Heaven – Do You Qualify?

Feb 9, 2015

Find out if you will be going to heaven according to the bible!

Mike, a doctor, and Brandon, an app developer, both skeptics, collaborated to make the Android app, “The Atheist’s Ally”. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.punch.back&hl=en

After further scriptural analysis they have now produced “Heaven – Do You Qualify”. The video allows you to assess your personal chances of getting to heaven.

If you like the video, please LIKE and SHARE 🙂

Enjoy!

60 comments on “Heaven – Do You Qualify?

  • To be honest, most Christians I know are more concerned about trying to live a good life here on Earth than worrying too much about Heaven.



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  • Writing a critique of the God Delusion for the London Book Review, Terry Eagleton wrote,” Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds.” The same analogy applies to this video. The narration displays a shocking ignorance of Scripture. Dawkins squawks all the time about his tweets being taken out of context, yet the words of Christ and John (Revelations is an allegorical book by the way, always has been) are ripped completely out of context. I know you believe the book to be a bunch of myths but at least get the myths straight. There are plenty of things to bash the Bible about (I believe I know them all), but please use interpretations valid among Christians (unless this is just about setting up straw men and knocking them down, then go get ’em Don Quixote!).

    The arguments and content on this site are just plummeting. Years ago, I found it helpful and invigorating, but this is just sad. It mirrors the crashing fall from grace Dawkins himself has experienced in recent years, not from believers but those on his own team.

    Oh well, I guess we just laugh it off like so many other trivial attacks.



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  • but please use interpretations valid among Christians

    Which Christians? Do you have an approved list of interpretations we should be using? The Catholic church thinks scripture supports a Trinity, while other Christians who strive to avoid removing themselves from the root know a Trinity is nonsense. Lots of Christians in both camps. Parody one and the other may make your same argument.

    -meh



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  • The narration displays a shocking ignorance of Scripture.

    It’d be great if you could point out the mistakes. Are the quotes incorrect? Out of curiosity, I looked up a couple of the references and they appear to be correct.

    The same analogy applies to this video.

    Apart from the fact that I disagree with the analogy (see below). I don’t see how it does. This video is a parody. A comic sketch to highlight some strange things that the Bible says about getting into Heaven and how they contrast with what many might think on the subject. When someone produces a piece like this they are hardly trying to convey, through the piece, their detailed academic knowledge (or not) of what they are parodying. Though they may have significant sophisticated knowledge, this is not the vehicle through which they are communicating this in particular. Whereas Dawkins book is not a short, comic parody but a more in depth look at the topic.

    Writing a critique of the God Delusion for the London Book Review,
    Terry Eagleton wrote,” Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose
    only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds.”

    Biology rests on the scientific method i.e. evidence based conclusions. Religion rests on dogma and a logical house of cards (if you disagree with this, please provide the foundation on which it is based). While if one writes about Biology one would expect that person to have a grounding in, at least, the basics. When writing about religion no one has yet provided anything to have a grounding in except an unshakeable starting belief that “God Exists”, or similar. As it is, Dawkins has demonstrated a reasonable grasp of both philosophy and theology in his writings. If you could point out where he doesn’t… his writings are out there to be critiqued… that’d be interesting to know, and we could have a discussion about that.

    The arguments and content on this site are just plummeting.

    Could you provide some particular examples that we could discuss?

    It mirrors the crashing fall from grace Dawkins himself has experienced in recent years,

    Could you expand on this and provide some evidence of this? I am not aware of any.

    not from believers but those on his own team.

    I wasn’t aware he had “a team” as such unless you count the Richard Dawkins Foundation, and in that case again… could you expand on his fall from grace as regards this “team”?… has he been fired from some position for incompetence? etc.

    Oh well, I guess we just laugh it off

    Neat. I had a good laugh at the video too. I found it very amusing. It is great to know that other people are feeling jovial too… apparently it is good for one’s health 🙂



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  • 11
    EvolvedDNA says:

    Perhaps Nordic you could tell us a little about heaven. I have often wondered if you are naked up there, assuming its up. Are there clothes to wear and who would make them ? What material do they use ..maybe that what they mean by the ‘ fabric of space ? “or do you just use what you had on when you expired. If we are to be naked I guess its time for me to buff up and lose some of this additional star stuff I have acquired.



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  • Christians are sometimes characterised as following the faith because of the promise of future rewards. Heaven is seen as a bribe. That doesn’t meet with my experience.
    I find that Christians tend to think of Heaven in terms of others, particularly in terms of loved ones who have died. For themselves, it’s not the promise of a future Heaven which drives their faith but the reality of a present God.
    Though, of course, that’s only my personal experience…



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  • 13
    Cairsley says:

    Although Nordic is right to complain that the scriptural quotations in this video are taken out of context or otherwise misconstrued (according to Nicene orthodoxy), that still seems to be missing the point of the video. It does not really matter how the scriptural references are applied or which ones are applied to make up the questionnaire for one’s admissibility into Heaven; after all, the ways in which these texts have been used in this video are not unlike the ways they have been used by theologians for centuries. The point seemed to be to present the Judaeo-Christian tradition as in various ways a limitation or blight on life, which one is much better off without. The video ends with the positive message that one should make good use of one’s resources and enjoy life to the full; to which I will readily say, Amen!



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  • Nordic11,

    Any Christian would agree all the Scripture references were taken out
    of context. For that matter, any unbiased English teacher would
    probably say the same thing.

    You’re welcome to your opinion about how someone interprets text but the moment you automatically assume what all Christians think you start straining any credibility. You’ve been on this site long enough to have seen many different translations and interpretations of most every Christian idea and bible verse, from many different flavors of Christianity. There is in fact very little absolutely every Christian agrees on, as so many are so hung up on their person version to placate themselves or to try to derail serious debate on the issue.

    It would be far harder to find Christians who could put the book in your specific context because no Christian is held to a specific regimen or level of knowledge about either biblical scholarship or historical context to become a Christian. You pretty much only have to declare yourself a Christian to have anyone take such a claim seriously. So, I would hold off on the ‘any Christian would agree’ bit. Many scholarly Christians might agree, but even then to say all would be dismissive and likely inaccurate.

    I’d avoid speaking for all English teachers too, just to be on the safe side. Do you know whether or not all English teachers are of the sort that take the bible literally? That take specific sections literally, perhaps? That take everything as allegory, hyperbole or entirely historical without any evidence to support it? Unless you know all English teachers (unbiased or otherwise) or indeed all Christians speaking for all of them is both foolhardy and hyperbolic, to say nothing of outright false. You would have been better off with many biblical scholars would agree or some equivalent. Don’t try to speak for everyone.

    And, to be fair, many sources of info regarding Heaven appear to be extra-biblical, the result of many things people have devised about it over the long course since the gospels were written. I don’t recall any verses of people literally sitting on clouds, being brought back to earth as angels, white lights when you die or any of the stuff that is commonplace when your see movies or read books about perceptions of Heaven.

    So perhaps we should scale back the righteous indignation and admit that not every Christian sees things like you do or even engages in these discussions. This is your position, please don’t attempt to argue from authority, or somehow attempt to cast every Christian as thinking just like you on this. It’s disingenuous.



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  • David R Allen Feb 9, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Coming back to your namesake again:-

    http://www.mentalhealthforum.net/forum/thread53596.html
    Dave Allen once told this joke

    A fellow dies and goes to heaven.
    St Peter lets him through the pearly gates and he wanders round playing his harp and chatting to people. There are all sorts of people there, white, brown, yellow, women, men, young, old.
    He is free to wander everywhere it seems,
    But on one side there is a high wall. Too high to see over.
    It puzzles him so he asks St Peter what’s going on, why is there a wall?
    St. Peter says: “[shhhuuuuush] On the other side of the wall are the Catholics, they think they’re the only ones here.”




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  • Any god who would require a women to marry her rapist is an abomination to me. Spend eternity with this god? I would rather go to hell on moral grounds…..

    Deuteronomy 22:28-29 New International Version (NIV)

    28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.



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  • 18
    Stephen says:

    Christians take the scriptures out of context all the time to justify homophobia, oppression of women, racism, slavery, oppose abortion, oppose stem cell research. I thought the video highlighted the problems of a literal interpretation of cherry picked passages very well, which is the whole point.



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  • Interesting statement indeed, actually many people before you hold the same views..that’s why we now have: Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglicans, Baptists, Fundamentalist Christianity, Pietism, Evangelicalism, Pentecostalism and the Holiness movement, Latter Day Saint movement and Mormonism.
    All of them just interpret the bible the way they like..which one are you..Catholic I presume ?



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  • Nordic 11:

    The narration displays a shocking ignorance of Scripture.

    Hah ! So is Nordic saying the quotes are inaccurate, out of context, allegorical etc ? No he’s just having a dig at Richard Dawkins and the rest of the regulars here. Snide stuff Nordic, – not really worthy of you.



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  • Nordic 11:

    There are plenty of things to bash the Bible about (I believe I know them all), but please use interpretations valid among Christians (unless this is just about setting up straw men and knocking them down, then go get ‘em Don Quixote!).

    Please don’t huff and puff too much Nordic. Non belief is too well established around here, but we will change our minds in the event of new evidence being presented.

    Nice to see your holy book is apparently bashable. You could have been burnt for that statement 500 years ago. Oh and how can:

    Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

    be taken out of context ? (Exodus 22.18)



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  • I’ve got to say that this doesn’t accord with my personal experience (as with yours… just personal experience… it would be interesting to know if anyone on this site can provide any reference to relevant studies . questionnaires etc.)

    In Australia there are groups who evangelise at school’s with the whole heaven and hell thing… completely carrot and stick. Though there are those who have campaigned against this and are having quite a bit of success in removing the groups from Schools.

    In terms of the promises related to loved ones I would tend to see this as a bribe. Not sure what else it is. The bribe of comfort gained from believing there is some place where deceased loved ones still exist and that one will meet up with them again one day.

    It seems to me that the history of the success of religions relates to people being provided “inducements” of one sort or another to believe, and punishements for leaving, once you are in. Obviously the punishments for leaving a religion vary over time and between religions and the decline of the CoE (and similar organisations) is possibly due to its very gentle approach to these things… the current grip of Islamism in certain areas being due to the very aggressive marketing of inducements and punishments – which, as far as I understand, has historcially not always been like this with Islam possibly representing a more enlightened approach around, say, the time of the crusades.

    I think the bizarre success (monetary) of those who claim to be able to talk to loved ones in that “other place” is an indication of how many people see such things as an “enticement”. And this, despite both the work of debunkers such as Derren Brown etc. who clearly explain how these things are done and the inability of anyone to reproduce such effects under any conditions that would disable potential tricks that can be used.

    In addition, I think the video achieves its aim of pointing out how such comforting beliefs (that pretty much come out of people’s desirous imaginings and the marketing of priests) definitely don’t come from information provided in the Bible which, as with anything else, would require amazing feats of mental gymnastics to extract a coherent viewpoint from the book as a whole or, otherwise, becomes cherry picking… and I think the question then becomes where do the values come from that justify the cherry picking?



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  • It’s a video by non-believers for non-believers so I guess it’s for non-believers to judge its success or otherwise.

    For myself, like many Christians, I don’t have any difficulty in finding a coherent message in the Bible; the difficulty comes in trying to live it.



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  • Ewan Feb 10, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    For myself, like many Christians, I don’t have any difficulty in finding a coherent message in the Bible; the difficulty comes in trying to live it.

    Many Xtians find coherent messages in the bible.
    The problem is that the messages are all different.
    That is why they are called “denominations” of Xtianity!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

    It is a characteristic of “faith thinking”, that numerous people can read the same texts, and claim they have different meanings!



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  • But a piece of text can have many meanings, at many different levels. I love reading poetry; the “meaning” of what I read is hardly objective.



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  • @ Nordic: At the risk of using an ad hominem, I’d like to ask, politely. Why are you here? You know this is primarily an intellectual playground for atheists and agnostics, and surely, you are not expecting to convert us to your beliefs. Are you having doubts about your own faith? Are you troubled by the inconsistencies both in the bible and in your own religious colleagues’ interpretations? Do you wince and feel a bit defenseless when someone points out that a benevolent deity would not allow infants, animals, and the truly innocent to suffer from say, cancers, tsunamis, droughts? You do seem to be hauling out a lot of long disproven arguments (such as “You don’t understand theology), which are thoroughly refuted, and still you persist. If you are testing the apostate waters, I invite you to come on in. Doubt is very good for the mind (and you’ll meet much more interesting women)
    .



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  • Ewan Feb 11, 2015 at 2:02 am

    But a piece of text can have many meanings, at many different levels. I love reading poetry; the “meaning” of what I read is hardly objective.

    Poetry leads to entertaining emotional responses.

    Questions about scientific or historical facts and reality, only have one correct answer. Other “interpretations” are fantasy.



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  • I know you edit out any part of the bible that diametrically opposes your core moral beliefs. I will not attack you for that in my fighting against totalitarian christians.

    You clearly are a kind decent human being. As most christians are.

    For me, I equate religion like drugs. Fine in small dosages. I smoke marijuana to alleviate stress in conjunction with other medication. But I never get high. If I became a pot head though? Some people can handle snorting coccain. Many can’t. I tried it 02 years ago, and never since. If it helps a person, cool. Not my business. But overdoing anything ends up badly. Religion is no different than any other drug.



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  • No.. The bible apologists will assert the sentences and paragraphs were taken out of context. Sometimes, yes they are. But in almost everything? No..

    The “taken out of context” is a blanket go to defense against anything that is immoral or evil from our modern day moral standards that is in the bible…

    Putting a woman to death if she is not a virgin on her wedding day? That is not taken out of context.

    That is still in the bible. If it no longer applies, it should be removed wouldn’t you think? You don’t see any modern day science book referencing the brontosaurus because that creature never existed. The archaeologists wrongly combined bones from two different dinosaur species into a model. Other scientists shot that down (that is the primary goal of scientists – to prove established science wrong – you only get accolades for further defining or even changing the fundamental understanding of something).



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  • Any Christian would agree all the Scripture references were taken out
    of context. For that matter, any unbiased English teacher would
    probably say the same thing.

    I have argued the same for Islam and you can argue for politics and almost anything else. People live peaceful lives and then some don’t. That is a separate argument from whether religion as a whole is to be taken seriously. Take out the mumbo jumbo and you are left with a practical, reasonable and sensible way of life.



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  • I would have thought that historians were capable of coming up with all kinds of different interpretations of, for instance, historical documents. Lawyers certainly make a good living from their varying interpretations of the same piece of text. Surely even scientists, when presented with a particular set of data, might occasionally interpret it differently?

    The idea that a phrase such as Love your neighbour as yourself can have only one meaning, with all other interpretations being fantastic, seems flawed to me.



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  • 37
    fadeordraw says:

    1st – much of the above discussion seems to be about taking the video’s statements literally – some irony in that.
    2nd – I would have shared it but the last part, including the elimination of heaven, got silly, beyond something completely different. If it had just stayed with rules to get into heaven, the laugh would have been better for me. It was well done and I enjoyed it.



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  • I kinda knew I wasn’t going to Heaven, I’m just glad there’s no Hell, except for all the B.S. / the problems the religious crowd bring about.



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  • For myself, like many Christians, I don’t have any difficulty in
    finding a coherent message in the Bible; the difficulty comes in
    trying to live it.

    Could you explain how you come up with that coherent message… that is, beyond just cherry picking based on values that you have developed without reference to the Bible?

    I would have thought that historians were capable of coming up with
    all kinds of different interpretations of, for instance, historical
    documents.

    Sure. But rather than being able to dogmatically claim they are correct… or being lauded by all historians for being correct. If they are to sort out which interpretation is correct they either have to collect more evidence or admit to not being able to choose between the two… sometimes the artifacts and documentation are not enough to provide a definitive answer. As opposed to religion which is not based on evidence or the collecting of more evidence but dogmatic statements that have been handed down by word of mouth or written form (Bible, Koran etc.) which have no evidentiary or rational underpinnings. Of course, historians, as others have egos, jobs and reputations to protect and can get heated and irrationally protect their pet idea… but the historical process and the historical community is not based around this… as it is with religion which is not based on any requirement for evidence, data etc.

    Surely even scientists, when presented with a particular set of data,
    might occasionally interpret it differently?

    Yes… quite a lot of the time. But the difference is that they then perform further experiments driven by the questions that the data has thrown up, to decide between those two interpretations… they don’t just get to plump for one. Again, significantly different from the non-existent religious process.

    By your statements you are 1. Somehow implying that the Bible is historical or scientific “data”. 2. Implying that the process of interpreting the Bible is equivalent to an investigative process that historians or scientistists use.

    You could make a claim that the Bible is historical data i.e. an historical document. Well then, treat it as such, find correlating evidence, find other sources that lend credence to the historical events described by the bible… also one would need to think carefully about the content and compare to our knowledge of the world (e.g. there is a reason we are quite happy to think of King Arthur and the lady of the lake etc. as myth… it doesn’t correlate with what we know about the world… ditto with water into wine etc.). Though then there is a problem that you want to interpret it as allegorical etc., an ancient self-help book akin to “Chicken Soup for the Soul”:

    But a piece of text can have many meanings, at many different levels.
    I love reading poetry; the “meaning” of what I read is hardly
    objective.

    And then, I thought it was all a matter of “faith” not evidence. You seem to want it all ways.

    If your position is based on “faith” (holding an intellectual position with no evidence)?… then by the definition of “faith” there is really nothing I can do to argue against the details… I can only talk about how dangerous a position that is… one can justify anything from that sort of position i.e. “suicide bombing = good”… not that you would, but by promoting that sort of approach to thinking, you are implicit in spreading that approach to thinking and hence the ability for people to use such thinking to justify any act they like… it’s similar to dividing by zero in math (one can then prove any math statement).

    Or do you just see it as a “Chicken Soup” book… in which case, while you cherry pick the words that might make you feel comfortable (I hope only some of them i.e. not the rape, pillage etc.) what relevance do they have to reality i.e. in saying anything about the existence of a “God” (in whatever form you might imagine it)? So you are a “Christian” because you like bits of the Bible… is that it?… if there is some other foundation on which you are basing your group affiliation it would be good to know.



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  • I wonder if atheism can be likened to dieting. Certain aspects of reality are avoided in the hope that this will lead to a more satisfactory life.

    The trouble with dieting is that it tends to deal with the superficial effects of dissatisfaction rather than its underlying causes.



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  • I wonder if atheism can be likened to dieting. Certain aspects of reality are avoided in the hope that this will lead to a more satisfactory life.

    I would argue that I am avoiding wasting my time with things I can not confirm to be real. For me it is not about hoping the belief or non-belief in certain propositions will be of benefit to me rather that I care what is true. If I had a terminal disease I would want to know that unpleasant truth so I could prepare my family, etc. for the harsh reality. That freedom from religion, is actually liberating and gives me a happier life is actually an unexpected side benefit, as I became an atheist trying to argue my father out of his only to have the tables turned so to speak.

    The idea that a phrase such as Love your neighbour as yourself can have only one meaning, with all other interpretations being fantastic, seems flawed to me.

    Can you please tell me what the alternative explanation is for this passage?

    However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of
    such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your
    land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your
    children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like
    this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated
    this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)



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  • What is hideous about this is irony as to why this was considered moral judgement. It is considered moral only because women are seen as possessions of the father who he can sell like a cow or goat. That he has to pay 50 shekels (which after some Internet searching appears to be worth in today’s dollars varies in pure metal prices about $450 but as silver was rarer and harder to get perhaps as much as $1666 – a bargain for a human being but I grant a bit hard to work out perhaps someone here has a better idea) to the father. And is forced to never divorce her certainly undermines the family values sprouted today (Christians – should never divorce) well clearly divorce was okay unless you had raped some girl and made her unclean as a result and therefore no longer allowed. So this was considered a kindness to her also, no-one else would want her after all. What a sick religion.

    I imagine that many would have used it as a method of acquiring a wife who he otherwise may not have been able to obtain. Still it’d cost him as much a medium sized Flat screen TV so he was punished.



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  • I wonder if atheism can be likened to dieting. Certain aspects of reality are avoided in the hope that this will lead to a more satisfactory life.

    No Ewan. Atheism most closely resembles sobriety. David is quite correct to compare religion with drug abuse.

    The trouble with dieting is that it tends to deal with the superficial effects of dissatisfaction rather than its underlying causes.

    Religion and drug abuse constitute alternative strategies for avoiding reality. Although abusing drugs can be hazardous they’re still a safer bet than religion because you can titrate your use of drugs, or take a day or more off.
    Religion is more dangerous for not allowing periods of sobriety.



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  • Joe Feb 12, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Funny how I joined this site for the reason and science but NO ONE can get their head out of their butt to actually talk about science and reason. You all really need to get some freaking therapy. Science ANYONE

    For detailed science you need to pick the science discussion topics.

    Try this one.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/01/planets-outside-our-solar-system-may-be-more-hospitable-to-life-than-thought-research-suggests/

    or this one:-

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/02/novel-technology-could-combat-flight-pollution/



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  • Joe Feb 12, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    I’m sorry you have no answer to my question.

    There is an answer from me, with two links to science discussions, but it is awaiting moderation.
    It suggests you look for science discussions from the index where science topics and other topics are listed, rather than wondering why we are not concentrating on science in a discussion of a religious comedy spoof.



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  • If you give the chapter and verse, you can have all the context you want. Nobody ever manages to change the meaning of a quote by quoting a larger context. They hope you will be snowed that the embarrassment will go away with more context.



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  • Hi Richard,

    Here’s a gift of love, science and reason for you. You should get together with Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks who’s very interested in merging religion and science, and the two of you should write a sequel to The God Delusion called The Hormonal Illusion. Look at the relationships between fear, vitamin D, alcohol consumption, geographical location, economic circumstance and other factors that shape our wishful thinking.

    BTW, unless it comes with a swiss bank account, I wouldn’t want to qualify.



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  • I laughed pretty hard… though sadly, many of my friends and family still believe that sitting in a cavernous hypocrite-den once per week is going to “save” them from a mythical place of fire and doom.

    For me, Atheism is the way, the truth, and the life – freedom from religion is more important than freedom of religion.



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  • Ewan Feb 12, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    No Ewan. Atheism most closely resembles sobriety. David is quite correct to compare religion with drug abuse.

    That all suggests that religious parties are a lot more fun.

    Ah! The happy buzz of self deception, with no thought of the future!

    Superficial glib answers without a depth of thought, are how drug users get into addiction with all the negative consequences and withdrawal symptoms they don’t look at, when they start down that road!



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