About Religion

Strange how only religious leaders get to have a conversation with their god, nobody else hears a murmur.

If God had intended men and women to be married, He’d have put a priest into the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. ~ Giovanni Guareschi

We have a way of thanking God for anything that falls in with our plans, as if it had come to pass just for our pleasure. Giovanni Guareschi

“Belief in heaven is very difficult without a greedy desire for it: All scams need a hook.”

“What do you get if you cross a man with 2 planks of wood ? A fairytale that lasts for 2000 years.”

“If God is against adultery, why did he have a child with a married woman ?”

“The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next.”

“All Bibles are man-made.”    — Thomas Edison.

“If you believe everything you read, you’d better not read.”    — Japanese proverb.

“If the Bible proves that God exists then comic books prove the existence of Superman.”

“The trouble with born-again Christians is that they are an even bigger pain the second time around.”

Nine out of ten priests who have tried Camels, prefer young boys.

“The Pope has it backwards: he kisses the ground, and walks on the women !”

Morals’ are for people not intelligent enough to have ethics.

A zealot’s stones will break my bones, but gods will never hurt me.

I will respect any religion you practice as long as you never knock on my door to tell me about it.

Who are we to say why humans want to kill people? Humans have killed in the name of every religion. No religion has copyrighted killing.

Terrorism‬ has no religion

“May the solstice moon bring you blessings of peace and happiness.” Happy Yuletide

“God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” – Voltaire

“Elohim,” the name for the creative power in Genesis, is a female plural, a fact that generations of learned rabbis and Christian theologians have all explained as merely grammatical convention. The King James and most other Bibles translate it as “God,” but if you take the grammar literally, it seems to mean “goddesses.” Al Shaddai, god of battles, appears later, and YHWH, mispronounced Jehovah, later still. ~ RAS

Civilization will not reach perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest ~ NIETZSCHE

Atheism is a religion in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby.

Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day;
Give him a religion, and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish.

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. ~ Nietzsche

“If we’re going to teach creation science as an alternative to evolution,
then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to
biological reproduction” Judith Hayes

Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.
Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914)

Religions change; beer and wine remain. ~ Hervey Allen

History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it. ~ Robert Heinlein (1907 – 1988)

Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think. ~ Arthur Shopenhauer

If you look through all the different cultures. Right from the earliest, earliest days with the animistic religions, we have sought to have some kind of explanation for our life, for our being, that is outside of our humanity. ~ Jane Goodall

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900)

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. ~ Karl Marx (1818 – 1883)

If a `religion’ is defined to be a system of ideas that contains unprovable statements, then Godel taught us that mathematics is not only a religion, it is the only religion that can prove itself to be one. ~ John D. Barrow (1952 – )

I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance.
Christopher Marlowe (1564 – 1593)

We do not destroy religion by destroying superstition. ~ Cicero

In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time someting like that happened in politics or religion. ~ Carl Sagan (1934 – 1996),

Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakeable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.
Richard Dawkins (1941 – )

Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There’s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.
Bill Gates (1955 – )

Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep insights can be winnowed from deep nonsense.
Carl Sagan (1934 – 1996)

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind. ~ Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. ~ Steven Weinberg (1933 – ), quoted in The New York Times, April 20, 1999

In religion and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination.
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)

Life as a Christian taught me two things: One is that God loves you
and you’re going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most
awful, filthy thing on earth. And you should save it for someone you
love.

“..the prayer cloth of one aeon is the doormat of the next.” ~ -Mark Twain

“A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many
regrets.” -Arthur C. Clarke

A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes. ~James Feibleman

A Theocracy with a fundamentalist US Supreme Court will ensure church and state are joined at the hip like clergy and altar boys.

And Jesus said unto them, “And whom do you say that I am?”
They replied, “You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the ontological foundation of the context of our very selfhood revealed.”
And Jesus replied, “What?”

As the dominant world religion is now Hatred & Violence, this new form of morality is soon destined to solve ALL our problems.

“But honestly, astrology is crap, just ask the I Ching.”

If a picture paints a thousand words could the Bible then become 36 collectable bubblegum cards?

Creationism is a gift to atheists, because it helps to highlight the divide between a magical world-view and a reasonable one.

Creationists make it sound as though a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.
Isaac Asimov

Did anyone else feel that Mel Gibson’s remake of the classic Life of Brian wasn’t anywhere near as funny as the original?

Eskimo: “If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?”
Priest: “No, not if you did not know.”
Eskimo: “Then why did you tell me?”
Annie Dillard

Fanatics/fundamentalists don’t have much faith — that’s why they constantly have to assert themselves violently.

For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing. ~ H. L. Mencken

God created lamprey, cockroaches, maggots, mosquitos, fleas, ticks, slugs, leeches, and intestinal parasites… If He didn’t create spammers He at least gave them role models.

“In the beginning the world was without form, and void. And God said ‘Let there be light’. And God separated the light from the dark. And did two loads of laundry.”

“I think I’ll believe in Gosh instead of God. If you don’t believe in Gosh too, you’ll be darned to heck.”

“He is YOUR God. They are YOUR Rules. YOU burn in Hell!”

“I don’t mind born again Christians as long as they realize they don’t get twice as many rights.”

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” Kurt Vonnegut

How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter ~ Woody Allen

I disturbed a burglar the other night… I told him there is no god…

“I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.” ~ Oscar Wilde

I’m an atheist, thank God.

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” ~ Epicurus

Losing your faith is a lot like losing your virginity; you don’t realize how irritating it was ’til it’s gone…

Make money your god and it will plague you like the devil.
Henry Fielding

Ærchie – Member #666 of S.M.A.S.H. (Sarcastic Middle-aged Atheists with a Sense of Humor)

Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer conglomerates. Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously? It’s a beautiful world all right. ~ Calvin’s Father

One man’s theology is another man’s belly laugh. ~ – Lazarus Long

Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat. ~ Sir Julian Huxley (1887 – 1975)

People have tried many ways of fighting evil. They’ve tried celibacy, they’ve tried charms, but, until Doom, they hadn’t tried a double-barrelled, pump-action shotgun. It works quite well

“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.” ~ – Isaac Asimov

Religion is the idol of the mob; it adores everything it does not understand. ~ Frederick the Great

“Sex is God’s joke on human beings.” ~ Bette Davis

Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful – just stupid.)
– Lazarus Long

“Stripped of his powers following the collapse of Ancient Egypt, former God of Death Anubis is reduced to begging for Beef Treats. (And if you think _that’s_ funny, wait and see what fate has in store for _your_God.)”.

The Bible was written by the same people who said the Earth was flat.

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself. ~ Sir Richard Francis Burton

The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest and least productive industry in all history. ~ – Lazarus Long

The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not. [Eric Hoffer (1902 – 1983)]

The Puritans hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators. ~ Thomas Macaulay

The real snag in the Christian, or any other religion, is the belief in God. If you can swallow God, you can swallow anything.
Bishop Charles Gore.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~ Voltaire

To believe in God or in a guiding force because someone tells you to is the height of stupidity. We are given senses to receive our information within. With our own eyes we see, and with our own skin we feel. With our intelligence, it is intended that we understand. But each person must puzzle it out for himself or herself.

Here cash is all powerful, the idol placed highest, whether one sweat, thieve, grind others down, or scheme for it.
Fafhrd, Fritz Leiber’s “Ill Met In Lankhmar”

“The moment you understand why you reject all other gods, you will understand why we go one god further.”

By definition a religion is something centred on belief in the existence of supernatural agencies or entities in the universe; and not merely their existence, but their interest in human beings on the planet; and not merely their interest, but their particularly detailed interest in what humans wear, what they eat, when they eat it, what they read or see, what they treat as clean or unclean, who they have sex with and how and when; and so for a multitude of other things, like making women invisible beneath enveloping clothing, or strapping little boxes to their foreheads, or iterating formulae by rote five time a day, and so endlessly forth; with threats of punishment for getting any of it wrong. But naturalism (atheism) does not premise such belief. (P.29 in Grayling, A.C., (2007) Against All Gods.)

27 responses to “About Religion

  1. My religious quote:
    Here cash is all powerful, the idol placed highest, whether one sweat, thieve, grind others down, or scheme for it.
    Fafhrd, Fritz Leiber’s “Ill Met In Lankhmar”

    Oh Goody – thanks for that one 🙂

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  2. Though I am not an atheist, I purchased “The Atheist’s Bible” of which there are many such books by this name written by different author’s. This one happens to be “conceived” by Joan Konner. My intentions in buying the book was to consider the thoughts quoted and interact with them. This can only go so far with ink and paper. I started blogging these thoughts down at atheistbible.wordpress.com. This can only do so far when the comments are few.

    Then I found your “illustrious collection of irreverent thoughts” (the subtitle to the aforementioned book). I thought perhaps I could interact in a venue that would get responses. Hopefully.

    You say: “Atheism is a religion in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby.”

    By this are you emphasizing that Atheism is NO BELIEF in God rather than a belief in NO GOD? Specific to your analogy, would you say that Atheism is NO BELIEF in the stamp-maker rather than a belief in NO STAMP-MAKER?

    (My apologies I would have preferred to use italics rather than capital letters.)

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    • I guess the short answer to your question is that I need proof. Once I have proof, I do not need a belief.

      Religion;

      1.

      Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.

      2.

      A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

      I find no reason to believe in any god or other supernatural phenomena. As an atheist I reject ALL Gods. How many do you reject?

      Oh, just one less than I do. Do you realise how close to being a complete atheist you are?

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      • If belief is not a part of your system of thought, then how do you go about proving the non-existence of something? Would you have to know everything in order to posit such a claim?

        How can you reject something that doesn’t exist? Would it be more accurate to say that you reject the ideas (or religions or the many names) of God and therefore his existence?

        If it is the idea of God that you reject, then the “just one less” proximity is rhetorically disingenuous. (If you were saying it for effect, then I recognize the humor, giggle a little, and then wonder at the results of how this logic might be applied to a multiple-choice question.) Your rejection is diametrically opposed to my acceptance of the idea. Do you realize that we couldn’t be further apart?

        I believe in the idea of God and would contend that there is warrant enough to merit such a belief. I would also contend that God has allowed there to be enough reason to declare that he doesn’t exist. I would say that IF God exists and IF God wants us to believe in him, then he wouldn’t prove his existence, but would reveal just enough so that we could believe if we chose to.

        You were quite right when you said, “Once I have proof, I do not need belief.” But how does this relate to your insistence in rejecting the existence of God?

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        • So, which of the multitudes is YOUR God?

          btw, it is impossible to prove a negative. I accept that there may in fact be a God. Highly unlikely but possible, nonetheless. Should that God be proven to exist then I would accept that. However I would be unhappy if it were the Thetans who make the proof. I would much rather it were the Invisible Pink Unicorn, (Peace Be Unto Her) (May Her Holy Hooves Never Be Shod).

          Actually, as an exercise, once you define your God, please compare and contrast the likelihood of either one actually existing.

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          • I believe the God of the Bible.

            It seems that your honesty with respect to proving the negative places you in the camp of the agnostics. To remain an atheist would mean that you are holding a position that is impossible to prove, therefore it must be believed. Ergo, atheism is a belief system—not that you are subscribing to it as such but that is what it is—this cannot be dismissed. Is this not what you have admitted to as “highly unlikely but possible?”

            With respect to the “clippity clop” of God ,one has to prove the positive which takes something of a step beyond the proof.

            If God exists as someone beyond our understanding, then he would have to reveal himself in terms that we could understand. (I think the gender issue is a mute point, it is said that we were made in his image: male and female.) But his revelation would be adequate for our understanding.

            “The turtle moves.”

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  3. I’ll start a new line of comments here otherwise we will end up using a single character per line.

    You say you believe in the god of the bible. Which one? The genocidal one who commanded rape and slavery, the whiney “Love me or I will torture you for ever” one or the “touchy-feely” one of the modern religions?

    I am open to proof of the existence god just as I am open to the possibility that the theory of gravity may be disproven.

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    • There is only one living God of the Bible.

      This would mean from your perspective that I believe in the genocidal, whiney and sensitive schizophrenic God. I would contend that the multiplicity of characteristics can also be explained by a complex identity in the same way that human beings have such an identity with many dimensions.

      Am I comfortable with some of the ways that this one God revealed himself? No. Can I explain why this God would do some of the things that he did? No. I struggle with some of the ways in which God revealed himself.

      If I could invent my own Deity, I have this feeling that he would be quite shallow and one dimensional. If I could project into reality the God of my own making, then I would design him in a way made my life easier and more enjoyable. But it seems to me that this idea of God really couldn’t deal with the complexity of the world all around me much less the little sphere of my life.

      Are you open to “proof” that points to the existence of God, or only the “proof” that forces you to accept his reality?

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    • Concerning the theory of gravity:
      Are you “open” as those clinging to Newtonian Models OR are you “open” in that you are cognizant of paradigm shifts into Relativity?

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  4. Hmmm. “Open” – what does that mean? I recognise that Newton was coming from an early POV and that the theory has changed over the years, just as the Laws of Thermodynamics have changed. While the original theories, in both cases apply just as well today in the world we see around us, their actions in the micro or macro world we can now explore are different and this accounts for the changes in our understanding of those subjects.

    This should not apply to religious studies because there has been no intervention in human affairs by the postulated divine being in the past 2,000 years. The christian religion, as described in the bible, can now only be changed by human actions and should human actions be used to alter the word of the divine?

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    • I don’t know what you mean by “open.” You were the one that typed it into existence. I sense that you were merely playing around with language so I asked to find out. Perhaps you have confirmed this.

      Obviously some models are workable in a sloppy sort of way. Just as some people understand and follow religions in a sloppy sort of way. Perhaps we have gotten lost in the forest by arguing about one tree or rather how one tree is growing.

      Is this where we want to go and how we wish to spend our time? Ptolemaeus helped while Copernicus corrected to some degree, Newton helped while Einstein gave us a better grasp as we continue to explore the unknown limits of the telescope and the microscope. There is progress from less to greater understanding.

      In terms of grasping at the God who revealed himself in the Bible, why do you insist that changes are reflective of getting nowhere rather than approaching a greater understanding of what has been revealed?

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  5. Do you still hold that, “Atheism is a religion in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby?”

    Certainly, you can choose to pursue whatever hobby you are inclined or no hobby at all, but has no bearing on the debate between the two paradigms of thought and the presence of the “stamps.”

    Please listen to your own words: “It is impossible to prove a negative. I accept that there may in fact be a God. Highly unlikely but possible, nonetheless.” It is really all about how one perceives the stamps.

    Atheism looks at stamps through the lens of evolved “possibility.”
    Theism looks at stamps through the lens of created “possibility.”

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    • Indeed I do – atheism is simply the non-accepting of unproven and unprovable theories. You claim to believe in the god of the bible. Why? Because you were born in a “Christian”family or country? Or because of some over-riding evidence? Evidence which is not accessible to other seekers who have been born into islamic, buddhist or Zoroastrian families.

      Do not become fixated on the “stamps” issue. I could have said that it is the same as not riding horses as a hobby or not flying aircraft as a hobby. There is a difference between stamps and god. Stamps exist.

      As for proving a negative, this is a logical impossibility. Positives are provable and so proof of an existing god, providing he/she/it does exist, is a possibility. For some strange, inexplicable reason, no god, ever, has been proven to exist. Lots of talk about “faith” and “believing” but not a skerrick of your actual proof.

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      • “Atheism is simply the non-accepting of unproven and unprovable theories.” This is self-refuting. If this is simply what Atheism is, then it can not even accept itself. Consider your own words regarding the inability to prove the negative. “Atheism is simply the non-accepting of […]” itself. Consider the last sentence you typed.

        How then can you say that Atheism is not a belief?

        The “stamps” are not the issue, but rather how one interprets or perceives the stamps is the crux of the matter. As you have well said, “stamps exist.” This is fact. This is evidence. I merely used “stamps” as analogous to that which is empirical reality. I assumed you would pick up on it, since that seems to be the weight of what your quote was all about.

        We are all faced with “empirical reality” and we make sense of it through our perception of it (read Kant’s Critique of Reason for some elementary philosophy on this matter) and even then, our perception is merely a flickering representation of what is real (read Plato’s Cave for some more elementary philosophy on what is perceived).

        You are free to perceive stamps, horses, and planes in whatever manner you wish. You are free to make them not your hobbies. Would it not be foolish to deny their existence?

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  6. I am thinking that I should have asked you, “What is it that you understand religion to be?”

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  7. “Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day;
    Give him a religion, and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish.”

    Giggles.
    Plenty of jest with little substance.

    It is interesting that many assume that people who pray are apathetic. When I think on some of the great people of history, this doesn’t seem to be the case. There have been great irreligious people that “learned how to fish” and fed villages. Just as there have been great religious became great fishermen and fed villages.

    Some great religious fishermen:
    Mother Theresa
    Mohandas Gandhi
    Martin Luther King Jr.
    William Wilberforce

    Some evil “religious” and irreligious fishermen:
    Adolf Hitler
    Joseph Stalin
    Benito Mussolini
    Kim Jong-il

    History is a record of people who have not been apathetic. Some have been busy for good and others for evil. Some people feed and others slaughter villages.

    There are many starving people in the world and it has very little to do with how much they pray and more with how apathetic western civilizations have become.

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  8. “A casual stroll through the lunatic asylumn shows that faith does not prove anything.” ~ Nietzsche

    The irony of these words written by a man who also went crazy. Many fascinating tales have been told by those in padded rooms. It seems to me that the deck is being stacked.

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  9. “If we’re going to teach creation science as an alternative to evolution,
    then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to
    biological reproduction” Judith Hayes

    This bit of rhetoric could only convince one who already assumes the lunacy of such a position. Mrs. Judith ought to take a course in logic. Generally, her logic is faulty in that she presents a straw man. Specifically, her reasoning is fallacious in that this is a questionable analogy and faulty comparison.

    Where would you say the weight of her argument lies?
    Would you not agree that this is just rhetorical banter?

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  10. Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.
    Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914)

    This is true for all people, is it not?
    Whatever they call their “scriptures,” they believe that they are right and others are wrong. That is the nature of things, is it not?

    In that all belief systems—religious or irreligious—hold to their “book” (ideas, cultures, metaphysics, scriptures, etc.) as representative of truth and all other books as inferior in their presentation of truth. If not entirely true, then these other writings communicate a measure of falsehood. Some writings may reflect a common understanding of reality, but not its complete reality. If you like, they are profane as Ambrose claims.

    Polytheists, Theists, and Atheists do exactly what Ambrose has mentioned with respect to what they believe and their “scriptures” and then make all other belief systems appear to be the blight or plague of humanity. Can you logically deny this reality?

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  11. Religions change; beer and wine remain.
    Hervey Allen

    This is a well-traveled path by many throughout history and has been expressed in just as many ways: “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.”

    Different variations of this expression have been uttered by the likes of King Solomon, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Dave Matthews just to list a few. Perhaps, Mr. Hervey ought to do some reading—other than his own writings—instead of passing off his ideas as novel.

    You are free to drink it up if you like.
    “Bottoms up.”

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  12. History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.
    Robert Heinlein (1907 – 1988)

    Mr. Robert admittedly claims that he is “strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help.” What is the rational basis for this? How can anyone stand up to something he doesn’t know? Obviously, he is in denial about his own dandruff. For many, denial is a crutch more often used when coming to grips with reality than anything else.

    A CRUTCH is another way to speak of a person’s GROUND OF BELIEF. These are the beliefs that are at the very core of their system of thought. The ground of belief supports all the other beliefs that shape how a person perceives reality and constructs their own metaphysics of said reality.

    Mr. Robert’s ground of belief: UNKNOWN.
    Mr. Robert’s modus operandi: DENIAL.

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  13. Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think.
    Arthur Shopenhauer

    What?!
    Mr. Arthur’s awareness of culture and the nature of humans is convoluted at best and delusional at worst. Perhaps his reason for thinking this is that he recognized the greater role that religion has played in shaping past cultures and so this comment has the illusion of wisdom. Mostly, its just smoke and mirrors.

    CULTURE has always played a significant part in fashioning the way the people think. Culture, education, family, religion, associations, and interests all play a part in sculpting filters of the mind (or “reality-dampers” as Terry Pratchett puts it in his book SMALL GODS [p61]). Culture is involved in the art of animal training and thought shaping. Sometimes it uses religion to reach its goals and sometimes it doesn’t.

    HUMAN NATURE allows itself to be shaped as it gains a greater sense of self-awareness and consciousness. This “animal training” begins in childhood and continues through the avenues mentioned above, as well as other paths. There are some who are cognizant of such a reality moving all of us to some end and there are some who merely float on the stream that is moving is whatever direction the culture has deemed suitable: religious in the past OR irreligious in the present. But humans have the capability to swim against the stream is they so choose.

    How else can Mr. Shopenhauer explain his ability to step outside of the “animal training” and see things from another perspective?

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  14. “If you look through all the different cultures. Right from the earliest, earliest days with the animistic religions, we have sought to have some kind of explanation for our life, for our being, that is outside of our humanity.”
    Jane Goodall

    That humanity has this innate desire to pursue some kind of answer for the questions: Where did I come from? Who am I? Where am I going? These are longings, yearnings, and echoes of something.

    Why do these questions persist? It seems that these questions have echoed throughout history and continue to echo. Something that secularist did not anticipate is that the echoes continue and are getting stronger.

    Why do the ECHOES continue?

    Perhaps there is a VOICE that has caused these echoes to continue to resonate throughout all of time. Perhaps the echoes are something of the ghost in the machine. But to merely recognize that the echoes are there brings nothing new to the table of reasonable inquiry.

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  15. “In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.”
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900)

    Has Mr. Friedrich already lost his marbles at this point in his life?

    Admittedly, there are challenges within the scriptures and these are things that difficult to deal with: OT matters of genocide and slavery that make most NT Christians uncomfortable. I will grant you these points of disconnect.

    But Mr. Friedrich’s claim is that Christianity doesn’t connect to reality in any way through morality or religion. One only has counter with a few examples to refute his bold statement.

    Which of the following virtues do not connect with reality and resonate even with the irreligious? Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control. Love God. Love your neighbor. Love your enemy. Love others like Jesus loved you.

    You may argue that loving an illusion or delusion (your idea of God) doesn’t connect with reality (which would be true if atheism is true), but can you really argue against the other forms of loving that the first encourages?

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  16. I have been thinking about your reasons for being an atheist and my responses to those thoughts. I miss the challenge of your challenges. Your counter-responses give some weight to all the quotes that have been recorded in your original post. That was good.

    You have not countered for some time. I apologize if I have annoyed you, it wasn’t my intention. As a whole, I have appreciated your comments in reply over the regurgitation of antagonistic cliches. I had hoped that this post only scratched the surface of why it is that you are an atheist. I will be quite disappointed if this is how it all ends.

    Or as Stanislaw Jerzy Lec complained, “At the beginning there was the Word–at the end just the Cliche.” Is it easier to pass on thoughtful inquiry in memorable words and stereotypes that are easily misunderstood?

    If there is any particular quote that you think doesn’t fall into this category, please mention it, and let us resume our conversation. Otherwise, I am growing weary of reading only my thoughts and I sense that you might also be of that disposition.

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