Sunday, 17 February 2013

Dear Christians

An open letter to Christians.
The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of AtheismDear Christians.

You seem puzzled and shocked by the recent change in Atheists and appear to be mystified and confused because we have stopped being deferential and 'respecting' your right to be above questioning, and politely exempting you from the need to justify your beliefs and the claims to power and privilege you have traditionally exercised, unchallenged, for many centuries.

You appear to be affronted by, and indignant at, our sudden perceived 'rudeness', as though we are like surly servants who have suddenly refused to be servile and have declined to be at your beck and call.

This letter is my attempt to explain why this has happened. I speak for myself though I hope my fellow Atheists agree with me.

You may have heard it called 'New Atheism'. It is really just the same old Atheism but now without the polite and considerate deference to your sensitivities and your strange allergy to questions like how?, why? and what? to which you had for long been accustomed.

You see, we have realised you were simply taking advantage of our politeness - not so much because you saw it as your right to deference and to be immune from having to justify yourselves, though you undoubtedly did see it as your right - but because you saw it as a weakness in us to be exploited. You exploited our polite consideration by making us feel guilty for asking you these very reasonable questions.

We no longer feel guilty for upsetting you with questions which you should be able to answer if your reasons are honest, but which you self-evidently can't answer, hence your frequently loud indignation and cries of foul. You may not like it; you might kick and scream like a spoiled trustafarian Sloan Square brat, but you are now required to justify your claim to power and privilege; it is no longer yours by right.

Events like the 9-11 attack on New York, the 7-7 attack in London, the 3-11 attack on Madrid, the faith-based initiatives in Palestine, Sudan, Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Nigeria, Rwanda, Chechnya, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, East Timor, Bali, and many other points of conflict in the world, have shown us that religion is not a force for peace in the world but a source of conflict. The only 'peace' religion knows is the peace of total surrender and abject submission at the end of the war it has waged on those who dare to stand up to it.

We have come to see that you give permission to the extremists in your midst by sanctioning 'faith' as a means to determine truth and lending respectability to the idea that all truth can be found in an old book of primitive myths, barbaric tribal morality and forged and falsified Bronze and Iron Age legends, and to the absurd notion that a suspension of critical thinking and analytical skills is to be admired.

And you see, we remember the way you behaved when you held complete power over us and we have resolved to never allow you to do the same again. We refer to this period as The Dark Ages, before the Enlightenment began to open our eyes to the possibilities you were denying us and the fallacies you were using to justify your abuses.

We remember how you unleashed a murderous purge on rival beliefs and even rival sects of your own belief once your particular sect had gained total power within the remnant Roman Empire as it entered it's terminal decline, destroying any evidence that your own sect was based on systematically forged and falsified records.

We remember how you killed anyone who showed the slightest doubt or dared to question your handed-down dogma and how you promoted to positions of power and authority only those who signed up to your lies and deceptions and who conspired with you to foist your invented 'faith' onto the ordinary people.

We remember how you supported and validated a repugnant feudal system in which millions of people lived as slaves with their very lives at the disposal of the land-owners you gave authority to in return for privilege and patronage and protection and tolerance of your greed, debauchery and gluttony whilst those around you died of disease and starvation. We remember how you told the people it was God's will that these parasites ruled over us and God's will that we lived lives of abject misery and hopelessness because we could look forward to something better, like an unctuous trader in a bazaar selling us a pig in a poke and scarpering before we asked for our money back. Although, as you knew, we would never be in a position to ask for our lives back.

We remember how you unleashed murderous attacks on distant people on the pretext of liberation when your own position was under threat, or to whip a truculent people into line by imbuing them with paranoia about a distant enemy. Or simply to fill your coffers with war booty stolen from its rightful owners on the pretext of confiscation as punishment for sin. We remember how you threw young men into battle to die horribly whilst you cheered from the sidelines and rejoiced in the depths of the blood that flowed through the streets of Jerusalem and other cities, from the safety of your palaces, abbeys, castles and citadels.

We remember how you indiscriminately murdered tens of thousands of people in southern France because some of them dared to refuse to pay tithes, dared to question your dogma and preferred to follow a different one, just to secure the southern borders of a despot whose support you wanted.

We remember how you sold indulgences to the rich and powerful so they could buy exemption from the need to behave decently towards their people, and so they could live debauched and violent lives of greed and selfishness and be free to exploit those with whom they dealt unfettered by the need to behave humanely or treat others with the dignity that should have been their due as human beings.

We remember how you organised pogroms and persecutions and massacres against Jews, often just at the time a powerful ruler was being asked to please pay back the money he had borrowed from them, often under conditions they could not refuse, or simply to secure popular support for your favourite local despot.

We remember how you sanctioned and organised the slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent women in frequent periods of witch paranoia usually as a distraction for something else which was threatening your power and privilege or to help out an unpopular despot who was having trouble controlling his underlings.

We remember how you blessed and sanctified the frequent wars of conquest, selling your blessings to the highest bidders or those who held out the promise of a share in the spoils and we remember how you created a Hell on earth for very many people throughout much of the last 2000 years with the disregard for human dignity of the homicidal psychopath.

We remember how you normally provided the advance guard for colonial imperialists by exporting your superstition to backward and ignorant people, selling them the same lies that you had sold us, with the same false promises, in return for handing over power over their lives, their countries and their natural resources to those with whom you were hand in glove and to whose ruling classes you cravenly capered.

We remember how you gave moral authority to the slave traders who treated whole races of people like animals the easier to buy, sell, breed and kill them at will to earn the profits for the people who paid you for this service. And we remember how you stigmatised, demonised and damned to Hell those who tried to end slavery, and then those who tried to bring equal civil rights to those who had eventually gained their freedom.

And we remember how you keep the descendants of those slaves in positions of economic and social inferiority by telling them the old lie that it is God's will and they will have jam and freedom tomorrow in return for the stale breadcrumbs and subservience of today and we remember how you have sold credulous people the deeply repugnant idea that the best thing that could possibly happen is that everyone is killed in a war to end wars which only your small sect will survive so they can have everything for themselves. We remember how you sold this unspeakable greed, selfishness and hatred for our fellow man as a good thing and a moral crusade.

We remember how you sell hate disguised as love; division disguised as unity; racism and plutocracy disguised as economic freedom and superstition and lies disguised as science.

We remember how you lie to our children and brainwash them with the fear of Hellfire and the guilt of 'original sin' and use that fear to keep them in servile ignorance and deluded into believing that ignorance, superstition and cowering compliance are preferable to questioning, learning, reason and self-reliance.

We remember how you relegated women to subject, sub-human, under-class status for most of history and regarded them as brood mares to be used and abused with impunity by men, and how you demonised and damned those women who stood up for themselves and their fellows and demanded the right to be treated as fully human with full human rights and full access to opportunities and justice. We remember how you used threats and guilt to prevent women exercising their right to control their own fertility and to plan their families and so liberate themselves from a life of drudgery and dependence.

We remember how you opposed every extension of human right to all socio-economic classes; how you opposed every extension of the franchise; how you opposed every move towards liberalisation and inclusion and freedom from discrimination for minorities and how you could always be relied on to find just the excuse the vested interests needed to justify their denial of democratic rights to whichever group it suited them to deny them to.

And we remember your frequent abuses of the power and authority you have held over vulnerable people, especially, but not only, children, and how, when you have learned of these abuses you have conspired to keep the perpetrators from justice and free to continue their abuse and how you have withheld information from and obstructed the authorities who were investigating these abuses.

And we remember how you lied about condoms and AIDS and so hampered attempts by humanitarians to bring relief from famine, poverty and sickness for much of the third world.

In short, we remember how you abused every little bit of power you had and how you continue to abuse the little power we have still to take from you. We remember how you have almost never (or only very rarely and then only because you have demanded a monopoly on 'charity' which you have often used as a cover for your other abuses) been a force for good in the world but have almost always been a force for bad; for reaction, for repression, for division and discrimination. And we remember how you shamefacedly posed as the guardians of our morals from your position of moral bankruptcy and how you demanded the right to tell us how to live our lives.

We have now realised that all the arguments you have traditionally deployed in defence of your superstition and to justify your power and privilege have been refuted and falsified and that science has never found a single scrap of evidence for the supernatural you defer to or the magic being you tell us inhabits it and from whom you derive your authority.

We have discovered that your claims are fraudulent and the disreputable claims of the confidence trickster and the charlatan.

We will no longer stand in polite deference and allow you to continue your abuse of the human race on the pretext of the fraud you have systematically perpetrated against humanity. They have done nothing to deserve you and we need to be rid of you. The future of humanity depends on it.

We accept that some of you do some good in the world and that a few of you perform great acts of self-sacrifice out of love for your fellow man, and thank you for it, but we regret that you do so little to expose and oppose the harm that so many of your co-religionists do.

Begone! Go now! I wish to have no more of you.

Yours sincerely.


p.s. Should you mend your ways and resolve to be decent, productive and useful people, you are more than welcome to be part of the brighter future which freedom from religion will bring. You have nothing to fear from Atheists when we are the majority and hold the power that you once abused. You will have the same rights and privileges as other people, no more and no less. We will accord you the same respect as others and with the dignity which is your right as a fellow human being - a dignity which was so conspicuously lacking in your treatment of other people, especially those who dared to disagree with you and stood up to your bullying, and which would undoubtedly be lacking again were you ever to regain the power you once held.

You have nothing to fear from us because the very last people we will behave like is you.

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  1. This essay would be greatly enhanced by inserting hyperlinks when referring to an historical event and where names are not used.

  2. Well you don't mince your words! You also seem to believe in pretty big generalisations - I wouldn't agree with painting all Christians with the tar of the traditional Roman Catholic (power-centric) approach to Christianity (often so steeped in legalism as to barely be Christianity at all). You seem to be confusing the idea of corrupt church leaders doing their own thing with real Christianity.

    I'm a Christian and I haven't experienced anything of the nonsense you describe, and no Christian I know or anyone who followed the Bible would ascribe to any of the principles or vile practices you list - it's the excesses of the medieval (and indeed at times the modern) "Church" that you're raging against. This "Church" has often sadly had little to do with God or Christianity when it comes to its leaders, and in extreme cases they twisted and perverted the rules and indeed invented their own rules under the veil of "Christianity". The same way you can shoot a bunch of people in the head and then say you're a Buddhist - it doesn't mean that all Buddhists are peace-hating lunatics filled with bloodlust.

    I think real Christians should invite questioning, and you're absolutely right to say that we shouldn't exempt ourselves from that! If that is the new Atheism, then I welcome it, provided that it's a two-way dialogue, and not just a load of one-sided ranting, which is what you appear to be indulging in here.

    1. I doubt it would be possible to address a letter to Christians and for it not to be general.

      No true Scotsmen fallacy duly noted.

    2. Paul, you think Rosa is referring to the medieval catholic church. As I read the list examples came to mind of the same problems existing today or in our lifetime that are caused by religions of all strains not just catholicism. The way christianity and islam are moving in Africa at the moment make me think that it is about to go through its medieval phase.

      And I think you let off lightly a lot of medieval true believers with the idea of corrupt church leaders doing their own thing. They did it with the help of the masses. The masses justified their own participation with comforting words from the same book you read and in which you, luckily for us, find a totally different meaning. Lets hope the african masses read their books in the same way.

    3. Love the traditional excuse that we don't do it now and anyway they weren't real Christians.

      The old ones are always the best, I think.

    4. Paul, what two-way dialogue is necessary in this particular context? If you tell a bully 'no more' do you then negotiate? Perhaps just accept being bullied on Tuesdays?

      In the appropriate place there is endless debate, but this is a statement and one I support.

      As for 'not all Christians' I had a conversation at the height of the child abuse revelations with a Catholic woman who said "but not all Christians are like that". Despite her revulsion for what was happening she still supported the church and thought it was wonderful. She really was a nice person - as I freely admitted - aside from her ability to hold two opposing opinions about the church in her head at one time.

      As I pointed out to her, the better she was in her life the more harm she did by supporting the church. To put it at its simplest, people meeting her would say that "she is clearly a nice person so the church must be safe for my children". By being one of the 1.2 billion Christians (who can't all be wrong) she helped give the church an acceptable face. She was enabling the crimes (not to mention funding them) and every time she said "I'm a Catholic" helping to draw in more victims.

      Not that I really blamed her personally. She too was a victim of the previous generation of Christians. But adults have to take some responsibility for what they do and say and if you joined the KKK because you quite liked the bedsheets they hid under then you'd have to accept the criticism.

    5. "Not all Christians.." really? That's the BEST argument against this essay? "We're not all like that." THAT THERE IS A SINGLE ABRAHAMIC BELIEVER WHO CHOOSES VIOLENCE OVER PEACE PROVES THE WHOLE THING IS A LIE. There is no omnipotent god who enters the hearts and minds of every single Believer and magically turns them into instruments of peace. If there were, we would not still be having this argument. If a Believer bothers to read the bible front to back, there's all manner of violence, and the peace it calls for often leads to its followers playing the victim in an endless charade of codependency on the church, governments, and other institutions that fall in and out of alleged favor with an imaginary deity. So even your "peace" is imaginary. You can't hold the ancient Abrahamic texts up as perfect and unwavering, then dismiss the unpleasant parts we cite as "oh well we're not really like that." SOME OF YOU ARE! and the fact even one of your lot under your tent flap still clings to violence as a solution to humanity's problems, and refuse to accept that blind belief in unproved malarkey IS one of humanity's many problems, makes every single one of you culpable.

  3. "We no longer feel guilty for upsetting you with questions which you should be able to answer if your reasons are honest, but which you self-evidently can't answer"

    I've never seen a question asked by an atheist that I haven't already asked myself AND been able to answer to my satisfaction. And if you weren't such a bigot you'd see that it is not religion that poisons everything. Rather it is we humans who poison everything, including religion.

    1. Great!

      So you can tell me how you know that Satan didn't write the Bible to fool you then. No one else has managed it so far. See How Do You Know Satan Didn't Write The Bible?

      When you've done that you could try the Easter Challenge.

      I have several more, but let me know how you do with these.

    2. Oops! Thesauros ran away! I wonder if he's still boasting about never having seen a question from an Atheist he couldn't answer.

  4. Magnificent. Brava, Rosa!

  5. I note that you have already received a couple of responses from affronted Christians. Recently I've come across attacks on atheists that do not proffer the same right to response. Instead they launch their WMDs (Words of Mass Deception) and expect us to just accept their lies and distortions. They are, frankly, cowards and bullies. It will be interesting to see if your respondents can control their tendency to ignore our arguments and talk to us rather than at us. I'll watch with interest how things develop.

    1. Honest Christians prepared to debate honestly are as rear as hens' teeth in my experience.

      I don't know whether it comes their arrogant assumption that people are simply required to listen to what they say and meekly accede to it and comply with their diktats, or from an understanding that their faith is fraudulent and is merely being used to lend an excuse for antisocial behaviour and to control and exploit simple and vulnerable people.

      I suspect it's a mixture of both.

  6. Fantastic post. First time here and it looks like I have some reading to do but great work so far!

  7. Atheists wouldn't exist without christianity so they owe they're very existence to us and God. You're welcome!

    1. Don't be too embarrassed. It's quite understandable why you needed to resort to bearing false witness. People just need to read the blog to see the hypocrisy that has posed as religion for the past 2000 years.

    2. Mind you, it's good to get the most infantile comment in early. I doubt many will outdo yours.

    3. I don't believe in Vishnu, Odin or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I'm afraid you'll have to share responsibility for my atheism with hundreds of religions and thousands of gods.

    4. I particularly like the. 'if it wasn't for christianity there be on atheism' . Human beings have been about for over 85,000 years when we started roaming out of Africa. What were they up to for the first 83,000, before Christians came along :-)

    5. Every now and then a genuine 22 caret gold balm pot comes along and it makes it all worth it. :-)

  8. I won't waste my time challenging everything you've poorly researched, but just to highlight your lack of credibility, I'll just respond to your 7th paragraph. Hitler's Germany exterminated 6 million Jews and killed about 9 million Christians. Stalin purges in the Russian republics prior to and continuing after World War II killed roughly 40 to 60 million people; nearly wiping out every Christian church under Stalin's domain. Third, following World War II, China saw to the end of more than 24 million lives during the first ten years of Mao's takeover; another 25 million killed or intentionally starved between 1959 and 1962; plus an additional 22 million killings in the 1970's Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution. Cambodia suffered more than 2 million killed in its own bloody transition to anti-religious communism after United States forces suffered the fall of what was called Saigon and then largely withdrew from the region. I wonder how many people have died in Godless North Korea. I could go on and on and on. This is not even to mention abortion which many view as murder. Any murder in the name of Christ is wrong. But greatest acts of crime and killing have not been instigated by people professing to follow Jesus.

    1. You seem not to have 'wasted your time' reading the blog either. The 7th paragraph makes no mention whatsoever of the Catholic/Nazi Holocaust, though I can uderstand you assuming it did.

      My research involves reading stuff. Your methodology would appear to differ.

    2. Mate, if the post was about why we don't accept the tenets of Nazism or any of the varieties of socialist dictatorship then those things would have been right at the top of the list. But the post is about religion.

      When our kids were growing up we had one basic rule about arguments [apart from no knives or fisticuffs] and that was the first person to use the 'but everyone else is doing it' tactic was deemed to have at that point lost the argument. It made them think before they opened their mouth.

    3. Are you seriously suggesting only atheists have abortions? And as I've pointed out elsewhere, your god would be responsible for any child that dies at or before birth through natural causes (should he exist). Thus your god is the absolute authority when it comes to abortion.

    4. not to mention every first born killed, born or not, in egypt. on the assumption they have on average 5 children, that's the extermination of 20% of the egyptian population. makes hitler look like a saint in comparison.

    5. Would that be the same Hitler who was brought up a Catholic and died a Catholic, having never left the church in their own eyes?
      Would that be the same Hitler who wrote a two volume opus where he outlines in considerable detail why his political outlook was based on Christian ideals?
      Would that be the same Hitler who forced all German civil servants to make an oath of allegiance to God or lose their jobs?
      Would that be the same Hitler who banned the atheist movement in Germany, gave their building to the church and executed their leader?
      Would that be the same Hitler who, in front of 250,000 people in 1933, told the German people that he had destroyed atheism for good in Germany?
      Would that be the same leader who allowed men of any religion to join the SS except Jews and atheists?
      Would that be the same Hitler who instigated, for the first time in Germany, compulsory prayers to Jesus in state schools?
      Would that be the same Hitler who, in 1943-44, had the Vatican completely surrounded by German troops, yet not one entered under orders from Hitler himself?
      Would that be the same Hitler who was feted by American clergymen such as William Bell Riley and Charles Coughlin for his anti-atheist stance on their weekly radio shows throughout the 1930s, both of which had in excess of 30 million listeners?
      Would that be the same Hitler who, in 1935, banned the sale and library stocks of all books which were critical of Christianity?
      Would that be the same Hitler who continued to have German army officers wear their uniform belt buckle which had the words "God With Us"?

      Would that be the same Stalin who spent 5 years training to be an Christian Orthodox priest?
      Would that be the same Stalin who, in 1942, rescinded Lenin's order that the Russian Orthodox church be a proscribed organisation and freed nearly all priests serving jail terms?
      Would that be the same Stalin who reinstituted state funding for the Russian Orthodox church?
      Would that be the same Stalin who awarded the Stalin peace Price to several religious figures including a British Anglican clergyman, a German Catholic and a Burmese Buddhist?

      Would that be the same Pol Pot, who, unusually for a Cambodian, spent 8 years of his childhood being educated by the Jesuits, the guys who said "give me a child and I'll give you the man"?

      Would you be the same Christian spouting the fundamentalist, simplistic, misinformed, theist nonsense atheists have come to expect?

    6. And if you knew anything at all about the traditional religious backgrounds of countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, China and Korea you would know that the concept of a creator god was totally alien to them until they encountered Christianity. And if you think that was a good a good thing, perhaps you'd like to check out the Taiping Rebellion. That's what Christianity did to China, 20 million dead.

    7. Mind you, I think Mr Understandably Anonymous deserves the credit for being the first person to try to divert the conversation and distract people's attention from the substance of the blog by mentioning Hitler.

      To reduce their opportunities for doing so was one reason I deliberately avoided an explicit mention of the Catholic-inspired Holocaust and the enthusiastic encouragement the Catholic Church and many Protestant churches gave to the Fascists of all countries during the 20th century and to their ultra-nationalist, anti-proletarian, anti-democratic, racist predecessors.

  9. Rosa Rubicondior,

    This is a great letter! Extremely well thought out and referenced. Moreover, I do love the response by religious individuals that feel that they cannot learn anything from what you are saying, as if what you were saying it is not true. Sadly what they seem not to realize is that if we do not learn from our mistakes, how to do we expect to get better or have a better future. That said, you seem to be more knowledgeable on Atheism than I am, so I want to understand your point of view better. Given, if you posted something like this before, just point me in that direction :)

    Suppose that there is no religion, or any deities, high power(s) if you will, how can we explain or interpret things that cannot be explained and/or interpret. For me, I want/need to rationalize everything, so if I cannot do it through religion, I want to find another way of rationalizing it. For example, I know you mentioned in your post 20 Questions Atheists Have Answered, “We do not know exactly what happened in the first 1*10-43 seconds of the life of the universe […]” which I understand and I do not disagree with the Big Bang theory. However, my rudimentary science (I am a business “major”), tells me that for every action it can be an equal and/or opposite reaction, which tells me an innate objected had to be been moved in order to create the perfect to storm if you will, that the Big Bang was. Is there a possibility of a higher power(s), or deity, making that first move?

    For my second question is, if the overall purpose of religion is not all bad, after all, the main premise of religion is to lead a more moral life, to help those who can’t defend themselves and such, which helps gives us a sense of structure and/or accomplishment. Is it not possible to create a religion that helps harbor these types of feelings and/or goals in people in general, like a business marketing a product if you will?

    I hope you are able to answer, even if you do not know or you know someone who might as I am always in search for answers, wherever they take me.

    Once again, great post.


    1. Thanks for a couple of good questions. It seems Blogger requires several answers due to size limitations

      1. The reason we can't know what happened in the first 1*10^43 seconds is because that is the Planck time - the smallest unit of time that can exist, just as we can't measure anything inside a Planck length of space - the smallest unit of space that can exist. The instant the universe came into existence it was already 1*10^43 seconds old.

      Do you mean inanimate rather than innate? If so, I don't see what this has to do with the production of energy in the Big Bang. the BB was the production of lots of energy (equal quantities of positive and negative adding up to zero). Energy itself is not an object so it are not subject to Newton's Laws of Motion which deal with the motion of mass in space from which you get your action/reaction. Newtonian physics has been superseded by Einsteinian Relativity which deals with space-time and gravity and so how objects with mass behave, so tends to deal with the large scale and causality. The Big Bang however was a quantum event and we know that quantum events do not necessarily have a cause. Examples are the spontaneous decay of the nucleus of a radioactive isotope and the return to it's ground state of an excited orbital electron in an atom.

      There is nothing wrong in science with not knowing. In fact there is everything wrong in pretending to know, or in assuming that a culturally popular superstition has it all worked out and not bothering to find out for sure. "I do not know" is the fundamentally honest position to take and the driving force behind scientific enquiry. No scientific advance was ever made by giving up and assuming it must be the locally popular god which did it and in every single example where science has worked it out to with a fair degree of certainty, and certainly for all practical purposes correctly, no god or anything supernatural has ever been found to be involved.

    2. As to your second question, I don't think it is possible to create a morality from the immorality of lies and deceit which depend on superstition and ignorance for their success. A pretence of knowledge in place of ignorance is a lie.

      As the lessons of religions show us, this gives the priesthood a corrupting power which is invariably abused. The pretence of knowledge and the dependence on unquestioning dogma and the lack of supporting evidence by which the validity of dogma can be measured inevitably leads to division and conflict and the vested interests of the power behind it inevitably leads to grotesque abuses of human rights. Seeing life as a preparation for something better leads to its devaluation to the point where brain-washed, mind-controlled individuals can be used as mere guidance systems for flying bombs to be used to kill those who have different ideas and ideas which threaten the vested interests who exploit the very fears and superstitions they have worked hard to instil in those whom they control.

      Morality comes from our innate evolved ability to empathise with other people and place ourselves in our model of their perception of the world. Our ability to do this, because we have a brain capable of doing it, gave us great advantage as an evolving ape and those with the ability survived and produced the most descendants, just as with any other evolved attribute. (See Religion: An Abdication Of Moral Responsibility). In fact this is how we have our morality and ethics now; they came before religion. Ask yourself how you would recognise and evil god? (See Xeno's Religious Paradox.) It's a demonstrable fact that, in Europe, the least religious states tend to be the most peaceful, least criminal, most stable, and to have the highest regard for human rights, equal opportunities and freedom of conscience and discrimination. It is also a fact that the most religious states tend to have the highest rates of crime and violence and the lowest regard for the rights of minorities and, almost invariably, tolerate systematic abuse of women and even assign them an inferior legal status.

      If religions were right there would only be one; it would be called 'science'.

    3. Should of course have read 1*10^-43 seconds.

    4. Thank you for taking the time to write the responses. I have spend an hour doing research on part of the information that you have given and I am sure I will spend most of my weekend looking further into these. :) Also, I did mean inanimate, so thank you!

      That said, I did get a lot of well thought out and accurate information but I don't know why I am not convinced. Given, I am not religious AT ALL, hell I don't go to church , and I am the worst type of Christian, I am sure, a Roman Catholic! Sadly, I still have a lot of unknowns such as while we don't what happened in the 1*10^-43 seconds, we know that it was a singularity before that and there are theories that say that we are part of an even bigger cosmos/galaxy? (I am unsure of the term, you can correct me if I am wrong). Moreover, I am always weary of what man believes it to be "true" because as many say everything is in the eye of the beholder. So since is only good until it is proven false, or incomplete.

      That said, you have given me a lot of information and therefore I must research it!

      Thanks again for taking the time to answer me and to write the blog :)


    5. One theory, which is based in part on the Feynman Equation, says that all possible universes should come into existence from a singularity - so-called quantum foam.

      Don't forget that quantum events are often highly counter-intuitive so intuition is probably one of the worst ways to test a theory. There is no law which says reality has to conform to human intuition or perception. It's often said of quantum mechanics that if you think you understand it that's because you haven't understood it.

    6. We are like the TV host interviewing Richard Feynman and asking for a brief explanation in a couple of minutes of QED for the audience to which Feynman replied "If I could do that I wouldn't have won a Nobel Prize" It's apocryphal but it sure sounds like Feynman could have said it. And he could give you an understandable explanation but it would take longer than a TV spot has available.

      At some point we all have to say "I don't know". I can live with that. Some people can't and either make something up to fill in the gap or being smarter than me they go looking. Personally I'll always listen to the second guy who says "I don't know either but look at what I found" than the first guy who says "I know, you can stop looking now and I'll tell you what to believe".

  10. ex_king_john is spot on, and amply demonstrates why any so-called rational debate about faith based on empiricism and reason is inherently flawed - we're using the wrong language here... to paraphrase again, trying describe music is like "dancing about architecture" unless you're especially "gifted" or "disadvantaged" enough to display the arrogance of an autistic sprectrum disorder such as Asperger's.

    This blog is a waste of time. All the cowardly anonymous Rosa Rubicondior (why not use a real name?) does is give self-absorbed atheists a chance to pat themselves on the back for being so clever, whilst simultaneously baiting self-absorbed religiosi (not a typo) to be subjected to her (or his?) unnecessarily bullying.

    Oh the other thing this blog does is generate money... just like any good religion lol.

    Ignore the troll and move on.

  11. Dear Rosa,

    I respect your decisions to believe in what you believe in and wouldn't want to attempt to convert you to any other religion. My beliefs are different from yours, in that I believe in God, as a Christian. I know and acknowledge that many wars have been and are fought in the name of "religion," but I am essentially a pacifist and seek peace on earth, which Jesus also came to bring, being the "Prince of Peace." On that level we may have some common ground, but I do not wish to wage war with you as an atheist, much as I hope you don't wish to wage war on me as a Christian. Best wishes to you.

    1. Extraordinary!

      Do you really imagine belief is merely a decision? Presumably, for you it is. Your god exists for no other reason than that you have decided to believe it does.

      And on that evidence-free, capricious arrogance, millions of people have been killed and billions have had their lives controlled by people who have learned to use that arrogant stupidity to their own advantage.

      Sorry, but respect is the one thing your 'decision to believe' does not deserve - which is probably why religionists are always demanding it.

  12. Dear Sir/Madam or Other,
    Your tone is dreadfully condescending, while the logic behind your moral reasoning is deeply flawed. Based on your command of the English language, I assume you are either from the U.K. or the U.S. (I will bet on this like you bet on the non-existence of God - neither of us has any way of knowing, I may be wrong, you may be wrong). Still, if I happen to be correct regarding the passport you hold, I implore you to immediately renounce your citizenship and become an apatride - it would be unbecoming of a self proclaimed "center-left humanist" to be paying taxes and thereby supporting one of the two empires that have harmed, and continue to harm humanity in ways unparalleled in human history! These days it is almost interchangeable - wherever America bombs, Britain bombs as well.
    Try this on for size: 90% of what people consider music is disingenuous, worthless trash that doesn't deserve the moniker. But, the remaining 10% ranges from beautiful to sublime! In this spirit, I have precious little objection (does not mean "none") to your view of organized religion, when taken en masse. In fact, here is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to a friend a few days ago: "I am grateful to have come along in an era after God had been "killed" - by those who proclaim(ed) to be "in his service" way before Nietzsche dealt him a "fatal" blow..."
    Irrespective of claims made by Dennett, Harris and even one of my favorites, Hofstadter, free will does exist: from a purely materialistic perspective, I believe it is hidden in what Hofstadter posed as a recursive relationship between the non-living aspect of our brains (quantum level) on one side and ideas and concepts (especially original ones!) on the other.
    Man... No, let's be fair: Man, Woman and Other all have a weakness for riches and comfort, and their free will guides them this in this direction. The trouble is that most people will proclaim anything and pledge allegiance to anyone in order to do "well"... Not so much when it comes to doing "good"... Continued in post No. 2

  13. It is absolutely beyond question that there are many unreasonable and unconscionable (self proclaimed) Christians (the doctrine gives lie to their proclamation)! Same holds true of those who are "Christ-free". Having no doctrine to be bound by, however, at the very least, they can't be accused of hypocrisy.
    You have mentioned Serbia (country I was born and raised in) on the list of your "faith based initiatives (that) have shown us that religion is not a force for peace"... This brings me to the beginning of this letter - do you know anything about the role of the U.K. and the U.S. (I still don't know where you are from) in the Balkans during the nineties?! And what faith based initiative are you talking about, please?!?! Furthermore, being a leftist, you must know that Marx said (quite rightly so) that wars are about power and economy. (I admit, he also said that religion was the "opium of the masses"). I will resort, once again, to the music argument again, in a different way: some 80% of my compatriots identify themselves as Orthodox Christians; I would venture to say that somewhere around 5% are justified in making this claim... Much like lady Gaga isn't music, most of those who claim Christianity, have no basis to do so! But I would not outlaw music in order to get rid of the garbage that passes for it and this miss out on Rashied Ali and Coltrane or Allan Holdsworth or Bach or Mussorgsky, etc!!! Same with Christianity - so much of what passed for it historically has been horrendous, I agree. But I also submit that it has transgressed against the doctrine, thereby annulling its validity!
    If you spoke Serbian, you would be able to listen to mother Irina - a lady who, upon earning her masters degree in mathematics, studied theology, and upon earning her doctorate, renounced the world and became a nun. She is an intelligent, erudite woman, displaying humility (which you clearly lack), tact (which you wouldn't know if it hit you over the head - which it wouldn't), kindness (not sure you understand the word) and a kind of serenity (you would surely benefit from, judging by the letter I just read)...

    I wish you a future more peaceful than the present this letter was written in...


    Marko Djordjevic

    1. You seem to have forgotten to address the content of the letter other than to say my logic is flawed without saying why.

      I'm sorry you felt you needed t be condescending and abusive but perhaps you had nothing more. I'll leave your abuse in place so that people can see how Christians respond when someone points out the damage they've done under cover of faith and with a god and a book to blame.


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