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Whereas religion has been either the direct cause or a proximate cause of nearly all of the world's wars and social divisions among humanity, therefore religion stands as an apparent obstacle to the peace and the harmony of humanity.

Whereas religion stands opposed to reason in that religion encourages beliefs that either do not appeal to reason or that stand in direct opposition to reason, and given that the advances of humanity in the past three centuries are directly attributable to reason and by extension science and technology, it is found that religion is a threat to continued human progress.

Whereas religion adsorbs inordinate amounts of human attention and resources with little or no benefit it is found that religion is a waste of human life and a waste of the precious resources of life, the least of which is time.

Whereas religion in our society tends to promote the most regressive political sympathies religion is found to be against the goals of a progressive political community.

More reasons to oppose religion on the flip.

Where as religion has no appeal to reason or truth in that no religious principle can be found to be either true or false by means of reason, thus resulting in endless irrational religious debates, religion is found of no use for continued debate, and thus should be excluded from our dialog, except when necessary to point out the futility and impotency of religious dialog or to object to religion's illegitimate claims and interferences in our culture.

Where as in our culture the religious document, the Holy Bible has been a constant obstacle to progressives and our antecedents many of whom were martyred for their objections to the absurdities of faith beginning with the scripture's god who frequently favors one human over another thus giving rise to envy and division among the human race as witnessed by its sanctions of holy war and threats of divine judgments in a supposed after life, and by its apparent affirmation of the divine right of kings, its disposition to grant holy office thus illegitimately exalting one human over another, its sanctions of slavery, its prescription of patriarchy, its implicit racism, its sanctions of genocide, its overall disparagement of humanity and reason, its outrages against children and those who happen to differ, and its condemnation of homosexuality and a thousand other offenses especially against those who would assert reason against revelation, it is found that religion is a general offense against humanity.

Whereas the Church in nearly all of its denominations has and for the most part continues to attempt to hold humanity in a state of terror by promoting a fear of the most natural occurrence among our species, that is our death, by generating a perception of continued suffering beyond our death due to our offenses against their supposed deity, therefore religion is found to a hindrance to the psychological well being of humanity.

Whereas religion propagates itself by making false promises to humanity, namely that this life is to be follow by another one, or that the deity's blessing can be obtained by prayers and oblations, religion is found to be a fraud against humanity and the source of endless disappointment.

Whereas the hope of an afterlife and the promise of new heaven and earth tend to devalue this life and this edition of the planet earth, religion is found to be a threat to our environment.

Whereas the apparent benefits of the religious community can be generated without religion or the assistance of a deity religion is found to be unnecessary.

Poll

I believe in a deity that has a name and who intervenes the affairs of humanity.

22%25 votes
67%76 votes
10%12 votes

| 113 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well I guess that settles that, then. (11+ / 0-)

    Lucky for us we have you around to clear things up for us.

    I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

    by eataTREE on Wed May 11, 2011 at 04:26:24 PM PDT

    •  If you have a defense of religion make it here. (5+ / 0-)

      These are my conclusions. Tell me where I'm wrong. If you think I'm wrong.

      God is the problem, not the solution.

      by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 04:29:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are people who are not... (8+ / 0-)

        ...religious fanatics who are very rational and moral yet believe in a creator.  WTF is wrong with that?

        With each moment of worry we give up a moment of living.

        by dov12348 on Wed May 11, 2011 at 04:33:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then tell me your creator's name (0+ / 0-)

          and how he/she/it is known and what humanity's obligations are to it.

          Once you answer those questions you end up with a religion and you can't answer those questions reasonably. Most likely you will need to resort to revelation.

          God is the problem, not the solution.

          by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 04:39:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I am not sure Sam WG is going about this the (11+ / 0-)

          right way, but I'll answer your question in it's own right:

          The problem is that there are those of the Christian faith who, in their zeal to proclaim their faith, have set fire to and pissed all over the very spirit of the first Amendment that protects their freedom to have a religion in the first place.

          The problem with this diary, as with the very people who the diarist is written about, is that it's posited as a zero sum, one-must-lose-so-that-one-may-win position.

          THis country was always balanced on a precarious proposition; the government leaves the people to their own bliss about their most important views on faith and spirituality and religion; in return, each religon, each member of any faith must not interfere with any other person's pursuit of their own faith, and they are forbidden to use the government to do likewise.

          WHat is happening in America right now is that one group has lost the plot;

          It's not that one group believes in a creator

          it's that they want to make everyone who doesn't believe in their creator to be the embodiment of the fucking devil,

          and that's bullshit, and I'll call it rightly so at the top of my lungs.

          There is nothing more perverse than a person who themselves rest under the very freedom of state protection to practice their faith who then employ that gfaith to demonize anyone who doesn't or to make such fealty to be part of the law or the acceptance in the culture.

          And to go one further -

          the people who are NOT religious fanatics are the ONLY people with the positioning (and the access, since the maniacially religious abhorr and shun those who don't believe) to grab these overly pious firebrands and pull them down from the podium and away from the lights

          ....because....

          the firebrands are indeed smearing all persons of their faith with their lunacy.

          Not all Pittsburgh Steeler fans are of the personality type to spend the weekend in jail after going berserk on a CLeveland Browns fan just because they disagree on who's a better team -=

          However, the ones that do nevertheless create the perception that if you're from Pittsburgh and you're going to go to the Clevland game in Cleveland, you are quite literally inviting a hospital stay or worse if you wear your Pittsburgh jersey in front of the wrong person at the wrong time in the wrong place.

          I make no apology, but each team is responsible for it's own batshit crazy/over the top lunatics.

          Because nobody wants the opposing extremes to meet unless there's a standby hospital and with extra staff and an express shuttle to the morgue. Each camp has to reel in it's own batshit crazy.

          George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

          by snafubar on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:21:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If this is the case then believers (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LisaR, adrianrf

            ought to be yelling the loudest about the abuses of their religion. But the fact is that most of the religious are the last ones to criticize other religions or other parts of their religion.

            God is the problem, not the solution.

            by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:44:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It started long before us... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            enhydra lutris, CherryTheTart
            It's that they want to make everyone who doesn't believe in their creator to be the embodiment of the fucking devil

            The demonizing of beliefs goes back to the earliest days of the oldest surviving monotheistic religion: Judaism.

            In The Old Testament, prevalent polytheistic gods were demonized in the face of the "One" god.  The gods of the old became the demons of the new.  This is a practice that continued well past the Christening of the Roman Empire, as monotheism spread north through Pagan Europe.

          •  My objection is as much against (0+ / 0-)

            religion itself as it the practice of religion.

            I define religion as any belief about a deity that is not subjected to reason.

            Therefore the act of adopting a religion makes people irrational.

            God is the problem, not the solution.

            by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:36:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  No group has lost the plot (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sam Wise Gingy

            If you know anything about the history of religion in the US, you should know that christians never agreed to the idea of separation of church and state.  They fought against ratification of the Constitution that makes no reference to a god.  Paine and Jefferson were widely reviled for their views against religion.

            Not a year has gone by since the founding of the republic without some christian group demanding preferential treatment for their religious views.  They forced the Postal Service to close on Sundays.  Yes, that's right - the USPS once worked seven days per week.

            Christian agitation is the reason that Xmas is a federal holiday (but not Passover or the holy days of any other faith).  It's the reason the US motto was changed from the original E Pluribus Unum to the pious in god we trust.  It's the reason that same phrase is on our money and the reason the slavish "under god" is in the pledge.

            Pressure by christians is the reason the military has sectarian chaplains.

            So why do they continue to press for special rights when they know these are unconstitutional?

            One reason.  Religion is weak.  It needs the state to prop it up - without the support of the state it would wither away and die.  This is why christians continually attempt to coopt the state to serve their purposes.  And because they have largely been unopposed in these efforts, they have been remarkably successful.

            And you ask us why it is important to talk about atheism?  We talk about atheism to build a body politic in support of the original conception of the founders of our secular government.

            Close your eyes, stop your ears Close your mouth and take it slow Let others take the lead and you bring up the rear And later you can say you didn't know

            by njheathen on Wed May 11, 2011 at 10:40:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Excellent n/t (0+ / 0-)

              God is the problem, not the solution.

              by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 11:27:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wrong. Just plain wrong. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Marko the Werelynx
              If you know anything about the history of religion in the US, you should know that christians never agreed to the idea of separation of church and state.

              If you know anything about the history of religion in the US, you should know that it was Christians—specifically Baptists and other independents—who pushed for the separation of church and state.

              It's no coincidence that the "wall of separation" phrase comes from Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists—and it's not because he was pushing back against them, but rather because he was reassuring them that he believed that church and state should remain separate just as they did.

              But of course, the idea that some Christians opposed church-state separation and other Christians favored it is far too complex for your simple categorization of Christianity as a monolithic entity. Better to make a simple point and be wrong, than to allow for complexity and nuance and accept that yes, there are vast differences of opinion between and within religions. Why challenge a reflexively anti-religious worldview with pesky things like facts, complications, and context?

      •  You may be surprised to learn (17+ / 0-)

        that I do not feel the need to justify my private, sincere, and deeply cherished beliefs to you.

        In fact, there is only One entity in the entire universe whose approval I seek in this matter. And you're not Him.

        I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

        by eataTREE on Wed May 11, 2011 at 04:33:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I am religious. (10+ / 0-)

        I do not care how you feel or think about religion.

        Don't like religion? Don't have one.

        I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

        by CherryTheTart on Wed May 11, 2011 at 04:44:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Have a religion? (6+ / 0-)

          Don't impose it on my society.

          God is the problem, not the solution.

          by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 04:54:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is not "your" society. (5+ / 4-)

            It is "our" society.

            Tell me the last time someone "imposed" religion on you, you whiny pissant.

            What, your Mommy made you go to church? Awwww. Piss on the pew and she won't make you do it anymore.

            I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

            by CherryTheTart on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:09:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  When I was a child. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              njheathen, happy camper

              Let the insults begin.

              The religious sort tend to use condemnation of those who criticize them.

              God is the problem, not the solution.

              by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:13:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is forbidden to launch an HR (5+ / 0-)

                against someone in your own diary, and also forbidden to do it against someone you are arguing with.  I demand that you remove that bogus HR.

                I'm uprating to counter it.

                It is a calling...to do things about injustice.... It helps to have a goal. I've always tried to have one.--Ted Kennedy, True Compass

                by Timaeus on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:17:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Truth is an absolute defense (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                GMary, Timaeus

                . . . to a charge of slander. You whine. And you insult others.

                Somebody gave you a childhood religious education. You rejected it. How old are you now? How many years is it? And you are still suffering from it? My, what a delicate flower you are.

                I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                by CherryTheTart on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:18:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  to be honest.... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CherryTheTart, GMary, fcvaguy

                  that seems to be what drives a great deal of anti-religious sentiment...

                  that's why I'm skeptical of many (not all) people who declare themselves atheists today.  

                  •  What do you need to know? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    njheathen

                    I declare myself an atheist.  What's the basis of your skepticism of my atheism?

                    Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                    by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:08:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't know what your basis is for (0+ / 0-)

                      declaring yourself an atheist--I don't know you.

                      so in your particular case i can't really say whether I"m skeptical or not.

                      •  Do you need to know (0+ / 0-)

                        the personal history of each and every atheist you ever encounter to alleviate your skepticism, or can you just take us at our word?  Please tell me you're not one of those idiots who thinks that atheists just want to deny some god and do whatever they want to do, like have sex, take drugs and steal and murder at will.  Not one of those idiots, right?

                        Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                        by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:14:04 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  yup. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Marko the Werelynx

                          I'm skeptical of all socio-cultural movements.  

                          I'm  particularly cynical about newer movements.  Neo-atheism, as opposed to atheism, for example.  It comes from an academic background where 'schools of thought' trump individual thinking...and that drives me mad.  

                          I can respect--and understand--where atheism arises as a result of independent thought....however, nowadays it is often a reaction to the abuse of religion, sometimes in the political and social spheres.  Often.  Not always.  But I've met too many people who were angry at, say, abuses by the Catholic Church, for example, then read something by Richard Dawkins, and now go around throwing the Flying Spaghetti Monster everywhere--which is basically the pop-mischaracterisation of all religion.

                          No personal beef with you, nor do I have any reason to question your personal beliefs.  But you want to know why I'm cynical...there you go.

                      •  Since the age of 9 (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Sam Wise Gingy

                        never believed in gods, never got a decent answer about gods or anything else religion-related, and have never, not once in my entire life, needed gods or religion to answer the questions about life, like death, suffering, where I came from or where I'm heading when I die.  I'm actually an agnostic apatheist -- I don't know and I absolutely do not fucking care.  Got about 80 years, give or take, in this body before I'm worm food and I don't waste one brain cell wondering "what if I'm wrong" about it all.

                        Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                        by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:16:59 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  ok. so you have no idea (0+ / 0-)

                          what's going on, and it doesn't bother you in the least.

                          We're actually on the same page there.

                          Although I do find questions concerning the nexus of theology/cosmology/quantumphysics pretty fascinating.

                          •  That pretty much convinces me that... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sam Wise Gingy

                            You don't know much about either cosmology or quantum physics.  Both of those are real scientific disciplines that base their every finding on evidence, and revise those findings when new evidence falsifies them.

                            Theology is the study of elaborate verbal disguises for non-ideas.  Evidence is anathema to theologians, because they already know the conclusion they want to reach and their only concern is how to express that conclusion in a manner that makes them appear learned.

                            There is no nexus between theology and any branch of actual science.

                            Close your eyes, stop your ears Close your mouth and take it slow Let others take the lead and you bring up the rear And later you can say you didn't know

                            by njheathen on Wed May 11, 2011 at 11:15:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you're misinterpreting me completely.. (0+ / 0-)

                            it was late and maybe I didn't phrase it well.

                  •  Devout Atheist here (4+ / 0-)

                    And as much as I appreciate skepticism, I must inform you that I do, very much, exist. :)

                  •  Beg to differ: born and raised that way (8+ / 0-)

                    The overwhelming majority (85%) in my mother's native country say they have no religion.

                    In my father's ancestral country, which has an established state religion, one third believe in a God, one third say they're atheists, and the rest believe in a "force" of some unspecified nature.   Only 8% actually attend services except for weddings and funerals.  17% of those who claim to follow the state religion say they do not believe in God.  

                    Americans are outliers.  

                    My parents raised me atheist.  In order to argue with the many Christians who took it upon themselves to try to convert me, I read the entire Bible (in English, Greek and Hebrew) the Book of Mormon, the Talmud and Mishnah, and a whole lot of theology, archaeology and anthropology.   Eventually I found myself with a BA and a Jewish husband.   If it is in fact true, as I was told years ago at a Thanksgiving dinner by a scandalized host, that "one has to be something" then secular Jew, hold the Zionism, works for me.  

                    Personally I don't care what people believe, or say they believe. I care about what they do.  To coin a phrase.  

                    "A city for sale and doomed to speedy destruction if it finds a purchaser!" -King Jugurtha of Numidia

                    by LucyandByron on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:48:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  you sound a bit like me, actually... (2+ / 0-)

                      secular Jew with interests in archaeology, anthro, etc...

                      it sounds as if you've grown up with your belief--lack of belief rather, have matured into it and are comfortable with it.

                      I'm not skeptical of that in the least.

                      what I am skeptical of is an atheist 'movement' that is a reaction to social, political, religious trends--a movement that often monolithically characterises religion as the belief in a single, ridiculous thing (i.e. 'flying spaghetti monster') and uses that to knock down religion in general.

                      it's the latter atheism that I feel often pervades this site, and leads people to write anti-religious manifestos.

                      •  Anti-religion manifestos are necessary (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        njheathen

                        for the advancement of progressive ideas because religion has an overall regressive influence on the body politic.

                        We won't win on environmental issues without going toe to toe with religion.

                        God is the problem, not the solution.

                        by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:44:36 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  it's useless, though.... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Marko the Werelynx

                          even if I agreed with your take on religion, what does attacking it accomplish?  Faith and rationality argue at completely cross-purposes...manifestos don't win any converts (except from people who were looking for an avenue to drop religion anyway).  

                          The desire to qeustion is inherent in humanity, and because science can only go so far, you get all sorts of crazy theological/phiilosophical approaches to try to fill the gap that's impossible to fill.  I'm not talking about issues like evolution, which can be easily shown by science--I mean the intangibles...existence; death; consciousness; time; cosmology.  

                          All that these manifestos do is aggravate the vast majority of people of faith who do NOT go around imposing it on everybody else...but who quietly subscribe to it.  

                          Time and again I see people strive to eliminate religion from the human psyche, and I contend that it won't, and cannot, ever happen.

                •  I lived in it most of my life (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LisaR, BYw, supercereal

                  and I can never get those years back.

                  I was afraid to leave the faith.

                  Yes I blame my self some, but I also blame those piss ants who knew religion was bull shit and didn't have the balls to say so.

                  God is the problem, not the solution.

                  by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:36:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Let us get this straight. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    GMary, mapamp

                    For YOU religion is bullshit.

                    You speak for yourself only.

                    No one is responsible for your beliefs. You are responsible for your beliefs.

                    Quit your whining. It is most unattractive and childish.

                    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                    by CherryTheTart on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:40:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Any idea that doesn't appeal to reason (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LisaR, BYw, supercereal

                      is bull shit. Religion glorifies ideas that don't appeal reason.

                      God is the problem, not the solution.

                      by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:55:30 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There is nothing unreasonable about Myth. (0+ / 1-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Hidden by:
                        njheathen

                        You know nothing about the function of religion and myth in human psychology.

                        Your ignorance is bottomless and your hubris is breathtaking.

                        I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                        by CherryTheTart on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:02:08 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Utter garbage, like all the rest of your comments (5+ / 0-)

                          in this thread. You assume shit you do nt and cannot know about the diarist's knowledge. Disagreement with your views and superstitions is uneducated and ignorant? Pfah!

                          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                          by enhydra lutris on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:27:46 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I have expressed no religious views or beliefs. (0+ / 0-)

                            I have stated that I am religious.

                            I also study religion. As there is a body of knowledge about religion that is objective, noting that the diarist does not possess even basic objective knowledge vis a vis religion is perfectly appropriate.

                            You just don't like it. Bugger off. I find you annoying.

                            I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                            by CherryTheTart on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:36:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Claiming that James' attempted redefinition of (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sam Wise Gingy

                            religion is a scientific definition, and the correct definition, is a religious belief itself, just like belief in supply side economics is a religious belief.

                            The body of "knowledge" about religion is both vast and tiny, FWIW, projections, suppositions, wild hypotheses and the like aren't knowledge, nor is personal spiritual experiences except to the person having them. Thus, each of the recorded instances of a zen koan is part of the body of knowledge, that such and such a koan was uttered, but what and how it means or otherwise affects any person, or ever did, is not part of the body of knowledge.

                            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                            by enhydra lutris on Wed May 11, 2011 at 09:17:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  James' lecture series (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            enhydra lutris

                            . . . is the most successful attempt I know of to examine religion scientifically as a function of the human psyche.

                            I suppose you could say that psychology is not really a science and some people have said precisely that. I am very much interested in the psychology of Evil and some of the best writing on that subject I have read comes from authors who identify as religious.

                            I read theology and read especially about mystics and mysticism for pleasure and enlightenment. There may be more successful attempts to examine religion objectively than James' study. I would be happy to be made aware of them.

                            If God does not exist, there is nothing to say about God. If one spends time writing about God, one nurtures the God idea by participating in it. Seems like counterproductive activity to me.

                             

                            I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                            by CherryTheTart on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:58:41 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  And (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sam Wise Gingy, njheathen

                          your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

                          I fart in your general direction.

                          Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                          by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:38:30 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  What? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          BYw

                          Angels, demons, atoning blood sacrifices are not bull shit.

                          Yeah your religious all right.

                          God is the problem, not the solution.

                          by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:42:14 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh I get it (2+ / 0-)

                            You found out what you were raised in wasn't True - and now you attack everything else.

                            The rules of my people apply to US.  Not you, no one else.  No one asks you to follow them or find meaning in them - they aren't for you. So don't put your unhappiness on anyone outside the church you grew up in and their misunderstanding and beliefs. Not everyone is them or shares even remotely the beliefs you want to project on all.

                            Our society as a whole uncomfortably tries to make room for all despite the voices on all fringes.  Including yours.

                            I'm sorry you feel betrayed by your old beliefs.  But gnashing your teeth at people who find value in their own will not help you heal - or change minds.

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:57:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Any idea that doesn't appeal to reason (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            BYw

                            is bull shit.

                            Religion by definition is based on faith, and faith is the special exception granted to religious principles.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:26:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  this just shows how much you don't know (2+ / 0-)

                            about religion or faith or religious principles.  You understand you were brainwashed and you broke free - that's wonderful.  But you don't understand what you are attacking, that it is largely different than what you were taught and why it appeals to people.   Until you get that - you won't change anyone's mind no matter how much you scream about reason.  

                            Largely because you don't have the base of knowledge to attack religion as a concept with reason - only react in horror to what was done unfairly to you.

                            Your pain is very palpable and I truly wish you healing.

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:35:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I love how theists always claim special knowledge (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sam Wise Gingy

                            And claim the person they're arguing with doesn't have that knowledge or understanding.  And then can't ever make clear what they're talking about.

                            Why don't you enlighten us as to what you think we don't know?  I'll bet you that I've heard it all before from hundreds of condescending christians, and so has Sam.

                            And please, spare us the pop psychology.  It's concern trolling.

                            Close your eyes, stop your ears Close your mouth and take it slow Let others take the lead and you bring up the rear And later you can say you didn't know

                            by njheathen on Wed May 11, 2011 at 11:27:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  well for starters, learn to tell us apart (2+ / 0-)

                            I'm not Christian.  My religious experiences are not explainable in concepts of Christianity - clearly the only world Sam knows.  Sam does not have the vocabulary to discuss with me what religion even is, much less how my practise of it in any way affects him at all.

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Wed May 11, 2011 at 11:33:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If you believe (0+ / 0-)

                            in a deity with a name and a theology that intervenes in the affairs of humanity then this diary is about your religion.

                            I should have made that qualification.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 01:45:51 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you don't know what I believe (0+ / 0-)

                            which is far more complex that your odd little definition - so we still aren't having that conversation yet.

                            You think you know what belief is - but you only know the kind of belief you saw in your church and the people around you.  There are other kinds of beliefs with different reasonings and concepts behind other forms of "religion" than the one you know and reject.

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Thu May 12, 2011 at 12:30:07 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are right, I have no way of knowing (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LisaR

                            what you believe.

                            But it does not follow that all attacks on religion are illegitimate because I don't know what every believer believes.

                            If you must shelter your beliefs from the light of reason to maintain them then I contend that you and humanity are better off without them, because the ideas that you are sheltering from reason may be toxic, but you will have no way of knowing that as long as you are sheltering them from reason.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:21:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  *sigh* (0+ / 0-)

                            You are not bringing reason, you are flailing against the travesty you were raised in.

                            My faith is actually quite logical and not rooted at all in feel good mystical moments of personal revelation or rapture - it's an entirely different concept of deity and worship from what you know.  Your assumptions do not fit my faith or many other people's faiths because we do not share the same concepts or vocabulary in many cases with what you are familiar with.  Your definition of "religion" is  too small and too specific to your childhood trauma to be a working definition for other people.

                            In order for us to talk about how my system of belief is or is not different we have to have some words and definitions in common - and you don't seem to be very open to anything other than shouting you think all religion is wrong because of what happened to you.

                            That's not a rational position, its an irrational reaction to a trauma.

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Thu May 12, 2011 at 05:54:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If there were universal meanings (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LisaR

                            to the words faith and religion I would have conformed to them.

                            You are correct:

                            In order for us to talk about how my system of belief is or is not different we have to have some words and definitions in common

                            As you have you own definition of the terms my critique of your religion may not fit.

                            As to my assertion that religion is not rational I have thoroughly verified that, but what I consider to be the most common definition of the word religion.

                            Again this is one of the ways religion as understand religion hides from critique. There terms associated with religion are all overloaded.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:19:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ok have fun with that (0+ / 0-)

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:23:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  More substance free comment, with a side of hubris (0+ / 0-)

                            You must think you are ever so mysterious.  A follower of religion X, and the only thing you've told us is that it isn't christianity.

                            Again, how do you know what Sam knows about other religions?  You ought to be aware that atheists tend to know far more about religion than believers.   Especially those of us who escaped religion later in life.  I became an atheist eleven years ago and since have learned more about other major religions and even some of the more obscure philosophical sects than I ever dreamed I would want to know.

                            Close your eyes, stop your ears Close your mouth and take it slow Let others take the lead and you bring up the rear And later you can say you didn't know

                            by njheathen on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:50:59 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  if you bothered to read (0+ / 0-)

                            It would be obvious I'm Jewish.  I'll just give you that one.

                            Sam has made it very clear from his text and comments that he knows very little about his own broken faith - much less anyone elses.  He stated he came out of some sort of fundamentalist Christian sect.

                            I'm not doubting or commenting on YOUR knowledge of other religions at all - and frankly I'm not sure why you think you need to jump in here and "help" Sam.

                            I am aware of a lot of things, including the palpable distaste you have for any one else choosing something you have not - your comments drip with it.  

                            My practises have no impact on you.  They do not affect your knowledge, they do not intrude on your life, they do not in any way put you in a lesser position for holding a different view.  A pity the same can't be said for yours.

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Thu May 12, 2011 at 12:35:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  After 7 decades of war (0+ / 0-)

                            In the middle east it is hard to say the Judaism is irrelevant to any American.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:47:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  American Imperialism (0+ / 0-)

                            is the reason we have had decades of wars all over the place - we get around and like to support dictators.  Middle East, Latin America, Africa, you name a shitty autocratic despot and we probably had a lot to do with keeping him in power.  Then it blows up in our faces.

                            What does that have to do with Judaism?

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:43:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nationalism is born of religion (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LisaR

                            Whether it be Zionism or American exceptionalism is goes to back to belief that you are one of god's chosen few.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:53:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  oh no it does not. (0+ / 0-)

                            Zionism is the unremarkable idea that Jews have the right to live in peace in a small remnant of their original homeland like every other aboriginal people.

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Thu May 12, 2011 at 11:04:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nothing to do with religion? (0+ / 0-)

                            Of course not.
                            No.
                            Never.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 11:11:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  haredi Jews = anti Zionists (0+ / 0-)

                            Zionism is a secular political and cultural movement.  

                            You're not even in the ballpark here.

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Fri May 13, 2011 at 12:30:04 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It is secualar to you (0+ / 0-)

                            But not to the Zionists.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Fri May 13, 2011 at 11:27:30 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you mean kind of like your brand of atheists? (0+ / 0-)

                            You may think you bring the light of reason but all you bring is your own dogma?  

                            Got it.

                            Have fun with that.

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:21:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It is? (0+ / 0-)

                            That'll certainly be a surprise to Benedict Anderson, who suggested that it was the breakdown of religion, among other things, that led to nationalism.

                            What qualifies you to speak more authoritatively on the subject of nationalism than the author of one of the seminal historical studies of the topic?

                          •  Side effect or after effect (0+ / 0-)

                            it's still related to religion.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Fri May 13, 2011 at 11:52:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The "palpable distaste" is all yours (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LisaR

                            Please do us all a favor and stop projecting your own inadequacies onto others.  You are the one who has taken a superior, condescending attitude.  I'm sure you find it easy to chime in when so many others have gone out of their way to insult the diarist for what they incorrectly perceive to be a personal attack on themselves.  You are no different.

                            Here's the way atheism works.

                            1. You don't need to understand religion to know it's bullshit.  All you need to understand is that it's based on lies.

                            2. You don't need to study religion to condemn it.  Study helps in philosophical arguments.  But the uniformly negative results of widespread religious belief speak for themselves.

                            3. People arrive at nonbelief in many ways, all of them perfectly valid.  Some have been physically or mentally abused by religious authorities or parents.  There's nothing wrong with using personal harm to conclude that religion is harmful.

                            4. Once you tell people you are an atheist, you can expect tedium from those who disagree with you.  Endless repetitions of "I feel sorry for you" or "something must have happened to make you hate god" or "what keeps you from killing people or robbing banks?" or scripture quotes.  And people like you who claim their knowledge of religion makes them superior.

                            Here's a question I often pose to believers:  Name one generally positive consequence of religious belief that sets believers apart from others.  Just so you know ahead of time, answers that rely on the fact that lots of people meet and do nice things don't meet the question, because secular people do all of those as well.  Neither does teaching morality.  All parents, religious or not, try to pass on morals to their kids.

                            Close your eyes, stop your ears Close your mouth and take it slow Let others take the lead and you bring up the rear And later you can say you didn't know

                            by njheathen on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:56:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I found what I was raised in is fairly (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            BYw

                            typical for people my age.

                            I also observe that one of the most important factors in politics today is religion which seems to have a strong connection to racism.

                            Yes my experience with religion was bad but saying that I think religion is bad for society because of my bad experience is like saying that the only reason I am against people using hard drugs is because I had a bad trip.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:49:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  your lack of broad knowledge (2+ / 0-)

                            pretty much does say you are against religion because you had a bad trip.  

                            If what you were raised with was anything like Jesus Camp - that's not normal, nor is it the common religious experience of people your age in this country - just the ones you know.

                            There are a lot of different ways to be "religious" you haven't even thought of yet.  Your experience, while valid and apparently traumatic - that wasn't "religion" - that was your church and your family.  You cannot extrapolate from that that all religion is bad - largely because you don't understand how big that category is.

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Wed May 11, 2011 at 09:48:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If I had not given detailed reasons for my (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LisaR

                            objections to religion then you might have a case.

                            As you have not made any claims against those reasons it is not reasonable for you to assert that my objections to religion are solely personal.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:50:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Oh that's just silly and naive. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        CherryTheTart, fcvaguy

                        I don't mean to be insulting, but may I inquire about your educational level?

                        I myself was way beyond this level of reasoning by about grade 8 or lower.

                        You're typing letters into what appear to be English sentences, but there is no foundation in logic, just anger.

                        You really ought to just be quiet for a few years and read more.

                        It is a calling...to do things about injustice.... It helps to have a goal. I've always tried to have one.--Ted Kennedy, True Compass

                        by Timaeus on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:08:20 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  LOL! (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        fcvaguy, CherryTheTart

                        You live in a sea of pure reason with no axioms and no a priori assumptions, do you?

                        Humans mostly aren't rational, and neither are most of their ideas. You can object to this fact if you like, but it will make you deeply unhappy.

                        I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

                        by eataTREE on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:24:10 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Your valorization of "reason" is fascinating. (2+ / 0-)

                        As if "reason" is somehow an absolute, objective, universal thing, and not just another means by which human beings interpret, make sense of, and tell stories about the world around them.

                    •  SO ARE YOU (3+ / 0-)

                      It's his fucking diary! Don't like what he has to say? How about you get the hell lost and find some silly ass "spiritual" diary in which to spew forth?  That's what anyone with half a brain and any sense of self-worth would do.

                      Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                      by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:06:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  He wrote a diary. People are responding. (0+ / 0-)

                        That is what goes on here. If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

                        I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                        by CherryTheTart on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:12:56 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  People on dkos (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sam Wise Gingy, adrianrf, njheathen

                          are generally supposed to respond in a civil tone with respectful disagreement.  Your first response was a personal attack, full of childish bullshit.  I wondered why that was, but your subsequent responses expose that you're afraid of defending your beliefs and just resort to ad hominem attacks on people who believe differently than you -- like all religious extremists and rightwingers do.  Such an unexamined life.  I really pity that.

                          Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                          by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:45:58 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  oh bullshit (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        CherryTheTart

                        He posts a deliberately provocative diary, and in the comments goads people to challenge his views, which he later admits are rooted in a bitter past.

                        And, your personal attacks are totally uncalled for. Really, is that all you have left?

                        •  My objections to religion (0+ / 0-)

                          are based on reason and specified in detail and you have mentioned not fault with my reasoning.

                          God is the problem, not the solution.

                          by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:49:53 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Your objections don't appear (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CherryTheTart

                            to be based on reason. Your real objections are made clear here:

                            I lived in it most of my life and I can never get those years back. I was afraid to leave the faith. Yes I blame my self some, but I also blame those piss ants who knew religion was bull shit and didn't have the balls to say so.

                            and here:

                            Have you seen Jesus Camp or Hell House? I lived that as a child and as an adult.

                            There is no doubt, that some forms of religion as practiced, have really screwed up alot of people. And, some have escaped that insanity but unfortunately live the rest of their lives with the scars. Some are lucky enough to reconcile their pasts and find peace within themselves. This diary does none of that, IMO, because it lashes out at others and lays the blame on people who are not responsible for what happened to you because they are probably not the "Jesus Camp" or "Hell House" variety of religionists.

                          •  You are quoting my comments (0+ / 0-)

                            in response to personal attacks.

                            Read my diary.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:55:25 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Aren't your childish attachments (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sam Wise Gingy, njheathen

                          to religion rooted in your past indoctrination as well?

                          Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                          by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:25:31 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Perfect example (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Marko the Werelynx

                            We could have a reasonable discussion where we could both learn something if you had asked "Aren't your childish attachment to religion rooted in your past indoctrination as well?"

                            But no. You had to project your superiority, denigrate someone else, and throw in a healthy dose of arrogance and flat out ugliness by using the word "childish".

                            Why do people throw scorn your way? I'll give you a hint - its not because you're an atheist.

                          •  She was only responding in kind (0+ / 0-)

                            If you wish to be the constable then you are obligated to justice.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 09:58:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Then you harbor real resentment (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CherryTheTart

                    and you're now taking it out on and lashing out at others for it, who do not deserve it.

                    Find a way to resolve your anger and make peace with yourself. This is absolutely the wrong way.

                    •  Apparently SWG thinks (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sam Wise Gingy, njheathen

                      this is as good a way as any.  Who are you to say this way is the wrong way? If someone was writing a diary about an issue that has negatively affected their life other than religion, would you tell them they were wrong to write about it?

                      Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                      by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:48:02 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Fair question (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        CherryTheTart

                        Because, I sort of believe that your rights end where someone else's begin. Specifically, Sam's right and your right to be abusive to others ends with my and others' right to not be abused, especially when none of the folks here likely have anything to do with whatever issues you and he might have.

                        •  Sorry dude (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          adrianrf, Sam Wise Gingy

                          I don't have "issues."  I'm another of those life-long nonbelievers whose Catholic parents progressively stopped forcing their religious beliefs on me as I asked them to.  Stopped going to Catholic school, stopped practicing silly rituals, stopped going to church, all while I was in my teens.  Never abused, the attempted indoctrination never "took."  I simply do not have the religion virus.  

                          Unfortunately, your "rights" keep stomping all over mine, in every aspect of American life.  If you are not personally wearing the stomping shoe, then don't fucking wear it for the others.  If you can't see that Christian fundamentalists are trying -- and largely succeeding -- in forcing their biblically-based beliefs into public policy, then you're blind.  If you do see it and do nothing about it, then you're complicit.  Get off the fence before you hurt yourself -- and me.

                          Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                          by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:31:39 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  And thats where you go wrong (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Marko the Werelynx

                            By attacking me and others like me, you win nobody over, and accomplish nothing. There are many religionists who fight the fundamentalists when they try to force their views into law, and probably do so more effectively than you could ever do so.

                            I'm not at all on the fence. I firmly believe in the separation of church and state. I resent those that try to blur those lines. However, I equally resent those like  you who ridicule others who don't share your views or beleifs while running for the fainting sofa when you believe your being attacked for beign atheists. Frankly, most of us don't care what you are. But, we do care that you are treated equally as a human being, and that you treat others the same way. While you could say that's a Christian belief, I'm sure you would agree thats a value which underlies basic human decency.

                          •  If the religionists are fighting against (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            njheathen

                            the fundamentalists then they aren't doing a very good job.

                            In the end the religionists and fundamentalists are cut from the very same cloth and they actually have more common interests than differences.

                            That is why they won't say how irrational both the fundamentalist and the more "liberal" views are.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 10:04:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  There was no abuse (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          adrianrf

                          The religious can not separate themselves from their beliefs and they consider an attack on their beliefs as an attack upon themselves.

                          This proves that religion has a privileged place in the public discourse.

                          Religion could not survive if it were subject to the same scrutiny as any other idea.

                          God is the problem, not the solution.

                          by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:31:19 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't consider critiquing religion abusive. (0+ / 0-)

                          I consider it necessary.

                          God is the problem, not the solution.

                          by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 10:00:16 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Who's being abusive here? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sam Wise Gingy

                          Read through the comments again and tell me where the bomb throwing started.

                          Religious believers usually cannot distinguish between criticism of ideas and criticism of themselves.  They take any criticism of their own religion as a personal attack.  And because they have nothing to say in defense of their beliefs, they resort to character assassination.

                          Close your eyes, stop your ears Close your mouth and take it slow Let others take the lead and you bring up the rear And later you can say you didn't know

                          by njheathen on Thu May 12, 2011 at 06:59:52 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  That all depends. (3+ / 0-)
                        If someone was writing a diary about an issue that has negatively affected their life other than religion, would you tell them they were wrong to write about it?

                        If someone was writing about having been mugged by a black man once, and extended that to saying that all black men are violent muggers who we need to "declare war on," then yes, you bet your ass I'd object—as would most people here. I wouldn't say that they were wrong to write about it, but I sure as hell would say that they're making some seriously hasty and hurtful generalizations based on stereotypes and anecdotes.

                        That's a bit of a simple analogy, but at the root, that's what's going on here. SWG was metaphorically "mugged" by some seriously abusive religious practices—practices I'm in the process of devoting my life to stopping—and is suggesting that because of that abuse, all religion is abusive and he/she is "declaring war" on it.

                •  If you think that childhood indoctrination is (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LisaR, wayoutinthestix, BYw

                  a trivial matter then you are the sick one.

                  Have you seen Jesus Camp or Hell House?

                  I lived that as a child and as an adult.

                  God is the problem, not the solution.

                  by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:53:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I am so (2+ / 0-)

                    sorry to hear this. No one should have to go through that kind of radical fundamentalist stuff especially a child. I sincerely hope that you are able to heal from that experience.

                    These are the type of people that give Christianity a bad name and you shouldn't judge all of us by your negative experience understandable as it is.

                    It's the policy stupid

                    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:05:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Cry me a river. (0+ / 0-)

                    I am a recovering Roman Catholic. I got the shit beat out of me, emotionally and physically, by those who taught me religion when I was a child.

                    You have a First Grade understanding of religion and myth. You will not impose your ideas on me and feed me a few insults along with them.

                    Don't like religion; don't have one. Don't insult those who do when you know shitall what their religion might be.

                    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                    by CherryTheTart on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:10:22 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sounds like you have plenty of issues of your own. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LucyandByron, wayoutinthestix, LisaR

                      God is the problem, not the solution.

                      by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:50:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I have one issue with you. (0+ / 0-)

                        If you don't like religion, don't have one. Don't be talking about making "war" on those who do have religion.

                        I mean you can. Clearly I cannot stop you. But you look like an asshole because:

                        1. you know very little about religion and religions

                        2. there is no need to make "war" when all you have to do is stay out of church and away from religious people.

                        What do you do? You make insulting remarks about religion and religionists to prove to us how independent from religion you are. What a hoot.

                        There are those like the Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Mary Dyer, who lost their lives because of religious persecution. You look small minded and whiny comparing your tsuris to theirs KWIM?

                        I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                        by CherryTheTart on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:03:04 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No I made very detailed and principled (0+ / 0-)

                          objections to religion.

                          Yes there were some noble characters among believers, that's because human beings are capable of great things and great ideas, if the religious don't kill them.

                          God is the problem, not the solution.

                          by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:35:16 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You have gotten your ass kicked royally. (0+ / 0-)

                            And you are too dumb to know it. You had your tip jar hiderated, Man.

                            I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                            by CherryTheTart on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:47:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That only proves that even in this (0+ / 0-)

                            community people believe that criticism of religion is taboo.

                            Again if progressives think we can get our agenda accomplished without fighting against religion we are mistaken.

                            God is the problem, not the solution.

                            by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 10:11:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If you think progressives... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Marko the Werelynx

                            ...can get our agenda accomplished without religious people as part of our coalition, you're mistaken.

                            For starters, you've just basically told the entire African-American community—which is, I'm sure you're aware, one of the bases of the Democratic Party—that the one thing that held their communities together through the worst of Jim Crow and the five decades since, the one institution that has been completely theirs and not subject to the whims of racist whites, the institution that provided much of the moral power behind the civil rights movement, is valueless and worthless and must be eliminated. Good luck getting a single African-American vote after that.

                            And telling Latino voters—the fastest-growing voting bloc in the nation and likely to be the deciding factor in any election in the southwestern US in 5-10 years—that their community's deep religious beliefs, including one of the central components of Mexican cultural identity (to name just one of many Latino cultures with religion at its center), are incompatible with your Western modernist version of reason and must be eliminated in order to have progress, isn't likely to win you many friends among them either.

                            Those are just two of the many voting blocs we need to gain even a substantial minority in state legislatures and Congress—to say nothing of a majority, where we're going to need to make a play for those in the middle, the moderate evangelicals and mainline Protestants.

                            If your version of the progressive movement requires working toward the elimination of religion, you'd better get used to having no power at all in any democratically-elected sphere.

                        •  You don't have to subscribe to an idea to be (0+ / 0-)

                          impacted by an idea.

                          When I was growing up we were told you had to smoke to be cool.

                          I thought that was BS but it still impacted how I saw myself and how others saw me.

                          We live in a religious culture and as such we are losing our edge in science. When American survey nearly the same on questions relative to evolution as Turkey, then that's bad for us, our children, and our planet.

                          God is the problem, not the solution.

                          by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 10:50:51 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes, we will (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sam Wise Gingy, adrianrf, njheathen

                      You started with the insults, so shut the fuck up!

                      We don't have to be silent just because you say we should.  Don't like diaries about the harm religion and its followers have unleashed on humanity, don't read them.  Don't insult those who write from their personal experience when you know shitall about their experiences have been.

                      Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                      by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:50:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Aha, now it comes out. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CherryTheTart

                    Religion has hurt you, and now YOU WILL HURT IT BACK! Bwahaha, that'll show 'em!

                    Look, I'm sorry you had a bad experience with religion. It doesn't give you the right to insult other people's beliefs, nor to impose your own view of the universe on people who would rather adhere to different ideas. Neither does it make religious thought inherently "irrational" (and nor does it make rationality the gold standard for human belief).

                    I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

                    by eataTREE on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:20:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  All beliefs (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      adrianrf, BYw, Sam Wise Gingy, njheathen

                      are subject to questioning and rejection.  If you disagree, you're in the wrong country.

                      Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                      by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:51:44 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Religion is irrational all on its own (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BYw

                      I gave my exact reasons for my hostility to religion.

                      When Frederick Douglass spoke against slavery his did so as one who had been a slave. So yeah is it was personal to him. But his attacks on slavery also appealed to reason and humanity.

                      No I am not on a par with Frederick Douglass, but never the less my attack on religion is based on reason and respect for humanity.

                      God is the problem, not the solution.

                      by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:31:30 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  While I'm laughing at you (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sam Wise Gingy

                  I'm also wondering if you've been harmfully brainwashed by religious indoctrination.  You've parroted so many religious reactionary talking points in your posts that you make me think you could be dangerous to yourself and others.  Seek help, really.  There, that's me telling you how to behave.

                  Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                  by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:04:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Really ironic (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CherryTheTart
                The religious sort tend to use condemnation of those who criticize them.

                Your diary disproves this statement and actually demonstrates how a self-described atheist can use his atheism to condemn those that not only criticize him, but go as far as criticizing those that don't share his beliefs or lack thereof.

                The arrogance and hypocrisy is astounding.

                PS you can't HR in your own diary. Read the FAQ.

                •  Really ignorant (0+ / 0-)

                  The diary itself criticizes no person.  It criticizes ideas.  And like most believers, you can't distinguish between criticism of ideas and criticism of people when the ideas are your own beliefs.

                  Close your eyes, stop your ears Close your mouth and take it slow Let others take the lead and you bring up the rear And later you can say you didn't know

                  by njheathen on Thu May 12, 2011 at 07:05:56 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So can I then assume... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...that if someone were to write a diary suggesting that the idea of gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people was bad for humanity, but didn't attack the people, you'd attack any LGBT person who took personal offense at the diary because it was just "criticizing ideas"?

                    Suggesting that something that is at the core of a person's identity—as things like religion, sexual orientation, core values, gender, etc. are—is objectively and absolutely wrong, indefensible, and bad for humanity will never be just "criticizing ideas."

                    Your comment can be analogized to the Christian statement, "hate the sin and love the sinner"—and we all know how many HRs that sentiment would (rightly) garner around here.

                    •  Ridiculous analogies (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LisaR

                      Gender and sexual orientation are part of the core of a person's identity.  They can't be changed.

                      Religion and values are not innate.  They are cultural artifacts.  And 99% of the time, religious indoctrination includes instructions to fear and hate people who question those beliefs.

                      It is quite obvious that hate and fear motivate most of the negative comments here.

                      Close your eyes, stop your ears Close your mouth and take it slow Let others take the lead and you bring up the rear And later you can say you didn't know

                      by njheathen on Thu May 12, 2011 at 11:06:35 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Yes it is our society (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LisaR, BYw

              and you have no right to impose your religious values on our society.

              But Christians call their leader the King of Kings and Lord of Lords so that makes it kind of hard to limit their religion's influence on our society doesn't it?

              God is the problem, not the solution.

              by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:33:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why do I get the sense that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CherryTheTart

                when you talk of "impos[ing] your religious values on our society", you mean any behaviour that could be construed as practicing a religion?

                Christians may call their God whatever they like. Cope and deal.

                I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

                by eataTREE on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:17:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No you can't call him the creator of humanity (0+ / 0-)

                  unless you have evidence. Any more than you can the earth the center of the solar system, unless of course you have evidence.

                  By can't do something I don't mean you don't have the legal right, I mean that if you do so people will think less of you.

                  God is the problem, not the solution.

                  by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:36:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Spoken like a true (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GMary, LucyandByron, njheathen

              religious extremist who wears their piety as an exoskeleton rather than an endoskeleton.  Is that what you are?

              Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

              by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:38:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  wow, what a comment (5+ / 0-)

              * anyone * currently alive (or dead for that matter) in the USA has religion imposed on them ALL THE TIME.

              Massively.

              •  How? Be specific. eom (0+ / 0-)

                I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                by CherryTheTart on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:23:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I suspect you must be being deliberately (6+ / 0-)

                  obtuse, but whatever, I'll play along . . .

                  I cannot buy alcoholic beverages (outside of a bar) on Sundays because of religion

                  I have good friends who cannot get married because of religion

                  I pay more taxes than I otherwise would because of the massive tax breaks accorded to religionists

                  The kids in my school district have watered down science textbooks because of religion

                   . . . .I could go on all night, seriously.

                  •  Laughing. (0+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hidden by:
                    njheathen

                    You first sentence is nonsensical. You can buy it but you can't buy it?

                    Religion does nothing. Religion has no agency. Some people who have religious principles do things. Some of those things are good and some of those things are bad. Life is a bitch and then you die.

                    Laughing harder. If you want the God idea to go away, don't participate in it. When you participate in it, you nurture it. Why are atheists too dumb to get that?

                    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

                    by CherryTheTart on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:52:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Again, I don't think you are as stupid (5+ / 0-)

                      as you are coming across as being.

                      I suspect that you're just fucking with me - or maybe as part of the majority that has a pervasive influence over oh so many things in society, you just can't see it.

                      In my state, liquor stores, convenient stores, etc are not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages on Sunday - that's because of religion.  I have no option to "not participate" in that if I wish to do things differently.

                      Similarly, gay marriage is not allowed in my state (and almost all others) because of religion - again, I do not have the luxury of "not participating" in that lunacy as you so magnamously suggest.  That is, the stores do not magically open for me if I opt not to participate in their religion-sanctioned closing.

                      And if I opt to "not participate" in paying the higher property taxes that I have to pay because of all the freakin' huge megachurches in the vicinity how get off scot free - believe me, that will not turn out well.

                      Same thing with the influence the religionists have over the school system - just how the fuck do i opt not to participate in that?  That just what you want, right, so you can ram you lunacy down the kids throats with no opposition at all, right?   Well fuck that, I'm not very successful but I plan to keep plugging away . . .

                      •  woah, that's weird (0+ / 0-)

                        This sentence was supposed to go with the preceding paragraph compare to were it is:

                        That is, the stores do not magically open for me if I opt not to participate in their religion-sanctioned closing.

                        •  Blue laws are fucking stupid (0+ / 0-)

                          and I don't drink!

                          And why can't I get my fucking mail on Sunday?

                          Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                          by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:01:04 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  Not obtuse. Obnoxious. (n/t) (0+ / 0-)

                    Close your eyes, stop your ears Close your mouth and take it slow Let others take the lead and you bring up the rear And later you can say you didn't know

                    by njheathen on Thu May 12, 2011 at 07:08:46 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Shall we start (6+ / 0-)

                  with years lost on advances in stem cell research?

                  Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

                  by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:53:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Are you familiar with Thomas Paine? n/t (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BYw

                God is the problem, not the solution.

                by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:59:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  over the top (0+ / 0-)

              but Sam shouldn't be HRing in his own diary.

              •  I will HR direct insults (0+ / 0-)

                and I will gladly remove such upon apology.

                God is the problem, not the solution.

                by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:37:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not without breaking the rules you won't (0+ / 0-)

                  Do you somehow believe you have some special exemption from the rules here? That's one of the things that really bugs me about some fundamentalists, they feel so self-righteous, so above the rest of us, that they feel entitled to break laws and rules. It seems "atheistist fundemantalists", if there is such a thing, suffer from the same affliction.

                  Follow the rules as I and everyone else does. You don't get to negotiate them.

          •  well, don't impose your lack of one (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CherryTheTart, GMary

            on me either.

          •  Who in this society (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CherryTheTart

            is (literally) holding a gun to your head and telling you that you MUST follow their belief systems or die?

        •  What brand? Want to know which one to avoid (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LisaR

          In case I'm in a foxhole or something.  

          "A city for sale and doomed to speedy destruction if it finds a purchaser!" -King Jugurtha of Numidia

          by LucyandByron on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:06:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Don't we have better things to be worrying about (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CherryTheTart

        than whether you are wrong or right about religion?  It really doesn't matter to me whether you think "religion" is good or bad.  Fortunately I live in a country where we are all supposed to be free to practice religion (or not) as we see fit.  You are totally free to believe what you want about religion, and I am just as entitled to my own beliefs.

        How exactly is this about getting progressive into political office?

      •  and give you a stage? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CherryTheTart, mapamp

        No.

        And this, right on the heels of a rec lsit diary asking people to stop attacking atheists.

        You do the cause no favors.

        By the way, its Anti-theism. Not Anti-thiesm. Learn to spell what you believe in.

  •  Hokay. (4+ / 0-)

    With each moment of worry we give up a moment of living.

    by dov12348 on Wed May 11, 2011 at 04:29:21 PM PDT

  •  Good luck tilting at your windmill. (21+ / 0-)

    I gave it up as a lost cause decades ago. If logic ruled, men would ride side-saddle and women astride.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Wed May 11, 2011 at 04:35:23 PM PDT

  •  War? So should we hit Vatican City w/ drones lol (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CherryTheTart, Dirtandiron

    I'm just sayin......show me a society that's 90% Atheist, and I'll show you a society that fears and vilifies the religious minority as the always-dreaded "Other".

    Human nature.

    "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

    by TheHalfrican on Wed May 11, 2011 at 04:42:39 PM PDT

  •  Speaking as a fellow atheist, (14+ / 0-)

    do we HAVE to make the next round of the Meta Wars the religion vs. atheism thing? Really?

    I have no problem with people being religious, as long as they don't try to force it on everyone, which includes making laws that have no basis other than their religion. I just don't care. If my neighbor wants to go to church on Sunday, he's welcome to it. I don't care. Just leave me alone about it, that's all I ask.

    I've always thought that these atheist manifestos are the equivalent of a mouse nipping a diplodocus's toes...it can't end well for the mouse.

    They only call it class war when we hit back.

    by jayjaybear on Wed May 11, 2011 at 04:53:33 PM PDT

    •  I have a problem with religion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LisaR, BYw

      because it morphs.

      Most religions in the USA are fairly benign most of the time, but believers move from one obsession to  another.

      The problem is that religion impacts their ability to reason both internally with themselves and externally with others.

      God is the problem, not the solution.

      by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:05:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No we don't have to fight against religion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LisaR

      we can just let religion take over.

      God is the problem, not the solution.

      by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:25:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's a news flash... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CherryTheTart, mapamp, Sam Wise Gingy

        IT ALREADY HAS! Look around you. The vast majority of religious citizens of the USA co-exist peacefully, if not whole-heartedly tolerantly, with the tiny, tiny percentage of atheist citizens. Did I mention "tiny"? You're Grand Fenwick, without the a-bomb. Until the day comes when I'm explicitly forced to bow before an altar, by the forces of government or quasi-government, I'm not going to poke the dinosaur. The fact that atheism is a tiny, tiny percentage of the population's beliefs does not justify the desire to oppress and suppress other people's religious beliefs.

        If I expect to be left alone in my beliefs or lack thereof, I am compelled to allow others their own. Anything else is hypocrisy.

        They only call it class war when we hit back.

        by jayjaybear on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:26:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are more nonreligious people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          adrianrf

          in this country than there are African Americans or Jews.  Is that a tiny number of people whose views deserve to be ignored?

          Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

          by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:59:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The religious influence on our society (0+ / 0-)

          is largely negative.

          I am not attacking your right to a belief and practice. I am attacking the idea the idea that religion makes a positive impact on individuals and societies.

          God is the problem, not the solution.

          by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:53:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I sent this to my friend, the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, musing85, mapamp

    Bishop of New Hampshire. He's gay, in case you didn't know, and a real progressive.

    Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

    by commonmass on Wed May 11, 2011 at 04:54:06 PM PDT

  •  You're declaring war on religion (4+ / 0-)

    because religion has caused wars?

    "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:05:54 PM PDT

  •  There is no point trying to engage this (5+ / 0-)

    diarist.

    Let me simply point out that the diary is remarkably poorly written and poorly reasoned.

    Better atheists, please.  This one can't even spell his tags properly.

    It is a calling...to do things about injustice.... It helps to have a goal. I've always tried to have one.--Ted Kennedy, True Compass

    by Timaeus on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:20:06 PM PDT

    •  More insults (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LisaR, stripbubbles

      The message is clear. Mess with religion and your grammar will be graded.

      God is the problem, not the solution.

      by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:38:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh good grief. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CherryTheTart, mapamp

        You're not messing with religion. You're just having a little anonymous temper tantrum on an anonymous Internet forum.

        And even though this is one of very few places on the Internet where atheists really do thrive and are almost completely free from discrimination, you still manage to piss off everybody, theists and atheists alike.

        If you're a victim, you're a victim of yourself.

        Since Jesus commanded us to love our enemies, I just said a little prayer for you.  Sincerely.

        It is a calling...to do things about injustice.... It helps to have a goal. I've always tried to have one.--Ted Kennedy, True Compass

        by Timaeus on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:50:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How about you (4+ / 0-)

          get off the cross, we need the wood.

          You just said it yourself: "one of very few places on the Internet where atheists really do thrive and are almost completely free from discrimination..."

          Not just the internet, Timaeus.  Atheists are discriminated against in every facet of life in this country, including in their own homes.  And in most places, it's still acceptable to open express that discrimination.  Abetted and encouraged in many places.  Poor religionists, no longer free to openly express their hatred of atheists without being told to stop it!  

          Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

          by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:28:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Dont' worry... (6+ / 0-)
      Better atheists, please.

      We're here.  And at least one of us is facepalming at this diary with you.

      •  Amen. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CherryTheTart, mapamp, sargoth

        Or, should I just say: thanks for the comment.

        I should say: I think I saw a comment somewhere where the diarist was complaining about his misfortunes of being raised in a fundamentalist home or something like that.

        For what it's worth, I'm not without sympathy or understanding for that, although that didn't happen to me.

        I hope that the diarist, over many years, will learn more, mainly based on interactions with many more people, and will find a happier attitude towards his past.  (Indeed, I wish that for all of us, but rarely feel called to say that.)

        It is a calling...to do things about injustice.... It helps to have a goal. I've always tried to have one.--Ted Kennedy, True Compass

        by Timaeus on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:33:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  oh for the love of god. (8+ / 0-)

    This is what I would expect from an eighth grader who had a bad day at CCD or Hebrew School.

    religion is inextricably entwined with humanity.  Deal with it.

  •  Hmmmm..... (10+ / 0-)
    Whereas religion has been either the direct cause or a proximate cause of nearly all of the world's wars...

    During the 20th Century, the United States was involved in:
    • World War I
    • World War II
    • The Cold War
    • The Korean War
    • The Vietnam War
    • Desert Storm

    Tell me, which of those was caused by religion, and not by some asshole or group of assholes who wanted to control something or someone else?
    Where as religion has no appeal to reason or truth in that no religious principle can be found to be either true or false by means of reason...

    Almost every philosophy on this planet, whether it be a religious philosophy, economic philosophy, or political philosophy has aspects to it that remain open questions.

    Tell me, do you believe in unalienable rights? Or how about "the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world"? Because a lot of human rights law is based around inherent dignity & unalienable rights, but it'd be damn tough to prove the existence of either if left to observation alone.

    •  Unfortunately, this diarist is too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CherryTheTart, TheHalfrican

      uneducated and angry to understand this post.

      It is a calling...to do things about injustice.... It helps to have a goal. I've always tried to have one.--Ted Kennedy, True Compass

      by Timaeus on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:11:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A debate on the substance, good. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LisaR

      World War I German nationalism, which was an off shoot of their religion.
      World War II Nazism a perversion of Christianity with a strong measure of Lutheran antisemitism thrown in. Shintoism for the Japanese.
      Viet Nam war American exceptionalism based on a perverse yet prevalent understanding of Christianity.
      Desert Storm facilitated by Islam and the belief that Allah had anointed Sadam H.
      Afghanistan against the Talaban and Wahabists
      Kosovo
      Israel and the Palestinians
      The Civil war in Iraq between the Suni and Shite
      The  genocide in the Sudan between Muslims and Christians
      The wars between Hindus and Muslims in India
      American Civil War based on the bible's sanction of slavery.
      American Revolutionary war by the British based on their defense of the divine right of kings and our rejection of the divine right of kings.
      Need more, this is just off the top of my head.
       

      God is the problem, not the solution.

      by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:29:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The civil (0+ / 0-)

        war wasn't about slavery because of the bible. It was about cheap labor and getting rid of that "free labor" so to speak would make the whole plantation system collapse.  Some of them used the bible to justify their positions after the fact.

        It's the policy stupid

        by Ga6thDem on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:54:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, dispute the Shinto (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LisaR, Ace Nelson

        There are many different sects of Shinto, some of which opposed the war and their priests went to jail for it.  

        The newly-cobbled up State Shinto was used as a patriotic cover for the warmongers to sell a public that was still at that point (like Americans) just emerging from considerable  isolationism.  It was a lot more about money and control of resources.  People in Japan are just not religious in the way Westerners understand it.  

        "A city for sale and doomed to speedy destruction if it finds a purchaser!" -King Jugurtha of Numidia

        by LucyandByron on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:17:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hope we've come to undertand (0+ / 0-)

          it a little better from stories written since the earthquake/tsunami.  I know I have.

          Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

          by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:05:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  So what that really means.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musing85, CherryTheTart, TheHalfrican

        ...is that you can twist the meaning of just about anything bad that happens in order to present religion as a proximate cause of it.

        That says almost nothing about religion, but volumes about you.

      •  Way to reach there, buddy. (0+ / 0-)

        Oh yes, Social Darwinism had nothin to do with either of the World Wars, nope.

        I suppose I could go on about how the priest who baptized me almost got sent to federal prison for protesting Vietnam, but why bother. Google "Camden 28" if you ever feel like challenging your assumptions about people. Then read this and ask yourself why one of the co-founders of that Christian New Monasticism charity/advocacy group is a agnostic.

        "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

        by TheHalfrican on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:46:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Jefferson and Franklin (0+ / 0-)

      coined that phrase and they asserted that natural rights were bestowed on humanity by nature.

      This principle sir was derived from reason, not revelation.

      Jefferson considered religion tyranny over the mind and in spite of his involvement with the Unitarians came to have the disposition to religion as I express. How ever Jefferson was smart enough to keep it to himself.

      God is the problem, not the solution.

      by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 09:22:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You may want to read up on Franklin (0+ / 0-)

      and what he observed among the native Americans. You will find that he observed natural rights.

      God is the problem, not the solution.

      by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 09:23:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let the record show that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LisaR

    there was not rebuttal of any charge against religion.

    Instead those who chose to criticize this diary chose to criticize the diarist.

    God is the problem, not the solution.

    by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 05:40:48 PM PDT

  •  But religion helps many people, so we can't (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus, LisaR, Ace Nelson

    just declare war on it.  You at least raise the question, though.

    We have to remember that people are in different stages of life.  Each of us needs to be our best, however we live life and whatever we believe.  

    It has to be done, for ourselves and the next generation.  Ideally, everyone should be educated at maturity.  Realistically, that's not always the case.

  •  I'm an atheist, but you lost me on the first (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fcvaguy, CherryTheTart, mapamp

    sentence of the diary. Could it be any more of a cliche.

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:13:17 PM PDT

  •  Dude, you're playing into their hands (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    docmidwest, mapamp, adrianrf

    Give it a rest.  I yield to no-one in my scorn for irrational beliefs, but this is not the way to deal with people with martyr's robes at the ready.  

    I understand you're unhappy, but let it go.  Those who made your childhood miserable are still controlling you as long as you remain obsessed with them in this way.  Kick them out of your head and find a better path that has no ties to your past pain.  Living free is the best revenge.  

    You might also try working in an Asian country such as Japan or Thailand where Christianity is irrelevant.  Buddhism is not a religion, it is a philosophy, so societies founded on that ethical system may feel more comfortable to you.     Peace.

    "A city for sale and doomed to speedy destruction if it finds a purchaser!" -King Jugurtha of Numidia

    by LucyandByron on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:14:28 PM PDT

    •  Atheist circular firing squads (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sam Wise Gingy

      make me queasy.  Enough of accommodationism already.

      Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

      by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:07:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is not about me. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LisaR, adrianrf

      The defense of the religious is make challenges to their religion about their attackers.

      There are plenty of things I wish I had said that I didn't and many things I would have said differently and will use that knowledge on the next round and there will be many rounds.

      I make no apology for attacking religion any more than I would make an apology for attacking racism.

      God is the problem, not the solution.

      by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:02:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't believe religious bigotry . . . (4+ / 0-)

    is deemed acceptable here.  HR'd.  And note, for the record, that I am not a Christian.  But this diary seems to equate virtually all religion with right-wing Christianist attitudes and behavior, and I will not allow bigoted attacks on people's spiritual beliefs to go unanswered.

    Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

    by Aji on Wed May 11, 2011 at 06:51:48 PM PDT

    •  But will you allow (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sam Wise Gingy

      religious and spiritual beliefs to go unquestioned?

      Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

      by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:43:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I never said that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CherryTheTart

        So don't try putting words in my mouth.  But this is bigotry, pure and simple, and woefully full of inaccuracies besides.  We're supposed to be better than the bigots.

        Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

        by Aji on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:50:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't say you said it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sam Wise Gingy

          I asked a question.  That seems to be a problem around here.  I ask questions to continue the dialogue, not accuse.  Questioning and denouncing religion is not bigotry, no matter how much you want it to be or say it is.

          Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the promised land. Sometimes it's just New Jersey. ~Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

          by LisaR on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:17:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is not the point. (0+ / 0-)

            The point is that this is bigotry, period, and it should not be acceptable here.

            Since you'll keep deflecting to your question, which has nothing to do with what I said, the fact of the matter is that I have questioned and challenged EVERYTHING my entire life.  But in so doing, I don't engage in the same outrageous and vile bigotry that extremists of whatever stripe do, and that is on display in this diary in all its ugly glory.  And, yes, I do have spiritual practices.  Very ancient ones, that have zero to do with pushing anything on anyone else, or with discriminating against those who believe differently.

            Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

            by Aji on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:24:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What if religion is as destructive to humanity (0+ / 0-)

              as believe it is?

              If I was saying that racism is destructive to humanity a hundred years ago and the Dailykos was around then I would have gotten nearly the same reactions as I am getting to the statement that religion is destructive to humanity.

              God is the problem, not the solution.

              by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 10:24:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Please tell me what the bigotry is? (0+ / 0-)

          I made my case against religion very succinctly, if you take issue with my reasoning please state why.

          God is the problem, not the solution.

          by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 09:39:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You've launched a broadside against "religion." (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TheHalfrican

            Never mind that you haven't bothered to define "religion" accurately, and you norm your entire "argument" based on Christianity.  Or perhaps "christianism" would be a better word.  It's bigotry to tar all spiritual and religious practices with the same brush full of smears, particularly when you clearly know nothing about a huge array of such practices the wold over.  Just because you don't happen to believe in anything spiritual doesn't make you de facto correct, nor those who do believe de facto incorrect  and no, I'm not going back to frosh logic to dissect your fallacies for you.

            And, of course, since this whole diary was written as a response to getting your hand figuratively slapped earlier today, when you hijacked a spiritual diary with vicious and bigoted attacks and got hiderated for your nasty behavior, makes your protestations much more than disingenuous.

            Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

            by Aji on Wed May 11, 2011 at 09:50:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am only proving that religion gets a free ride (0+ / 0-)

              when it comes to reason.

              Religious ideas are exempt from scrutiny and reason and that is the primary reason they have been so destructive to humanity. Because reason is the human distinctive. Our ability to imagine and communicate and think is why we have reason to hope for a better life for ourselves and our children.

              Religion is an enemy to all of that, because it desires to restrain our minds.

              God is the problem, not the solution.

              by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 11:19:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Pwned. (0+ / 0-)

              "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

              by TheHalfrican on Thu May 12, 2011 at 02:49:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I wondered why you hiderated the whole diary. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aji

      Well said.

      I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

      by CherryTheTart on Wed May 11, 2011 at 08:15:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Religions vary only in degree (0+ / 0-)

      as they are all based on irrational principles and they all compromise our reasoning ability. Some religions are worst than others but there is no such thing as good religion.

      God is the problem, not the solution.

      by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 09:36:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  HEY! There's no "Therefore" statement!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CherryTheTart, mapamp, figleef

    I hate to tell you but there's all these "Whereas" statements but no final conclusion that the cited facts (?) in the "Whereas"  statements are supposed to  point to.
    There's no conclusion, no concluding statement. Your diary therefore doesn't pass 9th grade standards of debate

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:35:31 PM PDT

  •  Whereas the diarist has (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CherryTheTart, mapamp, figleef

    vented falsehoods; and
    Whereas the diarist has reasoned in bad faith; and
    Whereas the diarist doesn't have anything remotely resembling an argument; and
    Whereas the diarist was fairly obviously just trying to stir up shit;

    Now, therefore:

    Why, yes, I AM calling bullshit!

    and further, be it resolved:

    Quit hogging all the stupid. Delete this diary, please.

    (Last image courtesy of dadanation)

  •  I'm an agnostic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    figleef, crose

    I don't know whether or not there is/are any God/s, but I know pie exists. :-D

    If it's
    Not your body
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    AND it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Wed May 11, 2011 at 09:19:30 PM PDT

  •  This diary isn't specific enough. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aji

    Nice broad statements about "religion," but not nearly concrete enough.

    So, diarist, if you truly believe that "religion stands as an apparent obstacle to the peace and the harmony of humanity," and that "religion is a general offense against humanity," and if you truly believe in making war on religion, then you should have no problem whatsoever typing the following sentence:

    I hereby declare myself at war with __. I believe that __ is a general offense against humanity and we should work towards its elimination.

    In a reply to this comment, please copy and paste that statement one time for each and every one of these religious beliefs, with the religion in question filling in the blank. (i.e., you would type "I hereby declare myself at war with Christianity. I believe that Christianity is a general offense against humanity and we should work towards its elimination." And the same for all the other religions I will name below...)

    Here's my quick list of religious beliefs, for each and every one of which I want to see you write that sentence: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, animism, polytheism, deism, pantheism, panentheism, American Indian religion, African non-Christian religion, New Age-ism, ancestor worship.

    I expect to see that statement appear once for each and every one of those religions, expressing your belief that as religions, each and every one of those belief systems specifically is a general offense against humanity and needs to be stamped out and destroyed.

    No more hiding behind "religion." Let's see you come out and state that each and every one of those religions I name above needs to be destroyed, each one specifically. If you truly believe as you claim in this diary, then such a statement should be absolutely no problem for you. If you do not reply as I prescribe above, then you either (a) do not believe what you have written in your diary and comments, or (b) are a coward who has no trouble ripping on Christianity but are afraid to write the same things about other religions that people on this site are more likely to sympathize with than Christianity.

    •  LOL - you've made it harder for him than you know. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JamesGG

      Because there is no such thing as "American Indian religion."  There are currently something like 568 recognized tribes - plus the ones fighting for recognition/re-recognition, plus the hundreds (thousands?) exterminated post-Contact, and each and every one of them has/had its own specific set of spiritual practices.  Are there similarities?  Of course, particularly among some of those that are ethnically and linguistically related.  But they all have their differences, too.  And the "Native American Church" (which is a hybrid of various traditional practices and variants of Christianity, in part to attempt to insulate those traditional practices from federal meddling) is a separate entity that does not adhere specifically to the practices of any one tribe - but in which you'll find regional and other differences in its practices around the country.

      I imagine the same is true of indigenous societies the world over.  So I wonder how much time he's got to complete your list - to say nothing of the research time involved to be sure he's covered all his bases.  I'm guessing years, at a minimum. :-D

      Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

      by Aji on Wed May 11, 2011 at 09:42:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I knew there were multiple religions.... (0+ / 0-)

        ...but sadly, I know none of their names (an indictment of our educational system... all I got in elementary school was some "noble savage"-style stuff about "the Great Spirit"... but it still doesn't excuse my ignorance).

        I also figured that referring to them as a group might also heighten the contradiction a bit, in that he might realize as he typed out that he wanted to eliminate all American Indian religion just how chauvinistic and arrogant he sounds, presuming to declare his Western modernist reason to be objectively and absolutely better than practices that have served communities of people for thousands of years.

        I also wanted him to think "this is the same thing my ancestors might have written as they marched off with the American Army to slaughter American Indians out West."

        I sincerely apologize if I gave offense, in my ignorance.

        •  No, no, nothing like that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JamesGG

          Just . . . erm . . . adding to the degree of difficulty of the task you set for him, which I thought was ingenious. :-D

          You're absolutely right in your take on the whole "noble savage" business, and the historical perspective.  Not that I expect it to have an effect here, but I agree with you on it, FWIW.

          Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

          by Aji on Wed May 11, 2011 at 10:03:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This is one of religion's many defenses (0+ / 0-)

      Because they are not all the same all arguments don't apply to all of them equally.

      So no matter what you say someone is a legitimate exception to any statement about religion. For example the Quakers didn't facilitate any wars. But they still believe in angels and demons and heaven and hell, or at least they used to.

      No I can't and won't make a specific attack on every religion. No one can.

      But I maintain never the less that humanity is best served by reason and in so far as religion holds some ideas exempt from the scrutiny of reason religion represents a hazard to humanity.  

      God is the problem, not the solution.

      by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 11, 2011 at 10:36:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So which is it, A or B? (0+ / 0-)

        Do you truly not believe what you are writing about all religion (your Quaker statement), or are you truly afraid to stand behind the claim that "religion represents a hazard to humanity" when it gets more specific than the vague, generalized "religion" or abusive fundamentalist Christianity?

        No I can't and won't make a specific attack on every religion. No one can.

        Nobody's asking you to attack anything specific about those religions. All I'm asking you to do is make it concrete where you're hiding behind (faulty) generalizations.

        Of course you can't write those two sentences about every religion in the world—but I've named a number of religions in the parent comment that you can write those two sentences about. So if you truly believe that "religion represents a hazard to humanity," then it should be absolutely no trouble for you to write, say, "Judaism represents a hazard to humanity," or "Buddhism represents a hazard to humanity."

        You prize (Western, modernist) reason above all other things; it's simple deductive, formal logic.

        Premise: All religion represents a hazard to humanity, and we should work to eliminate it.
        Premise: [insert religion here] is a religion.
        Therefore...
        Conclusion: [insert religion here] represents a hazard to humanity, and we should work to eliminate it.

        If you truly believe the first premise, and you accept that the religions I name above are, indeed, religions (and it would be difficult for you to contend otherwise), then you must accept the conclusion; that's deductive logic, which forms the basis of the "reason" to which you claim to adhere.

        If you are unwilling to type that conclusion about each and every one of the religions I name above, it must therefore follow that (a) you don't truly believe the first premise, or (b) you are afraid to have an online record of your saying that Judaism or Hunduism or animism or the various American Indian religions should be eliminated.

    •  Love that (0+ / 0-)

      This diarist has got to step away from the bong a little more.

      "O, yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath-- America will be!"

      by Satya1 on Thu May 19, 2011 at 10:49:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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