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Saturday, 11 June 2016

Misconception

Misconception


Often I have discussed Atheism with internet Christians, and the misconceptions I will note, I selected a comment, for this response I have removed filler, as well as cheap insults. The content discussed was in regards to Islam, specifically the refutation of Islam and it's foundations, the audio placed on YouTube, edited from god is not great, by Christopher Hitchens, and many people added their points in the comments, often without reading the book or listening to the audiobook. It's worth noting, many pathetic tirades are common to internet comments, those with strong beliefs have a series of claims that are based more on bad philosophy than the facts, personally I value what is truly more than what is accepted on faith.

The comment begins, “Christ is the Word of the Living God. God is Good”, I would call that tame for the youtube, well until the usual claim comes up, “Bloodthirsty atheists can't see this because their eyes are blinded because they hate truth but love with all their heart lies”. The funniest thing about such claims, at least to me, is they are fighting the straw-man, what atheists must be to doubt the Christian faith, he may as well claim we worship Satan and eat babies, well, in for a penny, in for a pound. Many a devout Christian may well think Atheists worship Lucifer, or even because we have no moral guide in god, that we may eat babies if we wish, and if you're willing to make things up, you may as well go all out and tell some really amusing lines. And, in the knowledge, they will antagonise those who oppose you.

To show his poor contact with reality, Erik says, “Ironically enough the power of God claims once a man loves lies, he has sacrificed himself to Satan, the father of lies. For as Satan will use the fool aka atheist at his every whim will then turn and devour that which was faithful to him.” The best work of Christians isn't when they repeat hollow rhetoric, Such statements work on many, affecting those who are vulnerable to such beliefs, yet with most non-believers, you may as well be telling us about our lack of Jedi practice and meditation causes us to fall to the dark side of the force. Repeating over and over the word of the bible is as meaningless as repeating Harry Potter, going over bible verses like the Christian fictional hero, Bible-man, is ineffective except on those within that culture of belief, to us non-Christian it's as compelling as stories about Narnia, and I have let to find evidence against The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that makes it's absolutely sure that it is impossible. Most things are improbable, even in a vast universe, and we don't get to absolutes as much as the point at much an idea is so improbable that it in effect impossible, making the biblical god with all its miracles as probable as Narnia.

My response was short and clear, “Bloodthirst isn't the point, if there was any, the point is religions often push their politics on everyone, secularists demand that we don't give any group a superior position, to best avoid a limitation of choice.” The thing that the devout don't often understand is that non-believers do not the religious claims about them, we are not out to smash freedom of religion, we are out to ensure that secular values protect the rights of all people regardless of background, including religious creed. However, some people want to utterly destroy religion, even if most atheists see that religion is already practising self-destruction, and at worst no special treatment should be given, no privilege.

These Bloodthirsty Atheists don't seem to exist to any great degree, even angry atheists are often making a point because they are affected by religious influence in a society, some are repressed in a fundamentalist region or town, maybe a local politician is getting the Christian vote by condemning non-Christians, doubters, secularist, and homosexuality, with such decisive politics in the mainstream in the United States, and elsewhere, it's little wonder that many people are antagonised. In highly religious communities it isn't always easy to be the outsider, and with fundamentalists calling atheists the fools for Satan, some people are bound to express their anger on the internet. Much like the disrespect towards many communities, religion says it knows what's best, if you're not following the rules then you have nothing worth saying, this is a major attitude problem, “If you're not with us, you must be against us.” is the belief of many churches, whereas most doubters and religious moderates can get on happily in society, even when they disagree.

We shared our thoughts over a series of comments, and in essence, the Christian judged Islam as false using the same logic that refutes Christianity, different specifics with the same reasoning to counter the poorly supported claims of the religion. Claims made about the lack of evidence and history for Islam, and no acceptance of the large gaps in Christian history, the lack of evidence for Christ's existence says as much as the fact we know little of Muhammad. Much of what we claim to know of Muhammad is from the Quran and others books after the time, just as we know of Jesus is from the Bible and the second-hand histories after the time, it is easy enough to say Muhammad is at least a historical Character, and Jesus may as well be largely fabricated. It's worth noting that the majority of historian consider it probable that the man, Jesus, existed, even though a fair number of people think that he may have been created by a few people, or utterly fabricated, others say there must have been some foundation for the stories. It may well be, the earliest stories could be based on the man, the passing through various cultures added to the legend, and, as is evident, the myths of others became weaved into the tapestry.

Erik stated, “I respect the argument that religious people can be pushy as tyrants in the radical Islamic belief, they(Muslims or radical Muslims) say do or die.”, I don't know what was being addressed, I didn't raise that point, pointing out bad beliefs doesn't make other ones good by default. I'm not sure of her meant Muslims in general or the militant forces within Islam, it seemed like a side step from Christian issues on to that of Islam, and the bandwagon that paints Muslims with the brush, rather than explaining what you truly mean, such as the difference between Wahhabi-Sunni Muslims and moderate groups such as the Pacifistic version of Islam as expressed by the Sufi.

The Problem with many Christians is they learn debate tricks from the same sources, the churches, and ignorant communities that push an agenda, fleshing the belief out by agreeing with each other, although, sometimes they gets sketchy in a discussion and want to find something to agree upon, or a sidestep the lack of evidence that plagues all religions. Ignoring Christian problems by finding a more dangerous or aggressive ideology cures nothing, pointing out Muslim extremes doesn't cancel out Christian ones, they seem to think we'll forgive and forget the troubles of Christian politics, past and present, and will we accept the lesser of two evils. Evil in this context simply means harm done in the name of ideology, I only note this because a common trick is word games, such as responses like “And where does evil come from.”, so any claim of truth, love, or anything is said to be god's property, and the estate of evil is attributed to Lucifer.

An obvious point about Muslims, outside of the middle east and third world, they are, on average, far from the type of person to threaten you with death, well not more than most other communities, whereas, in the middle-east, including various capitalist democracies, we cannot fully judge a people group by the general view of the worst extremists, since where the freedom to think beyond the Imam or Mullah exists the people flock away from pure devotion. I think many Christians make a fair point about radical Islam, sadly, as long as nations like Saudi Arabia fund Sunni extremism, and the Iranian Government support Shia extremists, we have a mighty problem, and out of such extremes danger will emanate, using hard-line ideology to gain influence backfires, and creates groups like Islamic State. Think about how some American preachers have, by extension, supported the execution of homosexuals in Uganda, you see the tip of the iceberg, where pseudoscience and fanatical preaching pushes such agendas, if not in the western world, then such ideological views filter into less educated and liberal nations, empowering religious extremism, and laws that limit freedoms, and in this case lead to government mandated murder of those who don't follow the same lifestyle as the majority of the population. A preacher in the United States can say things that the US government will not pass into law, knowing this and rallying the church, the preacher can spread hate speech, and post this brand of extremism online as just an opinion, this can easily be picked up by a person in almost anywhere on the planet, from there this 'Science' can be passed off as official. And, if preacher should have an unaccredited doctorate, from a Christian college or diploma mill, then such a quack may be referred to as a doctor before audiences of ignorant fundamentalists or on a professional website.

A common error, the claim of how free and open Christianity is, they ignore the long social changes took and the philosophical development of our society, we're no longer treated badly for questioning the opinions of the church, yet, this is a moderation, not a fundamental view of the Christian faith. Another comment states, “Christianity and Judaism aren't pushy, and anyone who quotes the Holy Bible to testify otherwise is indeed misreading the book.”, this is ignorant of our shared history, how the moderation of religious power isn't due to the faith, as much as the cultural scenery in which religion can operate. Trying to get a modern Christians to agree on which laws and traditions of the old testament that should be used now is a battle they aren't prepared for, it isn't a clear series of ideas that works without interpretation, so how can a person twist Jesus's coming into changing a divine law, since he is said to claim to not break the law, most Christian values are based on modern morality, which is by definition moving beyond the bible. If we reject the old laws it becomes unclear, if you take it as non-literal then where is the line drawn, and if you cast off the bits that are no longer okay, you're believing in something that isn't biblical, even if inspired by aspects of it. Once you reach a wider philosophical view, you're almost ready to drop the Christianity altogether, accepting the books of old were inspired, not scripted by the creator of the universe, not the perfect word of god, nor a clear and factual history. Most Christians play a balancing act with ideas of what is moral, mostly based on background, most Christian don't know the bible well, so many accept what they think they know, and what a minister selects for a sermon.

The fact is many Christians are pushy, otherwise, there would be no debate over abortion, stem cell research, intelligent design, women's rights, LGBT rights, what politicians believe (or do not), and much more. It's not as bad as Islam in the middle east and third world, and who would expect the first world comforts to create a Christian State army as a mirror to Islam State, we have comforts and laws that have kept fanatics in line, so religion has become moderate and realistic where extremism isn't tolerated.

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