        • Ignorant Amos

          but I’m talking about being a good person, true moral goodness and genuine sacrifice of one’s self for others….the earmarks of sincere, unjaded Christian belief…somehow, that keeps getting overlooked by cynical atheist literalism.

          This is the straw man your argument hangs upon and it has been explained to you why it is erroneous. Repeating it makes you a dishonest individual.

        • Greg G.

          in fact, I’d most likely be harder on that point than most atheists would, it’s often utter bullsh*t. but I’m talking about being a good person, true moral goodness and genuine sacrifice of one’s self for others….the earmarks of sincere, unjaded Christian belief…somehow, that keeps getting overlooked by cynical atheist literalism.

          You are talking bullshit, Fred. A theist can say, “Oh, it’s God’s will that the other person die” or “They will be in heaven soon,” of such blather. An atheist will consider that a higher cause does not have to mean a higher being. Atheists do sacrifice themselves for others. Stop listening to Christian bullshit.

        • Fred Knight

          “Atheists do sacrifice themselves for others. Stop listening to Christian bullshit.”

          I don’t listen to bullshit of any stripe, Greg, stop spouting atheist agenda.

          the truth is, bullshit comes in all forms, even our own.

          “A theist can say, “Oh, it’s God’s will that the other person die” or
          “They will be in heaven soon,” of such blather. An atheist will consider that a higher cause does not have to mean a higher being.”
          how convenient (for yourself) you point out the very worst of theism and the very best of atheism

          honest players (from both sides) readily admit flaws in their own side…why don’t you, Greg? why is atheism in your eyes so bulletproof and beyond reproach yet religion is so obviously dark and twisted?

        • Greg G.

          honest players (from both sides) readily admit flaws in their own side…why don’t you, Greg? why is atheism in your eyes so bulletproof and beyond reproach yet religion is so obviously dark and twisted?

          It’s not about admitting faults. You are accusing atheists with false generalizations.

        • Fred Knight

          “You are accusing atheists with false generalizations.”
          YES! and more importantly, real world atheists I happen to meet in the here and now, individual atheists on these very forums. honest atheism I actually support and agree with…but somehow I cannot get this point across no matter how hard I try. (perhaps these misguided fools automatically assume that since they are atheists, they are qualified to speak perfect atheist argumentation clearly and accurately.) I don’t really care their precise reasons, and you should not be defending such things, if your concern is actual, good atheist points.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Or perhaps your comm’s skills are so fucked up and rotten that whatever you are trying to say is so garbled as to be so incoherent…or perhaps you are just a lying bastard for Jesus…..at this point, who gives a fuck. Your contribution here is nothing but unsubstantiated mindwankery similar to that of apologist believers. so fuck you…and pah!

        • Susan

          I don’t listen to bullshit of any stripe

          You do love to go on about yourself. Saying something is so doesn’t make it so

          stop spouting atheist agenda

          He’s not. He’s pointing out that you, Fred are full of shit. Nothing atheist or theist about it. He showed how you, Fred, are full of shit on the statement you made.

          the truth is bullshit comes in all forms

          It comes in the form of bullshit. Which is so far, all you have provided.

          even our own

          I don’t care what position you claim to hold on the existence of gods. Bullshit is bullshit. We don'[t have to share kinship with people who provide nothing but bullshit. That you seem to think there is a kinship there is just another example of bullshit.

          honest players (from both sides)

          Implying there are two sides is just more bullshit.

          readily admit flaws on their own side… why don’t you Greg?

          Because Greg is addressing you, Fred. Not one of two sides. And you’ve got nothing. Where is the flaw in his reasoning that you , Fred, have nothing?

          why is atheism … bulletproof and beyond reproach

          It’s not Support for the existence of a god would be welcome. Until there is that support, atheism is the only response.

        • Fred Knight

          “It comes in the form of bullshit. Which is so far, all you have provided.”
          Thanks for your personal opinion, Suzie Dear! (The religious might call it private interpretation.) I’ll at least stand behind my own personal opinion and not insist that I have some kind of super-rational reason for it that trumps all other forms of communication. Talk about religion being a crutch, such atheism is a crutch!

        • Susan

          Thanks for your personal opinion.

          At least I have evidence to support my personal opinion. I explained that so far, all you have provided is bullshit. You have yet to substantiate a single thing you’ve asserted.

          (The religious might call it private interpretation)

          They would be wrong. The evidence shows that you haven’t substantiated a single thing you’ve said.

          I’ll at least stand behind my own personal opinion

          Standing behind something means supporting it. If you just mean blurting stuff mindlessly, then who cares?

          and not insist that I have some kind of super-rational reason for it that trumps all other forms of communication

          Do you have anything but strawmen?

          such atheism is a crutch!

          Jesus, what a hypocrite you are.

          Any progress so far on your accusation that I’m pushing my agenda on you? Can you back up a single thing you’ve said?

          No.

          Not so far.

          It doesn’t look very hopeful.

        • Fred Knight

          “At least I have evidence to support my personal opinion.”
          do you? how awesome and irrelevant.

          “The evidence shows that you haven’t substantiated a single thing you’ve said.”
          you are literally a hollow shell of a human being, spouting what you deem as “proof” – congratulations…rah rah atheism rules! feel good? super boring to me, but you win! awesome! but in winning you lose, but congrats! go Suzie, go!

        • Susan

          how awesome and irrelevant

          It’s neither awesome nor irrelevant. It is true, however.

          you are literally a hollow shell of a human being

          Lol.

          spouting what you deem as “proof”

          Never once. I would ask you to give me an example where I did so but you’re a lying troll who keeps making stuff up and feels no responsibility to back that stuff up.

          The rest of your comment is just more strawmanning aimed at shit disturbing. Nobody is as stupid on this subject as you are pretending to be.

          Is that you, George?

        • Fred Knight

          hey suzie q, god bless! http://bit.ly/1koRyrl

        • Fred Knight

          lmao, so George has your number as well? love it that you don’t even know for sure if I’m real….check out Creedence Clearwater Revival….Suzie Q…..

        • Fred Knight
        • TheNuszAbides

          George hasn’t got anyone’s number and neither have you.

        • Fred Knight

          “At least I have evidence to support my personal opinion.”
          much like a robot

        • Ignorant Amos

          Freddy just proves that even atheists can be asinine knuckle dragging wankers…thus providing evidence that the only thing we all have in common is non belief by definition.

        • TheNuszAbides

          and not insist that I have some kind of super-rational reason for it that trumps all other forms of communication.

          you pulled this entirely out of your ass. nobody is insisting, or even claiming, or even pretending any such thing. get over yourself.

        • Fred Knight

          “Implying there are two sides is just more bullshit.”
          I understand now why you would demand proof, as you lack any…..

          “Implying there are two sides is just more bullshit.”
          right your side has zero evidence, you are so right!

          “I don’t care what position you claim to hold on the existence of gods. Bullshit is bullshit.”
          At last it it is becoming clear, you don’t like honest exchange because it exposes your weakness, I now get it…sorry for inconveniencing you!

        • Ignorant Amos

          I don’t listen to bullshit of any stripe, Greg, stop spouting atheist agenda.

          Except it can be demonstrated that you do.

          the truth is, bullshit comes in all forms, even our own.

          Until you can give an example of atheist bullshit, this is just another example of your unsubstantiated brain farting.

          Pro tip: Think carefully about the definition of atheist before replying.

          “A theist can say, “Oh, it’s God’s will that the other person die” or “They will be in heaven soon,” of such blather. An atheist will consider that a higher cause does not have to mean a higher being.”

          how convenient (for yourself) you point out the very worst of theism and the very best of atheism

          Convenience has bugger all to do with it. It is a matter of fact. You are not very good at this online interaction Fred, are ya?

          honest players (from both sides) readily admit flaws in their own side…why don’t you, Greg?

          If you detect some perceived flaws on Greg’s side Fred…spit them out and we can deal with them. This game of invisible whac-a-mole you want us all to engage in is fuckwittery of the highest order.

          why is atheism in your eyes so bulletproof and beyond reproach yet religion is so obviously dark and twisted?

          Fred, you are rapidly devolving into a knuckle-dragging moron.

          Atheism means one thing, and one thing only.

          Atheism is not an affirmative belief that there is no god nor does it answer any other question about what a person believes. It is simply a rejection of the assertion that there are gods. Atheism is too often defined incorrectly as a belief system. To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

          https://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/about-atheism/

          Atheism is “bullet proof and beyond reproach” because there has yet to be a supernatural god invented in the whole of human history that can stand up to scrutiny. The evidence for any gods existence is either non-existent, or of such futile quality as to be totally unconvincing.

          On the other hand…evidence abounds that religion is so dark and twisted.

          As an ex-Catholic, you of all people should know this. A lot of years back I presented and O/P on the old Richard Dawkins site about the RCC and it’s position on babies that die before receiving the sacrament baptism. They become limbo babies and it is one of the most repugnant religious philosophies ever contrived by what I’m ashamed to associate with as a fellow human being. The torture and torment foisted upon believers by that piece of religious fuckwittery is up there with all the most nefarious shenanigans of mankind.

          Think about it? A sincerely believing RC mother, living her life believing that she is separated from her baby for all eternity and her infant interred in a patch of ground segregated from the rest of the burial ground and unconsecrated.

          That is just one single example of religion being “dark and twisted”…just one of many.

          I can’t link to the article as it was published at RDFRS because it is no longer archived. But it was prompted by a documentary I seen on the effect the bullshit has had on Catholic families living locally here in Ireland. But here’s a reference to it that I’m not making an unsubstantiated assertion.

          https://richarddawkins.net/2013/01/hell-into-everlasting-fire/#li-comment-49659

          And here’s part of the article repeated on another forum…

          http://richarddawkins.net/discussions/587134-limbo-babies Limbo babies
          By IGNORANT AMOS
          Added: Wednesday, 02 February 2011 at 5:13 PM

          Across Britain and Ireland lie thousands of unmarked mass graves. People drive past them every day, not knowing that in them are buried tens of thousands of tiny stillborn babies. Hidden and secret, it is as though they never existed.

          The babies ended up buried in these graves because of a piece of Catholic theology according to which babies who were stillborn or who died shortly after birth and that had not been baptised could be denied a cemetery burial. Their souls could not go to heaven but would remain in a place called Limbo. These are the so-called ‘Limbo babies’, stillborn babies born to Roman Catholic families who could not be buried in consecrated ground.

          http://darwiniana.com/2011/02/03/limbo-babies/

        • Fred Knight

          Clearly Ignorant

          “Except it can be demonstrated that you do.”
          That I listen to and adhere to bullshit? Then clearly demonstrate it, dumbass.

          “Pro tip: Think carefully about the definition of atheist before replying.”

          Oh how you all love to hide behind that stupid definition. Pro tip: stop assuming you are on the moral high ground, and certainly not the intellectual.

          “Convenience has bugger all to do with it. It is a matter of fact. You are not very good at this online interaction Fred, are ya?

          yeah, I care more about actual truth than online interaction, you are quickly proving yourself to be a fellow dummie in your argumentation. (what’s one more?)

          “Atheism means one thing, and one thing only.”
          again, cowardly. If it’s a minor point, then know when to shut up and stay safely within the margins of society.

        • Kodie

          know when to shut up and stay safely within the margins of society.

          Exactly the problem with you people!

        • Ignorant Amos

          That I listen to and adhere to bullshit? Then clearly demonstrate it, dumbass.

          You said you were an evangelical and an RC…ya can’t be either of those without listening to bullshit. You even cited some f that bullshit you listened to on this thread…

          “but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me? We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” John 10:32-33 NIV

          and this proves to be true to this day, I judge them by their fruits. And if they are good Christians, they will do the same for me, even though I’m not a believer.

          Worse still, is the bullshit you wrote about the bullshit bible nonsense you quote out of context. Fascinating stuff.

          Oh how you all love to hide behind that stupid definition. Pro tip: stop assuming you are on the moral high ground, and certainly not the intellectual.

          Whaaa? Pointing out the definition of atheism, something you demonstrate you have difficulty understanding, is not hiding behind a stupid definition ya moron. It also has bugger all to to with any moral high ground or level of intellect, ya clown…though it seems you fail on both counts.

          yeah, I care more about actual truth than online interaction,…

          That could very well be the case. You are certainly being dishonest here. I’m left wondering wtf you are doing here?

          …you are quickly proving yourself to be a fellow dummie in your argumentation. (what’s one more?)

          Well at least you are confessing to being a “dummie”, that’s something at least. I’m well up for you to demonstrate where my argumentation is proving me to be a dummy. Just saying it doesn’t cut it. How about you stop with the unsubstantiated bullshit assertions and make a valid rebuttal, wouldn’t that be a novel idea for a change?

          again, cowardly.

          How ta fuck is pointing out you are a stupid cunt when it comes to understanding the definition of a word you continuously misuse in an argument?

          If it’s a minor point,…

          Who said it is a minor point? It is the only point.

          … then know when to shut up and stay safely within the margins of society.

          What ta fuck are you wittering on about ya cretin? Shut up about what? What margins? Which society? So much verbal diarrhoea from one individual.

          You are here arguing bullshit on an issue that is a huge straw man…Fred, you are a friggin’ joke. Give it up, you are embarrassing yourself.

        • Kodie

          The problem isn’t the actual bible. It’s the believers in it that cause the problems.

        • Fred Knight

          so people are the problem? If so, then I agree.

        • Kodie

          You’re awfully protective of Christian beliefs and ignorant of the harm they cause. You think it’s atheists that won’t stay quiet and let the “good” Christians be that are the problem. We’re trying to have a discussion here, but you make sure it’s all one-way. You say you’re an atheist, but you defend all your arguments with biblical verses, and you repeat Christian apologetics. What I’m saying is, you’re the problem.

        • Susan

          I end out defending Christianity because it often gets things right.

          I’ll try again to ask you questions you probably won’t answer based on your record here and every site I’ve seen you comment on.

          What does christianity uniquely get right? Please be specific.

          It’s not that atheists could not come up with something similar.

          Atheism can’t. Atheism is a response to people claiming gods exist. This has been pointed out to you dozens of times.

          One doesn’t have to believe an imaginary being exists in order to care about what’s true. Ironic that I have to point that out.

          it’s just that they never seem to do so.

          So, you Fred, don’t care about what’s true? You are an atheist, right? Are you the lonely atheist on this planet who cares about what’s true and good?

          I’m just doing the hard math that they seem unwilling to do.)

          No. I keep asking you to show your math and you haven’t.

          So, show your math. By that, I don’t mean keep blustering and asserting stuff you are unable to support.

          I mean, show your math.

        • Fred Knight

          “What does christianity uniquely get right? Please be specific.”

          First of all, it’s an actual worldview…it’s basic tenants affirms the very best and brightest of humanity, morally, intellectually, and in every way (from my view, it adopted the very best of secular values and co-opted it for themselves, but still, they got it right) It’s not ashamed to stand loud and proud and take on all comers (as it is supremely confident in Divine Authorship) this hubris, this arrogance, is nevertheless based upon the very best of the best of human thinking. (they claim it’s “divine”)

          like you, I don’t believe in any kind of “divinity” whatsoever…but I like that they emphasize the better part of our human nature and achievements.

          “Atheism can’t. Atheism is a response to people claiming gods exist. This has been pointed out to you dozens of times.”

          sure it could, you are needlessly giving away a point. I hold to Christopher Hitchen’s view that they have nothing to offer that the secular could not.

          “So, you Fred, don’t care about what’s true? You are an atheist, right?
          Are you the lonely atheist on this planet who cares about what’s true
          and good?”

          hardly. I’m only an “atheist” in the sense that I happen to meet the required definition. I’m not loud or proud, in fact a little reluctant to wear that label. But at the end of the day, I definitely don’t believe in any god or God, so, like it or not, I guess we’re on the same side? Actually, I find more kinship with cool Christians than I do with abrasive self-proclaiming atheists….so does that make me bad? inconsistent? a bad atheist? who the hell knows, and who the hell cares?

          “I mean, show your math.”
          I will continue to show my math, whether you are able to accept it is another story. Stop pushing your agenda upon me, I don’t accept it. Is that ok with you?

        • Susan

          First of all, it’s an actual worldview.

          It’s a belief that a god exists who came to earth and ascended to heaven.

          it’s basic tenants

          That’s tenets.

          affirms the very best and brightest of humanity, morally, intellectually, and in every way (from my view, it adopted the very best of secular values and co-opted it for themselves, but still, they got it right)

          So, just more assertion without providing a single bit of support.

          sure it could.

          No. It can’t. It’s a position on the existence of gods.

          I like that they emphasize the better part of our human nature and achievements.

          Just restating what you haven’t shown.

          I’m not loud or proud,

          You’re both.

          I’m only an “atheist” in the sense that I happen to meet the required definition

          That’s what makes anyone an atheist.

          I will continue to show my math.

          You never have.

          Stop pushing your agenda on me.

          Provide one example where I have pushed an agenda on you.

        • Fred Knight

          Hey Suze,

          “First of all, it’s an actual worldview.
          It’s a belief that a god exists who came to earth and ascended to heaven.”

          Yes, you are right, it does incorporate that and more.

          Let me ask you this….do you think I’m an atheist? (Mike doesn’t) a good atheist? why or why not?

          “That’s tenets.”
          lmao 😉 you got me!

          “So, just more assertion without providing a single bit of support.”
          I know this is a running theme, but truly I don’t get your fixation on this….is it possible for 2 human beings to have a discussion without demanding bullet points or references? Where did you learn that this was the only way to discuss things?

          “No. It can’t. It’s a position on the existence of gods.”
          read my initial point and follow up, I’m on your side here, you are being unduly defensive.

          “That’s what makes anyone an atheist.”
          so I’m a valid atheist in your view? (If we are both on the supposed same side I’m a bit confused on why we are butting heads?)

        • Susan

          Yes, you are right. It does incorporate that and more.

          Yes, I didn’t bother with all the rest of the unsupported baggage that gets dragged in on a terrible premise.

          Let me ask you this… do you think I’m an atheist?

          I don’t really care what you call yourself.

          you got me!

          I wasn’t trying to get you. I just hate it when people say “tenants” when they mean “tenets”. Sometimes, people are making such a good case that I don’t want to get all pedantic on them. You are not one of those people.

          I know this is a running theme.

          Yep.

          but I truly don’t get your fixation on this.

          It’s not a fixation. You don’t just get to say shit without supporting it. Nobody does.

          so I’m a valid atheist in your view?

          Stop being so dishonest. It has been pointed out to you countless times on more than this site that on the subject of gods, not believing god claims, means you’re an atheist.

          if we are both on the same side

          I’m not on the side of anyone who makes claims that they can’t support.

          If you don’t believe gods exist, I don’t either. Because the claim that any god exists is so poorly supported.

          As for the rest of your nonsense, I don’t accept it.

          Because your claims are so poorly supported.

          =====

          Edit: (3 minutes later) You haven’t provided one example where I’ve “pushed an agenda” on you.

          You have a record of accusing people of things without backing up those accusations and then changing the subject rather than support those accusations.

          .

        • Fred Knight

          “I don’t really care what you call yourself.”
          but that wasn’t the question, was it? support your work!

          “…that I don’t want to get all pedantic on them. You are not one of those people.”
          so I bring out the pedantic in you? I’m touched and honoured! 😉

          “You don’t just get to say shit without supporting it. Nobody does.”
          but you see, most of my comments have been my personal commentary, not broad claims about absolute truth or anti-truth. Instead of saying “why do you feel this way?” you demand some kind of empirical evidence, as if I’ve just made an extraordinary claim of some kind….you appear to be on auto-pilot in this regard….(hint, now’s the time to ask me why I personally feel this way rather than demand that I “show my work” :) )

          “If you don’t believe gods exist, I don’t either.
          IF I don’t? do you have reason to believe that I in some way do?

          “Because the claim that any god exists is so poorly supported.”
          agreed. Where have I ever made such claims?

          “As for the rest of your nonsense, I don’t accept it.”
          in other words, you don’t like my personal opinions, they bother you and make you mad. should I demand you provide evidence for why that gets under your skin?

        • Pofarmer

          Sometimes, people are making such a good case that I don’t want to get all pedantic on them. You are not one of those people.

          It’s funny cause it’s true. It’s a good thing I was done with coffee for the morning.

        • Pofarmer

          .it’s basic tenants affirms the very best and brightest of humanity,
          morally, intellectually, and in every way (from my view, it adopted the
          very best of secular values and co-opted it for themselves

          That, very simply, is a buncha bullshit. Christianity from it’s inception supported slavery. It persecuted and killed nonbelievers. It killed witches, genocided entire area’s that had the “wrong” Christian beliefs. Best and brightest my ass.

        • Fred Knight

          “That, very simply, is a buncha bullshit. Christianity from it’s inception supported slavery. It persecuted and killed nonbelievers. It
          killed witches, genocided entire area’s that had the “wrong” Christian beliefs. Best and brightest my ass.”
          This is an extremely cynical and ignorant view….anyone who becomes an “atheist” and/or rejects Christianity for such foolish notions is a candidate for later becoming a Christian convert because he/she was lied to by atheists. ignorance begets ignorance.

        • Pofarmer

          Oh please. The ignorant view is the one who refuses to see the downsides of the worldview one is advocating. The things I listed weren’t in spite of Christian Doctrine, they were because of it. The Magdalene laundries weren’t an abberation, they were because of Catholic Doctrine. Stealing babies from single mothers around the Globe? This was because of the Church’s teachings, not in spite of them. It takes the limited mechanics of science and extends them way beyond their limits. And on, and on, and on. Parents tossing out their kids because they no longer believe? Certainly not unheard of, and actually expected in some circles. Get yer head outta yer ass and look around.

        • Michael Neville

          Yet another anti-atheist whine from our undercover Christian apologist. Long on sneers and insults, short on specifics, which is what we’ve come to expect from our semi-literate freddy.

        • Kodie

          Why are you reluctant to call yourself an atheist?

        • MNb

          “like it or not, I guess we’re on the same side?”
          Are you also on the same side as Martin Bormann and Josef Stalin? They “definitely didn’t believe in any god or God” either.

        • Pofarmer

          whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever
          things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of
          good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think
          on these things.

          Yeah, except quite often the things that meet these criteria for Christians are bullshit. It’s a lovely sentiment. In practice, not so much.

        • Fred Knight

          “It’s a lovely sentiment. In practice, not so much.”
          But atheism practice is FAR superior? I’m more concerned about actual practice….weird thing is, good sentiment can lead to good practice.

        • Pofarmer

          There is no “practice” in atheism.

        • Michael Neville

          You don’t care about “actual practice”. All you care about is tearing down atheism and supporting your Christian agenda. If you were actually concerned with actual practice then you’d give specifics about what you don’t like about atheism. You don’t do that, you just whine about “modern atheists” (the term most other Christians use is “new atheists”, you don’t even know enough about atheism to know the correct jargon).

        • Fred Knight

          “You don’t care about “actual practice”. All you care about is tearing down atheism and supporting your Christian agenda.”
          You haven’t heard a damn word I’ve said since I had the misfortune of meeting your sorry dumb ass.

          ” If you were actually concerned with actual practice then you’d give specifics about what you don’t like about atheism.”
          I have been extremely specific, you see, I don’t really give a damn about christianity or atheism or any other label people want to spout off and use as some kind of badge or litmus test. If you ever were a believer, it’s quite likely we’d have butted heads back then as well – I’m not even positive I necessarily disagree with you, I simply don’t like you. Why? Because it’s how your choose to conduct yourself, how you practice your so-called atheism. How about this, I doubt you are a true atheist or free thinker in any sense, because if you truly were, you’d behave better and acknowledge good points.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Which just goes to demonstrate that even self proclaimed atheists can be complete and utter wankers….who’d have thought it, what?

        • Michael Neville

          Complete and utter wanking is something that all of us indulge in from time to time. I certainly enjoy being a complete and utter wanker when I feel like it.

        • Greg G.

          The only way to release the pressure of your inner wanker is to be an utter wanker.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i dabbled in absolute wankery, but from there it’s a slippery slope to absolutist wankery, and I technically don’t believe in the Divine Right of WanKings. i mean, lip service only goes so far … what were we talking about again?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh I’m not averse to snapping one off from time to time maself, but like many of these things as ya know yerself, some words have more than one meaning.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk0Wp6sXb5I

        • Pofarmer

          @Valerie Tarico
          My own sense as a psychologist is that most of the
          harm done in this world is done with good intentions. The other big
          driver is moral indifference–meaning that in a given situation the
          actor isn’t weighing the morally relevant consequences of their actions.
          What I say to my daughters is that if you want to do good it’s not
          enough to be well intentioned, you have to be right about the real world
          contingencies that govern wellbeing.

        • Fred Knight

          “My own sense as a psychologist is that most of the harm done in this world is done with good intentions.”
          Including atheists…I don’t doubt their sincerity, but they often are the worst of the worst in actual outcome, and yet proclaim loudly that “religion” is the true problem.

        • Pofarmer

          Oh do come on.

          but they often are the worst of the worst in actual outcome,

          Eh?

        • Kodie

          I don’t think you get it. The bible is not original, and atheism doesn’t pretend to be a religion to guide one’s life by. All it does is remove the belief in god, so that one can attempt to think and see more clearly. Whatever the bible gets “right” is right regardless of there being or not being any god. It is normal for humans to think about how to live, but it is superstition to think it all came from one wise guy in mystical space called “god,” particularly when that character is portrayed as abusive and petulant and one terrific asshole who always gets his way, and by extension, believers use that character to get their way. If you are an atheist, you would understand that this is what the discussions are about. If you are actually an atheist, you would want Christians to stop repeating lies like you do about what atheism is. It is merely the answer to a question. For that, we get shit on and lied about and prejudiced against in society, and you are only adding to the rumors, lies, and scapegoating bullshit that Christians do. If you were actually an atheist, you might listen instead of preach, you might comprehend the bullshit we put up with, you might agree with some of our points, but instead, you directly imply that atheists have no morals. That rejecting the bible, we reject anything that can be learned or has been incorporated into Western Society that is actually useful, and that is OUTSIDE THE BIBLE. That cannot and should not be directly credited to the bible or Christianity. That’s some Christian apologetics right there.

          We reject the superstition, the hammering over the head and shoving down the throat of Christianity, the basic assumption Christians have that everyone believes in god and everyone who doesn’t believes in Satan. You sound awfully like an actual Christian when you talk, so you ought to think about whether you are or not. Liking the bible and admiring the wholesome aspects of the bible is a pretty big signal that you’re a liar for Jesus.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Oh boy, now I’m really a Christian troll in their eyes. (actually, I’m just doing the hard math that they seem unwilling to do.)

          are you going to paint everybody who disagrees with you on any point with that same brush? talk about doing it wrong …

        • Fred Knight

          “are you going to paint everybody who disagrees with you on any point with that same brush”
          not at all, in fact, I’m anxious to see if you are a reasonable one! Don’t let me down, bro, I’m putting my hope in you! if experience has taught me anything, it’s to put my blind trust into folks such as yourself who claim to be the real deal. make us all proud!

        • adam

          ” I’m not sure why atheists feel the need to take this approach.”

          UHHhhh?????????? That is the approach believers approach.

          How did it end up being the “Word of God”?

          “Argue the moral message of the text, ”

          The one condoning slavery?
          Rape?
          Genocide?
          Murder?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e389054ce6c972f909aee2e1015b3f98cdad7f4e59ed68593237da544ca0616c.jpg

        • Fred Knight

          “UHHhhh?????????? That is the approach believers approach.”
          no, it actually isn’t. it is parody level bs that lazy atheists have foisted upon them. Argue against their substance (seriously, it can be done) not your projections.

          “How did it end up being the “Word of God”?
          for them, and indeed in a lot of ways, that is not a bad thing. God is All-Loving, All-Wise, Totally Just and Fair, and does not discriminate against anyone, ever. Are you prepared to condemn someone who holds to these high values and would give their life for them and their fellow man? Do I believe it is literally true that such a Being exists, no. But if I did believe, it actually makes doing the right thing in this life a little easier – and all things considered, that is a very good thing for society.

          “”Argue the moral message of the text, ”

          The one condoning slavery?
          Rape?
          Genocide?
          Murder?”
          now you are getting sloppy, the Bible, even the worst of the Old Testament tells a tale of the Jewish people in an unvarnished, “good, bad and the ugly” – this is not the same as CONDONING these things – that is you putting a spin on things. To the degree that it does affirm certain ancient cultural practices common at the time, almost in every case it sought to mitigate and soften compared to the societies around them. (this is a bit painful for me to be making their case for them, as I do believe there is some holes in this argument, but not to the degree you are putting forth, again, in my view, a lazy manner.

        • adam

          “That is the approach believers approach.””

          They certainly do.

          ” God is All-Loving, All-Wise, Totally Just and Fair, and does not discriminate against anyone, ever.Are you prepared to condemn someone who holds to these high values and would give their life for them and their fellow man?”

          Certainly, I am prepared to demonstrate and have demonstrated that God is not that.

          ” Do I believe it is literally true that such a Being exists, no. ”

          You are certainly in the minority.

          “even the worst of the Old Testament tells a tale of the Jewish people in
          an unvarnished, “good, bad and the ugly” – this is not the same as
          CONDONING these things – ”

          THIS IS:
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/86effa5e2bc761ae95f687bf44f1632c13ebd40a54b07502d779f242a887cc3e.jpg

          ” (this is a bit painful for me to be making their case for them, as I do believe there is some holes in this argument,”

          Choke it out, because many of them wont make the same claim.
          Why?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62da10177de8c12d9feedf1a0ff3d448ed929feef887a1192640edb3a8a15953.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          no, it actually isn’t. it is parody level bs that lazy atheists have foisted upon them. Argue against their substance (seriously, it can be done) not your projections.

          You are a feckin’ eejit!

          Is the persecution and restriction of human rights on the LGBT community by Christian’s based on scripture parody level bs foisted upon them?

          What about the pro-choice rights of women?

          What about stem cell research?

          What about AGW climate climate change?

          Am I projecting onto these fuckwit wankers…

          https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/04/WBC_20051202_sacco-topeka5.jpg/220px-WBC_20051202_sacco-topeka5.jpg

          for them, and indeed in a lot of ways, that is not a bad thing. God is All-Loving, All-Wise, Totally Just and Fair, and does not discriminate against anyone, ever. Are you prepared to condemn someone who holds to these high values and would give their life for them and their fellow man? Do I believe it is literally true that such a Being exists, no. But if I did believe, it actually makes doing the right thing in this life a little easier – and all things considered, that is a very good thing for society.

          And nobody gives a shit, even though those perceived values are nonsense, given the texts they come from…unless cherrypicked. Just as long as it is actually invoking them to do the right thing. Unfortunately, very often it doesn’t, and historically so. That’s the problem. Pretending that it isn’t, or that there is no problem, just gives even more succour to those you believe we are being unjustly critical.

          now you are getting sloppy, the Bible, even the worst of the Old Testament tells a tale of the Jewish people in an unvarnished, “good, bad and the ugly” – this is not the same as CONDONING these things – that is you putting a spin on things. To the degree that it does affirm certain ancient cultural practices common at the time, almost in every case it sought to mitigate and soften compared to the societies around them. (this is a bit painful for me to be making their case for them, as I do believe there is some holes in this argument, but not to the degree you are putting forth, again, in my view, a lazy manner.

          So if I can point to scripture that show’s your screed to be nonsense you’ll admit to being a feckin’ eejit and take your accommodationist bullshit away ta fuck to somewhere the folk might give a shit?

          To the degree that it does affirm certain ancient cultural practices common at the time, almost in every case it sought to mitigate and soften compared to the societies around them.

          Nope, nope, nope….multi-omni God doesn’t get the relativism caveat for his chosen ones actions.

        • Michael Neville

          God is All-Loving, All-Wise, Totally Just and Fair, and does not discriminate against anyone, ever.

          How much did this god love the first born of Egypt?

          this is not the same as CONDONING these things

          There’s Biblical rules on diet, sex, and even barbering one’s hair, it would have been easy for this “loving” god to slip in a rule “Thou shalt not own another person as property.” Instead there’s rules on the treatment of slaves including:

          Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property. Ex 21:20-21 (NIV) [emphasis added]

          Please explain how the following isn’t ordering genocide:

          This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ 1 Sam 15:2-3 (NIV)

          In another instance Moses ordered:

          Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man. Numbers 31:17-18 (NIV)

          Do you think the girls were overjoyed with sleeping with the killers of their families? Could it be that they were raped?

          You’re hardly the one to accuse others of laziness when you can’t spend a few minutes doing your homework.

        • Fred Knight

          “”How much did this god love the first born of Egypt?”

          which personifies evil, keep up, bro

          “Do you think the girls were overjoyed with sleeping with the killers of their families? Could it be that they were raped?”

          keep it relative to the practice of the times…the rules of war were brutal, keep it in historical context. (but you cannot do that, can you, because you have a dishonest axe to grind against “religion”)

          “You’re hardly the one to accuse others of laziness when you can’t spend a few minutes doing your homework.”
          I’ve done all my my homework long before coming here, I assure you, unlike the lazy atheists who spout off like you.

        • Michael Neville

          So, freddy, are you going to even attempt to rebut what I wrote or are you keeping to your usual sneers that don’t say anything substantial? And if you’ve done your homework then why haven’t you shown the slightest evidence that you’ve done so?

          According to the propaganda your favorite god, the one you worship (no, Jesus lover, i don’t believe for a second you’re an atheist) killed the first born in Egypt. That’s hardly loving. If you think it is then explain how it is.

          Making vague “historical context” noises does not explain away how soldiers raping virgins per the orders of their theocratic leader is anything but rape. Try putting some thought into the excuses you want to make for your god condoning rape.

          I don’t have any axe, honest or dishonest, to grind against religion. I’m explaining to your dumb, ignorant ass how your god is described in your propaganda as being a sadistic bully with the emotional maturity of a spoiled six year old.

          You’re just not very good at debating and justifying your belief in your god. It would help if you stopped lying about being a skeptical atheist when it’s obvious that you’re not.

        • Fred Knight

          ho hum…I’m sorry, is there a mosquito in the room? oops, no, it’s just mke droning on again.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So, freddy, are you going to even attempt to rebut what I wrote or are you keeping to your usual sneers that don’t say anything substantial?

          Guaranteed the later.

          And if you’ve done your homework then why haven’t you shown the slightest evidence that you’ve done so?

          Ha ha…the twit can’t even use Google fer jaysus sake.

        • Ignorant Amos

          keep it relative to the practice of the times…the rules of war were brutal, keep it in historical context. (but you cannot do that, can you, because you have a dishonest axe to grind against “religion”)

          I thought you said you were a Catholic? No relativism allowed…it pins back YahwehJesus’ omni-attributes.

          Did YahwehJesus not know ahead of time that ordering and condoning stuff as good would someday be deemed by all moral human beings as bad? Bang goes omniscience.

          Could YahwehJesus not do anything about it? Bang goes omniscience.

          So much for God being immutable, perfection,and timeless.

          We don’t believe this shite, but if believers do, then they have to deal with the issues such nonsense pitches up.

          What is your beef with it in any case? What investment do you have in defending such ballix? Are you lying for Jesus? Are you a pious fraud?

        • BlackMamba44

          He’s supposedly an atheist.

          But he hates atheists and thinks Christianity is wonderful.

          He sounds exactly like the Christians that come through here.

          I think he is lying for Jesus AND a pious fraud.

          Edit: I may have misunderstood the question “I thought you said you were a Catholic? “

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…were a Catholic…as in at one time…before going evangelical…so ought to know relativism doesn’t cut it.

        • Fred Knight

          Hey Ignorant,

          “I thought you said you were a Catholic?”

          yep, I was ( I was also an evangelical non-denom before that.)

          “We don’t believe this shite, but if believers do, then they have to deal with the issues such nonsense pitches up.”
          Apparently you are not keeping up, or have come late to the party, I don’t believe any of it. But if one does, it has (at times) profound and happy implications. Perhaps abandoning your faith was all sugar and roses and all things sweet and wonderful….(I would question what kind of evil faith that was made up of only hypocrisy and evil, continually.)

          I’m putting myself back into the mindset of a genuine, true believer and then trying to make my case to the very best of what they have to offer.

        • Ignorant Amos

          yep, I was ( I was also an evangelical non-denom before that.)

          I thought it was the other way around, apologies.

          Apparently you are not keeping up, or have come late to the party, I don’t believe any of it.

          Oh I’m keeping up okay. Time restraints and internet access restrict replies though. I understand that you say you don’t believe any of it, but some of your comments are defending something you don’t believe happened. Take this sub-thread for example. We atheists don’t believe that YahwehJesus ordered genocide. So if it happened, it is, as you say, just what went on during those murderous times…no gods required. But the folk we are arguing with really do believe the stuff in the Buybull. That means an all loving god ordered the massacre of innocents. Not a single Christian I’ve ever spoken to in meat world is aware of the nasty antics of the entity they think they know. They haven’t read the book. They get their info from the pulpit on the rare occasion they attend service and that info is censored.That has ramifications don’t ya think. You invoke relativism as a defence, which is fine in a no god world. The problem is that we are debating a hypothetical godly world. For that, we must adopt the DA position. As a once upon a time RC, you must be aware of the problem of invoking the relativist argument in defence of the actions of an evil god, or it’s order following minions.

          But if one does, it has (at times) profound and happy implications.

          Who cares? The debate is against the un-profound and unhappy implications that religions have brought/bring…which far outweigh the “nice” stuff by a long chalk.

          Perhaps abandoning your faith was all sugar and roses and all things sweet and wonderful….(I would question what kind of evil faith that was made up of only hypocrisy and evil, continually.)

          You have no idea. Get out a bit more…do some research.

        • Fred Knight

          IA,

          “I thought it was the other way around, apologies.”
          There is much you have wrongly assumed about me, and a bit abusive in your comments, but there is something in your tone that told me not to respond in kind. I hope you can appreciate that I’ve responded back in moderation.

          “I understand that you say you don’t believe any of it, but some of your comments are defending something you don’t believe happened.”

          You are right in making that distinction, both are correct. I am defending it and I don’t believe it actually happened.

          “That has ramifications don’t ya think? You invoke relativism as a defence, which is fine in a no god world.”

          I’m assuming a no god world. That is the ultimate level playing field. Since my “beef” such as it is, is largely with atheists spouting off freely, perhaps I appear to be giving a religious defense (actually, I’m not….and I don’t buy relativism, either)

          “Who cares? The debate is against the un-profound and unhappy implications that religions have brought/bring…which far outweigh the
          “nice” stuff by a long chalk.”

          that’s just it, I’m not sure the unhappy implications outweigh the good, certainly I don’t automatically assume it. Especially when fellow atheists are so cowardly as to hide behind one minor tenet and presume it trumps, hands down, an entire worldview.

          “Perhaps abandoning your faith was all sugar and roses and all things sweet and wonderful….(I would question what kind of evil faith that
          was made up of only hypocrisy and evil, continually.)
          You have no idea. Get out a bit more…do some research.”
          you assume way too much

        • Ignorant Amos

          There is much you have wrongly assumed about me,…

          I assumed nothing about it, I remember you commenting that you were a convert, I just got the order back-to-front.

          ….and a bit abusive in your comments, but there is something in your tone that told me not to respond in kind. I hope you can appreciate that I’ve responded back in moderation.

          I couldn’t give a fiddler’s as long as your replies contained some substance, the problem is, they don’t.

          You are right in making that distinction, both are correct. I am defending it and I don’t believe it actually happened.

          So you are defending a non-event? Don’t you think that a bit odd?

          I’m assuming a no god world. That is the ultimate level playing field.

          You are commenting otherwise.

          Since my “beef” such as it is, is largely with atheists spouting off freely, perhaps I appear to be giving a religious defense

          Yep. What is it that the atheists are spouting off freely that has your y-fronts tangled?

          (actually, I’m not….

          Actually, you are…it is all over this thread. Here…

          I’m putting myself back into the mindset of a genuine, true believer and then trying to make my case to the very best of what they have to offer.

          And you used the apologetic of, “well that was the way things were back in those days”, for when they hadn’t the best to offer. My point is, that if you put yourself into the genuine mindset of a true believer, then all the evil shit being carried out by the religious over millennia flies in the face of a multi-omni perfect, immutable, moral giving, entity.

          …and I don’t buy relativism, either)

          Except you do, that was the excuse you supplied to MN in your comment above.

          keep it relative to the practice of the times…the rules of war were brutal, keep it in historical context. (but you cannot do that, can you, because you have a dishonest axe to grind against “religion”)

          That is the epitome of the word…

          Relativism: the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute.

          Which as I say, is fine in a no god world, but the antics in the Bible aren’t happening in a no god world, and it is that world and those that believe it to be the case that we atheists on this blog are arguing against.

          that’s just it, I’m not sure the unhappy implications outweigh the good,

          Well, when I look around me it certainly appears that the bad outweighs the good, but that is debatable and has been. Like I said, the good stuff is not the focus, it is all the bad stuff that is at the centre of the debate in question, the amount of bad stuff is certainly not eclipsed by the good stuff, that’s for sure …read all what I said, not just the quote mined bits that you cherry pick in order to attack a non-argument.

          Christopher Hitchens v Tony Blair: ‘Is religion a force for good in the world?’, Munk Debate – 2010

          http://speakola.com/ideas/christopher-hitchens-v-tony-blair-religion-2010

          Is Religion a Force for Good or Evil in the World?

          https://michaelshermer.com/2008/03/a-force-for-good-or-evil/

          …certainly I don’t automatically assume it.

          I certainly don’t just automatically assume it either. So pah!

          Especially when fellow atheists are so cowardly as to hide behind one minor tenet and presume it trumps, hands down, an entire worldview.

          Bang goes your moderate approach, ah well, like I said, that’s fine by me as long as you at least made an effort, but alas…no cigar.

          What is this “one minor tenet” you talk of and who are these “cowardly” atheists hiding behind it? What entire worldview do you think these so-called “cowardly” atheists think this “one minor tenet”trumps? Or is this just another unsubstantiated piece of Freddy bullshit?

          you assume way too much

          Spooooiiiinnng!

          It was you that was doing all the assuming ya cock. With this comment…

          Perhaps abandoning your faith was all sugar and roses and all things sweet and wonderful….(I would question what kind of evil faith that was made up of only hypocrisy and evil, continually.)

          Although I have to admit, I haven’t a clue what that nonsense in the brackets is supposed to mean.

        • Fred Knight

          not a pious fraud, but I don’t defend lazy atheists either…you bore me, Ignorant Amos, you are cut from the same dumb cloth as your stupid compatriots, though you fancy yourself smart, you’re not.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Smart enough to do the research and make a cunt outta you, that’s for sure. You are too easy because you don’t have the smarts for this online arguing, simples.

        • Fred Knight

          Oh, you fancy yourself as REAL smart, I’ll give you that, and yet you continue tor bring forth the dumb and easy, and this only exceeded by the sheer volume of your ad-hominem dumbassery, or ability to be a “cunt” to use your word.

          The point being, I did not come here to engage in typical apologetics, from any side….Catholic Apologists and Reformed Apologists and others could soundly refute and make mince meat out of your points. I”m not even attempting to do that, since I most likely share your general conclusions. I suppose I’m here, as a fellow atheist, to call you out on your dumbassery and cuntishness, quite evident and on full display. (thus affirming and proving that the godless are well, just like you – my argument is that I at try not to be like you.)

        • Ignorant Amos

          this is so basic that I’m left wondering why so many don’t get it.

          What is the larger truth that the biblical myths and metaphors point beyond that so many don’t get? How do you know these are truths? What method do you use to know what is myth and metaphor…or whatever? Show your work?

          hyper-literalism seems to be a defense mechanism.

          Hyper-literalism was the norm a few centuries back…why was that? Why did very few think it was myth and metaphor? Why would anyone with a working brain follow something that they knew was a myth and metaphor? What is it a defence mechanism for?

          I’m not sure why atheists feel the need to take this approach.

          And this is where you and your like minded are major malfunctioning. Atheists are kicking back against fuckwits who are not content to believe their woo-woo is myth and metaphor…leaving the rest of us ta fuck alone. Something you seem to be ignoring.

          Argue the moral message of the text, taken in it’s context seems pretty reasonable to me.

          Who gets to decide? What is the moral message of the text? What is the context? How ta fuck can you possibly know you are right and all those other Christians, and those that are not Christians, that you disagree with, are wrong?

          What is myth, what is metaphor, what is something else? How do you know? What method do you use to decide? And how do you know that method is sound?

        • Fred Knight

          “Hyper-literalism was the norm a few centuries back…why was that?”

          was it? what period? what scholarship are you relying upon?

          “And this is where you and your like minded are major malfunctioning.
          Atheists are kicking back against fuckwits who are not content to
          believe their woo-woo is myth and metaphor…leaving the rest of us ta
          fuck alone. Something you seem to be ignoring.”

          so the atheists blindly kicking against the pricks have the moral high ground? that is interesting.

          “Who gets to decide? What is the moral message of the text? What is the context? How ta fuck can you possibly know you are right and all those other Christians, and those that are not Christians, that you disagree with, are wrong?”

          Are you done hyper-ventilating? Take a deep breath, there are answers, you are not the first to ask this question.

          “What is myth, what is metaphor, what is something else? How do you know? What method do you use to decide? And how do you know that method is sound?”
          Again, you are not the first to ask this question, there are established rules

          of course, this assumes you are actually interested in an honest answer.

        • https://www.jonmorgan.info Jon Morgan

          there are answers, you are not the first to ask this question. … Again, you are not the first to ask this question, there are established rules

          Sorry, but that’s just kicking the problem up one level. Not only do different Christian groups disagree on the interpretations of texts, but they also disagree on the methods used to interpret those texts.

        • Fred Knight

          actually, they remarkably agree…you are looking to accentuate a non-problem and make it look like it is one….this makes you look desperate, and leave them with the conclusion that you lack god in some form or fashion.

        • https://www.jonmorgan.info Jon Morgan

          Sorry, no. You have found fault with Amos not knowing enough and accused him of not being interested in an honest answer. You have found fault with me for calling your bluff and knowing too much, and then accused me of “looking desparate”. And as for “lacking god in some form or fashion” – I’m an atheist. What do you expect? That I have a god whispering in my ear telling me not to believe in his existence?

          I was brought up as a Christian and remained Christian for most of my first 30 years. I have been a Bible student, a lay preacher, and even a Bible software developer. I have talked with many believers of different stripes and read many Christian books and blogs over the years, and in fact still read some. Your statement that they “remarkably agree” is palpably false. When I see online disagreements between different groups of Christians, it is quite common for those disagreements to be not just differences in beliefs, but differences in interpretation methods used to reach those beliefs. Reading more or talking with more believers can only reduce the amount of agreement I see. In my view, your unsubstantiated assertion can only be made by picking a particular interpretation standard and stating it is the One True Interpretation. And that leaves you open to Amos’s questions: How did you come to that standard, and why do a large percentage of Christians not use that standard?

        • Fred Knight

          Hey Jon,

          Perhaps some of my subsequent answers will clear a few things up, I’m trying to make nuanced points to complex questions that are being presented here as black and white – perhaps you are content with the hammer being the only tool in the toolbox we ever use, but I am not.

          “And as for “lacking god in some form or fashion” – I’m an atheist. What do you expect?”
          please listen closely to what I’m saying, I’m actually on your side. What I’m saying is that when we fail to be precise in our arguments against them, that plays right into THEIR stereotype that you (and I) are godless, like brute beasts, lacking morality in some fashion.

          “But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught
          and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.” 2Peter 2:12 NIV

          “I was brought up as a Christian and remained Christian for most of my first 30 years. I have been a Bible student, a lay preacher, and even a
          Bible software developer. I have talked with many believers of different stripes and read many Christian books and blogs over the
          years, and in fact still read some.”
          I very much appreciate hearing a little of your backdrop, it does make a difference.

          “Your statement that they “remarkably agree” is palpably false.”
          do you say that as de-convert? It’s a valid point from that perspective…especially if one bought into some form of fundamentalism and has now seen how much bs that all is.

          I’ve been there and back again. I tried to buy into the atheist hype, but truth be told, it’s no better than the Christian hype….are we all looking for the easy answers, or the more thorny actual answers?

        • https://www.jonmorgan.info Jon Morgan

          The thing is, I do argue with more caution when discussing with believers in person or on their sites (or at least, I try to). With that hat on I would agree with you that taking the “literal” interpretation isn’t the only way to interpret a text, and may not be the best. However, on this site, I try much more to say what I think and explore different concepts with fellow atheists, and I learn a lot doing it. Bob’s posts may be targeted to believers as well as unbelievers, but my comments aren’t really.

          As a Christian, I believed that there was one true interpretation of the Bible out there somewhere, and spent a lot of time trying to find it. As part of that search, I discovered how many different methods of interpretation there were around, and that it was no easier to justify one of the interpretation methods over others than it was to justify one interpretation over others. I don’t think de-conversion made a massive difference to this conclusion, though it wasn’t until six months after I quit that I fully realised how much I was giving the Bible the benefit of the doubt (“it must be true, I’ve just got to figure out how”). I sometimes use Bible verses where the message suits me, but not in a different way from quoting other familiar quotes, for example from Tolkien or Dickens.

        • Fred Knight

          Hey Jon, I like your response

          “The thing is, I do argue with more caution when discussing with believers in person or on their sites (or at least, I try to).”
          cool

          “I don’t think de-conversion made a massive difference to this conclusion, though it wasn’t until six months after I quit that I fully
          realised how much I was giving the Bible the benefit of the doubt”
          Hear, Hear! in spades…I get it, de-conversion for me was a long journey, I surely get that point and agree.

          My deal is that the very best of the best orthodox Christianity will not be defeated unless we acknowledge that it exists….as I surely adhered to as a believer….to sweep it away as irrelevant, in my view, is a mistake.

        • TheNuszAbides

          My deal is that the very best of the best orthodox Christianity will not be defeated unless we acknowledge that it exists

          curious, then, how little (if any?) time you spend clarifying what “the very best of the best” even is, since a massive plank of this blog is to invite the very best of the best Christian positions to be put forth and clarified. instead you seem to relish pointless flaming and posturing that you know all sorts of amazing things that none of “our kind” does, about Christians or Christianity in general.
          do you somehow suspect that if this “very best of the best” is brought forth, Bob will ignore it? or that all of us whom you are so sure aren’t as well-informed as you – despite that you never inform us of anything new, with nothing better than *crickets* or a pearls-before-swine-style sneer to pretend you’re driving home how unwise we are – somehow we’ll trick Bob into not even seeing “the very best of the best”, cloud his judgement and utterly spoil the possibility of the dialogue he seeks?

        • Fred Knight

          “curious, then, how little (if any?) time you spend clarifying what “the
          very best of the best” even is, since a massive plank of this blog is to
          invite the very best of the best Christian positions to be put forth
          and clarified.”
          It’s not my role to defend their faith, but I do know it exists. do you seriously doubt it?

          “do you somehow suspect that if this “very best of the best” is brought forth, Bob will ignore it?”
          I suspect he probably will, as would I. I’m not saying it should be bought into, but it should be explored.

          “or that all of us whom you are so sure aren’t as well-informed as you”
          I’m not so sure you are not as well-informed, it’s just that I don’t see evidence that you are.

          “nothing better than *crickets* or a pearls-before-swine-style sneer to pretend you’re driving home how unwise we are”
          I eagerly await you to prove that assumption wrong, sincerely I hope it is wrong….

        • TheNuszAbides

          It’s not my role to defend their faith, but I do know it exists. do you seriously doubt it?

          i don’t seriously doubt that there is a “very best of the best”. that would be idiotic. everything that can be ranked in any way has a best-to-worst spectrum. but i do seriously doubt that it is rationally compelling by the light of accumulated insights that aren’t threatened by atheism, e.g. the last century or two of sciences of mind and earth.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s not my role to defend their faith, but I do know it exists. do you seriously doubt it?

          I don’t doubt they think it exists, but none of it stands up to scrutiny and the apologists fail miserably at defending it.

          Get yerself over to https://strangenotions.com/ to see how the best of the best get a new arse ripped.

        • Kodie

          Looks like you’re in denial.

        • Fred Knight

          just not a victim

        • Kodie

          You act like you’re a victim.

        • adam

          “Argue the moral message of the text, taken in it’s context seems pretty reasonable to me.”

          Of course, to you it does:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e389054ce6c972f909aee2e1015b3f98cdad7f4e59ed68593237da544ca0616c.jpg

        • adam

          “It’s not what I see. It is the interpretation I make of what I see.”

          Of course, but every christian does the same thing

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c4e3bbea2d1e4d81dbd3798980be2ee8b39f893fee5d1d2b81b76b5e7ba184e1.jpg

          “They do not follow Jesus. For instance, they have left “Love your enemies” blowing in the wind.”

          As have MOST on beating your slaves.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ae1afb4336eb43eac4eb6542320889b4c9068fa20364f91b3a3a3b8f6e3a0f88.png

          And has virtually EVERY christian on getting treasure in heaven:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/07a6a722eb459b5d8ad76ecf5ad8d04dd5ba3484e6faaa0abf14e05e1ce8575e.jpg

          And of course, for those ‘christians’ who loose their car keys or want a close parking space at the mall:
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d33d976a22f6e115b08a50f3005cc37d3339728aa9287864dafd5c39844ebcb3.jpg

        • james warren

          I read for enjoyment and to learn something new.
          The things I often read are called “stories.”
          “It’s lust a story [or it’s just a metaphor]” tells me all I need to know about where many are coming from.

        • adam

          ““It’s lust a story [or it’s just a metaphor]” tells me all I need to know about where many are coming from.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/831e274b356c03b8778b1d9672b8ab244560e2fda7a4cd57b0436d5bda02694f.jpg

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You need to back up your incredible claims (gospels are all true, God exists, and so on) with evidence.

        • Michael Neville

          a highly intelligent God that far surpasses mankind’s intelligence

          How can you possibly know this is true?

        • Otto

          >>>”If an act of accidental existence can ‘create’ unintentionally all that fills the earth, then it certainly stand to reason that a highly intelligent God that far surpasses mankind’s intelligence can not only create life but bring a torn down human body back to existence like humans can ‘recreate’ things, right?”

          Even IF such a God was possible, the God of the Bible can be dismissed as fitting this definition because there is nothing that points to that God being intelligent. The whole Christian narrative is a moral and ethical mess both in its mythology and more so in its actual history.

        • Rudy R

          Those gospels are all untrue and god can’t raise the dead.

          “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” — Christopher Hitchens.

          See how easy that is?

        • adam

          “would you mind explaining how you know God can’t raise the dead”

          Because God is IMAGINARY….

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cec86c13ff651044ebf846246f7b360fb2d8a3eccf42e97c497a2d680eb4b44d.jpg

        • james warren

          You remarks are a statement of FAITH, not FACTS.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      All you did was show that you don’t know the book of John that well. Jesus indeed did have brothers that belonged to Mary and Joseph. The fact that Jesus made sure to put his mother in the hands of John the aposlte was because the other brother of Jesu sdind’t believe Jesus to be the Messiah until after his death dn resurrection.

      That’s interesting. Show me in John where it says that.

      When Matthew says that no one was around did it occur to you that that was from is perspective of the believers he was around while another group of believers was somewhere else together that did show up at the death of Jesus on the torture stake?

      Let me make sure I understand your point. You’re saying that Matthew said that there were no male disciples at the crucifixion, but the truth was that there were male disciples at the crucifixion. Is that right?

      Then Paul mentioned the 500 who saw Jesus alive after his resurrection that walked with Jesus while he was alive before Jesus’ death adn resurrection (that did take place).

      Here’s a tip: just because you can find it written down doesn’t mean it actually happened. I debunk this claim here.

      • james

        bob, what would be your response if an apologist assumes that the man in the tomb was the source for the empty tomb story ? i think the gospel writer of matthew did not like my question, because he needed the women to open their mouth. so clearly matthew was not impressed by the man in the tomb or the flying angel, he needed the women to speak immediately which means that the meseengers were dependent on the women to convey the message .

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          what would be your response if an apologist assumes that the man in the tomb was the source for the empty tomb story ?

          I’m not following. What man in the tomb?

        • james

          But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m still not following you point. They go in, and there’s no body. The tomb was empty (of dead bodies).

          You’re thinking that the “angel” invented the empty tomb story?

        • james

          the text says that the women said nothing to anyone. what if someone comes along and says , hey maybe the young man in the tomb told mark ?

        • Greg G.

          In Mark 16:5, it is a young man, possibly the one from Mark 14:51-52.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i think he was just trying to get your hypothetical response to a hypothetical fundie/literalist who shoehorns in an ‘explanation’ that isn’t actually in the [~surviving~!] text – presumably in order to cling to the “gospels were written/dictated by eyewitnesses” trope.

          i strain to imagine that your response would be more complex/effortful than a rehash of “yeah, somebody told a story – so?”
          whereas Giauz or I might try to spin a whimsical derail about nameless mystery figures.

      • james warren

        “…just because you can find it written down doesn’t mean it actually happened.”

        That cautionary statement is a necessary part of any focused study of the Bible.

        Short but very well stated, Bob!

    • Michael Neville

      Jesus indeed did have brothers that belonged to Mary and Joseph.

      That’s not what Catholics claim. Their idolatry of Mary requires them to believe that she was ever virginal and so didn’t have any children by Joseph since she never had sexual intercourse with him. There’s much hand waving and tap dancing about brothers not referring to uterine brothers but cousins or other relatives, Joseph having been previously married, or “brothers of the faith”.

    • Ignorant Amos

      Then of course there is the whole account of Saul-Paul who met Jesus after the resurrection some time later that Luke told us about in the book of the Acts of the Apostles.

      But that is just a lot of bunkum. It is made up fairy tale.

      Then Paul mentioned the 500 who saw Jesus alive after his resurrection that walked with Jesus while he was alive before Jesus’ death adn resurrection (that did take place).

      Nope….and you don’t know the Pauline corpus if that is what you believe it says, because Paul explains precisely what occurred. If scholars thought that’s what Paul was saying, the argument would be a whole lot different.

    • https://www.jonmorgan.info Jon Morgan

      Neither James nor Jude identify themselves as brothers of Jesus in their letters. Nor do any of the gospel writers identify themselves.

      As for the 500, in addition to being inherently improbable and uncheckable, the number is far higher than any numbers suggested by the resurrection accounts, or even the 120 early followers talked about in Acts.

      • Greg G.

        It has been noted that a significant percentage of the topics of Jesus’ monologues in Matthew correspond to the topics discussed in the Epistle of James, yet James never quotes Jesus even though his arguments would have been stronger if he could have put in a “Jesus said.” James points can all be found in the Old Testament, as a good study Bible with cross references can attest.

        I think the Epistle of James is a response to Galatians. After the opening, at James 2:8-10 where he begins with a point of agreement with Galatians 5:14, he begins emphasizing the need for works rather than faith. The rest of the epistle is parallel to arguments in Galatians 3 to 6, in order, and when he reaches the end, he doubles back to hit some points he skipped.

    • https://www.jonmorgan.info Jon Morgan

      BTW, though I doubt Bob got it from here, the idea in the aside is not new. From a comparatively early period in church history, Catholics have held to the eternal virginity of Mary. For example:

      This point is again corroborated at the crucifixion scene: Before He
      dies, our Lord says to Mary, “Woman, there is your son,” and then to St.
      John, who is definitely not a blood brother, “There is your mother.”
      According to Jewish law, the oldest son had the responsibility of caring
      for the widowed mother, and that responsibility would pass to the next
      oldest if anything happened to the first born son. By this time, St.
      Joseph had died. Since Jesus, the first born, had no “blood brother,”
      He entrusted Mary to the care of St. John, the Beloved Disciple.

      http://catholicstraightanswers.com/did-jesus-have-blood-brothers-and-sisters/

    • james warren

      I am not arrogant to claim that I can divine the intentions and thought processes in someone who lived centuries ago. I cannot and could not assert that I can be absolutely right about the historical truth when it comes to ancient history.

      I want to pass along information and scholarly theories that I have found and believe that people would find it interesting.
      I would NEVER claim I am passing along the “real” truth.

  • Steven Watson

    A James in authority in Jerusalem is attested by Paul a century before the G. of John was cobbled together, as were a John, a Cephas and a Peter. Paul falsifies Gospels/Acts all on his own. The ‘First Christian’; and he contradicts almost all the later rubbish we take as… gospel.

    Women are well attested witnessing to courts at this time. The usual Semitic thing was to credit their testimony as worth half that of a man. So what do we find? Three of them.

    • james warren

      That the presence of the women is in the gospels, then it would be a good argument for an actual historical truth.

      • Greg G.

        Odysseus saves his wife from the suiters. He is recognized by his old nanny. Do they make the Odyssey a historical truth?

        • james warren

          After all I have said about metaphor, poetics or mythic narratives I am bewildered by your question.

        • Greg G.

          Your metaphors seem to come from your imagination. Why do you think people thought that 19 centuries ago, 5 centuries ago, 1 century ago, or most believers today? I often ask believers how they separate the thoughts in their heads from their imaginations. How do you do it?

        • james warren

          Of course they do.
          Scholarship with context helps.
          The people who wrote the Bible were not fools, in my view.
          Imagination is essential in all human endeavors.
          Using our imaginations is how we plan.
          “I think there is a casserole in the fridge. Nope. I guessed/imagined wrong. I imagine I could go to the store and buy a frozen one. Nope, they don’t have any. What else could I choose to eat for dinner?”

        • Greg G.

          I never imagine there is a casserole in the refrigerator. Neither did any of the authors of the Bible imagine a casserole. Just because you can think of a metaphor to salvage the text doesn’t mean that the author had that in mind.

          I have heard interpretations of songs that sound plausible but, years later, I hear an interview with the composer telling what lyrics meant, and the interpretation was way off.

          That is why I am skeptical of your metaphors.

          Have you ever listened to Give Me Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd? Did you ever wonder who Linda Lou was in the song? I have met her. She was a cousin to the band member who wrote the song. She just happened to walk into the room when he was trying to come up with a name for the dancing partner.

        • james warren

          Okay…. Here is the example put in literal, rational and logical thinking:

          “I think there is a casserole in the fridge.”
          Or:

          I see Jesus and see the divine in him.
          I see Jesus and see just an other boring dime-a-dozen prophet.
          I see this guy a threat and want to do away with him.

          The German author Thomas Mann happened to be in the audience of a lecture hall when the speaker was giving an extended talk about Mann’s “The Magic Mountain,”

          His good friend sitting beside him leaned over and asked him “Did you actually put all those mythic definitions and metaphors into your book?”

          “I didn’t put them there,” Mann answered. “But they are nevertheless there.”

          Myths and metaphors are not true or false. They are meaningful or not; useful or not useful.

        • Ignorant Amos

          “I didn’t put them there,” Mann answered. “But they are nevertheless there.”

          Now you are just being silly.

          If the author didn’t intend them, then they are a misinterpretation.

          Mann’s vast composition is erudite, subtle, ambitious, but, most of all, ambiguous; since its original publication it has been subject to a variety of critical assessments. For example, the book blends a scrupulous realism with deeper symbolic undertones. Given this complexity, each reader is obliged to weigh up the artistic significance of the pattern of events set out within the narrative, a task made more difficult by the author’s irony. Mann himself was well aware of his book’s elusiveness, but offered few clues about approaches to the text. He later compared it to a symphonic work orchestrated with a number of themes and, in a playful commentary on the problems of interpretation, recommended that those who wished to understand it should read it through twice.

        • james warren

          Again, it is an interesting claim that I have asserted that the great Thomas Mann and how hew saw and valued the power and universality of myth.

          He knew full well the power and universality in myth and metaphor. I guess I am just puzzled and surprised to hear that from you.

          From the Peanuts comic strip:

          Linus, Lucy and Charlie Brown are lying on their backs on a grassy hill…

          LUCY:

          “Aren’t the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton… I could just lie here all day, and watch them drift by… If you use your imagination, you can see lots of things in the cloud formations… What do you think you see, Linus?“

          LINUS:

          “Well, those clouds up there look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean… That cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor… And that group of clouds over there gives me the impression of the stoning of Stephen… I can see the apostle Paul standing there to one side…”

          “Uh huh… That’s very good… What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?”

          “Well, I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I changed my mind!”

        • adam
        • Ignorant Amos

          I have heard interpretations of songs that sound plausible but, years later, I hear an interview with the composer telling what lyrics meant, and the interpretation was way off.

          Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, by The Beatles, has bugger all to do with LSD. But that’s not what most people believe.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_in_the_Sky_with_Diamonds

          I went to a concert on Saturday night where The Stranglers were on the bill. They played their hit single Golden Brown, it has two meanings. I had the pleasure of going for a drink with the band in the mid 90’s, the golden brown in the tune references both heroin and a girl. A lot of people don’t know that.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Brown

          Back in the early 90’s I had reason to drive Mr.C of the dance group The Shamen around Belfast. He confirmed to me personally that their controversial hit single Ebeneezer Goode was indeed a reference to the recreational drug ecstasy, something those in the rave scene were in no doubt about, though the group denied that publicly.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebeneezer_Goode

        • Greg G.

          I had heard the connection with LSD, but originally, I thought it was “Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Or maybe “There’s a bathroom on the right” or “Excuse me while I kiss this guy”?

        • TheNuszAbides

          “It’s not an acid song” quoth Lennon – fair enough that there was no deliberate connection, but the lyrics are a more-than-suitable accompaniment to psychedelia (as are a great many children’s drawings). anyhow, the coincidence theorists are unlikely to let go of the fact that recorded during the same period at EMI was Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and Syd Barrett was already dabbling with increasing abandon.

          On 21 March, the band were invited to watch the Beatles record “Lovely Rita”.

          O fly on the wall …

        • Ignorant Amos

          Indeed…talk is cheap. Hence the three examples for context.

          The Shamen denied it public, but their front man confirmed to me to my face in person what I already knew from the lyrics and the context of the rave scene and ecstasy dropping.

          I can easily believe that Lennon could be lying.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i believe the inspired-by-Julian’s-drawing story just fine. nothing riding on it. and there’s only so much fun yarn-spinners should be allowed to have. *ahem*bible*cough*

        • adam
      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        The argument that (unreliable) women at the tomb is evidence for the truth of the resurrection (because of the criterion of embarrassment) is wrong. More here:

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/04/women-at-the-tomb-are-weak-evidence-for-the-resurrection-2/

        • james warren

          You may be right,

        • Greg G.

          I do, however, think that their mention by gospel writers meant something.

          Mourning women were a tradition. Mark alludes to Ezekiel and Zechariah frequently.

          Ezekiel 8:14 (NRSV)14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the Lord; women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz.

          Zechariah 12:10-14 (NRSV)10 And I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that, when they look on the one whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. 11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land shall mourn, each family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves.

        • Greg G.

          BTW, I see you have met Sparkling Moon. He stops by this forum occasionally. He is from the Ahmadi sect of Islam. His replies tend to be large quotes from the writings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

        • james warren

          I thought of Islam when he said Jesus was taken off the cross and hidden [or was not even crucified] or that God changed the face of the crucified Judas into Jesus’.

        • Greg G.

          Just thought I would save you a few steps trying to work out where he is coming from. Most Muslims don’t like the Ahmadis.

          I saw in the news a few years ago where a Muslim in England found out about an Ahmadi shop owner, then drove two hours just to murder him.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yep…he drove from Bradford, England, to Glasgow, Scotland to stab him…because he was proselytising on the internet and claimed he was a prophet.

          The irony is, the Shah family fled Pakistan to avoid state sanctioned persecution.

          The biggest killer of Muslims is their fellow Muslims of a different flavour.

        • james warren

          Many Christians are militantly against abortion. This is demonstrated by some believers to kill doctors who are abortion providers.

          I see terrorism as political, not religious.

        • adam

          “I see terrorism as political, not religious.”

          How you see it and how it really is, are two different things:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b6b5240f53deb4a0141b0d9196de29540d1f8931a4c8d5713b9547eca65cbd2f.jpg

          Christianity DEPENDS on terrorism

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/686caf5ac5a352ec099c00bc09dc7fbd4a918fcec466c4ff85f4ce400aa2f4b2.jpg

        • Greg G.

          I see terrorism as political, not religious.

          The religion turns the religious into useful suckers for the politics.

        • james warren

          Non-believers [Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, etc.] have killed millions. You probably have oodles of atheist talking points to confront my thinking so have back at me,

        • adam
        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…never heard that before ffs.

          The old favourite of “The Atheist Atrocities Fallacy – Hitler, Stalin & Pol Pot”

          I’ve no doubt you won’t read this link…but here it is anyway…

          https://michaelsherlockauthor.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/the-atheist-atrocities-fallacy-hitler-stalin-pol-pot-in-memory-of-christopher-hitchens/

          Even if you had a valid point that there are non-believers that have killed millions, it is smoke and mirrors obfuscation…look, over there squirrel’s.

          According to believers, it is expected of non-believers, we have no moral compass because we are all godless. So back to all those righteous with god’s believers who have killed right left and centre?

          A fallacy for sure, but you go on repeating it anyway.

        • james warren

          “Godless communists” killed at least 14 people.
          Pol Pot, not a very good Christian [although I think he looked in the door of a church once, tortured and killed over 36 people.

          It is essential that we point out that even though they were unbelievers and disliked Christians, they were not atheists.
          Atheists are only unbelievers in God. Not one atheist even looks like Stalin or Pol Pot.

        • Michael Neville

          Did those people kill in the name of atheism or for some other reason? My suspicion is that Stalin had millions killed not because of atheism but because he was a paranoid megalomaniac.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Hitler wasn’t atheist…he persecuted them…he was a vegetarian though, perhaps that’s why he murdered millions. Or maybe it was that funny wee moustache.

        • Michael Neville

          Stalin also had a moustache. So did Kaiser Wilhelm II. And my Uncle Fred. I think we’re on to something here. If you knew the atrocities Fred committed then you would be aghast.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Stalin also had a moustache. So did Kaiser Wilhelm II. And my Uncle Fred.

          Ah, but the moustache hypothesis fails at Pol Pot…drat…double drat even.

        • Bob Jase

          And Chaplin never advocated genocide.

        • adam

          ” My suspicion is that Stalin had millions killed not because of atheism but because he was a paranoid megalomaniac.”

          This was a Cult of Personality, not unlike what we see now:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/819dd400156ed12785f52499dcf2ce585fdadb88d1e8e3f8ece9b478ac2c5eb3.jpg

        • james warren

          People kill for all kinds of reasons. Even paranoid megalomaniacs kill for all sorts of reasons.

          Stalin was a communist.
          Communists do not believe in God.
          Marx called religion “the opiate of the people.”
          Stalin was an unbeliever.
          He killed millions.
          The actual state of his mind when killing cannot be known.

        • Michael Neville

          You don’t think that Stalin was a paranoid megalomaniac. Considering the other delusions you accept and the realities that you reject, it’s not surprising that you try to blame Stalin’s mass murders on his atheism. That says more about you than it does about atheists.

        • james warren

          I agree, but I must bracket my opinion by noting I have no evidence that the Russian dictator was ever available for a clinical diagnosis of his issues. What I DO know is that he did not believe in God.

          Stalin was an atheist and he was a mass murder. To conclude that because he was an atheist meant that every atheist is a mass murderer is just as ignorantly silly as concluding that every believer is a mass murderer.

          Stalin was a mass murderer.
          He did not believe in God.
          AND he was a human being.

          You are drawing a lot of conclusions and they are all wrong.

          I don’t believe some atheists will ever agree that militancy of Marxist-Leninist atheism and the prominence of atheism in totalitarian states formed in the 20th century. Some facts and data somehow challenge atheists and makes them so defensive that they feel the only way to deal with these historical truths is to deny them and prove them wrong.

          That has always bothered me.

          They assert that since there are no valid religions but that religions do good things, the task of smart people is to create a religion without God — or, in other words, a religion without religion.

          Some atheists dismiss–often with contempt–the religious experience of other people.

          They seem to see religious belief They assert that since there are no valid religions but that religions do good things, the task of smart people is to create a religion without God — or, in other words, a religion without religion.

          I think they are unable or unwilling to see the world of belief in anything but black and white, either/or terms.

          Every people group retells history in a way that favors itself. Liberals and conservatives, socialists and anarchists, Christians and Buddhists, hockey fans and NASCAR nuts–we all have some myths that make us look good. Atheists are no exception.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re the one who brought up Stalin as an atheist mass murderer, not any of us. I have personally never come across an atheist who said: “Good ol’ Joe Stalin, what a great guy he was, certainly someone to emulate.” There may be some but they are a tiny minority of atheists.

          They assert that since there are no valid religions but that religions do good things, the task of smart people is to create a religion without God — or, in other words, a religion without religion.

          While many Universal Unitarians are atheists, most atheists aren’t UUs. Elsewhere on Patheos Nonreligious you can find James Croft’s “Temple of the Future” which could reasonably be called a nonreligious religion, but he has few followers. Secular humanism (which is also called plain Humanism with a capital H) has many atheist adherents, I am one, but it’s not religious and doesn’t function as a religion. We live happy, contented lives without any form of religion.

          I think they are unable or unwilling to see the world of belief in anything but black and white, either/or terms.

          Most atheists would be happy to ignore religion. The trouble is that religion is not willing to ignore us. There are Christians and other theists who want to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. Catholic bishops think contraception makes Baby Jesus cry, so no hospital run by the bishops (about 15% of all American hospitals) will offer contraceptive services or medications to their patients, even if those patients aren’t Catholic. Most fundamentalists want to outlaw abortion because “that’s what God wants”. Creationists, including the “Intelligent Design” sect of creationists, want to replace science education with teaching religious mythology.

          I have no problem with people who go to church on Sunday, say grace before meals, try to live as good a life as they can, and otherwise leave the rest of us alone. I’m happy to leave them alone as well. But I have a major problem with Christians who try to enforce their beliefs on me.

        • james warren

          Atheists might want to stop being so sensitive to phrases like “endowed by their Creator,” “In God We Trust” or maybe even a “God bless you” after a handkerchief honk.

          Sending all those who believe in God into railroad cars is not an effective way to do any collaborative problem-solving.

          It would be a great idea if we could just gather all the good humanists over here and get all those evil Christian fools over there. Then all we would need to do is get rid of them and the world would be a better place.

          Unfortunately, the line between good and evil has always run down the center of every human heart. And who is willing to destroy a piece of one’s own heart?

          [Alexandr Solzhenitsyn]

        • Ignorant Amos

          Atheists might want to stop being so sensitive to phrases like “endowed by their Creator,” “In God We Trust” or maybe even a “God bless you” after a handkerchief honk.

          Imagine a time when Christianity becomes the minority and “In Allah We Trust” and “Allah be praised” was being punted. How well would that sit with Christians do ya imagine?

          Sending all those who believe in God into railroad cars is not an effective way to do any collaborative problem-solving.

          It was a 20th century Christian that did that.

          It would be a great idea if we could just gather all the good humanists over here and get all those evil Christian fools over there. Then all we would need to do is get rid of them and the world would be a better place.

          You reckon the world would be a better place by getting rid of all the good humanists? What kind of a fucking moron are you?

        • james warren

          You unleash a flurry of guesses, opinions, assumptions and coarse judgements. But since you do not ask me honestly and directly, you appear to cleave to your insults and read my posts with inattention and to confirm your own prejudices.

          I am a humanist. I was raised up with love, appreciation and decency.

          Read your post again:
          Nowhere did I EVER say to get rid of the good humanists–or even the bad ones. This tells me you do not read carefully enough to carry on a mature discussion.

          The bit about good and evil is a METAPHOR. Of COURSE there is no “line” inscribed across our hearts. It was meant to be a metaphor that pointed beyond itself to a greater truth.

        • epeeist

          The bit about good and evil is a METAPHOR.

          No, it is a straw man, your first resort when you are incapable of countering the arguments put to you.

        • james warren

          What should we call a person who rejects all metaphors used in discussions?

          Perhaps we should call them “Larry” or “Mary Sue.” 😉

        • epeeist

          What should we call a person who rejects all metaphors used in discussions?

          What would we call someone who simply resorts to extremes and calls these “metaphors”? I reckon “James”.

        • james warren

          You could very well be right.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You unleash a flurry of guesses, opinions, assumptions and coarse judgements.

          I’m reading and replying to your comments as written. If there is a problem, perhaps it is your bad communication.

          But since you do not ask me honestly and directly, you appear to cleave to your insults and read my posts with inattention and to confirm your own prejudices.

          Get over yourself already. You don’t get to dictate the tone of other folks comments.You can take them or leave them. As for the honesty bit…try looking in the mirror ya prick. Here’s a question since you insist on being asked, though I note you are prone to similar. What prejudices is it I’m trying to confirm with your perceived thinking on my inattention? As for insults, at least mine are out there worn on my sleeve…your passive aggressive way hasn’t gone unnoticed.

          I am a humanist. I was raised up with love, appreciation and decency.

          Anecdotal statement…irrelevant.

          Read your post again:
          Nowhere did I EVER say to get rid of the good humanists–or even the bad ones. This tells me you do not read carefully enough to carry on a mature discussion.

          This is exactly what you wrote…

          It would be a great idea if we could just gather all the good humanists over here and get all those evil Christian fools over there. Then all we would need to do is get rid of them and the world would be a better place.

          Now, maybe when you went to school the grammar and syntax of the English language was different to mine, but perhaps it is possible I misunderstood. Perhaps others might help me out in my misunderstanding?

          The bit about good and evil is a METAPHOR. Of COURSE there is no “line” inscribed across our hearts. It was meant to be a metaphor that pointed beyond itself to a greater truth.

          The bit about good and evil is a loada shite. Which is why I didn’t bother to remark about it. Why you felt the need to repeat it,is anybody’s guess. So stick Solzhenitsyn’s poncy metaphor where the Sun don’t shine. Not all metaphors point to a greater truth ya cretin.

        • Michael Neville

          Atheists might want to stop being so sensitive to phrases like “endowed by their Creator,” “In God We Trust” or maybe even a “God bless you” after a handkerchief honk.

          Did I complain about someone saying “God bless you” when I sneeze? No, Sir, I did not. I complained about things like Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman of the Senate Science and Technology Committee, who dismisses climate change because “God promised us he wouldn’t use weather to punish humans again”. This is a Christian using a particular interpretation of his religion’s mythology to make public policy concerning a serious problem.

        • Ignorant Amos

          People kill for all kinds of reasons.

          Yep.

          Even paranoid megalomaniacs kill for all sorts of reasons.

          Yep.

          Stalin was a communist.

          Yep.

          Communists do not believe in God.

          More ignorant ballix.

          Never heard of Christian communism?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_communism

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxQjWbiQlb4

          Marx called religion “the opiate of the people.”

          Karl Marx, who was a Christian, became accepted as a member of the League of the Just, a Christian-Communist organization. Later, through the Communist Manifesto he has apostatized from its Christian character.

          Marx also agreed that….

          “Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a Socialist tinge. Has not Christianity declaimed against private property, against marriage, against the State? Has it not preached in place of these, charity and poverty, celibacy and mortification of the flesh, monastic life and Mother Church? Christian Socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat.” — Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto

          Stalin was an unbeliever.

          Yep.

          He killed millions.

          Yep.

          The actual state of his mind when killing cannot be known.

          Read that bit back to yerself…s-l-o-w-l-y….talk about hoisting yerself on yer own petard.

          You have yet to demonstrate that Stalin’s atheism was instrumental in his murdering tens of millions of his own people.

          Making your whole position untenable ffs.

        • james warren

          Instead of “More ignorant ballix” you probably meant to say “I don’t believe you because _____________.”

          And maybe you don’t.

          Would you be willing to be more specific and then we can go over things together?

          One more thing before we take things up again:

          I don’t trust today’s atheism. It used to be pretty simple. But I see many on this forum who like to play the game of militant atheism. And they do so by being irrationally angry, sarcastic, insulting, obscene and indecent [to be blunt].

          “Oh you’re just tooooo sensitive!” you’ll answer. I was taught that when other people tell you about something that you do that bother them, the best thing to do is just apologize and just don’t do it. If you were raised with caring, kindness, respect and fairness you will know what I mean.

          It is no accident that humanist ethics–which many atheists claim to embrace–logically entail that economic injustice and poverty be eliminated.

          But that will mean actually focusing on those issues both intellectually and practically.

          In my opinion the everyday atheist activist would just as soon be duct-taped to a chair and forced to watch hundreds of episodes of Pat Robertson and Joel Osteens’ television broadcasts.

          😉

        • epeeist

          Marx called religion “the opiate of the people.”

          A quote mine is the best you can do? Read the full quotation, it is much more nuanced than you realise.

          Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

          The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

        • james warren

          A common error. Marx could have easily used another term than “opiate.” He did not mean addiction. He probably should have said “two Tylenol.” He was saying religion helps many people through the terrors and the miseries of this world. Some of the finest folks I have known are simple religious believers who say grace, thank God and raise their children up like any humanist would do.

          It’s too bad that people like these should be attacked, insulted or disrespected.

        • epeeist

          It’s too bad that people like these should be attacked, insulted or disrespected.

          I see you are incapable of realising that attacks on systems of ideas (which is what religions are) are not attacks on people who hold these ideas.

          As for respect, as Salman Rushdie notes, once you decide that a system of ideas must be respected then “freedom of thought becomes impossible”. As it is religions do attempt to restrict freedom of thought through the victimless crimes of “blasphemy” and “heresy”.

        • Michael Neville

          Marx could have easily used another term than “opiate.” He did not mean addiction. He probably should have said “two Tylenol.”

          In the 19th Century opium was the only effective analgesic available. Aspirin wasn’t invented until 1897, some 14 years after Marx died. Tylenol didn’t come about until the 1950s.

          /pedant

        • Pofarmer

          The historical literacy is appalling. Everyone seems to think that history began when they were born.

        • epeeist

          The historical illiteracy is appalling.

          FIFY

          Actually, no. The complete and no doubt deliberate ignorance of a whole stack of domains of discourse is appalling.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Lol, what?

        • james warren

          Sometimes my sense of humor fizzles out on some brains. Marx obviously had no access to Tylenol.

        • Greg G.

          I thought it was funny but, as someone pointed out, opiates were the Tylenol of the day.

        • james warren

          I have heard that Aleve gives 12 hours of lasting relief instead of 4 hours as Tylenol does. Marx mentions this in the Communist Manifesto. His comment that “Everything solid melts Into air” actually explains the dissolving time of both Tylenol and Aleve.

        • Greg G.

          It’s too bad that people like these should be attacked, insulted or disrespected.

          It’s too bad that people cannot separate themselves from the ideas that they hold. Religion diminishes a person that way.

        • Ignorant Amos

          A common error.

          A common error with metaphors generally.

          Marx could have easily used another term than “opiate.”

          He could, but why? He meant it as meant as a short term fix for a long term solution, which is what folk used opium for at that time. Escapism.

          He did not mean addiction.

          He meant invisible comfort blanket.

          He probably should have said “two Tylenol.”

          Nah…not the same thing at all.

          He was saying religion helps many people through the terrors and the miseries of this world.

          Even children learn to let go of their dummy tit, soother in the U.S., at some point.

          Some of the finest folks I have known are simple religious believers who say grace, thank God and raise their children up like any humanist would do.

          And they are not the problem…something that you have been repeatedly been informed, yet ignore it anyway. That is why you are getting the bums rush here.

          It is those other ones who believe that their religion gives them carte blanche to run roughshod over everyone else that are the problem. When will you get it? Sheeesh…talk about being a thicket.

        • james warren

          Why didn’t Marx SAY he was talking about “an individual comfort blanket”??? He said “religion is the opiate of the people.” He said NOTHING about a blanket! God Lord Almighty!
          –sarcasm [which is always a “cover emotion” for anger].

          “Being a thicket” is a good example of verbally being run over roughshod.

          What stops the atheists on this forum from cultivating good manners?
          When will they get it?
          It does little good to do silly and childish drive-bys.
          We should be striving for respect, decency and collaborative problem-solving.

          Hurt people hurt people.

          I and the public know
          What all schoolchildren learn,
          Those to whom evil is done
          Do evil in return.

          W.H. Auden
          From his poem:
          “September 1, 1939″

        • epeeist

          Why didn’t Marx SAY he was talking about “an individual comfort blanket”???

          You don’t think it might just be, I don’t know, a metaphor?

          What stops the atheists on this forum from cultivating good manners?

          You are claiming that all the atheists on this forum have bad manners?

          I can only speak for myself when I say that in the end it is exasperation with the the continued stupidity, deliberate ignorance or lack of ability to make or recognise a rational argument (or any combination of the three) that eventually leads me to being bad mannered

        • Michael Neville

          I can only speak for myself when I say that in the end it is exasperation with the the continued stupidity, deliberate ignorance or lack of ability to make or recognise a rational argument (or any combination of the three) that eventually leads me to being bad mannered

          Fucking right!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why didn’t Marx SAY he was talking about “an individual comfort blanket”??? He said “religion is the opiate of the people.” He said NOTHING about a blanket! God Lord Almighty!

          Holy fuck on a pogo stick…for someone who thinks he is so astute on the deep meaning of metaphor’s, you really are a knuckle dragging imbecile.

          First of all, I didn’t say “an individual comfort blanket”…try and stay focused.

          What I said was, “He meant invisible comfort blanket” which is analogous to what Marx meant by “religion is the opium of the people” when read in context with the whole quote.

          Why don’t ya do yerself a favour and learn something. Because you really are coming across as a fucking retarded dickhead.

          Here, never let it be said I never try to assist the afflicted…

          Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions.

          In the above quotation, Marx is saying that religion’s purpose is to create illusory fantasies for the poor. Economic realities prevent them from finding true happiness in this life, so religion tells them that this is OK because they will find true happiness in the next life. Although this is a criticism of religion, Marx is not without sympathy: people are in distress and religion provides solace, just as people who are physically injured receive relief from opiate-based drugs.

          Still, it would be a mistake to think that Marx is uncritical towards religion— it may try to provide heart, but it fails. For Marx, the problem lies in the obvious fact that an opiate drug fails to fix a physical injury — it merely helps you forget pain and suffering. Relief from pain may be fine up to a point, but only as long as you are also trying to solve the underlying problems causing the pain.

          Similarly, religion does not fix the underlying causes of people’s pain and suffering — instead, it helps them forget why they are suffering and gets them to look forward to an imaginary future when the pain will cease.

          https://www.thoughtco.com/karl-marx-on-religion-251019

        • james warren

          Your blanket metaphor was switched back again to a literal meaning and you are angry.

          I have no use for your puerile obscene kvetching and name-calling.
          If you have learned self-control, please leave that language aside and state your arguments in another way.

          Thanks in advance!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Your blanket metaphor was switched back again to a literal meaning and you are angry.

          How so? How did you switch the metaphor to a literal meaning and why would I be angry if you did? It matters not to the point.

          You don’t seem to understand what a metaphor is, and I’ve went to great lengths to explain what Marx was saying, as has others, and that isn’t what you think it is, but rather than hold your hands up and admit this error, you’ve decided to whinge on about tone.

          I have no use for your puerile obscene kvetching and name-calling.

          Puerile is subjective, obscene is objective, kvetching is what you are doing, not me…name-calling, I hold my hands up.

          If you have learned self-control, please leave that language aside and state your arguments in another way.

          Again, I’m not going to be dictated to by you on my posting style. If it bothers you so much, take your tone trolling to somewhere that cares…you know where the door is, nobody is forcing you to stay here.

          As a matter of fact, given your detest for this place and those regulars here, I’m wondering why you hang about? I wouldn’t be hanging about an environment full of folk if I had your attitude against them, that’s for sure.

        • Ignorant Amos

          “Being a thicket” is a good example of verbally being run over roughshod.

          Wise ta fuck up ya cry baby.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What stops the atheists on this forum from cultivating good manners?

          Whaaa? You think you are good mannered? You think equating atheism to mass murder is ingratiating?

          It does little good to do silly and childish drive-bys.

          If you are going to use certain turns of phrase, try and learn what they mean first,there’s a good child.

          We should be striving for respect, decency and collaborative problem-solving.

          Then try taking a leaf outta yer own book. Just because you don’t use pejorative language, don’t kid yerself that you are all about decency and collaborative problem-solving. You’ve been here a few weeks now and you’ve committed fallacy after fallacy, erroneous argument after erroneous argument, but bar just the one occasion as far as I’ve seen, you have not admitted your errors. And even that one occasion, you kept going. That is not collaborative problem-solving.

          As for respect…no one gets undeserved respect, especially when there being ridiculous…not even fellow atheists when they too are talking bubbles.

          Hurt people hurt people.

          Sometimes the only option, to quote Nick Lowe, one has to be cruel to be kind. Even parents chastise their children in order to teach.

          As for your poem verse…you have a distorted idea of evil…so pah!

        • james warren

          Show me ONE post of mine that was full of obscene insults.
          The ball is in your court.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Show me ONE post of mine that was full of obscene insults.

          And once again I’m meet with a fallacy.

          You really ought to try reading for comprehension.

          Who mentioned the word “obscene”?

          You said…

          We should be striving for respect, decency and collaborative problem-solving.

          Ironically, right after saying…

          It does little good to do silly and childish drive-bys.

          Now I replied to the former with…

          Then try taking a leaf outta yer own book. Just because you don’t use pejorative language, don’t kid yerself that you are all about decency and collaborative problem-solving. You’ve been here a few weeks now and you’ve committed fallacy after fallacy, erroneous argument after erroneous argument, but bar just the one occasion as far as I’ve seen, you have not admitted your errors. And even that one occasion, you kept going. That is not collaborative problem-solving.

          Obscene:-(of the portrayal or description of sexual matters) offensive or disgusting by accepted standards of morality and decency.

          Accepted standards by what authority? Well, it would appear that the moderator sets those standards here.

          The use of pejorative language is neither immoral nor obscene…you are carrying on like the proverbial Mary Whitehouse. I can’t imagine how you get through your day without being multiply offended. You must not watch much in the way of popular entertainment. I can’t see you pulling everyone you hear in meat world that you hear using colourful language. Tone trolling is a form of obfuscation and is fallacious.

          There is no one forcing your arm up your back to take part in the discourse here…you have the same choice that whining cow Mary Whitehouse had…change channel or switch ta fuck off…you’ll not be dictating to me, that’s for sure.

          The ball is in your court.

          And yours…

        • james warren

          It seems like you are dictating to me.
          Does that make sense?

        • Michael Neville

          soother in the U.S.

          It’s called a pacifier in the U.S. and Soviet Canuckistan.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I stand corrected…thanks

          Although Wiktionary has it for both Ireland and Canada…definitely not the part of Ireland I live in.

          (Canada, Ireland) A plastic device that goes into a baby’s mouth, used to calm and quiet the baby.

          Just shows ya.

        • adam
        • epeeist

          Not one atheist even looks like Stalin or Pol Pot.

          So you now want to add a straw man to the list of fallacies that IA linked you to.

          Let’s do it in reverse shall we, both Bush presidents were committed Christians and both ordered invasions of Iraq. It is obvious therefore that the cause of all the deaths in Iraq was Christianity.

        • james warren

          Both Stalin and Pol Pot were committed Christians.

          Pol Pot’s knees were often scraped and bleeding and covered with scar tissue because he would crawl up the Spanish Steps in Rome to attend the Trinità dei Monti Church at the top.

          And deep below the Politburo was a dank chamber that contained a Greek Orthodox Church where Stalin would secretly attend services. He started out there as an altar boy.

          From now on, no atheist will ever have to confront the historical facts that non-believers killed people.
          Haven’t you ever heard of “Godless Communism?”

          Jesus said “love your enemies.” Christians don’t follow Jesus’ teachings. But Bush said he answered to a “higher father” than his own father.

          People–including Christians–actually believe there are only two ways to respond to conflict: giving in or fighting back.

        • epeeist

          Both Stalin and Pol Pot were committed Christians.

          I’m afraid the only response to this is, stop being so fucking stupid.

          From now on, no atheist will ever have to confront the historical facts that non-believers killed people.

          Of course atheists have killed people, the question is whether they killed them in the cause of atheism. Tell me, did Stalin kill people from the army, from the politburo and the NKVD in the cause of atheism?

          Haven’t you ever heard of “Godless Communism?”

          As a slogan from the McCarthyite era in the US, yes. Have you actually read any of Marx’s writings and what he actually said about religion?

          Jesus said “love your enemies.” Christians don’t follow Jesus’ teachings. But Bush said he answered to a “higher father” than his own father.

          Are you saying that neither Bush was a “real Christians™”?

          Look, the “argument” I put forward is a ludicrous one, I picked a single attribute common to each Bush, claimed it was primary and completely ignored any other attributes. This is exactly what you and others like you do, picking the single attribute (atheism) from a complete system of ideas and claiming that it and only it was the cause of people like Stalin killing people. It really is intellectually dishonest.

        • james warren

          Again, Stalin, a communist, killed millions of believers, but trying to guess at his intentions is difficult. I am not aware of any diagnosis of megalomania.

          Stalin was the only child of an alcoholic who beat him soundly every day.

          And a mother who never protected him. She was beaten herself and usually stayed away from home.

          Like Hitler’s mother she had already lost three children when her son was born. Joseph, the only surviving child, never know with any certainty whether his father might not decide to kill him at the next opportunity.

          When he grew up, his suppressed panic fear was transformed into paranoia, the maniac conviction that everyone else was out to kill him. That was why in the 1930s he had millions of people slaughtered or put into concentration camps.

          The impression one has is that when all is said and done the all-powerful and idolized dictator was nothing other than a helpless child still fighting a hopeless battle against the overwhelming threat of a brutal father. In the trials orchestrated against thinkers and writers Stalin was perhaps trying to prevent his own father from killing the little boy he once was.

          Naturally he had no knowledge of this. If he had, it might have saved millions of lives.

        • epeeist

          Again, Stalin, a communist, killed millions of believers, but trying to guess at his intentions is difficult.

          So you aren’t claiming that his atheism was necessarily causal, which is quite a change from your post of three days ago.

          As it is we can probably draw some conclusions from the fac