Will You Be Openly Secular?

Apr 21, 2015

[cbc_video id=”86129″ volume=”30″ width=”640″ aspect_ratio=”16×9″ autoplay=”0″ controls=”1″]

By David Niose

Within the secular movement there are many disagreements. Seculars will argue endlessly, for example, over which label is best: atheist, humanist, agnostic, freethinker, or something else. Or they’ll debate over whether their groups should work closely with liberal religious groups when they have common goals, or whether they should take positions on political issues that are not directly related to secularism. And of course, there are always arguments over how assertive seculars should be in criticizing religion.

In fact, there may be only one issue on which virtually everyone within the secular movement agrees: If you are a religious skeptic of one kind or another, you should openly identify as such if at all possible. That is, if you happen to be an atheist, agnostic, humanist, or freethinker, for goodness sake please identify openly as such, because doing so raises the visibility of the secular demographic, which is too often invisible.

This “be open” concept is somewhat analogous to the strategy of the gay rights movement, which has seen much success by encouraging gays and lesbians to “come out of the closet.” Once people realized that some of their friends, neighbors, and family members were gay, it became much harder to hate the entire demographic. Open identity is a first step to social acceptance.

Thus, many seculars are excited about the upcoming “Openly Secular Day”(link is external) on April 23, a day for nonbelievers everywhere to be open about their personal secularity. The event is sponsored, appropriately enough, by a group called Openly Secular, which describes its mission as “to eliminate discrimination and increase acceptance by getting secular people—including atheists, freethinkers, agnostics, humanists, and nonreligious people—to be open about their beliefs.”


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97 comments on “Will You Be Openly Secular?

  • my name is Kay, and I am not secular.
    there is no such thing as secular, because God created the whole world, and there is no part that he does not rule. there is therefore no such thing as secular. it is an illusion.

    what people mean is they are of the atheist faith.



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  • You want us to believe “God created the whole world” despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    I doubt it is because you consider yourself the world’s greatest authority on the matter.

    Why do you believe this?

    What evidence is there that I should believe this?

    You know where you are. Pope-like pronouncements are laughable here. They are a sign of conceit magnified to mental illness. You have to give supporting reasons and evidence to be taken seriously.



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  • what people mean is they are of the atheist faith

    Faith is defined as a belief in something in the absence of evidence, or contrary to evidence. Basically pretty stupid. Since a rational mind doesn’t believe in something without evidence, it doesn’t believe in god(s) squared. So you can’t join the words “Atheist” and “Faith”. They are mutually exclusive. You would know this if you had a rational mind.



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  • 8
    aroundtown says:

    King David, King Solomon, Moses, Jesus, and many others, are figures that have been woven into a tale from the past but there is no proof of their existence. It’s interesting that the written word was available in those times but no corroborating evidence, material or hard archeological proof has been found to support these proposed events.

    Concepts of all powerful gods have never been in short supply, in fact there have thousands of them, but choosing one and saying my invisible friend trumps your invisible friend is no going to prove anything. The idea that we need to bow down to these constructs, or fear them, is simply unwarranted.



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  • “Faith is defined as a belief in something in the absence of evidence, or contrary to evidence.”

    If a Christian were to accept that definition of faith, then I would agree it would be pretty irrational. Where did you come up with that definition? Do you have a source?

    “Since a rational mind doesn’t believe in something without evidence..”

    So, you won’t mind me asking what your evidence is for your definition of faith? Respectfully, of course…



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  • “You want us to believe “God created the whole world” despite all the evidence to the contrary.”

    I am truly curious. What is all the evidence to the contrary?



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  • Kay, I agree that atheism is certainly a faith, but I can’t see how you call it an illusion. An illusion is a distortion of the senses, which are material. If atheism is a faith, of which you and I both agree, then it involves more than just the senses. It certainly does involve the senses, but it is more than that…



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  • Ryan, Kay is not the only one concerned. Although I can certainly understand the disdain at that language, think of it from the perspective of atheist Penn Jillete (from Penn and Teller)

    Penn Jillette says he doesn’t respect people who don’t proselytize. Wow. An atheist who supports Christians who share their faith. And the reason? It’s just common sense.

    “How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize?” Jillette asked. “How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? If I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming at you and you didn’t believe it, and that truck was bearing down on you, there’s a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”

    Now THAT is a perspective that is difficult to argue with, EVEN IF a person gets irritated when they are witnessed to by a person of ANY religion….



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  • aroundtown, the position of the nonexistence of Jesus of Nazareth is not supported in scholarly circles. Do you really believe that Jesus never existed?



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  • 16
    aroundtown says:

    @Ron

    David hasn’t commented but I will offer my two cents. I think Kay accomplished the task of stirring the pot so to speak but the subsequent discussions are running reality off the rail so to speak. No need to give a lot of credence to the delusion in my opinion. Respectfully offered of course.

    My Mac’s dictionary describes faith as follows: Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. For me this is comparing apples to apples as concerns David’s opinion on faith “Faith is defined as a belief in something in the absence of evidence, or contrary to evidence.” For me the point is adequate in either description.

    I often gravitate to analogies so I will sum it up like this regarding faith and religion – religious belief and all the conditions associated with it, when argued as having credence, is nothing more than trying to wrap the religious package in various wrapping papers with a fancy bow, in the end it is still a package of delusion no matter which wrapping paper was used. Belief in absolutely nothing, and judging people on made up principles, as is the wont of the religious, is simply outrageous, but they have gotten away with it for a long long time.



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  • 17
    aroundtown says:

    You got it on the first swing. The name Jesus is not even applicable to the date of usage. This is a small point among many. No proof, no man, sorry.



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  • 18
    RonHill says:

    I said the NONexistence of Jesus is not supported in scholarly cirlces. (you gotta hate the double negative)

    What would you accept as “proof?”



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  • 19
    aroundtown says:

    It’s similar to the exodus tale. No investigative principles in the day so they wouldn’t have been concerned that archeologist in the future would find no evidence of latrines or potter shards of Jewish manufacture along the supposed trail when they wove the tale, hey that rhymes. If they had been a little more crafty they could have placed some of that stuff, like a miner shooting gold into a wall to suggest real gold deposits, but alas there was nothing there for the academics to discover.



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  • 20
    RonHill says:

    aroundtown, I think the Christian notion of faith is very much wrapped up with evidence. I just don’t understand where David got his definition of faith, because I have never heard that.



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  • 22
    aroundtown says:

    Equine training course certificate with the name “I am” Jesus, radiocarbon dated to the specific age. That would do. Or sufficient documentation from alternate sources without bias to religious proposition.



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  • 23
    RonHill says:

    “Equine training course certificate with the name “I am” Jesus, radiocarbon dated to the specific age.”

    That’s funny!

    I kinda like this site. You guys are smart. You will stretch my intellect. I will return. Signing off for the night.

    I will leave you with this thought. There are secular and non-Christian sources to the existence of Jesus of Naz, which make His existence overwhelmingly agreed upon by scholars. I have read the arguments disputing many of these sources. It appears to me that the people who do so are really performing intellectual gymnastics in order to do so.



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  • Christians make a much stronger claim than that.

    They claim God created it as described in the inerrant bible.

    I have written a essay on why the noah story could not be true. RDF rules prevent me for citing the URL. You cannot even begin to fit a sample of all the world’s animals in such an ark. There is no way a team of 3 could collect and sustain them all. No zoo on earth comes remotely close to sampling every species.

    We have DNA, geological, radiometric, fossil evidence that the world could not possibly be 6000 years old. We know the earth is not the center of the solar system. We know it does not have a oceanic envelope. We know it is not square or flat. We know it has no pillars. There is no evidence of a global flood. There is no record in the DNA of such a recent extinction event.

    We can see light arriving from 13 billion years ago.

    There is no archaeology to support Moses or David, or Nazareth.

    If you discard the entire Christian myth, saying a god created the universe has no more evidence to support it than saying a primordial octopus did. It is pure speculation. There is a much better explanation, one that math points to.



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  • I think the Christian notion of faith is very much wrapped up with evidence.

    About now Ron, we need to hear you articulate the evidence. It always comes to this position and the religious always fall at this hurdle. Would you like to give it a shot and change the world, by articulating the evidence that proves god.

    We’re all waiting Ron.



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  • Some definitions of faith:

    Faith is believing what you know isn’t so.

    ~ Mark Twain (born: 1835-11-30 died: 1910-04-21 at age: 74)

    Faith: Pretending to know things you don’t know.

    ~ Dr. Peter Bogghossian Portland State University

    Faith is believing in stuff that nobody in their right mind would believe.

    ~ Archie Bunker

    Faith is the permission religious people give one another to believe ridiculous things.

    ~ Sam Harris (born: 1967-01-01 age: 48)

    Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.

    ~ Henry Louis Mencken (born: 1880-09-12 died: 1956-01-29 at age: 75)

    Faith: not wanting to know what is true.

    ~ Friedrich Nietzsche (born: 1844-10-15 died: 1900-08-25 at age: 55)

    According to Dr. Peter Boghossian, faith is claiming to know things you do not know. So, if you say Life would be empty without faith what you are actually saying is Life would be empty if I stopped pretending to know things I do not know. Really?

    ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 67)

    Faith is believing without evidence. For the Christian, faith is the highest virtue. For the atheist, it is the ultimate foolishness. For the con man, it is the ultimate opportunity.

    ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 67)

    Faith is the deliberate lack of critical thinking. Faith is intentional gullibility. How can people be so bullied as to think this is a Good Thing™?

    ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 67)

    Faith is pretending to believe an authority when you strongly suspect he is lying.

    ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 67)

    When people talk about faith in god, they really mean faith in what some con man told them about god.

    ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 67)

    Faith healing amounts to saying “Go away you nasty disease or I’ll ask my invisible friend to beat the crap out of you”, in a way that impresses the heck out of the patient.

    ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 67)



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  • When I say there is no evidence of a global flood, I mean it is the sense of there is no evidence of an adult hippopotamus living in your son’s bedroom. It is not as though you did not look hard enough. If there were one, there would some very obvious evidence. The lack of evidence means you can be sure there is no hippo.



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  • hello friends. I need a favor. Will you give me your best examples from scripture for atheism? Thanks. I need it for a debate.

    As far as this argument about faith – both greek and hebrew words for faith ( pistis and emunah ) incorporate faithfulness as the meaning. Faith is faithfulness, faithfulness is faith. When God states in the bible that without faith it is impossible to please him, it isn’t asking people to muster up some magical fairy dust from their innermost belief in everything nonsensical. For the Christian faith/faithfulness can be summed up in two commandments, on which hang the entire contents of Scripture. Love the Lord Your God…, Love your neighbor as yourself.

    The merits of Christian faith are evidenced by living faithfully. “Faithfulness is the substance of what is hoped for, and the evidence of things unseen”. For me this puts it in a totally different light.

    Thanks for your time.



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  • War Between Science and Religion

    In the days of Galileo, the war between science and the church was mainly constrained to astronomy. The church has since given up that fight. Because of all the focus on evolution, you might think evolution is the only area where science debunks religion. Every single discovery of modern astronomy and cosmology completely conflicts with the bible. Black holes, pulsars, quasars, galaxies, supernovae… could not exist in a 4000 year old universe. If the bible were right, Einstein would have to be wrong. But if Einstein were wrong, GPS would be impossible. We also tend to forget the bible asserts the earth is flat and square, the center of the universe, surrounded by an aerial ocean and that the stars are holes is a solid firmament canopy. You can sail off the edge. The bible is just as wrong today as it was in Galileo’s time. It is even more absurd than ever to claim it is inerrant.



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  • In my view Christians are the sinners. They are the ones who kill by interfering with HIV education.
    They are the ones who form gangs and beat gays to death. They are the ones who meddle in other people’s end-of-life and family planning decisions. They are the ones who deny their children health care. They are the ones who kill pregnant woman by meddling with their medical issues. They are the ones who throw their kids out onto the street just for being gay. They are the ones who refuse to desegregate. They are the ones who attacked Afghanistan and Iraq for no good reason.



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  • Jesus has a real credibility problem. There was no Nazareth at the time of Jesus.

    Imagine a carpenter wanted to put in a sink for you. He showed you his ID. It showed him born in a non-existence city. Does that not raise a red flag?

    Normally only fictitious people are born in fictitious cities. Crooks usually pick a real city to pretend to be born in.

    Another explanation is the story of Jesus and Nazareth was written many years later when there was a city of Nazareth, so it seemed a plausible phony home for the fictitious hero.



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  • Roedy – Your credibility problem is solved by reading the Gemara and the Mishnah. Those documents consistently refer to Jesus the Nazarene, Jesus from Nazareth, etc. If there were no Nazareth they would not say Jesus was a Nazarene.



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  • 35
    RonHill says:

    @David R Allen

    Can we PROVE God exists?

    This question has an inherent over-reaching nature. “Prove” is a strong word that without qualification sets an unrealistically high bar. What would satisfy a person as “proof?” Proof beyond a shadow of a doubt?

    In our criminal justice system, proof is satisfied if it is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In addition, “preponderance of the evidence,” (also known as balance of probabilities) is the standard required in most civil cases. This standard is met if the proposition is MORE LIKELY to be true than not true.

    So instead of trying to “prove” God’s existence, which is a standard that we rarely ever define in such a question, it is better to offer SOME GOOD REASONS to believe in God. So what are some positive reasons we can give for believing in God (outside of quoting Bible verses, which is circular reasoning to an unbeliever)?



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  • Kay
    Apr 21, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Jesus is the son of the living God.
    He died for you sins.

    Unfortunately; as the story of Adam and Eve, forbidden fruit, and “original sin”, are just long refuted fairy stories, there was no need for anyone to “die for human sins”, – although many have died because of religious conflicts and religious bigotry.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-beheading-of-coptic-christians-the-egyptian-village-wracked-by-grief-for-young-men-killed-by-militants-10051487.html



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  • RonHill
    Apr 21, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    aroundtown, the position of the nonexistence of Jesus of Nazareth is not supported in scholarly circles.

    Any record existence of gospel Jesus is notably lacking from contemporary records kept by Romans or any archaeology.
    Biblical claims of mass gatherings and miracles really should have been noticed by the Roman record keepers.

    There are plenty of “scholarly” speculations, and some conflicting “gospels”, written decades or centuries later. Nothing contemporary or within decades.

    Do you really believe that Jesus never existed?

    There may have been such a person, or the stories could be composites of some of the numerous itinerant preachers roaming the area at the time. They are likely to be embroidered with added fictions to match up with earlier “prophesies”, or the agendas of the various Xtian sects.

    The Dead Sea Scrolls and other preserved archaeological documents give conflicting accounts.



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  • RonHill
    Apr 22, 2015 at 4:11 am

    Can we PROVE God exists?

    Which one? There are thousands of them!

    The onus of proof is on the believer – Negative proof fallacies don’t count!

    The neuroscientists however, have identified various locations in brains, and are getting very near to proving where god(delusion)s exist!



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  • If this Kay is not a wind up then I’m visualising her with her knickers on her head with a pencil stuffed up both nostrils!

    but the posts are far more likely to be some teenage boy having a laarf on the internet. seeing how many wind-up persona’s he can use to while away the time for the next refractory period to end so he can masturbate!



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  • So what are some positive reasons we can give for believing in God…

    You posed the question? Your answer?

    There is no proof that god exists. And, there is no proof that god doesn’t exist. Equal. Nul issue. In the absence of evidence, a rational person retires with no opinion and awaits further evidence. Absence of evidence leaves an open question, which to a rational person, sits on the shelf awaiting further data / information / analysis / conclusion. I am aware of the legal hierarchy and while that may apply to we mortals, it is not available as a justification for “Obeying” a god, to do anything, some of which are very evil things, without proof beyond a shadow of doubt. To act, on a mere balance of probabilities and kill someone, cannot be a supportable argument. To act in god’s name in the absence of any evidence is fool hardy, yet millions do it and sleep well at night.

    But science is different. There are no facts in science. There are no proofs. There are only probabilities. Some probabilities are so high, that for everyday usage, they can be assumed to be a fact, and acted upon. Newton’s laws are adequate to get us to the moon, but they are wrong. I know your smart enough to join the dots. Relativity. Quantum Theory. Speed of Light. Evolution. Taken as fact, in the absence of evidence to the contrary. Some probabilities are still a bit fifty / fifty. Dark Matter. Dark energy etc.

    But lets put god through the scientific skeptic’s probability test. What is the probability that a supernatural entity, that has zero proof of existence, has for the last 13.7 billion years, done nothing. Then, 3 thousand years ago, in a universe filled with billions of galaxies, all filled with billions upon billions of stars, all with (Insert a really big number here) planets, decides that in some minor galaxy, out on the edge where some boring star, has a planet with life, he chooses one illiterate shepherd over all other homo sapiens, and decides they’re his [pet favourites, and gives them land and kills other tribes and plays favourites even though all life in the universe is his creation. Is this a nice person? Should you worship an entity with the personality profile. What is the probability.

    What is the probability that miracles happen at the behest of this deity, which requires the laws of physics to be constantly broken, and no one has ever detected a miracle. There has never been a miracle on earth. What is the probability that the religious books, full of errors and contradictions, were written by this perfect omniscient, omnipotent deity. And finally, what is the probability, that your particular god, out of all the millions of gods, saints, tree spirits, rainbow serpents that have ever been worshiped, is actually the real one.

    To posit a God breaks Ockham’s Razor. He is not needed to explain anything. To insert god just adds extra complications to issues which already have solutions, and so is disposed of by Ockham’s ever so accurate Razor.

    Ron. You are an atheist, just like me. Try and do some maths on the number of deities worshiped by homo sapiens over their history. Everyone of these gods is numerically equal in probability. There is no evidence for any of them. But you don’t believe in Thor, or Jupiter. You don’t believe in Allah, or the Australian aborigines Rainbow Serpent dream time legends. You don’t believe in the Inca and Mayan gods, or the native American gods. There have been millions of gods worshiped since the Homo species became sentient. Do some maths. If you don’t believe in any of those millions of gods except your own personal pick, then you are a 99.999,999 percent atheist. I don’t know your education level, but when you are presented with a number like this, you round up. You ignore the 0.000,000,1 chance that you’ve nailed the right god. Welcome aboard Ron.

    The probability that a god exists, is so small, it is almost negligible.



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  • RonHill,

    From the American Heritage Dictionary:

    Sin:
    1. A transgression of a religious or moral law esp. when deliberate. 2. Theol. A condition of estrangement from God as a result of breaking God’s law. 3. An offense, violation, fault, or error.

    You’re right. It’s good to have a precise understanding of these words in order to avoid confusion in communication.

    Sin is a creation of the religious powers that be, and is used as a device to control people’s behavior. Especially women’s behavior. I reject every bit of it.

    I access ethics and look to our pragmatic philosophers for help in understanding ethics as a way to understand what is right and wrong, good and bad, valuable and not valuable. It’s a highly superior framework to the one that I started out my life in (through no choice of my own).

    Ethics and my personal studies on Evolutionary Psych, Bio, Anthropology, etc have come together to provide what I hope is a realistic view of my fellow humans and their nature. It’s not a perfect picture but I want to do the best I can with what I’ve got. The concept of sin is a very negative, cruel and unrealistic system that should have been left back in the dust of the Middle Eastern desert where it came from. We can do much better than that now.



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  • RonHill
    Apr 22, 2015 at 12:09 am

    I said the NONexistence of Jesus is not supported in scholarly cirlces. (you gotta hate the double negative)

    Requests for “Negative proofs” are of course fallacious.

    I think you would struggle to find any authenticated “scholarly articles” written within decades or centuries of supposed events.

    What would you accept as “proof?”

    Some Roman records of the various spectacular events claimed in some of the gospels. (and I don’t means some vague references to someone called “Josephus”!)
    Just like the well kept Roman records of the notable events involving other significant people at that time which would be evidence of such a human existing.



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  • 44
    RonHill says:

    If a person looks at several GOOD REASONS all together (any single reason standing alone may not be convincing), one can make the case that it is certainly MORE LIKELY THAN NOT, that God does indeed exist. Once this is established, there is room for faith, which is required for a person to have a relationship with God, because a person certainly cannot have a relationship with Someone in whom he has no faith in. However, I would make the plea that the step of faith is not a leap, and is not blind. It is based on good reasons for believing…

    David, THANK you for your gracious welcome. I look forward to the civil exchange of competing ideas. I know some people just want to argue, but you appear to be someone with whom I can exchange ideas.

    Please be patient with me though, as I work all day long, and sometimes there will be long delays of time between posts.

    ron



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  • 45
    RonHill says:

    David, sure there may be thousands of gods that people believe in, but you don’t read too much about people writing books opposing the belief in Thor, no do we? I haven’t yet got my copy of “The Zeus Delusion.” 🙂

    Clearly, there is a huge difference between the God of the Bible (or even monotheism) and the pagan gods of antiquity and polytheism….



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  • RonHill
    Apr 22, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Clearly, there is a huge difference between the God of the Bible (or even monotheism) and the pagan gods of antiquity and polytheism….

    Actually, if you look at the history, they and their ancestry are the same. (El, Yahweh. Jehova, Anath, Asherah, Baal, Mot, Kothar, Dagan Yamm etc.)

    http://i-cias.com/e.o/can_phoe_rel.htm

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/02/polytheism-in-the-bible/

    @ link -The Song of Moses (Deut. 32) is considered to be some of the oldest material in the Bible—dating to the mid-13th c. BCE. We have several somewhat-inconsistent copies, the oldest being from the Dead Sea Scrolls:

    When Elyon divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, he established the borders of the nations according to the number of the sons of the gods.
    Yahweh’s portion was his people, [Israel] his allotted inheritance. (Deut. 32:8–9)

    @ link – Here we see Elyon, the head of the divine pantheon, dividing humankind among his children, giving each his inheritance. The idea of a divine pantheon with a chief deity, his consort, and their children (the council of the gods) was widespread through the Ancient Near East. Elyon (short for El Elyon) is the chief god, not just in Jewish writings but in Canaanite literature. The passage concludes with Yahweh getting Israel as his inheritance.



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  • RonHill
    Apr 22, 2015 at 9:50 am

    If a person looks at several GOOD REASONS all together (any single reason standing alone may not be convincing),

    That has always been the theists’ dilemma.

    one can make the case that it is certainly MORE LIKELY THAN NOT, that God does indeed exist.

    Given the adherents to numerous religions world-wide, we have to ask which god(s) are being supported, and by what evidence, beyond the urge of their followers to believe their local myths they encountered in childhood.



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  • 48
    RonHill says:

    Roedy, even if I were to concede the lack of reliability of the Christian Bible, that still does not show contrary evidence to the existence of God and that He created the world…



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  • 50
    RonHill says:

    David, I cannot speak to any evidence or reasons to believe in just any god. I would have to leave that up to the respective proponents of that particular religion….



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  • 51
    RonHill says:

    “Actually, if you look at the history, they and their ancestry are the same. (El, Yahweh. Jehova, Anath, Asherah, Baal, Mot, Kothar, Dagan Yamm etc.)”

    I disagree. If you look at history, the pantheistic gods were created beings, acting WITHIN this world. The God of the Bible, according to Christian belief, is an eternal being, uncreated, and acting from outside this world….



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  • RonHill
    Apr 22, 2015 at 10:56 am

    “Actually, if you look at the history, they and their ancestry are the same. (El, Yahweh. Jehovah, Anath, Asherah, Baal, Mot, Kothar, Dagan Yamm etc.)”

    I disagree. If you look at history, the pantheistic gods were created beings, acting WITHIN this world.

    . . . and (El, morphing into Yahweh, and Jehovah,) was one of them.

    The God of the Bible, according to Christian belief, is an eternal being, uncreated, and acting from outside this world….

    . . . .but that Jewish and then Xtian belief was added later, as the religions developed, after the the priests of the Jealous “god of war”, had killed off the priests and followers of the other gods. Later the Jealous god of war (Yahweh.), morphed into the Xtian “god of peace”.

    The claim of an “eternal being, uncreated, and acting (in gaps in human knowledge) from outside this world”, is a later addition which modern followers have perpetuated, – for which there is no evidence and which has receded into the distant universe or beyond, as science has filled in the local gaps in knowledge of clouds, the Solar-System etc..

    you don’t read too much about people writing books opposing the belief in Thor, no do we? I haven’t yet got my copy of “The Zeus Delusion.”

    BTW: The book, “The God Delusion”, is about the psychology of belief in all gods, not just the Xtian one.



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  • 53
    RonHill says:

    “. . . .but that Jewish and then Xtian belief was added later, as the religions developed, after the the priests of the Jealous “god of war”, had killed off the priests and followers of the other gods. Later the Jealous god of war (Yahweh.), morphed into the Xtian “god of peace”.

    I don’t think so. According to Christian doctrine, the One True God established Himself as God from the beginning of humanity, and then the polytheistic traditions followed. Isn’t the first mention of polytheism in the literature around 700-800 BC? If I am wrong about that, please correct me. Hesiod wrote about polytheism I believe.



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  • 54
    RonHill says:

    “In my view Christians are the sinners. They are the ones who kill by interfering with HIV education.”

    Roedy, can you give me a source for that statement?



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  • RonHill
    Apr 22, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    “In my view Christians are the sinners. They are the ones who kill by interfering with HIV education.”

    Roedy, can you give me a source for that statement?

    Try Googling statements on the use of condoms from the Vatican and African bishops;

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/sep/11/bad-science-pope-anti-condom
    This is continuing. In March 2009, on his flight to Cameroon (where 540,000 people have HIV), Pope Benedict XVI explained that Aids is a tragedy “that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems”. In May 2009, the Congolese bishops conference made a happy announcement: “In all truth, the pope’s message which we received with joy has confirmed us in our fight against HIV/Aids. We say no to condoms!”



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  • 56
    RonHill says:

    Alan, I get the feeling you are not sure about the documentary evidence regarding the Jesus of Nazareth.

    The historical criteria from historical documents have certainly been met for the overwhelming majority of people who study this issue, religious and secular, that Jesus existed. I have read both sides of the argument and I find the position of GA Wells wanting. There is also a philosopher, (can’t think of his name right now) who is proponent of the non-existence theory, but he has hardly no scholastic following.

    Have you read and understand the position of GA Wells?



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  • 57
    RonHill says:

    Maybe the Pope feels like the message about condoms were being used as an excuse to have sex if infected with HIV, and this would lead to more infections and more deaths?

    It is my understanding that the use of condoms does not totally prevent the spread of HIV, and the only way to make the risk of spread of the disease zero is to abstain…

    Regardless, I thank you for the input….



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  • RonHill
    Apr 22, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Have you read and understand the position of GA Wells?

    I have not, but while I have an open mind as to the possibilities, there is much unevidenced speculation and no contemporary documents – nothing within decades or in some cases centuries.

    Much of the stuff in the 4 gospels was cherry-picked by Bishop Athenasius of Alexandria to suit the political purposes of the Roman Empire about 300 years after supposed events.



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  • 61
    aroundtown says:

    @RonHill

    I don’t think so. According to Christian doctrine, the One True God established Himself as God from the beginning of humanity, and then the polytheistic traditions followed.

    Ron it’s like this. Numerous people have tried to show you the fallacies of those days and the conflicting material/accounts from those times but your not having any of it. There is a reason for the intrenchment of dearly held ideas, they feed your perspectives and should they be challenged the individual balks at the prospect of giving up that deeply held belief because of a potential void. Now, if something is given that makes sense logically, the transition is easier for humans and they can let go of deeply held ideals and/or beliefs and accept the alternate, but that is usually a tough proposition when it comes to religious belief. All concepts, those based in reality and those that hold the belief in gods come from the same apparatus, your brain. If you look closely at humans we have the ability to create fantastical creatures like goblins, ghosts, dwarfs, fairies, orcs, leprechauns, and all powerful gods. My point is this, we certainly can imagine them but that is the ultimate point, they are imaginary.

    Getting to the point I would add the following – If you were going to create a tale in those days to serve your desires you would need to touch on all the important features that you wanted to include to steer your message. They were most certainly aware of religious zeal in those days so initially the Romans simply borrowed their gods from the Greeks since they knew their structure had provided tremendous benefits, small matter to change their names but the gods were the same. Cultures of those early days are not that much different from today in some respects and there still exists a need/desire to control your populace, you want them to stay in line, and should they get about thinking for themselves that works against your plan/government. The reason the gnostic teachings were cast out as heresy in the bible is one of those attempts, can’t have people all over the place in their worship because it works against your plan of one simplified god to serve one simplified government. There were numerous religions and preachers at the time of the roman conquest, and hundreds of others throughout the world, but Constantine knew he had consolidate the message and put forward one cohesive idea. That is all the bible’s about ultimately, control, created at a primitive time to quell the peoples tendency to lean to and fro and essentially put them on an even keel so the powers that be could get on with business. I seriously doubt that they thought their ploy would still be playing out thousands of years later, but stranger things have happened when it comes to man.

    I would give you this to ponder. They say all history is revisionist and I have seen stories morph into fantastically different opinions within weeks regarding events in this day and age. Don’t you find it odd that a story (the bible) created thousands of years ago by primitive people is held up to be completely accurate and infallible, even though glaring holes have been punched in the story and brought to the fore?

    For me, if it looks like human planning that is what it is most likely, and occam’s razor shows the way. All the competing gods and fairies are real or they are simply imagined within the human mind and are just that, imaginary. I say it’s the later since all the available inspection directed at the prospects have come up with zilch.



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  • RonHill
    Apr 22, 2015 at 12:20 pm
    I don’t think so. According to Christian doctrine, the One True God established Himself as God from the beginning of humanity, and then the polytheistic traditions followed. Isn’t the first mention of polytheism in the literature around 700-800 BC?

    The historical links I gave earlier, suggest that Yahweh and cohort /wife Goddess Asherah, and their sons, were among the early polytheistic gods, hundreds of years before Xtian doctrines were even thought of.



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  • Why is anybody wasting their time with Ron & Kay (who could well be the same person, they appeared suspiciously close together chronologically). And if they really do believe in the drivel they spout then I suggest they visit a shrink, before the personal voice in their head that they alone can hear tells them to kill an atheist!



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  • RonHill,

    Sorry I’ve run out of reply options. Don’t know where this will end up. Out of order probably.

    Based on the third definition from my dictionary, what types of behaviors would you include in that category? I assume that they are not talking about crimes from the secular legal system. I’ve never heard the word “sin” uttered in the American court system or heard a police officer arrest someone for a “sin”. When I hear the word “sin” it has always referred to a forbidden behavior that comes from a theological source. There are plenty of “offense, violation, fault or error” that a religious person will call a sin but that I would call bad judgement, silly mistake, rudeness, or some other explanation. The label “sin” does nothing but muddy the water and throw a feeling of “dirty” on everything. There is no need of it.

    Of course I’ve made mistakes, suffered bad judgement, been rude, greedy and perpetrated any number of other regrettable actions. What does a cosmic dictator have to do with it? Nothing. When I act badly I try to figure out why it happened, admit my mistake, make up for it if possible and never do it again. Why do I need to feel like a dirty evil sinner on top of it? It’s counter productive.



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  • I would have to concur on the history point – I am an avid collector of Books (I have been since I was 8 years old) – and between 8-15 years old I collected a lot of books on Greek/Roman history – Now compare the facts within those books with facts published in books I Have purchased in the past 5 years – Facts & figures do not match – dates / have been changed – Archaeological findings have now verified facts – and thus can be considered far more likely to have happened than the events in the older books. take even older works (such as the bible) and archaeology (as well as very thorough checks with comparative texts) has more or less – consigned the likes of Jesus to the realms of myth – it is beyond reasonable doubt that a historical Jesus did not exist!



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  • The first written record of polytheism, as well as the first writing, comes from Mesopotamia round about 3,000 BC and was present in all Bronze and Iron age civilizations.

    Monotheism, dependent on how you wish to define it, is not known until about 2,000 years later.



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  • RonHill
    Apr 22, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I cannot speak to any evidence or reasons to believe in just any god.

    I cannot find any evidence or reasons to believe in any gods either, although I suspect I believe in one less than you do.



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  • Steve
    Apr 22, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Why only positive reasons? E.g Pascal’s wager

    Pascal’s wager only seems to give favourable odds in the eyes of theists who assume a single default god.

    Anyone who is aware of the thousands of gods, must realise that far from 50-50 chances, there are seriously high risks of choosing the wrong one, – and some gods are reputed to be jealous and quite nasty when upset!



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  • 69
    RonHill says:

    Laurie, thanks for your reply.

    “Of course I’ve made mistakes, suffered bad judgement, been rude, greedy and perpetrated any number of other regrettable actions. What does a cosmic dictator have to do with it? Nothing. When I act badly I try to figure out why it happened, admit my mistake, make up for it if possible and never do it again. Why do I need to feel like a dirty evil sinner on top of it? It’s counter productive.”

    One of the key tenets of the Christian faith is that you are forgiven for mistakes, misjudgments, regrettable actions, etc…, and do NOT feel like a “dirty evil sinner,” although I understand that other religions do not share this view, as well as some perversions of the Christian faith also.

    What is your opinion about someone who REALLY messes up in life, and they do some horrible things that REALLY go beyond ‘mistakes, misjudgments, regrettable actions?’ There are some folks out there who do things like this. (I must admit I know a few people like that, and may even be one myself) Would a religion whose God is a forgiving God who wipes the slate clean and offers peace and eternal life through mere faith and desire to change, be appropriate for such a person?



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  • RonHill,

    One of the key tenets of the Christian faith is that you are forgiven for mistakes, misjudgments, regrettable actions, etc…, and do NOT feel like a “dirty evil sinner,” although I understand that other religions do not share this view, as well as some perversions of the Christian faith also.

    This paragraph above that you wrote is completely irrelevant to an atheist. I don’t care what the Christian faith, God or any other religion thinks about my behavior. I don’t care if they forgive me or not. In fact, they need to keep their meddling away from me and my family. Bad behavior will be dealt with by our family with an ethical framework and hopefully it won’t be so bad that we will need to deal with the laws of this land.

    What is your opinion about someone who REALLY messes up in life, and they do some horrible things that REALLY go beyond ‘mistakes, misjudgments, regrettable actions?’

    Why don’t you just state exactly what behaviors you are talking about. Why beat around the bush? There is no “one size fits all” answer here.

    Would a religion whose God is a forgiving God who wipes the slate clean and offers peace and eternal life through mere faith and desire to change, be appropriate for such a person?

    I can’t think of a single problem that would be made better by this procedure.



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  • RonHill

    some perversions of the Christian faith

    By the way Ron, from the perspective of a female atheist, the entire Christian faith is completely pervy, based on our reading of the Bible.



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  • David, THANK you for your gracious welcome.

    We’re an endearing lot, aren’t we. The rational exchange of ideas is considered a high calling in here. I hope you stick around. There are other regular “Xtians” like Nordic who often pop up to challenge and prick a pompous proposition. I commend aroundtown Apr 22, 2015 at 3:54 pm. A well reasoned post. This is what I like about this site. Well honed intellects from all over the world going toe to toe on assorted subjects.

    Re your last post, if I was a Detective, and this was your alibi, I would be questioning you closely on this because it won’t stand up to probing and scrutiny.

    If a person looks at several GOOD REASONS all together (any single reason standing alone may not be convincing), one can make the case that it is certainly MORE LIKELY THAN NOT, that God does indeed exist.

    This is your core argument. So far. But I would question, “What GOOD REASONS”. You need to convince me that these “REASONS” are compelling enough to convert me. You would need to spell out each REASON, and why these REASONS, and not others are the evidence that you rely on. What is it about these REASONS that they, and they alone posit the existence of a god. Could these REASONS have other explanations, like the speculative Capuchin monkey experiments. You can defeat a scientific proposition with one good fact. So if your REASONS could be shown to have a defect, would you still maintain your faith.

    Then I would explore the phrase “MORE LIKELY”. This is not the statement of a true believer. (Refer to posts by Kay if you have read some of her posts. That is a true believer. A Closed mind.) It’s almost a “Hope” statement that god exists. A Detective would explore this proposition and invite you to consider your position. Your motivation to HOPE you are right, and the consequences for you if you found that you HOPE was not soundly based. Slowly over a period of questioning, this statement of “Hope” would dissolve. Then what.



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  • Hi Ron, I know many are concerned. All atheist have been warned about hell many, many, many times in their lives, often with ghoulish enthusiasm. But even the most well meaning Christian who warns atheist of hell seems to miss one blindingly obvious fact, atheist don’t believe in hell.

    To believe in hell you’d have to accept the claims of Christianity first, and atheist don’t. But when one someone doesn’t attempt to convince you of the claims of Christianity first and just skips right to “your going to hell forever, it comes off at best, as a scare tactic, and at worse, joy at the terrible fate of an enemy.

    And as far as your Penn quote goes, the fatal flaw with it is that no one knows “beyond a shadow of a doubt” that hell exist. And just personally, that would be something I’d want to be sure about before telling someone else they’re going there.

    Ps. Your a smart guy Ron, please, no Pascals Wager.



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  • 74
    aroundtown says:

    Your motivation to HOPE you are right, and the consequences for you if you found that you HOPE was not soundly based. Slowly over a period of questioning, this statement of “Hope” would dissolve. Then what.

    First, thanks David

    Secondly, and more importantly here it is, in essence you’ve walked Ron to the door of reason and put his hand upon the doorknob. That is an important prospect here, whether a believer will consider a reality that conflicts with entrenched ideals. Taking a pivot to look at things outside of their perspective and possibly accepting and incorporating a new understanding with the potential for forward movement. Let’s us HOPE he walks through the door and takes a look.

    It’s kind of stupid but once upon a time I rejected hope and considered it like wishing. Sara straightened me out on the difference. It’s fairly benign, but hinging your reality on hope is troubling. I hope I won’t be bitten by a dog but I’m not going to hope for assistance from supernatural proposition. Just saying.



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  • I miss the old forum. This thread is about being open and visible about where you stand. The theists have derailed with rubbish about faith and God etc. Those posts would have been moved to a different thread in the old forum.

    How about we ignore the God botherers and get back on topic?



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  • I also have a community group of atheists. We are in a heavy religion part of queensland in Australia. Many of the members are uncomfortable with being open. Suggestions for getting them to feel more confident about it welcome.



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  • 78
    aroundtown says:

    Yeah I miss the old site too, and a lot of the members I only see occasionally now. There were so awesome exchanges going on and that is were I found my way out of the delusion. Special for that reason alone.



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  • 79
    aroundtown says:

    It is with no small amount of irony that tomorrow is openly secular day and I see your post on members of your group being uncomfortable with being open. I appreciate their apprehension because I live in a smaller community that is very religious. If you out yourself here there would be a price to be paid – not violent – but likely ignored by most. A lot of small towns in America are conservative and religious and the larger cities is where you find diversity and liberal views. Hope change will come but it’s likely to be slow in the small towns.

    Don’t really have a suggestion on how they could become more confident about it. It’s a shame we have to even consider this stuff but we do.



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  • M27Holts
    Apr 22, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Why is anybody wasting their time with Ron & Kay

    Other theists come to this site with the same sort of questions and attitudes, and get the same sort of surprises and challenges to their thinking when they read the posts.

    Everyone here learns from some of the expertise around, but theists probably find the ideas and solid evidence here, very challenging to their preconceptions and assumptions.

    Some genuinely learn. Others are just so far out of their depth both on reasoning research methods and content, that they just go round in circles.

    For anyone who comes here and has uncritically believed a fundamentalist bible-soaked preacher who told them atheists are ignorant and need “enlightening”, there is going to be a serious shock.



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  • I have just tried to “come out” on facebook. Big mistake. I have been completely ignored and I know that the people who matter to me have been on and seen my Openly Secular Day post. It is so dissapointing and a little bit scary. I can see why people choose to not share this information. Now things are going to be weird. So, now what? I guess I am just not strong enough to be public. I deleted my facebook post. I am deflated. Meh.



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  • My own view is that atheism is an intellectual position achieved through using science and reason to interact with the physical and social world. Because of unconditional belief religion requires by the imperative of faith, it is usually impossible to debate a true believer. Many will simply refuse to engage non-believers. Others will attempt debate because they think they can provide empirical even scientific evidence for their beliefs like Creationists or Intelligent Design adherents. More formally educated theologians, clergy and lay people may adopt a mystical approach insisting that humans have cerebral/spiritual portals for communing with ineffable supernatural forces that transcend scientific or rational means for acquiring “limited (and therefore inferior) knowledge” of the physical universe. In any event these people, however decent and secular as they go about the daily business of their lives, cannot be swayed by argument that “God” does not exist.

    Debate like sex should be consensual. Neither side has much of a chance of bludgeoning opponents into adopting their world view. For this reason I’m ambivalent about atheist movements because they tend to attract so many offensive authoritarian personalities who sometime assume command over a devoted rank and file and go on to subvert tolerant, open discourse in the public square. Even worse, SJW (Social Justice Warrior) oriented atheists fawn over demagogues who corrupt atheism as a front for other political or social agendas. In the U.S. the Atheist + faction emerged fronting for 3rd wave feminism but claiming to advance causes on all progressive fronts. Extremists decided prominent male intellectuals needed to be deposed. One called for boycotting the works of Richard Dawkins, purging Sam Harris, James Randi, Michael Shermer and many others in furtherance of a silly agenda to install obscure “blog feminists” in leadership positions.

    Usually with the best intentions, atheist trend setters compare secular coming out to the paradigm of the homosexual coming out movement building since the mid 60s. This rhetoric sets my teeth on edge. Atheism is not about sexual orientation. Members of the LGBT community have played valuable roles in disseminating articulate atheist views but unscrupulous demagogues have used LGBT identity to subvert intellectual integrity for the sake of special grievances and promoting political or social agendas. Atheists may reasonably pursue causes like separation of church and state, ending discrimination against atheists and secular humanists, women’s rights (notably pro-choice reproductive rights), gay rights, civil rights and so on. But atheism remains an intellectual exercise expressed through media and in forums that promote open civil debate. We must guard against temptations to become beguiled by spiteful repressive “fuhrers” killing dissent in favor of directing atheist “movements” toward the establishment of politicized regimes.



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  • Renee,

    Perhaps it would be better to start more locally in a gradual way, rather than to announce it to the universe all at once.

    I only started to be out when I discovered this website some years ago (in my late 40’s), and I started to test the idea of being an atheist with my closest friends first. I didn’t say the word “atheist” for a while though, until I had the feeling that they would understand some of the basic ideas. I let them get used to these ideas gradually and I think it worked out as best as it could.

    I think it depends on where you live, how old you are and what sort of support you can realistically expect to receive for your worldview, and then you can calibrate the degree of your “outness” based on that. Maybe you could let some time go by, keep your internet profile more neutral for now, and work on presenting the positive aspects of a humanist, ethical worldview to people you are close to for now. I hope this works out for you and please try not to be discouraged. You can always come back here for some positive reinforcement. It’s not easy being a female atheist sometimes but rest assured, you’re in some rarified air and if I could do this life over again, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Everyone faces set backs and failures in this life. That doesn’t mean you should quit trying. Take some time to think about what went wrong. Regroup and take a different course of action. Sometimes it’s a good thing to strike decisively but other times it may be best for you to take a more gradual, subtle strategy.



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  • 84
    RonHill says:

    “This paragraph above that you wrote is completely irrelevant to an atheist.”

    Perhaps the Christian faith is irrelevant to you, but being aware of another person’s belief system is a helpful thing sometimes. We all come into contact and have relationships with people holding competing world views, so the more we understand about other people and how they think, the better….



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  • RonHill,

    the more we understand about other people and how they think, the better….

    Oh don’t worry Ron, I understand how the Methodists think, thanks to 15 years of compulsory attendance that I put in there. It was a “my way or the highway” situation. They made it very clear to me what they think. 🙁

    Oh yes. I understand completely.



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  • Ron – I have just dug out a few books from my personal library – I am very well read – mostly factual stuff but I do like a bit of Terry Pratchett now and again…..
    “Jesus and the Lost Goddess” – The secret teachings of the original Christians By Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy.
    “The Jesus Mysteries” – was the original Jesus a Pagan God? – by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy.
    “The Laughing Jesus” – religious Lies and Gnostic Wisdom Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy
    “There was no Jesus, there is no God” – A scholarly examination of the scientific, Historical and philosophical evidence & arguments for Monotheism – By Raphael Lataster……



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  • RonHill
    Apr 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Perhaps the Christian faith is irrelevant to you, but being aware of another person’s belief system is a helpful thing sometimes.

    It is a common misconception among Xtians, that other Xtians or other “religions” share their views to some considerable extent.
    There is no such thing as a “unified Xtian faith”. –
    There are thousands of Xtian denominations and cults which differ vastly in their views.

    We all come into contact and have relationships with people holding competing world views, so the more we understand about other people and how they think, the better…

    You are likely to find that people on this site have a much wider understanding of the various religions than most individual religious believers.

    It is a fundamental difference between “faith-thinking” (Choosing what you want to believe without evidence or proof – hence gathering and assembling a collection of errors), – and evidence-based scientific reasoning – which reviews its thinking as it goes along, cross-checking and correcting mistakes, and up-dating its views in the light of new evidence.



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  • Ron
    Apr 23, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Jesus didn’t ask His followers to just blindly follow Him. He basically said (I will use the ron hill paraphrase if I may) ‘God and I are one, and this is how it is going to go down to prove it to you.
    I know you guys have been seeing all the miracles and all the fulfilled prophecy but that is all chump change in comparison to what is coming next. In a few days, I am going die, be buried, and rise from the dead. That should prove it sufficiently and give you all reasons to place your trust and faith in me as God and Lord.”

    Given the absence of evidence that this Jesus chap actually existed, claims as to what he is supposed to have said are in the realms of mythology. – some of which has been shown to be made up centuries later.

    So Jesus gave His followers evidence and reasons to believe in Him….

    According to the story.

    Now, I understand that is total nonsense to you, but my point is that Christian faith IS based on evidence, and that evidence includes the Resurrection of Jesus and His miracles.

    This is not evidence at all. It is at best hearsay, and more likely fiction.

    Of course it’s evidence you don’t accept, but that’s not my point. My point is that Christian faith is not blind faith.

    Without objective evidence – even basic stuff such as eye witness testimony, it is pure blind faith!

    Of course you think our evidence is bogus,

    Some has been proved to be bogus (such as the fake “relics” and the fake manuscripts), for the most part the claimed “evidence” is simply non-existent. – Some people made up entertaining stories and folk-tales about supposed events happening centuries earlier – a bit like Hollywood does today.

    but we don’t. We see it as very real…

    That’s why it is called the god-delusion!

    Where are the original texts? the Roman records? Inscriptions? Where are the artefacts? Where is the archaeology?

    There are conflicting fanciful claims, but no confirmed evidence.



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  • Hi Renee, you have no reason to feel disappointed. So no one commented on your facebook post, they probably didn’t know what to say. Regardless, I don’t think the openly secular campaign is asking you to change all of your friends and relatives into atheist. It’s merely asking secular people to stand up and be counted for where they stand on religious issues, which you did. Briefly yes, but hey, baby steps. And as far as things being weird, just let anyone who asks about it know that your not attacking their beliefs, just stating your own (or lack there of).



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  • Ron
    Apr 23, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Alan, my purpose is neither to convert or argue, but learn and understand. What better way to learn and understand than civil debate and exchange of ideas and world views?

    You are quite welcome to argue, but on this site we expect reasoned argument and evidence to support claims.

    As you will see from my comment to which you have replied, I encourage people to challenge their thinking and expand their knowledge and views, to widen them into a bigger picture.

    If you slow down a little and look around the site, you will find I do this on science issues as well as on historical and theological ones.

    . . . . . Sometimes in speculative areas, such as the frontiers of space technologies.



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  • 91
    aroundtown says:

    Ron, the following will give you some insight on the bigger picture here on the site, and I hope it helps.

    I want to give you a very condensed analogy as regards religious requirement as opposed to reality based thinking here at RDFRS, and it’s this – Most everyone around here discussing tires on a car and all the attributes associated with them, on very in-depth levels, will have a problem with someone who suggests a specific paint is needed for the tire to work. You will discover that everyone will argue that the tire works just fine without the paint.

    Now just exchange tires as being reality based understanding/thinking, and replace paint as being religion. Pretty simplistic but it gets to the point and I feel it’s applicable generally.



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  • I have just tried to “come out” on facebook. Big mistake. I have been completely ignored…

    Renee. This is a tough gig. A couple of observations. If you lived in Australia, people wouldn’t care. They would respond, “So What”. If you live in America, you could be up for some ostracism. It’s more a comment on how far behind America is in keeping up with the pace of modern civilization. This means, that you personally, are ahead of the pack. You are where the civilized western world has been for the last twenty years.

    I dislike Facebook. Facebook channels a primitive evolutionary trait. The need to know what is happening in your tribe. If you are up to date with who is allying to who, and who is on the rise and who is waning, Office / family politics. Not very noble in 2915. You can see Facebook behaviour in troops of baboons. So if people ignored you, it’s probably because they don’t have the intellectual rigour to cope with your information.

    The fact that you have arrived at the Openly Secular position, says that you have some highly regarded personal qualities. First, you have come to a disciplined intellectual position that you don’t believe in gods, or have major doubts. Very few people in the 7 billion people on this planet have the brains to come to this position. So Tick number one. Second. You are confident in your position. You have the courage to follow your own intellectual path, and tells others what you are thinking. That is very brave, because it clashes with the Facebook gene above. Third. You have drive to seek out web pages like Openly Secular and Richard Dawkins, create a log on and make a statement. This shows a strength of character. A curiosity to know more. Something that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life.

    So straighten up. Shoulders back. Head up. You are special. If anyone has an adverse reaction to your declaration, it says more about that persons lack of intellectual rigour, that you have displayed here, and so there opinion may not be so valuable.



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  • Roedy –
    You’re simply a victim of what we normal people call “nitpicking,” which is what RonHill is doing. He is right in that there is no evidence that God doesn’t exist. What you are attempting to convey is that almost everything in the Bible that has been proclaimed as historical like the beginning of the world, or the great flood HAS been proven FALSE. Even the existence of Jesus cannot be accounted for with the exception of his disciples (none of them writing or speaking of him until 40 years after his so called crucifixion) and a lone Roman commentator that existed almost 150 years after Jesus. Not to mention, that after everything that humanity has discovered about our world, our universe, the idea of a superhuman, sitting on a giant thrown (like Zeus) is the ultimate creator who also controls the daily ins and outs of every being in existence is nonsensical. It’s just gotten to the point now that it is simply ludicrous with everything that we now know about the universe and earth itself.
    A Christian’s end game philosophically (because religion has all but been argued away) is to say “If something exists – it must have been created – and if it were created – who created it??? – God of coarse!” To which I ask, “Who is God’s God? He exists – he must have been created by another intellectual being.”
    I digress – to what RonHill is nodding at – if there is a “God”, or something that you need to label as a “God,” you can call your all seeing, omnipresent controller, creator of life Gravity….Heat….Time….Space….Light….Carbon….ETC…. This is what you call “God.” This is what created you. This is what will be left after humanity is gone. And in those regards lives the purpose of human existence…..the search for “God.” In other words the never ending pursuit of knowledge. To that end we find reason to perpetuate humanity. No need for religion.



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  • LaurieB,

    I am in my mid 40’s and live in a medium sized city in Ohio. There are churches everywhere here. Half of my family is Catholic, the other Lutheran. Realistically I should have known my family and friends weren’t going to throw me a congratulatory bone, especially for everyone to see on facebook. I don’t know what I was thinking.



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