Why are so many wars fought in Gods Name? Ravi Zacharias!

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18 Responses to Why are so many wars fought in Gods Name? Ravi Zacharias!

  1. tildeb says:

    This comparison has been debunked repeatedly.

    Communist Russia, like all other historical examples of totalitarian states, did not come into being by the rising up of atheists, murdering in the name of human rights and dignity, arming hordes of atheists to do battle in the name of critical reasoning.

    We can clearly establish a direct line of causation between a group of Saudi Arabians enticed and recruited through their visits to their mosques, entering into training under the religious doctrine of Wahhabism, being funded and trained by clerics of Wahhabism, going on a mission with the direct intention of causing mass murder in the name of the god of Wahhabism, and we can hear each pilot call out a religious phrase – God is Great – as they fly their hijacked planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. There is no such counter example for atheism. Atheists do not kill in the name of atheism, including Stalin. Stalin killed in the name of power. Namely, his own.

  2. tildeb says:

    We measure science and faith and technology and all things of man by BOTH their abuses and their achievements. There is nothing done in a positive sense by the faithful that cannot be done by atheists. There is, and has been, a great deal of negative behaviours, however, that can be done by the faithful that few if any atheists would do if they respect human rights and dignity of the individual.

    There’s a good reason, should you care to investigate, why so many absolutists are religious, and these are the majority of ‘good’ folk who tend to support the criminalization of abortion, the death penalty, anti-intellectualism, women’s rights, minority rights, gay marriage, Intelligent Design, creationism, and the list goes on.

    I think certainty is the root of a great many evils. Certainty in faith produces at least as much misery as any comprehensive benefit but carries with it an insertion of that certainty into the secular world where it clearly has no business being. And that’s where we run into problems.

    Let me also write that I am not certain in any of my current beliefs. But I have informed my opinions as best I can with what’s probably true, probably accurate, probably correct. I can change my opinions if those probabilities shift. To do that I need reasons better than the ones I have now. I have an open and inquiring mind.

    Let me ask you an honest question: are you certain of your religious beliefs? If you answer that you are, and I suspect you will, then how can we possibly have an honest dialogue? I write that because by asserting your certainty, you are admitting that there is nothing that can change your mind, no evidence, no reasoning, no new information that will have the slightest impact. For all intents and purposes, you already have all the answers you need to close your mind. That’s not a starting point in a conversation but an entrenched defensive position against all comers. It is the mindset necessary to be a bunker dweller, unwilling and unable to look anew at information and evidence that undermines your faith.

    Against the beliefs of such people, atheists have learned to simply laugh, poke fun, ridicule, and belittle. There’s nothing else that has any effect in the wider conversation with those who are still open to debate.

  3. [“We measure science and faith and technology and all things of man by BOTH their abuses and their achievements. There is nothing done in a positive sense by the faithful that cannot be done by atheists. There is, and has been, a great deal of negative behaviours, however, that can be done by the faithful that few if any atheists would do if they respect human rights and dignity of the individual.”]

    Note how you build your argument, how would you react if I asked you, “Have you stop beating your wife?” Whichever way you answer you are in trouble. That is not a way to build argument. You give many possible outcomes and variable outlooks but what you fail to take on board is the message of the video.

    [“There’s a good reason, should you care to investigate, why so many absolutists are religious, and these are the majority of ‘good’ folk who tend to support the criminalization of abortion, the death penalty, anti-intellectualism, women’s rights, minority rights, gay marriage, Intelligent Design, creationism, and the list goes on.
    I think certainty is the root of a great many evils. Certainty in faith produces at least as much misery as any comprehensive benefit but carries with it an insertion of that certainty into the secular world where it clearly has no business being. And that’s where we run into problems.”]

    Actually if one is to make a claim that there are no absolutes, he is making an absolute statement all one needs to do is fire a question “Are you absolutely sure?” You again lumber everyone in the same bag; I’m guessing that is just easier then simply making informed decision on each individual case and their merits. You confuse political orientation and faith, what you should note that there are many democrats in US who are Christians. Whilst I hold my faith to be Conservative I also reserve my right to be liberal with my Love. And that is all the difference one needs to be true to their faith and is precisely what Bible instruct us to do.

    [“Let me also write that I am not certain in any of my current beliefs. But I have informed my opinions as best I can with what’s probably true, probably accurate, probably correct. I can change my opinions if those probabilities shift. To do that I need reasons better than the ones I have now. I have an open and inquiring mind.
    Let me ask you an honest question: are you certain of your religious beliefs? If you answer that you are, and I suspect you will, then how can we possibly have an honest dialogue? I write that because by asserting your certainty, you are admitting that there is nothing that can change your mind, no evidence, no reasoning, no new information that will have the slightest impact. For all intents and purposes, you already have all the answers you need to close your mind. That’s not a starting point in a conversation but an entrenched defensive position against all comers. It is the mindset necessary to be a bunker dweller, unwilling and unable to look anew at information and evidence that undermines your faith.”]

    Well saved, however you make many claims and that uncovers the fact that we all have presuppositions and faith in some world views. Question is do we challenge our own world views. Guess what I have changed some of my world views and some of my faith, I use to be crazy charismatic, but for the last 15 to 20 years most of the books and churches I visit are Baptist in nature. Also note that all Christians have doubts. This is not a problem for us, “doubting Thomas” had same problem but he was not rejected by Jesus. In fact reason why this blog is called Defend the Word is precisely because I was struggling with number of issues and once I have found the answer I wanted to share this with others. My views have been changed, for example I use to think that there are no issues whatsoever with any of the texts in the Bible. Today I will willingly admit that there are minor issues, small texts at the end of the Gospel of Mark, or story about Promiscuous women caught in adulterer where Jesus says he who is without sin let him throw the first stone. I have accepted that these stories are probably not part of the original text. But these are only minor issues; they make less than 1% of the New Testament text. So no amendment in theology is needed etc, etc. We all grow in our understanding, question is will this make us more arrogant and less palatable to others. I would refuse to be called intelligent but intolerant of less capable “unfortunate idiots”. I love people and love learning what they think and why. I love telling them my views and then if they are willing share why I think some of their ideas may be wrong.

    [“Against the beliefs of such people, atheists have learned to simply laugh, poke fun, ridicule, and belittle. There’s nothing else that has any effect in the wider conversation with those who are still open to debate.”]

    I think starting point is that we both have open and hones starts, when we disagree then there comes a point where it becomes pointless to continue if both sides are entrenched in their positions. Luckily we both live in the free world where we don’t have to be in a way of each other. You are invited and approved to comment here as long as we maintain civility. If we use logic then there is no need for abusive tactics simply pointing that one side is at fault should suffice. But what worries me is that you are not certain about things on one hand but there is much persuasion so much so to ridicule the opposing world views and poor unfortunate people in particular. That does not sound right to me.

    Defend the word

  4. [“This comparison has been debunked repeatedly.”]

    Question is if the answers are not satisfactory should then not be challenged.

    [“Communist Russia, like all other historical examples of totalitarian states, did not come into being by the rising up of atheists, murdering in the name of human rights and dignity, arming hordes of atheists to do battle in the name of critical reasoning.”]

    Christians would argue that human rights find their origins in the Bible, so I would not use that argument against Christians. Try telling this to William Wilbersworth, who stood against slavery and the slave trade in 1800s England, he was devout Christian and was actively involved in the life of Church.

    [“We can clearly establish a direct line of causation between a group of Saudi Arabians enticed and recruited through their visits to their mosques, entering into training under the religious doctrine of Wahhabism, being funded and trained by clerics of Wahhabism, going on a mission with the direct intention of causing mass murder in the name of the god of Wahhabism, and we can hear each pilot call out a religious phrase – God is Great – as they fly their hijacked planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. There is no such counter example for atheism. Atheists do not kill in the name of atheism, including Stalin. Stalin killed in the name of power. Namely, his own.”]

    We can both agree that extremism is bad for humanity and therefore any such religion is oppressive. But what do you say to many moderate Moslems? Also note that you are talking to a Christian so more appropriate example would be Gorge Bush, or Tony Blair. Remember that every action causes equality strong reaction. Also note that political influences and abuses are just as much to be blamed as religious views can be.

    But nothing justifies use of power where there is a room for negotiation and reason. There were 1 million people in Central London protesting against war in Iraq before we were taken there but we had no control over that, sometimes things are taken out of our hands and small groups of people will act in their own faith but pretend that they present majority and highjack the faith of others. But you will not see me ridiculing all atheists just because some are keen to see all religious people exterminated. Your last comments about atheist not killing in the name of atheist world views just study French Revolution, and carefully examine why Communist Russia and China killed so many Christians?

    Defend the word

  5. tildeb says:

    Thank you for your concern. There isn’t a day go by where other people’s religion doesn’t impose itself into my life. I have no problem if people want to believe stuff that I find wanting. But I do have a problem when it interferes with my life, so I write. I try to explain to individuals why religious belief contains very substantial weaknesses, so much so that it should be withdrawn from the public domain and returned to the private.

    You will note that you have dismissed every point I have raised. I suspect you do not understand that you have refuted none of them due to a lack of critical review, meaning that your response to me lacks a method of conversing that a) recognizes the point I have made , and b) reveals any kind of problem or weakness with the reasoning. Assuming that our mutual goal is not necessarily to convince but to inform the other of these alternate positions, can you grasp why atheism is in fact a very legitimate and justifiable world view, one that is at least as respectable as any religious one, and that nonbelief in no way reflects poorly on one’s moral character or ethical behaviour?

  6. tildeb says:

    Then challenge the assertion that it has been debunked. That means show why the debunking is incorrect and re-establish why the comparison remains accurate. You’ve done none of this.

    If you want to argue that human rights come from the bible, then prove it. Slavery is explicitly condoned and the bible has a long history of being used to justify slavery. That a few good people, who just so happened to be Christians (albeit poor ones if they went against scripture to the thinking of literalists), stood up against such a despicable practice does support Christianity: it happened in spite of it. The evidence is that many good Christians owned slaves!

    Do me a favour: try calling a muslim a moderate and I think you will be very surprised by the response. It may even open your eyes.

    You suggest that the cause of the attacks were as much for some ‘other’ reason than religiously inspired. Prove it.

    I have yet to hear any atheist suggest that religious people should be exterminated. That’s an invention. Atheists by and large have greater respect for people and their rights than any other consideration and vociferously criticize any belief that suggests that these rights should be suppressed for other reasons, especially theologically based notions. Gay rights is a perfect example where a group of citizens are denied equal legal status as others based mostly on a theological difference.

    And please stop using such broad strokes to identify what atheism looks like in action. Atheism means nonbelief. Again, please understand that it is not now nor has ever been a rallying cry for unbelievers to take up armed conflict against anyone. If you honestly think that the French revolution was all about nonbelief, then your knowledge of history is badly skewed. You may WANT to identify these violent times as being examples of ‘militant’ atheism, so prove it. If you make a claim, back it up with more than assertion and assumption and nonsense.

    ANSWER FROM DEFEND THE WORD

    [“Then challenge the assertion that it has been debunked. That means show why the debunking is incorrect and re-establish why the comparison remains accurate. You’ve done none of this.”]

    If you come from western part of the world you get all your right from the Bible. I don’t think this is news to you, you sound like man who would know. Don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie, etc. all have their parts to play in our morality and just read what Jesus says in Luke 6:31 “Do to others as you would have them do to you”. In other words treat others the way you would like to be treated. Dignity desire to see equality in our work places and even Union movements have deep roots with protestant Christianity.

    [“If you want to argue that human rights come from the bible, then prove it. Slavery is explicitly condoned and the bible has a long history of being used to justify slavery. That a few good people, who just so happened to be Christians (albeit poor ones if they went against scripture to the thinking of literalists), stood up against such a despicable practice does support Christianity: it happened in spite of it. The evidence is that many good Christians owned slaves!”]

    Evidence also shows that there were also people who were not Christians who owed slaves. So I don’t think we should play the blame game. Bible concept of slavery is completely different, this is when people voluntarily sell themselves, and this is for limited time 7 years. Any property also had to be returned to the original owners. So it is incorrect to say that the Bible promotes slavery. If you were able to buy yourself out this was also possible. These concepts are completely different to 19th Century evil that was unfortunately supported by some Christians. But note that many have also used EVOLUTION to justify this abhorrent action. SO does this mean you will stop believing in evolution now? I think both you and I will agree that it is evil to have slaves and Bible most certainly does not endorse it. When in New Testament Paul is talking about it he is talking this in the historical context where Romans had slaves. But like with Jews you could buy yourself out, and Roman citizenship so again this differs from what you link to 19th Century slave trade.

    [“Do me a favour: try calling a muslim a moderate and I think you will be very surprised by the response. It may even open your eyes.”]

    I have done this, there is a lady that sits next to me and she is a Moslem at work and she agrees with me that there are extremists that give bad name to the rest of the community.

    [“You suggest that the cause of the attacks were as much for some ‘other’ reason than religiously inspired. Prove it.”]

    As per the above example, she suggested that anger of many Moslems is that they get targeted because of the oil, that black gold is often main objective as otherwise out post industrial revolution would collapse, so I would agree partially with their objection.

    [“I have yet to hear any atheist suggest that religious people should be exterminated. That’s an invention. Atheists by and large have greater respect for people and their rights than any other consideration and vociferously criticize any belief that suggests that these rights should be suppressed for other reasons, especially theologically based notions.”]

    Here is the bit from Wikipedia I would guess this would be acceptable to you.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dechristianisation_of_France_during_the_French_Revolution

    “The dechristianisation of France reached its zenith around the middle of 1794 with the fall of Robespierre. By early 1795 a return to some form of religion-based faith was beginning to take shape and a law passed on February 21, 1795 legalised public worship, albeit with strict limitations. The ringing of church bells, religious processions and displays of the Christian cross were still forbidden. As late as 1799, priests were still being imprisoned or deported to penal colonies and persecution only worsened after the French army led by General Louis Alexandre Berthier captured Rome and imprisoned Pope Pius VI, who would die in captivity in Valence, France in August of 1799. Ultimately, with Napoleon now in ascendancy in France, year-long negotiations between government officials and the new Pope, Pius VII, led to the Concordat of 1801, formally ending the dechristianisation period and establishing the rules for a relationship between the Roman Church and the French State.
    Victims of the Reign of Terror totaled somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000. According to one estimate, among those condemned by the revolutionary tribunals, about 8 percent were aristocrats, 6 percent clergy, 14 percent middle class, and 70 percent were workers or peasants accused of hoarding, evading the draft, desertion, rebellion, and other purported crimes. [7] Of these social groupings, the clergy of the Roman Catholic church suffered proportionately the greatest loss. [7]
    While persecution of certain Roman Catholic clerics and monastic orders occurred during the Third Republic, the Concordat of 1801 endured for more than a century until it was abrogated by the government of the Third Republic, which established a policy of laïcité on December 11, 1905.”

    [“Gay rights is a perfect example where a group of citizens are denied equal legal status as others based mostly on a theological difference.”]

    Actually as liberally minded person you approve of democratic laws, and yes faith may play the part, but note that this is based on the laws that you approve of. You go with what the majority goes with, otherwise we are right back at the morality question, and if you answer that with evolution as most atheist do then you have non legs to stand on. If on the other hand you invoke morality that is based on permanent laws then where do you get them unless you refer to such thing as the Bible.

    [“And please stop using such broad strokes to identify what atheism looks like in action. Atheism means nonbelief. Again, please understand that it is not now nor has ever been a rallying cry for unbelievers to take up armed conflict against anyone. If you honestly think that the French revolution was all about nonbelief, then your knowledge of history is badly skewed.”]

    Wikipedia and many other historians will beg to differ with your assertion maybe you need to check your facts before making such claims. Following is again from Wiki go here for more information http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobin_Club or http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/299007/Jacobin-Club and Finally see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reign_of_Terror

    “The Jacobin Club was the largest and most powerful political club of the French Revolution. It originated as the Club Benthorn, formed at Versailles as a group of Breton deputies to the Estates General of 1789. At the height of its influence, there were thousands of chapters throughout France, with a membership estimated at 420,000. After the fall of Robespierre the club was closed.
    Initially moderate, after the death of Mirabeau the club became notorious for its implementation of the Reign of Terror and for tacitly condoning the September Massacres. To this day, the terms Jacobin and Jacobinism are used as pejoratives for left-wing revolutionary politics and more recently for extremist centralist views.”
    You would do well to read their arguments and how they started, it is remarkably similar to some of the arguments you will find with Carl Marx and others who propagated atheism very strongly.

    [“You may WANT to identify these violent times as being examples of ‘militant’ atheism, so prove it. If you make a claim, back it up with more than assertion and assumption and nonsense.”]

    French revolution is not the only example I just didn’t want to refer back to 20 mil of killed people in Russia and 40 Mil in China or Cambodia, etc, etc this murderess period is something we need to be aware of and ideology that was responsible was unfortunately atheism. This does not mean that atheist today have same ideology I hope people have learned their lesson. But then again I have to say if people don’t know their history (This is what you accused me of) then we are bound to make same mistakes. Please don’t get angry when I point out your errors, my goal is to clarify not humiliate, I have enjoyed our exchanges and would hope to hear back from you.

    Kind regards

    Defend the word

  7. [“Thank you for your concern. There isn’t a day go by where other people’s religion doesn’t impose itself into my life. I have no problem if people want to believe stuff that I find wanting. But I do have a problem when it interferes with my life, so I write. I try to explain to individuals why religious belief contains very substantial weaknesses, so much so that it should be withdrawn from the public domain and returned to the private.”]

    I don’t know what you find in your environment but here in UK opposite is true, this country is fiercely secular even though there are some vestigial influences in the house of Lords. There is all kind of stuff on our TV’s and everywhere you look people not only challenge religion but actively oppose it. So you would not be in minority in Western Europe if you come from USA.

    [“You will note that you have dismissed every point I have raised. I suspect you do not understand that you have refuted none of them due to a lack of critical review, meaning that your response to me lacks a method of conversing that a) recognizes the point I have made , and b) reveals any kind of problem or weakness with the reasoning. Assuming that our mutual goal is not necessarily to convince but to inform the other of these alternate positions, can you grasp why atheism is in fact a very legitimate and justifiable world view, one that is at least as respectable as any religious one, and that nonbelief in no way reflects poorly on one’s moral character or ethical behaviour?”]

    Yes we do disagree on many issues but we also agree on many. Like you I get angered with many loony churches. I oppose authoritarian rule of many unreasonable people and you will find some criticism of them on this blog, i.e. when people use their position to control others, God give us freedom and we should respect that. Invitation from God is for us to come, and not manipulate others to stay.

    On the issues of pointing out your errors in logic, I have tried hard not to offend you, but I can’t be honest with you and not let you know when I disagree with you. I hope that what I said is clear and concise otherwise we will be here forever. I was rather hopeful that you would see clear distinction between your argument and where I challenged your presuppositions. (Your starting points) But note that I don’t mean to say that I’m better than you in any way, most of what I know is due to others correcting me in the past and showing the reasoning and logic behind the arguments. If they are not clear to you, this could be because we may need to refer to original video or text before you could understand full implications. So don’t take them out of context, all of the ideas and arguments used by me in our exchanges are interconnected with the original challenge you give to the original video.

    Note I never said that you will be immoral if you are atheist, whenever Christians bring this up in any argument is just to point that we need to look at the origin of such behaviour.

  8. tildeb says:

    I find this format difficult and cumbersome to converse. I wish to respond to the very first point I raised way up there at the top that the analogy that atheism leads to mass murder has been debunked. I explained why these totalitarian states did not represent, nor come into being by, atheists or atheism, nor were the murdering done in the name of promoting atheism’s goal of nonbelief in supernaturalism unless and until there is better evidence for these assertions than against.

    To refute my point originally, you stated that you thought the answer was unsatisfactory. I pointed out that this was just another assertion that did not address my point. I wrote that you needed to explain why. You then responded with yet another assertion that because we in the West get all our rights from the Bible (which needs YOU not me to justify such a statement that I think borders on the ludicrous) as well as our morality (which I know is just plain wrong and easily refuted with childhood studies that clearly show moral action without any knowledge of the bible) we therefore…?

    Let’s go back to that very first point, that you provide evidence that links totalitarian states to its root cause, namely atheism. In other words, show how one CAUSES the other; show how atheism CAUSES totalitarian states. That clerics are killed or even targeted is not evidence for this link, any more than the killing of atheists negates the link. If the link is there, show me evidence that we can wrestle with and get to the bottom of the matter. But don’t trry to do so by simply making ridiculous assertions that human rights come from the bible or that morality comes from the bible. We can tackle those assertions later. Let’s just stick to the first before we go on the second.

    Show me the link.

    And please DO point out any errors in logic you think I have made. If I am making an error in logic, I want to correct it.

    Also, I have a thick skin. Do not concern yourself with protecting my feelings; when it comes to knowledge, or following the evidence, we can let our feelings take care of themselves.

  9. tildeb says:

    I had an islamic imam take great exception to my suggestion about being a moderate muslim. He assured me that there are only two kinds: good muslims and those who need to be good muslims. Extremists were simply those people who could be better muslims! How does one say anything after that?

  10. Well you and I have obviously slightly varied experience but this does not mean that there are no distinctions between extremists and moderates. Otherwise this term would not be used in our Medias. Unless you suggest that mostly liberal leaning media has some agenda that is not imminently obvious to us? Secondly your explanation only gives different names this may mean exactly the same; change of name does not necessarily imply change of definition.

  11. [“I find this format difficult and cumbersome to converse. I wish to respond to the very first point I raised way up there at the top that the analogy that atheism leads to mass murder has been debunked. I explained why these totalitarian states did not represent, nor come into being by, atheists or atheism, nor were the murdering done in the name of promoting atheism’s goal of nonbelief in supernaturalism unless and until there is better evidence for these assertions than against.”]

    First let me thank you for being so understanding and patient, but this is what happens when we communicate through written word. Let me try and clarify this so there are no confusions where I come from.

    1. Need for control: Atheism is not ideology that drove people to be murdered on its own. It is other ideology that accompanies atheism. Not believing usually causes non action it is belief in other ideas that causes action. And this is where the problem rises. When people believe that they have right to control what is being thought and shared publicly and they should be the gate keepers to all our ideology in order to protect ignorant masses that we first see problems arising. When desire to stop others to believe in God and when atheist’s world views are based on their faith that there is no God, atheists make first cardinal error of logic and reason.

    2. Claim of superior knowledge: When picture is painted of intellectual superiority and ignorant masses are viewed as needing protection from themselves then you have recipe for totalitarianism. You will find many comments even in this blog where faith is ridiculed, and by your own admission this tactics is used on people you think may be intelligent and susceptible to those humiliating tactics.

    3. If lies and skilful media: are being used to further their agenda, and if one of the main points in this control is assertion that there is no God then this becomes mind manipulation. I have said lies, as if there is no evidence that there is no God but when one ideologically driven government insists in pursuing this agenda then they have to used lie in order to “persuade” the “gullible” people. In other words when people publicly state that science has shown us that there is no God. They are skilfully manipulating people; they invoke their intellectual pride and at the same time hope that there would be sufficient lack of understanding to challenge this presupposition.

    4. Non belief is a belief in non existence of God; it is not logically correct for atheists to claim that they disbelieve. They believe that despite the lack of evidence they should not put their faith in believing but in not believing. Faith is therefore required on both sides of the argument. Otherwise please let me know how do you know that there is no God. And if you don’t know that there is or is not potential for a God, should you not be form of agnostic rather than atheist?

    [“To refute my point originally, you stated that you thought the answer was unsatisfactory. I pointed out that this was just another assertion that did not address my point. I wrote that you needed to explain why. You then responded with yet another assertion that because we in the West get all our rights from the Bible (which needs YOU not me to justify such a statement that I think borders on the ludicrous) as well as our morality (which I know is just plain wrong and easily refuted with childhood studies that clearly show moral action without any knowledge of the bible) we therefore…?”]

    I am glad that you understood my point of a week argument, the issue of ideology and cultural behaviour is self evident, whenever atheists attempt to refute Christians by using philosophical material that is obtained from Biblical principles then this issue is right to be challenged. You say that this is ludicrous so let me quote Wiki for you again.

    Note that if your statistical data and study was conducted in the west, this immediately makes it invalidated because like it or not according to the article in the Wiki (Link for you below) our laws and therefore our morality is based on the Biblical principles. Even if you believe that our behaviour evolved, you will draw heavily on the morality of the Bible. And wherever this is the case, you will have heavy cultural influence that is either crept in through their parents or influences of their school or other educational sources. Note that studies also show that hooliganism in our western UK societies are common when this influence is removed. So leaving children to their own resources you truly have “lord of the flies” scenario where it goes down hill to kinds of gang mentality. Where strong rules the weaker subjects to their own benefits.

    “Western law refers to the legal traditions of Western culture. Western culture has an idea of the importance of law which has its roots in both Roman law and the Bible. As Western culture has a Graeco-Roman Classical and Renaissance cultural influence, so does its legal systems.” Here is the link for more information.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_law

    [“Let’s go back to that very first point, that you provide evidence that links totalitarian states to its root cause, namely atheism. In other words, show how one CAUSES the other; show how atheism CAUSES totalitarian states. That clerics are killed or even targeted is not evidence for this link, any more than the killing of atheists negates the link. If the link is there, show me evidence that we can wrestle with and get to the bottom of the matter. But don’t try to do so by simply making ridiculous assertions that human rights come from the bible or that morality comes from the bible. We can tackle those assertions later. Let’s just stick to the first before we go on the second.”]

    I think I have answered this in the above few paragraphs but let me summarise and possibly repackage my thinking for you. Atheism is accompanying ideology that is responsible for the way we act. Whilst it may not be originator in the move to destroy other human beings, it certainly contributes to the attitude that if you are not going to be judged and made responsible then you may just as well act according to any ideology you may like. In other words whilst it may not be the catalyst for the mass murder it is a vital component, humanism has at its heart atheism. It tells us that humans are the top dogs, excuse the pan here.

    So when you replace God with the humans then you remove any constant that may hold you responsible for your actions here on earth. As without God there is no good or evil, it is all just action and reactions to our social needs and our survival driven behaviour could justify any kind of behaviour. We should not worry about global warming, we should not be concerned with extinctions of our wild life, we should not worry about the poor children dying from starvation as their parents died from aids etc. Note I did not say you don’t have compassion, or that atheists are not caring people. Only that our actions are driven by our ideology, and for atheists in the western part of the world like it or not they need to recognise that their actions are engraved in our conciseness through many generations of philosophers and scientists who were educated and grew up in the environment that is saturated with religious symbolism and teaching.

    [“Show me the link. And please DO point out any errors in logic you think I have made. If I am making an error in logic, I want to correct it. Also, I have a thick skin. Do not concern yourself with protecting my feelings; when it comes to knowledge, or following the evidence, we can let our feelings take care of themselves.”]

    This is where you and I differ, I have heard this before, let me demonstrate our difference by quoting atheist comedian whose name escapes me.

    “People and parents should not be given any respect; they have to earn the respect. They teach their children that God created the world they deserve to be ridiculed and have their children removed and given to sane family”

    Here is the paraphrased version for us to look at, that I give you before, i.e. words of wisdom that Christians use, it is the saying of Jesus. “Treat others the way you would like to be treated”. In other words the reversal is true for Christians. You respect people unless you find out that they do not deserve the respect.

    So this universal respect is designed to promote conversation and understanding rather than dictatorial dishing out of their brand of judgemental justice. I will not disrespect of mock anyone, as much as I can humanly do, I do have to admit that everyone can and does react to attacks and likewise I have to apologise that in the past I have pointed rather strongly to some of the logical errors where they were made by people rushing to make judgemental comments without asking relevant questions first.

  12. tildeb says:

    Again, this is a very long response filled with assertions that are ill-founded. But if nothing else I am dogged, so let’s look at only your evidence that links atheism to totalitarian states.

    You write in point 1) Atheism is not ideology that drove people to be murdered on its own. It is other ideology that accompanies atheism. By this I think you mean that atheism allows some other ideology to flourish, and that together these two cause totalitarianism… the second ideology based on atheism. Then you explain that Not believing usually causes non action. This is self-evident: I cannot even begin to reveal all the non beliefs you have leading you to non action. You then go on to affirm that it is belief in other ideas that causes action. The word ‘other’ is quite misleading because it is unnecessary. It is indeed belief in ideas that is the ground of our actions. Note that we are in agreement: that action is grounded in belief. Action is not a natural response to non belief in something else; it is a directed response to something that is believed… presumably believed to be TRUE. Then you write a most peculiar sentence, When people believe that they have right to control what is being thought and shared publicly and they should be the gate keepers to all our ideology in order to protect ignorant masses that we first see problems arising. The first thing that comes to my mind with this sentiment is what we see from political systems that do exactly this, that have the authority to censor. Totalitarian states aside for the moment, the only other source are theocracies. Western liberal democracies based on constitutional rights establish the basis of law necessary to thwart political powers from imposing exactly the kind of authority we both agree is such a problem. But then you leap into this sentence, When desire to stop others to believe in God and when atheist’s world views are based on their faith that there is no God, atheists make first cardinal error of logic and reason, to which I must respond in the next paragraph.

    I have a desire to have other believe in what is probably true, probably accurate, probably correct. That sentiment is widely shared, perhaps even the central tenet of atheism. Note that this position is not a negative in the sense that you suggest of wanting to enforce non belief. It is a position of promoting what’s true. Although the former will be challenged to justify beliefs, the latter is the objective. Religious belief musty be challenged to justify itself on this basis of what’s probably true, probably accurate, probably correct. The reason for this challenge is because much of religious belief – and I would argue many popular beliefs – are not based on what is true, accurate, and correct. And when action is based on such a faulty assumption as belief that probably is not true, is not accurate, is not correct, then – as we both agree, we have some serious problems. This not an error of logic and most definitely not a weakness in reasoning but a strength. Justified beliefs are a strength. Unjustified beliefs are a weakness. Reason plays a central role in determining the difference between them.

    In your second point you write Claim of superior knowledge: When picture is painted of intellectual superiority and ignorant masses are viewed as needing protection from themselves then you have recipe for totalitarianism. I agree. Thank goodness our laws prevent such an imposition. But think for a moment: if your daughter had a brain tumor and you wanted medical advice, would you go searching for the least informed medical person? Wouldn’t you, instead, seek out the person with the greatest knowledge and expertise? How can you attribute knowledge of greater depth to be a bad thing? Of course we should respect the opinions of people who have such depth of intellectual capacity pertaining to the subject at hand. Such a medical expert has not simply put on a robe and stepped infront of a congregation and announced his or her ability to diagnose and operate in some medical capacity. Such a person has earned the medical knowledge not by revelation but by study, tutelage, practice, and applied experience. For a religious person to draw the conclusion that one’s medical knowledge based on revelation should or ought to be equivalent of respect with the honest and dedicated practitioner is an affront to reason. For the supporters of such a person of revelation to claim that detractors are arrogant and strident and militant and intellectual snobs is as absurd as religious supporters claiming practitioners of reason – those who respect justified beliefs – are guilty of faulty logic and reasoning. If what’s probably true, probably accurate, probably correct doesn’t matter to the detractor, then what claim can they have for the higher ground in logic and reasoning?

    In conclusion, you have not shown why atheists are linked moreso to the creation of totalitarian states than the religious. In fact, there is a much greater danger to all from those who are willing to undermine the laws of secular liberal democracies in the name of some religious belief. Once the laws are undermined, then and only then can some political power assume the kind of authority necessary to create a totalitarian state, and this is exactly what has happened in our historical examples. The only difference is that the label of atheists has been placed upon those who helped undermine the laws, whereas in fact atheists are the very last people to want to do such a thing. Your argument continues to be unsupported by anything more than assertion.

    As a bit of an aside, when someone insists that justified beliefs is besides the point when it comes to religious truth claims, then what’s wrong with ridicule? After all, such a position doesn’t allow for what’s probably true, accurate and correct to mean anything relevant; revelation is simply asserted to be the equal to any and all truth claims. I would hope such a believer who subjected a child to the ministrations of a person of medical revelation rather than a medical practitioner would also be ridiculed for allowing their cherished ignorance to equal medical knowledge and then act on such a terrible assertion. After all, I am a supporter in the thinking that the solution to any problem lies with ignorance.

  13. tildeb says:

    In my last sentence, I write: After all, I am a supporter in the thinking that the solution to any problem lies with ignorance. That should read: After all, I am a supporter in the thinking that NO solution to any problem lies with ignorance.

  14. tildeb says:

    And this is a very important distinction you make. I wish you would carry your thinking further.

    If there is a difference between moderate and extremist, then what is it? I am quite convinced that there is a difference but what might it be? If it is to what extent someone acts on their religious beliefs that determines the difference between moderate and extremist, then the moderate, who presumably acts less literally, will be accused of being less religious, less pious, less respectful of the Word, less of a believer, and so on. If someone actually puts into practice all the commandments and approbations from the various holy texts, then they can also be accused of acting in a way that is too religious, too pious, to literalist of the Word, too much of a believer, and so on.

    Regardless of this criteria, my point remains that it from the ranks of the religious moderates – and everybody who is religious begins in this default position – that come the extremists because the only way to determine the difference is by action. And by then, it’s too late. That’s why I continue to insist that the probability of the next suicide mass murderer will not be promoting atheism because based on previous suicide bombings, the main common thread is that the perpetrators are religious. I will even test my theory and predict that the next 1000 suicide mass murderers will not be atheists. I will, instead, predict right here and now that the next 1000 suicide mass murderers will be from the ranks of religious people. Statistically, if we divide the recent PEW percentages by 90% just to cover ourselves for the margin of error many times over, there should at the very least be somewhere around 1% of these suicide bombers who are atheists. That means for every hundred suicide bombings, at least one must be an atheist. Let’s see if that’s true.

    If my prediction is correct, then it lends weight to my assertion that moderate religious people afford cover for the more extreme religious people who act out their beliefs by sacrificing themselves in this world for the benefits that will be accrued by carrying out some religiously sanctified horror rewarded in the next. If there is a sudden spate of suicide bombers who are atheists, however, then that will afford evidence that extremists can come from the non belief ranks, too.

    Are you game?

  15. tildeb says:

    In point 3) you write If lies and skilful media: are being used to further their agenda, and if one of the main points in this control is assertion that there is no God then this becomes mind manipulation.

    Lies? Skillful media? Agenda? Control? Mind manipulation? If by all this conspiratorial talk you actually mean atheists speaking publicly trying to convince people not to afford religion any respect in areas of influence where it clearly deserves none, then I guess we agree. You can call it mind manipulation; I can call it education.

    You continue I have said lies, as if there is no evidence that there is no God but when one ideologically driven government insists in pursuing this agenda then they have to used lie in order to “persuade” the “gullible” people. By ideologically driven government, I think you are actually suggesting that governments of western secular liberal democracies are pursuing some atheist conspiracy agenda. That’s just whacked. So I asked some atheist friends of mine and they just laughed. Seems the opposite is beleived: that government tends to fail to protect its secular laws properly from the influence of religion, and that government is often the front man for the liturgical gangsters who keep trying to insert religion where it has no business being, namely, in the public domain.

    You then clarify: In other words when people publicly state that science has shown us that there is no God. Science has shown us no such thing. The difference is subtle but pay attention please: scientific inquiry has yet to reveal any scientific evidence FOR god. You may not like this point, but nevertheless it remains true. So far. I mean, we are a relatively young species. Give our science some time.

    You go on They are skilfully manipulating people; they invoke their intellectual pride and at the same time hope that there would be sufficient lack of understanding to challenge this presupposition. ‘They’ meaning politicians, atheists, scientists? Who? And by manipulating do you mean educating? There really is a difference, you know. I don’t think it is manipulating anyone by revealing what’s probably true, probably accurate, probably correct with lots of evidence to back up these claims for each person’s perusal whenever and wherever he or she wishes to do so. That policy hardly sounds to me like a dastardly conspiracy. The lack of understanding, however, is a legitimate point, and a great source of angst for atheists everywhere. Our population needs to be better educated. When 40% of Americans (13% in the UK) think that evolution is a belief system with which they can legitimately and with reason disagree, then that’s quite clearly a failure in education. As to what ‘this presupposition’ you refer to might be, I haven’t a clue.

    And now the doozy in point 4) Non belief is a belief in non existence of God; it is not logically correct for atheists to claim that they disbelieve.

    You claim that non belief is a belief, which is a very strange position to take, and then say that atheists have a logic problem? Um… no, actually. As surprising as it may be, non belief means simply that: non belief. In this particular case we are discussing god so, without compelling reasons to do so, many people simply don’t believe. That’s as far as the non belief goes: no reason to believe. Whatever else you want to read into that is simply you. It comes from you. Provide reasons to inform the belief into something justifiable and you’ll have a passel of atheists changing their mind. Otherwise please let me know how do you know that there is no God. I don’t know if there is no god. I don’t know if there IS a god. I don’t know if mushrooms are intergalactic spies, either. But unless and until good evidence comes along to inform a belief in either, why is non belief such a difficult concept to grasp? How can you exercise a non muscle, for example? How does non belief get exercised? It’s an absurdity. Non belief is something you do not do every day. You do not believe that carrots are the source of human morality because there is no compelling reason for you to justify such a belief. And that’s good! Justified belief is a good thing! It’s not a mushroom or carrot conspiracy if you don’t believe they are more than what they are: a type of fungus and a type of vegetable. Non belief in unjustified beliefs is a sign of rational thinking.

    You conclude this paragraph with And if you don’t know that there is or is not potential for a God, should you not be form of agnostic rather than atheist? And this I think is a really interesting question.

    Gnosticism is about knowledge. Agnosticism is about a lack of knowledge. There are many who would prefer that anything less than certainty requires the truthful admission in this sense of agnosticism. Even Dawkins places his certainty that there is no god on a six out of seven. See? There’s that space for possibilities. He’s pretty sure, but not certain. The same is true for all scientists about all areas of knowledge: pretty sure, but not certain. Only with the religious do we allow this absurd finality about certainty: I am certain that there is a god. I am certain that he created the universe and made me in his image. I am certain it is a he; I am certain the bible is his word, and I am certain that if I believe correctly I will enter his kingdom after death. I am certain that he sent his only begotten son to die on the cross and redeem humanity for its sins. I am certain this god is personally concerned about me, my behaviour, my diet, my dress, my sexual appetites, my thoughts, and so on. And religious people call atheists arrogant? A hundred trillion stars in our galaxy and those we can see, and billions of galaxies. But He helped me catch this football and is concerned if a female bares any skin? Really? All this certainty, no evidence to back it up. And we are to respect such arrogance?

    Not according to the New Atheists. It’s time to examine religion like any other inquiry and expose it for what it is: a set of beliefs that may or may not be true. Let’s find out.

    But should each of us really be agnostic in all claims? Do we really entertain doubt that we’re not really late for work because it is possible that some alien intervention set every clock artificially ahead? Or can we assume that with so many clocks in agreement we can set aside our claim to agnosticism and accept that we really are just late for work?

    I think probabilities replaces this notion of uncertainty. We probably do revolve around the sun because so many expert sources assures us that this heliocentric version works really well in practice. Just like gravity. It’s a good starting position to assume that these kinds of things are probably true and we should act accordingly. Maybe gravity and the laws of physics are suspended somewhere in the universe but lets assume not. Let’s assume that the same laws that apply here in physics will apply elsewhere unless and until we have some reason to think otherwise. Let’s not pretend that we are agnostic about jumping off a bridge and zooming upwards, although it may be possible; instead, let’s call ourselves pretty sure that we will fall and plan on it until we have reason to think otherwise.

    Agnosticism in this sense is a coward’s version of atheism. It pretends that the improbability of something is equal or pretty close to the probability of some claim being true and this just isn’t the case. But I do think a lot of people never really give religion much thought and go along with crowd, claiming agnosticism as a diversion not from finding out what’s probably true, probably correct, probably accurate, but merely a way to avoid the negative associations heaped on atheism. It’s safer.

  16. [“In point 3) you write If lies and skilful media: are being used to further their agenda, and if one of the main points in this control is assertion that there is no God then this becomes mind manipulation.Lies? Skillful media? Agenda? Control? Mind manipulation? If by all this conspiratorial talk you actually mean atheists speaking publicly trying to convince people not to afford religion any respect in areas of influence where it clearly deserves none, then I guess we agree. You can call it mind manipulation; I can call it education.”]

    OK at least we do agree on something that is a good place to start.

    [“You continue I have said lies, as if there is no evidence that there is no God but when one ideologically driven government insists in pursuing this agenda then they have to used lie in order to “persuade” the “gullible” people. By ideologically driven government, I think you are actually suggesting that governments of western secular liberal democracies are pursuing some atheist conspiracy agenda. That’s just whacked. So I asked some atheist friends of mine and they just laughed. Seems the opposite is beleived: that government tends to fail to protect its secular laws properly from the influence of religion, and that government is often the front man for the liturgical gangsters who keep trying to insert religion where it has no business being, namely, in the public domain.”]

    Actually I was referring to the Communist regimes, but with the rise of secularism and Humanism this is not far of in western Europe. Probably not true in USA, but then again I don’t reside in USA so I’m not qualified to comment on that one.

    [“You then clarify: In other words when people publicly state that science has shown us that there is no God. Science has shown us no such thing. The difference is subtle but pay attention please: scientific inquiry has yet to reveal any scientific evidence FOR god. You may not like this point, but nevertheless it remains true. So far. I mean, we are a relatively young species. Give our science some time.”]

    OK so you pay attention back (only Joking) How can you make such leap of faith on the negative assertion but you criticise Christians for going the other way. Is that not hypocritical if you are going to use Criticism of faith?

    [“You go on They are skilfully manipulating people; they invoke their intellectual pride and at the same time hope that there would be sufficient lack of understanding to challenge this presupposition. ‘They’ meaning politicians, atheists, scientists? Who?”]

    As in the above answer this was linked to the Communist regimes that pushed atheism as their religion.

    [“And by manipulating do you mean educating? There really is a difference, you know. I don’t think it is manipulating anyone by revealing what’s probably true, probably accurate, probably correct with lots of evidence to back up these claims for each person’s perusal whenever and wherever he or she wishes to do so. That policy hardly sounds to me like a dastardly conspiracy. The lack of understanding, however, is a legitimate point, and a great source of angst for atheists everywhere. Our population needs to be better educated. When 40% of Americans (13% in the UK) think that evolution is a belief system with which they can legitimately and with reason disagree, then that’s quite clearly a failure in education. As to what ‘this presupposition’ you refer to might be, I haven’t a clue.”]

    Education is a very interesting word, it means to impart knowledge but when educators are wrong where does that live those who are being educated.

    [“And now the doozy in point 4) Non belief is a belief in non existence of God; it is not logically correct for atheists to claim that they disbelieve.You claim that non belief is a belief, which is a very strange position to take, and then say that atheists have a logic problem? Um… no, actually. As surprising as it may be, non belief means simply that: non belief. In this particular case we are discussing god so, without compelling reasons to do so, many people simply don’t believe.”]

    You just owned up that you do not have all the evidence so you base your faith on probability in the same way as I do when I think of the Big Bang, I know there has to be the original cause.

    [“That’s as far as the non belief goes: no reason to believe. Whatever else you want to read into that is simply you. It comes from you. Provide reasons to inform the belief into something justifiable and you’ll have a passel of atheists changing their mind. Otherwise please let me know how do you know that there is no God. I don’t know if there is no god. I don’t know if there IS a god. I don’t know if mushrooms are intergalactic spies, either. But unless and until good evidence comes along to inform a belief in either, why is non belief such a difficult concept to grasp? How can you exercise a non muscle, for example? How does non belief get exercised? It’s an absurdity. Non belief is something you do not do every day. You do not believe that carrots are the source of human morality because there is no compelling reason for you to justify such a belief. And that’s good! Justified belief is a good thing! It’s not a mushroom or carrot conspiracy if you don’t believe they are more than what they are: a type of fungus and a type of vegetable. Non belief in unjustified beliefs is a sign of rational thinking.”]

    Again you go into silly examples and you use that as an excuse when no explanation is available to you. You can not come to any conclusion and that includes scientific enquiry without using faith. So lets not pretend otherwise. When science is progresses it is basing its faith in the “Fact” that the original assertions are correct, those are the legs that it uses to stand when moving from gravity to aerodynamics when designing planes.

    [“You conclude this paragraph with And if you don’t know that there is or is not potential for a God, should you not be form of agnostic rather than atheist? And this I think is a really interesting question. Gnosticism is about knowledge. Agnosticism is about a lack of knowledge. There are many who would prefer that anything less than certainty requires the truthful admission in this sense of agnosticism. Even Dawkins places his certainty that there is no god on a six out of seven. See? There’s that space for possibilities. He’s pretty sure, but not certain. The same is true for all scientists about all areas of knowledge: pretty sure, but not certain. Only with the religious do we allow this absurd finality about certainty: I am certain that there is a god. I am certain that he created the universe and made me in his image. I am certain it is a he; I am certain the bible is his word, and I am certain that if I believe correctly I will enter his kingdom after death. I am certain that he sent his only begotten son to die on the cross and redeem humanity for its sins. I am certain this god is personally concerned about me, my behaviour, my diet, my dress, my sexual appetites, my thoughts, and so on. And religious people call atheists arrogant? A hundred trillion stars in our galaxy and those we can see, and billions of galaxies. But He helped me catch this football and is concerned if a female bares any skin? Really? All this certainty, no evidence to back it up. And we are to respect such arrogance?”]

    Here lies the issue that divides you and me, I see my presuppositions but you grossly underestimate yours by saying 6 out of seven reasons. Yet no real scientist would argue that our “Evidence” for Gods non existence can be used in the court of law as evidence. That is simply in my view great massive neglecting of intellectual responsibility they claim to be adhering to.

    [“Not according to the New Atheists. It’s time to examine religion like any other inquiry and expose it for what it is: a set of beliefs that may or may not be true. Let’s find out. But should each of us really be agnostic in all claims? Do we really entertain doubt that we’re not really late for work because it is possible that some alien intervention set every clock artificially ahead? Or can we assume that with so many clocks in agreement we can set aside our claim to agnosticism and accept that we really are just late for work?”]

    Can you not see that your argument is nothing to do with the existence of God? Or is this just me?

    [“I think probabilities replaces this notion of uncertainty. We probably do revolve around the sun because so many expert sources assures us that this heliocentric version works really well in practice. Just like gravity. It’s a good starting position to assume that these kinds of things are probably true and we should act accordingly. Maybe gravity and the laws of physics are suspended somewhere in the universe but lets assume not. Let’s assume that the same laws that apply here in physics will apply elsewhere unless and until we have some reason to think otherwise. Let’s not pretend that we are agnostic about jumping off a bridge and zooming upwards, although it may be possible; instead, let’s call ourselves pretty sure that we will fall and plan on it until we have reason to think otherwise.”]

    Actually I would disagree with you, first as long as we don’t know if the same natural laws apply everywhere around the universe I think it right to reserve my judgement. Otherwise I’m just jumping the gun. Especially when you consider black hole issues, explosions of mega stars, multi universes etc. You then conclude by giving example that is in no way related to the existence of God and therefore build straw man argument.

    [“Agnosticism in this sense is a coward’s version of atheism. It pretends that the improbability of something is equal or pretty close to the probability of some claim being true and this just isn’t the case. But I do think a lot of people never really give religion much thought and go along with crowd, claiming agnosticism as a diversion not from finding out what’s probably true, probably correct, probably accurate, but merely a way to avoid the negative associations heaped on atheism. It’s safer.”]

    This is simply your view, but to prove this you would have to examine every single agnostic. But by the definition if you are not agnostic but you do not believe in God and you do that without the necessary evidence then you are using your faith which you on the other hand want to deny.

  17. [“And this is a very important distinction you make. I wish you would carry your thinking further. If there is a difference between moderate and extremist, then what is it? I am quite convinced that there is a difference but what might it be? If it is to what extent someone acts on their religious beliefs that determines the difference between moderate and extremist, then the moderate, who presumably acts less literally, will be accused of being less religious, less pious, less respectful of the Word, less of a believer, and so on. If someone actually puts into practice all the commandments and approbations from the various holy texts, then they can also be accused of acting in a way that is too religious, too pious, to literalist of the Word, too much of a believer, and so on.”]

    Fact is there is a big difference between how people apply religion to their everyday life. Jesus and God the father is known as God of love, where judgement is reserved for the end time and today we have time and resources to come to him. So this leads me to say that based on the information we have we have to make our choices and this will lead to the final outcome on if you or I will be spending our eternity with God. Bible is very clear also that we should respect and obey the law givers in our cultures. So actually we need to read carefully and not judge before full understanding is taken in. It is your misunderstanding of what the WORD is teaching that is leading you to the wrong conclusion.

    [“Regardless of this criteria, my point remains that it from the ranks of the religious moderates – and everybody who is religious begins in this default position – that come the extremists because the only way to determine the difference is by action. And by then, it’s too late. That’s why I continue to insist that the probability of the next suicide mass murderer will not be promoting atheism because based on previous suicide bombings, the main common thread is that the perpetrators are religious. I will even test my theory and predict that the next 1000 suicide mass murderers will not be atheists. I will, instead, predict right here and now that the next 1000 suicide mass murderers will be from the ranks of religious people. Statistically, if we divide the recent PEW percentages by 90% just to cover ourselves for the margin of error many times over, there should at the very least be somewhere around 1% of these suicide bombers who are atheists. That means for every hundred suicide bombings, at least one must be an atheist. Let’s see if that’s true.”]

    First let me start from the point that suicide is something that is not common with Christians so your argument is not relevant to Christians. Secondly on the murder issue do you know how many millions of children are aborted in western world. And if you compare the two murders rating is suddenly changed drastically.

    [“If my prediction is correct, then it lends weight to my assertion that moderate religious people afford cover for the more extreme religious people who act out their beliefs by sacrificing themselves in this world for the benefits that will be accrued by carrying out some religiously sanctified horror rewarded in the next. If there is a sudden spate of suicide bombers who are atheists, however, then that will afford evidence that extremists can come from the non belief ranks, too. Are you game?”]

    Your prediction is incorrect on several accounts. Even with Muslims you will clearly know that they have things like extremist schools and training camps. Secondly you should not forget that faith is just as relevant to atheism which you like to deny but then you do not want to be called agnostic. And with their murdering actions based on not believing that there is a God who will judge them one day far outstrips any lunatic fundamentalist. So I would argue contrary to your assertion that Humanity needs religion if we are to survive as species.

  18. [“Again, this is a very long response filled with assertions that are ill-founded. But if nothing else I am dogged, so let’s look at only your evidence that links atheism to totalitarian states.”]

    Have you considered the implication of these properly?

    [“You write in point 1) Atheism is not ideology that drove people to be murdered on its own. It is other ideology that accompanies atheism. By this I think you mean that atheism allows some other ideology to flourish, and that together these two cause totalitarianism… the second ideology based on atheism. Then you explain that Not believing usually causes non action. This is self-evident: I cannot even begin to reveal all the non beliefs you have leading you to non action. You then go on to affirm that it is belief in other ideas that causes action. The word ‘other’ is quite misleading because it is unnecessary. It is indeed belief in ideas that is the ground of our actions. Note that we are in agreement: that action is grounded in belief. Action is not a natural response to non belief in something else; it is a directed response to something that is believed… presumably believed to be TRUE. Then you write a most peculiar sentence, When people believe that they have right to control what is being thought and shared publicly and they should be the gate keepers to all our ideology in order to protect ignorant masses that we first see problems arising. The first thing that comes to my mind with this sentiment is what we see from political systems that do exactly this, that have the authority to censor. Totalitarian states aside for the moment, the only other source are theocracies. Western liberal democracies based on constitutional rights establish the basis of law necessary to thwart political powers from imposing exactly the kind of authority we both agree is such a problem. But then you leap into this sentence, When desire to stop others to believe in God and when atheist’s world views are based on their faith that there is no God, atheists make first cardinal error of logic and reason, to which I must respond in the next paragraph.”]

    Beside expounding on what I said I don’t see any rebuttal here. Your assertion that beside Totalitarian state that Theocracy and totalitarian states are different sides of the same coin is not correct. This can be but does not have to be. Israel was Theocratic society during the time of Judges in the Old Testament, but they had private ownership, freedom etc. So your assertion is not necessarily true, just compare Old Israel to Iran and you will see that two are not the same. Freedom is important but we must understand that this freedom is not complete; wherever we are we still need to live within the limits of the law of the country. I have also referred to Communist states so lets not confuse the two concepts of law and regulation.

    [“I have a desire to have other believe in what is probably true, probably accurate, probably correct. That sentiment is widely shared, perhaps even the central tenet of atheism. Note that this position is not a negative in the sense that you suggest of wanting to enforce non belief. It is a position of promoting what’s true. Although the former will be challenged to justify beliefs, the latter is the objective. Religious belief musty be challenged to justify itself on this basis of what’s probably true, probably accurate, probably correct. The reason for this challenge is because much of religious belief – and I would argue many popular beliefs – are not based on what is true, accurate, and correct.”]

    You again use diversion here “most” does not negate that “some” may be correct. You also forget that must of modern apologetics relies heavily on modern science so its not based on faith of the faith. This false assertions come from people like Dr Dawkins which claims that step in the dark that Pascal promoted is the way we treat our faith. This may be true for some but not for all Christians and you will find many reasons from my faith on this blog.

    [“And when action is based on such a faulty assumption as belief that probably is not true, is not accurate, is not correct, then – as we both agree, we have some serious problems. This not an error of logic and most definitely not a weakness in reasoning but a strength. Justified beliefs are a strength. Unjustified beliefs are a weakness. Reason plays a central role in determining the difference between them.”]

    I have no problem with this, in fact if you read carefully after my title Defend the word” there is a Bible verse that states 1Peter 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer a to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope b that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
    So as you can see this is driven by reason not faith alone. Same as you believe that certain things are true based on the information you have available to you.

    [“In your second point you write Claim of superior knowledge: When picture is painted of intellectual superiority and ignorant masses are viewed as needing protection from themselves then you have recipe for totalitarianism. I agree. Thank goodness our laws prevent such an imposition. But think for a moment: if your daughter had a brain tumor and you wanted medical advice, would you go searching for the least informed medical person? Wouldn’t you, instead, seek out the person with the greatest knowledge and expertise? How can you attribute knowledge of greater depth to be a bad thing? Of course we should respect the opinions of people who have such depth of intellectual capacity pertaining to the subject at hand. Such a medical expert has not simply put on a robe and stepped infront of a congregation and announced his or her ability to diagnose and operate in some medical capacity. Such a person has earned the medical knowledge not by revelation but by study, tutelage, practice, and applied experience. For a religious person to draw the conclusion that one’s medical knowledge based on revelation should or ought to be equivalent of respect with the honest and dedicated practitioner is an affront to reason. For the supporters of such a person of revelation to claim that detractors are arrogant and strident and militant and intellectual snobs is as absurd as religious supporters claiming practitioners of reason – those who respect justified beliefs – are guilty of faulty logic and reasoning. If what’s probably true, probably accurate, probably correct doesn’t matter to the detractor, then what claim can they have for the higher ground in logic and reasoning?”]

    You make assumption that religion is linked to lack of knowledge which is either ill informed or arrogant. I would choose to believe in your case you just didn’t know that many Christians are highly educated people. Also note that your assertion puts me in better position than someone who did not go to the theological institution to be educated to the same extend I was educated. In other words I studied theology so I’m better qualified then many atheists, I don’t take such position and I’m open to be pointed to any errors in my understanding.

    [“In conclusion, you have not shown why atheists are linked more so to the creation of totalitarian states than the religious. In fact, there is a much greater danger to all from those who are willing to undermine the laws of secular liberal democracies in the name of some religious belief. Once the laws are undermined, then and only then can some political power assume the kind of authority necessary to create a totalitarian state, and this is exactly what has happened in our historical examples. The only difference is that the label of atheists has been placed upon those who helped undermine the laws, whereas in fact atheists are the very last people to want to do such a thing. Your argument continues to be unsupported by anything more than assertion.”]

    You make wrong assumption that I want theocracy I don’t I want freedom to use my faith which is democratically granted to me and this should not be revoked by people who think they can impose their intellectual values on these that may differ in their faith assessment.

    [“As a bit of an aside, when someone insists that justified beliefs is besides the point when it comes to religious truth claims, then what’s wrong with ridicule? After all, such a position doesn’t allow for what’s probably true, accurate and correct to mean anything relevant; revelation is simply asserted to be the equal to any and all truth claims. I would hope such a believer who subjected a child to the ministrations of a person of medical revelation rather than a medical practitioner would also be ridiculed for allowing their cherished ignorance to equal medical knowledge and then act on such a terrible assertion. After all, I am a supporter in the thinking that the solution to any problem lies with ignorance.”]

    But when the faith statements in the Bible are in agreement with the science should then that information not be used to glorify God? You again assume that I have blind faith in the Bible. I have tested this faith of mine many times over and through, archaeology, Theology and science I have concluded that the Bible is not crazy on the contrary it has still great deal of relevance for our western society. And if we lived by it, we would have far better place for everyone to coexist with us.

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