Monday, December 19, 2011

Why Anna is an atheist

Guest post on Pharyngula by Anna Yeung on why she's an atheist:


Why I am an atheist – Anna Yeung
December 5, 2011 at 6:36 am PZ Myers
I was 12. Attempting to rebel, I declared that I didn’t believe in God. My parents didn’t really care, given that we were only Buddhist at funerals. I went through a New Age-y phase where I believed in astrology, the paranormal and spirits. But as I got older, I got wiser. I was a voracious reader, and came upon the multitude of crimes against humanity committed in the name of religion – its effects on women, sexuality and science. However, my turning point came in a grade 12 biology class. A girl who I couldn’t stand, who became brainwashed when her parents accidentally sent her to Christian camp, got up to do a project on evolution. She prefaced her presentation by saying she didn’t believe in evolution because of her religion, and then proceeded to talk about Australopithecus afarensis. That kind of dichotomy astounded me. Partially because I hated her, and partially because it was the only conclusion based on reason and logic, I became non-religious. But it wasn’t until I stumbled onto Pharyngula, that I realized that there was a name for it. Atheist.
Anna Yeung
Australia
I'm hesitant to snark here. Anna sounds young, and her post is kind of pitiful. Her "multitude of crimes against humanity committed in the name of religion" is true, of course. But there are two provisos:

1) The anti-human religions have been paganism in its myriad forms, some aspects of Hinduism (e.g. the caste system), and Islam. Christianity has been the most humane moral revolution in history. The very concept of "crime against humanity" is derived from the Christian view that human beings have an inalienable dignity and that it is a crime to violate that dignity. Democracy and human rights have flourished in the Christian West, and only in the Christian West and in cultures influenced by it (India, South Korea).

2) The crimes against humanity perpetrated by non-Christian religions pale in comparison to the crimes against humanity perpetrated by state atheism. No ideology has butchered human beings on the assembly line like atheism-in-power. Anna stiff-armed the Christian camp girl and snuggled up to Pol Pot.

But it doesn't seem that Anna gave it that much thought. She didn't like that Christian camp girl. Can you believe it! That girl-- for real-- talked about Australopithecus afarensis but didn't believe in evolution! Such...such... di...di... dichotomy! Of course Anna didn't like her, partially, hated her actually, and the only conclusion she could reach based on ya'--know--like reason and logic was... that she had to become non-religious. Then like later she stumbled on Pharyngula and learned that there was a name for not liking that Christian camp girl not liking religion.

Anna will find herself in the company of many other atheists who arrived at godlessness with even less logic and reason.

39 comments:

  1. Michael,

    So what makes you think that your belief in Catholicism is any more rational than Anna's disbelief in god? Many of your fellow Christians regard Catholicism as heresy, with its worship of countless saints.

    For about the n-th time, atheism isn't an ideology. When Stalin and Mao committed massacres ( and most of them were massacres due to incompetence due to famines) they were to further the ideology of Communism, not to further atheism.

    I laughed at your assertion that Christianity regards humans as having inalienable dignity. Ever heard of the Inquisition with its fiendishly cleverly designed instruments of torture with the aim of forcing confessions from its victims so they could then be handed over to secular authorities for execution?

    It was only with the Enlightenment with the erosion of Church power that the concept of individual human rights arose. While the Church had power, there was very little individual freedom. The Treaty of Westphalia, which brought to an end to the Thirty Years War resulting from war between Catholicism and Lutherism, acknowledged only the freedom of the rulers of states to have religious freedom, their subjects having none.

    Freedom and human rights only flourish when there's no ruling ideology, whether communism, Christianity or Islam.

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  2. Once again Egnor smears on his clown makeup and pathetically and desperately attempts to get some attention by glomming on to Meyers' blog. Sad. And it gets sadder every time he does it.

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  3. Bach,
    Make up your mind. Either atheism does not matter, or it does. Either the belief in God (or not) is a matter of import, or not.
    How can you lay claim to the one truth above all?
    Either your position is unimportant because it addresses an non-factor, or your position is only relevant as an opposing force to that which is important (IE the existence of the Divine)
    You are way down a rabbit hole, Bach.


    It could not possibly be that collection of self indulgent, soft, sadistic, hocus pocus, genocide, utopian dreams, fast food, and hydrogen bombs you seem to think of as 'progress' and 'science'?
    If so, I would suggest this is why you find yourself a part of a tiny margin. It is no oppressive Roman cleric who put you there.
    The truth is your beliefs are based on a personal dislike imprinted on a group -JUST LIKE ANNA.
    "I laughed at your assertion that Christianity regards humans as having inalienable dignity."
    You would. Monkeys do that too. It's all about showing teeth.
    And how do you refute the point?
    You do NOT...of course.
    Put in a another penny and watch the dummy laugh again.
    The you try the whole reformation card.
    Even weaker.
    Trying to divide and conquer, Bach?
    Your pathetic attempt to turn the 30 years war into a clearly divided class conflict (that IS worth a laugh) Bach clearly show his hatred of the Roman Church. Hatred? No. JEALOUSY.
    His text is almost GREEN with envy.
    ALL that power and influence!
    Finally you Bach sums up (proving divine mercy is a reality) with this enigmatic statement that may finally explain his disconnect with the mass of humanity, and his exile to the fringes (garbage dump) of philosophy and politics!
    "Freedom and human rights only flourish when there's no ruling ideology, whether communism, Christianity or Islam."
    Borneo? MARS?
    No Borneo has missionaries, and Mars can pick up lots of our of TV. They probably have Sham-Wow by now, and they are the 'Red Planet'. (Martian Sham Wow guy? Just would not be the same!)
    Nah, forget it. Mars is just too close.
    Hey! Maybe he means where there is NO PEOPLE!?
    That's it!
    Bach is an ALIEN LINE BEING from the second dimension! That explains a lot!
    Here on Earth, Bach - in our dimensional reality - we do not have any such places that you describe. Here in our world ALL places have a ruling ideology.
    From the smallest clan, to the biggest Ant-Hive commie 'republic'.
    People THINK about things all the time, and have complex systems of communicating and recording these 'ideas'.
    'Freedom' (another confusing complexity) is an IDEAL. Ideals are the parts that, in turn, of an ideology.
    Dr Egnor rightly identifies this source as within religious morality.
    As to your objections of identifying New Atheism as an ideological movement: Straw man.
    Atheism is a foundational ideal of totalitarian movements and secular purges. It has served NO other political function on record. It is incomparable to ANY ideal in this way.
    But that is the appeal, isn't it?

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  4. @crus:

    [Atheism is a foundational ideal of totalitarian movements and secular purges. It has served NO other political function on record.]

    Well said.

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  5. CrusadeRex,

    Gawd... You've written a lot of gibberish. The only thing that Michael was able to understand from your rant was your last sentences 'Atheism is a foundational ideal ...' and it's wrong. It was communism that was the foundational ideal of totalitarianism and secular purges.

    Atheism is important to me because it removes the delusion that there's a great benevolent power that's going to rescue us from the consequences of bad decisions.

    Thinking that more technology is going to benefit us isn't inconsistent with thinking that present technology hasn't been abused. The thermonuclear bomb was an indulgence. The massive and very expensive arsenals of America and the late Soviet Union were unnecessary. Much smaller arsenals on both sides would have deterred war just as effectively.

    And anyway, go back to my statement. How much freedom has there been when Christianity, Islam or Communism rules? The countries with personal freedom and liberty are secular states such as America, Canada, Australia, western Europe, and others with democracy.

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  6. Sounds like Anna may be an atheist because she has seen Christians forgetting John 13:35. She would be one of many.

    @Bach: The question is more complex than you or Dr. Egnor are admitting. States with no established religion (such as the US) are not "secular" states in the sense that you mean; their achievements cannot rightly be attributed to atheism any more than they can to Hinduism. When governments remain neutral on the question of religion, a Christian may as easily influence the direction of his nation as an atheist. It is perhaps more correct to attribute the direction of such a democracy to the social majority. When atheism *has* been the official state position on religion, the state has always been an oppressive and miserable dictatorship. Perhaps this is just a coincidence; you can make that argument if you like. But the fact remains that I would rather live in Malta than in North Korea. Why would that be the case, if it is true that atheism causes enlightenment and Christianity superstition and persecution?

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  7. @bach:

    [How much freedom has there been when Christianity, Islam or Communism rules? The countries with personal freedom and liberty are secular states such as America, Canada, Australia, western Europe, and others with democracy.]

    All of those free countries have centuries-long histories of Christian culture. Many still have established state churches. The percentage of population in some of the countries who are atheist is rising, but the political freedom antedates the atheism by many years.

    Face it. Political freedom correlates strongly with cultural Christianity.

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  8. Bach,
    Gibberish, eh?
    Perhaps your prescription(s) need filling.
    I am in Canada.
    I live under a Constitutional Monarchy. The Monarch of my Land is by decree CHRISTIAN. My head of state is a Governor General, who wears a cross as his Arms and makes an oath before...you guessed it! GOD.
    Our military swears it's oath to those VERY ideals before God.
    Our laws are 'Common Law', implicitly based on CHRISTIAN morality.
    You are in Australia...So? So do you!
    You do for at least for the perceivable future.
    Should either of our lands decide to change their path and move towards the secularism you describe they will have to persuade the CHRISTIAN majority to vote for such a change.
    The United States, I will admit, are a more complex case in their attitude toward official religions etc. Still, the foundations are Christian and the PEOPLE who run the country ('We the People') have been and are majority Christian. America is a very Christian society.
    This fantasy world of 'secular' states you inhabit are just NOT a political or practical reality.
    State Atheism and it's horrible record are very real.

    @John Henry
    Well put.

    @Mike,
    Thanks!

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  9. Michael,

    The freedom and democracy in the West didn't come from Christianity. It came from the Enlightenment. The American Revolution, despite the number of times you've attempted to paint it as religious, was inspired by Enlightenment values. Many of the Founding Fathers of the United States were at best deists.

    John Henry,

    I too wouldn't like to live in North Korea, particularly now with the Dear Leader having finally kicked the bucket, and the succession to his equally crazy son in progress. North Korea is of course not an atheist state. They have a bizarre state religion with leader worship.

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  10. CrusadeRex,

    Australia, like Canada, is a constitutional monarch. Like Canada, the head of state is the ruling monarch of the UK, who by law has to be a member of the Anglican Church. Christians such as Lutherans, Catholics or Mormons wont be considered. The governor general is the monarchy's representative and it appointed by the monarch.

    Oaths to god are retialistic pro forma utterances which have lost their meaning by repeated repetition.

    There's nothing wrong with my eyesight. I can read perfectly well. There's no such thing as state atheism. Secular states have freedom of religion. In secular states such as America, Canada or Australia you can follow a religion or not as you wish.

    The laws of a country aren't based on Christian morality because Christianity didn't invent morality. It adopted it from non-Christian sources. And Christian morality isn't as pure as you imagine. The taking of African slaves by Portugal's Prince Henry the Navigator was legitimized by the then pope as necessary for the 'saving' of the infidel, who remained slaves, with their offspring, even if they converted to Christianity.

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  11. Egnor:

    "All of those free countries have centuries-long histories of Christian culture."

    Many totalitarian or (and especially) fascist countries, including the USSR, also had centuries-long histories of Christian culture. How come you only credit the "good" countries with that history, but not the "bad"?

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  12. @troy:

    Declining Christian culture can spawn atheism, analogous to a nourishing meal giving rise to stool.

    It is the explicit repudiation of Christian culture-- which atheists do when they assume state power-- that inevitably leads to totalitarianism.

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  13. Michael,

    No. It wasn't atheists who acquired state power. It was Communists. And the Tsars, from whom they assumed power, were religious, ruling with the blessing of the church and its god, and weren't exactly enlightened. They were so disliked in the west for their despotism that an alliance with Britain and France in WWII was regarded with distaste as the lesser of two evils.

    Communists were replacing Christianity, an ideology with a future utopia in a supernatural world, with its own ideology, with a future utopia, in a workers' paradise on Earth.

    Atheism doesn't have an ideology, no idea of a future utopia (which means by the way 'no place').

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  14. For about the n-th time, atheism isn't an ideology.

    Indeed. And that's why Bachfiend hangs around here day after day, month in and month out, trying to set you straight, trying to shoot down your every utterance, in an obvious state of obsession, hanging on your every word, all done as a man of quite obvious intelligence.

    But hey, at least he's not an ideologue.

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  15. Alt Numlock,

    I regard looking at Michael's blog as a source of continual amusement. Do you remember the cartoon strip 'the Perishers'? Probably not, it was a British one of, I think, the '60s, based on the lives of young children. One, Wellington, had a shaggy English sheepdog, Boot, whose regular enjoyment was peering into a rock pool at the seashore on the children's annual holiday to observe the antics of the pool's inhabitant crabs in their 'Pooliverse'.

    I liken myself to be like Boot in the amusement I get from Michael's antics. The crabs in the Pooliverse saw the eyes beyond the pool to be a god and promptly invented a religion, similar to the invented religion of Christianity, which is just a story.

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  16. "Declining Christian culture can spawn atheism, analogous to a nourishing meal giving rise to stool. "

    Now thats real classy.. And very eye-opening on the arrogance of some christians.

    So i ask you this egnor and henry and c.rex:

    Would you be happy(er) if the country you lived in was a theocracy?
    And what do you think would happen if it were?

    I know it's not christianity, but if you look at theocracies like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, they have some pretty backward, repressive laws that are based in their theology. Pretty strict interpretations, i might add. Which eventually leads to the question: WHOSE interpretation is it of the holy book that you base your government on?
    For example, recently an Afghani woman was raped, and then SHE goes to prison. When she got out, she was pressured into MARRYING her RAPIST.

    Saudi Arabia - a woman was BEHEADED for practicing 'witchcraft.' It seems to me that muslim men have a fear/hatred/domination issue with women.

    Point being, if this were a 'christian government', and eventually some dick politician gets elected and decides that laws of the land should be literal interpretation of the bible, then what, do we start stoning people for saying 'goddamn it'?

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  17. Oh, I think I get it now.

    So what you're saying is that atheism is not an ideology, but rather a frivolity like reading the comics.

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  18. @Mulder: While I prefer a state without an established religion to a Muslim theocracy, I have no problem with a Catholic theocracy like Makes our the Vatican. Both are preferable to a Muslim theocracy *and* to a religion-neutral state that condones divorce and abortion.

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  19. John Henry "While I prefer a state without an established religion to a Muslim theocracy, I have no problem with a Catholic theocracy like Makes our the Vatican."
    Good luck sneaking that past the Baptists.

    "Both are preferable to a Muslim theocracy *and* to a religion-neutral state that condones divorce and abortion."
    Have you considered not getting a divorce or an abortion and considering staying out of other people's marriages and uteri?

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  20. Alt Numlock,

    No, you don't get it. I'm saying that Christianity is fiction, like the crabs in the Pooliverse misinterpreting the eyeballs in the sky and inventing a religion whole cloth.

    Christianity is an ideology. Atheism is the rejection of ideology.

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  21. @Mulder:

    I agree that theocracy is bad. That is a Christian view (render unto Caesar...render unto God...).

    As to the tyranny of Islam, I agree wholeheartedly. Christianity has been fighting Islam for 1400 years (Tours, Vienna, Lepanto), and it is because of Christianity that you are not now preparing your daily prayers to Mecca.

    When has atheism fought Islam? Once. The Soviets in Afghanistan. They lost.

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  22. @bach:

    [I'm saying that Christianity is fiction, like the crabs in the Pooliverse misinterpreting the eyeballs in the sky and inventing a religion whole cloth.]

    I like the Pooliverse analogy. The eyeballs are real, and the crabs have only a limited understanding, so they do the best they can to understand and respond to them.

    I'm sure there were atheist crabs, who said that the Eyeballs didn't exist. They were wrong, of course.

    [Christianity is an ideology. Atheism is the rejection of ideology.]

    "Rejection of ideology" is ideology. Atheism is funny.

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  23. bach,
    "australia, like Canada, is a constitutional monarch. Like Canada, the head of state is the ruling monarch of the UK, who by law has to be a member of the Anglican Church....governor general is the monarchy's representative and it appointed by the monarch."
    You have a very funny way of agreeing with someone, Bach.

    "Oaths to god are retialistic pro forma utterances which have lost their meaning by repeated repetition."
    Try that theory out on my baseline at any time. Just hop a fence and see how those oaths work.
    I would also note the above quotation is from a man who claims to have practised MEDICINE! Poor old Hippocrates.

    "There's nothing wrong with my eyesight. i can read perfectly well.
    i was referring to your anti-psychotics, not your glasses.
    "There's no such thing as state atheism."
    No true Scotsman! No such thing as theocracy either, then is there. FFS.

    "Secular states have freedom of religion. In secular states such as America, Canada or Australia you can follow a religion or not as you wish."
    None of these states, provinces, or dominions are secular states. NONE of them. Each of these nations has CHRISTIAN rules of tolerance toward other faiths, written by Christian founders and guaranteed by charters that invoke God and in come cases the Crown as well (another Christian institution). Some of them have very string secular lobbies which are increasingly seen as hostile by the populace.
    You can choose which religion you wish because you live within the CHRISTIAN civilization. Why is that simple and UNDENIABLE fact so hard for you to admit?
    Does it grate against your IDEOLOGY?
    Move to China.

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  24. Sorry typos folks*** Teeny tiny tablet time :P

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  25. @Mulder,
    "Would you be happy(er) if the country you lived in was a theocracy?
    And what do you think would happen if it were?"
    First off I have to say the scatological analogy was perfect. I would just add it is a nutty turd.

    But to your question, Mulder.
    NO. I have literally fought for years against theocratic thugs. West Africa, the Horn, the Peninsula, and Afghanistan.
    I do not want to see the line between Caesar and God removed by any being but God, and that is not something I am planning on in my time on this Earth.
    But I wonder if you are really asking if I would rather live in a theocracy as opposed to a collective oligarchy in an atheist state? The answer to that question is YES.
    If I had to choose, I would choose SOME morality over none. Again, I ,must stress that I would fight and if necessary die defending my land from such madness.
    I hope that answers your question.

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  26. @modus: Good luck sneaking that past the Baptists.
    A state without an established religion is an acceptable compromise but, to be honest, I don't know that it would be that bad to be a Baptist in a Catholic theocracy or vice versa. I don't know of any Baptist theocracies, but I've certainly never heard of Baptists persecutions in Vatican City.

    Have you considered not getting a divorce or an abortion and considering staying out of other people's marriages and uteri?
    Let's look at each issue individually:

    When a couple gets married, they ask society and the government to become involved in their marriage. It would be awfully strange of me to ask the public to witness my promise to my wife, and ask that said promise be subject to the marriage and family laws of my nation, and then turn around and tell the state and the public to stay out of my marriage. If you wonder why couples traditionally ask for this kind of public sanction and recognition, the answer is that what anyone does in the bedroom has very public effects. We all have to pick up the pieces after a philanderer. If he knocks up several different women, society winds up picking up the tab for raising the children he can't stick around to support, and we also have to deal with the social ills caused by the raising of children in single-mother or broken homes. There was a time when a man who stood at the altar with a woman and asked the public and the state to witness and hold him to his promise was actually held to that promise. I think we were all better off for it.

    Next, I'd like to tell a story. There was a time when I was an obnoxious teenager. Now, I couldn't blame my parents if they wanted to throttle me, but I'm glad they didn't, and I'm glad there are laws on the books protecting other obnoxious teenagers from being throttled. Before that, I was a difficult kid who required all kinds of work on my parents' part: education, clothes and shoes to replace what I'd outgrown, daycare, baths, haircuts, and attention, attention, attention. My parents' lives might have been easier if they had slipped me a little poison in my sippy cup one day, but I'm glad they didn't, and I'm glad there are laws that protect other needy kids from being poisoned. Before that, I was a super-needy infant who needed round-the-clock holding, feeding, and changing. My mother's life and body and mind were wholly dedicated to keeping me safe and alive, since I couldn't do it for myself. It certainly would have been easier for her to have left me in a dumpster, but I'm glad she didn't and I'm glad there are laws protecting other infants from death by exposure. Before that, I was a very tiny baby, growing in my mother's uterus. I made her gain a lot of weight and experience substantial internal discomfort, incontinence, and joint pain as I grew. It would have been easier for her to have had me scraped out and dumped in a medical waste bin somewhere, but I'm glad she didn't, and I wish there were laws on the books protecting the millions of babies who actually do suffer that fate every year.

    You support laws against murder, no? You recognize that we all have a duty to our fellow human being to try to protect them when they are vulnerable. My opposition to abortion is no different from your opposition to murder. You and I may disagree about whether the baby in the womb is a person, but surely you can see why I can't just live and let kill, given that I do believe the baby in the womb is a person.

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  27. @Rex
    "Each of these nations has CHRISTIAN rules of tolerance toward other faiths, written by Christian founders and guaranteed by charters that invoke God and in come cases the Crown as well (another Christian institution)."

    Not in the case of the U.S. Most of our founding fathers were deists. In addition, if the U.S. was/is such a total christian nation, created by and for christian people, based on christian 'principles' (whatever that is) then why did they put so much effort to NOT include any reference to jesus, the trinity, the 10 commandments, to have no religious tests for public office, separation of church & state or any reference to god whatsoever?

    @egnor:
    "Rejection of ideology is ideology. Atheism is funny."

    I often find it amusing that religious apologists routinely repeat that atheism is a religion or ideology. Almost as if to use those statements simply as an insult. An ideology is a group of ideas or beliefs that provide guidance. This is not true of atheism.

    There's a lot of atheist bigotry on this blog, it's bursting at the seams.

    Also, why do you guys assume that because someone doesnt believe in your god, then they're not moral? Are you saying that morality is derived strictly from an outside source of humanity (god)? Are apes 'moral'?

    So we owe everything to christian culture, eh? But the code of hammurabi predates mosaic law by 1,000 years. It's not exactly the same, but still has basic do's and dont's for a civil society. We owe much from ancient greek culture as well.

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  28. @johnhenry

    "...and ask that said promise be subject to the marriage and family laws of my nation, and then turn around and tell the state and the public to stay out of my marriage."

    Well john, my marriage is NOBODY'S business but mine and my wife's. YOU have no say in how i choose to carry on with it or not to. Would you like it if i were to pry into your personal relationship? I doubt it. Being married (i.e. signing a piece of paper) does not prevent anyone from knocking up any other woman. The 50s are long over with, man.
    Also, would you rather people, like in the 50s, stay in a miserable, possibly abusive, loveless, sexless marriage, just because 'its the christian thing to do?' Now THAT seems a bit abusive..

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  29. @Mulder: My intent was not to start a debate about either issue, but to show that one may have an interest in both for reasons other than just being a busybody. Apparently I did not communicate my point to you very well.

    Out of curiosity, if your marriage is such a private affair, why did you invite friends and family to witness it and ask that it be sanctioned by your state government?

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  30. @Mulder
    "Not in the case of the U.S. Most of our founding fathers were deists."
    I have heard that before. Please prove that most of the USA's founding fathers were not Christians. It is a very popular story among the anti-american types. I would love to hear your logic.
    "then why did they put so much effort to NOT include any reference to jesus, the trinity, the 10 commandments, to have no religious tests for public office, separation of church & state or any reference to god whatsoever?"
    No ten commandments on the supreme court? No Bibles in ALL the courtrooms? No oaths before God for ALL officials and ALL courts?
    No NATIONAL Christmas holiday (Christ)? No NATIONAL Easter Holiday (Christ again)? No ORIGINAL American CHRISTIAN holidays like thanksgiving? No mention of God on your currency? No presidential invocations of God? No cities or towns named after religious figures, events, and even the TRINITY?
    Come on, man.
    The US is a nation of Christian people with openly Christian traditions. People like yourself have been and (hopefully) always will be a very vocal minority.

    @ John Henry
    " Before that, I was a very tiny baby, growing in my mother's uterus. I made her gain a lot of weight and experience substantial internal discomfort, incontinence, and joint pain as I grew. It would have been easier for her to have had me scraped out and dumped in a medical waste bin somewhere, but I'm glad she didn't, and I wish there were laws on the books protecting the millions of babies who actually do suffer that fate every year."
    Brilliant comment. Salutations.

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  31. Michael,

    If you like the Pooliverse analogy, then obviously you don't understand it. The eyeballs were real, but the crabs made a religion of them. There were also a group of 'scientist' crabs who wanted to investigate the eyeballs in greater depth, to understand them, resisted by the religious crabs as risking the wrath of their god.

    Rather like your the Big Bang, therefore Jesus.

    CrusadeRex,

    I never took the Hippocratic Oath. It's not a requirement for medical registration in Australia. The original one swore to Apollo, the modern one is secular, with no reference to a god at all. When people have to swear an oath with god included, in court for example, a secular form is also available.

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  32. @bach:

    [If you like the Pooliverse analogy, then obviously you don't understand it. The eyeballs were real, but the crabs made a religion of them. There were also a group of 'scientist' crabs who wanted to investigate the eyeballs in greater depth, to understand them, resisted by the religious crabs as risking the wrath of their god.]

    The analogy gets even better. The atheist scientist crabs would declare that the eyeballs weren't real, just an artifact of primitive crab culture, and the efforts of the crab scientists to study the eyeballs would've pissed off the guy with the eyeballs so much that he would have stepped on the crabs.

    Armageddon.

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  33. Michael,

    Who said the crab scientists were atheists? Even with a totally hypothetical scenario, you demonstrate your anti-science prejudice. You're quite happy to distort science when it supports your weird worldview (the Big Bang, therefore Genesis, therefore Jesus).

    Scientists just assume that natural phenomena have natural causes, because they have no method of investigating supernatural causes. You just assume that some phenomena will never have an adequate natural cause as your default position.

    I hope you'd never assume that a patient has a brain tumour for supernatural causes, either because he is a bad person and deserves it, or because the tumour has been sent to test him, his family or his friends. If you did, then you'd refuse to treat because that is going against the divine plan.

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  34. @johnhenry
    "Out of curiosity, if your marriage is such a private affair, why did you invite friends and family to witness it and ask that it be sanctioned by your state government? "

    It's private in the sense of personal issues regarding it. We invited friends and family to celebrate it with us-they care for us & would like to see us make that bond together. Not to mention, tradition. It's a fun party, man!

    @Rex
    Who are these "anti americans" that say the founding fathers were deists? And please don't accuse me of being anti american. I'm a life-long new yorker, and am sure as hell NOT anti american.

    I am sure that the founding fathers of the U.S. constitution admired much of the teachings of Jesus. However, one doesnt have to be a christian to appreciate some christian teachings, right?

    First of all, in Ben Franklin's autobiography: "..for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist."

    Thomas Paine, well known deist - just read through his book The Age of Reason. He says that he waited years to write his true thoughts on christianity for fears of retribution. And sure enough, he got a lot of heat from that book.

    Washington- its unclear. He never spoke publicly of his religion. He seemed to have had no instinct or feeling for religion, although he attended church twelve or fifteen times a year. But everyone knows just because you attend, it doesnt make you a practicing christian.
    "

    Jefferson - In a letter to Ezra Stiles, Jefferson wrote ”I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know”. He even wrote a version of the bible which took out references of jesus' divinity. A Unitarian, perhaps? He regarded what Jesus taught to be very good, but believed that some christian sects invented the myth of his divinity.

    John Adams - "As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?"
    In a letter to Jefferson: "..This is the doctrine of Christian theologians, in general, ten to one. Now, my friend, can prophecies or miracles convince you or me that infinite benevolence, wisdom, and power, created, and preserves for a time, innumerable millions, to make them miserable for ever, for his own glory? Wretch! What is his glory? Is he ambitious? Does he want promotion? Is he vain, tickled with adulation, exulting and triumphing in his power and the sweetness of his vengeance? Pardon me, my Maker, for these awful questions. My answer to them is always ready. I believe no such things.

    James Madison - "The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries."
    "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."

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  35. It's interesting that this young woman's journey toward atheism really began in earnest because she hated a girl in her class.

    She hated the other girl so much that she determined that her God cannot be real. Because if God were real, He would be exactly what the young woman wanted Him to be. And since He's not, He can't be real.

    I think most people's journey toward atheism is born in hate. That explains why atheists are so nasty and violent.

    Joey

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  36. @Joey:Often enough, when atheists hate the faith, it's because of the poor witness or poor example we show them.

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  37. John Henry,

    You don't fool me. You're a poor internet liar.

    By the way, are there any other groups you blame for people hating them? Blacks? Jews, perhaps? Homosexuals? Atheists?

    Just wondering.

    Joey

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