Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.
Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.
Because religion is anti intellectual, anti science and anti reason, it helps keeps people ignorant , dogmatic, closed minded ,bigoted and hateful.
It is no coincidence that religiosity is highest in places with high levels of poverty and ignorance (as in lack of eduction)
You don't HAVE to be poor, ignorant and stupid to be a believer, but it's certainly an advantage.
One word: Ignorance.
(Now to go see how others answered...)
My rank speculation? When you are exposing a scam; the nastiest responses you get are not from the people perpetrating the scam. The perpetrators just want you to go away quietly.
Ironically, the nastiest responses come from the current victims of the scam.
"Ironically, the nastiest responses come from the current victims of the scam."
Indeed. Friedrich Engels observed, once, in a letter to Marx, the exploited usually contribute to their own exploitation, coining the term 'false consciousness'. The phrase was picked up by Marxist sociologist, and has been used ever since.
It is my opinion that organised religion is the greatest confidence trick ever perpetrated on the human race. I have no quarrel with personal superstitions of others. AS LONG AS they keep them to themselves, and do not impose their superstitions on me or anyone else , especially through religious-based laws.
It is organised religion which supports and encourages perhaps (imo) the second greatest confidence trick; WAR: Conning our gormless young men into going to another country to kill their gormless young men. Especially when the poor dumb bastards doing the dying gain nothing.---at least in the not-too-distant past, the troops were allowed to rape, pillage and plunder.
I've long thought that those who foment war should be obliged to lead troops into combat, from the front.
"False consciousness is a term used - primarily by Marxist sociologists - to describe ways in which material, ideological, and institutional processes are said to mislead members of the proletariat and other class actors within capitalist societies, concealing the exploitation intrinsic to the social relations between classes."
Ignorance! A willingness to believe stupid shit without the support of facts or evidence.
*EDIT - I guess I am not surprised to see the word "Ignorance" in every answer above. Unfortunately we are born ignorant with a willingness to believe anything and learn from those who come before us. When those before us believe in magic woo woo, then we grow to believe in the same bullshit. I gotta agree with the posts above... Religion keeps us ignorant.
I live on the fringe of the Bible Belt (Ocala, Florida) and Atheists don't get much sympathy here.....except that this is changing, as I believe that the Internet has acted to make places a lot less insular and, perhaps, more open-minded.
There is a sense that Atheists are--somehow--this enemy of religion, and that we have no morality or ethics.
I usually treat religion as a taboo subject at work (as it should be), as there are people who will vandalize your car or treat you like you have bubonic plague.
As an Atheist, I can't be trusted around children, I have a mission in life to turn people away from God, I have an interest in furthering the homosexual agenda, and I don't deserve to call myself a real American.
An interesting point about being an American occurs to me: religion is pushed in the military. If you declare yourself an Atheist, you will get extra duty and subtle punishment (at least up until the 1980s). Religion is a valuable tool that's used to manage troops and keep them fighting.
So, by being an Atheist.....am I also a hypocrite because I owe a certian portion of my American freedoms to religion?
If you follow up on the link below, you can see an article about how the military requires religion of it's troops.
There was been a regretable spike in suicides among Marines (more Marines lost to suicide than combat), and the military believes that "spiritual well-being" is neccesary to fight the epidemic.
May God forbid (pun intended) that they explore things like depression, subtle closed head injuries, PTSD, and so on.
Attendence at religious services was mandatory until 1972 . . . and subtly forced on soldiers after that.
Another question occurs to me: How is forcing people into church to fix suicidal tendencies any different than faith healing? Or, for that matter, exorcism?
I always felt religion was used as a tool to control people.
How do you get a bunch of farmers, and/or mercenaries to stand at the front lines of a battlefield, far from their homes doing what some king or lord tells them to do, facing likely death or even more likely, grievous life long injury if they do manage to survive? Likely desituting their families back home to a life of hardship. How do you have these folks on the front lines, not just break rank and run once the battle starts and their see their friends and comrades getting slaughtered?
"You won't die, you will go to paradise instead!"
@ Kevin Levites
"Another question occurs to me: How is forcing people into church to fix suicidal tendencies any different than faith healing? Or, for that matter, exorcism?"
The one thing in common is a blind "faith" that praying will cure all.
I was in the military, and know full well the influence of religion. And it's massive failings. If a soldier feels suicidal, they report this to their commanding officer, who refers them to , ah hah, the sky pilot. The priest or minister also passes the buck by just telling the distressed soldier to pray.
These "men of faith" have no training in recognizing or treating trauma, all they know is how to tell others to pray.
Suicidal soldier > reports to CO > forwarded to priest > pray.
Not the soldier's fault, he reported his suicidal tendencies. Not the CO's fault, he followed protocol and referred the soldier to the priest. Not the priest's fault, he told the soldier to pray. Ah hah, it's god's fault when they find the soldier's body with a self-inflicted bullet to the brain.
What can I say, that is as fucked up as anything can get.
I agree with you, David.
Religion is a lot more conveinient than antidepressants, psychotherapy, and changing the atmosphere of the stigma attached to people who have mental problems after being turned into killers for the State.
The only problem here is when someone who feels like being absolutely free wants to drag those who really don't want such freedom along with his or herself!
ATHEISM is about absolute freedom and a feeling of intense hatred for mind control, so if you belong to such a faculty the only way to justify your stand is to keep quiet and allow each person to choose what they want.
You can't eat your cake and have it, the right to change or control other people's thoughts belongs to religionists NOT atheists who feels it's a crime controlling other people's minds!
So in a nutshell, if you're an atheist you have no business trying to convince (change) other people's minds on what they CHOSE to do!
@TBW Re: "The irony."
Hey, careful. You can't be using big words like that with Intruder. It causes too much confusion for the little guy's adolescent brain.
@Truant Intruder Re: "You can't eat your cake and have it, the right to change or control other people's thoughts belongs to religionists NOT atheists..."
...Tsk-tsk-tsk... *shaking finger in admonishment*... Shame on you, young man. Shouldn't you be in school? At the very least, we know you definitely haven't been in English class recently.... *disappointed sigh*... *talking to self*... Oh, dear. Give them books, send them off to school, and what do they do? They eat the books, and then bypass the school to head straight to the nearest internet cafe... *shaking head sadly*...
@ The Intruder
"ATHEISM is about absolute freedom and a feeling of intense hatred for mind control, so if you belong to such a faculty the only way to justify your stand is to keep quiet and allow each person to choose what they want."
Yes, I am a strong supporter in freedom, and do oppose mind control. But what you fail to understand that to attain or maintain freedom, you must openly fight for it every day. The moment you are silent, you are losing the battle. I (and I am sure most atheists agree) do not desire to force our beliefs on anyone, but rather just argue our position and challenge a delusional and corrupt human practice.
"So in a nutshell, if you're an atheist you have no business trying to convince (change) other people's minds on what they CHOSE to do!"
I have the right to state my opinion and submit an argument. That is called "freedom". You (or any other theist) has the right to accept or reject my opinion.
The Intruder, do you understand that you had to find and enter this forum? No atheists kicked your door down and forced you to listen to anything.
edit: to correct typo
@David Killens, Of course i have the right because i believe in a higher intelligent mind "God", so if i speak of mind controlling anywhere i try to reason with people telling them why all of us should consider adhering to the counsel of this higher intelligent mind.
But you're trying to share your PERSONAL OPINION with other intelligent minds like yours, so tell me what right you have to do that when it's about CHOICES that they've made on their own!
@ The Intruder
"Of course i have the right because i believe in a higher intelligent mind "God", so if i speak of mind controlling anywhere i try to reason with people telling them why all of us should consider adhering to the counsel of this higher intelligent mind."
First off, as I request, you must first prove this god. Second, don't even try to prove your god is intelligent. Based on your holy book, this god is a fuckwit who could not organize a checkers game.
"But you're trying to share your PERSONAL OPINION with other intelligent minds like yours, so tell me what right you have to do that when it's about CHOICES that they've made on their own!"
Because they have the right to make up their own minds. I believe in freedom of speech. If the speaker is utter garbage, I have the right to reject what they are saying. If I am saying something you do not agree with, you have the right to reject my words. If your priest or pastor is telling you something you have .. oops, you don't have any rights in that relationship, you must bend you knee, believe whatever they say, follow their instructions, and donate money.
To me it appears you don't have free will. Or the capacity to think things through.
Your assertion is fallacious.
Atheism is not about hatred for mind control.
The absolute freedom is not about disdain for natural tendencies such laws of thought, universal attraction, mental powers and intellectuality.
Atheism is not about abhorrence for psychological manipulation such as mental control, someone psyching another person to manipulate that person.
Otherwise, Atheists wouldn't be scholars because a scholar must have passed through some unconscious mental manipulation to be able to accept whatever his tutor teaches him.
Atheism go to school and are by powers of education, manipulated by the books they read, the lecturers' lessons and societal values as a whole.
Mental control is normal, natural for every human being.
Atheism is about not believing in the existence of God/gods as a matter of religion.
It is strictly restricted to the circumference of Religion... existence and belief in God not natural mental occurrences
Atheism is anti-belief in God only
Then in the classification of Atheism, we have
(1) Gnostic atheists... those who don't believe in the existence of God/god BUT they are not sure. To them there maybe gods or not but may not really be the general perceived God.... it may or may not technically be any of their business.
These are those who are constantly asking questions...are always have that quest for knowledge and proof.
(2) Agnostic theists... those who don't believe in the existence of God/gods QED. They don't need further proof and don't care to seek proof.
Same classifications applicable to Theists.
As can be deduced, not all Atheists are after convincing other people to join them.
Some don't really care.
Some try to proof their point but NOT necessarily trying to convince their contenders.
Some argue for knowledge purposes
Some really argue to convince others to reason like them.
In the nutshell; Don't generalize.
@Poison Ivy, In a nutshell you also believe there is no God!
Well let me tell you that you can teach people how to make bread, butter, cheese, clothes and so on, but as for how they should live their lives it's totally out of your boundary!
That's why intellectuals agree that there must be God otherwise each human can do and undo as long as they have working brains, and nobody is expected to control their minds!
That's what makes atheism total nonsense!
@ The Intruder
"That's why intellectuals agree that there must be God otherwise each human can do and undo as long as they have working brains, and nobody is expected to control their minds!"
I seriously doubt if any "intellectuals" advocate such a course of action. Please name a few of those "intellectuals". Personally, I believe those "intellectuals" are members of a religion and seek to maintain control and wealth.
I have the impression you are in favor of mind control regarding one's personal religious beliefs. Is my statement correct?
Are you aware that just recently a North Korean woman is facing serious charges because in a house fire, she chose to save her dog instead of a picture of Kim Jong-il. If you can't make the connection between mind control and this woman's plight, please surrender your brain to the nearest place of worship.
"The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 2. (first sentence)
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."
Is there a religious sect that opposes this United Nations Declaration? Maybe the church you belong to? I would be very happy to have a name so I can lodge a formal complaint with the United Nations.
If only the religion folks would do anything close to the same to what you suggest.
But the last 2000+ years of history instead tells a tale of brutal conquest forcing people to accept their religions or die. Religion is the aggressor here. I cant speak for all atheist, but for this one, I would love to see proper separation of church and state. And if you knew what was good for your religious ideals The intruder, you would want exactly the same. Instead of all of us being forced to follow the laws of which ever religion is most powerful/popular in the area.
If religious folks would stop forcing their unevidenced opinions on others, I would have little problem with religion, it would be a bit like santa claus. I would think adults as a bit silly believing in santa, but if it makes them happy so be it, it does not affect other people much.
@ The Intruder
I have a favourite theist.
His name is Bishop John Shelby Spong .(Episcopalian). He has written best selling books, and there are some excellent clips on Youtube. One of my favourite is where he asserts 'the church is in the guilt and control business"
I have no problem with any believer who minds his own business. I have a problem with people knocking on my door or even ignoramuses such as your good self have the hubris who come to an atheist forum and try to tell me what I think and believe .Insult is added to injury when it becomes clear such people have not even bothered to say consulted a dictionary about the meaning of the word 'atheist' .
It's obviously far too much to ask that they also be familiar with the most basic notions of the scientific method or reasoned discussion, both of which they ridicule and misrepresent.
short clip (2.48 min) "religion is always in the control business"
Please give me one single reason why a woman can marry a younger man when there are millions of young, beautiful and sexy girls out there without them coming to harrass or assault ladies for not going for their age mate?
Or can you give me any reason why a young man will not give a grey headed man a dirty slap for saying something stupid?
For your information, the one and only reason is RELIGION!
They will come right into your house and demand to have your man because you're older than him.
As for your older men, they'll become vulnerable to bullying by younger and agile men around them, and tell me what the laws can do to protect you when everything is solely based on the what people think not some mind controlling book regarded as God's word?
I just pity you people because you'll all cry heavily and wish you've not eradicated religion the way all of you are trying to do now.
You're all looking at the issue from one side but you totally ignore the other side of the coin!
Yeh, next time I am stoning my neighbours kid for pissing his parents off with his cheek I will think about how moral I can be if I only follow your god's word hey....
And next time I decide to purchase a foreign slave ( not an israelite natch') I will remember those moral lessons....
@Precious little Intruder (Jefe del Ninos Mal) Re: "Please give me one single reason why a woman can marry a younger man when there are millions of young, beautiful and sexy girls out there without them coming to harrass or assault ladies for not going for their age mate?"
Now, now, there, Scooter. Don't go getting too big for your britches just because you obtained a leadership status within your rebel clan. Oh, and try not to get all jealous just because those hot, sexy, older babes refuse to recognize your superior intellect and manly bravado. It is not their fault that sexual relations with a minor such as yourself is illegal in most places. Otherwise, I am confident they would be all over you like flies on a pile of shit. Oh, by the way, you might want to tone it down a bit before other folks start catching on to your trolling intentions. Although, thinking about it, your getting escorted from the premises here would likely elevate you to a martyr status within your little boy's club. Hmmm... Ingenious strategy, I must admit... *nodding head in approval*... *respectful golf clap*...
@ The Intruder
Just for fun.
"Please give me one single reason why a woman can marry a younger man when there are millions of young, beautiful and sexy girls out there without them coming to harrass or assault ladies for not going for their age mate?"
Because that older woman is smarter, has more personality, is more charismatic, and a lot more wealth.
"Or can you give me any reason why a young man will not give a grey headed man a dirty slap for saying something stupid?"
Because that old fart is Howard Harold? FYI Howard (who in reality is a very nice guy who's train ran off the track temporarily) is a well trained Jujutsu, Karate, and mixed martial arts expert who fought in the UFC. And (from Wiki) On December 22, 2009 Howard was charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a weapon, attempted breaking and entering, failure to remain, flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, mischief and two counts breach of recognizance after being captured by police.
I think Intruder is a troll.
I am shocked....he seems a very normal theist to me....A troll you say? Hmmmm.....
@Kevin Re: "I think Intruder is a troll."
...*astonished look*... WHAT??? The HELL, you say!... *whispering out of corner of mouth to Intruder*... (uh-oh. i think they're on to ya. act innocent... act innocent.)... *turning back to Kevin*... How DARE you make such insulting remarks about that darling young man! He is the absolute ACME of personal integrity, and a shining beacon of hope to lead us miserable godless heathens to a better life!... *whispering back to Intruder*... (oh, crap. i don't think they are falling for it, dude. quick, go hide somewhere. i'll stall them as long as i can)... *back to Kevin*... That's right! You should be ashamed of yourself for making such ruthless and baseless accusations! The belly of a WORM could not be as low as you! Why, it is a sheer WONDER why our poor Intruder bothers to remain here to enlighten us in the face of such undeserved hostility!... *whispering back to Intruder again*... (hey, why the fuck are you still here??? go... scram... beat it... get out of here already... i can hold them off for only so long.)... *continues stalling tactics*....
Interestingly, I seem to get more agreement than disagreement when bashing religion or the Church. Several theists have offered to meet me but then they have not shown up for the meetings. (My best guess is that their pastors told them to stay away. Very reasonable if one wants his or her congregation to remain ignorant.) Most simply find a reason to walk away.