How religions die

A commenter by the name of Zinc Avenger, in response to shrieks of “Stalin!”, produced some absolute gold yesterday.

Because there was no possible reason anyone could have wanted them overthrown apart from atheism, right?

Or maybe their regimes self destructed because they were murderous lunatics. That happens to murderous theocratic regimes too. Atheism isn’t the deciding factor you seem to wish it to be.

But you’re right, trying to stamp out religion with a jackboot doesn’t work. Guess what? There are christians in Saudi Arabia, despite it being a crime. So if a fanatical theocracy can’t stamp out religions, what can?

Time, education, and patience will do it.

Religions can die. Where are the worshipers of mighty Zeus? Where is the temple of Mithras? Who calls upon the legendary wisdom of old one-eyed Odin? History is littered with the insubstantial corpses of gods.

Why did these religions die? Their followers stopped believing. Sometimes they found a “better” god, sometimes they were converted by the point of a sword (religions are rarely happy to coexist). But lately, over the last few centuries, there has been an alternative. Atheism, and simple rationality are an alternative.

We don’t need Thor to explain lightning. We don’t sacrifice an animal to ensure the sun rises after the solstice. The role of gods has gone from movers and shakers of the world, responsible for everything around us, to touchy-feely things you have “other ways of knowing about” and as a catch all explanation of things unknown. Religion may not be dying just yet, but it’s sure getting feeble in this age of reason.

Your god can feed thousands of people with some loaves and fishes according to an unsubstantiated claim. Agriculture and irrigation can feed thousands of people for years – in the right circumstances, indefinitely. Your messiah can walk on water. Aerospace engineers can build machines that fly through the sky. Your god looks down on the earth and sees it all laid out before him. Satellites can do the same – and pick out signs of planets in orbit around other stars. Your god cast out demons. Polio and smallpox have been eradicated by vaccination.

Your god is so feeble even the “amazing tales” told in his holy book are exceeded so often we don’t even think about it. Religion might never die, but one day we might look back at your god and laugh that anyone was impressed by little party tricks.

Hat tip to you, Mr. Avenger.

  • Bertram Cabot

    Actually, JT did not refer to religions dying.

    He said Religion must die, which is different, and there will be casualties.

    Interesting language for a group that pretends its just concerned about ideas. A little Freudian slippage there! chuckle.

    • Jeremy Shaffer

      Whether he said religion will die or that they must die matters very little. Even if he said religion must die that hardly means “conversion by the sword” as you seem to think.

      Religions can and do die by means of the free exchange of ideas. It is not our fault that you apparently cannot (or will not) grasp that.

    • Konradius

      Ever heard about projection?
      Religion is a set of ideas. Ideas die when people stop supporting them.
      We don’t think they will die because the people believing these ideas die. People that are killed because of religion are nearly exclusively killed by people with a different religion (so not including atheism).
      We don’t think religions will die because we convince you religions are false. You have apparently made up your mind already, and if you retain your religion after extensive contact with our ideas there’s little more that can be done and less than we are willing to do.

      The reason we think religion will die is because you are not convincing anyone anymore.

    • skepticallydenpa

      I know you are a troll, but lets see if you can grasp a simple analogy…

      JT: Cancer must die

      Bertram Cabot: OMG He said he’s going to kill all cancer patients!

      David Silverman: WTF…

      Religion is a disease which poisons the minds of all those inflicted with it. We want to kill the disease, not the people. And the inoculation for this indoctrination is… education.

      • Bertram Cabot

        Calling religion a disease reminds me of a tyrant who called the Jews a Bacillus.

        Tagging such names on people (and after all, if religion is a disease then religious people are carriers of the disease) is a means of marginalizing and dehumanizing them.

        Which is a necessary, although not required, step before killing them outright.

        It is at least odd that EVERY Officially Atheistic Government has killed Hundreds of Thousands, and in some cases Millions, of believers.

        • Anteprepro

          Calling religion a disease reminds me of a tyrant who called the Jews a Bacillus.

          Religion is not religious people. Get that through your thick fucking skull.

          Which is a necessary, although not required, step before killing them outright.

          Seriously, just fuck you. If you honestly don’t understand that JT and the commenters here are just trying to stop religion from being a big fucking influence, via means that don’t include murder, then you should just shut the fuck up and watch from a distance until you do. The fact that you don’t understand this and take that as sufficient evidence that we are all out to kill believers is annoying, probably embarrassing to your fellow believers, and is, above all, fucking insulting. I don’t think we should take the insult seriously, since you are clearly an idiot, but it’s insulting nonetheless. Please, just go away until you can learn how to read for comprehension.

          • Bertram Cabot

            If you had not quote mined my post, then you would see that I point out that by calling religion a disease it is just a step to marginalize religious people as carriers of the disease.

            I am not going to shut up, I don’t take orders from atheists.

            Oh, you can block me, but I won’t shut up about this.

          • Anteprepro

            Ugh. Wow, same shit. I’m going to tell myself that Morrison and Cabot are one in the same, in order to reassure myself about the future of humanity and not put a gun in my mouth as I despair for the future of mankind. I’m so sorry that I “quote-mined” you. Given everything else you’ve said, you obviously understand the distinction between religion and religious people. You are wrong for a completely different reason then: Slippery slope fallacy. Not every “disease” analogy means a re-enactment of the Holocaust. If it did, the religious right in America would’ve probably committed six different kinds of genocide by now.

            And I don’t issue orders, I make suggestions. Remain stupid if you so desire.

        • Zinc Avenger

          It is at least odd that EVERY Officially ATheistic Government has killed Hundreds of Thousands, and in some cases Millions, of believers and unbelievers.

          • Bertram Cabot

            Which of course is false. There have been few “theistic” governments and none of them, even when they were acting for politicl and economic gain, have ever come close to the record of Atheist Mass Murderers.

          • Zinc Avenger

            You know what else? They were ruled by men.

            There have been few “theistic” matriarchal governments none of them, even when they were acting for politicl (sic) and economic gain, have ever come close to the record of Atheist Patriarchal Mass Murderers.

          • lordshipmayhem

            Bertram, I’m having some difficulty identifying a single truly atheistic government anywhere on the planet whose leaders were involved in massacres.

            Even the Stalinist, fascist and Maoist governments through history were built around leader-worship that was quite similar to the Papist governments of the Crusades and the French government of medieval times that slaughtered French Protestants.

            Perhaps you can point me to one of these atheist governments?

        • http://cafeeine.wordpress.com Cafeeine

          Others have picked up on the rest of your nonsense of constantly conflating religion with religious people, but this:

          “…Which is a necessary, although not required step…”

          How is something that is not required necessary? Are you even aware of what you’re saying? While I understand that, when you have to try and uphold a position as idiotic as that JT is advocating killing believers, you need to focus on the rhetoric and not the logic, this is a howler even you could have caught easily.

        • skepticallydenpa

          You still don’t get it. Since when do we kill diseased people to get rid of a disease? The disease is the enemy, not the people. It appears that this particular disease has dissolved the part of your brain that can differentiate the two. There is a wonderful cure for that; it’s called education. It hurts at first. It’s like an ear-worm, only it burrows down deep into your brain and conflicts with your indoctrinated knowledge. Keep feeding it and it will eventually expel the diseased tissue so that it can salvage, and even repair, what is left of your brain.

          Seeing as you have proven that you lack the ability to understand metaphors and analogies, I’ll be awaiting your reply on how atheists are planning on inserting dangerous parasites in your ear.

    • skepticallydenpa

      I was having too much fun with words. I pressed send before researching a word I wasn’t familiar with. Inoculations are a specific type of treatment which doesn’t make sense in this context.

      Therefore inoculation *Remedy

    • Zinc Avenger

      Tag cleanup, aisle three.

      • skepticallydenpa

        Yes. Please. Someone. I can’t figure out how to close it. And this site doesn’t allow for me to delete my post.

        • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

          Got your back. ;)

          • skepticallydenpa

            Thank you, JT. I really need to get in the habit of hitting the preview button.

    • Drakk

      PZ Myers and JT are the two people who I would say are primarily responsible for stripping away the last remnants of legitimacy that religion had for me. They both killed my religion, and yet I’m fine.

      See how that works, troll?

      • Bertram Cabot

        If PZ and JT are your intellectual influences, it does say much for your education.

        • Robert B.

          Accidental accuracy is accurate.

        • Aquaria

          That you don’t see the intellectual superiority of their thinking to a scumbag like yours doesn’t speak well for yours.

          I mean, you’ve conflated ideas with people–which only theistic lying moron scumbags do.

          And then you dig in deeper. Also a sign of a theistic lying moron scumbag.

          Sucks to be you.

  • Bertram Cabot

    By the way, the Jews were around long before the religions you mention. In fact, they still are.

    • Jeremy Shaffer

      So therefore what? The Jews are right?

      • Bertram Cabot

        So therefore the posters argument is derailed. Of course, those Jews refuse to assimilate so its their own fault if people try to wipe them out. (I learned that from Sam Harris in TEOF. And he is a SCIENTIST so he is right!)

        • Anteprepro

          So, Sam Harris said that the Jews brought their persecution upon themselves, and therefore atheists are horrible people? Even though the actual persecutors were Christians and Muslims ? And this is your counter-argument to someone noting that your argument that the Jews were around before Thor is not really relevant to whether they were right, and doesn’t actually address ZA’s point, quoted by JT?

          You are such a keen intellect, Mr. Fuckwitted Apologist.

          • Bertram Cabot

            In answer to your question, NO, but atheists like Sam Harris ARE horrible people.

            By the way, its always amusing how anonymous cowards like yourself like to talk tough. I bet you were the kind of kid who got beat up in school.

          • Anteprepro

            So, you admit you don’t have a leg to stand on then?

          • Bertram Cabot

            So you DID get beat up in school!

            And I bet your daddy beat you too.

          • Anteprepro

            Well, glad to see you are truly an awful human being. What if I was abused as a child? It’s far more common than you think. Do you think you would look good, reveling in that fact? Do you think you can pretend that you are a decent person, feigning horror at someone who dared to wish religion away with the metaphor of “death”, while simultaneously joking about child abuse?

            No, I wasn’t bullied or beaten. As if that even matters. And you are a horrid, wretched creature, in addition to being profoundly stupid. And that does matter.

          • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

            Remember, these are the people telling me what phenomenal debaters they are and how we atheists are afraid to engage them.

          • Anteprepro

            Well, I’m definitely starting to be afraid to engage them, but not because I think I might lose a debate.

    • http://florilegia.wordpress.com Ibis3, denizen of a spiteful ghetto

      But their religion has evolved. The older forms of it have died out and new ones have taken their place.

      We now need have no new religion, and with a growing acceptance of Enlightenment ideals and human rights, conversions by the sword will be less common. People will be free to discard the religions of their ancestors and replace them with real knowledge.

      Christianity is already dying.

      Not only has the number of UK adults calling themselves Christian dropped dramatically since the 2001 Census – our research suggests that it is now only 54% – even those who still think of themselves as Christian show very low levels of religious commitment:

      • Only about a third of what we shall call ‘Census-Christians’ cited religious beliefs as the reason they had ticked the Christian box in the 2011 Census

      • 37% of them have never or almost never prayed outside a church service

      • Asked where they seek most guidance in questions of right and wrong, only 10% of Census-Christians said it was from religious teachings or beliefs

      • Just a third (32%) believe Jesus was physically resurrected; half (49%) do not think of him as the Son of God

      Half of self-professed Christians in the UK (who are themselves only 54% of the population) do not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. Probably even fewer believe that he was himself God. I would imagine those numbers are comparable for Australia, NZ, Canada, France, Germany, and the Nordic countries.

      • http://florilegia.wordpress.com Ibis3, denizen of a spiteful ghetto

        Oh and just in case it’s not clear, the numbers of self-proclaimed Christians and the numbers of people who actually believe in Christian doctrine are not dropping in the UK because Queen Elizabeth is having them beheaded or forcibly deconverted by Michael Palin and his comfy chair.

        • Bertram Cabot

          The day will come when Christians are put in prison for speaking out.

          An organizer of several atheist groups in Kansas City, who is facebook friends with several of the organzizers of ReasonFest, has said that religious people will end up “in a ditch” like Jimmy Hoffa.

          We a spreading the message to local churches.

          • Marshall

            I don’t suppose you have any proof of this, do you? You know, what with everything else you’ve said here painting you as being an unreliable source of information and all…

          • Bertram Cabot

            Sure. Would you like a link to the Bill Tammeus blog? (Bill was former religion editor of the Kansas City Star.)

          • Bertram Cabot

            Ah, here is one of the best by Iggy, the KCFreethinker, who has established many atheist meetups in Kansas City.

            http://billtammeus.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/01/191010/comments/page/2/#comments

            The Jan. 10th, 2010 post at 8:58 a.m. by Iggy is a true classic…religious people will end up in ditch like Jimmy Hoffa.

            It lend to the end of comments on that blog, I think there were some legal issues, but this guy went on to continue his antics.

            He is, by the way, a Russian Immigrant who received his education while the Communists were still in power.

            These are all facts. The leaders of the various atheist groups like this guy; so that tells me something also.

          • Anteprepro

            This is impressive: The Jimmy Hoffa line from one atheist on Bill Tamaeus’s blog was brought up on several different blogs SO many times. It was hard to find the original article. The person who made the statement, Iggy, sounded like a raving madman, so I was worried. But, anyway, here it is, in (most of) its horrible theist persecuting glory (Emphasis is mine]:

            I am perfectly good to live with uncertainties.

            For religoius “loonies” on this blog I say – time for you to crawl under the rock. You will die out there with yoru crazy ideas, this is happening, there is nothing you can do about it. Your god Jesus/Yahweh/Holy Spirit will thank you for it in your brain. Try it, you may like it.

            If not, you will be pushed aside into the ditch and buried like Jimmy Hoffa, your brains will be crushed under the rock of reality and rationality.

            You can run but you cannot hide. You will be hunted, the bullet of rationality will catch you and strike you down. It’s just the matter of time for the religious people to understand that. You yoruself better save your brain cells and do something prodcutive as Jesus commanded – instead of wasting your time here on the blog let’s send you to Africa to dig some wells or fight malaria.

            Or, as DW stated, you are already “suffering” and “dying for faith/Christ” through “metaphorical” “sacrifices” you are makeing in comfort of your home and your life when you raise your family? Who told you you needed to get married? Did god tell you that? Who told you to have kids? Did your god tell you that? Who told you to get a job? Jesus said “Think not of morrow” – why they hell are you not listening to your god and to your irrational brain?

            It’s time for you Xians to start acting ratioanlly and not silly.

            Yes, this clearly sounds like he is threatening Christians’ lives. I take it that Ca-Bot would never defend the Bible on the basis of something being metaphorical. Because he clearly doesn’t understand what a metaphor is.

          • Bertram Cabot

            I pointed out that that was my favorite example. He has gone on to be quite influential in the atheist groups in Kansas City, and saying lots of other things.

            Why use words like you will be buried n a ditch like Jimmy Hoffa?

            Thats pretty blunt.

            But he caught himself, and was cagy about what he said after that.

            But No Matter what he said, you would excuse it, while condeming Christians for any off the cuff remakrs they make.

            That is why your double standard supports your bigotry.

            But, given statements like those, and the hundreds of times these characters have referred to Chrisitans as “delusional” and “psychotic” we are JUSTIFIED in preparing to defend ourselves.

          • Marshall

            An organizer of several atheist groups in Kansas City

            KCfreethinkers.org leads to a blank directory index. Do you have anything to back up this particular statement, specifically that he is an ORGANIZER and not just a member of SEVERAL atheist groups? His lack of correct spelling and penchant for poorly worded rhetoric makes it hard to believe that he is actually in a high tier position in any atheist groups of any significance, honestly.

            who is facebook friends with several of the organzizers of ReasonFest

            So what?

            has said that religious people will end up “in a ditch” like Jimmy Hoffa.

            As poorly worded as his statement is, why are you jumping up and down about this particular comment? Do you really think that this guy in any way represents atheists as a group? I’ve seen PLENTY of atheists make terrible statements, hell there was the whole TAA thing earlier this week, but you seem to be under the impression that we’re all hiding our true intentions, and that what we REALLY want is to imprison and kill Christians, which is fucking ludicrous.

        • http://rant5k.blogspot.com Grikmeer

          Not… the Comfy Chair?!! *gurns*

  • Desert Son, OM

    Bertram Cabot at #2

    By the way, the Jews were around long before the religions you mention. In fact, they still are.

    Sure, and so are Hindus.

    Is longevity a measure of religious validity?

    If so, then doesn’t that make Hinduism the most valid religion, by that criteria, at least? It’s older than Judaism, and in terms of recorded religions with formalized structures, the oldest known.

    Another way of thinking about it: new religions develop. Sikhism is a newer religion (relatively). Baha’i is even more recent. Scientology is practically newborn. So what? Neither the older traditions, nor the newer stuff have produced any evidence for whatever mysticism they claim permeates the universe.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  • Zinc Avenger

    *bows* Words for the cause, JT.

  • Das Boese

    Bertram Cabot says:
    February 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Which of course is false. There have been few “theistic” governments and none of them, even when they were acting for politicl and economic gain, have ever come close to the record of Atheist Mass Murderers.

    History fail. For the last couple of millennia the most common form of government was religiously legitized monarchy.

    Mass murdering dictators don’t kill people in the name of atheism, they kill people because they’re insane psychopaths on a power trip. The ideologies they follow are often as close to a religion as you can get, cults of state or personality that are only “atheist” in the sense that “god” has been replaced by some other object of worship.

    • Bertram Cabot

      Monarachy is not Theistic Government.

      • Robert B.

        History fail again.

        Who put the crown on every pre-Enlightenment European monarch, and what did that ceremony represent? How did Christianity make it big? What was the Thirty Years War about? For that matter, what did the emperors of Japan and ancient Egypt claim as the source of their legitimacy?

        I can imagine an atheistic monarchy, but that’s not how it’s actually ever worked. Every monarchy I know of has been not just functionally but explicitly theistic.

        • Bertram Cabot

          That they were approved by the Church does not make the monaarchy theistic.

          • Robert B.

            “Approved by” is far too weak a term. “Approved by” would be a priest cheering from the audience. When the priest is actually putting the crown on the king’s head, that symbolizes how the monarch receives his authority from God. Which is pretty damn theistic. And it’s relatively weak as godliness in monarchies goes; I point you once again to history’s many monarchs who were believed to be gods, not to mention the oodles of monarchies with mandatory state religions.

            Speaking of which, I like how you threw a weak rebuttal to my first point and completely ignored the rest. They weren’t dependent, you know, even if I’d been wrong on the first one, that wouldn’t have weakened the rest.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1698151270 John-Henry Beck

            I’m with Robert. That’s some pretty epic ignorance of history.

  • Bertram Cabot

    Oh, and Lenin and Trotsky wanted to eliminate religion because they were atheists. Get it. They were atheists and they wanted religion out of the way.

    Yep, they murdered because of their atheism.

    You are in Frigging Denial.

    • Zinc Avenger

      Now we come to the root of the matter. You’re incapable of separating the concepts of “murderer” and “atheist”.

      If an atheist kills someone, it must be because of atheism! Whereas if a religious person kills someone, it can’t be because of religion!

      I sense Scotsmen approaching. I wonder if they’re True?

  • Marshall

    But No Matter what he said, you would excuse it, while condeming Christians for any off the cuff remakrs they make.

    Apparently not.

    Yeah, there’s some pretty heavy projection going on here.

    • Bertram Cabot

      And Denial by atheists!

      • Rumtopf

        Project more

  • Anteprepro

    Ca-bot the godbot is impervious to learning, incapable of adequately dealing with facts already presented, far too incompetent to understand the signs of legitimate death threats versus obvious metaphor and rhetoric. Ca-bot has officially failed the Turing test, being worse at engaging with what is actually said than Cleverbot is. In addition to being far less entertaining.

    For those playing along at home, I have already informed Morrison , the godbot who originally furthered the argument that Ca-bot is now completely copying, that Trotsky did not kill religious people for being religious, and opposed doing so to the degree of saying he supported the right of religious people to be religious, even if he had no desire to support their religions. How Ca-bot managed to duplicate the same uncommon, incorrect argument as Morrison without actually noticing that the argument is incorrect, I leave up to imagination of the audience. Come up with something funny, okay?

    • Marshall

      Ca-bot has officially failed the Turing test, being worse at engaging with what is actually said than Cleverbot is. In addition to being far less entertaining.

      Do you have any idea how much it hurts to have PIZZA try to exit through your nose?

      A lot. Thanks.

  • Aquaria

    Trotsky did not kill religious people for being religious

    Trotsky was also murdered by the NKVD, Stalin’s personal goon squad. So were a lot of Soviets who were atheists.

    Sort of makes it clear that Stalin didn’t kill over atheism, but the christslime will never get it, because it benefits these scumbags not to get it.

    Also, they might want to explain why the Russian Orthodox church flourished under Stalin from 1941 on, growing at an exponential rate, from a few churches to over 25,000 of them. I seem to recall that the Moscow Patriate of that same church used to feed names to Stalin for him to purge as well.

    Funny how the christslime don’t know anything about how Stalin supported religion more than any other Soviet leader.

    • Bertram Cabot

      I had not mentioned Stalin. But just because he killed for various reasons, it does not follow that atheism was not one of them.

      • Zinc Avenger

        …just because he killed for various reasons, it does not follow that atheism elves was not one of them.

        • Bertram Cabot

          That’s it? (snicker)

          • Zinc Avenger

            Yep. You say that he was an atheist, therefore they were atheist murders. He was a man, they were male murders. He was from Georgia, they were Georgian murders. He had a mustache, they were mustache murders.

            He was a murdering lunatic. They were murdering lunatic murders. This is not a hard thing to grasp.

            If your entire shtick is “Stalin was an atheist therefore atheists want to kill me!”, you should watch out for men with mustaches.

          • Bertram Cabot

            Actually, you were the one who brought up Stalin. I didn’t until you mentioned him.

            But, come to think of it, he hated religion to, and killed even more people than Trotdky.

            Although not as many as Mao.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

    It explains a lot about humanity’s history that the only way the religious people in this thread can imagine an idea can die is at the point of a sword.

    • Bertram Cabot

      It is revealing JT that YOU are the one who chose to use the word “die”. Why not just “end” or “cease”.

      Especially when you couple the word with “Casualties”.

      I think you are letting something out of the bag, JT. Of course, I have been labeled a troll, and from your point of view that is the correct thing to do. As Alinsky taught, it is important to marginalize your opponent right out of the gate, by labeling and ridicule whenever possible.

      But this glosses over the fact that I REALLY, SINCERELY, believe that my freedom and possibly my life will be take if the Atheist trend leads to actual takeover.

      And there are a LOT of us out here who think that; we visit churches every week where we pass out thousands of copies of Atheist rants, like the one by the “KCFreethinker”. And a lot of people are no longer complacent about this.

      Oh, I know you will simply dismiss this, but don’t say that no one told you.

      • anteprepro

        It is revealing JT that YOU are the one who chose to use the word “die”. Why not just “end” or “cease”.

        Especially when you couple the word with “Casualties”.

        BEEP*ZORP*KERFUNK* WHAT IS THIS ‘METAPHOR’ YOU SPEAK OF? *RATCH*KLUNK*ZINK* DOES NOT COMPUTE *SPUT*CLINK*BOOM*

        As Alinsky taught, it is important to marginalize your opponent right out of the gate, by labeling and ridicule whenever possible.

        *RITCHET*CLANG*BORP* ACCUSING SOMEONE OF DEATH THREATS THEY CLEARLY DIDN’T MAKE IS ALSO LABELING AND RIDICULE? *VORP*ZAP*BANG* STILL DOES NOT COMPUTE! *WHIZZ*CLASH*ZIP*

        But this glosses over the fact that I REALLY, SINCERELY, believe that my freedom and possibly my life will be take if the Atheist trend leads to actual takeover.

        **** EERP EERP EERP ****
        WARNING: PERSECUTION COMPLEX INITIATED. COMMENCE THROWING TERRIFIED TANTRUM OVER A GRAND TOTAL OF TWO ATHEISTS THAT CA-BOT UNIT ALPHA HAS METICULOUSLY FAILED TO READ CORRECTLY
        **** EERP EERP EERP ****

        WARNING WARNING: CA-BOT UNIT ALPHA REQUIRES SERIOUS REPAIR. PLEASE DISABLE AND REPROGRAM BEFORE IMMINENT INTERNAL ERROR AND CRASH.

        *WHEEZE*SPUTTER*JITTER*KERPLANG*KERSPLASH*

        • Bertram Cabot

          Q.E.D.

          • anteprepro

            Now’s a little late to pretend that you know how logic works, CA.

      • Marshall

        But this glosses over the fact that I REALLY, SINCERELY, believe that my freedom and possibly my life will be take if the Atheist trend leads to actual takeover.

        You are an ignorant bigot, then.

        And there are a LOT of us out here who think that; we visit churches every week where we pass out thousands of copies of Atheist rants, like the one by the “KCFreethinker”. And a lot of people are no longer complacent about this.

        Oh, yeah, there are a LOT of ignorant anti-atheist bigots. And you’re passing out quotes from marginal-at-best atheists who do not represent us as a group, which means you are contributing to this irrational bigotry. You’ve gone from being a troll to being someone who actively spreads lies about atheists among Christians. Who knew you could step down ANOTHER level?

        • Bertram Cabot

          Oh, I see, if an atheist targets “religion” thats NOT bigotry, but if a Theist warns about their actions that IS bigotry.

          I am not sure which is more amusing, your blatant double standard or your devolvement into a troll yourself. snicker.

          • Bertram Cabot

            Oh, and if you knew all the stuff we were really passing out you would really go ballistic!

          • anteprepro

            Oh, and if you knew all the stuff we were really passing out you would really go ballistic!

            Oh, let me guess: It involves you and your religious buddies enjoyment of fathers mercilessly beating their children, right? Especially children that don’t grow up to be Christian. Because that’s the kind of stuff that gets you off. Am I in the ball park?

          • Bertram Cabot

            Hmmmm…did your daddy beat you when you were little? Is that the problem?

            Or was it worse? Did daddy do you?

          • anteprepro

            Hmmmm…did your daddy beat you when you were little? Is that the problem?

            Or was it worse? Did daddy do you?

            Feel the Christian love and morality, people.

            I can’t really come up with a bad enough epitaph to describe this monster.

        • Marshall

          I target religion (an IDEA) because of its demonstrable falsehoods. You respond by targeting atheists (a group of PEOPLE) using lies and your own paranoid delusions. There is no equivalence here.

          • Bertram Cabot

            Yes, there is when religion is called a disease, because people CARRY the disease.

            Hence, you are also targeting people.

          • Bertram Cabot

            And clarify what lies I have made. I have dealt in facts. Oh, we could have disagreements over historical issues, but for you to try and poison the well be calling that disagreement “lying” makes YOU the liar.

          • Bertram Cabot

            A further thought, Marshall, if I were to target ATHEISM and not Atheists then I would not be targeting people.

            So, would you have a problem with targeting ATHEISM the way you target RELIGION?

            (This is a test of your double standard.)

        • Marshall

          Please provide evidence that Trotsky and Stalin killed people specifically BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T BELIEVE IN GOD. This is your position, that it was their ATHEISM that caused them to kill people. Prove it, using their writings preferably. If you cannot, I consider you a liar.

        • Marshall

          So, would you have a problem with targeting ATHEISM the way you target RELIGION?

          Of course not. That isn’t what you’re doing though. If you want to attack the idea that disbelief in a god is the most reasonable position, you’re welcome to try.

      • TV200

        But this glosses over the fact that I REALLY, SINCERELY, believe that my freedom and possibly my life will be take if the Atheist trend leads to actual takeover.

        You also seem to really, sincerely believe in a mythical sky daddy. That is not correct either.

        You seem to be under the mistaken impression that the current devaluing of superstitions by many people will inevitably give rise to a violent upheaval. That is not what I want. But I do want religious beliefs to not have political power. Which is not to say that religious people shouldn’t hold office, but rather should not be able object to a science curriculum based on old myths, or that some people shouldn’t have the same rights, again, based on the pronouncements of an ancient work of fiction.

  • Marshall

    I’ll tell you what, Cabot, since you seem to be itching for a debate; you choose a topic, and if it’s a reasonable topic for debate and we can agree on a few basic rules, I will debate you in an impartial public forum of your choosing so long as I can keep and publish a record of the debate (and you can do the same, if you want). If you choose not to accept this offer, then I expect you to stop making the ridiculous statement that atheists are ‘afraid’ to debate you. Your move.

    • Bertram Cabot

      Sounds good; can you come to Kansas City? (I will chip in on a hotel room if finances are a problem.)

      • Marshall

        No, I’m not going all the way out to Kansas City to debate you. If you want to do this over youtube or in any other public forum on the internet I’m in, but I have neither the time nor the money to come debate you in KC.

        • Bertram Cabot

          You said an impartial public forum of MY choosing. YOU made the offer. And I want in person debate.

          If you are withdrawing the offer, say so, don’t beat around the bush.

          • Marshall

            You are making an unreasonable request here. If you want an in person debate we can do something similar through Skype, I’m not going to go four states over to debate someone I know absolutely nothing about.

          • Bertram Cabot

            Then you should not have made your stupid offer. I don’t want to be on You Tube.

            It could put my life in danger.

          • Marshall

            Look, I’m not flying out to KC just because you’re delusional and think atheists are trying to kill you. My offer stands if you want to do this on the internet. I will admit that I was mistaken in assuming that you would be reasonable enough to accept my offer without expecting me to travel across the country. That was a terrible mistake on my part. So take it or leave it.

  • Bertram Cabot

    By the way, you have not even given your name.

    • Marshall

      I have no intention of doing so. Accept my offer for an internet debate, understanding that I AM NOT CURRENTLY ABLE to travel to KC, or don’t. I really don’t care.

      • Bertram Cabot

        I did accept your offer, you changed the terms. I have been through this before, where the deal keeps changing. I knew a little anonymous troll like you was full of it.

        • Marshall

          Do YOU want to fly out to Las Vegas? Maybe you have the money and time to do that, but I sure as hell don’t. Either accept my revised (YES, I ADMIT, I SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE CLEAR. I apologize for that.) offer, or don’t.

          • Bertram Cabot

            No, I don’t want to fly to Vegas.

            So I don’t accept your “revised” offer.

          • Marshall

            Fine by me. Now, would you please provide the evidence I asked for upthread, or are you going to admit to your lies?

  • passerby

    “Ye best start believin’ in trolls, arrrr” – Pastafarian Pirate.

    What’s funny is that, so far, BC in the threads really hasn’t offered up any sort of argument for the retention of religion aside from the old ‘Atheist governments killed people’ shtick that we all know and love. A few things:

    1) There’s a popular picture going around with pictures of good and bad people that ends with the ‘There are bad people with religion, and good people without religion’ that I think really is the crux of his argument. Stalin was an atheist, yes. That doesn’t necessarily equate to him killing people in the name of Atheism. He killed people because he was a bastard who wanted absolute power over the people. There were probably quite a few atheists that died in the pogroms, as well. Mao’s casualty list is usually attributed to bad policy, most notably the ‘great leap forward’, or ‘trying to turn farmers into steel workers using backyard furnaces and prayer’.

    2) The argument also relies on an overt misdirection: Governments all over the world, regardless of their religious or political stance, have done terrible things to people. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Vatican sanctioning and protecting child rape, Saudi Arabia arresting and executing people for ‘blasphemy’ or the United States detaining Japanese-American citizens for no reason and in violation of the Constitution. It’s still wrong. The problem we have is that governments with religion hide behind their holy books and plead special treatment when they are called out on their bullshit, while secular governments hold people accountable.

    And after that is all said and done, the fact remains that religion continues to poison our youth, desensitize our fellow human brethren, offer an easy out for criminals and tyrants, and hold back the advancement of knowledge and science.

    Also, on an unrelated note:
    “Odin promised an end to the frost giants.”
    “God promised an end to all wicked people.”
    “I don’t see any frost giants around anymore.”

    • Tinker Bell

      Lost in all this is the fact that it is JT who chose to use the words “die” and “casualties” in his rants claiming that religion must die.

      This is no casual remark on JT’s part, no simple “slip”. Look at the caption of his blog where here says he is fighting religion “tooth and claw”. He characterizes his arguments in terms of violent actions.

      This says something about his atheism, although not atheism per se.

      • Tinker Bell

        I am also suprised that Cabot did not simply site Trotsky’s Testament, available on the well known Trotsky.net site (which has all his writings) and in which he makes clear that all his actions were part of his “irreconcilable atheism”.

        Talk about commitment!
        http://www.trotsky.net/trotsky_year/political_testament.html

        • Marshall

          For forty-three years of my conscious life I have remained a revolutionist; for forty-two of them I have fought under the banner of Marxism. If I had to begin all over again I would of course try and avoid this or that mistake, but the main course of my life would remain unchanged. I shall die a proletarian revolutionist, a Marxist, a dialectical materialist, and, consequently, an irreconcilable atheist. My faith in the communist future of mankind is not less ardent, indeed it is firmer today, than it was in the days of my youth.

          Read for comprehension, this doesn’t say what you apparently think it does.

      • Marshall

        Oh piss off. You get the Catholic Church to stop covering up child rape and to start prosecuting offenders, the creationists to stop trying to shove pseudoscience into classrooms, Islamist regimes to stop executing journalists for the made of crime of apostasy and threatening people with violence for drawing cartoons, Scientologists to stop scamming people out of their life savings and suing anyone who criticizes them, Fundamentalist Mormons to stop marrying off teenagers into lives as baby factories, and many other ACTIONS that various religions engage in that actually do real harm to people in the real world, and then maybe I’ll give an eighth of a shit about your worries stemming from your inability to understand metaphor and imagery.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1698151270 John-Henry Beck

        That’s just blatant quote mining without even trying to comprehend what’s written.

        • Tinker Bell

          So claims the self described “anti theist”.

          The “anti theists” are of course the fundamentalists of atheism.

  • Marshall

    And no, that is not proof that Trotsky killed people simply because he was an atheist. Try again.

    • Tinker Bell

      On the contrary, the fifth paragraph makes it clear that his actions were part and parcel of his “irreconcilable atheism”.

      And the very last sentence of his paragraph is his statement of his own faith and his final swipe at religion.

      So of course he failed. As have you, even though you will never admit it in a thread like this.

  • Tinker Bell

    Trotsky was quite a character!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Trotsky#Head_of_the_Red_Army_.28spring_1918.29

    As leader of the Red Army, this self describe “irreconciable atheist” believed that men are animals and the best way to restore order was reinstituing the death penalty.

    • Rumtopf

      And then you get people like Anders Behring Breivik, also criminally insane.

    • Drakk

      You have still not shown that this belief is DUE TO HIS ATHEISM as opposed to a product of his political views or even just his own megalomania.

      Oh, and isn’t that what fundie christians also think? That humans are unworthy creatures who’ve “sinned” and need gawd to keep them in line?

      I distinctly remember that support for the death penalty in America is more common among the more religious areas too.

      • Clarissa

        Actually, if nothing he did was “because” of his atheism, or his atheism had no influence on his actions, then his atheism is pretty meaningless anyway.

        So who cares?

      • anteprepro

        You’re foolishly buying into the premise that there is anything to explain here. And even more foolishly believing that Tinker Bell is honest.

        First off, the fuckwit doesn’t seem to realize that people actually are animals.

        Second off, it’s a tad hypocritical to smear Trotsky over use of the death penalty on treasonous military officers when Americans, to this day, have the death penalty on the table for civilians and military officers if they are “traitors”.

        And, of course, I love the shifting goal-posts here. Are we even going to acknowledge that Trotsky was brought up as an example of a horrible atheist dictator massacring the religious (just like JT wants to!)? Is anyone going to bother to notice that no-one has been arsed to show that Trotsky ever did anything like that? He wasn’t a genocidal dictator, he was a revolutionary for fuck’s sake. And during the time that he actually did have major political office (between Lenin and Stalin), the death penalty was legal again but barely used .

        I suppose I missed the memo saying that war is a-okay unless it’s a revolution (that didn’t happen in North America, of course), that the death penatly is a-okay unless it’s in the military, and that both are on par with genocide.

        But, aside from that, Trotsky is not an example of someone specifically out to kill all the religious. He is not an example of a dictator who tore through his own people like he was a human combine harvester . So arguing about his atheism influencing his actions is really not that fucking important, since his actions aren’t the typical Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot atrocities that we assume them to be. I feel too many of you fell into the unfortunate and foolish habit of trusting this patently idiotic and dishonest breed of godbot trolls. Fix that.

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