T-shirt: god is not allowed in schools, can’t stop violence – FIXED

My wife saw the image on the left going around facebook. It had over 300,000 shares.

Spread it / steal it / share it, whatever.

What was preventing god from stopping the shooter before he entered the school? What prevented god from interfering with the shooter’s acquisition of weapons and ammunition?

Why didn’t god stop the deadliest recorded school mass murder, even though god was ‘allowed’ in schools at the time?

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About Justin Griffith
  • unbound

    Actually, a good retort would be to bring up the shooting in Oikos University (a Christian university) just this past April…killing 7 and wounding 3 more.

    Get so sick of the Christian stupidity…

  • naturalcynic

    The largest number murdered in school occurred in the 1920′s. From Wikipadia:

    May 18, 1927: Bath, Michigan School treasurer Andrew Kehoe, after killing his wife and destroying his house and farm, blew up the Bath Consolidated School by detonating dynamite in the basement of the school, killing 38 people, mostly children. He then pulled up to the school in his Ford car, then set off a truck bomb, killing himself and four others. Only one shot was fired in order to detonate dynamite in the car. This was deadliest act of mass murder at a school in the United States.

    So much for the good old days when God was in school, but just as ineffectual.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      I’m starting to get a stream of Christians angrily posting on the original photo’s facebook comment thread. I don’t think they realize what they’re stepping in though.

      Interestingly, that original posting of mine has already been shared over 300 times (directly from that posting). Multiply that by a thousand and we’ve got parity!

  • Makoto

    Second shirt.. Q.. F.. T.

  • E.Nigma

    Dead God,

    Let’s make a deal. We’ll let you back in schools as soon as they remove Child Rape form the church.

    -A concerned Agnostic

  • fwtbc

    Justin, could you please add alt text to the image or a description of the image to the post? I can’ see it and don’t really understand what this post is about without the context of the image.

    Thanks.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      @fwtbc

      Do you mean ‘title text’ (as in, mouse-over) or alt-text (as in when your browser doesn’t load the image at all)

  • George

    I’m not a practicing Christian, although I was raised in the faith. But I believe that actually fearing a higher power as a way of installing values in children is not a bad thing. When the child grows heshe can makeup their own minds about religion, or even a broader spirituality. But what else is installing values?

  • Gadfly

    As soon as God puts his hand in and through divine miracle stops all the deaths of innocent children — from shootings and cancer and car crashes and all that good stuff — I will renounce my atheism and personally lead the charge to put him back in schools. Meanwhile, our current teachers have pedagogical methods with much better success rates that still aren’t allowed because they’re unproven and don’t work often enough.

  • bobafuct

    One of my many not-so-bright evangelical cousins shared this and I layed into him pretty good, basically saying god is a petulant child and what this is saying is that god allowed 20 children to be murdered to teach us a lesson. His reply was some babble about how he shared this in response to people that are quick to blame god for this, but don’t thank him for the miracles he performs every day. I don’t even know what that means, especially since he shard the photo with no commentary. I’m hoping that after my comment he realized how crass the shirt is, but wanted to save face by making up a reason for sharing that he thinks is inoffensive.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    George @ # 7: … I believe that actually fearing a higher power as a way of installing values in children is not a bad thing.

    Do you really think that we have no better means for educating children than fear?

    I profoundly hope that you are not, and never will be, a parent or guardian of any child anywhere.

  • Johnny Vector

    Justin, an ALT tag is what fwtbc is looking for. TITLE tags are generally rendered as tooltips, which is not useful for visually impaired people. The ALT tag, on the other hand, is used to provide a description for screen readers. If you want to make sure your posts are usable by the visually impaired, you should always put an ALT tag on images that convey information.

    In this case, the text is long enough that it would be difficult to include in a tag, so it may be better to include a description in the text of the posting. For fwtbc, here it is:

    Left side t-shirt: Dear GOD, Why do you allow so much violence in our schools? Signed, a concerned student.

    I’m not allowed in schools. –God

    Right side t-shirt: Dear god, If you aren’t allowed in schools, you must not be very powerful. Humans can boss you around? NEW RULE: You’re not allowed on t-shirts either. signed, @rockbeyondbelief.

    (By the way, Internet Explorer only got the distinction between ALT and TITLE right in version 9. Figures.)

  • George

    @ Pierce R. Butler

    Do you really think that we have no better means for educating children than fear?

    I profoundly hope that you are not, and never will be, a parent or guardian of any child anywhere.

    First off, I am a father of two healthy and well adjusted boys.

    Second, I use “fear of God” in the historical context in which fear means respect or love of something.

    Third, I would choose an imaginary figure in the sky that judges ones moral actions over over a “if it feels good do it” strategy to instal values in a child.

    Look at it as the Santa Clause strategy: we tell our children that if they misbehave a imaginary fat guy won’t bring presents. If they are good they are rewarded.

    If you would deny a child a belief in Santa, then I profoundly hope you are not the parent or guardian of a child.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    George @ # 12: … two healthy and well adjusted boys.

    At this point, I have to doubt the soundness of your judgment on such things – but I hope you’re right…

    … “fear of God” in the historical context in which fear means respect or love of something.

    My reading of history is that “fear of god” means exactly that, and your interpretation is yet another tawdry attempt at whitewashing ancient barbarism to pass the standards of a (somewhat) more advanced era.

    … I would choose an imaginary figure in the sky… over over a “if it feels good do it” strategy to instal values in a child.

    This statement, and its embarrassingly lame false dichotomy, and the concept that values are “installed” like a dishwasher, brings us back to the aforementioned doubts about your judgment.

    Suggestion: keep the conditional carrot strategy, treat the make-believe part like a game. (That works fairly well with Santa – not such much with the other mythical figures involved, since JC & his grumpy dad just aren’t any fun.)

  • George

    Pierce @ 13

    The definition of fear has evolved over centuries, most words do. For example, if I called you “gay” one will definitly interprete different today than one would in 1920. So I suggest you push your historical reading back a few centuries.

    Second, I may be dangling a carrot, but it works and I know that one day they will figure out it is full of shit, just as I did.

    Let me address the point you made about my children not being well adjusted: they get good grades, have friends, play sports and show compassion to others. That is my definition of well adjusted. Perhaps you and I could learn some lessons from them, because as they sit eating carrots as a snack and watching Handy Manny, we two idiots are punching 1s and 0s into a computer arguing with someone anonymous who’ s opinions actually have no consequence on our lives.

  • Denise

    Even though so many were killed. Think how many God saved. What people forget or don’t know is that we ALL die at different times and ages BUT WE ALL MUST DIE. satan used this man to fool people into thinking “if there is a God why did He let this happen”. I wept when I heard about this but I also rejoiced in the fact that these little precious little ones are in the arms of God. This by no means says that this was in no way right what this man did but to tell all of you who think God could not stop this tragedy are wrong. God is in control of everything. And satan is just as real as God!!! satan is not a little man with pointy ears and tail in a red suite. He is a demon. Satan wants our souls and we have been given the right to make the choice of who to serve. I praise God for the children that were saved. And I praise God for His wisdom. And someday I will see these children in Heaven.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    George @ # 14: The definition of fear has evolved over centuries, most words do. … So I suggest you push your historical reading back a few centuries.

    How about 1741?

    The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow. The glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them. … The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.

    Tell us about that “respect and love” thing some more, willya? Sounds more like verbal terrorism to me.

    And I’m glad to hear your sons are doing well. I hope it won’t take them long to figure out that you’ve been feeding them more than one lie – and that they find something better than incoherent mythology to fill the ethical vacuum created when archaic superstitions fade away in the sunlight.

    PS: My apologies if this displays as messily as it previews – that “1741″ link is supposed to go between “How about…” and “?”.

  • George

    @ Pierce

    No, how about awe or reverence in God. It’s in the dictionary and you could have saved your self a lot of time consulting one.

    However, I can now at least take you somewhat seriously since you have switched from fallacies of ad hominem and actually posted something other than opinion.

  • fwtbc

    @Justin

    The alt text is what I’m referring to. I use a screen reader. Johnny Vector said it all for me at #11 (thanks for that, and thanks for the text).

    When uploading an image to wordpress, there’s a “alternate text” field. If you make a habit of always filling it in appropriately, you’ll make your vision impaired readers much happier. It’ll make your images more useful to search engines, too.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      Wow. I knew how to do it, and I only understood the concept like this: sometimes browsers crash and/or don’t display images properly. I hadn’t thought it all the way through before. From now on, I’ll go out of my way to increase accessibility. Thank you.

  • George

    So to conclude todays entertaiment, let us all call Pierce Buttler an intellectually starved dick, who places his preconceived notions of being right over top logic and actually reading other people’s posts.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    George @ # 18: … how about awe or reverence in God.

    I did a little search for “fear of god” in a softcopy version of the King James babble (is that enough centuries back for you?), and have to concede that most instances found could be considered ambiguous, if you squint at ‘em just right:

    Genesis 20:11 – And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.

    But some readings require a major stretch to see any benevolence:

    2 Chronicles 20:29 – And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.

    George @ # 21: … let us all call Pierce Buttler an intellectually starved dick…

    Just a little while ago I got the impression that you were smarter and a better conversationalist than your first comment made it seem, specifically disavowing ad hominem jabs. I dunno what happened in between there, but I don’t really care either.

    Good luck to your kids.

  • George

    @Pierce

    I was just calling you out bro. Take no offense.

    Why do you research so hard to prove nothing?

    Even in your bible quotes where God fear is used, you still have not shown that fear of God is any thing more sinister than awe and reverence. You just haven’t

    You are working so hard to convince people of what the majority of people already know. God in all forms of human understanding is an early system of legal control. We get it. But you take it to the next level by attacking the arguer instead of the argument. And it takes you hours to do so!

    You have questioned all my assertions not with logic, but with personal attacks ( my kids suck), but offered nothing in the way of a solid plan as to why my strategy is wrong.

    Now, I call you out to dictate to me how to raise my kids. And please do so within an hour- I find your extended research into nothing annoying!

  • George

    Hours up Pierce.

    In future if you want to be treated with respect I suggest you first, know what you are talking about, and never, ever attack a persons kids. You are clearly dumb – you have demonstrated that all day. Please keep your stupidity offline. The rest of us wish to seek real understanding without clowns like you sticking your big-yet empty heads up!!!

  • Ysanne

    Wow, George, what a load of BS.

    Lying to your kids about some about some monsters who watch them to “install” values — that’s a great way to make these values not stick. Just like all the other stuff that people only do if they think someone is watching.

    Also, did you notice that blackmailing your kids with Santa not bringing them presents is plain cowardly? It’s your power as a parent to give or withhold presents; it’s your decision to tie the size/amount/existence of said presents to certain criteria — so it’s your responsibility, as the person wielding this power, to be held accountable for the consequences of your choices. When you want Santa to take the blame for an unpopular decision of yours, that’s a great example of a lack of proper values.

  • mildlymagnificent

    Third, I would choose an imaginary figure in the sky that judges ones moral actions over over a “if it feels good do it” strategy to instal values in a child.

    No. We taught our children, now adults, that we were totally, utterly reliable. No means no, and yes means yes. We never said no unless we were prepared to follow through – and it doesn’t take many instances of walking out of a shop or stopping the car in the middle of the road to make that point vividly clear. Pretty soon they learn to behave as soon as either front seat parent makes a move towards the ‘Hazard lights’ button or turns away from a fully loaded shopping cart.

    They were never threatened with anything worse than standing in the corner – funnily enough, they hate ‘standing in the corner’ to this day. (But they’re still astonished when they find out that friends grew up in households that were much less strict by our very high standards but those people were often smacked by their parents when they angered them.)

    They also relied on us to admit mistakes and apologise if we made mistakes. We expected the same from them. No magical figure in the sky or anywhere else was spying on them or making judgements about them. Father Xmas was an unconditionally kind and generous figure in our children’s life and imagination. We were the prime arbiters of good and bad behaviour and other family members backed that up. It might be different when parents don’t agree or the environment is unsupportive, but being prepared to do whatever’s necessary to keep them safe and teach them standards of behaviour is the best way to go.

  • Catchling

    Third, I would choose an imaginary figure in the sky that judges ones moral actions over over a “if it feels good do it” strategy to instal values in a child.

    Does Heaven feel good, or not? See the irony with this argument? It’s odd for an apparent atheist to say it, but that makes the argument no less wrong.

    So many people argue that atheists necessarily follow a hedonistic lifestyle in the absence of afterlife-belief. But surely the carrot/stick of Heaven/Hell is nothing but so much hedonism? It’s like some people literally cannot comprehend that someone would do good for the sake of helping others. Sheesh.

  • Trevor

    This comment is like you having a friend who you got in a fight with and your not talking to… Then all the sudden since you need something you think they should be there for you…. FYI>>> YOU DON’T JUST ALLOW SOMEONE TO BE IN YOUR LIFE THE MOMENTS YOU NEED THEM THEN DECIDE YOU WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM…. That’s not the way it works… So HOP OFF!!!!

    Thanks

  • Values

    Pierce R. Butler

    I have something to say… As you talk about something that has yes been taken to extreme’s by some in the past present along with knowing that some will take it to extreme in the future.. You are also putting down the one thing that changed everything.. That is FAITH…

    I personally do not care what you believe in or what anyone else chooses to believe in, that is a personal choice.. Yet for all those that care to take the “bible” out..

    I totally agree.. Yet, I unlike many of those that want the “feel good” “do whatever you like” life style.. I want it totally taken out..

    We will not just take out what inconveniences you but we will take out the values that it gave.. I really will enjoy being an animal once again, possibly a gladiator, public murder,rape etc.. The vast majority of the human population lived without moral guidence for so long they learned to love and accept violence and torture as the “norm”.. The major change in human societies started when “FAITH” started..

    I am by no means a holy roller.. Yet I am smart enough to know that all learning comes in some sort of fear.. if that means just the fear of dissapointing a parent or grandparent.. fear of burning yourself.. fear of breaking a bone.. fear of jail, fear of losing your job, crashing your car.. I am also smart enough to know that pre biblical history of the human race is not all all what anyone would enjoy in this day and age.. yet ya gotta take the good with the bad.. BTW.. no more holiday vacation time for you.. or anyone else.. no more easter bunny.. no more of all the good that “book” gave humans.. TAKE IT ALL OUT.. I cannot wait!

    Put down the anger and selfishness and say a prayer for those that were lost.. We all are brought up in a world that puts a big focus on the negative, it sells and we feed on it.. send your hearts out to the families that lost a loved one and quit with the anger that keeps us separated as people.. That makes the people weak…

    No need to respond.. I am not sure how I found myself here.. Yet I wont be back.. Take care everyone!

  • George

    So in closing,

    If anyone read through my prior posts, you will see that I never made judgements about how people should raise their children. Although some of you seem to think that by me making my methods known that I was discounting YOUR parenting style.

    Instead, my problem was/is with Mr. Butler. I made a simple statement about how I choose to raise my very young children – my oldest has just reached the philosophical age of reason. However, Pierce “Retard” Butler took my simple statement so personally that I have to think that his atheism has become a religion to him.

    What’s worse, the guy took hours responding to simple comments with point missing research.

    So, everyone else please continue with your lives and be the best people you can.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      @George (others, really too)

      Defending this t-shirt is akin to telling the non-christian victims that they are in hell.

      my oldest has just reached the philosophical age of reason.

      There isn’t such a thing. Theological age of reason is set in stone in many denominations / religions. 7, 8, 13, etc.

      However, Pierce “Retard” Butler

      Really?

      took my simple statement so personally that I have to think that his atheism has become a religion to him.

      This sentence contained no less than two personal attacks. Hilariously, you’re using the word ‘religion’ as if it means that religion is a bad thing. That’s about the only thing you got right.

      In case you’ve never been corrected before… Is bald a hair color? Is not collecting stamps a hobby? There are a lot of great examples along these lines that atheists will commonly use to instantly refute the poor argument you made.

      You know what happens when your statements get challenged along these lines in real life situations? Everyone within earshot laughs at you. They instantly side with the atheist who bested you on what you imagined was some ultimate stumper statement. Please, do keep using this line of reasoning. It makes more atheists out of moderates, youths, and fence-sitters.

  • George

    Mr. Griffith,

    You are a straw man artist. You are attacking arguments I didn’t make. In fact, I made very few arguments in the previous posts, and you address exactly none of them. Instead you take considered opinion and try to twist them into arguments.

    “In case you’ve never been corrected before… Is bald a hair color? Is not collecting stamps a hobby? There are a lot of great examples along these lines that atheists will commonly use to instantly refute the poor argument you made.”

    Is bald a hair colour? Where does that question come from. Please point to a specific argument I made where such a false analogy is applicable.

    Here is an argument that you can address. When ever someone holds to an idea so strongly, and allows it to govern their actions so strongly that they feel the need to attack others who don’t hold the same views, then that governing idea becomes a dogma -or similar to a religion. I accuse Butler of this.

    So show me how smart you are and find an argument that I made to which you can apply your superior argument and argumentation skills.

    Don’t just tell me how good you can argue. Do it.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      Here is an argument that you can address. When ever someone holds to an idea so strongly, and allows it to govern their actions so strongly that they feel the need to attack others who don’t hold the same views, then that governing idea becomes a dogma -or similar to a religion. I accuse Butler of this.

      So show me how smart you are and find an argument that I made to which you can apply your superior argument and argumentation skills.

      There are many different acceptable uses of the word, but your understanding isn’t among them. Atheism is the lack of current belief in gods/religions. It’s not a dogmatic position because it’s not a positive statement of fact. (e.g. “There definitely is no god”) One can’t prove a negative. In other words, I can’t ‘prove that there is no god’, just like you can’t prove that god isn’t a flying spaghetti monster.

      Now that that’s cleared up. You understand that simply being atheist means “I do not currently have belief in god or follow a religion.” It doesn’t imply anything about dogmatic adherence to core concepts (there aren’t any!) It simply means LACK OF. You didn’t realize that I had already answered you, because you had a faulty understanding of the word ‘atheist’. I’ll restate it.

      Atheism is a religion, like bald is a hair color.
      Atheism is a religion, like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      Perhaps with your new understanding, you’ll see how frightfully easy it is to refute your extremely common insult.

      Also important to remember: atheism is not the same as misotheism. It’s ironic that people attempt to disparage atheists by referencing theistic dogma in a negative way. It seems like you hate theism and dogma, while I simply lack it. You’re being misotheistic, and I’m being atheistic.

  • George

    Thank you for making your arguments clear and respectful

    However, I must disagree with you on a few points.

    “There are many different acceptable uses of the word, but your understanding isn’t among them. Atheism is the lack of current belief in gods/religions. It’s not a dogmatic position because it’s not a positive statement of fact. (e.g. “There definitely is no god”) One can’t prove a negative. In other words, I can’t ‘prove that there is no god’, just like you can’t prove that god isn’t a flying spaghetti monster.”

    Don’t fool yourself. The existence of God or Gods can neither be proven nor disproven. For one to assert that God exists requires faith. To say he/she/it does not requires equal faith. Both positions cannot be backed with empirical evidence. You seem to be saying that “I don’t have to prove it, because my opponents cant prove it to me”. You have taken a position in the argument based on faith, so don’t kid a kidder.

    “Atheism is a religion, like bald is a hair color.
    Atheism is a religion, like not collecting stamps is a hobby.”

    In inductive argument and argumentation, these two arguments are known as false analogy. “Bald as a hair colour” is a false analogy because it is not the same as atheism and theism. Yu don’t lack a position on God, you have one. The same goes with the stamp collecting one.

    So to conclude, despite your self denial, Atheists do have a position on the argument, based on faith with lack of empirical evidence -just as those who believe in God do. Furthermore, when one takes that your faith in the lack of a deity and combines it with the efforts to remove God from the pubic arena (this thing all started with a t-shirt about God in schools) you have all the ingredients for a dogma. Now add the efforts to attract more people to your view and the attacks on your opponents – ATHEISM IS A RELIGION!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      The existence of God or Gods can neither be proven nor disproven.

      Did you not like the way I said the exact same thing?

      For one to assert that God exists requires faith. To say he/she/it does not requires equal faith.

      I make no such claim about S/h/it’s possibility of existence. I claim that I personally don’t currently have a belief. I lack belief in god. I don’t say “I can prove there is no god.”

      You are not comprehending what others are saying, without realizing it.

      In inductive argument and argumentation, these two arguments are known as false analogy.

      It is not a false analogy, you still just don’t understand the word ‘atheist’. For the last time, atheism means ‘without theism’. Lack of. Got it?

      “Bald as a hair colour” is a false analogy because it is not the same as atheism and theism. Y[o]u don’t lack a position on God, you have one. The same goes with the stamp collecting one.

      First of all… are you saying that ‘not collecting stamps’ is a hobby? I’m saying it’s the lack of one. Do non-stamp collectors have a position on stamp collecting? You bet! They don’t see the need for stamp collecting, and they refrain. Does that mean ‘non-stamp collecting’ is a hobby? No, it’s the lack of the hobby.

      Look, I want to ride on the heaven spaceship and live forever and run around naked in the sky too (or whatever your faith says happens as our bodies decompose). It sounds pretty awesome. But I don’t have any evidence for an afterlife, so I don’t make the claim that it’s going to happen.

      And I don’t know what to make of all the various religions each claiming to be the ‘only’ way to climb aboard the heaven spaceship. A million gods with their adherents, each claiming that the others don’t exist. If a god wants something from me, s/h/it would tell me. It’s not as if god is ‘short on time’ (being infinitely powerful and all). Yet all I have is silence (for now?)

      So to conclude, despite your self denial,

      What is self-denial? I don’t exist! SHITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!

      Atheists do have a position on the argument, based on faith with lack of empirical evidence -just as those who believe in God do.

      Of course we have a position. We lack belief, not a position. You really think this is a ‘gotcha’?

  • George

    Let me make this simple because you are all over the place, so lets start from the basement. I know you answered these questions so humour me.

    Simple questions:

    Do you think God/Gods exist?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      “Do you think God/Gods exist?”

      It’s usually best to simply answer this with, “Which one(s)?” But I’ll take your bait.

      I don’t know if the ‘create, then leave the universe’ god exists or not, but I doubt that such a god would care if I worshiped s/h/it. Most atheists are much more sympathetic to the ‘deist’, because they typically align themselves with atheists on everything except for ‘first cause’ arguments.

      I find pantheism (god literally is everything / energy etc…) useless as a concept. There’s already a word for ‘everything’, I don’t also need to call it ‘god’. (hint: the word is ‘everything’)

      I do not think the Muslim god, or the Christian god or Zues or Ra, or Xenu exist. Those specific religions / deities are defined in such ways that they can be safely dismissed because their miracles, works, creation stories, prophecies, etc. do posit real world, testable hypotheses. And those testable concepts invariably show every ‘revealed’* religion to be bunk. You’d think if a divine influence was present in the bible for instance, they’d get things right like Pi, and earth being round, appropriate life expectancy for humans, slavery is bad. Those gods can safely be discarded. Notice I still don’t say ‘disproved’. There’s no way to know if some trickster god started the universe last thursday, complete with false memories and a universe with the appearance of great age. But at this point, it’s certainly not worth 1/7th of my days (sabbath), 10% of my income (tithing), etc.

      *What the hell makes people believe these claims? (“psst, hey you guys… so I was talking to this burning bush, and it said… psst, hey I need to bite off some skin from infant penises, god told me in a dream. No seriously. You guys!!!… seven headed dragon will come to earth I saw it in a future vision from god!… Native Americans had a jesus visit too! It says so on these gold plates that only I can read…”)

  • sc_19a93d5fcaec8e1700caa792f5c9c782

    Oh please, not the old atheism is a religion crap. There is no faith required for atheism. Since the existence of recorded history there is no evidence to support the notion of a supernatural being of any sort, nor has anyone ever put forth a way to test the existence of such, therefore, no god. This may change at any time but until then, the possibility of the existence of any god, or your particular god or someone else’s is so vanishingly small that for all intents and purposes there is no god. That is atheism. Faith doesn’t enter into the equation, only sound scientific principles.

    There is no dogma associated with atheism either. There’s no doctrine, no belief system, and there definitely is no claim to be the absolute unquestionable truth. Atheism is rooted in doubt, the anathema of dogma.

    P.S. Justin: ” … s/h/it would tell me.” Justin I expect this wasn’t intentional but it still made me laugh.

  • George

    You don’t lack belief, you don’t believe in God. That is not a lack of something, it is an assertion. To say God does not exists is a positive statement. You can equivocate the meaning of Atheist between a person who lacks belief and a positive objector all you want. It may work with some but it won’t with me.

    And yes they are false analogies. Baldness is the lack of hair, and hair colour is the presence of hair in different varieties. But as I stated you don’t lack a belief, you have one. So Atheists are just a different colour of hair.

    If you were just a non-believer you wouldn’t care if people pray in schools or if the dollar has in God we trust written on it. I don’t believe in Santa, but I wouldn’t boycott a mall for having one. You have a political agenda. Evidenced by the fact that you set a t-shirt trap on Facebook hours after children were killed in Schools.

    So once again: Belief based on non-emperical evidence, designed to draw supporters and support, and impose change is dogma.

  • http://www.quarkscrew.com Brian Murtagh

    If atheism is a religion can we not pay taxes on our houses of nonworship?

  • articulett

    George, Do you think Xenu exists? Zeus? Fairies? Invisible Penguins? What’s your position on Scientology? Reincarnation? Superstitions? Myths? Religions that conflict with yours?

    I think Justin is tryin to tell you that he feels the SAME way about your 3-in-1 god and whatever supernatural thingies you attribute to s/h/it. He (and I) consider the invisible beings you believe in to be as imaginary as the ones you don’t believe in. Now you might call that a “belief” and believers in those things might think it takes “faith” for others not to believe as they do, but that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence as well.

    It sounds like you believe in god because you are afraid your god might torture you forever if you don’t believe and that you are passing on that viral meme to your children similar to Muslims. If your children were missing would you even consider a supernatural explanation? Or even a far-fetched one like “aliens are eating them”? Certainly not if you wanted to find them! When the truth is important, then magical explanations are not.

    If there was any evidence for any afterlife you can bet scientists would be testing and refining that evidence for their own benefit, and nobody would need to manipulate others into belief as has been done to you (and you are doing to your kids.) The evidence would suffice.

    And, despite what your indoctrinators told you, humans do quite well without superstitions. http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/4691/norwayhell.jpg

    Norway is one of the most successful peaceul coutries and it has one of the highest population of atheists. The Norway shooter who brought recent devastation to those people was a Christian…with a gun. If you really care about your kids, it seems like you’d be more concerned about who has access to guns– not what magical beings people do or don’t believe in.

  • articulett

    George is your lack of belief in Scientology a faith?

    Do you believe in demons?

    Does it take faith not to believe in demons?

    What method do you use to determine which invisible beings to have faith in and which ones to reject?

    How do you decide which is the right faith that the right invisible guy wants you to believe and how do you make yourself believe stuff that makes no sense? Does your lack of belief in Santa take faith? When your kids no longer believe in Santa, are you going to argue that their lack of belief in santa a belief?

    If there was no such things as souls would you want to know? Or would you rather keep your beliefs?

    Would you still be making this silly argument that atheism is a “belief” if you didn’t fear bad things might happen if you didn’t have faith?

    When you try to convince yourself that “lack of belief” is secretly a belief you sound dishonest… like you are using words to obfuscate rather than clarify… although it is a common theistic tactic… and may help you imagine yourself more moral (are there any religionists who don’t imagine that the people of their religion are the most moral?)– it really only works on those who imagine that faith is a virtue. You’re the only one here infected with that meme.

    You really have to make the word “belief” useless in order to make so broad to include atheism as a belief. What opinion of yours isn’t a belief by this definition? Is your disbelief that your child is the reincarnation of Ghengis Khan a “belief”? How about your disbelief in gypsy curses? Or do you believe in these things? If you want to define disbelief in the supernatural as a belief, you might want to define it as the belief that there are no divine truths or mystical secrets or invisible beings. I BELIEVE that the supernatural things you BELIEVE in are as imaginary as the ones you DISBELIEVE in! I make no claims to divine truths and I think that those who claim knowledge on the subject are full of shit. I don’t much care if you consider this a belief or not, and I suspect that Justin doesn’t either. Most atheists are used to having theists define their lack of belief in their gods as a belief along with other semantic shenanigans. I suspect theists do this so they can discard what the atheist thinks as readily as they discard other myths and superstions; in this way they can keep themselves from realizing that, from the atheist perspective, the theist is as wrong as all he thinks all those others with conflicting faiths are! You know, if there was any actual evidence that any of your supernatural beliefs were true, you wouldn’t need these silly word games. Not only is there no evidence for your deity, but there is no evidence that theism makes people behave more morally in any measurable way (but there are a multitude of studies that suggest the opposite… the most religious areas of the US have the highest crime rates, divorce rates, teen pregnancy rates, and homicide rates, for example!).

  • articulett

    And George…

    Don’t you think Nancy Lanza would could have made the same argument as you the night before her own guns were used to destroy so many lives by the son she instilled her values to? Given that she parroted right wing extremist notions in regard to guns, I think it’s safe to assume she was a Christian with Christian values instilled in to her which she passed on to her son…

    But, hey,it’s all okay, right? Because the kids all get to live happily ever after with the 3-in-1 omnipresent Jesus-god who let them get shot; whereas, if they grew up to be (gasp) atheists, that same god would have tortured them for all eternity! The shooter sacrificed his own life to save them in true Jesus-god fashion… only Jesus -god just died temporaritly and then got to live happily ever after (as he knew he would) sitting in judgement of everyone! They’re not dead– they just began their happily ever after before they became hell eligible! Or so the lovely myth goes, right? It’s a wonder all Christians don’t pray for their children to die young.

    It’s the person who posted the original t-shirt that others should be aghast at– not the responses of those who understand just how disturbed it is. Your faith in faith has clouded your ability to see this.

  • George

    I don’t believe in God nor disbelieve. If I have not been shown evidence in any direction.

    But I do believe is that you douchbags take you “disbelief” into the realm of douchbagdom. You shift your meanings to suit your arguments and you treat people who do believe with disrespect -let’s screw with believers a few hour after kids were slaughtered.

    You are so smug and self sure. Looks like you have taken your beliefs and organized to sway as many people as you can -religion anyone.

    No fuck off!

  • George

    I don’t believe in God nor disbelieve. If I have not been shown evidence in any direction.

    But I do believe is that you douchbags take you “disbelief” into the realm of douchbagdom. You shift your meanings to suit your arguments and you treat people who do believe with disrespect -let’s screw with believers a few hour after kids were slaughtered.

    You are so smug and self sure. Looks like you have taken your beliefs and organized to sway as many people as you can -religion anyone.

    Now fuck off!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      Hahahahaha George is a Nagnostic. LOL. Somebody on facebook fucking called it.

      George, you do realize that agnostic and atheist are NOT mutually exclusive terms? Idiot. You ARE an atheist.

  • articulett

    George– you commented here; no-one forced you… so you can “fuck off”. It’s not atheists that posted the first horrific t-shirt.

    You asserted your opinion, and apparently many here think you are as much or more of a douchebag than you think they are. You wanted to have them respect your opinion while having to intention of respecting their opinion of your opinion. It sounds to me that your criticism of others (which you started) is more fitting of you than anyone here. It’s the original t-shirt that is horrifying in light of the childrens’ slaughter– it’s appalling that anyone would use that moment to argue for pushing prayer and dissing atheists (who had nothing to do with the tragedy!). The fact that you are unable to see this shows that you have “faith in faith” and are unable to see horrific things done by theists while having marked bigotry against those who don’t share your “faith in faith”. Faith is not a virtue and it doesn’t make people better in any way except in their imagination.

    If you really hope to become a better person, you might try asking yourself why you have a knee-jerk need to bend over backwards to defend faith while exaggerating the responses that atheists have towards theistic insanity and entitlement.

  • articulett

    George: http://xkcd.com/774/

    George is superior to us

    Say, George, what did you think of the original t-shirt? Was it fine with you? Is that the kind of thing that you want your kids to see? Do you want them to think that god might stand by as they get shot if they don’t have school prayer? Did you unleash your pedantry and obnoxious opinions on the maker of the original t-shirt design?

  • articulett

    I am sad to hear that the image on the left had 300,000 shares; how horrible if any of the parents of the murdered children see that. And what’s the implication regarding the children that were saved versus those that died? Surely the parents whose children died prayed just as hard as the parents of children who lived that their children would come out alive! Why would god punish them in particularly for schools having to obey the law?

    And I am offended by all the comments that Jesus has new angels that popped up on facebook… at least one of the children was Jewish. Theists can be so horribly offensive– yet they imagine themselves on some moral highground.

    Instead of dissing atheists, which had nothing to do with this horror, theists ought to be working to ban assault rifles– which had everything to do with this tragedy. Its’ no surprise that the biggest gun nuts tend to also be religious nuts as well. In the theist mind– god is credited with all good, and lack of faith is blamed for all horrors.

  • articulett

    *´¨)

    ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)

    (¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤ hahahahahahahahahaha ^^

  • George

    I’m not agnostic, I just have no answers. So you can’t challenge me because I don’t make positive statements. Is having no head the same as be bald?

    I think organized atheism has all the earmarks of a religion. You have a set of pat answers constructed to deal with criticism – not with logic, but with begged questions and false analogy.

    Christian:

    How do you know God exists?

    Because the bible says so

    How do you know the bible is correct?

    Because God says so!

    Atheist:

    How do you know God does not exist?

    I don’t say God does not exist, I say I lack belief!

    So you take no position, because it’s not your responsibility to prove something you make no claim about?

    Yes, we make no claim…. But God does not exist and everyone who disagrees with us is stupid and worth making fools of.

    That’s my take on your dumb arguments, but you can’t argue with me because I make not positive claims. Remember, I have no opinion, as an Agnostic I have no dog in the fight.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      I’m not agnostic, I just have no answers.

      a = without | gnostic comes from the Greek ‘Gnosis’, which means ‘knowledge’. ‘Agnostic’ literally means ‘without answers/knowledge’. You are an agnostic. And an evangelical one at that.

      Is having no head the same as be bald?

      Why don’t you tell us? You be expert.

      is having no head the same as be bald?

      I’m not agnostic, I just have no answers… Remember, I have no opinion, as an Agnostic I have no dog in the fight.

      lolwut?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000918901362 thayergoss

    George:

    Yes, we make no claim…. But God does not exist and everyone who disagrees with us is stupid and worth making fools of.

    That’s a massive strawman of the atheist’s position, because it isn’t even consistent and you’ve written it that way in order to knock down an argument that no one is actually making. No one is saying that they are NOT asserting that no god(s) exist and then go on TO assert that no god(s) exist. They either ARE asserting it or they are NOT.

    The simplest thing you should know is that there is a fundamental difference between “strong” and “weak” atheists a.k.a. agnostic and gnostic atheists. I find it interesting that you even use the words without seeming to understand their proper context. This makes them qualifiers of a position, not necessarily a position itself.

    For example, agnostic atheists are those that do not believe god(s) exist due to a lack of evidence.

    Whereas, gnostic atheists are those that don’t believe god(s) exist, but they also assert that no god(s) exist as a positive truth claim.

    The agnostic atheist position is more common, because most of us recognize that making an unsubstantiated assertion that no god(s) exist is just as unfalsifiable as a theist’s assertion that god(s) DO exist.

    I hope that clears things up for you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000918901362 thayergoss

    Oh and just for a little more clarification, calling a ridiculous claim ridiculous is not the same as making a positive claim about the concept in it’s entirety. The best example of this would be when we say that belief in god(s) is ridiculous and stupid, we’re not actually asserting that god(s) don’t exist. What is being said is that believing in something, in this case god(s), for which their is no evidence is ridiculous and irrational.

    The funniest thing is that your “agnosticism” seems to be very myopic considering all the other claims out there that are believed without evidence. Are you agnostic about alien abductions, the paranormal, or psychics in the same way, in which you give them the same amount of respect as you do religion? If so then you may want to reevaluate your epistemology, but if not then why? The claims may be different from one another on many levels, but their standards of evidence are the same and are completely indistinguishable. They all rely on tenuous and unreliable types of “proof” and faith of one sort or another, and it is with this understanding that we refuse to have a double standard and treat all untested/untestable claims the same.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    you can’t challenge me because I don’t make positive statements

    It appears to me that you just made a positive statement. Why are you so sure you don’t make positive statements?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000918901362 thayergoss

    Exactly. Making statements about what it is to be agnostic or not agnostic, which ever one he will decide he is is a claim itself and is COMPLETELY challengeable.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      He challenged himself… He claimed that he was not an agnostic, but at the end of the comment he begged us to remember that he is an agnostic.

  • George

    This is too easy.

    My last post was pretty ridiculous huh? I agree, because it was founded on your arguments. I simply borrowed your “logic” and used it for my sarcastic post.

    You: “In case you’ve never been corrected before… Is bald a hair color?”

    Me: “Is having no head the same as be bald?”

    These two claims are the same and equally silly. Each relies on the lack of an essential element for each condition to be true. Without hair one cannot have a hair colour, without a head one cannot be bald. Both are false analogies with regard to the debate of the existence or lack thereof a creator/s. It is a weak and unconvincing argument. Unfortunately, it is one that pops up often among atheists. With even a cursory glance across the mountains of internet posts defending or extolling atheism, one sees it used so often that it has become a compulsory response which implies a root in a dogmatic milieu. Which is troubling coming from a group of supposed free thinkers. So when, you post stupid pictures laughing at what I said, you realy laugh at yourself.

    As an aside, when I was in high school an atheist teen gave me the whole one-eyed spaghetti monster spiel too, so you share arguments with a prepubescent teen

    Furthermore, I do understand the definition of agnostic. Again, I was sarcastically mocking your shifting and silly evasive arguments.

    I thank thayergoss for providing a list of artificial distinctions in atheism. Regardless if one is soft or hard each is a position based on the absence of a creator/s. Equally so, if one is a theist the, distinctions of soft or fundamentalist is subordinate to the the common element of a belief in a deity/s. Its that simple. You either take the position a creator/s exists or you take the it/they don’t. But what is interesting, both positions for or against require faith in the absence of empirical data. I mentioned this in a previous post, but not only have you failed to address this paradox, you chose to ignore it when you edited down my post to only the last paragraph and published on your Facebook page to solicit a laugh. (you should never provide a direct link to your Facebook, it allows non-friends to read you). A note to your disciples, generally when you see … before a quote the author doesn’t want you to know the full context. It’s first year university stuff kids.

    In your previous arguments Mr. Griffith you dance around the simple distinction set out above. In one instance you claim that you make no positive statements and consequently have no burden of proof because one can’t prove a negative. In others, you flat out make positive statements. This is the foundation of your equivocation. Either an atheist is simply without belief, or believes positively that no creator/s exists -the false distinctions of hard or soft are bullshit, and don’t get angry when someone calls you on it. White supremacists use he same strategy. If you ask them if they are a hate group they reply “we don’t hate anyone, we are just pro white”, but when you point out comments or actions that dispute those claims they get angry and attack the arguer instead of the argument. -Before you make another bonehead post saying “now George thinks atheists are hate group” please note I speak of your reasoning not content.

    The upshot to all this is, I never wanted to get into a debate with you. I couldn’t care less how you live your life. If you read my previous posts I simply stated a considered opinion on the topic of raising MY children with an understanding of God and allowing them to makeup their own mind as they get older. The consequence of this was that a site member pretty much said I suck as a parent and that my kids are not well adjusted. It pissed me off. Just as it would piss any of you off if some Christian dick head said that about your kids. I am only trolling you because you more or less called me out and stated that you had the skills to dispute arguments that I never made (seems no one actually goes back to read posts for context here, maybe because you all have pre-formulated arguments and a chip on your shoulder). Anyway, the result is with all your skills and the help of your site members you have still failed to persuade me. Why? because you can’t see the fundamental flaws in your arguments.

    So enjoy your website where all you special people who hold the keys to faith based truisms can congregate to reinforce and self-congratulate. But it sounds like a quasi-chuch to me.

  • http://www.atheistboy.com Atheist Shirts

    I really like your blog and both of t-shirts and text printed over them. thanks for sharing this with us.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

      make money, whatever you want atheist shirts dude. Just please at least keep my twitter handle on there @RckBeyondBelief. I think you’ll probably sell more after each tragedy, which is kinda sad too.

  • http://www.atheistboy.com Atheist Shirts

    Amazing post…!!! I really appreciate it

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