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Old 07-02-2001, 09:02 PM   #21
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No, this is a typical example of Turtonm misunderstanding and/or distorting my statements. You don't seem to have understood my point. Of course, it also seems like you didn't try very hard to understand the point.

Your original reference was to god. Then you switched it when that got deservedly skewered for your typical ethnocentricism. I can be forgiven for not getting what you are saying, since it shifts from post to post.

And no one is prosecuted for violating a law establishing monogamy. You can have as many sexual relationships as you want, no matter how socially destructive.

I can't offhand, think of any socially destructive sexual relationships, except of course child sexual abuse, which the clergy seems to have a speciality of lately. I suppose this is just your way of expressing your sexual frustrations....

You are going to have to break down the source for me. I didn't see where it listed a total number of atheists for Europe. And my figure of European atheists excluded Russia, which would cut down on any figure that included Russians.

I believe the number of 41 million is given in the middle of the document somewhere, though the number varies with how "athiesm" is defined, and what questions you are asking.

It raises the costs of joining the new religion, thus discouraging many adherents. It also gaurantees indoctrination of the young and their attempted innoculation against religion. The most impressive and
succesful leaders end up in prison, beaten, and/or dead. It works to dissaude Christianity in many ways.


I think you are responding to another point. I am asking what is wrong with secular democracy and you seem to listing the features of Communist society.

None of your discussion has affected the centra point: Atheism's success in this century is a result of brutal oppression and indoctrination.

How interesting. I wouldn't call any Chinese an atheist, although they do not believe in god (which was my original point, before we went off on yet another tangent.) they all still believe in ghosts, etc. Do you consider them atheists? I don't

BTW, do you know of any such nasty behavior by non-Communist atheists? There isn't any. So the issue isn't atheism, but as I said, Communism. An authoritarian system, just like Christianity.

Certainly it is the predominatly Protestant countries which have produced and gauranteed the most politically free nations on earth.

Yes, an excellent example of negative stimulus.

The US is not a Christian country, but a secular one founded by Deists, not Christians. Christians, when formally in charge -- my fault, wasn't clear -- set up authoritarian hells, like Calvin's Geneva (one of the negative stimuli I referred to earlier)

Michael

Michael
 
Old 07-02-2001, 09:28 PM   #22
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
Your original reference was to god. Then you switched it when that got deservedly skewered for your typical ethnocentricism. I can be forgiven for not getting what you are saying, since it shifts from post to post. </font>
My point is this: Atheism has spread by brutal oppression and persecution. And yes, you certainly can be forgiven for not getting what I was saying. But it is clear now.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Me: And no one is prosecuted for violating a law establishing monogamy. You can have as many sexual relationships as you want, no matter how socially destructive.

I can't offhand, think of any socially destructive sexual relationships, except of course child sexual abuse, which the clergy seems to have a speciality of lately. I suppose this is just your way of expressing your sexual frustrations.... </font>
So you are conceding your baseless point that the Christians in the United States are somehow comparatively oppressive than the atheist regimes in China and the former USSR because of Blue Laws?

Adultery is a particularly destructive behavior because it leads to unhappy marriages and divorce.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I believe the number of 41 million is given in the middle of the document somewhere, though the number varies with how "athiesm" is defined, and what questions you are asking. </font>
I was hoping for some mor specificity. And it seems that the 41 million figure is counting Russian? As I said, I excluded Russia and classified it by itself in my post.

And thanks again for the E. Germany v. W. Germany stats. Illustrated beautifully my point: athiests have largely spread their message-with any success-by brutal oppression.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I think you are responding to another point. I am asking what is wrong with secular democracy and you seem to listing the features of Communist society. </font>
Well, since you were attacking my posts, and my posts were focused on how atheism has spread by oppressive government persecution and indoctrination, I don't know how I could have known that you were asking me what is wrong with secular democracy. There is plenty wrong with secular democracy, but I think its the best form of government available.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> How interesting. I wouldn't call any Chinese an atheist, although they do not believe in god (which was my original point, before we went off on yet another tangent.) they all still believe in ghosts, etc. Do you consider them atheists? I don't </font>
I'm working off of the World Almanac's numbers. No, not all Chinese are atheists, but there are more athiests in China than in free societies. Which is my point. Atheism's spread has been accomplished mostly by oppression and persecution of theists.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">BTW, do you know of any such nasty behavior by non-Communist atheists? There isn't any. So the issue isn't atheism, but as I said, Communism. An authoritarian system, just like Christianity. </font>
Well, its mostly communism that has established atheistic regimes. It is only in those countries where the athiests have siezed power and had the opportunities to implement their brutal policies.

But there is another historical example of atheists run wild and that is France's Reign of Terror. Clergy and devout Catholics were hunted down, their property taken, and, often, their lives taken as well.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Yes, an excellent example of negative stimulus. </font>
You'll have to explain that one.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> The US is not a Christian country, but a secular one founded by Deists, not Christians. Christians, when formally in charge -- my fault, wasn't clear -- set up authoritarian hells, like Calvin's Geneva (one of the negative stimuli I referred to earlier) </font>
I didn't say that the U.S. was a "Christian country" I said it was run by Christians. And it undeniably is run for the most part by Christians. And yes, those Christians are "formally in charge." But no, the U.S. is not a theocracy and gaurantees the freedom of religion.


 
Old 07-02-2001, 09:53 PM   #23
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Michael,

Aren't Buddhists (etc.) classified as pantheists? The theist part seems to imply belief in a God that is "everything"... In addition, the Mahayana Buddhists seem to believe that Buddha was a historical manifestation of a "universal absolute", or Buddha essence (sounds like God or Gods to me - at the least, a belief in the supernatural).

Finally, Buddhism seems to be derived from polytheistic Hinduism anyway (look at Vajrayana Buddhism and the Dalai Lama).

I think Layman's really onto something here.

Ish
 
Old 07-03-2001, 01:48 AM   #24
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Buddhists are not usually classified as pantheist. They practice meditation to access the spiritual plane within themselves, but do not have a belief in a creator-god.

The Pope called Buddhism an atheistic religion on one of his books, and the only Buddhists who objected were a group that thought they might lose their government religious grant if it got out that they were atheists. Westerners who adopt Zen Buddhism are usually atheists with no supernatural beliefs, Asian Buddhists usually retain some cultural beliefs in ghosts and spirits.

Confucianism is non-theistic. It has no god, so I would classify it as atheistic. (My definition of atheist is a person who does not have a belief in god, not necessarily a person who is anti-god or who "denies" god.)

Otherwise, I think Layman is just being argumentative, probably trying to link atheism with the worst thing he can think of to counter the association of Christianity with the Inquisition.

Or perhaps he cannot imagine not believing in god unless he lived under a communist regime. That is a failure on his part to understand the opposing argument, and his loss. It may also explain why he is getting snippy - he has no respect for the people he is arguing with, and cannot accept that they have genuine beliefs.

Most of the atheists in the U.S. and Western Europe did not derive their beliefs from living under a communist government, and most seem to be closer to libertarianism. So what is Layman's point here?

As for reading the Bible leading to atheism - my evidence is all anecdotal. A number of freethinkers started out in divinity school. I recently heard Julia Sweeney give a very good monologue about how taking a Bible study class led her to question her religion, and ultimately to reject it and lose her belief in god.
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Old 07-03-2001, 04:46 AM   #25
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Layman, how about you look at the percentage of intellectuals who are atheists? Around 60% of scientists are non-theists (atheist or agnostic), particularly biologists and physicists (77.9%).

http://exn.ca/Stories/1997/04/04/01.asp

I don't think statistics exist on philosophers, but recently I had a conversation with the professor of philosophy at FSU (who told me he was moving to Arizona), and he said atheist and theist philosophers generally agree there are no compelling arguments for the existence of God. Judging by this, I would guess the majority of his colleagues are non-theists, or just fideists.

Religion is shit easily feed to the masses, true understanding is not. So can you explain why non-theism is so rampant among intellectuals? You think your evil atheist conspiracy can handle that?

[This message has been edited by Someone7 (edited July 03, 2001).]
 
Old 07-03-2001, 06:07 AM   #26
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Ish, Layman's really not onto anything. Only a Christian would be dumb enough to think that millions of people forcibly indoctrinated into anything was a success.

Michael
 
Old 07-03-2001, 06:55 AM   #27
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Not only is he morally suspect, as usual, Layman has his facts wrong....

But there is another historical example of atheists run wild and that is France's Reign of Terror. Clergy and devout Catholics were hunted down, their property taken, and, often, their lives taken as well.

It is clear that the French revolution was trying to set up a Deistic state Church in opposition to the Catholic clergy, who had served the Ancien Regime and helped the monarchy oppress the people. In other words, they weren't atheists....the first article of the Convention was: "The French people recognize the existence of a Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul". What they objected to was Catholicism, and the way that Christianity had served Authority (imagine that!).

As usual, when it's not in first century Palestine and the 50 books you actually know, Layman....


Michael
 
Old 07-03-2001, 06:56 AM   #28
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RE: Someone7’s link.

There is more than meets the eye in those statistics. Forty-five percent of the RESPONDENTS admitted to being unbelievers. Only 600 out of a 1000 replied. Given the bias in this country against atheism, I would be willing to bet that a LARGE percent of the 400 who did NOT reply are probably atheists. That would easily move the percent of atheists to well over 50%.

In any survey ever taken, the number of atheists is always higher in educated groups than in less educated groups. Education is, and always has been, religions worst enemy. Is it therefore any wonder that the Christian Right is so against the teaching of evolution?

Getting back to the shroud, I really like Bede’s theory that … “the shroud is real and the Church deliberately falsified the tests to cover it up.” Sure! Definite proof of JC’s death and resurrection and the church is going to hide it. God sure has a way of warping people’s minds.
 
Old 07-03-2001, 07:00 AM   #29
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Layman is getting on his high horse about how Western European nations are more tolerant and those are the ones with the most Christians. But Christianity (ESPECIALLY this particular form of Christianity) can thank persecutions and brutal suppression of rivals for its supremacy.

Layman mentioned South Korea, but let's not forget about how Christianization took place in Asia. Thanks to Western colonial exploiters' guns, missionaries were able to help "civilize" the backwards brown and yellow peoples.

[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited July 03, 2001).]
 
Old 07-03-2001, 08:18 AM   #30
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
Ish, Layman's really not onto anything. Only a Christian would be dumb enough to think that millions of people forcibly indoctrinated into anything was a success.</font>
Michael, even as a "dumb" Christian, I understand that Layman's points are tinged with a little bit of sarcasm aimed at those who constantly blame bad events in "Christian" history on all Christians. I see those non-Christian arguments against Christianity just as silly as you perhaps see Layman's arguments.

As to the intelligence factor, I would like to see statistics on whether there are at least the same number of very intelligent scientists who believe in God as their are those who don't.

I have an engineering degree and science has not destroyed my belief in God, neither has in-depth study of the Bible. In other words, I do not consider myself a "dumb" Christian.

Ish
 
 

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