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Hey, morons, wake the hell up! Not all parts of the Bible (such as the bear killing the children) are meant to be taken literally. This is the fundamental flaw atheists face when they cite the Bible. They skim over what is of real spiritual or moral meaning, and concentrate on literary devices that exaggerate the events of Biblical times. Seriously, you don't convince anyone by using information that is irrelevant to essential religious beliefs.
Oh, FYI. Most Christians are very moral, reasonable, and fairly tolerant people, who do not interpret Old Testament harshness literally, as you seem to do. This misunderstanding has seriously misguided both parties in the affair.
Christians follow their own intuitive sense of right and wrong as atheists do. Chritians reinterpret or explain away what's inconvenient in the Bible. Proxima Centauri 20:14, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
You seem to ignore the great deal of good Christians (as well as many people of faith) do and cause in the world. Atheists have nothing to compare. If they do, prove it and Ill listen.
A great deal of good and harm is done in the name of religion. This has happened over the centuries. Public spirited atheists tend to have other philosophies as well as atheism. Many are liberals in North America or Social Democrats in Europe. Some atheists are conservatives. See Atheist Political Party. Religious influence is weaker in the Scandanavian countries than in the Bible Belt of the United States. The Scandinavians have succeeded in making their people happy. Proxima Centauri 08:20, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Harm done in the name of religion often stems from a misinterpretation of religious doctrine; such is seen when the Hebrews exterminate the Canaanites without giving them a chance to convert or offering them peace- that is obviously not what God told them (in the Bible). What global contributions have Scandinavian nations made in the past 20 years? Religion often inspires people to do great things, and the "happiness" atheism supposedly brings is superficial when compared to that brought about with religion, or at least some form of faith. I can tell you that from honest experience; "with God, life can be a beautiful experience. Without God, you are just biding time."
Northerners used the bible to justify an end to slavery. Who was right?
- The Bible ia contradictory, it doesn't give clear moral guidance. Proxima Centauri 22:37, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Its actually pretty straightforward if you know ho to interpret it. Jesus says not to take an eye for an eye but to turn the other cheek. You only interpret it to make contradictions.
How parents and others indoctrinate youngsters
When I was 15 I finally accepted that I was an agnostic after years of struggling intermittently with religious doubt. Americans would have called me a weak atheist. It was a year before I told any adult that I no longer believed in god. At 16 I finally told my mother that I was an agnostic and at 16 I was treated to psychological manipulation similar to what happened in the section, Christian intolerance. My mother told me that she didn’t expect me to support various moral causes that I cared passionately about because I was now an “atheist”. When I told her that I was an agnostic she said that was very much the same thing. Parents who think they should bring their children up to have religious faith think it’s morally good to treat a 16 year old that way. I’m very pleased in retrospect that I didn’t have to face that at 15 or earlier.
Well it’s to do with this whole Wiki. I hope that large parts of the wiki will speak to American High school kids and British secondary school pupils who don’t believe in Christianity any more but can’t talk to adults about it. They need guidance about being an atheist, about being an agnostic, about how to be moral without believing in god. The stuff which our Christian wrote above is what some atheist and agnostic kids have to face if they tell people round then what they believe. Proxima Centauri 18:38, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
One of my friends is a fundy (sadly). I had a conversation with him and a fellow atheist. It went like (but not exactly like) this.
Me: (saying the reasons to why Noah's flood can't be real)
Fundy Friend: Well, he could've taken two of every plant (to contradict that "a 360 day flood would've killed all plant life".) And God could've made the animals not eat each other.
Me: But he couldn't do that, because it'll interfere with their free will (Fundy believes animals have souls.)
Atheist Friend: Um, this isn't Bruce Almighty.
Me: you know what's funny about the garden of Eden. God lied. He said something like, "The day you eat it you shall surely die", but thay didn'y die.
Fundy friend: Well, that was a metaphor. The bible has a lot of metaphors (generally refering to all the deaths)
Me: but you believe in Hell, so couldn't that be a metaphor? And who even goes to hell?
Fundy friend: People who don't believe in Christ
Me: but how do you know that they will go to heaven anyways?
FF: You don't, but you can just believe.
Me: So why doesn't he let people who don't worship him in.
FF: because he doesn't want to be with people who don't believe in him.
Me: that sounds selfish
AF: well, he's god, he can be selfish if he wants to.
Me: I don't want to worship a selfish god.
FF: then you'll go to hell. (there's no way you can respond to that)
Me: Well, the Muslims believe you'll go to hell if you're not a muslim? Why don't you choose their religion?
FF: I prefer the non-violent ones
Me: But what about the crusades and Inquisition?
FF: Those were the Catholics.
Atheist Friend: Well, bye, (my name)
Me: So, you believe that (Atheist friend's name) is going to hell?
Me: What about the Hindus
FF: Most likely
Me: Ghandi and Eienstein?
It goes on. We also talked about parallel universes. blah 00:56, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Jesus often spoke in metaphors
- Speaking of the Crusades, there were also ulterior motives for the Latin Christians to invade the Levant. To say that it was a purely religious struggle or a completely bad affair, is to be ignorant to the course of history.
And what about the Inquisition? Proxima Centauri 19:26, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
- While some Christians are big on interpreting things as metaphors, fundies tend to regard the bible as literally true. For them the seven days in of creation in Genesis are literally seven days. That gives them a problem with "in the day thou eatest therof" because they either have to accept that God lied, or turn an intellectual somersault and say "Ah well, in this particular case it's a metaphor". One could readily ask "How is one too tell which parts of the "literal" bible are, in fact, metaphors?" How is one to know if the seven days of creation are literal days in that case?
- Non-fundies are are tougher as they will wave their hands and invent anything, but fundies have a lot less room for manoeuvre as they must keep to literal meanings.--R Fitzroy 15:35, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm in an edit war at another wiki over that. Battle 1, Battle 2, Battle 3, Battle 4. I'm new to that wiki and I don't want to get blocked for edit warring so I'm not sure what to do next. Proxima Centauri 16:20, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I think this article is kind of harsh. Shouldn't there be at least one thing that doesn't portray them as horrible people? To be honest this is kind of what the religious wikis look like when the write about atheists. Can't we be a little nicer/better?
- The thing is that atheists are always going to be accused of "harshness" or something of that nature. When you tell somebody that all the things they hold to be true are wrong you are always going to find somebody who is going to be offended. That leaves you with the option of being nice and saying nothing, or saying what you think and being accused of being "harsh". You are dammed if you do and dammed if you don't.--R Fitzroy 16:32, 15 March 2009 (UTC)