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154 Responses to Start a New Thread

  1. tea says:

    I am in a hurry to type this, but I wanted to get it done before I left my computer. If you need to tweak something, that is cool.

    Title: Can Atheist believe in an afterlife?

    There are many ways to debate this. Most new atheist explain or argue that if you don’t believe in god, then it is impossible to believe in anything supernatural or an afterlife.

    I personally believe that 99% of what people claim to be a supernatural or religious experience is just the mind creating delusions. And I find myself rolling my eyes when I listen to someone explaining they had some type of “experience”. But I do find myself believing in something more. I feel that the mind is very powerful and 99% of the time it is just my brain creating a delusional world for me to live in because I can’t find the scientific explanation. But there is still that feeling. The feeling is that I am connected to something bigger then myself and that there is a purpose to everything.

    I still live my life as an atheist. I use logic and reason to live my life. And I don’t live my life by any dogmatic point of view. I also live my life in the here and now, not waiting for some “next life” to happen. I just want to see other atheist feel about this subject.

    • gram says:

      It might surprise you to learn that the majority of atheists believe in an afterlife. Buddhists don’t believe in God but they believe in recurrence. And there are others more philosophically developed who also believe we continue through recurrence but do a better job of explaining exactly how it works. What’s more, they have an array of arguments proving that this is so. Would you like to know more? I’m an expert on this topic.

  2. The Atheist says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful question, tea. You can find your new discussion here.

  3. Doug says:

    How can an atheist deny the mark of the beast?

    In the Bible it states that no one ,small or great, rich or poor, free or bound can buy or sell unless he receive the mark of the beast. The word “mark” is translated as etching. The technology of the microchip is an implantable chip.We are heading toward a cashless society. Just watch the news. World government, one world currency has been an issue world leaders have talked about.In that microchip will be your medical records , your bank account. If you do not have that chip you will not be able to buy or sell. How was this known over 2 thousand years ago.The technology is here.It has not been enforced yet. But you can not deny the technology.

  4. The Atheist says:

    Hello, Doug and thanks for the question. You can seed your new post and the related discussions here.

  5. Christian says:

    Why do atheists target Christians?

    I am curious why Christianity seems to be the most targeted religion for atheists to attack. While I recognize that Christianity is the religion with the most followers worldwide, it really seems less like a strictly scientific numbers issue, and more like emotional personal vendetta most of the time. I see so much effort from the atheist community to debunk Christian beliefs, but very little going toward Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist fallacy for instance (also very popular religions).

    With so much emphasis on Christianity, I would think atheists would realize how much it weakens their “reason”. First, it suggests that Christianity is the only religion worth attacking, which may just be insulting to other religions as well. Second, it gives the appearance of a hidden (anti-Christian or even satanic) agenda to most Christians. Third, it makes these atheists just look like angry kids rebelling against their Christian parents or the Christian society they were raised in. None of these things are very compelling to a Christian to abandon the faith they work very hard to keep. Just sayin’.

    • Zekolas says:

      Well not all atheist attach Christians or any religion. However since I assume you live in the USA or Europe where the dominate religion is Christianity so most arguments are between atheist and Christians.

      If Islam was the dominate religion most arguments would focus on Islam. Also many atheist want freedom of religion and FROM religion. Many do not like it when the goverment endorses a specific religion or spends tax dollars supporting a religion. Well again being the USA is comprised mostly of christians the arguments are usually christian vs atheist.

      I mean I have not seen vikings trying to put Oden statues in court houses or on goverment property so we don’t usually debate vikings on the validity of Oden.

      Also Atheist do attach islam; we are horrified on the human right abuses that go on in Islamic countries and horrified when islamic communities in Europe push for Sharia law; however that has not happened in the USA yet.

      Most Jews are not really that religious (some are) but again they are a small minority in the USA.

      With buddhism; well buddhism really does not have a god. Atheist lack a belief in god so there is just not that much conflict between Buddhism and Atheist. Some Atheist do consider themselfs Buddhist.

  6. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Christian and welcome to the blog. That’s a great question! Your new post and the related discussions are here.

  7. David says:

    My wife and I deconverted from christianity about two years ago. Ever since then I have been an atheist. When we were christians, we would attribute good events in our life to god having favor on us. I know that’s not true now but some recent events have me perplexed. In the last two weeks, the following great things have happened: I landed a job without an in-person interview, I was able to get out of my rental agreement in order to move to my hometown and the house beside my parents became available to rent during the week I moved. When I was a christian, I would’ve attributed this to god. I know that’s not the reason. However, how can these things be explained? I’m having a difficult time thinking of this windfall as a bunch of good coincidences.

  8. The Atheist says:

    Hi, David and thanks for the question! You can find your new thread here.

  9. dmoney012485 says:

    Love this site, I put a link to this on my blog on wordpress. Im new to bloging and your blog also. Keep up the great work. I look forward to reading more of your stuff soon.

  10. The Atheist says:

    Thanks, dmoney and welcome to the blog!

  11. saron mahari says:

    what do we mean when we say the new testament is inspired?

  12. saron mahari says:

    explain how son of god can be said to have come in the fullness of time?

  13. saron mahari says:

    explain why we call the gospels pattraits of jesus and not his biographies

  14. saron mahari says:

    why is the gospel of john d|f from others?

  15. Walter A says:

    Is love eternal? I have heard the promise all the time: “I will love you forever. This life and on the afterlife”. This is assuming the loving person will move to a new plane where loving is allowed (heaven?).

    Since there is no afterlife. Love ends with death.

  16. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Walter – thanks for the discussion! See your post and any comments here.

  17. Cialis says:

    Mv3NUr Thank you for the material. Do you mind if I posted it in her blog, of course, with reference to your site?

  18. Smokes to much says:

    A set of ideas occurred to me a few years ago, but I’m not sure what to make of them. I would be interested in reading some comments on them.
    First idea: The physical universe is all that exists.
    The matter and energy that our universe consists of is all that there is. No gods, no devils, no afterlife or any state of being, other than the one we now experience.
    Second idea: The universe has an end. At some point, the universe comes to an end via heat death, absolute entropy, universal recompression to a single point or whatever. I’ve heard many opposing theories on the subject, but they all seem to agree that it will end somehow. I suppose it’s not unreasonable to think this. Everything in the universe has a birth and then a death, so perhaps the universe itself will also die.
    When I combined these two ideas it occurred to me that if both ideas are true, one might conclude existence is meaningless.
    If the universe is all there is, and if it comes to an end (whenever or however), then everything that has ever happened, or will happen, will be completely and utterly wiped out. No history, no memories, no artifacts to examine, no ruins to dig up. Like it never happened.
    And, if that is true, nothing anyone has every done (or will do) matters in the slightest.
    Become the biggest mass-murderer in history or find the cure for cancer. In the end it won’t make any difference because in a sense, none of it ever happened.
    I don’t know if any of this makes sense or is nonsense. I would appreciate some feedback.

  19. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Smokes. Thanks for the thoughtful question! Here’s your new
    thread.

  20. dyemsmone says:

    Want to know more? http://myrealcamera.com – Watch my live camera

  21. Brittany says:

    I am fifteen years old. I live in the heart of the bible belt with two parents who are not that religious but extremely hypocritical, judgmental, and intolerant. I am an Agnostic-Atheist. I will probably never be able to speak the four words to my family that I want to say most of all:

    I Am An Atheist.

    I really have three questions.

    1.) What would most likely result from telling hypocritical hateful Southern Baptists? Is it worth it? Especially what would happen from my family.

    2.) I plan to move to Massachusetts immediately after high school. Will it be better there?

    3.) Living in the South, would it be worth it to allow myself to be brainwashed back into Christianity?

  22. The Atheist says:

    Hello, Brittany and thanks for the questions. You can see your new discussion here along with any responses.

  23. William says:

    If God is real,and He created you,and you believe this without a shadow of a doubt, then you would be like “us”. Tell me, how would you feel if were constantly told that you’re beliefs are but mere petty childish dreams. Would you appreciate it? I understand you lack of evidence to persuade you, but are you that alone that you can’t believe in this “God” I so aware serve? Is it that you have no evidence that you can’t believe or were you taught not to believe, or maybe even are you just not believe because you can? Evidence is but a small reaction to atheist. If you are an atheist then you made that choice not to believe,so stick to your disbelief…But if your ready to believe (I doubt you will be) then come to Him yourself. But, until then, it be wise of you to continue your disbelief. You say what you have to say, and we have to say what you do as well. This battle of He is/He isn’t will go on forever…So express yourself.
    Thank You… WDC

  24. The Atheist says:

    Hi William and thanks for the questions! I hope you get some good answers. You can find the discussion here.

  25. accobbyfalk says:

    Goodday

    I’m new here and just wanted to drop by with a little “hello” message (sorry if I have posted in the wrong section!)

    My name is Courtney, mom to two lovely boys, and a parttime soccer coach!

    I’m here to sniff around and gather some information, so please welcome me :O)

    Have a nice day!

  26. Durzal says:

    Welcome, what information are you looking to gather.

  27. Joker0K says:

    Just wanted to take a moment and say hi to all the members. Looking forward to the forum and what everyone has to talk about.

  28. Katie says:

    I am possibly an atheist in the making, but I have been through so many “isms” on my journey, discarding this and that part of religion on my way. I always thought that I was right, but then had to change my mind. I’m a little bit afraid that this is just another in a series, and I really don’t want to keep doing this. I went to skepticon 3 and it helped, as I now understand that for most atheists it’s not a dogma of no god, it’s just a lack of evidence FOR god. I am, however, a little bit intimidated by the sheer intellect in the atheist community. I have let my brain lie fallow for a really long time, and while I started out with a fairly high intellect, the atheist seem to contain some of the greatest brains around.

    ok, enough rambling…….my son is an atheist, but he cannot let it be known because there is a real risk of him losing his job. His workplace is full of Mormons, and they have consistently promoted Mormons ahead of him, but never criticize his job performance. He simply avoids the issue, finds a distraction when asked, but would love to ‘come out’ and speak his mind. The law says that what his employer does is illegal, but that would be of little comfort should he lose his job and be unable to support his family. Any suggestions?

    • Katie says:

      arrgh…..I meant the atheist community seems to contain some of the greatest brains around. (Not too proficient with the editing)

  29. The Atheist says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful post and question. Here is your new thread!

  30. Green Genius says:

    Dear Atheist, once while working with a Hindu Surgeon we were about to put a late middle aged sort of red necked women under for a procedure when she said “Dr before I will let you operate on me I must know if you believe in God?”. And he said “Yes, Yes Mam I do”. Well I am an atheist and I still wonder what I would of said if she would of asked me? If you were in this situation what would you have said, being an atheist?

  31. The Atheist says:

    That’s a very interesting dilemma, G-G! Thanks for the question. You can see your new thread here.

  32. elynna says:

    Is the Bible consistent on the subject of death? Does the O.T. say the same thing as the N.T. Reading my Bible it Jesus seems to imply that if you believe in Him you may die physically but spiritually you live on. What are the facts.

  33. The Atheist says:

    Thanks for your question, elynna. You can see your post and the discussion here!

  34. Brian says:

    Title- Owner of our company is very religious.

    At times it makes me a little uncomfortable, for instance if we have a lunch meeting, he says “grace” before we eat. Not that I’m not offended by his beliefs, rather I’m perplexed by him. He is a very intelligent, well educated person. In my own life, I have found that most of the very intelligent, well educated people I have met are atheist, or at least non-religious.

    I don’t understand how seemingly intelligent people can become so brainwashed that they believe the Christian dogma.

  35. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Brian. Thanks for your reflections. You can find your discussion here.

  36. Curious George says:

    Who created God?

    Obviously the origin of the universe is one of the oldest philisophical questions and debates.

    The theist insists that someone had to create the universe and that someone must be God.

    The atheist responds: “If the universe needs a cause, then why doesn’t God need a cause? And if God doesn’t need a cause, why should the universe need a cause?”

    But I recently came across a “Christian Answers” link on this topic suggesting that Christians should respond using the the following reasoning:

    1. Everything which has a beginning has a cause.

    2. The universe has a beginning.

    3. Therefore the universe has a cause.

    http://christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c039.html

    Please review the information presented at the above web link and give your thoughts.

    Thanks in advance.

  37. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Curious George. Thanks for the question! You can find the discussion here.

  38. s says:

    I am an atheist and I have come out to my family as such but my mother, raised COGIC refuses to even acknowledge that I have told her that I do not beleive. I never expected her support, but as time goes on she is gettting more vocal about me praying and seeking the lord, she talks to me as if I’m a Christian and it’s putting a real strain on our relationship. we don’t talk often, maybe once a week, but our conversation is now filled with references to god. I don’t want to step on her right to speak her mind, but I want to ask her not to mention god to me.
    Is is wrong to just want to talk to my mother without her brining up her god every other sentence?

  39. The Atheist says:

    Hi, s. Thanks for sharing this tough dilemma. You can find your new discussion topic here.

  40. PhoenixGray says:

    Hi, I was wondering if there is an atheistic explanation for the phenomenon of free will?

    To try and put the question into specific terms so that there is no confusion:

    1. We have the experience of being able to choose. This may be manifested in a course of action or merely a belief to be held.

    2. If our choices are merely a reflection of the particular brain chemistry involved, or of any other physical process, we cannot be said to have a true choice in any sense, as there is nothing outside the physical realm to be influencing the action of the brain and body, which are physical things. Therefore, it seems that any physical explanation for free will is by definition faulty, including any potential future knowledge we may uncover.

    3. The standard way out of this, and the way that I took as an atheist, is that there really is no such thing as free will and we merely experience the illusion of choice. This begs the question of who is experiencing this illusion, but apart from that, if we have no choices that are not determined by physical law, then how did we arrive at that conclusion? In order to exercise rational thought, you must be able to make a free will choice between two alternatives according to which you believe is more weighty. If there is no free will, on some level you have no choice but to believe this and it is not rational in any sense.

    A1. Now of course, the argument made in point 3 does not mean that the hard determinism theory is false, merely that if it were true we would have no way of knowing that, since the belief itself invalidates the process which led to the belief.

    A2. Randomness is not the same as choice. Demonstrating that not everything can be predicted in its behavior, even with a hypothetical infinite body of knowledge about the original state, does not mean that this randomness is an explanation for choice, any more than a roulette wheel chooses the number the ball falls into.

  41. The Atheist says:

    Hi, PhoenixGray. Thanks for the question! Please find your discussion here!

  42. I was raised to beleive that the purpose of life was to be a good christian and convert others to christ in order to spend an eternity praising god in heaven. it never really apealed to me, but at least it was something to aim for. now i struggle with meaning and purpose in life, as an atheist how have you overcome this? How do you find meaning and purpose in an uncaring universe, where our very exitence was by chance and our lives end at death?

  43. The Atheist says:

    Hi, SnowballInHell. Thanks for the question. Here is your new post!

  44. david says:

    PROOF OF GOD

    1. There is an enormous amount of energy locked up in matter in the universe (E=mC2) – an unfathomable amount.

    2. Scientists insist energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

    Q: Where did this energy come from initially?

    A1: The Big Bang. No. An explosion requires energy to initiate it. Whether potential or kinetic.

    A2: It was always there. No. The Second Law of Thermodynamics kicks in and the energy must be uniformly distributed throughout the Universe which it is not.

    A3: I dont know. Then neither do you know if there is a God or not.

    QED. Have a nice day.

  45. The Atheist says:

    Hi, david. Thanks for your comment. You can see your new thread here.

  46. Mark from Portland says:

    You all have a wonderful show!

    At the end of the 2-20-11 show I called with a question about people simply using the Bible to curtail any discussion about many important matters, and in the course of the conversation, I noted that the Koch Brothers and other corporations are using religious people to achieve their ends, including not addressing issues related to environmental problems, etc.

    The person I was speaking to said (after I left the line) something like “we shouldn’t think that business makes use of the religious extremism” and then he went on to say that it would hurt business to discriminate against gays, etc., and that’s why you have companies supporting gay rights, etc., and he said that he thought that business and religious groups may have a falling out in the future. He also suggested that Liberals also misuse the bible for their ends.

    Seems to me that this is a false equivalence – the “Tea Party” (with its religious base) is almost entirely driven by Republican big business, including big energy companies. Kevin Phillips has noted the relationship between Republicans, Religion and Oil in several of his books, as have other respectable authors. There is nothing like this amalgam on the Left side of the spectrum.

    Also, the joining of big cynical business (not all big businesses are equally responsible) with religion has led to ripping away environmental concerns, is also leading to stripping away women’s rights, etc.

    Again, there is nothing, nothing like this coming from the Left.

    And trusting big business to do the right thing without much tighter regulations is hopelessly naïve. (Again, regulations is a concern of the Left and not of the Right.)

    The Right Wing Republicans are the ones trying to strip away the church-state separation, not Liberals. It is the Right Wing that is willing to impose a litmus test for office, one clearly rejected by the “No religious test” portion of the constitution: “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    Republicans are far more willing to believe the world started 6000 years ago, that God created man in his essential present state at that time, etc.

    Yours,
    Mark from Portland

  47. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Mark. Good comments! Wrong Atheists – we don’t have a show.

  48. Curious George says:

    I have a question concerning the theory of evolution – the natural selection of random mutations. My question is specifically concerning the belief that natural selection is
    not a consious process and the apparent lack of intent in the conventional theory of evolution.

    From everything I’ve read natural selection is not a conscious process. Certainly certain scenarios exist where the process of natural selection does a great job of explaining
    how that works. For example, natural selection tends to favor the survival of blond haired mice over dark haried mice on white beaches. Easy enough to understand that.
    It has been scientifically demonstrated that bird prey can more easily see the contrast of dark colored mice as opposed to blond colored mice against the background of whote sand.
    So over time more and more dark colored mice fall prey to the birds seeking food until eventually there are fewer and fewer of them remaining to contribute to the gene pool and
    over time are virtaully eliminated from the gene pool – in that environment anyway- altogether.

    Evolutionists have done a great job of dunking the irreducible complexity argument with regard to the “complex” eye, showoing that it evolved over time from something far less
    complex. But what they don’t explain is how at every turn there just happen to be just the right random mutations available to be selected from and how natural selection goes
    about making the selection of useful mutation or the analysis/assessment of which mutations to keep or discard. It seems to me that such analysis would need to be a conscious
    process. I’m not suggesting a “God” per say, just a consiousness or intelligence at some level directing the natural selection process.

    Furthermore, human reproduction requires two sexes, each with their own distinct reproductive system.
    How does evolution explain the existence of two different but mutually dependant and complementary reproductive systems?
    The two different systems would have had to evolve in tandem from a particular point, separately and yet maintaining their complementary structure.
    How does chance mutation and natural selection explain these two very different but complementary systems?
    And you can’t use the “it look millions of years” explanation because with sexual reproduction if you get it wrong for even one generation – you lose.
    So how could natural selection work without the right-hand knowing what the left had was doing? Or how with natural selection can you explain that the right hand knew what
    the left hand was doing?

  49. The Atheist says:

    Thanks for your question! You can find your discussion here.

  50. Peter (Ecclesiasticus) says:

    I’m looking for Tete or Wrenna, two old friends from the old MSN “Ask an Atheist” website. Are they here?

  51. kanesha says:

    what would you do if the would hade just ended after 2012 the movie ?

    prersuade the grader that your philosophy and structure make your socirty the one to live in !

  52. Susan says:

    Title – are the any TRUE christians?

    I recall a conversation I had with a christian about my thinking religion is often duplicitous, & I was using the example of my grandmother. She was a southern baptist & was forever trying, giving me bibles for xmas, inviting me to “grandparents day” at church, which always happened to coincide with my visit. Yet she was totally racist (nigger jokes), lied, was manipulative & cruel to children, was judgmental. I pointed out these traits as being in contradiction with christian values. The other person said it wasn’t christianity that was the problem, it was that my grandmother wasn’t a good christian.

    But doesn’t that raise quite a question? The basis of christianity is the bible. Of which there are several versions, all of which have been translated thru several iterations, from what is clearly a collection of parables & fables used as teaching tools for herders & farmers, & it’s about as clear as a horoscope. The fact that there are so many factions using the same bible, who are quite different from each other…Doesn’t the wiggle room provided by the bible mean you can always forgive the bible, then just insist the user isn’t doing it right? Isn’t humble enough? Isn’t hearing god’s message clearly because or pride or something? Apologists always back into “that’s not being a good christian,” but that’s hardly a worthwhile defense when there really is no “one good christian” definition.

  53. The Atheist says:

    Thanks for your comments and questions, Susan. You can see the discussion here!

  54. as an atheist, what is the motivation to care about existing?

  55. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Ted. Thanks for your question! Here is your post where you can see some answers and post your followups.

  56. Emily says:

    Hey.Hopefully this is the right place to post this.
    I need some help. As part of assigment for my sociology class I have to provide a survey about religion and it’s influence on abortion.
    Please help by answering some questions about the topic.
    Questionere is located at http://free-survey.in//index.php?sid=88714

  57. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Emily. I’m not sure where the right place to post a survey link would be so I’ll just leave it posted here. I hope you get some responses.

  58. Brian says:

    Hey, I was a Christian for 10 years, pursuing Jesus with all my might during my devotions. The thing is, however, that I never grew in my faith. I also had some mood problems that prayer and Bible study never helped. However, since I started doing yoga and meditating, these moods are greatly reduced. I’m fascinated by this yogi philosophy and yogis are some of the most kind and compassionate people. But how do I get out of these church commitments where people need me and how do I explain to them what I’m doing? Especially when I know no one will understand?

  59. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Brian. Thanks for the question – check out the discussion here.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Hi Brian,

    All religions have cult like tenancies. You are brainwashed from your formative years to comply with their dogma and rituals. If you break free from that you will be ostracized by the group, and in fact made to feel guilty and wrong for objecting. Free thought is not welcome, only adherence to their propaganda is accepted. I applaud you for questioning and in the end you will be truly free. Free of the nonsense, free of the silly 2000 year old attempts to understand the universe and the majestic laws that describe it. The day you decide to think for yourself is the day you will be free. And if there is a benevolent god up there, he will rejoice in you and not punish you.

    Michael

  61. Natalie says:

    Hi, im doing a research paper for my senior year about the misuse of religion in society in the past and currently. I’m having trouble finding facts instead of opinions . Do you have any reccomended websites for research? I plan on covering Hitlers hushed Christian beliefs and the obvious influence of religion on the 911 attacks, but i need a little something extra ! Honestly, Anything would be appreciated. I have been an Atheist for around five years now and i feel very strongly about this topic . Thank you :D

  62. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Natalie. Thanks for the question – you can see your discussion here. Good luck with your paper!

  63. Anonymous says:

    I am a new atheist, but I am having a hard time feeling isolated because all my family and friends are fundamental christians. My partner was “concerned” about my belief in Jesus and told me that if I don’t believe in Jesus I will be going to hell. I don’t want to have my children keep being indocrinated but I know I don’t have any support to stop that. I feel enlighted in my understanding about life now but so alone otherwise.

  64. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Anonymous. Welcome to the blog! Find your discussion (and hopefully some answers) Here

  65. Mike Johnson says:

    Question for discussion: If morality is exclusively human in origin and relevance, why do we judge the God of the Bible with it?

    Explained:

    On the premise that human moral values and obligations are a product of human evolution, they would necessarily only apply to human beings and useful in governing and judging human behavior, and would be subject to change and further “evolve” over time.

    Many atheists object to what they conclude are “immoral” acts committed by God described in the Bible, i.e. murder, commanding genocide, incest, slavery, etc.

    How can morality that only applies to contemporary humans be used to make moral judgments against a hypothetical Creator God, who, if He existed, would not be bound to moral laws from human conceptualization, based on descriptions of immoral acts that the Bible portrays as occurring thousands of years ago? Doesn’t this show that even the atheist who would make such objections holds that morality is universal and absolute regardless of time, place or person, thereby placing the origin of moral values and obligations somewhere outside the scope of human convention?

  66. Kurt says:

    The incomprehensible and Atheist thought.

    For many of us, the definition of an Atheist is one who does not believe in the existence of a God. To discuss this further then one must agree to a benchmark Atheist definition of what does the word God mean? Is God a higher power, a supernatural force, or as described by the two main western religions; Christianity & Judaism.

    NASA’s Kepler Mission is searching for planetary systems throughout our Galaxy. Based upon all of the Initial research of the Kepler Mission scientists now believe our Galaxy contains more planets than it does stars! That means there should be no less than one trillion stars and five trillion planets. Of all those five trillion planets most scientists believe that no less than 5% will be in a Goldy Lox Zone! That would equal 250 Billion Planets. Of those 250 Billion conservatively 5% would harbor life. Of the 12.5 Billion which harbor life it is estimated that no less than 1% (125 Million) will have intelligent life forms and of these 125 million planets it is now believed that at least 1% or 1.25 million planets within our galaxy harbor intelligent life which is vastly more evolved than our comprehension. In other words life or entities with incomprehensible higher powers.

  67. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Kurt. Thanks for the comment. You can find your discussion here.

  68. The “Evangelical” Atheist, Tolerance, and the differences we share.

    How many of you, having denounced religion, or at least upon accepting Atheism as your belief, found it difficult to accept the fact that religion permeates every aspect of our environment including our families, our work, and our schools?
    I am having difficulty accepting how much religion influences every aspect of our lives from centuries of dogmatic abuse. I laugh at my own ignorance when I occasionally use expressions such as, “Oh my God” or “Jesus Christ!”. It serves to remind me just how much religion in my own immediate environment has influenced me.
    I want to be tolerant of others beliefs. I don’t want to be just as offensive an evangelical christian by forcing my beliefs upon others, but I find myself doing just that at times with Atheism.
    I realize now that I should have been born much farther into the future when our species has evolved a bit more.

  69. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Frank. Thanks for the reflection and the questions! Here is your blog post

  70. Anonymous says:

    Hello, my name is Casey. I am an Evangelical Christian. I believe in the Bible, and it’s reason for why all living things die. I am not looking for a debate, but I would like to know what an atheist believes is the reason for the death. Why do all organisms have life spans?

  71. The Atheist says:

    Hi, Casay. Thanks for your question! You can find your question, and hopefully some answers here.

  72. mark says:

    I’ve been a christian all my life. I now want to be reasoned out of it. Please help

  73. Paul S says:

    A definitive proof there is no god.

    Such claims have been made. But fail do to the fact one cannot logically prove nagative.

    Now if one was to show that there is something else other than a god to account for everthing, that could be such a proof.

    Now on the premise that there is in fact no god. That should indeed be possible prove that there is something else other than a god, I would think.

    To show this is the case, let’s look at the question, “Does God exist?”

    The question presumes existence. And does not presume a god.

    Existence is here. And existence is in evidence. God in the question is not. The point being existence exists without the need for any kind pf a god. Existence is the only self existence entity. And not in need of any kind of a god.

    Now there not being any kind of a god. The universe exists as it is now. All the theist arguments which may convince many there is a god. Are still false, there not being any.

    Furthermore can any theist show this premise that there is no god to be an absurd premise, being that there is no god?

    Paul S.
    a professed Christian.

  74. The Atheist says:

    Thanks for the question/idea, Paul. Here is your discussion page!

  75. Marius de Jess says:

    I like to know whether you believe the universe came from nothing, absolutely nothing, and how you explain it.

    Please do not say that because of the laws of physics or because of multiverse or because of gravity, etc., for in which case then it is no longer absolute nothing but there is already something in logical sequence anterior to the universe having come forth from nothing.

    And I want to commend you for allowing people to exchange thoughts with you.

  76. Ex-muslim atheist says:

    What is up with Somali People?I’m writing an essay but I need opinions.?

    What is wrong with Somali People? :) I’m writing an essay

    In 1994, 800,000 Rwandese Tutsis were killed within 100 days. Today, Rwandese have forgiven each other and they are now living in peace.

    In 1994, 50,000 Burundians were killed in inter-ethnic civil war. Today, Burundians have forgiven each other and they are now living in peace.

    Between 1991 and 2002, 100,000 Sierra Leoneans were killed in inter-tribal fighting during the Sierra Leonean civil war. Today, the people of Sierra Leon are living in peace.

    Between 1989 and 1996 during the first civil war, 200,000 Liberians were killed in inter-tribal fighting. In the second civil war from 1999 to 2003, 150,000 Liberians were killed. Today, the people of Liberia are living in peace.

    More atrocties were committed in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Hosovo, Northern Ossetia, Chechnya, Nicaragua, Colombia, Georgia etc. All these countries are living in peace.

    If these countries where the worst atrocities in the history of mankind can live in relative peace and stability, why can’t Somalia? I’m writing an essay but I need your opinions.

  77. Peter Dawson says:

    I don’t know if this is the same “Ask an Atheist” website I was a member of years ago. If it is, hello to all. When I have more time, maybe I’ll start posting here again. Wrenna, Tete, if either of you are still around, my love to you. –Petrus, a/k/a Ecclesiasticus

  78. Bridgette says:

    Were you always an Atheist?

    The reason I’m asking this is because I was raised Christian – well, I call it “Christian when necessary” – but as I’ve gotten older I have began discovering myself while away at college, including my own opinion on religion. I now consider myself Agnostic. I’ve yet to tell my parents, but they are very supportive of me no matter what. So, I was wondering if you guys had been raised without any religious nuts around to force-feed your mind, or had you come to this belief through self-discovery despite the religion you were brought up with?

    Thanks

  79. cmyers says:

    Science can prove the physical side of life and it can be seen without doubt. I know that every man also has thoughts, you and me, I will Never see your thoughts nor you mine. I can not deny that people have thoughts, we can see actions from them, …sometimes. Most of the time you never see them though. All of our lives are directed by something that we can not see and no one can prove at any given moment that thoughts do or do not exist. Just a thought.

  80. zJustin says:

    Evidence of God from Christians questionable:

    I’m an atheist myself and I’m not presenting any doubts about my atheism with this question but I seem to have trouble with trying to get evidence from theists who want to try to convince me that God exists.

    I was talking with a very fine gentleman, who is my neighbor and a strong believer in Christ and God. He asked me why I don’t believe and as is the standard reply there is not enough evidence to prove the existence of God. I told him I am a person of science and logic, and I need proof in the form of hard, observable evidence.

    So he is convinced one form of evidence is that we each have an unseeable spirit and soul within us, and since it is only God that can create us with a spirit inside, God must exist. And his supporting arguments for this spirit, hence God are various documented miracles witnessed. We didn’t have time to go into detail about it but he quickly explained something about a woman without a womb giving birth to a child.

    So anyway the problem I have really revolves around how “miracles,” that may have been observed and apparently interpreted as such, actually specifically prove the Christian god? I asked for hard evidence, something explainable; scientific but Christians keep citing observations that are in themselves miraculous events.

    I mean if the event is currently unexplained by science, how do we know Allah or Shiva didn’t do it? Or perhaps there was a sorcerer or leprechaun in the room. Miracles, or for that matter anything that seems amazing or incredible are lousy at proving god. But I need a way to explain that to Christians. But at the same time I’m having a hard time figuring out what exactly good evidence, that’s not miraculous or magical but could prove god if we found it, might look like.

  81. Alan R. says:

    Hello The Athiest,
    I am Catholic and am open to evolution as a possible theory. My question is three fold:
    1. If evolution is the effect on living things to real environmental changes over time in which the living being passes on beneficial traits that perpetuate and alter the species, what was/is the evolutionary benefit of large % of rational beings desire to know the truth about everything but believing in a supposidly fictional god?
    2. Is this differentiation between believers and non-believers the begening of seperate species?
    3. Will there ever come a time when athiests reach the conclusion that if morality can possibly evolve, that they can get ahead of the evolutionary curve by eliminating the competition for resources and eliminate the competition i.e believers?

    If this line of questioning is to long, feel free to simplify it.
    Peace be with you,
    Alan R.
    P.S.
    It seems like most of the questioners and commentors are very civil which is nice :)

  82. The Atheist says:

    Hello, Alan. Thanks for you question and for starting this discussion – here is your post

  83. QuestionableEthics says:

    Hi umm, okay. When god kills people, don’t They go to heaven?

    • zJustin says:

      Your question raises a point about whether God-willed death negates any failure on the part of a person to meet the requirements to enter Heaven. Lets assume God determined you must die because it fits into his overall plan for the universe. But then that means none of us truly has freedom as Christians have claimed. At any time, any place this omnipotent, all-seeing being can strike you down and erase your existence as he sees fit for whatever “plan” that might suit his fancy. If death is not escapable as god wills it, then what is there to say about anything we do? Like choosing which shoes to wear, the type of haircut we want, the movies to watch? Is there any self determinable, autonomous free will at all?

      The answer to that really rests on the question if there is really a God. And if there is not, according to what many of us have concluded due to the lack of evidence pointing to one, then your question is moot. All deaths occur because of an unfortunate circumstance of chance or the inevitable process of entropy. The consciousness and self-awareness that inhabits each individual that experiences death simply comes to an end at that exact moment.

  84. zJustin says:

    I have a friend who doesn’t think I am an atheist. Actually that’s not necessarily accurate because he refuses to talk to me about it at all, so I’m not really sure of his position. He claims to be agnostic but not an atheist. And I know he’s definitely not a Christian or any other such religion, by his general attitude toward religion (which is the same as mine, we always agree on that respect except I think I have less of a negative view of specific religions). Being atheist does not mean anti-religion like you feel everyone who identifies with a particular faith must be hated or avoided.

    But is it possible I’m wrong or missing something? I worry discussing it will hurt our friendship because it always makes him uncomfortable and angry, but I need to know what I’m doing wrong and why he believes so strongly that I am wrong.

    Last time we discussed it before he decided to close off the discussion is he said he doesn’t know if God exists or not. I suppose his position is that he’s suspending belief and thus suspending a position on the existence of God. But isn’t that atheism (suspending belief)? If the belief in God question rests solely on either you do or you don’t, then “suspending belief” is closest to “you don’t.”
    *OR*
    that must be another definition with an associated label. I don’t know what that’s called, except I know it’s not agnostic.

    Or am I wrong here? I’d rather this not turn into a discussion about agnostic vs athiest terminology, because then it’s no different from the conundrum I’m having with my friend.

    What I want to know is if my friend is being stubborn and just not admitting he knows he’s wrong, or at least partially incorrect. Or if there’s validity in his claim that I’m wrong (which I’d sincerely like to know if that’s the case). As far as I’m concerned too, as long as he’s dropping the discussion altogether and refusing to even consider differing views or points, he’s already admitted defeat.

    • gram says:

      Your frustration is rooted in not understanding what an agnostic is. You can research it, but in short an agnostic is someone who reserves judgment on the topic of hopeful reality: feeling that the topic cannot be resolved and is a waste of time. Your neighbor is of course wrong, but you are wrong in not finding someone else to discuss your ideas with. Your neighbor is a waste of your time. Coming to this forum was a good move.

      • Gram says:

        To be more accurate, an agnostic is someone who reserves judgment on whether or not God exists, but this can be extended to the greater topic of whether or not the nature of our reality can be equitably solved.

  85. Peter says:

    I’ve always been skeptical about the Bible, specifically the Old Testament and have recently found myself in a position where I tend to sypathise with agnostic / atheistic viewpoints. Since I changed my outlook, I’ve found that I tend to behave more rationally and correspondingly, feel more at peace.

    Ever since I changed, many coincidences have occurred in my day to day which have led me to question my current outlook on things. However, I’ve managed to rationalise and dispel them as coincidence.

    Last week I was contemplating evolution – I watched a video on Youtube about smart primates, narrated by none other than David Attenborough. I merely watched the footage, never feeling the need to comment. I have always subscribed to the notion of evolution, but the video on its own, was extremely compelling. After the documentary had finished, I began to contemplate what determines a persons behavior. I finally conceded that we are all products of our environments. We are machines that are programmed by our genetics and our surroundings. I then went to sleep.

    When I woke up the next day, I eventually logged onto Youtube. I checked my messages, and a guy going by the name ForeverFlame88 had contacted me. He was a religious fundamentalist who spouted random pseudo scientific gibberish to dispel common scientific notion. The message was incredibly long and comprised of dozens of paragraphs, most of them contrived and having absolutely no scientific ground.

    Besides the length, what struck me as highly unusual about this message was the formation – namely the 2 initial paragraphs. His first paragraph was about dispelling evolution and the second was about humans solely being responsible for every facet of their behavior. These were the exact things that I was thinking about on the prior night. In the exact same sequence. Its as if the message was tailored specifically for me.

    I am struggling to make sense of this situation. Is there a God and is He trying to get through to me? Is it mere coincidence? Is it something else entirely? I am very confused and it is making me anxious. Also, I know that what the guy was spouting about evolution was false. If God were sending me a message, why would it comprise of falsities?

    PS. I contacted the guy and asked him how he found me and why he chose to send that message to ME specifically. I never received a reply.

    • “If God were sending me a message, why would it comprise of falsities?”

      It’s impossible to say whether the message from this YouTube user is a message from God, but God can use various things to get somone’s attention. That’s not to say everything about ForeverFlame88’s is correct.

      “Is there a God and is He trying to get through to me? Is it mere coincidence? Is it something else entirely?”

      Great questions to ask. Romans 1 says we are equipped with an inherent knowledge of God that, like any other type of knowledge, we are able to suppress (vs. 18-23). Romans 2 speaks of a moral law in our hearts of which our conscience bears witness (vs. 14-15). According to the Bible, you have what you need to know in order to believe that God exists, and if He does, the feeling that He is trying to get through to you makes sense.

      If no God exists, there may be some other explanation for the feeling that you must ground in atheism. Consider the most basic, fundamental assumptions that you make: Are they possible on Atheism? Ignoring the details about the evolution debate, does the a priori of evolution, the beginning of natural life make sense on Christianity (God created life) or on Atheism (spontaneous generation)? Does moral good make sense on Christianity (Moral law grounded in the nature of a moral God who created us in His image) or Atheism (morality evolved despite the first moral act requiring a pre-existing moral standard)? Does reason and logic itself have a basis on Christianity (God is reasonable and made us in His image) or on Atheism (the laws of logic derived from a mindless universe)? The God of the Bible desires a relationship with His creation on Christianity, which may explain the feelings you have.

      Enjoy your weekend. :)

  86. Anonymous says:

    Is there a possibility, that the devil is good?

    (1. The devil kills Far less than god

    (2. The devil gave us Critical Thinking

    (3. The devil actually was trying to give us Knowledge that god was corrupt. ( Apple )

    Or lets say that the devil is actually god? God was over thrown by the devil and banished. The devil created Adam and eve as his play toys, and god wanted them to eat the apple so they could see that the devil is corrupt, and has no value to human life. Then God saves Jobs family, but the devil brings them back. Hope is the only thing that god has given us,even under the devils Teriany.

    Since the bible is the devils creation, he hides his horrible deeds by suger coating them. He calls god the monster. The devil controls the feeble minded humans, stupid enough to believe that he is good, But god gave a certain number of humans the power of Atheism.

    Just a thought

    By the way i am an atheist.

    • gram says:

      As an atheist, you might want to reconsider speculating on the existence of either a god or a devil. There is nothing to gain with thinking a devil preferable, for you would still be acknowledging the existence of a magical (supernatural) realm.

    • kidicarus81 says:

      As a christian, though I’m certainly not speaking for all Christians. I believe that it could be argued that perhaps it was God’s will for us to gain the knowledge of good and evil just not at that time in human existence. Perhaps God wanted us to attain that knowledge when he felt we were intellectually and philosophically mature enough to handle that knowledge.

      Just a thought, figured I’d play devils advocate…get it?!!!

  87. gram says:

    NEW THREAD PLEASE:
    I would like to know more about the eternal religion that appears on civilized worlds when they are become sufficiently advanced: the one which gained some interest in the sixties and then disappeared from public knowledge and can’t be found on the internet. Any ideas?

  88. gram says:

    What do you people think of the Americans stepping up conversion to Christianity within their armed forces, as in some weapon geared to commitment? How will the middle east interpret this- a crusade? Isn’t there something fundamentally wrong in creating some prince of peace assault force?

  89. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

  90. Gram says:

    WHAT IF A RELIGION WON?

    No religion in all of written history has ever achieved world majority opinion. What would happen if one religion (not necessarily a familiar one) could be proved correct and advantageous to the satisfaction of most people? Would nations fall and trade be interrupted? Would it start a world war? Would enough of us behave ourselves and begin to cooperate as never before? Pretend this is possible and theorize if you will. Thanks.

  91. Gram says:

    I’m starting my own blog where people can focus on more current and pertinent issues involving the role and future of religion. This is not to disparage the intention or worth of this website. It just doesn’t meet my need to discuss greater things at stake. Best wishes. Bye.

  92. Matthew says:

    Atheism and spirituality

    I was curious about how atheism views what in my opinion are spiritual matters. For example. From where do you get your sense of self worth? How do you find hope when you feel hopeless? How do you handle forgiving those who maybe don’t deserve forgiveness (perhaps someone hurt you too deeply or is simply unrepentant about the harm they caused you)? Thanks in advance for your replies.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, it all comes from this belief that just because in the grand scheme of things virtually nothing matters, that does not mean to just give up, might as well make this useless ass existence better before it ends. Surprisingly I am actually a happy individual walking down this dusty road called life. I’d rather enjoy it than piss on it. Just my 2¢.

      • zJustin says:

        Many things which could be considered spiritual matters are things common to all of humanity, that may or not require a sense of spirituality, but are irrelevant when it comes to religion or theism (which are different from spirituality). To take one of your examples; finding self worth simply takes a desire to continue to live and taking it further, to reconcile that you’re here to make a positive difference in the world.

        We all have that drive to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and as an atheist that can’t be further from the truth. My dream for making a difference in the world is to help preserve the beauty of nature against the onslaught of overpopulation, pollution and industrialization. My self-delegated duty to be a champion of the environment comes from knowing that lots of humans don’t seem to care about their planet, or they think that their wasteful lives don’t have an impact.

        Christians in particular are notorious for being guilty of this disconnect. Therefore in a sense, being “Godless” represents more of a virtue to establishing a value to my existence. There are even claims made by Christians that environmentalism is at odds with the Christian lifestyle. I agree, because the Christian lifestyle devalues what I personally find to be beneficial and constructive toward that sense of self worth.

        • How can self-worth be worth anything if you ascribe worth to yourself, by caring about the earth, or whatever gives you a feeling of self-worth? Or does it come from other people? What if no one values you or what you do?

          Why do “we all have that drive to be a part of something bigger than ourselves” if we don’t know if anything bigger?

          Why care about the planet, or the people that will need to care for it after we die?

          There is nothing in orthodox Christianity that teaches a disregard for the environment; we value it because God made it and charged us with its care. Any Christian that doesn’t care about the earth at all is not a very good Christian. They hould understand that God is in control of nature, so what seems like to the atheist like carelessness about the environment may be simply be a reasonable understanding of the earth under God’s ultimate care and ownership. Reasonable, meaning we care for it, but we don’t go overboard worrying about overpopulation or obsess over the fear that we will destroy it. On Christianity, God has a plan for a new creation. We won’t be the ones to completely destroy the old one.

          • zJustin says:

            What you say reflects a bit of an anecdote I got from a Christian radio station (Bott Radio to be precise) that I listened to when I was carpooling with a friend of mine. Basically this was an occasional PSA that it’s ok for Christians to care for the environment but don’t give that more attention than the attention you give to Jesus and God. That PSA implies that environmentalists actually worship the earth at the expense of possible salvation, or they begin to disregard God completely (Christians or otherwise). This PSA is ridiculous. If you’re a Christian and you choose to recycle and are outspoken about conserving natural resources, I think those urges come from a common sense attitude that our planet doesn’t have a limitless capacity to support life. It has nothing to do with your faith, but faith can add to the reason for being mindful of “Gods creation.”

            I don’t know what Christians you are talking about but my claim of failure by Christians to represent group of people compassionate about nature and the planet Earth (which in no way needs to interfere or conflict with their faith) comes from years of being a church goer and having many Christian friends, associates, relatives, etc. The overwhelming message that I got is that environmentalism is a waste of time, it does conflict with their faith, and us “treehuggers” are a bunch of wackos, and there’s no need to worry about it as God has it all worked out and Earth is only a temporary residence, since Heaven is their true home that they should be paying attention to at the expense of just doing simple, common sense things that can help preserve the planet for future generations. I’m sorry but there is no way that it could be such a outrageous coincidence that every Christian I’ve talked to in my life have all been “not a very good Christian.”

            • I wouldn’t go as far as saying all environmentalists worship the earth, but if we don’t worship the Creator we worship some created thing (Rom. 1:25). I’m a Christian who recycles, supports wind energy, hates litter, thinks the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is tragic, and I’m not unique in that regard. There is (or should be) a balance between understanding that earth is a temporary home for Christians and that all people are given stewardship of God’s creation, because both truths are taught in Scripture.

              Still curious on how you ground the idea of self-worth. You say you need to “reconcile that you’re here to make a positive difference in the world,” which implies a granted purpose outside of ourselves, rather than some subjective or intrinsic theory of value. If “you’re here” for a purpose, who or what intelligent mind placed you here in this world?

              • zJustin says:

                I’m going to answer your question in the next segment on Atheism and morality. I don’t want you to have to read…
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    • unreligiousatheist says:

      I believe the spirit is actual the subconcious mind. That being said my self worth is defined by my experiences. I look at what I know a good person to be by what feels right to me, therefore since I know I am a good person. Life hath no meaning if no life does exist. Forgiveness can only happen if forgiveness is deserved, irrelevant to your believes – a christian person forgives because all are children of God. So I do not always forgive, I live and let live so the story goes. If you have done something unforgiveable to me then you are no longer part of my life and the story ends. As for hope – life is what you make of it; if i drowned in a pool of self pity – really what is the point. Life must go on until it ends.
      Each of your questions seem to have a justification involved in them. Atheism is not a religion, and should never be perceived as that. If I say I am an Atheist than all you know of me is that I do not believe in a God. My answers to these questions may be the same as others or may be different. I am not agnostic as I am not looking for proof. I simple do not comprehend the concept of a being, or beings, creating life.

  93. Anonymous says:

    Atheism and morality (again)

    It’s my understanding (as a christian, full disclosure) that atheists believe that morality is somehow innate or instinctive. I find this a curious conclusion to come to. Atheists generally consider themselves to be scientifically minded and base their opinions on fact and reason. Then from were do atheist get this notion?To say that morality is inherent seems very non scientific to me. The only way to prove this definitively is to raise an infant in an amoral bubble, never at any point punishing bad behavior in ANY way, nor rewarding good behavior. You would then have to insert them into society and observe them behaving in a moral manner. I think if that social experiment ever were to happen (let’s hope it doesn’t but for the sake of argument…) you would not see a moral person, but a person who had animal like instincts and behavior at best, simply living to survive and taking whatever he or she needed or wanted with little to no thought of whom it may affect.

    I can tell you, not that anyone asked, that I personally believe that morality is taught, mostly by our parents and perhaps to an extent, society as a whole. Regardless I believe we were taught, and whoever taught us was taught by their parents, who were taught by their parents, and so on an so forth for umpteen generations. I believe that’s were God comes in. Since we are taught morality that means either one of two things, either we evolved a sense of morality then somewhere along the line lost that instinct and now have to teach it. Or, mankind was at one point taught morality (enter God?)

    Either way, mind you, I’m in no way implying that atheists are not moral people, an error many religious people make (which is not biblically based in my humble opinion, I believe we were meant to be good people). Anyway, sorry for the long, rambling post.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and for any replies

    • zJustin says:

      I have never said, and I don’t think many atheists do either, that morality is completely innate. Learning and upbringing, which I admit can include religious doctrine and principles, all contribute primarily to a well rounded moral individual. I think the misunderstanding theists have about the claim of good morality being innate is that a compulsion to not lie or steal, for example, is in itself a genetic trait. That there is an actual gene or set of genes that determine our behavior as either good or evil depending on the relative number of good or evil genes we get. That is not the case at all. The only genetics that come into play is the degree to which each person is *receptive* to moral potential. So with the boy in the bubble analogy, the experiment would be completely and utterly useless if you only had a single subject, since it is impossible to predict the degree of this genetic receptiveness. Science requires a large sample size, regardless of what hypothesis you are testing. You’d literally have to raise hundreds if not thousands of infants in the conditions you described to get any sort of conclusive evidence about what you are arguing.

      And what I said about religion being part of the moral puzzle is not a judgment about the truth behind it. Any fairy tale book, that espouses good teachings about treating each other with kindness, compassion and consideration for others could be substituted for the Bible and be just as effective guide for moral teaching. In fact, no such official guide to raising children, not even the Bible, exists. You can’t suggest there is any progenitor to morality, as you suggested with God and expect, because someone set the rules and standards of morality in the very beginning, that’s why we use those same ones today. That’s like saying that when computers were invented we already had all the programming code and knowledge we have today for current technology. Even the bible itself shows how this progression and evolution of morality has occurred. Just look at all the things that are morally acceptable in the bible that are considered atrocities today. Therefore even the bible itself proves that it is impossible for God to have provided the framework of morality. The argument is moot anyway because no such being exists in the first place.

      I think we are all currently living in a transitionary age where there is in particular this mass dissemination of evidence that God does not exist. So many atheists are people who were probably brought up by religious parents, or had atheists parents who had a biblical upbringing. In no other period in history have so many people been at generational odds with theism and philosophy. This leads many atheists to try to defend the source of their morality when in fact their morality probably had a religious basis. But that doesn’t validate in any way that a supreme being is the only thing to be held accountable for this morality. The intent of the religion can support morality but the substance behind it is likely entirely fictional.

      • Anonymous says:

        The question you are asking is a good question but it is not the right question. The question is not how do we learn morality, innate vs. learned, nature vs. nurture. The question is does absolute morality exist or is it simply relative. In the atheist worldview it can only be relative. It is up to the individual to determine what is right and wrong. In the end, nothing is right or wrong. It becomes a choice to determine what is beneficial or not. You can choose random criteria like “does it increase suffering?” Or “does it increase happiness?” However defining these again become highly subjective. Who gets the final say? It must boil down to the individual. In the atheistic evolutionary scenario, survival reigns supreme. Who could argue against survival? I am not suggesting atheists are immoral. Quite the contrary, I know some very moral folks. However that is only based on my God centered view of morality. Without that I could only say that I agree or disagree with their behavior and would have no authority to criticize behavior that I found offensive.

    • zJustin says:

      As for my answer to God and Neighbor I believe I’ve already adequately answered that question in my first post on this topic. No matter what further information I give you I’m not going to convince you that God has nothing to do with every human’s sense of self-worth. That is not the intent of the question, I answer with a secular viewpoint that justifies my self worth given that I alone am in control of my life and the determination of what my purpose is. If that purpose is to make a difference in the world rather than just being a lump of flesh using up oxygen and space (which I honestly think every human on earth at some point in their lives strives to be more than that) then that represents an identity of value. The only standard of measure of this value is oneself. If I actually accomplish the goal then it may be recognized by others and proven that the world is a better place because of my actions. That aspect is simply a bonus in addition to realization of that identity value.

      In contrast, Christians tend to believe that each human has a “calling.” In other words this identity value is assigned to each of us by God alone. We can each choose to look for that and identify what it is or we can attempt to ignore it and pursue other interests.

      If humans are a combination of unique experiences and genes acquired since birth, why is it not fathomable that this “calling” is in actuality something completely non-arbitrary? I like nature because my genes have made me a person who is introverted and doesn’t value the company of other humans as much as I value the company of plants and animals. I want to help the environment because I grew up watching nature videos that have made me fascinated with the beauty of all the different habitats and creatures I’ve learned about. These are all the result of chance that have influenced the way that I view myself and in turn constructed my identity. This identity has in turn given me a purpose because expressing this passion for nature can potentially serve as a benefit for the world.

      It’s really no different from anyone else. Some people are passionate about helping children. Some people have a great interest in mechanical things. Some people enjoy performing music in front of others. Any interest can become an identity value that benefits the world around them. It’s not a “calling,” it’s a self-assigned characteristic as a result of life experiences (which may include peer influence) and genetic predispositions.

  94. Alan R. says:

    Hello ZJustin,
    What is the evidence that God does not exist?

    • zJustin says:

      Is there truly a purpose to evidence that God doesn’t exist? If I am judged for not believing in God, I call upon believers to show me evidence of his existence, fully willing to accept it should they manage to provide it. I simply require a set of criteria before following any fantastical entities even when such an entity can have important implications on one’s life and what comes after. In other words I want assurance of its existence since it’s highly likely that what everyone else finds so great actually has no impact on anyone’s life.

      Furthermore, theists often say it takes more faith to not believe. Isn’t that simply because the popular assumption is that there is a god? When going against an overwhelming tide of assumptions, that’s not faith that’s willpower to think for yourself.

      So when I mentioned in the previous thread that there is a mass dissemination of evidence, I am not commenting on the quantity of actual evidence I am referring to the spread of information via the internet that provides more people with reasonable counterarguments to blind faith. If God truly does not exist, would it not be an injustice to allow a lie to go unhindered?

      • Anonymous says:

        There is much evidence for the existence of God. But the beauty of the evidence is that it is your choice to accept it or deny it. For example, everywhere we look in nature, from the microscopic to the grandest, we see incredible complexity and purpose inherent in design. Is design evidence of a designer? This is a question only you can answer. We can all see the same evidence and yet come to opposite conclusions. Choice, my friend, is the gift. However there is so much more to consider when contemplating the existence of God. I’ll give you a couple examples of evidence that really gripped me intellectually. First, the laws of nature. When an observation is made repeatedly by many scientists over many years and in many situations and the results are always the same, we recognize this as an unbreakable law of nature. Any break in the law would be deemed outside the scope of normal natural behavior, or what may be referred to as miraculous or a supernatural occurrence. If God did not exist, at least 3 laws of nature must be broken. The 1st and 2nd law of thermodynamics, as well as the law of biogenesis. This is indisputable. So if these laws, at some time in the distant past, were broken, well then, by definition, the miraculous happened. I also like the term “laws of nature.” It implies a lawgiver, does it not? Here’s another bit of evidence for the miraculous. It’s a bit of the chicken and the egg riddle. In the simplest living cell we must have, at minimum, fully functional enzymes, RNA and DNA. In order to have enzymes, we must have RNA. In order to have RNA, we must have DNA. And in order to have DNA, we must have enzymes…and around we go! Hope this gives you food for thought.

  95. A says:

    Is atheism the source of your identity?

    A lot of atheists (or at least some, haven’t got any statistics really) say that atheism is a term that shouldn’t exist, like aunicornism. Yet there are after all organized atheist groups, and Richard Carrier says that atheism is (or should be) the source of atheists’ self-identity ( http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/337 ).

    I find this a little confusing. Where do you stand on this issue? Is atheism central to your self-identity, your sense of self, your view of who you are? Or is it not? If not, what is?

  96. Alan R says:

    Hello ZJustin,
    If you are truelly interested in justification for the the rational existance of God not based on prior faith, then you should begin to read Summa Theologia by Thomas Aquinas. The first page in an introduction to the work and is helpful. You can find the complete work at new advent website. But if you are seeking faith in God and not rational justification, pray everyday until you die and you will not be disappointed.

  97. Madnomad says:

    The laws of nature.

    In order to accept atheism, one must accept the first and second law of thermodynamics, as well as the law of biogenesis must be broken. And since these are established laws of nature, never before broken, to accept their breakability, one must accept that which does not occur naturally. A supernatural occurrence or what’s known as miracles. Either way, there is a “super-nature.”

    • zJustin says:

      I would like you to specifically reason a connection between “accepting” atheism and contradicting the first or second law of thermodynamics. Explain that reasoning, which I think from your assumption is faulty because first of all there is no “accepting” atheism. Accepting means consenting to assert a position on something. Atheism is the *lack* of consent of, in this case the existence of deities.

      What the nature or the laws of the universe, in one’s opinion are, stems from and provides atheists with a conclusion that is an alternative to what theists conclude because ‘God’ neatly fills in for the primal explanation for the universes laws. That does not mean they are bound to God, nor do we have any proof whatsoever that is the case. So you can’t say automatically that the absence of God would require a “super-nature” condition for the existence of the universe’s physical laws.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ok, I’ll try to speak more plainly. When I say accept Atheism, what I am saying is that you believe there is not enough evidence to justify belief in god or the supernatural, if you will. To reject the supernatural based on a lack of evidence is to accept naturalism as the only supported theory. In a closed system as ours, which is the only “natural” position energy cannot be created or destroyed. It is a fixed amount of energy in the process of changing from usable to non-usable energy, in its way to entropy. There will be an end to all usable energy and life will cease to exist. The end will come. With a defined end there is a defined beginning, be it “the Big Bang” or whatever theory there might be. So there is a point where energy must have been created, but natural law fails to provide the means. And to respond to your comment, the laws of nature are not opinions. Not real sure what that comment could possibly mean. In this godless reality of yours, do you get to make up your own laws of nature?

        • zJustin says:

          I did some research on the theist’s interpretation of how, particularly the 2nd law of thermodynamics strongly suggests the existence of God. But reading further on, I think the argument actually dispels this exact notion. It admits that something or someone began the universe with a release of very concentrated energy that formed everything in the universe as we know it.

          Something like this obviously occurred atheists, physicists, theists, anyone can agree on this. The part that struck me as odd was claiming that God himself violated the 2nd law of thermodynamics in the act of the *creation* of the universe. Any and all moments in time, which includes or contains all existence of existence, after that represents no violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. But when you realize that the universe has a net total of zero energy (shown by the presence of dark energy/matter that seems to be present in the huge amount of empty space that the universe occupies) the 2nd law of thermodynamics is actually quite irrelevant.

          The supposed event that went from nothingness to the existence of time and space was simply a reorganization of this zero sum total of energy into one we percieve as planets, galaxies, stars returning to this unavailable energy state that you speak of. And I dismiss your referencing of “unavailable” energy as meaning a state in which there is no longer a concentrated point of energy compared to the amount of energy around it. In a closed system (with energy already there), energy is available regardless if it’s spread out evenly or organized into pockets in various locations. The energy is still all there its just *relatively* less available in forms we might perceive as available.

          But how did this reorganization occurr or why? We don’t know but remember the universe as a closed system is essentially a zero energy sytem neither becoming more or less filled with total available energy (thus no laws are violated). I don’t claim to know and like I alluded to before; a claim or assertion that a powerful being such as a God that surpasses or violates the concept of existence itself is merely a filling in the gaps explanation that really no one has the ability to grasp or prove.

          • Anonymous says:

            First, God does not violate any laws of nature. The laws of nature of nature, as it itself defined, only applies to how nature behaves. So for God to create the laws of nature or energy or matter is still consistent with the laws of nature. Second, this zero sum energy theory is as fascinating as it is a grasp of desperation to explain away the need for the supernatural. A clever one I admit. A couple of things to consider. Dark matter and dark energy are the product of guessing. There is no evidence of its existence other than it “has” to exist in order for the universe to have no supernatural origins. Truly a concept of the gaps. Also, there is no way for scientists to measure the quantity to come up with zero sum. And it doesn’t matter anyway, zero sum energy is still energy. And it is still on its way to entropy. There is no escape from this. You must also then accept the idea that energy is eternal. That causes a whole new set of problems for the naturalist. And let’s not forget the law of biogenesis which, if you wish to accept the fantasy of zero sum negation of energetic entropy, is another monumental hurdle you must break, and you are by default, admitting the supernatural into the picture. You, either way, must accept concepts that are not supported by science. You chose to reject God based on a lack of evidence, and yet accept a godless supernatural explanation with less evidence. I find that fascinating. And don’t forget, without God, there is no such things as right and wrong, logic, love and a myriad of other concepts you probably take for granted. I’ll leave you with one question. If you, my friend, and thus your brain, were not intelligently designed, what makes you think you are capable of intelligent thought?

  98. Bobby says:

    1st of all I cannot beleive that I haven’t been here participating since 2007 nearly six years! I hope you are well my good friend. However I have been itching to place this in the threads: The Golden Mean, 1.618; its prevalent in nature throughout. The thread question: Why is the golden ratio/mean here in creation and how is it possible for it be so precisely placed therein? Thanks, I hope to hear from you soon.

  99. alanwheeler says:

    I have been an atheist for over 30 years. However the worst thing about being an atheist is that there is no hope in an afterlife. That is why I created my own belief system that has current scientific knowledge as its basis but fills in the gaps that science cannot currently explain with religious answers. There is no deity and as science advances so will my beliefs. I would appreciate if you could check out my blog at
    bangism.wordpress.com

  100. Anonymous says:

    So I was in class the other day. They year is still relatively young. I don’t know how it came up, but one of my teachers started sharing her atheist beliefs. This included berating most major religions specifically, including mine. All the theists walked away hurt and offended. Was she right to do this? I am all for sharing ones beliefs, but not in a way that hurts others. What is your take on this? I’ll take any input. Is this something atheists do often, or was it just specific to her? Anything helps, thanks :)

    • unreligiousatheist says:

      Atheist is a description word and not a state of being. A true atheist does not care what religion happens upon. It sounds like this lady is trying to create a new religion called atheism, which I am noticing on this website also. Forcing someone to believe what you believe is illogical. If a person is happy believing what they do, do not force it upon others and do no harm to any other person either physcially, mentally or emotionally, then it does not matter. An atheist is simply a person that does not belief in God. There is not consistancy other than that. I am an atheist. With that statement you know nothing else of me, I could believe in the death penalty or I could not. I could believe in the use of any type of birth control or I could believe in only certain types. The “Teacher” may not believe in good, but also has no moral compass and absolutely no compassion. I do believe, if what you describe is true she is actual a narcisist. Atheism does not have a rule book, like most religions do. If you tell me that you are catholic, I expect, you to have a certain set of believes because I have your rule book.
      Hope that makes sense.
      Truth be told, I am kind of envious of the religious person, it would make life a lot more digestable.

  101. Tails Prower says:

    Title: Do Atheists ever Question Atheism

    Opening Message:
    I have always heard Atheists talk about how they don’t believe in God, or in a higher being, or that there is no need to question life’s purpose, or the existence of good and evil, or when people die, they die, but what I have always wondered, (this is for all of the Atheists, Antitheists, Agnostics, et. al.) have you ever pondered the idea of the existence of a higher being. Ever questioned why our universe formed, why life exists, what if there is more at play than just coincidences that has led to existence, that what if there is a world beyond death, what if there is more than meets the eye.

  102. Anonymous says:

    How Can something come from truly nothing? I’ve heard the theory from Krauss about how you get something from nothing, but if you don’t have multiuniverses, laws, quantum mechanics, vacuums, particles, empty space, energy or matter, how can something come into existence, I’ve heard the whole thing about when anti matter and matter cancels itself out or positive and negative cancel out and then you have nothing, but if that pops back into existence it couldn’t have been long gone, it had to have just changed form and I’m not referring to nothing as a zero vacuum. I’m referring to nothing as NO THING existing. If you START at the beginning with nothing I listed above existing, I don’t see how it could pop into existence. Say your hand is absolutely no thing existing and you want a chicken egg to pop into it, or like and unborn child that is not conceived, it doesn’t come into existence unless someone makes it happen. It just can’t appear because if you have nothing, nothing can make it. and don’t say it was in a zero vacuum. Again, I’m NOT referring to Krauss’ definition of nothing. I’m saying if you START with the absence of anything, nothing, like the examples I gave, then tell me how something can come into existence?

  103. Davros says:

    Why ISN’T the world a satisfying place? It is easy to point out (correctly) that the Universe is incredible, fascinating and awe inspiring. But is it joyously satisfying? No. I am not depressed, I have a great life, great family, great friends and am fairly privillidged. I have many interests, a healthy life style etc.etc.etc. and am having a lovely day. Do I yearn greatly for something unknown but aroused by seemingly opposed objects of interest? Hell yes! Most atheists seem to deny this problem (not a helpful position for me- they act as though it is self delusion or covering up for some other need (suggesting imagery that never causes the feeling)). Some, like Sartre and Bertrand Russell, acknowledge it as so. It is ‘sehsucht’ and what brought CS Lewis into Christianity. In the hold of this desire it makes the rest of creation seem a dream…although all good things seem to derive their worth from it. With no afterlife AT ALL, this dream becomes a nightmare, surely, a bleak Lovecraftian realisation that no joy or satisfaction is ever fully fulfilled, perfectly?!

  104. First of, I’m not here to judge you but please give me this chance to convince you. Aren’t most of Atheist past Theists? I’m still 14 and I’m not really an expert in these stuffs but my pastor said that Theist who converted into Atheist are people who easily gave up from the trials God gave them. You want to have proof most especially something that can be seen to believe in him but haven’t you thought that sometimes we get proof by feeling it, not only by seeing it? You may say that you’ve tried asking God for signs but that’s not enough. You should at least believe so that he would be able to make you feel his presence and I think that’s enough proof. I myself didn’t fully believe in him before. I always ask if he really exists but due to some circumstances and because I decided to trust him and believe him, I was able to find him (not that I saw him or what, I just feel his presence especially if I’m in need). I was also given big trials at my age but when I’m about to give up, I remind myself that this is just part of God’s plan and later on I survived. I’m not judging you for being an Atheist. I myself doesn’t believe in things when there’s no proof. Sometimes proof are given to people who believe.

  105. Rob says:

    Hello
    Ive been battling back and forth with if I believe in god or not for awhile. Im feeling that I’m probably an atheist that in the past had been trying to read and study the bible. My question is what book on atheism should I read first. I just ordered ancestors tale by Mr. Dawkins but want to be sure there’s not a better place to start.
    Thanks Rob

    • Scott says:

      Well first off, if you are going back and forth between if you believe in God or not, then you should not just look at one side of the argument. After all, how can we fully know something without knowing the opposite? How can we know what love is unless we know what hate is? How can we know what is good, unless we also know what is bad? I’m sure the book you ordered will suit your needs to your atheist tendencies, but I also encourage you to read some philisophical religious books as well (yes.. they actually exist). For example, if the existence of evil in the world fuels your doubts of God, then I suggest reading Making Sense Out of Suffering by Peter Kreeft. There are many logical books on the subject and, at the end, if you still don’t believe in God, at least you will be more prepared to defend your stance.

  106. DickH says:

    I am amused that atheists purport to have a lock on reason, althoughwhile embracing evolution, which after the most superficial thought could only be rejected as ‘silly’. I mean, given the vast complextiy of most any given creature, the interdependence of its physiological, (etc), systems, how could anyone conclude that such creatures could sustain, propagate and remain, untill the various ‘componants’ could come together into a single being (composed of all its various ‘systems’), develop all their interdependancies, to finally form the complex beings we find on earth. …so improbable to be impossible. Just silly. But given that an atheist’s first objective is to deny the Creator he must embrace, and try to rationalize, virtually ANY nonsense, to avoid the apparent. To-be-sure, atheism is just another religion, requiring more faith then any other…

  107. patrick says:

    What is the basis pr reference for what is considered moral by you? And is this in line and uniform with collectives that identify themselves as Atheist? Thank you.

  108. Anonymous says:

    why do atheist believe in science

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  110. Justin says:

    First of all I just want to say that this isn’t an attack on the theory of evolution, I just want to understand it better.

    Why did humans evolve into the superior race? Like if it is small changes passed through genetics, shouldn’t an animal with a shorter life-span than humans such as a tiger have evolved quicker into something better than us?

    Thankyou for taking the time to read this.

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