1) Who actually thinks that cosmology and geophysics are on the same level as creationism? They are as different as night and day, facts and lies, truth and superstition.
2)  I suggest you actually take the time to study “this” before trying to intelligently discuss them. If not is a waste of everyone’s time…
3) There are evolutionary records for the planets, stars and the universe itself. Again, I strongly suggest you read up on these topics. See my previous recommendations on where to start. Then you can ask intelligently. No one is bound to do your homework for you. 
4) Miracles to prevent catastrophic planetary accidents? Really? At this point I can only concluded you are a troll. Who hasn’t at least heard of gravity, orbits and black holes? C’mon…
5) No point going back and forth anymore. For those still interested the fact remains that asserting that a designer made the universe does not solve the problem of who designed the designer. If the assumption is that the designer had no need for anyone to design it/him/her then, why can’t we assert the same thing of the Universe itself? Per Occam’s razor (google it) belief in a supreme designer is superfluous and a total waste of time since no facts support it. 
Truly it is easier to sit on one’s couch and assert baseless things about the universe than actually taking the time to study and learn how the universe actually is and came to be. That is the difference between a lazy, uninformed person and one who actually seeks truth. May we always be the latter and never the former.
In reason:-FA


1) Who actually thinks that cosmology and geophysics are on the same level as creationism? They are as different as night and day, facts and lies, truth and superstition.

2)  I suggest you actually take the time to study “this” before trying to intelligently discuss them. If not is a waste of everyone’s time…

3) There are evolutionary records for the planets, stars and the universe itself. Again, I strongly suggest you read up on these topics. See my previous recommendations on where to start. Then you can ask intelligently. No one is bound to do your homework for you. 

4) Miracles to prevent catastrophic planetary accidents? Really? At this point I can only concluded you are a troll. Who hasn’t at least heard of gravity, orbits and black holes? C’mon…

5) No point going back and forth anymore. For those still interested the fact remains that asserting that a designer made the universe does not solve the problem of who designed the designer. If the assumption is that the designer had no need for anyone to design it/him/her then, why can’t we assert the same thing of the Universe itself? Per Occam’s razor (google it) belief in a supreme designer is superfluous and a total waste of time since no facts support it. 

Truly it is easier to sit on one’s couch and assert baseless things about the universe than actually taking the time to study and learn how the universe actually is and came to be. That is the difference between a lazy, uninformed person and one who actually seeks truth. May we always be the latter and never the former.

In reason:
-FA

Why is it horrific? I thought Catholics rejected the purgatory doctrine so those “children” would be going straight to heaven. Right?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor (CNN) — How did Syria go from an internal uprising to a wider clash drawing funding and fighters from across the region?

In a word, Middle East experts say, religion.

Shiite Muslims from Lebanon, Iraq and Iran have flooded into Syria to defend sacred sites and President Bashar al-Assad’s embattled regime. Sunni Muslims, some affiliated with al Qaeda, have rushed in to join rebels, most of whom are Sunni.

Both sides use religious rhetoric as a rallying cry, calling each other “infidels” and “Satan’s army.”

"That is why it has become so muddy," said professor Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. "The theological question has returned to the center."

That’s not to say that the warring parties are fighting over, say, the definition of God.

But the United Nations, in a series of reports, has warned with mounting urgency that the battle lines in Syria are being drawn along sectarian - that is, religious - lines. Both sides fear that whoever wins power will obliterate the loser.

Belief in gods, making things worse since men invented them.

-FA

selloutsamizdat asked:

Do you have a good suggestion for how to respond when people ask me to "pray for" someone, like their ill child or an ailing parent or something? These people are usually anguished by some serious medical threat. At times like this, it would be pretty rude to say "I am not going to pray for you because I don't believe..." yet I need so say something. I often try to say something like "It sounds like your child is getting the best medical care" or something like that. Any better ideas?

I don’t think it is rude to say I’m not a christian/muslim/jew/theist. You can follow up by saying that even though you do not pray for healing you do hope for such and that you are there to assist them in any way you can in order to make it so.

I know my response is not catchy or simple but the fact of the matter is that you response will depend on the situation.

Maybe something like this:

I’m not a christian, I’m not a believer in gods, but i do believe in hope and love. I do believe in people, I believe in helping you out anyway i can through these hard times. And at the end the day I believe that if  a god does exist, it will surely be interested in you, your well being and your happiness. Just as I am. 

Any thoughts or suggestions from the readers? Let me know. Will post a few of them later on today.

In reason:
-FA 

PHOENIX — A northern Arizona family that was lost at sea for weeks in an ill-fated attempt to leave the U.S. over what they consider government interference in religion will fly back home Sunday. Hannah Gastonguay, 26, said Saturday that she and her husband

I guess taking planes to travel places means lack of faith. Or even have the expertise to actually navigate a boat. Who needs that when you “talk” to god?

Their flights home were arranged by U.S. Embassy officials, Gastonguay said.

How ironic for them…
Maybe they should have refused the tax money used to get them back.

Among other differences, she said they had a problem with being “forced to pay these taxes that pay for abortions we don’t agree with.”

Yeah, because Jesus never payed taxes when he thought he did not have too… Matthew 17:24-27

"The Bible is pretty clear," she said.

Apparently only on the parts they decide to stress on. The usual…

"We were in the thick of it, but we prayed," she said. "Being out on that boat, I just knew I was going to see some miracles."

As in some nice people helped them avoid the consequence of their own stupid actions  and now they are back to where they started in Arizona. Awesome miracle… 

"They were looking for a kind of adventure; they wanted to live on a Polynesian island but they didn’t have sufficient expertise to navigate adequately," police prefect Jose Luis Lopez

Yes. This is your brain on too much religion. At least the pilgrims knew how to properly navigate a boat.

Hannah Gastonguay said the family will now “go back to Arizona” and “come up with a new plan.”

And then say it is all god’s plan. Narrowly avoiding death is not enough to change the mind of the deluded. Hopefully we will never hear about this family again because if we do, it will be because of a totally avoidable tragedy.

-FA

Great article, really nice but the fact of the matter is that if churches open the doors to science, doubt and honest inquiry they will die. Tradition and unquestionable answers are the foundations of evidence-less beliefs. Especially in the old traditions the writer raves about as being unpretentious. 

For all her talks and article, how would her suggestions look in practice? No wonder the pastors don’t understand. How do you have religion and faith while undermining the things that prop them up in the first place?

-FA

hey-cest-la-vie asked:

I think people pray because it's hard for them to accept that there are things they can't do anything about... thoughts?

As a former believer my reasons for praying were simple. I actually thought that a god would intervene positively in my life and in the life of others if i simply asked. (See Matthew 7:7, 21:22, etc..) Even on things I could do on my own. I mean, if I study for a test I will do good but if god is on my side I will do even better. Right? Or at least that is the logic… 

That being said the mind of a believer is one of contradiction, actually one of ignoring contradiction. My church would pray for healing of a sick individual, for example. If the person got healed it was divine intervention, if the person died no one blamed god or complained that he was sleeping or ignoring our prayers. (1 Kings 18:27) Convenient, right?

I used to be, at 18 years old, the director for evangelical outreach at my church (yes, i was that committed to the gospel back then.) I remember how once I was asked to lead a group to the house of an older sick man for prayer. Specifically to pray for a speedy recovery/healing (he had the flu or a cold). When I got there I realized the man had no legs as he was sitting in a wheelchair. Then it really hit me that I was there to pray for a cold… The fact of the matter is that I could not do anything for that man, and neither could god. NO matter how much we prayed. How could I in good conscience pray for the healing of a cold if I did not have the “cojones” to pray for the regeneration of the man’s legs? The inconsistency hit me square in the face. I knew at that second that prayer would not make that man whole (James 5:13-15) ever. That was the beginning of doubt for me…

As I think back on those days the words of Marian Noel Sherman ring true:

Religious people often accuse atheists of being arrogant and of placing ourselves in the position of God, but really it is the theist who has all the vanity. He can’t stand to think that he will ever cease to exist. As Freud said, Christianity is the most egotistical of the religions. It is based on the premise ‘Jesus saves me.’

Some may say that the reasons for prayer are not external (healing, miracles, rain, finding car keys) but internal (peace, humility, empathy). But such an argument misses the point (as it ignores hundreds of bible verses on the topic). If such argument is true then, what makes such a “prayer” different from meditation of positive self-talk? Why assume divinity where humanity is the one at action here?

People will pray because they have been taught to believe as much since children, because it makes them feel good to leave the future in the hands of an invisible “other”, because it is easier to see life as part of a grand plan that someone set up for them before they were born. It is easier to assume so than to actually realize that we are alone in this universe and that all that happens, or does not happen, is up to us and no one else. To me the latter is better than the former. To create my own purpose is to live. To recognize the frailty and shortness of existence is to value it even more. To know that relationships will end means that they have to be enjoyed completely because the here and the now is all we have.

Truly, hands that work do infinitely more than hands that pray…

In reason:

-FA

aljazeera

Behind the rise of Bangladesh’s Hifazat

aljazeera:

image

Group that triggered deadly protests has surprised many with its rise to prominence.

How is it that so many influential and powerful islamic fundamentalist groups exist if they are just a “perversion” of islamic teachings that the extreme majority of believers do not support? I am actually curious. Any studies out there? Are we over counting the moderates and under counting the extremists? Are the enablers not counted or tallied under the moderate camp?