Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief, research shows

A new University of British Columbia study finds that analytic thinking can decrease religious belief, even in devout believers.

The study, published today in the journal Science, finds that thinking analytically increases disbelief among believers and skeptics alike, shedding important new light on the of religious belief.

"Our goal was to explore the fundamental question of why people believe in a God to different degrees," says lead author Will Gervais, a in UBC's Dept. of Psychology. "A combination of complex factors influence matters of personal spirituality, and these new findings suggest that the cognitive system related to analytic thoughts is one factor that can influence disbelief."

Researchers used problem-solving tasks and subtle experimental priming – including showing participants Rodin's sculpture The Thinker or asking participants to complete questionnaires in hard-to-read fonts – to successfully produce "analytic" thinking. The researchers, who assessed participants' belief levels using a variety of self-reported measures, found that religious belief decreased when participants engaged in analytic tasks, compared to participants who engaged in tasks that did not involve analytic thinking.

The findings, Gervais says, are based on a longstanding human psychology model of two distinct, but related cognitive systems to process information: an "intuitive" system that relies on mental shortcuts to yield fast and efficient responses, and a more "analytic" system that yields more deliberate, reasoned responses.

"Our study builds on previous research that links religious beliefs to 'intuitive' thinking," says study co-author and Associate Prof. Ara Norenzayan, UBC Dept. of Psychology. "Our findings suggest that activating the 'analytic' cognitive system in the brain can undermine the 'intuitive' support for , at least temporarily."

The study involved more than 650 participants in the U.S. and Canada. Gervais says future studies will explore whether the increase in religious disbelief is temporary or long-lasting, and how the findings apply to non-Western cultures.

Recent figures suggest that the majority of the world's population believes in a , however atheists and agnostics number in the hundreds of millions, says Norenzayan, a co-director of UBC's Centre for Human Evolution, Cognition and Culture. Religious convictions are shaped by psychological and cultural factors and fluctuate across time and situations, he says.

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EdMoore
3 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2012
There are many, many variables that can influence this either way.

The book of Romans in the Bible, for example, is a classic text on the use of logic and rational thought.

The book of Romans is what Martin Luther was studying when he came to saving faith in Christ.
pauljpease
3.3 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2012
This is a good start. I hope that our political discourse is influenced by these findings. I find that most people's political opinions fall under the "intuitive" category. If a candidate can find a way to engage the analytical system in people's brains, then maybe we can actually start to move away from intuitive ideology and towards rational solutions. One suggestion is to point out that ways in which an ideology fails. People tend to look at things in one way that makes their belief seem true, but don't think about all the ways that their belief could be wrong. For example, conservatives often point out, rightly, that their money is their money, so they should be able to do with it what they want. That's true, as far as it goes, but in such a system, there are many many ways that it can go wrong. By pointing out the negative consequences of not funding projects in the public interest it might engage the analytical part of the brain.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 26, 2012
The book of Romans is what Martin Luther was studying when he came to saving faith in Christ.
Funny I dont recall anything about rabid anti-semitism in Romans -?

"In 1543 Luther published On the Jews and Their Lies in which he says that the Jews are a "base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth." They are full of the "devil's feces ... which they wallow in like swine." The synagogue was a "defiled bride, yes, an incorrigible whore and an evil slut ..." He argues that their synagogues and schools be set on fire, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis forbidden to preach, homes razed, and property and money confiscated. They should be shown no mercy or kindness, afforded no legal protection, and these "poisonous envenomed worms" should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time. He also seems to advocate their murder, writing "[w]e are at fault in not slaying them"."

-???
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 26, 2012
OOp wait a minute...

"28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know Gods righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." rom1

9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew..." rom2

-I guess I was wrong. This is obviously where luther got his talent for logic and rational thought.
dogbert
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 26, 2012
Just another article pandering to the liberal, atheist doctrine.

These liberal educators continually do studies showing that belief in God reflects a lack of thought while the thinking man embraces nature.

This is a misuse of science to promote an agenda. Hardly a week goes by that some liberal educator does not publish an article poking fun at religion.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 26, 2012
Just another article pandering to the liberal, atheist doctrine.

These liberal educators continually do studies showing that belief in God reflects a lack of thought while the thinking man embraces nature.

This is a misuse of science to promote an agenda. Hardly a week goes by that some liberal educator does not publish an article poking fun at religion.
Yeah, theyre not REAL men like luther eh?
Moebius
3 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2012
Thinking isn't good for religion Dogbert. Yup, when the thinking liberal atheist (or any other true thinker) thinks about things like children with brain cancer or the 6 year old down the street that just got sucked into a wood chipper (and the thousands more examples that prove either god doesn't exist or he is a totally hands off joker), he comes to a different conclusion than religious nuts and their twisted explanations.
dogbert
3 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2012
Moebius,
Thinking isn't good for religion Dogbert.


Thinking is requisite for understanding reality -- including God.

Your comments indicate you want a God who is guarantor of your safety. God, however, is not an imagining of man and does not conform to our imaginations or desires.

The creation does not define the creator.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.8 / 5 (9) Apr 26, 2012
Thinking is requisite for understanding reality -- including God.
-Hmmm. Can anyone find whats wrong with this sentence?
God, however, is not an imagining of man and does not conform to our imaginations or desires.
-Except that god is an imagining of man and the evidence for this is that he strictly conforms to the imaginations and desires of his worshippers.
The creation does not define the creator.
-Except that in the particular case of your biblegod, his creation pretty thoroughly disproves him.
QuantumDelta
3 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2012
If "God" created all that he is and is all powerful, and all knowing, he is truly a complete ......I don't actually think there is a word for what I want to say. I may perhaps start using God as a new form of insult!
In other news; Study confirms critical thinking lessons will effect your ability to think irrationally!
Scryer
3 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2012
Why must everything come down to their being a God or not? What about some other natural explanation? Its clear to me that the universe is specific enough to allow for consciousness to evolve and humans like us to research nature. Maybe the purpose of life is the natural evolution of consciousness as its an immaterial thing.

If atoms and molecules didnt work the way they do now we wouldnt be here debating over the existence of gods, thats for sure. Clearly the universe is a neutral place, it doesnt care what happens but it clearly cares how things happen, otherwise the laws of nature wouldnt exist as they do.
ormondotvos
4 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2012
Purpose, schmurpose. The world is what it is, and it OBVIOUSLY isn't interested the welfare of either individuals or entities. It just runs along, and sometimes we get stuck in its gears. It's great to be happy, and think positively, so go ahead, but I'm going to stay on guard against those of you who want to limit MY agency on the pretense that there's some greater AGENT who cares what I do.

Likely, the greater agent is just society, the one I live in, populated by the cultural ghosts of previous charlatans.

Let's start over.
simplicio
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 26, 2012
Just another article pandering to the liberal, atheist doctrine.

These liberal educators continually do studies showing that belief in God reflects a lack of thought while the thinking man embraces nature.

This is a misuse of science to promote an agenda. Hardly a week goes by that some liberal educator does not publish an article poking fun at religion.

This quote is excellent example about what the article is talking about.
julianpenrod
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 26, 2012
If, as those who defend "science" contend, you can't prove a negative, which is the same as disproving a statement, how does TheGhostofOtto1923 say that nature "disproves" God as presented in the Bible?
Moebius indulges the conceit that, if they can't understand God's purpose, there must be no God. As I mentioned before, an Australian aborigine could see a European hold a round object in his hand and oritne himself then look at another round object and wind it, and not know what that was for, but that doesn't mean the European didn't exist or have a purpose. Where is the proof that the choldren with "brain cancer" were a penaliy for parents who did ill, or maybe a deliberate wrong diagnosis by a crooked physician? the same who condemn God for this find it perfectly acceptable to kill bystanders in order to attack "terrorists".
And it should be mentioned that anyone who can lose faith in God because they did a puzzle did not have faith to begin with!
julianpenrod
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 26, 2012
ormondotvos demonstrates actually the ultimate basis of the "scientific" approach toward God. ormondotvos states the world "OBVIOUSLY isn't interested in the welfare of either individuals or entities", they insist, "it just runs along". All of this declared without proof. Defenders of "science" weasel around the denial of the presence of God by saying, "You can't prove a negative". But this is a positive statement and, essentially, it is the same as denying God. Where is the proof of this? "Science" will not provide it. Because they play only to those too weak willed and dim to think for themselves, the kind who can't realize when they are being lied to. And "science" provides them what they want, a claim of absolute and complete assurance of all things. Even religion accedes that God may have plans that aren't immediately obvious! "Science" just makes blanket statements and declarations of absolute and complete authority. Until they change their claims.
MandoZink
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 27, 2012
I very religious as a child, but I cannot help what happened. The more I learned overall, the more understanding I had. I eventually understood enough that I didn't need a god to derive meaning. That caused a domino effect of insight and better comprehension of reality.

Education and analytical thinking greatly increase the tendency to relegate one's own theistic notions to the status of mythology.
CardacianNeverid
4 / 5 (4) Apr 27, 2012
If, as those who defend "science" contend, you can't prove a negative, which is the same as disproving a statement -julianAssRod

You fail tard boy. You obviously don't understand science since you put all that it stands for in quotes. Science (and logic) says a negative cannot be proved, but when you tried to turn that around you totally screwed up, because you can prove or disprove a positive statement, which is how science works. If you make a positive statement that god exists, for example, the burden of proof is on you to present verifiable evidence that supports that claim.
CardacianNeverid
4 / 5 (4) Apr 27, 2012
I very religious as a child, but I cannot help what happened. The more I learned overall, the more understanding I had. I eventually understood enough that I didn't need a god to derive meaning. That caused a domino effect of insight and better comprehension of reality.

Education and analytical thinking greatly increase the tendency to relegate one's own theistic notions to the status of mythology. -MandoZink

Excellently put and congratulations!
kochevnik
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 27, 2012
@julianpenrod An Australian aborigine could see a European...that doesn't mean the European didn't exist or have a purpose
Well if the aborigine knew the European's purpose, that European wouldn't have lived the day. He would have ended up a ghost like your imaginary invisible superfriend. But your kind probably brainwashed him with your BS and made him dysfunctional and marginalized. That's the price they paid for tolerating your intolerance.
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 27, 2012
A new University of British Columbia study finds that analytic thinking can decrease religious belief, even in devout believers.

So dumb people are more prone to believe? There you have it, folks.

So let's throw a wild hypothesis out there: We're animals evolved to survive. This means the more control we have over our environment (physical as well as social and psychological) the better. Analytical thinking (predicting outcomes) is one such method since it gives us control over the (immediate) future. The less analytical thinking capabilities we have the more uncertainty we experience.
Uncertainty is an uncomfortable emotion. Psychological mechanisms for coping can be physical (e.g. hiding, cocooning) or mental (e.g. denial, delusion).

Belief seems like he latter type of coping mechanism.
Anorion
3.2 / 5 (5) Apr 27, 2012
All thinking men are atheists.
Nik_2213
1 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2012
Anorion, IMHO, being an atheist requires faith in the absence of god-like beings. Being agnostic safely pushes any such intervention to before the first blip of the Big Bang...
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (8) Apr 27, 2012
If, as those who defend "science" contend, you can't prove a negative, which is the same as disproving a statement, how does TheGhostofOtto1923 say that nature "disproves" God as presented in the Bible?
Hmmm let's see ...
-No 6 day creation
-Genetics disproved Adam/eve
-No flood
-Evolution
-Morality is biological
-No exodus
-Sephardic Jews are canaanites
-ashkenazis are from khazaria
-Archeology says no Solomon/David kingdoms
-bible exegesis and hermeneutics tell us that the bible is a comic book
-Etcetc

-And the FACT that Julian has been presented with all these facts time and again and STILL fails to disbelieve, proves out the premise of the article for at least one instance.

It is not that believers CANNOT necessarily think, it is that they REFUSE to think about certain proscribed things. Too much to lose. The stakes are too high. Eternity in paradise for themselves and their loved ones you see.

Is the dog being rational when it does backflips for biscuits? Of course.
Moebius
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 27, 2012
Almost nothing can change the religious beliefs of the fanatic because religion is a psychological problem, a personality defect. Proof is their burning need to get others to believe, purely to affirm their beliefs and quiet their own (well founded) self-doubts and their intolerance of any form of disbelief.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 27, 2012
Is the dog being rational when it does backflips for biscuits? Of course.
This is precisely WHY it is a dog and not still a wolf. One could argue that dogs are MORE rational, more pragmatic, than wolves.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 27, 2012
Almost nothing can change the religious beliefs of the fanatic because religion is a psychological problem, a personality defect. Proof is their burning need to get others to believe, purely to affirm their beliefs and quiet their own (well founded) self-doubts and their intolerance of any form of disbelief.
Well is the dog insane that sacrifices itself to protect it's Owner? Is a believer insane when he chooses to do something equally irrational, or is he merely well-conditioned? Or well-bred? Does the racehorse WANT to race or does it think it is trying to escape?
Anorion
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 27, 2012
Anorion, IMHO, being an atheist requires faith in the absence of god-like beings. Being agnostic safely pushes any such intervention to before the first blip of the Big Bang...


as already being discussed in another article, not believing doesn't require any faith, its just absence of faith.
like being in good health (absence of disease) is not an disease
i do not need to have any faith to not to believe that there is no fairies or elf or god or that sun is a chariot with horses and ridden by apollo or some stuff like that. absence of faith in gods is not an faith in it self, just absence of it.
chardo137
3 / 5 (4) Apr 27, 2012
In the beginning man created God, and in his own image created he Him.
-Jethro Tull
Isaacsname
5 / 5 (1) Apr 28, 2012
Even atheists and agnostics are closer to god then people who decide to make god in an image that they prefer, who likes/dislikes the same things they do.

Just like all empirical measurements are nothing but approximations with a lessening degree of uncertainty in precision, all descriptions of god will fall short too.

All analogies are incorrect, QED.

The best you can do is " I believe god exists " , or " I don't believe god exists ".

Most atheists are atheists based solely on what other people have told them to believe about god.

There is no logic applied in the thinking, and no thinking to apply any logic to, just blind devotion to ideas that revolve around an illusory reality created by confirmation biases.

O:

antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
The best you can do is " I believe god exists "

If that's the best you can do then you're not doing very well.

Most atheists are atheists based solely on what other people have told them to believe about god.

Since there are far more people telling you about god than there are people not telling you about god the situation is exactly the opposite of your statement.
Godders believe because they are surrounded by other godders indoctrinating them.
Atheists don't indoctrinate - because they don't talk about the subject at all.
(Only when a godder forces the subject on the table - it's like having to explain to someone who states "I'm Napoleon" that they are not Napoleon. But in everyday life atheists don't go around actively engaging with people and telling them why they shouldn't believe they are Napoleon).

So how can "not talking about something" influence you into actively renouncing something?
To atheists god isn't even a subject.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
Atheism isn't an activity. Just like being normal isn't an activity.
You only have to apply to yourself the lable "normal" when someone insane comes along in order to distinguish yourself from them.
That doesn't put being normal on the same level as insanity. Insanity is an activity/choice/affliction. Being normal is not. It is merely the ABSENCE of said activity/choice/affliction.

Isaacsname
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
No, I couldn't disagree more AP, like I say, people decide to create an image of god that suits their own biases, and other people feel the need to defend themselves from this created image, that's the pinnacle of delusion.

A relationship with god is personal, and there is nobody who can tell you how to talk to god, not one single person on this planet.

Many atheists are up in arms at being threatened with " going to hell ", etc, and if they don't believe in it, why do they feel threatened by something they think doesn't exist ?

Why even debate the non-existence/existence of god if the issue has already been decided in their hearts ?

Look at it this way:

Our egos are the most difficult adversary in the world. A person who can turn people against each other, using their own egos, will give them an enemy they will never find, who wields the most powerful of weapons.

Somebody who does this in the " name of god " is fundamentally " godless ".

Christ would have laughed.
Isaacsname
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
For that matter, for the sake of argument( you know I love to argue )_if_, everything in the universe is a manifestation of " god ", then all things in this local universe, are nothing but facets of god.

Even a person mulling over the existence/non-existence of god is just another manifestation of the mind of god considering itself through human interaction.

All your bases are belong to god, whether you want to admit it or not :)

If everything in the universe is exactly where it needs to be at any given time, then human desires and wants/attachments to those desires are the separation from god.

Attachment is suffering, desire is suffering, acceptance that all things are where they need to be, is the only way to live.

If it's not, then our egos lead down the paved road to hell.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 28, 2012
Accepting religious dogma = doing backflips for biscuits. The depth of ones belief is a direct measure of how domesticated one is.

'Yes let's make their god a thing which is actually 3 things in 1, one of which is a human being who is the son of the other... and the third is some sort of vapor. If they fall for that we know they are hooked.'

-This makes it easier to recognize and cull those who aren't domesticable.
dogbert
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2012
Ghosty,
You always return to your dogma argument like a dog to its barf.

True belief is not based on dogma and the supposed dogma you spout is such a distortion that it is hardly recognizable and certainly does not conform to anyone's belief.

According to the erroneous assertions of this article, you should be highly religious since your argument lacks analytical thinking.
jlantrip
1 / 5 (1) Apr 28, 2012
The classic mythology of god has unfortunately persisted even through the breakdown of its foundations and explanations. Everything idea is an explanation of reality and all ability to change the future relies on that explanation. The closer to 'reality' that explanation is the more power and insight into the true nature one has. Science is simply a way of creating knowledge and leading to better explanations. This is leading to an ultimate reality which could be considered akin to what 'god' was classically. Namely, omniscience, omnipresent, and omnipotent. It seems to me that the universe as a whole, which may be infinite.. so there is no whole really... leads towards that reality and we are in fact a part of the process of the classic idea of god. Evolving towards that end. Not separate from but included in and an important part of. Thank god for science.
kochevnik
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 28, 2012
For that matter, for the sake of argument if, everything in the universe is a manifestation of " dog ", then all things in this local universe, are nothing but facets of dog.

Even a person mulling over the existence/non-existence of dog is just another manifestation of the mind of dog considering itself through human interaction.

All your bases are belong to dog, whether you want to admit it or not

If everything in the universe is exactly where it needs to be at any given time, then human desires and wants/attachments to those desires are the separation from dog.

Let us chew.

@dogbarf True belief is not based on dogma
If anything is evident from your posts, it's that you and the "truth" have never crossed paths!
MandoZink
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2012
The classic mythology of god has unfortunately persisted even through the breakdown of its foundations and explanations.

I once read this:
"Religion is the stories we now believe, Mythology is the stories we used to believe, and Fairy Tales are the stories we never really believed."

There is a critical mental block that religious dogma ingrains to prevent rational thinking. It is the threat of eternal damnation for allowing any doubt to arise. It is a self-maintained mental prison.

By the way, I escaped that prison. It turned out I was the only guard on watch.
dogbert
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
There is a critical mental block that religious dogma ingrains to prevent rational thinking.


Of course. If you let someone else do your thinking, you have already given up rational thinking. But few people are unthinking and the unthinking are well distributed among believers and unbelievers.

But true belief is not based on dogma. Arguments against God based on dogma fail because dogma is an insult which says that the religious are unthinking. It is not a failure of logic, it is a refusal to think and reason.
MandoZink
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2012
It is not a failure of logic, it is a refusal to think and reason.

That refusal is inevitably self-imposed. It seems almost hopeless that you might ever escape if your religious ritual also stipulates repeated daily affirmations. Could you ever truly be free to reflect and examine your beliefs?
Isaacsname
5 / 5 (1) Apr 28, 2012
kochevnik , lol, call it a banana, it doesn't matter.

If you want to know why I believe in god, click my profile and go to the link that is there, my blog.

I guarantee that if that isn't the craziest story you've ever read, I'll bow down to your dog.

Rofl

dogbert
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
MandoZink,
That refusal is inevitably self-imposed. It seems almost hopeless that you might ever escape if your religious ritual also stipulates repeated daily affirmations. Could you ever truly be free to reflect and examine your beliefs?


1) Where do you get this stuff? God doesn't require "daily affirmations" and in fact has stated that such practices are not good:
Matthew, 6:7
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.


2) Why would anyone want to escape a knowledge of reality?

3)
Could you ever truly be free to reflect and examine your beliefs?


Of course. The rational person continually examines himself and his world. Any god who could not bear examination would not be worthy of service.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 28, 2012
@Barfy
True belief is not based on dogma and the supposed dogma you spout is such a distortion that it is hardly recognizable and certainly does not conform to anyone's belief.
Well I tell you what... You write out a description of your 'true belief' and I will explain to you exactly how it is a dogma, one among many many 'true beliefs' in the one and only Thing that could ever possibly be true.

Okay?
Of course. If you let someone else do your thinking, you have already given up rational thinking.
-And so we have to wonder about the origin of your 'true belief'. Did you make it up all by yourself? Did you have a revelation and just barfed it up one night?

Or did you perhaps read about it in a book that someone else wrote, and/or went to some building somewhere where people told you exactly what it was and what you needed to do to please it?
kochevnik
1 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2012
@dogbert Any god who could not bear examination would not be worthy of service.
You nailed it. Now follow through.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
and other people feel the need to defend themselves from this created image, that's the pinnacle of delusion.

Subtle diffference: They don't need to defend them from that image but from the PEOPLE who made that image (if the people went away then atheists would not need to 'defend' atheism at all - so it's not the image of a god that is the problem)

Many atheists are up in arms at being threatened with " going to hell

Name one. I dare you. I double dare you. No atheist believes in hell - why should we feel threatened by it? We feel threatened by PEOPLE saying we are going to hell - because those people label us as bad/immoral people. The people are the problem - not any religious delusion they make up.

Why even debate the non-existence/existence of god if the issue has already been decided in their hearts ?

See above. Godders are a physical threat (to us and the planet) because of their delusion. They need to be cured or at least made to stop being a problem.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2012
But true belief is not based on dogma. Arguments against God based on dogma fail because dogma is an insult which says that the religious are unthinking. It is not a failure of logic, it is a refusal to think and reason.
-But then this is a part of your dogma:

"Matthew, 6:7
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."

-Which differs significantly from many many other True Believers. So who is insulting whom?

Matthew 26:36-44, "...And leaving them he went back again, and prayed a third time, saying the same words over."
-Jesus Christ Himself in repetitious prayer. Can we do less?
http://home.inrea...peat.htm

-You insult jesus a lot do you?
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
All your bases are belong to god, whether you want to admit it or not

Only if your "IF" is real - and not even believers have any evidence that it might be. All they have is a hunch. That's not good enough. Certainly not good enough for basing your life on.

then human desires and wants/attachments to those desires are the separation from god

Now you're already contradicting your own 'theory'. Took you just three sentences. How stupid can you be? If everything is an aspect of god how can there eveb BE a separation of god?

Please spend 10 seconds on formulating arguments before posting them. Brainfarts are amusing - but they make you look like a total moron.
MandoZink
1 / 5 (1) Apr 28, 2012
Where do you get this stuff? God doesn't require "daily affirmations" and in fact has stated that such practices are not good:

I was alluding to Islam. I guess I could have been specific.
Why would anyone want to escape a knowledge of reality?{/q]
Every person's "knowledge of reality" can be as different as the religion they adherer to. The "escape" I was referring to is allowing yourself to freely consider alternate beliefs, or lack thereof.
How did I REALLY end up believing what I do?
How did others come about their beliefs?
Most importantly: What if?

Does your belief in your god allow, or prevent you from asking these things? I spent some serious time considering as many things as I could. I even contemplated whether or not I subconsciously hid from questions I did not want to consider.

The decision to NOT be afraid to find I could be wrong, and the decision to NOT be afraid to change, was a rewarding event in my life.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 28, 2012
Name one. I dare you. I double dare you. No atheist believes in hell - why should we feel threatened by it?
Hitchens for one. Dawkins as well. People do not like to be threatened whether they believe the threat is real or not, and both these gentlemen have taken exception to this in public and in print.
See above. Godders are a physical threat (to us and the planet) because of their delusion. They need to be cured or at least made to stop being a problem.
Well it seems I have made a convert. Hail Empire.
MandoZink
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
My recent bout with cancer was a most interesting event. I had no fear for my mortality, I was quite complacent and in some way I felt very much alive. My theist-leaning family and friends were worried and sad. I spent much of my time comforting them.

There ARE atheists in foxholes.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
There's really nothing to fear OF death (dying can probably be a bitch, though). I once got knocked unconscious in an accident and awoke a day later. *Snap*: off - *snap*: on.

Death will just be the same without the "*snap*: on" part - I imagine.

I haven't been around for the first billions of years of the universe. And I don't recall that it somehow affected me in any way (nor that I experienced it or cared about whether it took that long). So why should I think something affects me after death?

Well it seems I have made a convert.

Not quite. This has been my stance since age six.
originating
1 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2012
I agree that research. So there is no god but only Allah. Related book name is Mohammed's Allah written by Ahmed Hulusi.
ahairymole
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2012
The Holy Bible
WARNING: This is a work of fiction. Do NOT take it literally.

CONTENT ADVISORY: Contains verses descriptive of or advocating suicide, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, sexual activity in a violent context, murder, morbid violence, use of drugs or alcohol, homosexuality, voyeurism, revenge, undermining of authority figures, lawlessness and human rights violations and atrocities.

EXPOSURE WARNING: Exposure to contents for extended periods of time or during formative years in children may cause delusions, hallucinations, decreased cognitive and objective reasoning abilities and in extreme cases, pathological disorders, hatred, bigotry and violence including, but not limited to fanaticism, murder and genocide.
ahairymole
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
The Holy Bible

WARNING: This is a work of fiction. Do NOT take it literally.

CONTENT ADVISORY: Contains verses descriptive of or advocating suicide, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, sexual activity in a violent context, murder, morbid violence, use of drugs or alcohol, homosexuality, voyeurism, revenge, undermining of authority figures, lawlessness and human rights violations and atrocities.

EXPOSURE WARNING: Exposure to contents for extended periods of time or during formative years in children may cause delusions, hallucinations, decreased cognitive and objective reasoning abilities and in extreme cases, pathological disorders, hatred, bigotry and violence including, but not limited to fanaticism, murder and genocide.
NeutronicallyRepulsive
3 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
ahairymole: That reminds me. It's a reason why the books don't have PG rating. Because the Bible would be NC-17 at least.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
Contains verses descriptive of or advocating suicide, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, sexual activity in a violent context, murder, morbid violence, use of drugs or alcohol, homosexuality, voyeurism, revenge, undermining of authority figures, lawlessness and human rights violations and atrocities.

What's wrong with sadomasochims? Or homosexuality? or undermininge authority figures?

Your other points are legit, though.
average_guy
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2012
To the editor:

Why can't we rate the article and comments anymore? Who turned that feature off for this article? Why?

antialias_physorg
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2012

Why can't we rate the article and comments anymore?

Because you threw a hissy fit, created a voting sockpuppet and were reported.

You're so pathetric we need a new word for it.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
To atheists god isn't even a subject.


You're just being completely dishonest now.

Atheists make all sorts of videos on youtube and even books, and appear on television for no good reason other than to try to mock believers; I've seen many of them in the past.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
Even atheists and agnostics are closer to god then people who decide to make god in an image that they prefer, who likes/dislikes the same things they do.


Sadly, in some cases, that is probably true, which is quite frankly a terrible thing to say.

I think Martin Luther probably went to the same place in hell as Hitler and Osama Bin Laden.

Some of the most evil people in history have also been so-called "Christian" kings and popes.

I say that as a person born into a Christian family and a life long believer in God, but you know, I'm not afraid to admit how twisted and screwed up human history is, even among professing believers.

As far as human beings are concerned, evil is not limited by age, time, race, sex, religion, or non-religion.

It's a matter of fact that every person has some sort of dark side, to some degree or another. I don't care how squeaky clean they may seem, dig long enough and you'll find some garbage.
Jo01
5 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
Religion is an explained phenomenon.

J.
Jo01
5 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2012
... It's a matter of fact that every person has some sort of dark side, to some degree or another. I don't care how squeaky clean they may seem, dig long enough and you'll find some garbage.


Now that's religion speaking.
People have eternal sin, even if they are born a minute ago.
And then God will save them via his son or something.
As a child I found that unacceptable and unjust.
We must all be sinners for God to shine ...
Keep your faith and speak for yourself, don't insult others.

J.
Jo01
5 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2012
To atheists god isn't even a subject.


You're just being completely dishonest now.

Atheists make all sorts of videos on youtube and even books, and appear on television for no good reason other than to try to mock believers; I've seen many of them in the past.


How dare they...
But your right some Atheists do that, they're very vocal because they have to fight the insanity of the masses.
Someone has to do that.
But the whatever God exists or not questions is a fallacy and intended to derail any sound discussion about religion; it's a detractor for the fact that religion is an explaind phenomenon.

J.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Apr 29, 2012

Why can't we rate the article and comments anymore?

Because you threw a hissy fit, created a voting sockpuppet and were reported.

You're so pathetric we need a new word for it.
Because he gots a persecution complex which prevents him from figuring out the obvious. Because when something goes wrong its obviously somebody doing something to HIM. A suspected religionist. Who else would need a god to protect him from all the assholes? Its NOT FAIR. But theyll get theirs. IN HELL. Ah. He feels better now.

"The Lord is a God who avenges.
O God who avenges, shine forth.
2 Rise up, Judge of the earth;
pay back to the proud what they deserve.
3 How long, Lord, will the wicked,
how long will the wicked be jubilant?


4 They pour out arrogant words...etc" psm94
Jo01
5 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2012
I agree that research. So there is no god but only Allah. Related book name is Mohammed's Allah written by Ahmed Hulusi.


All Gods are created equal.

J.
Jo01
5 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
Matthew, 6:7
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.


Of course. The rational person continually examines himself and his world. Any god who could not bear examination would not be worthy of service.


Quoting from the bible will not help you, almost any statement in one direction has an opposite somewhere else, centainly between the schizophrenic divide between the old and new testament, and then we have the different interpretations of the many sub religions that define Christianity.
It's even impossible to establish what exactly they do believe in; they change the argument all the time: "no, you don't take that literally from the Bible, that's a metaphor (or whatever)"; but a few years ago you had to take it literally.
The only pattern that emerged was that God is "that which you inherently cannot know", and as such is a waste of time to contemplate.

J.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
Now that's religion speaking.


No, that's personal experience.

I've never known anyone with a perfectly flawless, honest, and good history, not even my own sister or mother, and they're about the closest candidates.

Look around at Hollywood, the government scandals, the media, etc. Almost an entire percent of our population is in prison for grand theft or rape, murder, or other violent crimes, and that's just the ones that got caught.

If they actually prosecuted every person who stole something, they'd have to put at least a couple million additional teens and young adults in prison for downloading hacked music, movies, or video games on the internet.

If they actually prosecuted all rape, well allegedly somewhere between 1 in 6 and 1 in 4 women claim to have been raped on a date at least one time. So whether they are telling the truth or lying, I just convicted 8% to 12% of the population right there!!

Hell, they'd have to throw everyone in jail for one reason or another.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 29, 2012
Look around at Hollywood, the government scandals, the media, etc. Almost an entire percent of our population is in prison for grand theft or rape, murder, or other violent crimes, and that's just the ones that got caught.
And as you know these people are predominently religionist. How has religion ever affected the morality of a society, except to make it WORSE?
If they actually prosecuted all rape, well allegedly somewhere between 1 in 6 and 1 in 4 women claim to have been raped on a date at least one time.
You could do like they do in islamist societies, make it the fault of the victim, and tell her she can exonerate herself by marrying her attacker. And as many rapers are recidivists you could then reinstate polygamy. Win-win.
Jo01
5 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2012
"no, that's personal experience"

That fits nicely in your believe pattern.
And as always with absolutes, it's seems that a solution is needed.
Telling a child he is inherently sinfull, doesn't help, I can assure you.

J.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
But theyll get theirs. IN HELL.

Which is just the most bizarre thing. Do-gooders actively wishing upon people not only death but rather the most cruel torture possible - and that for eternity. That's so scary, sick and perverted it makes me want to throw up.

By their own standards THEY should be going to hell for just thinking that way. (And no: I don't wish that upon them because that would be silly - I don't believe in heaven/hell)

Atheists make all sorts of videos on youtube and even books

Someone has to speak out. The godders are so vocal - if nop one puts them in their place (rethorically, logically) then impressionable people might think they are the only choice. Sometimes satire is the only way to get people thinking for themselves.

The only pattern that emerged was that God is "that which you inherently cannot know"

And the crazy thing is that in spite of this they DO say that they know what god wants.
average_guy
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2012
I don't get it. Why are there so many personal attacks on this forum? A simple question invokes all kinds of hatred.

MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
Many atheists are up in arms at being threatened with " going to hell ", etc, and if they don't believe in it, why do they feel threatened by something they think doesn't exist ?

It is certainly not the "non-existence of something" they feel threatened by. The logic of those who DO believe is very frightening when those people are also making decisions that affect you.

For example: The DNA of people who have been in the Americas for thousands of years undeniably shows they migrated from Asia. Ruins and artifacts clearly indicate their unique spiritual and cultural traditions. There are NO ties whatsoever to any Christian culture or beliefs. Yet one of our presidential candidates believe the American Indians descend from a lost tribe of Israel. The evidence says absolutely NO WAY! Not to mention he believes it is possible to redeem the "souls" of long dead humans.

How is such a person with that kind of logic even in consideration to run the country? That is merely ONE example
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
The variety of impossible and unsubstantiated beliefs that are in opposition to one another are widespread in this county. This incompatible assortment of illogical convictions is totally acceptable in the theist community. At the same time, these people overwhelmingly consider any Atheist utterly unacceptable, no matter how moral, rational or intelligent they may be.

Isn't that a very disturbing thing to realize? It should be. That is substantial reason to feel threatened.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
The lack of analytical thinking is most evident in the failure to see the most basic inconsistency in religious belief. Why would an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent supreme being have any need to possess legs, arms, eyes, hair or any physical form whatsoever? It wouldn't. Yet these people readily expect to see a human version of their deity. Isn't there a major and obvious deception going here? Shouldn't alarm bells be going off?

The inability of theists to see the "elephant in the room" is frightening to those who may be sat on by that elephant. Yes, it is a threat.
rwinners
not rated yet Apr 29, 2012
This study relies on the fact that intuitive and analytical thinkers are of equal intelligence. Good luck on that one.
PhotonX
5 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012

I see I'm a little late to the party, but anyway...
.
How is the threat "If you don't start believing in God then you are going straight to HELL!" fundamentally different than the reply "If you don't quit believing in God then you are going to get a bullet to the head!"?
.
Does it make any difference that we might both believe in heads and bullets, or not both in Hell? It isn't either belief that is at issue, it's that someone is making a threat, and it's not impossible that a deranged person making either might take steps to move it along from a threat to an event.
.
You might think it's safe to just ignore the Hell threat, that it's nothing but bluster, and that's likely the case. BUT, History shows thats not always the case, so it's not unreasonable to think there may be real danger from someone so irrational to make such threats to begin with.
.
Not that any of this bears directly to the article, but what good flame war does?
rwinners
not rated yet Apr 29, 2012
This study relies on the fact that intuitive and analytical thinkers are of equal intelligence. Good luck on that one.
Oh, and while I just decide to not decide, I'm not at all fearful of 'hell'. Hell and sin are in the realm of the people who wear black and flagellate themselves. Never go there.
ahairymole
1 / 5 (1) Apr 30, 2012
without fear of consequence,you get chaos.what better tool for control than belief. by instilling this or a certain set of morals at an early age,you insure a greater success of control in your society.thus more conformable,less chaotic.the rest,as they say "is history"!
jaydee
not rated yet Apr 30, 2012
Yee Ole Bilge.......
Did the writer of this #*$@ ever hear of Isac Newton? He was "The" epitome of analytical thinking, and was one who spent ~70% of his time studying the scriptures.
Me thinks pieces like this are part of a larger, not so well crafted "Nudge"......This website specializes in such propaganda, keep up the bad work.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
He was "The" epitome of analytical thinking, and was one who spent ~70% of his time studying the scriptures.

The peculiarity of this obsession is that Newton focused heavily on the trees without seeing the forest he was in. It would be his one failing that he didn't bother to also study the breadth of other religious texts. That might have brought him more insights and elevated his worldview to an entirely new level of analytical discoveries. As such, we don't know how much this selective focus may have hindered such a great man.

We see the effects of limited focus today. We have dermatologists who don't believe in global warming. We have metallurgists who don't believe in evolution. Critical thinking CAN produce results within the bounds of one's experience. Well applied analytical thinking means you rise above and look at the overall picture. Is your greatness actually in contained in a box/prison of your own making?

TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
not only death but rather the most cruel torture possible - and that for eternity.
Well it is not them who condemns, it is their lovegod. Their favorite passage in it's entirety:

"16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of Gods one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God." john3
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 30, 2012
You are evil if you don't believe. And since their god doesn't exist, it is often up to them to show you the consequences of being evil.

All religious books contain this mechanism. Most religionists will not let you wait for condemnation in the next life. Punishment starts here and now, in one form or another.
EverythingsJustATheory
5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
Consistent with the natural process of evolution, our bodies give the appearance of haphazard construction:

1) We have an excess of teeth jammed into our jaws; vestigial tails; our gastrointestinal tract crosses the respiratory system, so we are susceptible to death by choking; 45% of our genome is composed of transposons, most of which serve no known function; we have a great deal of built-in obsolescence (we get sick, grow bald, get soft, our bones become brittle, our physical performance fades, our brains shrink, our arteries clog, our senses dull, and our memory becomes unreliable, etc.).

2) The complex human eye, if designed, shows an overall lack of intelligence in that design. In addition to its retinal blind spot, the human eye is built upside down and backwards, requiring light to travel through the cornea, lens, aqueous fluid, blood vessels, and various cells before becoming neural impulses that are sent to the visual cortex.
EverythingsJustATheory
5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
(cont)

Why do we not have eyes equal to those of ospreys, an animal with eyes 60 times more powerful and sophisticated than our own?

3) Mans body is very inefficient (as are all living organisms) in the use of the chemical and radiation energy received as nutrition. At each separate link in the food chain, only about 10% of the energy stored in the nutrients we ingest is used by our cells. The rest is dissipated as heat.

4) Why is the pleasure zone so close to the waste disposal unit?
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
Why can't we rate the article and comments anymore? Who turned that feature off for this article? Why? - average_guy

I didn't pay much attention to this post until I inadvertently discovered "average_guy" went through these comments and ranked ALL of the posts he didn't agree with as "1".

I appreciate a well-written comment, even if I do not agree with it. A good explanation of one's reasoning is always appreciated - even if it an opposing viewpoint. That is why, as a liberal, I truly miss the eloquent writings of William F. Buckley.

No matter how well written a comment was, they were ranked as low as possible by "average-guy". Luckily, I learned early in life that rejection usually says more about the other person that it does you. (a girlfriend who once broke up with me was terribly perturbed that I wasn't upset)
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
Consistent with the natural process of evolution, our bodies give the appearance of haphazard construction:

You should watch Neil deGrasse Tyson's video on YouTube about stupid design.

search for "neil degrasse tyson intelligent design"
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Apr 30, 2012
4) Why is the pleasure zone so close to the waste disposal unit?

Because you want the best nutrient absorption facilities closest to teh reproductive facilities. That makes certain that survival is optimally ensured.

...just my knee-jerk analysis to this conundrum which has been vexing me also for some time.
Isaacsname
3 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
" Name one. I dare you. I double dare you. "

Friend, go to any popular forum like Godlikeproductions, LOP, AE, etc, and you can see for yourself.

A greater portions of the conversations are exactly what I describe.

It's an amusing view into the logic that people use to operate in the world, and_always_good for a laugh or three.

Like I said, read my blog and see why I believe in god :)

Take note of the fact that up until I almost died from terminal cancer 4 months ago ( I never told anybody ) that 99% of the things about my family history were entirely unknown to me, including the fact Detlev Wulf Bronk ( From the Majestic Twelve " UFO " program ) was my great uncle, my mother worked in a virology lab he helped run when she was pregnant with me, my unknown father was involved with a group who " did black magic and sex rituals with children ", out of France, I have an exact representation of the constellation of Orion in red spots on the left side of my body.

And on, and on, :)
BrettC
5 / 5 (1) May 01, 2012
It all comes down to one thing. "THE QUESTION" was already answered. The answer was "42".
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.7 / 5 (6) May 01, 2012
Like I said, read my blog and see why I believe in god :)

Take note of the fact that up until I almost died from terminal cancer 4 months ago ( I never told anybody ) that 99% of the things about my family history were entirely unknown to me, including the fact Detlev Wulf Bronk ( From the Majestic Twelve " UFO " program ) was my great uncle, my mother worked in a virology lab he helped run when she was pregnant with me, my unknown father was involved with a group who " did black magic and sex rituals with children ", out of France, I have an exact representation of the constellation of Orion in red spots on the left side of my body.
Oh I get it you are special. And so there must be a god just as special which favors you. Arent we all.
okyesno
1 / 5 (3) May 02, 2012
Rational thought on its own will always lead to a belief in God. Unfortunately this article does not take into account one important factor: the sinful and rebellious nature of man. Humans always like to do what they desire. The atheist therefore wilfully subjugates his rational thought to his desire to rebel against God and surrender to an immoral lifestyle.

Atheists always have to suppress their intrinsical knowledge of God by inventing logical fallacies to be able to live "care free". Deep down they are always troubled though, knowing that one day they they will die and face potential judgement. This explains their usual verbal agression and self-hate.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) May 02, 2012
Rational thought on its own will always lead to a belief in God.
If you would ever try it henrik you would find it leads you away from superstitious beliefs.
Unfortunately this article does not take into account one important factor: the sinful and rebellious nature of man.[/qWhat about the sinful and rebellious nature of those people who would deny reason and the evidence if their own senses to embrace superstition? And then to try to teach this rebellion against sanity to others? This is indeed sin. The people who do it are evil.
This explains their usual verbal agression and self-hate.
Passive aggressive self-haters hate what their reason and their senses tell them. It does not comply with their fantasies and so they hate the vehicle which brings reality to them, and they hate others who would point this out to them.

There is no god henrik. No soul, no heaven. Your senses and your reason TELL you this. And me. Don't you HATE that?
okyesno
2 / 5 (4) May 02, 2012
No, Otto, perhaps unlike yourself I do not feel this kind of hatred. There simply is no valid logical argument against the existence of God. In fact, the existence of God is entirely plausible considering the arguments for theism.

It is the atheist who has to oppress knowledge of God every day. I on the other hand can freely examine everything without any hesitation or fear.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) May 02, 2012
Humans always like to do what they desire. The atheist therefore wilfully subjugates his rational thought to his desire to rebel against God and surrender to an immoral lifestyle.
Human-hating self-haters think that most people would not be decent, moral individuals without their favorite god to restrain them. Humans did very well before religions were invented, and will do just as well when they are gone.

The history of man with religion shows unrestricted immorality, suffering, corruption, conflict, misery, death and destruction. I look forward to a time when this EVIL is OVER.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) May 02, 2012
No, Otto, perhaps unlike yourself I do not feel this kind of hatred.
Of course not your little godman taught you to replace it with the epiphany. It let's you smile while you're condemning others and picturing them in eternal torment. I personally don't wish you to burn forever for your idiot beliefs. I just wish you religionists weren't tormenting so many for the lack of them.

"18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of Gods one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed." jon3

-Yeah, along with their entrails.
okyesno
2 / 5 (4) May 02, 2012
Not at all, Otto. I do not hate you, and I do not feel any desire to see you or anyone else suffer. In fact your whole presupposition of a God who likes to throw people in hell is unbiblical and wrong. The Bible says that God wills the salvation of everyone. All the arguments you usually launch against God are all emotional and not rational. Hell is a place where people go that have made the conscious choice to reject God's kingdom and enjoy their rebellion during their brief stay on earth. If they had thought rationally however, they would have repented facing that kind of eternity. Sinners who end up in hell want to go there and know fully well that they deserve to be in that place.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) May 02, 2012
Sinners who end up in hell want to go there and know fully well that they deserve to be in that place.
And you, in the midst of your self-delusion, do not see this as the threat that it is. Your god offers immortality in return for service under threat of eternal torment. Nobody who was thinking rationally would fall for this. Obviously. Your god is an extortionist and you believers are his enforcers.

All around the world people are suffering and dying for this, because you believers are enforcing the WILL of a non-existent god. This is patently immoral and you all should really cut it out.
okyesno
2 / 5 (4) May 02, 2012
No Otto, that is not what the gospel says. A Christian does not accept Christ under the threat of hell or the promise of heaven. You have misunderstood the core message of the Bible. A true Christian is 100% motivated by the love and grace of Jesus Christ. The Bible puts it simply like this: God shows His love for us that when we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). Once a person realizes that all religious actions are futile, and there is only need for trust in the promise of Christ, then motivation comes from within, not extrinsically, by force or by tradition. This is a leap of faith that begins what the Bible calls "being born again'.

People who feel they must somehow deserve heaven or avoud hell by their actions will become frustrated over time and miss the point. Salvation is an entirely underserved act of grace by God for the sinner, and can be received only by brokeness to oneself. That is why the Bible says: "deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me".
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) May 02, 2012
Hey I tell you what... If your god and his message is so logically irresistible, so intrinsically irrefutable and all that, why don't you all just leave out the threat of eternal torment when foisting it? Don't you think people on the whole are reasonable enough to accept what us so obviously true without the threats?

Henrik: 'No, people are by and large stupid foul brutes with no desire to act morally. Bs so they have to be threatened, and also shunned and beaten and tortured and killed in order to get them to accept what is so obviously good for them.'

-I am not exaggerating. This is all well-described in your holy books and we can see it happening all around the globe. THIS is immoral. Obviously.

And you sir have personally implicated yourself in ALL of it.
okyesno
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2012
Well Otto, I think that sin has a lot to do with it. The human mind is obsessed with going solo and accountability to a divine Creator is not first on the list for most. After many years of pastoring and evangelizing, I know that most people reject God not for rational but for emotional reasons.

Your own moral objection is also profoundly emotional. Even the very appeal to morality is irrational, seeing that in a naturalistic world, good and evil are subjective and morality at best a biological survival mechanism. Only in a universe where God exists, can a moral objection truly make sense.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) May 02, 2012
No Otto, that is not what the gospel says. A Christian does not accept Christ under the threat of hell or the promise of heaven. You have misunderstood the core message of the Bible.
No you are mistaking what religions DO for what they SAY they do.

They all use the same pretty words to describe how good and necessary and decent they are, but in reality they are responsible for the most reprehensible of things.

And you, in your refusal to accept the consequences of your beliefs, are as well.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) May 02, 2012
Well Otto, I think that sin has a lot to do with it. The human mind is obsessed with going solo and accountability to a divine Creator is not first on the list for most. After many years of pastoring and evangelizing, I know that most people reject God not for rational but for emotional reasons.
Your dogma does not sell here because the people here are rational and can see through it. People are intrinsically tribal; they want to belong to a group, and groups have been selected for loyalty, altruism, and self-sacrifice.

Again you are preaching that people are intrinsically small and petty and immoral. Teaching people to believe these things about themselves and others in order to ply your wares is decidedly immoral.
After many years of pastoring and evangelizing
Ah. A paid spokesperson. That explains a lot.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) May 02, 2012
A universe where you must bow down, grovel, blindly worship and praise your creator sounds way too much like a sci-fi horror saga. The very idea that in some dimension an omnipotent super being creates imperfect beings, then punishes them for eternity for violating a list of transgressions, is often entertaining as a movie plot, but would be a nightmare in real life.

Imagine enduring a cruel demand that you(Abraham) kill your son to prove your love for the tyrant, then when you comply, you are stopped at the last minute only to be told it was just a test. How could you POSSIBLY love such a monster?

Worse yet, this story is presented as a positive tale of blind loyalty. The element of horror runs deep in this one. Why would you even NEED to introduce a devil into the picture?
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) May 02, 2012
On that last note, even if I was unfortunately prone to theistic notions, I would not join a religion which had a devil as one of it's deities. Funny how with the supposed omnipotence and love for all, your divine all-powerful being can't do a thing about the devil he created.

Many of these concepts were very entertaining while re-watching the entire Angel series by Josh Whedon. But in real life...? No way. My universe is much better - positive and hope for all humankind.
okyesno
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2012
No Otto, I am not taking any church salary and work a normal 9-5 job supporting my family. But even if I would, that would not invalidate my point that you have failed to present a single logically valid argument against theism.

Also you have not responded to my point that making use of moral objections contradicts an atheistic worldview. When you accuse Christians of being immoral you are assuming good and evil have real meaning, which is irrational seeing they are just convenient evolutionary constructs. By the way, do you work for a living as a scientist? Who pays your bills? Just curious.
okyesno
1 / 5 (2) May 02, 2012
"My universe is much better - positive and hope for all humankind"

Well, such a universe cannot exist. If your mind is just a bunch of electrons bumping into eachother, then the immaterial concept of "hope" carries no meaning. To say that there actually is something as hope in a world without God is just hopelessly irrational! "Hope" is a theistic concept and expresses the belief in a future reconciliation with God despite the odds and circumstances. It has nothing to do with randomly colliding elementary particles in a dead universe.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (1) May 02, 2012
"Hope" is a theistic concept and expresses the belief in a future reconciliation with God despite the odds and circumstances.

Then let's choose the phrase "positive outlook" instead of "hope". It is much easier to go about the day with a positive outlook than to constantly dread what statistically might go wrong. A comfortable state of mind promotes better thinking overall. I am not worried, which is a self-centered mindset; instead I am positive, which makes it easier to for me to project warmth and make others feel comfortable.

How in the world can you not understand such a basic concept of human introspection and interaction? I can only suppose that since you were misinformed about atheists, you have NO IDEA that these beneficial concepts are EASILY understood by us. You could really benefit from an expanded worldview.

I can only HOPE you will feel POSITIVE enough to discover what we atheist easily come by - human compassion and sense of well-being. You can even pass it on!
okyesno
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2012
Mando,

I think you missed the point I made. I am in no way contending that you are a happy clappy bloke (?), all I am saying is that you are acting logically inconsistent with your own worldview.

If humans are just biological machines and their minds just chemical reactions, then there is no basis whatsoever to believe that a positive outlook is based on anything real. At best your positive feelings are the self-induced delusions of certain uncontrollable materialistic brain states.

On the other hand, the more logical approach is to assume we are not machines, but our feelings and thoughts are real. That means they cannot be matter in motion but are the result of an immaterial soul that defines our inner man. This is the Christian view, and is a far better explanation for our dreams and goals than blind chemistry.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) May 02, 2012
No Otto, I am not taking any church salary and work a normal 9-5 job supporting my family. But even if I would
Praise and accolades from the crowd are their own reward yes? Some crave it. Some will tell them anything they want to hear in order to receive it. Swaggert comes to mind. Oh there are SO MANY to consider arent there?
When you accuse Christians of being immoral you are assuming good and evil have real meaning, which is irrational seeing they are just convenient evolutionary constructs.
Your point is muddled. Are you saying there is no purpose to life? Are you saying that life does not seek to survive and to propagate? Are you saying that humans would forget how to do this without your godman to guide them? Obviously not. We have gotten this far without him and the others. They only now threaten to END life.
By the way, do you work for a living as a scientist?
Nope.
Who pays your bills?
Me
MandoZink
3.7 / 5 (3) May 02, 2012
It has nothing to do with randomly colliding elementary particles in a dead universe.

The continuing evolution of our emerging sentience is a pretty cool development in this unfolding universe. Why this cannot be conceived without plugging a mystical being into the equation is beyond me. And I WAS religious when young. It was great! Now it is even better.

To shed the need for religion was scary for about 3-5 seconds. Then the music started playing and it was an orchestra the likes I had never heard. It was simply hidden from view until I woke up to a greater reality. Those things you are told about non-theists are pretty much some theo-centric falsehood. Who would have believed? I didn't - but now I live it. You sir, hmmm.., just not ready yet, I see.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) May 02, 2012
By the way, I remember the moment and I actually did hear music in my head. It was grand! I am now a musician, too!
MandoZink
3.7 / 5 (3) May 02, 2012
If humans are just biological machines and their minds just chemical reactions, then there is no basis whatsoever to believe that a positive outlook is based on anything real. At best your positive feelings are the self-induced delusions of certain uncontrollable materialistic brain states.

No offense, but it is you own notions that allow you to only conceptualize a chemically dead existence without a god. None of us non-theists ever suffered from such a limitation.

We evolved sentience and we continue to evolve more uniqueness! Evolution is truly grand that way! It brings WONDER to the world we humans exist in. I really can say no more to you that would bring to you that expanded worldview which IS possible for you to conceive of. Religion, it seems, refuses to allow you that step up. I know. I've been there.

You are passionate about this, so good luck! Really! Positively!
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) May 02, 2012
No, Otto, perhaps unlike yourself I do not feel this kind of hatred.
Actually there are things I do hate, and perhaps you should too. Things like these:
http://www.miamih...ide.html
http://www.voanew...665.html
http://blogs.voan...-troops/
http://www.nytime...ran.html
http://www.nctime...63c.html

-All caused by religion. Every day a fresh new list. Who wouldnt hate this? THIS guy??
http://www.youtub...U-DislkI

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." rom6:23
okyesno
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2012
Mando,

The biology of our senses and brain matter is not the same as our personality or our conscious experience of daily life. How do electrons in the brain can cause you to "think" is totally unclear, and there is no scientific explanation on how matter could generate consciousness. To say that consciousness somehow evolved from non-consciousness is begging the question. There is no proof for that assertion.

So the mystical being is not the person who believes in God, but it is you. If the brain chemistry determines all your thoughts, then you have no reason to assume they are correct. Your belief system of atheism (and naturalism) cannot explain why you are feeling happiness or enjoy certain music types and dislike other. Only if your thoughts exist as a real and distinct entity from the grey matter in your head can these personal experiences be anything more than a delusion.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (1) May 02, 2012
"Hope" is a theistic concept

Actually, for me HOPE is a positive outlook that statistical randomness of events will keep occurring on the positive side of outcome.

DREAD is a useless state of mind that worries the opposite might statistically happen.

Who would want to choose the morbid option? The evolution of our brains has given us the ability to focus; such that we have the ability to manipulate those "chemicals" in our brain, just by choosing to activate positive memories. Really cool!

Chemicals they are! In charge of them we are!
okyesno
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2012
Can you define what the "positive side" of random events actually entails? Because if events are generally random, then concepts such as positive and negative have no inherent meaning. Positive and negative are also theistic or at least immaterial concepts that imply a real distinction between good and evil, right and wrong and beautiful and ugly. Neither of those can really exist in an atheistic and random universe. Again at best your designation of random events as positive constitutes irrational, self-delusional and wishful thinking.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) May 02, 2012
Your belief system of atheism (and naturalism) cannot explain why you are feeling happiness or enjoy certain music types and dislike other

It's commonly known as "The Power of Positive Thinking". Yes, you CAN choose to think in ways that activate the essence of things you enjoy. Those neural pathways are reinforced, and .. Viola! Things happen!

Before bed, I almost always listen to uplifting or clever tunes, then play my electric mandolin for while with that inspiration running high. Blues, swing, gypsy jazz, whatever. Then my bedtime dream-scape become rich and fulfilling. Oh so good,, and self-induced to boot.

(Listening to a Sean Carroll lecture before bedtime is also good for "science awe" dreams.)
okyesno
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2012
"such that we have the ability to manipulate those "chemicals" in our brain, just by choosing to activate positive memories. Really cool!"

How do you actually know for sure that those memories really happened and are not chemical illusions? After all, if all our thoughts is just chemistry, why exclude your memories? How do you know reality is real? Perhaps you are just an egg-plant that has a lengthy dream he is human. What happens if you wake up?
okyesno
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2012
"Before bed, I almost always listen to uplifting or clever tunes, then play my electric mandolin for while with that inspiration running high"

Well, some say positive thinking cures cancer as well.

Are you taking some little chemical stimulant along with it perhaps? I think your case shows that for an atheist to be happy, he must be living in lala land. But I prefer you over our bill-paying non-scientist, sour-puss Otto and his self-inflicted hate meme. Peace, dude!
MandoZink
3 / 5 (2) May 02, 2012
Can you define what the "positive side" of random events actually entails?

Simple example: I must drive across town.
POSITIVE SIDE: There is little traffic. The lights are all green.
NEGATIVE SIDE: Lot's of traffic. Unexpected accident.

And if the negative occurs, understand the randomness of it all and remain upbeat about your life,... by.... focusing on those thoughts you enjoy and staying positive. Those chemicals will respond quite well, just as science has shown they will!

Is it really that hard?
kochevnik
2.3 / 5 (3) May 03, 2012
@okyesno No Otto, I am not taking any church salary and work a normal 9-5 job supporting my family. But even if I would, that would not invalidate my point that you have failed to present a single logically valid argument against theism.
I have revealed your logical failure: Why is your god an atheist? Since it is an atheist then atheism is the most universal school of thought, not theism. Keep trying to dodge that bullet. You can run but you can't hide.
antialias_physorg
1 / 5 (1) May 03, 2012
It brings WONDER to the world

At this point I love to quote Tim Michin's poem "Storm" (If you have a few minutes check it out on youtube. Excrutiatingly funny)
http://www.youtub...htqDCP-s

...
Isnt this enough?
Just this world?
Just this beautiful, complex
Wonderfully unfathomable world?
How does it so fail to hold our attention
That we have to diminish it with the invention
Of cheap, man-made Myths and Monsters?
If youre so into Shakespeare
Lend me your ear:
"To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw perfume on the violet... is just fucking silly"
Isaacsname
1 / 5 (1) May 03, 2012
" Oh I get it you are special. And so there must be a god just as special which favors you. Arent we all. "

~ Schmuzto
-------------
Yep, we are. Are you angry about this ?

Btw, I just put up some high def photos for you

http://isaacslogi...ictures/

http://isaacslogi...f-orion/

http://isaacslogi...art-two/
MandoZink
5 / 5 (1) May 03, 2012
@antialias_physorg - Normally I have little appreciation for any forms of poetry (with the exception of e.e. cummings and Ogden Nash), but I found Tim Michin's beat poetry to be very amusing.

Beside your quote, I also liked:
"Science adjusts its views
Based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation,
So that belief can be preserved."

Thanks for the link!
MandoZink
not rated yet May 03, 2012
@antialias_physorg - Just to clarify, I liked e.e. cummings' poetry BEFORE he became a radical right-wing nutbucket.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) May 03, 2012
Yep, we are. Are you angry about this ?
No just a little annoyed and embarrassed for you. Maybe you should check out this site?
https://www.facebook.com/

Your god still does not exist.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) May 03, 2012
I did think of a point to make:
By the way, do you work for a living as a scientist? Who pays your bills?
While I am not a scientist I certainly appreciate the many benefits which science has provided, one of which being the potential to spread humanity around the solar system and so help to ensure its survival.

I know that if people like you were in charge of what science was able to do that these many benefits would not exist and that the species would be on the verge of extinction, if not already there.

Your participating here only helps others to reach these same conclusions and perhaps, in their own way, to resist religionism in any and all forms. And so I just wanted to thank you for all the good work.
Anorion
1.8 / 5 (5) May 03, 2012
If we are going to teach creation as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction.
okyesno
1 / 5 (1) May 03, 2012
"Simple example: I must drive across town.
POSITIVE SIDE: There is little traffic. The lights are all green.
NEGATIVE SIDE: Lot's of traffic. Unexpected accident."

If lights on your side are green they must be red for the other guy who is into positive lala's. Is the same positive traffic light also positive for him? Clearly not. What does that mean for your definition of positive and negative? It means they are hopelessly subjective and cannot be considered meaningful concepts of reality.
kochevnik
1.8 / 5 (5) May 03, 2012
What does that mean for your definition of positive and negative? It means they are hopelessly subjective and cannot be considered meaningful concepts of reality.
More like you failed pre-algebra in school.

So okyesno, what are you going to do now since you agree atheism is the supreme school of thought, even practiced by your god?
Manhar
1 / 5 (1) May 31, 2012
I recall "star treck" in which captain Kirk was separated in two individuals, one only good and one only bad. At the end it proved that human can not survive with one. Both are necessary to make decisions, some bad and some good. it seems a Natur's experiment on living cells on earth.