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Austin Cline

How Many Atheists in America?

By December 2, 2004

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Atheists appear to be a growing segment of the population - but how big of a segment? Decent figures seem hard to come by, perhaps because admitting atheism is as much of a social taboo as admitting homosexuality. Add in confusion about the definition of atheism and a very difficult situation is created.

Harris Interactive gives these figures on atheists in America:

A plurality (42%) of all adults (but only 37% of men) thinks God is male, but only 1% thinks God is female. Almost half of all adults believe that God is neither male nor female (38%) or that God is both (11%).

If you add up the numbers, that works out to 92% responding on the gender of god. This suggests 8% who must not believe in any sort of god with any gender.

Barna has this to say:

85% of Americans self-identify as Christians. (2002)
7% of US adults classify as evangelicals (2004) (see Evangelical category for more information)
38% of US adults classify as born again, but not evangelical. (2004)
37% are self-described Christians but are neither evangelical nor born again
Atheists and agnostics comprise 12% of adults nationwide. (2004)
11% of the US population identify with a faith other than Christianity (2004)

This was down in the year before the Harris poll and has a higher percentage of atheists. Why? Did one survey have a lower quality? Did a whole bunch of atheists convert during the interval?

Some accurate figures about the number of atheists, agnostics, and general doubters of religion would be very helpful...

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Comments
July 11, 2006 at 6:36 pm
(1) kidkj2000 says:

What method were uses for these figures. When we see plus or minus three percent or so, we know that it is a sample. No one ever asked me. What about agnostics? In reality, there are more people than numbers could identify because it is seen as a stigma to not have a religion. Most “religious” people who believe in sky pixies are part time believers who only go to church once or twice a year. Too bad the aliens don’t land so that we could convert those churches into homeless shelters and the cemetery land could be used. Religion keeps people passive as Nietsche said. They feel the need to believe in something when there is no benefit in believing or killing others who do’t believe what you do.

March 9, 2009 at 9:34 pm
(2) Thomas Kelly says:

Why do believers put so much stock in numbers of believers? So what if the majority are believers in God? Isn’t it ironic that they believe the majority or “masses” murdered the man they believe in? Yet, they use the “majority” of believers today as a reason for everyone to believe in a god. How do we know the men who wrote the various books of the bible were even sane? Did you ever read such gore, such filth, such fantasy, such “hocus-pocus” and the masses believe this stuff? Yes, that’s why we’ll always have religious wars and bloodshed. Shakespeare said it best: “WHAT FOOLS WE MORTALS BE.”

July 13, 2011 at 4:49 pm
(3) spktruth200 says:

Many people will say they are christian but they dont attend church or align themselves with “christians”.

6,452,000 jews…but in other polls I have seen they only make up 2% of the population.

at issue is the christian number: if there are 159,000,000 who claim they are christian, but not evangelical, and there are 51,000,000 Catholics? what about the balance of the public. I believe there are far more athiests or agnostics, but they are fearful of identifying themselves in that manner.

More information please.

March 13, 2009 at 1:47 am
(4) Jojo says:

Why is the internet infiltrated with pseudo intellectual atheists if they are a very small minority?

April 22, 2009 at 11:18 pm
(5) Unweirdly says:

I guess I will start with kidkj2000.You refer to the useless of religion many times. lots of studies have shown that people who have strong faith and engage in spiritual activities regularly are happier, have lower blood pressure,have stronger immune systems, and even live longer. Religion and faith are just a part of being healthy. Run , eat right and define your purpose.

April 24, 2009 at 10:36 am
(6) lauren renne says:

ATHEISTS STINK!!!!!!!!!!ohhhhhhn yeah!!!! IF YOU WANT MY OPINION….. GO FOR CHRISTIANITY

November 9, 2011 at 8:10 pm
(7) Jason says:

Typical christian tolerance. YAY. Duurrrrrr, i’m ingnorant

April 24, 2009 at 10:48 am
(8) lauren renne says:

ok mr thomas kelly first off u kinda offended some people. i mean have u read the bible? DUDE!!! YOU GOT IT WRONG!!! He gave himself to be killed so that u might have the chance to actually go to heaven one day!!! Read the good parts if it bothers you sooo much. See what he has done for you!! It is truely amazing. Maybe I just get it and you dont, but at least try to. I mean how likely is it that we just apeared here! Heres what you are doing….you are snubbing someone who loves you and died for you! I agree the the bible is hard to understand, but thats why we pray! We ask GOD (yes its a capitol G) to help us understand!!! Was that good explaining?????

May 6, 2009 at 3:28 am
(9) Loki says:

In response to “Unweirdly’s comment about how Christianity supposedly leads to numerous health benefits-how do you know that this is not just a placebo effect? In response to “Lauren Renne”-we did not “just appear here”. Maybe it is time to brush up on your science. This is the problem with so many religious fanatics; they do not use deductive reasoning and they have not gained a significant amount of knowledge about the other side of their arguments, which amounts to comments like “we did not just appear here”. Also, how can you possibly be so firm in any beliefs without first learning about the alternatives in order to see if another view makes more sense to you instead? statistics can be very misleading, second of all, I am an Atheist who sees statistics like this all the time, but yet, for so many of these statistics, I have never personally been asked my religious preference for data like this. I am highly skeptical every time I see statistics like this.

June 29, 2009 at 3:27 pm
(10) A says:

A study released in June by the Barna Group, a religious polling firm, found that about 5 million adults in the United States call themselves atheists. The number rises to about 20 million — about one in every 11 Americans — if people who say they have no religious faith or are agnostic (they doubt the existence of a God or a supreme deity) are included.

September 2, 2011 at 8:34 pm
(11) Pinky says:

I agree with you on that. I know many people who are agnostic(me included), but I don’t know any atheists to speak of. So, it’s more likely that most of them just don’t care, or don’t know. Not that they don’t believe in any sort of god/gods.

July 31, 2009 at 4:55 pm
(12) Taos says:

‘Not-religious’ does not equate to ‘atheist’. Plenty of people identify as ‘spiritual, not religious.’ Free form sprirituality is very much in vogue. Organized religion is weakening. Just look at the best seller list with all those books describign a meta-physical concept of GOd.

Let’s clarify the definition of atheist so we have accurate counting.

kidkj2000;

Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao were atheists and they weren’t the least bit passive.

May 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm
(13) Hitler! says:

@Taos And Hitler was a devout Christian with blessing from the pope to commit genocide on the Jews. What is your point here? All you did is prove a very evident fact and that is that amongst all people and groups of people you will find evil, no good people. By your implication, the Christian church is responsible for the Holocaust.

September 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm
(14) Holly says:

“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Gandhi.

The reason I am agnostic is because the Bible contradicts, it promotes violence and misogyny. Most wars have been fought over religion and most religious are hypocrites.

January 2, 2010 at 8:58 pm
(15) Brownie64 says:

First of all let me say God loves you, and it is not his will that you should parish! He wants to give you eternal life with him in heaven. Thats why he gave his son to die for YOU! However he did give you free will, and its your right to believe what you want,so if you choose not to believe in him so be it. BUT know this….one day your knee will bow, and your toungue will confess he is Lord, whether you like it or not. And you can take that to the bank

December 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm
(16) Scrappy says:

If he wants to give you eternal life with him in heaven then why is the road to heaven so narrow? Make some sense of this for me he has given us free will yet has his own will, his son is himself and died for us. A.) you have a conflict of wills since god is omnipotent and all good and all mercyfull then why so much suffering to the innocent? is it his will for the suffering to continue or is he not either all good or all powerful. B.) What exactly did he have to die on the cross for? This is something i need help understanding. lastly you say that “one day your knee will bow, and your toungue will confess he is lord, whether you like it or not” what do u mean by this. is he gonna force me to believe in him and if that is the case why are people not born with faith. why is there and has been so many religions.

January 15, 2010 at 7:05 pm
(17) user1122 says:

God did a lot more horrific things than Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, and Stalin… yet people still whorship him.

January 19, 2010 at 1:45 am
(18) 1113242517 says:

I have nothing against atheism i am a true lover and believer of the owner of the creation and cosmos he gave us life for no reason to be resposible of anything other than urslef he gave u and others family and knowledge of u call ur hands a part of ur body needed to use the computer lol knowing Gods existence and his eceedingly forgiving love for his children he will love u more everytime u say or thinhk that there Is no God Ur life ur belief can be directed with ur knowledge and knowing ur present stance sitting or sleeping of just doing drugs or praying or playing poker keep ur heart open t ecept reality and Strength will pour in like glass of wine before the last supper of ur day. God is love faith and strength and the planter of that one seed of life from which souls were made and from it created its mate. That includes all religions(tribes) and people who are not rong calling them atheists we are all Gods cosmos FUNNY at all time

January 19, 2010 at 1:55 am
(19) 1113242517 says:

I would believe in a person who is non beleiver and let him or her they are right and religions just exist for our self placement and our security of being heard seen listnened 24/7 I just want to let the people of there on mentality and personal belief of non existance on God they are rite and not rong my assurance to utmost highest level of gaurentee that God is a word for people to feel better everytime u recide it but in realty to my knowledge The Lord Knoweth ur thaugths and ur actions taken after thinking about that action Loed knows long before u even blink or sleep with the concern u living with or the money u gonna get when u wake up from ur dream Moral of my comment and the climax of the story Lord is a monster and the eternal owner soveriegnity .

May 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm
(20) Alex says:

Were you high when you wrote this?

January 19, 2010 at 2:18 am
(21) 1125132417 says:

God is loving you us all of us his creation no matter what they are saying or talking or criticising of letting you know we are all under the eyes of eternal mother yes children weep and the mother is there to wipe the tears out by giving brains of greatness to everyone by seperating good and bad choices very well explained to our sleves before taking or making that action bad choices will have consepuences and pain aint nothing to the boss because where there is bad there is good, Good is God and bad is nothing unless u say God dont exist. Lord is a forgiver the giver of life and the highest exalted position in infinite universe his or her or unshaped throne which he sits on is very best to see everythinhg with tolerence and let going of his children behaving badly or acting childish like a 9 years old boy talking about how to run Google and Aol with candy on his mind called Starbursts i LOVE your sharing of ur belief and ur not belief in God I learned from you beleifs the different minds directions and action and saying and living and working there are infinite space and knowledge and stupidity which goes on for ever with no end. Knowledege is learnt and wisdom is gaind from it and from that thanks from ur heart tourself whis is a gift to us our lifetime of number of years spent on his grounds a short journey on earth a pit stop for number years and then gone and continue to live on where i dont know FOREVER Do you pray if no, dont sweat i will say a short one for you im sure Lord is nit busy rite now or workin joke about him he will give u more jokes to make of him and laugh on you with you uwe smile once the Lord smiles for us too many times more

January 19, 2010 at 2:29 am
(22) 1113242517 says:

Dont get me wrong i was just curious to say somthing about lord to a person who doesnt beleive there is no God I have nothing against you and ur beleifs i back of if i had a argument about existnce of the supreme i say you are rite and dont have to change in ur beliefs Lord is very helpful in all ways and very very generous forgiving the creater of death and giver of life and the most hidden haha Because he is the truth and unseen Lord is unshaped unseen and ever present Its nice to know u wouldnt mind these words of faiith and stength of his unseen domain and ways that we are held and secured and the cycle of our life keep rolling just like water up and come down from clouds a process call vaporisation thats our life we live in the sky if u can imagine our place and positin in the space My name is Ali and i believe in Lord and we are one family living at this second and the next and i pray for a long time to come

February 9, 2010 at 3:54 am
(23) Sarah134340 says:

Ok um who ever thinks that being Athiest and being non religious is stupid Athiest means doesnt believe in a higher power such as a god or the evil. Personally im Athiest but to me that doesnt matter. Im not going to go complaining about other religions and saying they are wrong. I think every religion is right in its own way. I believe in science because space is mindblowing and dont think there is a chance that a god can live beyond that. Also even if there was a god then he hasnt ever done anything for me. All my life has been down hill. I plan to change it for ME not HIM. HE cant change things in MY life. I dont go good with Authority and I hate people telling me what to do! And for all you Dumbasses out there that base what you think off what you hear you should go die! Atleast read the Bible first then base your answers off that! Im 16 I have read the Bible and passed Confirmation and after 4 years of that, thats when i decided I dont believe in that! I think if I can do it a 30 year old that plays World Of Warcraft can take 30 minutes out of the day from burning their brain to read a page or 2. What im trying to say is be Educated about something before you defend it. Thats whats wrong with America these days. And no im not Bashing any one religion or any religion for that matter so dont get mad at me and tell me im a dumb Athiest that needs to stop saying bad things about Christians because thats the first time that I said anything about any religion other than Athiest in this whole thing(well except confirmation and thats not anything bad)!

February 12, 2010 at 3:00 pm
(24) Todd says:

Poe’s Law is a harsh master. i can’t tell if that post was meant to be taken seriously or as satire.

Did they stop teaching kids punctuation or is Sarah’s keyboard broken?

Her shift key seems to have a mind of its own.

February 21, 2010 at 10:38 pm
(25) lexisherre says:

Loki, you make me laugh. It is called a sample– i know with all your “reasoning” you couldn’t possibly expect pollsters to ask everyone what religion( if any) they practice. You further amuse me when you arrogantly accuse Lauren of failing to use deductive reasoning when you failed to do the same concerning the comment left by Unwierdly. I suggest you dust off your old science book and while you are at it go ahead read some scientific journals (you can even look them up online) and if that is to taxing the next time you’re at Barnes& Nobles reading Vidal take a look at Psychology Today. See the problem with you, Loki, (see how i didn’t stereotype a whole group) is that you fail to do the needed research. While Lauren’s statement is simple when you cut through the scientific jargon that is what evolutionary theory suggest and to most of the world’s population ( not just Christians) with out there being some being or source harnessing this process it is far fetched– more far fetched than “sky pixies”. Every great civilization on this earth was both designed and built by some “religious fanatic ” to use your phraseology. Most of the major theories were created by someone who believed in someone other than himself. And many of those who didn’t believe experienced something tragic that frail human mind couldn’t comprehend because of a misconception. And we know through our anthropology courses that as the human species advanced they became more spiritual. We even rate their intelligence by spiritual practices. Atheism would seem like an evolutionary downgrade.It is foolish not to accept science, but it is a fool who doesn’t believe in God. I have reason to be believe your so blinded by your falllible reasoning to recognize your condition. I’ll pray for you as you mock.

October 8, 2011 at 9:09 am
(26) Eli says:

I believe Loki’s complaint about him not being included in this “sample” was a simple explanation of why a poll like this is fallible. I don’t believe he was actually complaining about not being included in this poll. As for the theory of evolution being “more far fetched” than the theory of religion…Wrong. You fail. Scientific research has proven that evolution is real. A fifth grade science class can explain to you that evolution takes place in every facet of life. The common cold is continuously evolving. Every different species on the planet has specific adaptations to live and thrive in the environment in which it lives. Those adaptations over time are the different species’ evolving. Just because you used the word “advanced” when referencing the evolution of the human species doesn’t stop it from being evolution. And finally, Atheism isn’t an evolutionary downgrade. Religion was created to answer questions that we as a species couldn’t answer because we were not scientifically advanced. You are correct that as we evolved we became more religious, but not because we were more advanced and knew more answers, but because as we advanced we found more questions that we could not answer. Atheism, therefore, would be a major evolutionary upgrade seeing as how we have the scientific ability to answer questions without making things up like Apollo pulling the sun behind his chariot. Religion is for a civilization that has more questions than it has answers. Atheism is for a civilization that has found the answers that a religious civilization could not.

March 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm
(27) bakleyzat says:

I personally worship God, and I love Jesus very much and try to be like him, and I appreciate his message. I believe that the Bible is God’s word, but I suspect it has been twisted a bit by the men who wrote it. I seriously doubt that God would create a homosexual, knowing whether or not if he would be saved, to live a life only to be blinked out of existence permanently after death. I personally don’t believe that he/she woudl do these kinds of things. I don’t know what-so-ever what God is actually like, and nobody really knows. We know what Jesus is like, and I feel comfortable putting my trust in him. I understand how many different religions there are, and I realize that I “could be wrong”. Perhaps that is the reason why I chose to not believe in a life after death- I’ll believe it when I experience it. or studies prove it, but methinks they are doomed to fail. If there isn’t one, I haven’t lost anything and I haven’t “wasted” my life. I really wish all this fighting over beliefs would stop. “Erasing” a belief won’t do a damn thing. I think the only way you could ever erase a belief for good is to kill EVERYONE who is religious, or believes in a higher power, and then destroy anything slightly religious. But that is wrong. I honestly wish people could live and let live. I my life, and you live yours. live and let live. stop blaming the “evil” of religion on the evil of people. no matter what, religion never does anything, PEOPLE decide what to do. even if they do it in the name of God or if they blame it on their beliefs, they decided to do whatever and they are using a scapegoat. They are too scared to accept responsibility for their actions, and many are to arrogant to accept that fact. a differing belief doesn’t make you special, or smarter, or better than anyone else. to all those pseudo-intellectuals who feel the need to shove your beliefs down everyone’s throat (not to mention belittle, scrutinize, and brow-beat), just like the people you’ve come to despise, you’re only kidding yourself by thinking you’re better. why don’t you leave us “stupid, deluded, ignorant fools”(HAHAHAH! BLANKET STATEMENTS ARE SOOOO EFFECTIVE WHEN TRYING TO DISPLAY INTELLIGENCE!) alone? You don’t want our beliefs, and we don’t want yours. leave it at that and move on. you got a problem with someone, the smart thing to do would be to take it up with that single individual. You’re only a free-thinker when you decided for YOURSELF by YOURSELF what you want to believe in, why you believe in it, and you don’t listen to anybody else. whether it be Richard Dawkins or William Lane Craig. Because, chances are, you believe in something that many other people believe in, and you stick to a common paradigm. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a “free-thinker” ferverently quote “the God Delusion”. hmmmmm…

papa always told me:

_____

that much is the Bible

___________________

that much is commentary

March 15, 2010 at 7:51 pm
(28) Austin Cline says:

why don’t you leave us “stupid, deluded, ignorant fools”(HAHAHAH! BLANKET STATEMENTS ARE SOOOO EFFECTIVE WHEN TRYING TO DISPLAY INTELLIGENCE!) alone?

Uhhh… you came here. You did know that, right?

You don’t want our beliefs, and we don’t want yours. leave it at that and move on.

Yes, if you don’t like what atheists say why don’t you move on?

April 19, 2010 at 11:47 pm
(29) Jocta says:

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——-RELIGION IS ORGANIZED CORRUPTING MIND-CONROL!
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May 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm
(30) Free Thinker says:

The human race has not not advanced for thousands of years (with the exception of technologies), and we most certainly will not do so as long as racism, religion, and patriotism exist. It’s a very sad situation that we have today – with the ability to travel into space, cure many diseases, travel around the world in a matter of hours – we (most humans) still look first at our differences instead of our similarities. We all come from the same primordial seed, and that seed was most certainly not planted by a god.

Science has essentially wiped out the need for worshiping a supernatural being. Religion, in all forms, has only been a tool used for millennia to control the masses, nothing more.

Why do the leaders of the various religions keep changing their respective doctrines each time new scientific discoveries are made, challenging the very core of their beliefs? It’s simple, they must be nimble to keep their stranglehold on their flock (i.e. sheep).

Although recent Gallop polls have cited the number of non-theists in the US at 15%+, it is commonly agreed that the number of individuals waiting to come out of the proverbial (for lack of a better word) religious closet, may be as high 35% – which would make the non-believers and the devout neck and neck in the race toward enlightenment. With the non-believers gaining the numerical advantage each year, we may some day reach the grand prize of total enlightenment.

Religion has been used absolve the most despicable acts in human history. All you have to say is “God wanted us (or me) to do this”, and all your crimes are forgiven. When do we start taking responsibility for our own actions? The time is now!! We need to be self-accountable, and not allow the “Church” to wash away our sins. We don’t need doctrine to live our lives with honor and morality.

It has been suggested that as many as 85% of the people with an IQ over 130 are non-believers, and many think this figure is higher – leading this observer to think that we should encourage our neighbors to read. The VAST majority of (Christian) believers have never read the bible. Stamp out ignorance, and we (as a culture) can easily walk away from religion.

So much about religion is wrong, but completely understandable if you look at our history. There was perhaps a time and place for supernatural beliefs, but that time and place is now far behind us. We are able to stand
firmly on our own two feet, and it’s time to throw away the crutches.

Free Thinker

May 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm
(31) Free Thinker says:

I forgot to mention something in my previous post.

It is absolutely paramount that individuals make up their own minds. No person, or group of people, should ever try to force their points of view or belief system upon another. People do still have the right to reach their own conclusions.

Many cultures have been destroyed by the self-righteous. The so called “Missionaries” are (and were) nothing but storm troopers, sent around the world to wipe out cultures that had been around for many centuries. This should have been seen as a capital crime years ago, equal to mass murder, but it’s unfortunate that the damage has already been done.

Another catastrophe brought about by religion.

June 11, 2010 at 2:19 pm
(32) Diana says:

A survey revealed 95% of Americans believe in God or similar.

My husband believes in god and reincarnation and that his lives have been ceramic beads or popcorn strung together and as unique as similar. He tells me he can look into my past lives. I like his stories because they are a kind of magic realism where I pretend for the purpose of understanding the Earth and the Universe. His words take me to El Museo de An-thropologica in Mexico City where I stand amid the Indian children staring at room after room filled with varying huts and peoples in native dress. Calm frozen little peoples, innocent of La Pinta or La Santa Maria, carrying out the business of their existence. “That onet was you,” says my husband, the one making pasteles de maize.” The charm of his vision compels me to play along. “No. I am the one not in this scene. I am down the road who speaks to herself with the piercing eyes and the powders.” And he agrees with me regardless that it’s his vision because he loves me and, love has a way of making one agreeable.

But the truth is my husband is of the 95% who believe in God, and I am of the 5% who believe in nothing. Except that I do believe we are animals, similar and unique from all other animals. I believe that beetles dry up and blow into dust, redwoods live a thousand years, turtles 15% of that, elephants lumber to final resting places. I believe that stars col-lapse, galaxies implode, and that a survey concluded many of us believe we are the only thing or creature capable of infinity. I believe if the Universe had an eyebrow it would raise it. I believe when I turn my wrist and open the fingers or notice the trees strip naked for the winter or dressed for the summer it is enough for me to marvel at creation. I believe Mexicans visit their museums, dogs lollygag for a morsel, we write poetry or once wrote poetry but lost the desire. I believe that we, Possibly the Most Absurd of All Creatures in the Universe have agreed amongst some 95% of ourselves that we will not know the nothingness of death.

I believe we put 30 years of human effort into a rocket that would disintegrate in Jupiter’s mass, taking an hour of pictures and scientists have placed it amongst the greatest scientific achievements in the span of human endeavor. I believe we are given to hyperbole, that star trekking is in want of considerable more scientific achievement but I am still amazed. I believe in the reversals of friendships, renewals, spirals of accumulation and loss, in barnacles, Venus fly traps, microcosmic, repeating, self-destructive patterns of behavior, the button that says: CHANGE OR DIE, and unrequited love. I believe that sometime in the future when I am staring into the face of death, I must remember to say, thank you to the falling ever silent trees for the accident of my birth and thank you to the universe I so enjoyed.

July 13, 2010 at 10:43 am
(33) Metalman93 says:

Well religion is not to blame, humans are. Christianity doesn’t tell you to kill others who don’t believe in the same thing you do, it preaches peace,ect. But just because you believe in something does not mean you’ll cease to be human, humans will kill, steal, lie and twist the truth of religion you all just place the blame on religion its kinda sad.
The Idea that the universe self inspired with no reason is just foolish to me Atheism seems more foolish then theism lol.

July 30, 2010 at 10:51 am
(34) Tomtom says:

It´s irrelevant if God exists or not.
The state of things are unaffected by our view of them. The mountains don’t care if you believe in them or not, they are still there. To believe that a supernatural being would care about us and that our belief in such a being would have any impact on the same is just ridiculous. Now, I don’t object to the possibility of supernatural beings. They might be multidimensional, alien or exist on this planet in an unknown form. Regardless of what they, I, him or her, might be it seems highly improbable that the explanations offered by the religious community are correct. Such a being would be beyond our understanding in so many levels that trying to explain the intention, morals or whishes of the being would be impossible. Humans are approx 99% similar to chimpanzees and we can only communicate in extremely basic means. So, focus on what matters instead; People, respect, education and foremost love.

July 30, 2010 at 10:42 pm
(35) jack says:

We deserve the death penalty. This includes both physical death (the casket) and spiritual death (when the soul is cast into hellfire).
[T]he wages of sin is death…(Romans 6:23)

God doesn’t want to remain your enemy and he does not want you to go to hell.
As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die… (Ezekiel 33:11)

July 31, 2010 at 11:55 am
(36) Austin Cline says:

We deserve the death penalty.

Speak for yourself.

August 9, 2010 at 4:33 pm
(37) merryn says:

Why the Bible? What makes it seem more plausible than creation as stated by C.L. Louis’s (a Christian) The Magician’s Nephew; it is no less fantastical or metaphorical. Why for that matter not follow the accounts of creation laid down by the String Theorists who, as scientists should be following the evidence imprinted within the way our Universe works. They, and all good scientists, base their hypotheses on evidence: if their hard work points to a Christian God they should except it or take it into account, they haven’t as it has not. It must also be accepted, my dad ironically urges me to believe, as a neuroscientist, that ‘people will believe almost anything if conditioned accordingly’, suggesting why I, and many others are not Christian, and you may be. For this reason one should understand that if brought up in a normal Pakistani family the likelihood of one being Christian is minimal, just as the likelihood of myself being Christian would be much higher in eighteenth century Oxford than it is now. Finally I find it hard to come to terms with a benevolent and omniscient God that allows, as a more personal example my mother, Susan Hurley, a beautiful, kind, loving and phenomenally intelligent person to die, leaving two young children, myself then thirteen and my brother seventeen, and a broken father to form a distorted family. Was this our all-knowing God testing us as a family, or would one would think, after organising countless such family endeavours He would be familiar with the result? Will my mother, an Atheist, go to Hell, will the hundreds of young Pakistani children killed in the flood? .

August 30, 2010 at 9:09 pm
(38) BruceB says:

If popular acceptance is evidence of truth, then the earth is flat, the sun revolves around the earth and the moon is made of green cheese.

September 24, 2010 at 11:23 am
(39) Jordon says:

I think the point in showing the numbers is to show that the Nation is a God Believing nation by majority. That being said we should not remove God from everything we do. Why should we accommodate the minority? It doesn’t make sense… Yes you have the right to not believe in God, go for it. But don’t expect the world to change for you and your minority non believers. I don’t mind that you don’t believe, just wish you wouldn’t pry into our lives and try and take away our customs because of something that doesn’t even matter to you.

September 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm
(40) Austin Cline says:

I think the point in showing the numbers is to show that the Nation is a God Believing nation by majority.

In the same way that America is “White Nation” by majority. What do you think that means?

That being said we should not remove God from everything we do.

Who said you should? You’re welcome to put your god in whatever it is you do as a private citizen.

Why should we accommodate the minority?

You don’t have to. The government, however, has a legal obligation not to promote or endorse any one religion just because it’s popular.

It doesn’t make sense…

I agree. It doesn’t make any sense for the majority to want the government to promote their religion. If they were secure and confident in their beliefs, they wouldn’t need or care for it.

Yes you have the right to not believe in God, go for it.

You have the right to believe in one or more gods. Go for it.

But don’t expect the world to change for you and your minority non believers.

But don’t expect the government to single out your god and your religion for special privileges.

I don’t mind that you don’t believe, just wish you wouldn’t pry into our lives and try and take away our customs because of something that doesn’t even matter to you.

I don’t mind that you believe, just wish that you wouldn’t abuse the power of the government and take away others’ freedoms by getting the state and government bureaucrats to endorse your private religious beliefs.

The power to promote a religion is the power to suppress a religion. Real religious liberty thus means denying the state any authority over religious matters entirely – including the authority to pick a religion to endorse. Keep authority over religious matters in the churches and the homes.

October 28, 2011 at 4:56 pm
(41) Kevin Nam says:

This is a site about atheism. It sounds like YOU are the one who came to this site to try to lecture us on our beliefs as atheists. But that’s okay. I forgive you because pretty much every Christian I know, especially Evangelical for some reason, is always trying to push God down our throats. So I’m used to it.

December 20, 2010 at 8:14 pm
(42) Rafa says:

God’s real. If you do not wish to believe now…well, I guess there’s really one way to know for sure. Best wishes.

June 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm
(43) ncrebus says:

My question: why do we make such a big deal over the existence of God? Believers and non-believers should live side by side, without conflict. If there is a God, then he/she would want the human race to live the best way they can, not argue and wage wars over his/her existence. If there is no God, then we should all live peacefully anyways. This whole argument is meaningless.

November 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm
(44) Rod Chlebek says:

It would be meaningless if people did not act on their belief in a god.

July 13, 2011 at 4:45 pm
(45) spktruth200 says:

I did a different search and heres what I found:

2,000,000 muslims
300,000 buddhists and growing
159,000,000 christians broken down: 102,000,000 evangelicals, 5l,000,000 catholics,
37% are christian but not evangelical
12% of population are agnostic or athiest and growing.
2% jewish

so if only 2% are jewish how is it that there are more Jews in our government, as ambassdors and in the State Dept, and on all our media? anyone else have more information?

August 25, 2011 at 10:31 pm
(46) Matt says:

After some searching I found that about 15% of Americans are atheist, agnostic, or deist. The majority of Americans are Christian ( some sources say as high as almost 80% ) in one form or another. The next big group are Muslims, and then finally Jews.

Also, I don’t really associate myself with any particular religion, but I’m certainly not an atheist. In all my searching I never found a decent study which included this group.

November 9, 2011 at 8:10 pm
(47) Jason says:

I don’t believe this at all. I bet the numbers are much much higher. I don’t go telling everyone I’m an atheist but I am. I know many more people like me who are the same. With technology and the ability to have information at our fingertips we are understanding the world more and we are able to reference just how evil the bible really is. Your god is not real.

January 22, 2012 at 3:32 am
(48) Colebank says:

Ok, to start, I’m like a mix of both. I truly believe in God AND evolution. (but I think the histories of both are full of holes) I believe that living as Jesus did will help the world be a better place, and if u don’t think that ALWAYS talking out your problems instead of insulting and throwing punches (verbal or physical) is the better way to go, you are not civilized enough to comprehend my mission. And I am not the kind of person who always acts all “holier than thou” when argueing. I often start screaming @ people and am very bad tempered, but if I allowed myself to give in to 1/100th of these, I think I’d b in jail. I mainly scream when I feel insulted, and honestly, no one here is accomplishing that. They are all “bla bla bla, this is proven, bla bla bla, you’re wrong” but u know, if EITHER extreme had been proven, this argument wouldn’t exist. We can’t know until we die (permanently) and then what? If ur right, right. If ur wrong, ur wrong. And yes science may guide our civilization, but religion guides our humanity. Science does not tell us right from wrong, only what we believe to be truths. The religions of the world are the only reason that our modern morals exist (for some of us anyway) morals such as, murder is bad, stealing is bad, violence is bad, unjust punishment is bad. Without religion, the world would be in a state of chaos. In fact, America exists SOLELY for the freedom to Express your religion.

January 22, 2012 at 3:36 am
(49) Colebank says:

But without science, we would not have anything known to us in modern times. Like the lightbulb, radio, airplanes, or video. (invented by Joseph swan, Nikola tesla, the wright bros., and Thomas Edison, respectively) but in modern times, a growing decrease in religious influence seems to be leading to a decline in public morals. So without (some) religions, there is public indecency and lack of civilized society. And without science, there is a lack of progress and severly lowered life expectancy and death by disease. So please, can’t we live with the best of both worlds? Keep the peace and morality of religions at a level of importance as the orderly, prosperous world of the scientific community. And if you are atheist, you can still stay peaceful and moral, right? Unless you r a chaotic psychopath who thinks murder, robbery, polygamy and the like are just fine, then keeping urself moral shouldn’t even be an issue. I mean, I’d guess we all want world peace, end world hunger, ect. And to those of you criticizing the other groups for the members of their group that are not the greatest members of society ever.

January 22, 2012 at 3:40 am
(50) Colebank says:

The entire world has a layer of evil sprinkled over it, so don’t exclude yourselves when criticizing others. But I do suggest that you all read a few different religious scriptures. I personally like the catholic, Hebrew, Hindu , egyptian, andMayan (what u can find of it) I mean, even if you aren’t religious, it helps to know how the people you criticize see the thing you criticize. I have read almost every religious text since the sumarians, and almost all of them have the same main central “historical” events. Another reason to read them is because they are good books, as they should be when they were written over many hundreds of years. The main issue in the religion/no religion argument seems to be that both sides have either, 1 not read the bible (sorry, I’m catholic, sub the book of whichever religion u usually deny), or 2 they didn’t comprehend the text mannerisms correctly. You have to know when it is and is not the literal meaning. The most insulting over-generalization I have heard so far is someone who called Jesus a “cosmic zombie” neither half of which has any truth, as historically, he was a man born in Bethlehem (on EARTH) and was a carpenter, teacher of scripture and blasphemed the Romans, which led to him being crucified. And scripturally (in Jewish, Islam, and Catholic [+branch religions]traditions) he was born to a virgin, performed miracles, tought scripture, was betrayed by a “friend” for insulting Rome, was killed, and arose 3 days later (even now people who have died come back, my grandmother “temporarily died” in her sleep and came back after not breathing for many hours [without any life support] and then lived more than 10 years after that.) a “zombie” is a creature that has no living flesh and yet still moves, using only basic body functions. (there are many parasites that do this, and a few fungi that dothings like kill small creatures and control the body, moving it to a more moist spot to help the organism better repopulate).

January 22, 2012 at 3:41 am
(51) Colebank says:

But I digress, is coexistence really such a bad thing? Do you truly believe that it is impossible to work things out for the good of both of us? Peace is only achievable through compromise (something the government has been lacking over the last few years) because the only other way to achieve peace is through extermination, and that is not true peace. If any of you actually took the time to read all of this post, thank you. You must truly be a caring, understanding, and intellectual individual. Peace to all.

January 22, 2012 at 10:13 am
(52) Austin Cline says:

I truly believe in God AND evolution. (but I think the histories of both are full of holes)

OK, what are the “holes” in evolution?

you are not civilized enough to comprehend my mission.

Maybe the problem is that you imagine you’re on a mission.

And I am not the kind of person who always acts all “holier than thou” when argueing.

Except for the part about being on a mission and being more civilized than others.

if EITHER extreme had been proven, this argument wouldn’t exist.

False. The Holocaust has been proven, but there are still people in denial about it.

And yes science may guide our civilization, but religion guides our humanity.

Like in the Crusades?

The religions of the world are the only reason that our modern morals exist (for some of us anyway) morals such as, murder is bad, stealing is bad, violence is bad, unjust punishment is bad. Without religion, the world would be in a state of chaos.

So, you’re saying that secular atheists have no morals.

So much for not being “holier than thou”.

America exists SOLELY for the freedom to Express your religion.

Prove it.

And if you are atheist, you can still stay peaceful and moral, right?

Not according to you, because you believe morals only exist because of religion.

The entire world has a layer of evil sprinkled over it

Most of it is from bigots like you.

I do suggest that you all read a few different religious scriptures.

It’s arrogant and self-righteous for you to assume that atheists haven’t already.

I have read almost every religious text since the sumarians, and almost all of them have the same main central “historical” events.

You mean, myths. And, no, they all contain different myths.

You have to know when it is and is not the literal meaning.

OK, what’s your standard for differentiating?

FYI, Muslims don’t believe Jesus died and rose from the dead. So much for comprehending others’ religions, huh?

Peace is only achievable through compromise

Compromise what, exactly?

January 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm
(53) Colebank says:

I apologize, but if u think that throwing punches before conversation is cilivized, I do think I may more civilized than you.

Crazy people often disbelieve in things like that, they just want to act like it didn’t

The crusades were bad, bat even now we have issues, reffering back to the holocaust, that was when we thought peace was only achievable through violence

I’m saying atheists have the PoSSIBILITY to have no morals. There is nothing to guide you bat conscience, which we all know some people lack.

The American colonies were established by England as a place to send people like protostants, christians, and a few others deemed “undesireable” by the new Anglican church of England

You are just referring to your own commentary by taking things out of context.

How can I be described as a bigot for voicing a mostly unbiased view, while you sit here and bash me, attempting to make me break my peaceful tone?

By suggesting that “you all read” some of the books, I meant everyone, most religious people have not read them either, distorting religious views with social views

What are you referring to as myths? The great flood (for example) was about when the ice age ended, the thawed water flooded a great basin, and filled it to crest the medditerranian sea. And EVERY historical religion (over 1500 years) has a flood, a story of a savior, and one of a return.

I judge symbolism by literal by looking at the context, so you need not bother attempting it.

I’m sorry if I speak on behalf of my own religion sometimes. At least I can say I have one.

Compromise religion and science, we should learn to live peaceful lives in harmony, but many of the people here simply aim to seek out and destroy the other party.

January 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm
(54) Austin Cline says:

I apologize, but if u think that throwing punches before conversation is cilivized, I do think I may more civilized than you.

Says the person that starts out talking atheists by insisting that they wouldn’t have morals without religion.

It might be easier to take you seriously if you exhibited any evidence that you actually follow any of the principles you exhort others to adopt. But when you follow “it’s not civilized to throw verbal punches” with “oh, and without religion there wouldn’t be order or morals,” it’s clear that you don’t actually believe in what you’re saying.

At best, you only “believe” in it for others, which means you’re attempting to use ideals about civility in order to create an uneven playing field between you and others. Funny how often that tactic is used by people who are members of some privileged, majority group who are trying to avoid sustained, pointed critiques from minorities.

I’m saying atheists have the PoSSIBILITY to have no morals.

No more or less than theists. So singling out atheists is just done out of personal prejudice.

The American colonies were established by England as a place to send people like protostants, christians, and a few others deemed “undesireable” by the new Anglican church of England

The American colonies were established by immigrants who came for a variety of reasons: religious, political, and commercial. The first English colonization was Roanoke and it had nothing to do with religion.

How can I be described as a bigot for voicing a mostly unbiased view

Denying that atheists have a basis for morals is hardly “unbiased.”

By suggesting that “you all read” some of the books, I meant everyone

Yet you know you are addressing atheists on an atheist site.

What are you referring to as myths? The great flood (for example) was about when the ice age ended, the thawed water flooded a great basin, and filled it to crest the medditerranian sea.

Really? OK, prove it.

I judge symbolism by literal by looking at the context

I asked you what standard you use for differentiating.

Compromise religion and science

Science is an attempt to produce accurate explanations and descriptions of reality. So, you’re saying we should compromise on creating accurate explanations and descriptions of reality.

Why should we do that?

January 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm
(55) Colebank says:

Are you insisting that people would have any morals if religion had not organized us? Because I doubt it.

I’m not only referring to verbal punches, so that is a misquote. And how do u conclude that I am a hipocrite from that?

A religious follower will ALWAYS have morals, otherwise they don’t truly follow their religion, which guides their morals

You say the colonies were founded for a number of reason (which they were) although the main reason that the people immigrated was for religious and financial freedom from England, however, you make a good point with this arguement

I never denied it, however it is self imposed and has a higher possibility of failure than an avid believer in their religion

I am? I was unaware of that, I just followed a link

Disprove it

And I answered

By compromise, I mean we should live in harmony between both, as you gathered, but ignored in your restating of the quote so you could use a self imposed lack of context.

Do you mind giving a quick explanation of why you are taking things out of context?

January 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm
(56) Austin Cline says:

Are you insisting that people would have any morals if religion had not organized us?

The foundations for morality can already be seen in other animals. Look up the work of Frans de Waal for starters, but there is a massive amount of scientific research out there on the origins of moral sense and behavior in non-human animals. I’ll bet you haven’t done a lick of reading on any of the science, right? Or even recent philosophy?

If you limit all your research on morality to ancient religious texts, you’re certain to develop a warped and highly incorrect perspective. Quite a lot of knowledge about morality and ethics has been produced since the biblical texts were written.

I’m not only referring to verbal punches, so that is a misquote.

I didn’t claim that you were only referring to verbal punches. So, no misquote.

It’s called a paraphrase, limited to just those matters most relevant to the point at issue.

And how do u conclude that I am a hipocrite from that?

You’re a hypocrite for insisting on a standard that you clearly have no interest in following. You insist on no verbal punches, then engage in massive verbal haymakers almost immediately. You call for civility, but engage in egregious bigotry.

A religious follower will ALWAYS have morals

Right, like the Crusaders. And Muslim suicide bombers.

You say the colonies were founded for a number of reason (which they were)

So, will you admit that your original statement, “America exists SOLELY for the freedom to Express your religion,” was wrong?

I never denied it

You did when you denied that morals could exist without religion. If the only possible source for morals is religion, then atheists without a religion necessarily lack the only viable source for morals and, therefore, lack a foundation for their morals. They are at best “borrowing” the morals of religious believers while rejecting the foundations which make those morals possible or relevant.

This renders their a very thin coating on their behavior, something easily removed by winds of change or even selfish desire. And that brings us right to something you’ve also said directly about atheists’ morals: “it is self imposed and has a higher possibility of failure” and “There is nothing to guide you bat conscience.”

This is pretty standard evangelical apologetics, something atheists here constantly in one form or another. Thus what you’re saying is nothing new, which is why you’re so transparent. You’re just repeating tired old bigoted myths that we here see regularly.

however it is self imposed and has a higher possibility of failure than an avid believer in their religion

Prove it. Demonstrate, with scientific data, that atheists have a higher rate of moral failure than believers.

Did you know that atheists are incarcerated at a lower rate in America than Christians?

Did you know that western industrialized nations with higher rates of atheism and secularism also have lower rates of crime and other forms of social dysfunction?

Did you know that the rates of behaviors which conservative Christians condemn, like divorce and abortion, are lower in more secular and liberal areas of the US than in the conservative “Bible Belt”? Did you know that atheists have a lower rate of divorce than conservative evangelical Christians in America?

What scientific data that exists actually indicates the exact opposite of what you claim: better moral behavior by secular atheists than religious theists. However, I encourage you to do some of your own research to develop the evidence necessary to justify the dramatic claim of yours that I quote above.

Or, you could admit that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support it and retract it.

I am? I was unaware of that, I just followed a link

How hard is it to notice the big “Atheism” at the top of the page?

Disprove it

The burden of proof lies with the person making the claim, not with the person expecting them to support it. It’s not up to me or anyone else to disprove your assertions; the burden is entirely yours to support or prove them.

If you cannot demonstrate that “The great flood [story in the Bible] was about when the ice age ended, the thawed water flooded a great basin, and filled it to crest the medditerranian sea” then you should have the honesty to admit that and the intellectual honest not to assert it as true.

And I answered

I asked for a standard; you didn’t provide a standard. Do you comprehend what a “standard” is?

By compromise, I mean we should live in harmony between both

That’s not what “compromise” means.

as you gathered, but ignored in your restating of the quote so you could use a self imposed lack of context.

No, I’m simply relying on the word you used: compromise.

Let’s look at your original statement: Peace is only achievable through compromise

I asked what should be compromised. Your answer: compromise religion and science.

Science is an attempt to produce accurate explanations and descriptions of reality. So when you say that we should “compromise science,” you’re saying that we should “compromise the creation of accurate explanations and descriptions of reality.”

None of your words are taking out of context. Nowhere do you provide a context for treating “compromise” as anything other than its standard definition: settling differences through concession, adjustment of conflicting claims by modification of positions.

Do you mind giving a quick explanation of why you are taking things out of context?

First you’ll need to demonstrate that I am indeed taking things out of context. Using your own words and defining them correctly, as opposed to some idiosyncratic definition that you have not deemed worthy of sharing with the rest of us, is not “taking things out of context.”

You have an obligation to use English words correctly and provide adequate explanation whenever using a non-standard sense or definition.

January 23, 2012 at 9:15 pm
(57) Colebank says:

You quoted, but I never said verbal, so YES misquote

What verbal punches have I thrown? You are the one criticizing my every post

You need to stop taking things out of context, that is the only reason you are even keeping up any kind of debate

By saying solely, yes, it was a few reasons, although that was a main point

I still hold that morals would not have formed without religion, although now the inertia of social morals may keep many morals standing for a time

Morals are not scientific, they are an ever-changing aspect of humanity that guides our behavior in day to day activities

I stand by my claim

I didn’t see that

Do not criticize the proof of my claim if you cannot disprove it. It has been proven by the animal remains dating bake to just before the thawing of the ice after the ice age, after which it is covered over by sea live for the remainder. This is the best proof you can get out of current methods

No, it is not the definition of compromise, but it is a form of compromise between the people like you, who can’t seem to live on even footing with everyone and seek only to advance there own desires, and those who seek equality. If you have an issue with equality, why do you live in this country. I am trying to find an equal ground between religion and atheism, but for some reason you seem to dislike that prospect. Why?

I said that if you prefer violence over talking out you problems, you are not civilized enough to understand me. You only quoted “you are not civilized enough to understand my mission” as if I were insulting you directly, taking things out of context. That is what I mean.

January 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm
(58) Austin Cline says:

You quoted, but I never said verbal, so YES misquote

From your first comment: “insulting and throwing punches (verbal or physical)”

What verbal punches have I thrown?

From your first comment: “religions of the world are the only reason that our modern morals exist”. This implicitly denies that morals can exist outside religion and, therefore, that atheists have a foundation for morality.

You are the one criticizing my every post

So, you equate criticism with verbal punches? I thought that might be the case.

You need to stop taking things out of context

You have yet to demonstrate a single instance of that. Note: quoting out of context means quoting something in a way that makes the text appear to mean something other than it really does. So you’re going to have to demonstrate that I have unambiguously misrepresented a meaning that was clear in the original text.

Given the fact that you have admitted to not using correct definitions for key terminology, that will be a tough hurdle to get past. But I’m interested in seeing you try.

By saying solely, yes, it was a few reasons

I’m sorry, but in English “solely” dos not mean “one of a few reasons.” When you asserted “America exists SOLELY for the freedom to Express your religion,” you denied that America exists for any other reason. None. Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

An honest and mature person admits when they made a mistake, you know.

although that was a main point

Prove it.

I still hold that morals would not have formed without religion

OK, prove it. There is plenty of scientific research on moral behavior and thinking out there, so use some of it and support your position.

I stand by my claim

Then you should be able to support it with evidence.

Do not criticize the proof of my claim if you cannot disprove it.

Then try presenting proof for your claim.

Hint: the mere fact that a flood occurred at some point in the past does not, by itself, constitute anything even remotely close to proof that the Flood Story in the Old Testament was originally about that particular flood.

No, it is not the definition of compromise,

Well, at least you admit that when you used the word “compromise” you didn’t actually mean the definition of “compromise.” So why not use another word that actually meant what you intended?

but it is a form of compromise between the people like you, who can’t seem to live on even footing with everyone and seek only to advance there own desires

That’s a pretty serious personal accusation. I expect you have evidence to back it up? I’m sure that you don’t base that accusation solely on the fact that I challenge your assertions, right? Because that would be pretty self-centered and arrogant. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you and dares to challenge you to support your assertions doesn’t have any implications for how they live their lives.

If you have an issue with equality

Who said I did?

I am trying to find an equal ground between religion and atheism, but for some reason you seem to dislike that prospect. Why?

First, this is the first you’ve said anything close to this. I find it odd that you would only mention it and in the same breath, accuse me of opposing it.

Second, atheism and religion aren’t even remotely in the same category of thing. Atheism is simply the absence of belief in gods. It’s not a philosophy, ideology, worldview, belief system, or anything similar.

Trying to find “equal ground between religion and atheism” sounds rather like trying to find equal ground between cats and trees, or between beets and the color green. So I’m at a loss as to what “equal ground between religion and atheism” would be. Care to explain?

I said that if you prefer violence over talking out you problems, you are not civilized enough to understand me.

No, you included “verbal” punches here, not just violence. Funny how you accuse me of “misquoting” you but then you proceed to rewrite your own history by misrepresenting what you’ve written. The only person who has misquoted you so far is you. Problem is, the evidence of what you actually wrote is too recent and too obvious.

I’m still waiting for you to explain the “holes” you claimed exist in evolution. After several comments, you’ve steadfastly refused to answer that. Why? Can’t you think of any?

January 24, 2012 at 9:15 am
(59) Colebank says:

Yes, but it is a misquote to only mention one, acting as if I did as well

I hold that morals would not exist without religion, although as I stated in one of my comments, civilization has kept them going slightly. But the current decline in public morals concerns me

Yes I do, when i am purposely criticized out of context

I demonstrated an instance in my last post

Present an example please

I did admit my mistake, quite clearly, actually. You must just have an issue in your understanding of “by solely, yes” when you said I was incorrect. To which I replied “By solely, yes” I was admitting that by saying “solely” I was indeed incorrect. It was a sentence that required a high level of understanding of the english language, sorry if you misunderstood

You also stated that it was a main point in your comment, this proves to me that you only seek to cause an argument

State some of this research to me so I can check it out, if you don’t mind.

I understand you confusion (even though that didn’t require 3 comments about my 1 point) I didn’t fully describe the evidence, only that that flood happened. Let me explain, what I did by following directions and dates given in religious texts (dates are not given, but the geneologies were used to find the age of the birth of things such as the flood, dawn of intelligent mankind, and other events shared across religions) I used these ages, and checked my findings with modern historical data and found that at these times, man lived west of the twin rivers in the area of the sea. While evidence of humans was older in Africa, intelligent humans first arose around the sea. The oldest of which is a city found at the bottom of the sea, dating over 10,000 years. I will stop here so I have room for my other comments, if u have questions, ask

January 24, 2012 at 10:05 am
(60) Austin Cline says:

Yes, but it is a misquote to only mention one, acting as if I did as well

Only if I say or imply that you wrote nothing else. Look up the word “paraphrase” in your dictionary.

I hold that morals would not exist without religion

I know you do, but repeating it constantly is not the same as supporting the assertion.

Yes I do, when i am purposely criticized out of context

You haven’t shown that I quoted you in away that changed your meaning. An accurate quote that doesn’t include everything does not automatically change meaning. Correctly pointing out that you said “verbal punches” is not a “misquote”. It’s incomplete, but not a misrepresentation.

If you disagree, it’s up to you to demonstrate how. Simply repeating over and over that it’s a “misquote” does not accomplish this.

I demonstrated an instance in my last post

No, you didn’t, because you do not show that I misrepresented the meaning of your original statement.

Present an example please

Of what? Your consistent refusal to provide any context to any of your responses appears to be a deliberate attempt to foster confusion.

I did admit my mistake, quite clearly, actually.

Really? Please cite where you actually said “I was mistaken” or “I was wrong.”

State some of this research to me so I can check it out, if you don’t mind.

Already linked to references on this in the previous comment.

I understand you confusion (even though that didn’t require 3 comments about my 1 point) I didn’t fully describe the evidence, only that that flood happened

Nice way to admit that you did not, in fact, provide any proof of your claim – contrary to the implication of your words.

I did by following directions and dates given in religious texts (dates are not given, but the geneologies were used to find the age of the birth of things such as the flood, dawn of intelligent mankind, and other events shared across religions)

So, you have concluded when intelligent humans arose based on biblical genealogies rather than scientific evidence?

I used these ages, and checked my findings with modern historical data and found that at these times, man lived west of the twin rivers in the area of the sea.

Citation, please.

While evidence of humans was older in Africa, intelligent humans first arose around the sea.

Citation, please.

The oldest of which is a city found at the bottom of the sea, dating over 10,000 years.

Citation, please.

So far, you still haven’t provided any proof of your claim. You’ve simply made a bunch more unsupported assertions, none of which actually provide any credibility to the original assertion.

Oh, and I’m still waiting for you to provide examples of “holes” in “evolution.”

January 24, 2012 at 10:00 am
(61) Colebank says:

Sorry I couldn’t answer all the questions. I hit the limit and the copy paste isn’t working. I’ll repost later

January 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm
(62) Colebank says:

Yes it is, and yes I do, anyone who read this debate starting with my comment can follow that with an exception of one or two points, you have dissenters with every one of my statements on your own fictional basis. I have been trying to find a midpoint between us this whole time, to compromise some of my understaning to try to see things the way you seem to. I have continuously supported them and you seem to only want to try pushing me to the breaking point. I am trying to be understanding, but you are of no help with this goal. 

did some of the greatest species of all time simply dissappear? Like the great north American mammals. And for what reason did birds come into existence? There is no senseable reason for a reptile to need flight, as the current evolutionary timeline states. And would a species not be weakened over the million year old process of evolution between traits? Evolution is to slow to be a practical source of survival. (but as I stated, I too believe in it, just a little faster I guess.)

Sorry if I missed any from that comment, my comp. Is having issues

January 24, 2012 at 5:34 pm
(63) Colebank says:

#1 I’m ending the misquote argument now, if you have any comments on it, I will ignore them. It is simply being used as another reason for argument and is distracting us both from the conversation at hand.

Did I not say that I referenced my reasearch with historical evidence? I will cite these at a later time.

In the above post I put most of my opinion, but lost some due to my computer

January 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm
(64) Colebank says:
January 24, 2012 at 6:14 pm
(65) Austin Cline says:

Yes it is, and yes I do

What? Your steadfast refusal to provide even a hint of context to your statements makes it impossible to figure out what you’re talking about.

I have continuously supported them

Supported what, your assertions? Not by a long shot. All you’ve done is repeat them or add new, also-unsupported assertions to the mix.

There is no senseable reason for a reptile to need flight

Prove it.

as the current evolutionary timeline states.

Oh? Provide a citation of this “timeline”.

And would a species not be weakened over the million year old process of evolution between traits?

I don’t see any reason to think so. If you do, provide your evidence.

Evolution is to slow to be a practical source of survival

Prove it.

I’m ending the misquote argument now, if you have any comments on it, I will ignore them

Much as you ignored your obligation to support your accusation, I guess.

Did I not say that I referenced my reasearch with historical evidence? I will cite these at a later time.

Until you provide your citations, your assertions stand unsupported.

(theyre a little outdated, sorry for that)

Outdated or not, they are irrelevant unless and until you can demonstrate how they support your original assertion.

January 25, 2012 at 8:41 am
(66) Colebank says:

I can’t help it if I provide an implied context and you act (or are) so ignorant that you don’t see it. That is something you should work on, unless you are only doing it to make an argument

Example please

Prove they do, there is no sensible reason any creature would need flight, except to reach high places or get out of reach, and as evolution take millions of years (actually infinite, as long as there is life it will evolve) it is impractical for a species to take that time before it could be better adapted, as the situation of their ecologic quality.

You say you are atheist, yet you also doubt sciences take on the subject of evolution. What exactly do you believe about how we all got here?

Do you really want to keep complaining about your “misquote” does it have any relevance in the conversation at hand? I’d rather just get back to it instead of arguing over such trivial matters.

I laughed after reading the last two paragraphs, in the first you say I had not provided any citations, yet in the second you criticize the citations. I am assuming that you posted one, then read on without going back and editing your comment. So, this whole time you have not been reading, then going back, but commenting as you read, causing all of the baseless criticisms

January 25, 2012 at 10:24 am
(67) Austin Cline says:

I can’t help it if I provide an implied context

What implied context? Look at….

Example please

There’s no context there at all. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Prove they do

No, when you make assertions the burden of proof is yours; it’s not up to me to prove you wrong.

You say you are atheist, yet you also doubt sciences take on the subject of evolution.

I do? Point out where I have expressed such doubt.

Do you really want to keep complaining about your “misquote”

What misquote? I’ve provided accurate quotations of all you’ve said – including especially your objections to “verbal punches” immediately before your expressions of bigotry against atheists.

I laughed after reading the last two paragraphs, in the first you say I had not provided any citations, yet in the second you criticize the citations.

Correction, I challenge you to demonstrate how the material at the links supports your assertions. Unless and until you can do that, they are “citations” that support your assertions.

Anyone can post random links to random material when challenged to support a claim they made. Merely posting links to something does not automatically mean that they have provided evidence for their claims. You have an obligation to demonstrate that whatever you’re linking to is relevant and how it constitutes support (evidential or logical) for your assertions.

For example, if someone posted a link to a chapter from the Bible as “support” for a claim that evolution is a lie, would you automatically agree that they had “supported” their assertion? Surely not. First they would have to explain how and why that chapter is relevant. Then how and why the material there provides logical or evidential support for the claim. Finally, they’d have to be able to show why we should accept that material as valid, reasonable, accurate, etc.

January 25, 2012 at 8:53 am
(68) Colebank says:

I must say, you hold an argument better than most atheists. Most that I have ever argued with will blindly insult me because of my religion, calling me stupid, or ignorant, or other such criticisms without knowing the first thing about my beliefs (which is why my first comment included these) at least you keep up a high level of (mostly) intellectual argument (I have had my weak points too) and I know that it isn’t just atheists, but atheists are the main group of criticizers I have argued with lately, i know religious groups do it too, so don’t feel singled out.

Basically, you are the only person I’ve debated with instead of just having a shallow argument. I applaud you for giving me this opportunity.

January 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm
(69) Colebank says:

Do you even remember why I cited anything? I explained what I found in the text and provided evidence to support it at your request, I can’t help it that you have the memory capacity of a goldfish .

(this pretty much answers all of your questions.)

if you say you see no context (implied or otherwise) in a 2 word answer, maybe you should look at what I was answering to

I in fact say that there are citations, as do you, yet in your last post you both deny and criticize these citations, which you just admitted to.
In other words, are there, or are there not, any citations at all? Is there a single one?

January 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm
(70) Austin Cline says:

Do you even remember why I cited anything?

Yes: to support your assertion about the origin of Genesis’ Flood story.

if you say you see no context (implied or otherwise) in a 2 word answer, maybe you should look at what I was answering to

That’s precisely the problem; I can’t tell what you’re answering. Could be any number of things. Because you don’t quote the question, either directly or indirectly, there’s no context.

In other words, are there, or are there not, any citations at all? Is there a single one?

There are links; whether they qualify as citations of evidence for your assertions depends on what you do next.

January 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm
(71) Bob says:

In a general sense America is a democratic European country. If religious observance is fading in Europe it is inevitable it will fade in the US. Education causes people to think and see the illogic of religion. Religious institutions have lost their authority and must rely on convincing people of their truths. In the long run they are on a hiding to nothing.

January 27, 2012 at 11:30 pm
(72) Jose says:

God is like the Mafia ,bow and praise him or else.

February 7, 2012 at 11:08 am
(73) Jacob says:

Colebank,

I haven’t followed the long conversation, but in response to your idea that without “religion”, however you’re defining it, there would be no morality, consider the classic Christian author Edwin Hatch. In his book The Influence of Greek Ideas on Christianity, he makes the strong case that before Christianity came around, it wasn’t common to tie morals to religion. Rather, morality was a topic for philosophy, and had nothing to do with God.

February 17, 2012 at 9:15 pm
(74) lexisherre says:

Eli, I never called the theory of evolution into question (that would be foolish given the evidence of the process; however, that is not to say that I find it absolute). Nor, did I dodge the word evolution when using “advanced” it was, both, thought out and confidently deliberate as not to cause confusion since evolution was apart of the discussion. I am fully aware of how evolution works –i too passed 5th grade–and was not calling the theory “far fetched”, but the idea that it was an independent process coming from nothing or amino acid initiated. And I extend this to the “Big Bang Theory”. Current science,astrophysics,is continually pointing in the direction of an intelligent designer or “finetuner”(discover magazine) given the recent developments in space temperature and findings that the universe is not ever expanding nor staying still, but is collapsing.Furthermore, the priest class of scientists (physics theorists) are seeming to have some dissension in their fold on how to proceed: We can admit that the evidence is pointing to a creator or we can defy our “proven” laws of physics-the basis of all other theories-and suggest the multiverse. Though mindblowing in itself we further must inform that we’ll never be able to see the other multiverses nor prove its existence unless we use a contoversial “theory”of a string ( and the name is very fitting given it’s as reliable as a ball of yarn or a guitar cord after an ebullient strum), yet even then we still won’t know. Thats not to say I doubt another universe’s existence, but if one could stretch himself that far to believe that which he can’t see and can only be explained by that which goes against every scientific law ever known– and to do that must refute what stares him back in his face– he does that by ignorance or faith, possibly both. Regardless, it puts the anti theist in the same place as the religious, but with less substance.

February 18, 2012 at 8:27 am
(75) Austin Cline says:

Current science,astrophysics,is continually pointing in the direction of an intelligent designer or “finetuner”

OK, prove it – cite your evidence.

Furthermore, the priest class of scientists (physics theorists) are seeming to have some dissension in their fold on how to proceed: We can admit that the evidence is pointing to a creator or we can defy our “proven” laws of physics-

Cite some quotes.

February 19, 2012 at 9:39 am
(76) lexisherre says:

You asked me to provide sources, so here they are:

“A lot of people, both inside and outside the scientific community, are viscerally opposed to the idea of other universes, for the simple reason that we can’t observe them”

“The multiverse is a prediction of certain theories­—most notably, of inflation plus string theory.”

Out there, Welcome to the multiverse, written by Theoretical Physicist Sean Carroll, Oct 18, 2011 Discover.com

“For many physicists, the multiverse remains a desperate measure, ruled out by the impossibility of confirmation”

“On the other hand, if there is no multiverse, where does that leave physicists? ‘If there is only one universe,’ [Benard] Carr says, ‘you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.’ ”
Sciences alternative to an intelligent creator, Tim Fogler Discover magazine October 2008

February 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm
(77) Austin Cline says:

You asked me to provide sources, so here they are:

I challenged you to provide evidence for your claim that “Current science,astrophysics,is continually pointing in the direction of an intelligent designer or “finetuner”" And quotes that “the priest class of scientists (physics theorists) are seeming to have some dissension in their fold on how to proceed: We can admit that the evidence is pointing to a creator or we can defy our “proven” laws of physics-”

None of your “sources” answer the challenge. Your other two comments are as pointless and irrelevant as this one, so they won’t be published. Furthermore, no other comments of yours will be published here unless and until you provide direct evidence and citations for the aforementioned claims.

February 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm
(78) Austin Cline says:

As expected, lex cannot provide a single bit of evidence that science is pointing to an intelligent designer. Nor can lex provide a single quote of scientists saying that evidence points to a “creator.” Why do people make empirical assertions they know they cannot support? Do they merely assume that no one will ever call them out on their claims?

February 26, 2012 at 8:04 am
(79) Grandpa_In_The_East says:

Austin asks: Why do people make empirical assertions they know they cannot support?”

My intuition is that they feel they shouldn’t have to. Their social and intellectual world consists of similar individuals who speak and hear the same religious nonsense all their lives and any time someone of their ilk make a ‘this’ or ‘that’ religious remark, they always get an “ain’t that the truth! response.

GThe have come to believe or “know” such ideas are self vident “truths.”

Grandpa

February 28, 2012 at 8:32 am
(80) Colebank says:

Hey Austin, I recently came across your post on how atheism isn’t a religion (good post btw) I had wonderedhow it could be based on my def. Of religion, and apparently u agree. Anyway, in it you state that atheists have no set moral code, this leaves morals up to interpretation for athesist. This contradicts your comment in this thread.
Is this correct or have I misread? Please elaborate.

February 28, 2012 at 10:03 am
(81) Austin Cline says:

Is this correct or have I misread? Please elaborate.

I’m afraid you’re going to have to be a lot more specific – i.e., specific quotes of what you think contradict.

February 28, 2012 at 11:23 am
(82) Colebank says:

Your first two comments are saying how atheists have a set basis for morals (which I assume when you criticize me saying “denying that atheists have a basis for morals is hardly unbiased” this implies that you believe that atheists do have a basis of morals, yet in your thread where you argue that atheism is not religion and is comparable to “not playing baseball being considered a sport” you say that the morals of an atheist are not predetermined, and as such are developed by the individual.
Therefore, do you not state in the thread that there is no base, while arguing in these comments that there is a base for morals? Or did you simply desire to criticize me and make me appear overly prejudiced, as you did with many of your first comments?

February 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm
(83) Austin Cline says:

Sigh… you again? I thought I had banned you earlier for making claims you couldn’t and wouldn’t support. I’ll have to go fix that.

I suppose this demonstrates, though, why you not only couldn’t support any of your claims but couldn’t even figure out where and how to begin:

Your first two comments are saying how atheists have a set basis for morals (which I assume when you criticize me saying “denying that atheists have a basis for morals is hardly unbiased” this implies that you believe that atheists do have a basis of morals…

How hard is it, really, to figure out that “a set basis for morals” is not the same as “a basis for morals”? Atheists have no “set basis for morals” – i.e., pre-determined, written-down, dogmatic, spoon-fed set of morals which all are obligated to follow. It does not follow from this, however, that atheists have no basis for morals whatsoever.

Or did you simply desire to criticize me and make me appear overly prejudiced, as you did with many of your first comments?

I don’t need to do anything to make you appear prejudiced. All I have to do is quote you and then contrast what you say to reality. The stark, unmistakable difference is more than enough.

Now, please do go and troll some other site. Maybe you can find one where no one cares if you can support anything you say.

February 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm
(84) Kiddo says:

Perhaps you guys have it wrong… We as christians care because we love everyone. Well, that is because God has shown us love in our lives and yours too. We always want to know the numbers of believers, due to the fact that being raised on love, makes you wonder how many people can be saved. Just out of curiosity. Honestly, It is very hard to become a christian if you were raised an atheist and I absolutely respect your view point.(Since I was once an atheist). I hope God shows you his love :D

March 15, 2012 at 5:55 am
(85) Grandpa_In_The_East says:

It has been my experience, having been raised in a Christian environment, that Christians are, above all all, the most self-loving of all beings on the planet from time immemorial. Ask any Christian: “if you could free all the people from eternal Hell-fire and Damnation merely by offering up your soul to eternal torment, would you agree (with “God”) to do it?” Remember: “This is not a test.”

The answer woud be “NO” and they would hate you for everafter for putting them on the spot and showing the true character of their Christian-Self (Soul).

When I hear a Christian remark about their Christian “love” for me, I always get that erie feeling like I am the mark of a sexual-preditor.

Please, keep your Christian “love” to yourselves.

Grandpa

Quote: “He who begins by loving Christianity better than truth, will proceed by loving his own sect or church better than Christianity, and end in lovng himself better than all.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Aids to Reflection, “Moral and Religious Aphorisms,“ #25 (1825).

September 13, 2012 at 9:11 pm
(86) Bob says:

If you are not born again then you are technically not a christian, even thou you may call yourself one. I could call myself a genius but if my IQ is below 140 or whatever the number is then I am not a genius. So out of the 85% you can only take the 38% of born again and the 7% of evangelical. You can call the other 40% confused.

September 15, 2012 at 8:49 am
(87) Austin Cline says:

If you are not born again then you are technically not a christian

Says who?

So out of the 85% you can only take the 38% of born again and the 7% of evangelical. You can call the other 40% confused.

Or I can call them Christian and dismiss your “definition” as self-serving.

September 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm
(88) OZAtheist says:

I wonder if Bob has a means of measuring the degree of “born againess” of a Christian. As this is such an important issue he should be able to make some kind of measurement so he can weed out the pretenders – of which I feel sure there are many.

September 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm
(89) Victoria says:

Austin,

When I was a ‘born-again Christian’ in the late 70′s, that was something that they always said. If you aren’t ‘born-again’ , then you aren’t really a Chrisitan. It didn’t matter if you had been a Baptist all your life or a Methodist, Luthern, Catholic or any other, you were NOT considered a Chistian until you were born-again. Catholics, despite being baptized as a baby, were not really Christians, UNLESS, they went to the evangelical or fundie (I don’t even know what I was considered) church and had a proper born-again experience. Mormons were not considered Christians at all as at that time Jesus was not nearly as important as Joseph Smith was to them.

October 14, 2012 at 11:11 pm
(90) george.paco says:

I cannot believe so many people live in a fantasy world,with a bearded god somewhere up in the sky waiting for you to get on your knees begging for something . And if you do not believe in him to hell you will go ,suffering in pain for eternity.For crying out loud world , there is no heaven,there is no hell,there is no god.

September 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm
(91) Gary says:

The belief in God/s IS a BIZARRE DELUSION and Religion IS a PSYCHOSIS!!!

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