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ANTI-GUN ARGUMENT

I can go buy a tool that has the power to end multiple people’s lives, and it wouldn’t take me very long or that many resources.  You can offer the, “oh, they’re ah-regulating us” argument (which has been moving at a snail’s pace relative to other first-world nation’s progress in terms of gun control), but at the end of the day you have access to most everything you can ask for in regards to handheld weaponry.

There may be people out there who want to come for your guns, but if they couldn’t succeed after Sandy Hook then your guns are fully protected and good to go and tonight we will sleep a glorious and restful sleep knowing that after multiple children were killed in their own school that NOTHING was pushed through on gun control.  A few dead children or innocents every year is simply the price we pay is all.  We salute them for their sacrifice, but it’s far more important we have our guns than to try to stem massacres like that.

– Grothesk (Anti-Gun Forum Member)


THE RESPONSE

I’m of the belief that if we banned guns 100% outright – that we would still have guns on the streets being used as tools in violent crimes, (criminals won’t turn them in, some legal gun owners won’t, they can be built, imported illegally, or stolen / bought from those we would still entrust them to).

Additionally I’m also of the belief that if you remove the specific tool, this does not remove the motives or the means to do harm. What kind of equipment would I need to murder a bunch of kindergartners? I dunno, a lead pipe? An Axe or Ford F250? I don’t need an AR15 to attack children and unarmed civilians in a ‘gun free zone’.

The ‘Happy Land Fire’ was an arson attack that killed 87. The ‘Bath massacre’ killed 45 in a school with commercial explosives. Oklahoma bombing killed 168 using store bought fertilizer. Heck on the day of the Sandy Hook shooting, some whack job stabbed 24 at an elementary school in China. (Never mind 9/11). Bad people doing bad things, even without guns, because you can’t regulate away crazy.

Like the old adage says “if there is a will, there is a way”.

This is usually where you concede that banning guns outright, would not remove gun violence/crime outright (because it won’t), but isn’t it worth a shot if it helps save a life/lives/cuts the number etc.? (In your words “Try to stem massacres”). Well – that’s a very fair argument, that I am willing to discuss.

The argument I think essentially boils down to “You should surrender individual liberty, in exchange for community safety”. And that is not an unreasonable argument, you can’t drive 200MPH through a school zone, or perform surgery while drunk/high. We make sacrifices like that every day to ensure the safety of all. Where I take offense to this argument is that on the issue of guns (and only on the issue of guns) it often becomes black and white. “If we could save just ONE childs life, isn’t it worth it?” No – sorry, its not that easy. There is weight to the pros and cons – it is not absolute.

Currently the speed limit in CA highways is 65. If we reduced the speed limit to 60 I assure you, at least one life would be spared. As we lowered the speed limit to 50,45, 20 and so on, more and more people would be saved. But do we do it? No – because the convenience of getting from point A to point B 5 minutes faster outweighs the value of the lives that would be saved.

Religion and Expression/Speech have killed more people historically than all the mass murderers combined, but we don’t stop the Klan from having their annual parade down the street, or censor the Westboro Baptist Church from spreading their message of religious hate. Why? Because we value the ability and freedom to express our opinion (no matter how distasteful) more than the lives that could be saved by preventing this kind of toxcicity in our culture.

(Example: Aug 4th man arrested, could face up to 3 years for performing a Hitler Salute in public.

http://www.bild.de/news/inland/adolf-hitler/hier-baendigt-ein-polizist-einen-hitlergruss-affen-42030530.bild.html

Germany has got their shit together – why don’t we do that?)

We could outright ban alcohol or at least limit the legal BAH in public to 0.0% to prevent “buzzed driving” or prevent people from making unsound choices while intoxicated (never mind lives actually lost to alcohol use). But we don’t, why? Because we still have hopes that people can enjoy their liberties, if they take responsibility for their actions.

In all cases of personal liberty BUT firearms, can we say that we value our freedom to X, more than we value to lives that would be saved if we further regulated or restricted X – without sounding like a total asshole. And I don’t think that is fair.

Why do I support gun ownership?

Essentially – firearms are the great equalizer. I’ve lived on and off in some pretty bad neighborhoods where safety is a real issue. Never once have I specifically worried “I hope I don’t get shot”. Why? Because as noted above – it’s not needed, it’s overkill. If 5 unarmed dudes walk up to me on the street and demand my wallet – they are going to get it. I have no delusions of going Steven Seagal on their asses and coming out on top. If I had a firearm, the odds are flipped 180* – they don’t have a chance. (As an aside, about 3 months ago a friend of a friend was mugged on the street, they asked for his wallet, he gave it up instantly, they then took his wallet and beat him anyway – ended up with a punctured lung, broken ribs, broken eye socket and I think a couple others. He was fucked up enough that his wedding this summer had to be postponed.) It is in the nature of criminals to be predatory – they will attack when they have the advantage of numbers, strength, weapons or surprise. A firearm is your only hope of being put on level footing.

This goes doubly so for those less able to protect themselves, I’m 6ft Combat Vet that is 200 lbs of mean motherfucker – and as I noted before, I know my limitations in a fight. My wonderful girlfriend (that means the absolute world to me) is 5’6 110lbs with wrists about the size of a half dollar. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body and couldn’t protect herself in a fight if her life depended on it – however she is a crack shot and with only 1 day of instruction can sink 6/6 shots center mass every time. The gun gives her the power to be self reliant, where without it she would be wholly at the mercy of her attackers (regardless of it they were armed or not). Essentially I believe that rendering good people helpless, does not render bad people harmless.

I’m just being a realist. I’ve seen violence first hand, and I’d prefer to prevent my loved ones from being victims. There are bad people in this world (criminals), there are crazy people in this world (mass murderers), there are opportunists (Black Lives Matter riots), and there are good people who are doing what they have to do to survive (Katrina victims, a situation that could *easily* be replicated in California). Disarming me, may reduce my chances of being specifically shot, but it ultimately does not keep me safer from any of them. *PHEW* Ok groth. Just a heads up that I won’t bother to continue this conversation, you can reply if you like and I might read it, but I won’t reply in kind just because this is already too much damn typing. Sorry to dip out, but I have faith we could do this forever and get nowhere. Cheers.

-N M E (2nd Amendment Supporter)

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In an article published by the British rag ‘The Guardian’ the paper attempted to downplay the debunking of a fraudulent list of school shootings published by ‘Moms Demand Action’ anti-gun group.  In response to the list being exposed as a lie, ‘The Guardian’ dishonestly claimed that gun rights groups were redefining the definition of ‘school shooting’.  A reddit user posting under the screen name Frostiken explained with overwhelming detail just how dishonest anti-gun organizations are in pressing their agenda .  As his response was so through in its indictment of these groups I felt it should be preserves.  The original can be found here.


Is it really still unclear to many people just how intellectually dishonest the anti-gun groups are? They seriously do this every fucking time.

The Violence Policy Center put out a report on ‘how much money the NRA gets from the gun lobby’. They delivered their figure – ~$45 million – and said that that was it. What they didn’t say was that that $45 million was the TOTAL donations over 6 years. In fact, they didn’t even say that. The report says ‘between 2005 and when this report was published’, meaning you have to work to find the range they were talking about. Specifically, they wanted you to assume that the NRA was getting $45 million a YEAR, when the reality is that they get only about $8 million a year (NOTE: That $8 million is using the biggest number they had). What the VPC also conveniently excluded was that that $8 million was barely 3% of the entire NRA yearly operating budget, and that $150-200 million they receive simply from membership dues and voluntary donations.

They constantly try to conflate their numbers. Whenever they want numbers to appear really big, they say ‘gun violence’ and secretly include suicides, defensive gun use, justified shootings, and accidents. Let’s not forget when Bloomberg’s MAIG read off a list of ‘gun victims’ and included Boston Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and cop-killer Chris Dorner. When they want to make things look really small, they only count specific things, like ‘murders with legally owned guns’.

When they wanted to make ownership of a gun for self defense sound dangerous, they used suicides and the language “your own gun used against you”. Nobody describes a suicide as having “your own gun used against you” to describe a suicide, but they worded it like that because that phraseology makes it sound like someone TOOK your gun and THEN used it against you.

When they wanted to make gun owners sound suicidal, they simply only looked at suicide rates with guns. Since people who don’t own guns don’t kill themselves with guns, therefore there was 100% “proof” that guns make you suicidal. They leave out the part where non-gun owners still kill themselves just as much, because they only are tracking “gun suicides”. Again, the point is to only give you half the information and let you jump to false conclusions.

When they wanted to make it sound like semi-automatic rifles – the only weapons ‘casually’ legal after their victory in 1986 – were ‘weapons of war’, so they invented the term ‘assault weapon’, because it sounds like ‘assault rifles’, which are casually known to most people as machine guns – which they had already gotten mostly banned.

The anti-gun groups wanted to show that kids were being killed and attach a huge number to it. So you know what they did? They expanded the casual definition of a “child” to include 15-20 year olds. In other words, the exact same age demographic that coincides with the group most likely to participate in gang activity. Who’d have thought! 20 year old ‘children’? I have to give you a link to this, because if I don’t you’ll think I’m making it up.

Intellectual dishonesty is the name of the game. I can find a lot of times where the pro-gun side has fudged some numbers and made things sound better than they may have been, but the anti-gun side has, for the last twenty years, lied almost every single time they’ve opened their mouths. With the formation of MDA / MAIG / Everytown, the shrill rhetoric has multiplied considerably.

This latest attempt to define ‘school shooting’ is only barely a stretch away from defining a school shooting as ‘any shooting anywhere that involved someone of school-age’ or ‘anyone who could hear a gunshot from school property’. Nobody hears ‘school shooting’ and thinks about two adults dealing drugs to each other on Saturday night in the parking lot and then shooting it out. Nobody hears ‘school shooting’ and thinks about a kid who commits suicide in the bathroom. ‘School shooting’ has a known meaning, and three people fighting in the parking lot and someone fires a shot in self defense is not anywhere near that. This is just the anti-gun groups trying to redefine words, like they did ‘assault rifle’.

Reddit’s anti-gun group has their own ‘mass shooting tracker’. Literally the first random source I clicked on was to a news report of two pre-teen kids pissing people off with a pellet rifle, and the second sentence was ‘nobody was seriously injured’. It’s probably still on their shooting tracker. Go ahead and look.

But the shitty part? It works. Look at how many people now spout out silly lines about the NRA being a ‘lobby for the gun industry’, because MotherJones spun that ridiculous VPC funding number. Look at how many people believe gun crime is out of control, despite early indicators that show 2013 to have the lowest homicide rates in recent history. Look at how many people believe we have no background checks already, believe that gun shows are exempt from most laws, believe that mass shootings are happening more frequently, believe that I can just buy a machine gun online and have it mailed to my door.

If you have to play this many silly word games and try to manipulate the data and constantly change definitions, waht do you think that says about your goals and motives? If they really had a point to illustrate, if their data was completely conclusive, there would be absolutely no need to keep these deceptive tactics up. I don’t see climate change scientists trying to tweak words and adjust meanings to fit their conclusions. You want to know who does? The anti-vaxxers, the climate change denialists, the marijuana prohibitionists, hell, people who want to prove gay sex causes hurricanes. This continuous decades-long campaign to mislead people is honestly the biggest reason I changed my stance on guns by 180 degrees. When I looked beneath all the stupid shit I had been told, I had repeated over and over, all the hateful garbage I had spouted at gun owners, from calling them small-dicked rednecks to murder-fetishists, I found that my beliefs didn’t fit reality whatsoever.

Make no mistake: the pro-gun side can be guilty of this own shit. I personally have never stated ‘more guns makes everyone safer’, because that can’t be proven either without resorting to the same numbers tricks. My stance is that if you want to take civil liberties away and infringe on my constitutional rights, you had better bring a lot of damn good evidence; and if your evidence requires that we first believe 20 year olds are now ‘children’, you have failed completely and lost my trust.

As a brilliant man once said, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me… you fool me once, you can’t get fooled again.” I have very little trust for our government, and part of that is because they lie to us constantly, and when caught in a lie, they just lie again to cover it up. So when the anti-gun forces say ‘nobody wants to take your guns’, why should I believe anything they say, when they can’t even publish a study about children being injured by guns without including adults to fake the numbers?

I don’t think anti-gun people themselves are all part of some evil deception. I think most of them are honest people who have their hearts in the right place, but at worst don’t fully understand the issue. The problem is, the anti-gun ‘institutions’ and organizations are the ones who are working to make sure they never understand the issue. I don’t have to align myself with the NRA if I don’t like them. There are plenty of pro-gun groups besides them. What groups are there for the anti-gun sides to align with that aren’t willing to engage in this dishonesty? I seriously can’t think of a single one.

Hell, look at the title of this post – ‘The gun lobby’s new tactic’. This tactic was exposed on CNN. CNN OF ALL PLACES, who for a year hosted a British blowhard whose entire job was to cry on air about guns. The other places this was exposed? Here on Reddit, in our subs. On pro-gun websites. On pro-gun forums. All over. But no, none of that counts – we’re just going to throw ‘THE GUN LOBBY’ onto this, because that’s the kind of intellectual dishonesty we’re dealing with here.

If you want to know why there can’t be an ‘honest conversation’ and ‘nobody will compromise’, this is why.

by | Categories: Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Reddit User Explains Anti-Gun Group Tactics

Matt Dillahunty is a public speaker, internet personality and was the president of the Atheist Community of Austin until May, 2013.

  • Do not educate them, or expose them to critical thinking, logic or science.
  • Lie to them constantly about how the world works. Feed them a steady diet of mumbo jumbo dressed up like real knowledge – the jumbo jet in the whirlwind for example – and pretend that it is deep wisdom.
  • Make them loathe their own natural bodies and functions. Convince them they are small and weak and worthless and need redemption. Tell them everything enjoyable is grievously wrong to even think about, and that their only fun should be in grovelling to an invisible friend.
  • Ensure that they resent anyone who is not like them in every way – skin color, nationality, political opinion but especially creed. Make such people out to be evil and vile and give them – impotent minorities all – the fictional power to somehow oppress and persecute the vast majority who do think like you.
  • Teach them to laugh at and dismiss out of hand any faith but their own. Early – early mind you – make sure they are taught the difference between superstitious deadly error – that one raving lunatic in the desert told the truth about a vicious god who killed people, and divine eternal truth – that another raving lunatic in the desert told the truth about a vicious god who killed people.
  • Instruct them with all severity and import to never question for themselves – to never think for themselves – to never live for themselves – but to seek answers only in one – just one – particular set of semi-literate bronze age folk tales.
  • Above all – and this cannot be overemphasized – make sure they cannot spell, use correct grammar, or understand basic English words.

That should do the trick.

The Straw Man Gallery

Jul 16, 2012

Oh, but I have studied the Old Testament in depth and do not see at all the atrocities you claim. I see a God who created humans, knowing they would reject him, but choosing to love them anyway and offer a relationship. God only authorized violence against those people groups who purposefully and willfully, and knowingly tried to extinguish God’s people and their message about God from the earth. Have you ever wondered why,after thousands of years, Israel still exists? And why so many still are trying to “wipe them from the earth?” to quote the Iranian President. Such talk is irrational, unless the Jewish people truly are chosen by God for a special purpose. In that case, the hatred is not justified, but at least understandable.

As for circular reasoning, here is an example of how you do it: There is no God. Without God there is no purpose. However, the universe has purpose. You say the universe is not an accident. Consider this–suppose you went to the art store and purchased paints, brushes, and a canvas, then left them on your dining room table all day while you worked. Upon arrival at home that evening, you discover a beautiful original painting where the supplies had been hours before. You assume,rationally, that SOMEONE with a purpose created that painting. There is no other rational assumption. This is why atheism is a hard sell for most people. They cannot look at all they see and determine there was no purpose for it. But you cannot remove God from the equation, thus removing what you consider his objectionable attributes, and leave in the attributes that YOU find acceptable to your worldview. That does not remove God–that reshapes him into what you want or need him to be.

Here’s another example:There is no God. Therefore there is no higher authority than man. Man can decide what is just. Some men’s actions,particularly Jews and Christians, are unjust.– You claim God is unjust, but without a purposeful creator, justice does not exist. Laws are only a matter of majority opinion if there is no higher authority. We could legalize murder if we wanted to, and you could not object! You could not call upon a higher authority. So what if people in the bible killed each other? IF there is no God, it doesn’t matter what we do. We, and everything in the universe, are just one huge collective accident that has no point, no purpose, and no meaning.

BY: irrational

Irrational,

Really, you do not see at all the atrocities?

–          In Genesis 7:21-23, God drowns the entire population of the earth: men, women, children, fetuses, and animals.

–          In Exodus 12:29, God the baby-killer slaughters all Egyptian firstborn children and cattle because their king, because of God, was stubborn.

–          In Numbers 16:41-49, the Israelites complain that God is killing too many of them. So, God sends a plague that kills 14,000 more of them.

–          In 1 Samuel 6:19, God kills 50,000 men for peeking into the ark of the covenant.

–          In Numbers 31:7-18, the Israelites kill all the Midianites except for the virgins, whom they are allowed to rape as spoils of war.

–          In 2 Kings 2:23-24, some kids tease the prophet Elisha, and God sends bears to dismember them.

Did you happen to miss all those while engaged in your in depth studies of the Old Testament?  The list goes on and on but I think I have made my point, the god you claim to worship, if he were real, would be a malevolent prick of a deity.

So your god creates humans and when they reject him, he expresses his love by slaughtering humans by the millions.  You know what, that’s the kind of relationship that wife beaters have with their spouse.  The husband (god) goes on and on about how much he loves his wife (humans) until the wife does something the husband (god) doesn’t quite like and then the violence beings; except according to you the violence is done out of love.

So if god’s violence was only against those people who tried to extinguish his people then why did he “authorize” the violence against Job?  According to the story, Job was one of the most faithful yet god, TO WIN A BET, sat back and “authorized” the devil to kill innocent people.  If god’s “violence granting” was only against those who opposed him then why did he allow Jephthah to sacrifice his own innocent daughter?  (Judges 11:29-40) Jephthah promises to sacrifice the first thing that came out of the door of his house when he returned home from winning a battle.  His daughter came out and after allowing her to lose her virginity; he slaughtered her in the name of the god you claim loves us all so very much.  I’ll be damned, she must have been one of those people trying to extinguish his people though; according to you that is.  I have more examples but I will move on to your next fallacy.

Have I ever wondered why Israel exists?  No, because the history is quite clear and does not involve supernatural forces.  Israel was carved out after WW2 by the British as a place for Jews after the atrocities committed against them by Germany.  It became a country because zealous Jews felt they were mandated by ancient screed to do so.  Your god didn’t come down and say here you go as much as you like to pretend that is what happened.

Why are so many still trying to “wipe them from the earth?”; because of Christianity.  Matthew 27:25, the WORD OF GOD itself, says quite clearly that the Jews asked to be responsible for the murder of Jesus.  There is your reason and justification for people hating Jews, your own damn religion says they asked for it.  It does not matter if you choose to ignore that portion because for 2000 years millions of Christians lived and died disagreeing with you.  Likewise, millions of Jews died at the hands of Christians who believed themselves to be acting out the will of your god.  Ugh NO, Just because a new country for Jews was founded and given the same name (Israel) does not in any since confirm it was done by god, there is nothing divine about humans self-fulfilling a supposed prophecy.  You are committing a “Fallacy of the single cause”.

You make straw-man arguments that even if I had made them would not be circular.  What you wrote are arguments you conjured and ascribed to me.

1)      I NEVER wrote that “There is no god”.  My position is that there is no good reason to think that there are gods.

2)      I NEVER wrote that without a god there is no purpose.  I actually think humans are perfectly capable of deciding their own purpose.  In fact, you have decided that your purpose in life is to make yourself a slave to an invisible sky wizard in the blind hope that you will never die.

Your assertion that the universe has a purpose is fallacious as it requires proof but is assumed without proof.  There is no reason to think the universe has any purpose.  You may believe this as part of your religion but it is a claim which you must support with evidence.

1)      I NEVER wrote that the universe was not an accident.  You asked if the universe was just an accident and I explained that for anything to be described as accidental you must demonstrate that something else was intended.  That requires evidence and you have provided none.

Your analogy of a painting is flawed because you presume from the outset that the cosmos is like a painting, having been designed, fashioned, or created according to some design.  We know that paintings are DESIGNED and MADE because we have evidence that humans do the DESIGNING and MAKING.  Where your argument fails is that you do not know that the cosmos was DESIGNED, and you refuse to provide any evidence that the cosmos was DESIGNED.  Because your creationist premise is unsubstantiated, your argument by analogy is fallacious.

Atheism is not trying to sell you anything, atheism means not buying what religion is selling.  Atheism is a result of the application of logic and an acknowledgment of one’s own limited knowledge.

You wrote that you cannot look at all you see and determine there was no purpose.  Well this fallacy is called an appeal to consequences.  Your hold the premise (cosmic purpose) to be true based on whether that premise leads to desirable consequences.  This is based on an appeal to emotion and is a form of logical fallacy, since the desirability of a consequence does not address the truth value of the premise.

I am not leaving any attributes which I find acceptable about god in my worldview.  My view is that there is no reason to think your god has any effect upon reality, good or bad.  I am not reshaping anything; to the contrary, you have reshaped the jealous, vengeful, angry, genocidal god of the bible into a loving teddy bear deity who wants to snuggle with you when you go to bed at night.  You do this by purposefully ignoring all the evil shit he does and focusing on just the nice parts.  What a clear cut case of projecting if I have ever seen it.

You are still making straw-man arguments.  I never made the argument you outline, you are making that argument and again it is an appeal to consequences.  You apparently believe that by accepting that there might not be a god, chaos will break loose and everyone can just start killing and raping at will.

Let me ask you, if you suddenly awoke tomorrow and did not believe in god would be more inclined to just randomly kill the first person you met?  Would you rob the first gas station you drove past?  Would you rape the first good looking woman you looked at?  If you answered YES to any of those then you are a psychopath, but if you answer as I suspect most morally inclined people would then what have you just admitted?  You have admitted that even in the absence of this “higher authority” you are perfectly capable of distinguishing right and wrong, good and bad, the just and unjust with nothing but your own reason to guide you.

We humans have advanced to a point where we form bodies of men to discuss at length the reason why certain actions should be disallowed and erect laws to prohibit such acts.  All of this is done without asking what your god thinks and waiting for an answer.  If we did follow what the Bible says then slavery would still be allowed and almost any minor offense would warrant the death penalty, including working on the Sabbath.  And before you give me that crap about Jesus changing all that you might want to read Matthew 5:18-19.

God is very unjust, arbitrary, and capricious and justice does not require a magical sky wizard.  That assertion is just utter bullshit.  Justice is a social construct of humans and derived from the mutual agreement of everyone concerned; or, in many versions, from what we would agree to under hypothetical conditions including equality and absence of bias.  It is not magical and does not require a divine dictator to operate.

You actually think that in the absence of god “We could legalize murder if we wanted to, and nobody could not object!”  Murder was legalized multiple times by your god and nobody could object then.  Never mind that though, supposing some society did agree that murdering each other was just fine, that society would eventually die out.  Justice is founded upon consequences and just because there is no sky daddy does not mean there are no right and wrong answer concerning the consequences of certain acts like killing each other at random.  Therefore even without a God, it does matter how we act toward each other, our survival depends on getting our morals correct.  OH NO! You might say morality EVOLVED!  I am suspect that possibility makes you shit a brick.

Again, you cannot rightly claim that everything in the universe is just one huge collective accident because you have no evidence that there ever was an intended purpose in the first place!

So what if the universe and your life have no divine purpose!!!  God damn it, that fact does not prevent you and me from deciding our own purpose.  Stop crying like a baby and childishly demanding that you keep your invisible sky daddy and get the hell on with fulfilling a purpose you choose!  The divine purpose is rather shitty at any rate; prostrate yourself before an invisible being and waste the one life you know you have reading ONE book over and over again, never learning anything new, never discovering how the universe really works, just wasting away in ignorance and the false satisfaction that by remaining stupid until you die, you will spend an eternity in some magical place where you can be a slave for the rest of time.  That actually sounds like HELL to me so I think I will pass on your unfounded divine purpose thank you very much.

I think it’s funny that people who claim God doesn’t exist give so much attention to the subject. I don’t believe in the tooth fairy, so I don’t expound to much on the matter. However, the tooth fairy hasn’t offended me the way you guys are offended with the God of the Bible. You guys are proof the Bible is true.
Romans 1
**18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.**
You may think the Bible is untrue or that God doesn’t exist, but if I didn’t believe in trucks and stepped out into oncoming traffic I would suffer the consequences thereof. In the same way one day you will pass from time into eternity and give an account for ever idle word spoken. Mock Jesus all you want, but one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. Have either of you actually read the Bible? If you want to read fairy tales read some of Richard Dawkins or Darwin….they have produced the best material when it comes to fairy tales for grown ups.:0) – Luther

Luther,

We pay attention to the subject because although the deity people like you tout is mythical, you are real. Your deity may have no bearing on the real world but you most certainly do. We pay attention to the subject because you use appeals to the authority granted by your imaginary friend to deny basic rights to other human beings; because you constantly attempt to wedge your imaginary being into our civil government and our public schools. You think we are offended by your god but that is nonsense, you god is imaginary, what offends us are the cruel and stupid things done by the pious in the name of this delusion.

I need not pay any mind to your magical book Luther. It was written by superstitious men in a time when ignorance ruled the day and men appealed to magical sky beings to reveal knowledge to them.

Quite right, I do not think the Bible is of divine origin or that your god exists. However, this does not require me to lack “belief in trucks” because we have CLEAR evidence that trucks exist and that they are creations of mankind; nor would step into oncoming traffic because, having established their reality, I could deduce the consequences for myself. Trucks are demonstrable, we do not need a TRUCK BIBLE or TRUCK PASTOR or TRUCK CHURCH to tell us about the all-powerful trucks which will certainly run us over if we lack faith and fail to abide by the law handed down by the great TRUCK DRIVER in the sky not to cross the street. What an asinine comparison.

You have absolutely no way of knowing what happens to me or any other human being after we die and in making such a claim you indict yourself of being stupid at the very least and at most a liar. I will mock Jesus, and Buddha, and Allah, and Mohammad, and any other so-called holy man who claims divine warrant to rule over other men and punish men for their thoughts or their doubts.

That whole knee bowing and tongue confessing crap was reverse engineered by the way. That passage is speaking of Cyrus the Great, not Jesus.

Your hatred for those who make claims based upon evidence like Dawkins and Darwin, and who further our knowledge of the world to the detriment of your superstition is palpable. I’m glad to know that they piss you off.

Truth and reality is that we will all die one day. There is no good reason to not believe in god. To deny God is taking a gamble that there is nothing after this life. Evidence seen through the eyes of faith shows us a world too complex to just happen naturally. You don’t like the word faith but you have more faith than I to not believe in a creator. – Chris

 

Chris,

There is no good reason to not believe in god? Well you see the reason NOT to is because the claim LACKS EVIDENCE. The only reason you have to believe in a magic sky daddy is because you think your magic sky daddy is going to do you special favors.

The absurdity of your statement reveals itself when applied to other mythical beings. For example.

There is no good reason to not believe in [Pegasus].
There is no good reason to not believe in [Ganesha].
There is no good reason to not believe in [Dionysus].

The REASON to lack belief in any of those gods, as I assume you do, is because there is not a shred of evidence supporting that those entities are or were real. The same logic applies to your god in so much as the REASON to lack belief is that NO EVIDENCE exists to support such a being.

Speaking of gambles, here is the gamble you have taken. This is the only life, the only existence, which we know we have. Would you risk throwing away something you KNOW you have in the mere hope that you will receive something for which you have no KNOWLEDGE?

Why would you surrender the one thing that separates you from the rest of life on this planet, your ability to reason and the freedom to think for yourself? Why would you surrender this one life you know you have and enslave yourself to some dogma, some superstition, or some god who claims to have sacrificed himself to himself in order to stop himself from sending you to a place of eternal torment that he himself created? Why give yourself over to wish thinking because of an some empty promise, passed down from primitive tribes, of another life after you die?

That is a gamble I will not take, only the gullible and the stupid would risk such a thing.

The “eyes of faith”? The eye of ignorance is what you really mean. The “eyes of faith” look upon a complex world and instead of actually searching for real answers they see what they wish, in your case, a god and a universe which revolves around you. You look at the world with “eyes of faith” and because you want to see the finger of some god that give a shit about you, that is exactly what you see. The “eyes of faith” require no evidence, indeed evidence must be ignored, evidence is antithetical to and negates any need of faith.

You end on the “it takes more faith not to believe” nonsense. What a bunch of tripe. You know your position is a weak one and because you cannot defend it you attempt to drag me down to your level. Do you require faith to NOT believe in big foot, fairies, leprechauns, or unicorns? Of course not; you do not hold any belief in those things because they have never been shown to exists nor do you require any kind of faith to lack belief in them. Your god is no different from Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, on and on with all the other gods you do not believe in because they lack evidence.

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

Why Is It Important?

Apr 22, 2012

I love my son more than anything in the entire world. Since the day he was born I have woken up every morning happy just to know he will be a part of my day. So now that he has told me he is an atheist I am doing everything I can to understand his views better and I have a question I thought you guys might answer for me. I should state for the record I am Catholic. I CHOOSE to believe in God. I know there is no proof and I know there is even reason to doubt but I CHOOSE to believe because I have had a very tough life and I have always relied on the idea of God to get me through. I take comfort in God. I also have always believed that when any religion starts spouting that they have the absolute answer, they have stepped over the line because I don’t think any of us do. I don’t worry that my son is going to go to hell. I am not that kind of believer. I think I am telling you all of this so you understand why this question is so important to me. What I want to know is why it is important to atheists that I don’t believe. If I take comfort in believing, why does it matter to you that I “see the light?” I am not upset with my son for not believing. I am however hurt by his acting as though I am a moron for believing. I am not blindly following some religion. I have spent 40+ years thinking through my beliefs and deciding what I believe in so why is it important to him that I not believe? Again, please don’t be mean. If you want to be mean to me do it another time when I am not trying so hard to understand. – brennanannie (http://www.reddit.com/user/brennanannie)

Hi, thanks for the question.

I can’t speak for anyone else, atheism’s not a club with rules. It doesn’t make a difference to me if you believe or not. If in your heart it provides you comfort, then there’s a benefit to you.

But you might take a look at things from our perspective. As atheists, we’re the most hated minority in the US. We mostly see the bad things that people do in the name of their religion, including removal of rights and supression of equality and liberty. “But I don’t do that,” I’m sure you’ll object.

The first problem is that religious moderates who stay quiet about the bad things grant the extremists implicit support and lend weight to their arguments. If every moderate Catholic abandoned the Church, the angry reactionary types would have no standing and wouldn’t be able to push their agenda.

The other part of the problem is that we don’t feel that we can have an honest conversation about real problems that we face as a society with theists. In the USA, we’ve got poor people starving and going bankrupt because they can’t get education, can’t get jobs, can’t get health insurance, and can’t pay healthcare. Yet the religious segment of the population (at least in the media) is clamoring to cut out birth control and ban abortion, two things that will DEFINITELY have a disproportionalte negative impact on the poor.

We see science, the only intellectual methodology that can actually provide us concrete , physical benefits, being decried and ridiculed as a “secular conspiracy against religion”. Evolution is passed off as some crackpot idea designed to turn people against god, when it’s the only theory that can actually make testable predictions. It’s the whole basis of modern biology for crying out loud, yet they’re passing laws to make teaching fairytales in science class legal.

Global warming, stem cell research, even vaccinations are all being ignored and mocked by religious people. If their beliefs had no effect on the rest of the world, then we wouldn’t care.

I understand that you consider religion a choice, and maybe for you it is. But for me, at least, atheism is not a choice. I didn’t choose not to believe the stories, I just don’t. I’ve never seen evidence supporting those stories, so I don’t see them as anything beyond mythology.

I feel that most religion, and ALL Abrahamic religion, is bad for people. It takes away human dignity, responsibility, and morality. I see it as a way to avoid making real decisions and taking real responsibility for one’s actions. I see it as deliberately closing one’s eyes against unpleasant reality in favor of comfortable fiction.

Any belief system that says people are inherently bad and flawed will only lead to trouble. It creates division where none exists. It separates us into “us, the saved”, and “them, the sinners”.

I don’t think that religion is necessary to lead a good life, and I think it’s antithetical to creating a rational, prosperous future for all people.

Also, don’t forget that people in general, religious or not, are often dicks on the Internet, and you should take any story you read here with a fairly large grain of salt. Reddit skews fairly young, demographically, and kids are usually idiots with gigantic egos. Take from that what you will.

If you find that your religion brings you comfort, then I wish you joy of it. I only hope that you understand a little better where we’re coming from. – BuccaneerRex (http://www.reddit.com/user/BuccaneerRex)