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Backward, atheist soldiers!
WORLD Magazine ^ | June 30, 2007 | Marvin Olasky

Posted on 06/22/2007 9:07:12 AM PDT by Caleb1411

Books: Notable anti-religion and anti-Christian books of the past year—particularly Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great—make something out of, well, nothing.

Nineteenth-century novelist Gustave Flaubert used to joke about archaeologists discovering a stone tablet signed "God" and reading, "I do not exist." His punch line had an atheist then exclaiming, "See! I told you so!"

These days, nothing stops atheistic caissons from rolling along the bookstore aisles. Maybe that's because atheists on average have small families and lots of discretionary doubloons jingling in their pockets. Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation (Knopf), Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell (Penguin), and Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion (Houghton Mifflin) all hit bestseller lists during 2006—and a new book, Christopher Hitchens' God Is Not Great (Twelve), has ascended this year.

Last year's trio emerged alongside anti-Christian books purportedly based on hard reporting. Michelle Goldberg's Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism (Norton) typified the genre's misreporting when she wrote that Christian pregnancy counseling centers "usually" present false or exaggerated information—but there's no indication that she visited even one center, let alone the 3,000 or so that exist throughout the country. (Here's some evidentiary trivia: In four pages about me she makes five clear factual errors, along with many questionable interpretations.)

This year it's the same: a new screed by Chris Hedges has as its title not "Mistaken People" or even "Lying Liars," but American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (Free Press). The genre is old, with new villains appearing as necessary. Ten years ago Frederick Clarkson's Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy stated that the sky was falling, with Promise Keepers as the spearhead of Christian dictatorship.

The ferocity of these books is sometimes astounding. Here, for example, is Dawkins' view of God: "arguably the most unpleasant character in fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

Even Publishers Weekly noted concerning The God Delusion, "For a scientist who criticizes religion for its intolerance, Dawkins has written a surprisingly intolerant book, full of scorn for religion and those who believe. . . . Even confirmed atheists who agree with his advocacy of science and vigorous rationalism may have trouble stomaching some of the rhetoric: 'The biblical Yahweh is "psychotic," Aquinas' proofs of God's existence are "fatuous" and religion generally is "nonsense."'

Happily, Alister and Joanna Collicutt McGrath have just come out with an effective response, The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine (IVP). The McGraths note, "Until recently, Western atheism had waited patiently, believing that belief in God would simply die out. But now a whiff of panic is evident. Far from dying out, belief in God has rebounded."

The McGraths also point out the folly of believing that if religion were eliminated wars would cease: After all, conflicts often reflect human desires to declare some people as "in" and others as "out," sometimes on the basis of religion, but at other times on the basis of race, ethnicity, tribe, class, gender, or whatever.

Christianity is above all others the religion that seeks kindness to those in the out-group: Jesus told us to love our neighbors and even to love our enemies. When Christians fail to live up to His teachings it's because of sin, not Christianity—and scapegoating religion delays efforts to deal with the real problems of social division.

Scapegoating is also evident in the writing of Sam Harris, who frequently forgets to use reason and instead falls back on words like "preposterous." He asserts certainty about what he admits not knowing: "How the process of evolution got started is still a mystery, but that does not in the least suggest that a deity is likely to be lurking at the bottom of it all."

He complains not only about ignorance but about moral failings: "An average Christian, in an average church, listening to an average Sunday sermon has achieved a level of arrogance simply unimaginable in scientific discourse."

Yet Harris, for all his attacks on Intelligent Design, does not even understand the distinction between macro-evolution—one kind of creature changing into another—and micro-evolution. One of his proofs of theistic obtuseness is that "viruses like HIV, as well as a wide range of harmful bacteria, can be seen evolving right under our noses, developing resistance to antiviral and antibiotic drugs."

The one good aspect of Harris' work is his understanding that theology has consequences: "There is no escaping that fact that a person's religious beliefs uniquely determine what he thinks peace is good for, as well as what he means by a term like 'compassion.'" Harris at least understands that the biblical theology he hates makes obnoxious sense in a way that liberalism does not; given a suffering world, "liberal theology must stand revealed for what it is: the sheerest of mortal pretenses."

Harris also criticizes the niceties of political rhetoric concerning Islam: "The idea that Islam is a 'peaceful religion hijacked by extremists' is a fantasy." Too bad he and other atheistic authors are determined to believe that Christianity is inevitably hijacked by hate, and that they pick up support from reviewers like Natalie Angier, who wrote in The New York Times that "Harris writes what a sizeable number of us think, but few are willing to say."

Harris' work has also engendered several Christian responses this year. Doug Wilson's Letter from a Christian Citizen (American Vision) points out that Harris uses morally loaded words like "should" and "ought"; Wilson rightly asks Harris, "What is the difference between an imposed morality, an imposed religion, or an imposed secular ought? Why is your imposition to be preferred to any other?"

Wilson notes Harris' fondness for Eastern religions, and in particular the "utter non-violence" of the Jains in India. Letter from a Christian Citizen correctly notes that "Devout Jains will wear a mask to avoid breathing in and thereby killing any insect," and then asks whether Harris would commend evangelicals who "forsook the use of antibiotics because of the genocidal devastation it was causing to the microbes within."

Wilson also points out that the litany of religious folks fighting each other that Harris recites "is beside the point. We don't believe that religion is the answer. We believe Christ is the answer." Harris' list of religious messes merely confirms "one of the basic tents of the Christian faith, which is that the human race is all screwed up."

And what about this year's champion screed, offered by Christopher Hitchens? His scorn—"monotheistic religion is a plagiarism of a plagiarism of a hearsay of a hearsay, of an illusion of an illusion, extending all the way back to a fabrication of a few nonevents"—oozes off every page of God Is Not Great, with its extraordinary subtitle, How Religion Poisons Everything.

"Everything"? That sounds improbable. Are 1.3 billion Muslims all murderers? Might Christianity have produced 50 percent evil and 50 percent good? If not, how about 40 percent good? Thirty percent? Twenty percent? Ten percent? Will not Hitchens relent from his anger if we can find 5 percent that's good?

God Is Not Great has received extraordinary publicity, including an adulatory review in The New York Times, so it's worth going page by page to see what Hitchens is selling and many atheists are buying:

*On Page 4 he writes that religion produces a "maximum of servility." Islam, maybe, but were Abraham, Moses, and Job servile when they argued with God?

*On Page 5 he writes, "No statistic will ever find that without [religious] blandishments and threats [atheists] commit more crimes of greed or violence than the faithful." Prison Fellowship and other organizations can show that prisoners who go through evangelical programs have much lower recidivism—committing new crimes after release from prison, leading to new sentences—than others.

*On Page 7 he writes, "Religion spoke its last intelligible or noble or inspiring words a long time ago." Leaving aside the inspiration millions get from daily Bible reading, what about Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches, with all their biblical imagery? Or Pope John Paul II, whose words inspired many people to rise up against Communism in Eastern Europe?

*On Page 17 he writes that religion "does not have the confidence in its own various preachings even to allow coexistence between different faiths." At the annual March for Life in Washington tens of thousands of Catholics and Protestants walk side by side along with individuals from Jews for Life, Buddhists for Life, and so on.

*n Page 32 he writes, "The nineteen suicide murderers of New York and Washington and Pennsylvania were beyond any doubt the most sincere believers on those planes." Todd Beamer, the man who said "Let's roll" on United Flight 93, and made sure it didn't crash into the U.S. Capitol, was a strong Christian believer. So were others who died, stopping the terrorists, when Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania.

Hitchens of course thinks the Bible is nonsense (see also "The world according to Hitch," June 3, 2006). On Page 102 he writes, "It goes without saying that none of the gruesome, disordered events described in Exodus ever took place." Without saying. A slam dunk. On Page 103: "All the Mosaic myths can be safely and easily discarded." On Page 104: All five books of Moses are "an ill-carpentered fiction."

Such pronouncements were repeatedly made in the 19th century, but again and again biblical accounts considered mythical back then have gained new archeological support. For example, scholars at one point said that the Hittites described in the Bible did not exist, nor did rulers such as Belshazzar of Babylon or Sargon of Assyria. Archeologists now have records of all those civilizations and reigns.

Many brilliant people have spent lifetimes studying these writings that Hitchens so blithely dismisses. Princeton's Robert Wilson, who knew 26 ancient languages and dialects and so could read just about all that remains from the ancient Near East, was impressed with the accuracy of those accounts that Hitchens wishes to discard.

Coming to the present, Hitchens on Page 160 calls "the whole racket of American evangelism . . . a heartless con." Hmm. WORLD for two decades has reported stories around this country of compassionate evangelicals who must be dumb, because they've spent their lives in a racket that's yielded them almost no money. They've adopted hard-to-place children, built AIDs orphanages in Africa, helped addicts and alcoholics to turn their lives around, transformed the lives of teens who were heading into drugs and crime, and much besides.

In responding to Hitchens and mini-Hitchenses, it's also worth noting the leadership of Christians over the centuries in setting up hospitals and schools. Historians such as Jonathan Hill of Oxford, Alvin Schmidt of Illinois College, and Rodney Stark of Baylor have described the long-term effect of Jesus telling his followers to love their neighbors as themselves.

The evangelical tendency to help others, not poison them, has even attracted the attention of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who calls America's evangelicals "the newest internationalists" for fighting sexual trafficking in Eastern Europe and slavery in Sudan. As Jewish leader Michael Horowitz has put it, evangelicals "led the way in taking on the slavery issue of our time—the annual trafficking of millions of women and children into lives of sexual bondage . . . led the way in organizing a campaign to end a growing epidemic of prison rape."

Horowitz concluded his message to evangelicals this way: "As you define your human rights successes as central to who you are and what you've done, it will no longer be possible for those who fear your faith to crudely caricature you or to ignore the virtue that Christian activism brings to American life and the world at large." Spoken too soon, because authors like Harris, Dennett, Dawkins, and especially Hitchens, despite all the evidence, still proclaim that religion, or Christianity in particular, poisons everything.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: alistermcgrath; atheism; christianity; enjoythevoid; islam; judaism; nihilism; olasky; religion
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1 posted on 06/22/2007 9:07:14 AM PDT by Caleb1411
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To: Caleb1411

The big problem with the idea of there being no God is that there are too many people who fancy that they could fill the void.


2 posted on 06/22/2007 9:11:12 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Caleb1411

I would encourage all freepers to use the Truth Project in a small group:

http://www.thetruthproject.org/


3 posted on 06/22/2007 9:12:15 AM PDT by PeterPrinciple ( Seeking the truth here folks.)
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To: Caleb1411

I’ve been told Atheism is not a religion. If that’s true, we can ban these people from talking without having to listen to them scream about discrimination...


4 posted on 06/22/2007 9:13:18 AM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: Caleb1411; Calm_Cool_and_Elected

ping for later


5 posted on 06/22/2007 9:15:33 AM PDT by Calm_Cool_and_Elected (So many books, so little time!)
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To: Caleb1411
The McGraths also point out the folly of believing that if religion were eliminated wars would cease...

Maybe someone forgot about the Soccer War that broke out a while back?

6 posted on 06/22/2007 9:15:45 AM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: Caleb1411

If you live your life as if there is no God, for your sake you better damn well be right.


7 posted on 06/22/2007 9:15:48 AM PDT by stm (Fred Thompson in 08!)
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To: Caleb1411
One of his proofs of theistic obtuseness is that "viruses like HIV, as well as a wide range of harmful bacteria, can be seen evolving right under our noses, developing resistance to antiviral and antibiotic drugs."

How come Sammy doesn't understand that an HIV virus that mutates is, um, still an HIV virus?

Oh right, it's because most people who stump for evolution don't actually know very much ABOUT evolution.

8 posted on 06/22/2007 9:16:26 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Fred Thompson is Duncan Hunter without the training wheels)
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To: Caleb1411
Nineteenth-century novelist Gustave Flaubert used to joke about archaeologists discovering a stone tablet signed "God" and reading, "I do not exist." His punch line had an atheist then exclaiming, "See! I told you so!"

That's funny.
9 posted on 06/22/2007 9:16:31 AM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: Tzimisce

Aetheism is hardly a religion, it’s a misguided way of life.


10 posted on 06/22/2007 9:17:11 AM PDT by stm (Fred Thompson in 08!)
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To: massgopguy

An old guy told me once that he was like that before he went to Vietnam. he said a bunch of his fellow soldiers were the same way. Real hardasses.

then he said he came to the realization that there is no such thing as an athiest in a foxhole.


11 posted on 06/22/2007 9:17:26 AM PDT by HOTTIEBOY (The more people I meet, the more I like my dog.)
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To: Caleb1411
"An average Christian, in an average church, listening to an average Sunday sermon has achieved a level of arrogance simply unimaginable in scientific discourse."

I'd say the manking caused "Global Warming" believers is a good counter point to this point!

12 posted on 06/22/2007 9:18:09 AM PDT by TheDon (The DemocRAT party is the party of TREASON! Overthrow the terrorist's congress!)
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To: Caleb1411
Here's something to have a little fun with atheists - You might be a fundamentalist atheist if....
13 posted on 06/22/2007 9:18:50 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Fred Thompson is Duncan Hunter without the training wheels)
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To: Tzimisce
I’ve been told Atheism is not a religion.

Well, atheism is not a religion, but it is a faith-based belief system.

14 posted on 06/22/2007 9:21:05 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Fred Thompson is Duncan Hunter without the training wheels)
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To: Tzimisce
we can ban these people

That happens here when someone admits to not being a supernaturalist.

15 posted on 06/22/2007 9:21:46 AM PDT by ASA Vet (Pray for the deliberately ignorant)
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To: massgopguy

atheist is short for autotheist


16 posted on 06/22/2007 9:28:34 AM PDT by TheDon (The DemocRAT party is the party of TREASON! Overthrow the terrorist's congress!)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
You believe the astronomical size of the universe somehow disproves God, as if God needed a tiny universe in order to exist.

I went around and around with an athiest on another forum over this point....he just couldn't give up the idea that a big universe meant there was no God. When I asked him what size universe would accomodate the concept of a God he had no answer.

17 posted on 06/22/2007 9:29:55 AM PDT by HerrBlucher (Tack it up and shut em down Fred!)
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To: Tzimisce

Ban people from talking?

Do you have any idea how that sounds in a free country?


18 posted on 06/22/2007 9:35:28 AM PDT by najida (Just call me a chicken rancher :))
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To: Caleb1411

Atheism is irrational. For atheists the existence of God is not even open to question: not only does God not exist, but there isn’t even the possibility of his existence.


19 posted on 06/22/2007 9:35:54 AM PDT by windsorknot
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To: Tzimisce

Nothing turns me off from religion more than the behavior of Christians in threads about Atheism.


20 posted on 06/22/2007 9:42:09 AM PDT by gura
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To: massgopguy

An extremely insightful comment. And that is just the tip of the iceberg...


21 posted on 06/22/2007 9:42:44 AM PDT by L,TOWM (Liberals, The Other White Meat [protest for... violence and peace])
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To: Caleb1411
Here, for example, is Dawkins' view of God: "arguably the most unpleasant character in fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

Dawkins "view of God" has got be the most illogical statement ever.....Stupid...you say God does not existed God is fiction... but what you list clearly does existed it's not fiction...

So physics created and dictates that law of the universe and the men that do it all without God ...If you rant about what's real...rant about the real sources not what you say is fiction

That the same as cursing your luck and saying luck does not exist all at the same time

And if you say that the fiction cause the bad then the fiction can cause the good

22 posted on 06/22/2007 9:48:22 AM PDT by tophat9000 (My 2008 grassroots Republican platform: Build the fence, enforce the laws, and win the damm WAR!)
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To: Caleb1411

For people that claim not to believe in God, these athiests sure do hate Him.


23 posted on 06/22/2007 9:49:38 AM PDT by rock_lobsta (Doing my part to warm up the planet... Because Bikinis Beat Burkas!)
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To: tophat9000

Dawkins is a kookburger of the first degree. But contrary to popular belief, not all atheists are Marxists. Some of us are actually conservative.


24 posted on 06/22/2007 9:52:00 AM PDT by darkangel82 (Socialism is NOT an American value.)
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To: HOTTIEBOY
then he said he came to the realization that there is no such thing as an athiest in a foxhole.

There may be no "athiest in foxhole" but there does seem to be a lot of asshole's in atheism

25 posted on 06/22/2007 9:53:38 AM PDT by tophat9000 (My 2008 grassroots Republican platform: Build the fence, enforce the laws, and win the damm WAR!)
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To: Caleb1411
WORLD for two decades has reported stories around this country of compassionate evangelicals who must be dumb, because they've spent their lives in a racket that's yielded them almost no money. They've adopted hard-to-place children, built AIDs orphanages in Africa, helped addicts and alcoholics to turn their lives around, transformed the lives of teens who were heading into drugs and crime, and much besides.

A point that often gets overlooked in a world full of Benny Hinns and Jan Crouches. Most churches and most Pastors are hard working and frugal. My Church supports a number of missionaries around the world, has an active AIDS ministry and an active youth ministry that has helped hundreds of kids lost in drugs and sex to straighten out their lives. Most of these people would be classified as middle class - not rich.

Unfortunately, good deeds don't draw the amount of attention that the charlatans and crooks do, a fact that ignorant atheists like Hitchens use to their full advantage.
26 posted on 06/22/2007 10:04:39 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (..and the horse you rode in on!)
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To: rock_lobsta
For people that claim not to believe in God, these athiests sure do hate Him.

Quizzical, isn't it? For a number of the atheists I've known, it's a rebellion. They don't want to acknowledge God's right to call the shots in their lives here and hereafter. They could easily find rational reasons to believe if they wanted to, but they're not willing to give up their favorite sins (or admit the fact that they're sinners in need of a Savior).

At least I can like their candor. What sticks in my craw are the Christian posers who are really wolves in sheep's clothing. Better an honest atheist than an ersatz "Christian."

27 posted on 06/22/2007 10:04:47 AM PDT by Caleb1411 ("These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G. K. C)
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To: reagan_fanatic
Unfortunately, good deeds don't draw the amount of attention that the charlatans and crooks do, a fact that ignorant atheists like Hitchens use to their full advantage.

It's gotta be willful ignorance. As much evidence (you've cited but one of myriad examples) as there is and as bright and journalistically astute as Hitchens is, there's no excuse for his myopia.

28 posted on 06/22/2007 10:10:35 AM PDT by Caleb1411 ("These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G. K. C)
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To: TheDon

autotheist is short for automobiletheist


29 posted on 06/22/2007 10:10:49 AM PDT by Bidoof
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To: gura

Nothing turns me off more than someone whining about it. That’s why God invented the remote.


30 posted on 06/22/2007 10:11:09 AM PDT by fish hawk (The religion of Darwinism = Monkey Intellect)
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To: Caleb1411
The main problem with arguments from atheists against "religion", is that they just lump them all together, effectively sharing with Christians the blame for Muslim atrocities, since it's all "religion".

As Jesus taught, "By their fruits ye shall know them." The fruits of various religions are by no means equal. It's intellectually lazy and disingenuous to lump all of them together, then criticize only the most rotten fruit.

Dawkins, and others like him, have consistently tried to measure religion with the tools of science. This is rather like trying to measure the wavelength of a radio signal with a ruler. It's just the wrong tool for the job.

31 posted on 06/22/2007 10:12:19 AM PDT by TChris (The Republican Party is merely the Democrat Party's "away" jersey - Vox Day)
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To: Caleb1411

bump


32 posted on 06/22/2007 10:12:39 AM PDT by VOA
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To: darkangel82
The thing is a simple indifferent I don't believe in God atheist a least is following the logic of their own idea...

The rabid I hate God/Their is no God atheist just seem to be just angry at the laws of Universe and blaming what the say is not ...they rant at the moon

33 posted on 06/22/2007 10:14:46 AM PDT by tophat9000 (My 2008 grassroots Republican platform: Build the fence, enforce the laws, and win the damm WAR!)
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To: TChris
As Jesus taught, "By their fruits ye shall know them." The fruits of various religions are by no means equal. It's intellectually lazy and disingenuous to lump all of them together, then criticize only the most rotten fruit.

Yup. As I wrote in post 28, it's willful ignorance, not to mention shoddy argumentation.

34 posted on 06/22/2007 10:17:42 AM PDT by Caleb1411 ("These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G. K. C)
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To: stm
If you live your life as if there is no God, for your sake you better damn well be right.

There's a corollary to that: If you believe that there is only one denomination, sect, or faith tradition that is 100% the only one to pick, then you had better well have chosen wisely.

Not every atheist is anti-Christian. We may not have chosen as you have, but generally, we celebrate your right to make your choices freely.

35 posted on 06/22/2007 10:28:17 AM PDT by hunter112 (Change will happen when very good men are forced to do very bad things.)
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To: najida

The concept of freedom is very scary to some.


36 posted on 06/22/2007 10:49:23 AM PDT by RFC_Gal (It's not just a boulder; It's a rock! A ro-o-ock. The pioneers used to ride these babies for miles!)
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To: gura
Nothing turns me off from religion more than the behavior of Christians in threads about Atheism.

Then what would you have us say about atheism, that it's wonderful? Especially in light of the quotes from atheist authors above? No sarcasm, I'm serious -- what in your view is the right way for us to respond?

37 posted on 06/22/2007 11:03:16 AM PDT by Zhangliqun (The Blue and Gray had infinitely more in common than the Blue and Red. We're headed for Civil War.)
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To: Caleb1411
I'll take Pascal's Bet, thanks.

From the earliest instant, when even time itself had just come into being, the symmetry of the creation event was broken, and nuclear strong and weak/electromagnetic forces somehow therein also gave rise to gravitation which, though exceptionally weak by the other three, nonetheless gradually coalesced their parts into various galactic types and structures.

And as we live in one out of billions of those spiral galaxies, two thirds of the way out from its dense center between whirling arms which are relatively debris and dust free; where metals are fairly well concentrated, but rarer in the Milky Way’s outer reaches…. Where too, were we further in, we wouldn’t be able to see the universe outside.

That we live in the habitable zone of a single G2V star, in a system with a large outer planet to sweep up a considerable amount of debris that might otherwise be drawn to the inner solar system and collide with Earth. That we have a magnetic field which protects us from too much cosmic and solar radiation, and allows us too – geometrically by the more distant stars – to navigate around our planet.

That we have a moon massive enough to stabilize our planetary axis, and which perhaps also couples gravitationally to assist plate tectonics in recycling our oceanic crust and mantle, yielding a balance of nitrogen/oxygen and carbon dioxide to our atmosphere. That the laws of physics at both the macro- and micro levels should be so fine tuned - and unified! - allowing these processes to be carried out at all.

That we are alive in such a system!

The odds of it – ALL - seem somehow inconceivable that there isn’t God who – being God sets the values of good and evil, and cares that we should prefer that Good.

"If I knew God I’d be Him." Though He’s there.

38 posted on 06/22/2007 11:09:31 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: Tzimisce
I’ve been told Atheism is not a religion. If that’s true, we can ban these people from talking...

You and what army?

39 posted on 06/22/2007 11:29:13 AM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: tophat9000

There’s not a lot of atheists on Death Row either...


40 posted on 06/22/2007 11:41:30 AM PDT by GunRunner (Come on Fred, how long are you going to wait?)
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To: rock_lobsta

For people who claim to be filled with Christian love, these Christians sure do spew a lot of hatred towards atheists.


41 posted on 06/22/2007 11:49:19 AM PDT by -YYZ- (Strong like bull, smart like ox.)
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To: Caleb1411
What do you say about an atheist's wake?

All dressed up with nowhere to go.

42 posted on 06/22/2007 11:49:29 AM PDT by AU72
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To: Caleb1411
On Page 17 he writes that religion "does not have the confidence in its own various preachings even to allow coexistence between different faiths." At the annual March for Life in Washington tens of thousands of Catholics and Protestants walk side by side along with individuals from Jews for Life, Buddhists for Life, and so on.

This is a legitimate gripe by Hitchen's. A few Buddhists and Jews marching with some Christians at a pro-life rally was probably done for political expedience rather than an agreement on theology.

It doesn't change the fact that even the most loving and generous of my evangelical friends maintain that if you don't believe in Jesus divinity, you are going to Hell.

43 posted on 06/22/2007 11:49:50 AM PDT by GunRunner (Come on Fred, how long are you going to wait?)
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To: Caleb1411

Children who are brainwashed at a very young age to believe that they are the creations of mythical skygods who exist only in the scribblings of ancient scrolls and are thousands of years past due for their miraculous return tend to cling on to these false hopes for life.

Unless, they get their hands on a real science book and learn some truth.


44 posted on 06/22/2007 11:54:19 AM PDT by shuckmaster (The only purpose of the news is to fill the space around the advertisements.)
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To: Caleb1411
If you want to have some real fun, go to a chat room full of atheists and ask them to give a positive statement of what they believe without using the word "God."

Boy, does that wind up some cuckoo clocks...
45 posted on 06/22/2007 11:54:30 AM PDT by Antoninus (P!ss off an environmentalist wacko . . . have more kids.)
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To: Caleb1411; wideawake; Alouette
Where to begin, where to begin???

The ferocity of these books is sometimes astounding. Here, for example, is Dawkins' view of God: "arguably the most unpleasant character in fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

Hitchens of course thinks the Bible is nonsense (see also "The world according to Hitch," June 3, 2006). On Page 102 he writes, "It goes without saying that none of the gruesome, disordered events described in Exodus ever took place." Without saying. A slam dunk. On Page 103: "All the Mosaic myths can be safely and easily discarded." On Page 104: All five books of Moses are "an ill-carpentered fiction."

As incredible as it seems (and it does and is), these "gentlemen" believe they are insulting "chr*stianity" by attacking the Hebrew Bible and Hebrew G-d. And apparently this is also what everyone else believes, because there are precious few Jewish voices raised in response while chr*stians do all the defending. Why is it that "anti-Semitism" is the deadliest of all charges yet it never seems to apply to attacks on the Jewish G-d and Scriptures? It's always defined as hostility to Jewish noses, or pawnbrokers, or bankers, or Hollywood, but never has anything to do with opposition to the actual Jewish religion (the lone exception being chr*stian supersessionism, which always manages to elicit a charge of "theological anti-Judaism" while none of these attacks on G-d Himself ever seems to do this). With G-d and the Jewish People being so allegedly unconcerned with each other and the fortunes of each being inversely proportional to the fortunes of the other, the world can perhaps be forgiven for believing that G-d and the Jewish People are either unconnected or enemies.

I note that the Moses-hating Hitchens has actually accused Jerry Falwell of "anti-Semitism." Perhaps he would apply the same label to Moses?

Harris' work has also engendered several Christian responses this year. Doug Wilson's Letter from a Christian Citizen (American Vision) points out that Harris uses morally loaded words like "should" and "ought"; Wilson rightly asks Harris, "What is the difference between an imposed morality, an imposed religion, or an imposed secular ought? Why is your imposition to be preferred to any other?"

Only G-d can say "should" and "ought." People who insist that G-d is a tyrant nevertheless continue to insist that "we have to have rules" and continue to use these words. Apparently it is not the rules but the mere existence of G-d itself that they find so objectionable?

It is often said that while Theists have to deal with the existence of evil that atheists have to deal with the existence of everything else. Actually, this is not so. Without a Creator of All Things, objective good and objective evil (and please note my use of the term "objective") does not and cannot exist. To insist that man is no more than any other animal, and then to act as if a war between nations of men is somehow of more moral significance than a war between two anthills is to insist on a contradiction.

Wilson notes Harris' fondness for Eastern religions, and in particular the "utter non-violence" of the Jains in India. Letter from a Christian Citizen correctly notes that "Devout Jains will wear a mask to avoid breathing in and thereby killing any insect," and then asks whether Harris would commend evangelicals who "forsook the use of antibiotics because of the genocidal devastation it was causing to the microbes within."

Their praise of jainism is perfectly understandable. This is quite literally an atheist religion that considers prayer a sin. It also regards all life as "holy." Considering what many liberals believe, this seems to be the state religion they are promoting.

Scapegoating is also evident in the writing of Sam Harris, who frequently forgets to use reason and instead falls back on words like "preposterous." He asserts certainty about what he admits not knowing: "How the process of evolution got started is still a mystery, but that does not in the least suggest that a deity is likely to be lurking at the bottom of it all."

I must confess to confusion when evolutionists attack "intelligent design" then turn around and say that evolution does not exclude G-d. "Intelligent design" accepts evolution in toto, merely insisting taht G-d actually "guides" it. To attack the belief that evolution is guided by G-d and then to insist that evolution "rightly understood" does not exclude G-d makes absolutely no sense.

I wish to point out again an observation I made recently on another thread: that the worship of "critical thinking" and the insistence on "self-evident truths" is a contradiction. If one thinks critically, nothing is "self-evident." If certain things are "self-evident," they have never been critically examined.

I only wish that the atheists of the world would stop embarrassing me by picking on chr*stianity and see that their real threat comes from Judaism/Noachism. Chr*stianity, for all the legalism that has crept into so much of it (and liturgical chr*stianity is especially confused here) is, after all, a salvational religion. Judaism/Noachism, on the other hand (like islam), is statutory. But since "everyone knows" that Jews are irreverent freethinkers who are against religion, no one seems to have noticed this.

46 posted on 06/22/2007 11:57:26 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator ( . . . veyiqchu 'eleykha farah 'adummah temimah, 'asher 'ein-bah mum, 'asher lo'-`alah `aleyha `ol.)
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To: GunRunner
It doesn't change the fact that even the most loving and generous of my evangelical friends maintain that if you don't believe in Jesus divinity, you are going to Hell.

I have always found it strange that if one doesn't accepts Jesus' message of love and accept him as the savior, one is condemned to eternal torture. It makes Jesus appear as a narcissist and sadist of the first order.

47 posted on 06/22/2007 11:58:54 AM PDT by Aikonaa
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To: onedoug
That we are alive in such a system!

I'm going to guess that there are millions of systems where it didn't work out that way. However, with the sheer numbers of galaxies out there, and the ranges where it could theoretically work, and the billions of such sites, there may indeed be other intelligent life.

If so, I would suspect at some point in their civilization cycle, they too would have considered themselves a unique wonder.

48 posted on 06/22/2007 12:03:02 PM PDT by hunter112 (Change will happen when very good men are forced to do very bad things.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
"Intelligent design" accepts evolution in toto, merely insisting taht G-d actually "guides" it.

You obviously haven't been on any ID threads lately. "'Stuck in the Mud' Monkey Worship" was one of the more friendly terms used for evolution.

49 posted on 06/22/2007 12:03:35 PM PDT by GunRunner (Come on Fred, how long are you going to wait?)
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To: Caleb1411

I’m reading Dawkins’ book now. It’s good.


50 posted on 06/22/2007 12:08:33 PM PDT by gcruse
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