Let’s start with skeptic7’s first statement:
Jake The Angry Snake claims that 'the biggest thing in an atheist's life is that they don't believe in something'.The article that I quoted said this. But nowhere in my post did I support, agree with, or even discuss this statement. Did he even read what I wrote? His statement is a flat out lie.
that is a rather broad stroke of the stereotypical brush.I made no such “stereotypical brush” stroke. Skekptic7 made up a claim I never made and then labeled it a stereotype. I believe this is also known as a straw man. I have seen anti-theists do this more times than I like to count. And not to say theists are not guilty of this as well, they are, but two wrongs do not make a right. Let’s move on to the next part of his statement that started with the lie about something I never claimed.
From a lifetime of experience, not believing in something that doesn't exist is actually of very little concern. i don't waste my time on the nonexistent. I don't accept lots of extraordinary supernatural claims as fact or truth, such as The Tooth Fairy, Bigfoot, alien abductions, Santa Claus...nor a dog that speaks perfect English out of his ass, which by the way has a better chance of existing than an invisible, mute, all-knowing, all-powerful, egomaniacal baby sitter who cannot even be defined, so much as seen. We KNOW dogs exist and we KNOW they all have assholes, which is infinitely more than we know about any gods, not to mention more than you or any other theist can tell me about any god.The existence or non-existence of a god had absolutely nothing to do with what I wrote about in my previous post. This is also something I see anti-theists do all the time. They switch away from the current topic of discussion and revert to making a laundry list of reasons they say god does not exist. I think, and this is my opinion, many of them use this tactic to try and go for a cheap and easy “win” when continuing with the current topic would require too much effort. They throw out all these reasons why they claim god does not exist knowing theists will be unable to prove otherwise. They then dance in circles acting like they just won the entire debate. However, they usually ignore the inconvenient fact that many theists are not trying to prove (a) god(s) existence and will willingly admit that they cannot do so 100%. They, anti-theists, also tend to sprinkle a generous helping of insults on top of this tactic as well. As if being derogatory somehow makes their claims more “right”. I also talked about this in my post on Accommodation and Confrontation about a post from PZ Meyers:
For the anti-theists who always insist on reverting to the existence of a god in discussions/arguments with theists, let me help you out here. Theists believe in a god/higher power, atheists do not. Problem solved. You can move on now.PZ Meyers: Religion isn't the problem, they claim, it's only the extremists and zealots and weirdos. The majority of believers are moderates and even share some values with us.Me: Since when was this about whether or not our religious beliefs were true? We believe them to be, atheists do not. The real issue here is the extremists and more importantly their actions of attempting to undermine things such as public education. It is not about if their beliefs are true or not, but how they are attempting to force their beliefs upon others.
"But is a moderate superstition true?", we repeat, and "How can a myth be made more true if its proponents are simply calmer in stating it?"
2. Jake The Angry Snake's analogy about basketball, while amusing, needs to be carried a bit further. Of course Jake the Snake keeps his dislike of basketball to himself. He has no reason not to. No one is trying to force him or his friends and loved ones to play the game. Neither he, nor his loved ones are being threatened, fined, incarcerated, killed or losing any liberties because they don't participate in, or at least enjoy, the game. Jake The Snake would probably feel a bit differently if this were happening. This IS what happens with religion.Actually no, the analogy does not need to be taken further. If anti-theists were to restrict their attacks to only those groups of people who actually were attempting to force their religious beliefs upon others than skeptic7 would be correct. However, since anti-theists do not restrict their attacks but instead choose to target all of religion, my analogy works just fine with no need to take it further. This is made clear from Hemant Mehta’s comment:
We can’t “live and let live” when we see how much damage these beliefs — as silly as some might seem — have inflicted on people we love, and how much pain these beliefs have caused by people who took them too seriously.By stating anti-theists cannot “live and let live” he is saying it does not matter if you actively push your beliefs upon others or not. If you are religious, you will be targeted regardless. This is extremely ironic considering that by taking this stance anti-theists are, in turn, forcing their (lack of) beliefs upon others. This is fairly hypocritical coming from a group who constantly decries this same behavior in the religious right.
3. I don't ever worry about being bilked out of money by superstitious claims. It has never been my money and it never will be. However, it could be my mother's money or a good friend's and i find fraud repugnant regardless of the flavor. In my humble opinion, religion sells empty promises which it never has to pay out and is impossible to collect on, so it is fraud. REMEMBER, i said MY opinion. If this faulty, fly-by-night insurance policy makes people feel better, then good for them. Drugs, alcohol, dreams and certain cranial trauma also create deluded states that make people feel better, but ultimately one usually has to deal with reality.Let’s actually define fraud here.
Fraud: In the broadest sense, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual – From Wikipedia.Notice the part where it states “intentional deception” (emphasis mine). That alone disqualifies nearly every donation/tithe to a church as being fraud. And I think we can agree that the ones it does not disqualify are fairly rare as they would also be very illegal. Just because you think someone’s religious beliefs are false does not automatically make their donations on behalf of those beliefs fraud. Skeptic7 also ignored my statement about charities. Studies have shown the religious far out give to charities than non-religious. This is a fact. Many of those donations, which he and other anti-theists label “fraud”, go to these charities. And I think anti-theists are not even willing to go so far as to say giving to charities is bad.
4. Instilling the fear of Hell and eternal torture in children and/or on their loved ones is CRUEL. It is indoctrination (brainwashing) of a very loathsome kind.Not all religions believe in Hell and eternal torture. Heck, not even all of Christianity believes in Hell or eternal torture. Again, criticizing all of religion for something not all religions do is faulting reasoning. Get your facts straight. I do not even believe in a Hell or eternal torture. So go bug someone else who actually does believe in it with that one.
My opinion, most atheists don't give a rat's ass about your silly, childish superstitions and imaginary friends. We DO care about keeping their subjective, regressive and oppressive nature from impeding our liberties and advancements in science, medicine and technology.Your, anti-theists, actions and words, such as being unable to “live and let live”, scream differently.
KEEP STATE AND CHURCH SEPARATE. The Founding Fathers, even those who were religious and even Christian, saw the folly of allowing subjective superstition into lawmaking, politics and government. The USA is a secular democratic republic...NOT a theocracy.Where did I even mention the separation of Church and State in my previous post? Skeptic7 is correct in that the USA is not a theocracy, but it has absolutely nothing to do with what I said. Skeptic7, please try to put a little more effort in staying on topic in the future.