What Happened to the Concept of Respecting Others

Published June 18th, 2010 by Bobby Henderson

I wanted to write this, because as an Atheist myself, I still find your attempt at mockery not amusing. Though I lack religion, I still can respect others and their beliefs. Can’t you do the same? You can have your own viewpoint on life, but this makes all atheists look like assholes.

You may not agree with religion or the people who follow it, but keep in mind that you still have to live with them. Taking this approach, yes I’ll admit creative, but really destructive. I don’t see the point in this misguided "religion" but realize that just because you believe you are right, does not make it any less offensive.

The Kansas School Committee is looking pretty good right now.
-Annie



306 Responses to “What Happened to the Concept of Respecting Others”

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  1. Jamie says:

    [Others have already expressed what I have in the following paragraphs more eloquently, but I thought I'd chime in too.]
    Dear Annie,

    I doubt you will return and read all these replies to your letter (maybe you have, I haven’t read through all the comments), but I’m writing this to you in the off chance you come back.

    I don’t get why you say this will give *atheists* a bad name, because that assumes all those here are atheists. Reading through the comments, you get people who identify as agnostic, deist, pantheist and Christian and also agree with the message of this site: religion doesn’t belong in school (and we should represent reality as best we know). Even *IF* this was a community of atheists, so what? Atheists are not a homogeneous group, all you can say about all atheists is that they don’t believe in god, everything else is fair game. I, and many of the people here, are atheists but you can see our views on religion and our approach to the religious are diverse. (What one atheists expresses or believes does not reflect on another atheist.)

    Even if this site was offensive, you and others out there don’t have a right to not be offended; everything offends someone. And like “Prendahl the Intolerant” above said, you weren’t forced to come here, so if you’re so offended, don’t come here. The same can be said to those you think might be offended.

    As to your claim of “taking this approach…really destructive”, I don’t see how this site has been destructive. I’ve only seen this site build community among people, inspire works of art/creativity, share laughs, and even fight bigotry (counter-protesting the WBC). So what do you think is so destructive about this site? Please offer examples. Also, I would like to ask, why you aren’t asking actual religions to stop their destructive activities? I mean, like the Pope telling Africans not to use condoms because he so badly wants to believe that they spread disease instead of quelling the AIDS epidemic there. That is causing real suffering and death.

    Also, I don’t understand how the Kansas School Board is looking good. So it’s better to cram religion into schools that to risk offending somebody? I guess truth and knowing how the world works are important to me, and I would rather students get an accurate view of the world than forced to believe someone’s preferred fairy tale.

  2. Michelle says:

    After reading your website and your responses to Annie I can’t help but come to the conclusion that all you “pastafarians” are 12-22 years old. There is a glaring lack of maturity and cohesion to this whole effort. While I initial letter raises some good questions and I think makes its point, I can’t see what is to be gained by mocking people for their beliefs. As an atheist (and I’m sorry they don’t hand out membership cards so you’ll just have to take my word for it) my major concern with the religious is that they stay out of my way and don’t try to intrude in my life. I know I have to inhabit the world and be part of the same families as them and I leave it at that. Becoming a reasoned non believer doesn’t happen overnight. It took me years of examining what I’d been taught growing up and applying critical thinking (something we are taught to never do to religious ideas). I don’t know why so many of you (regardless of stripe) are offended by the religious and are so hateful towards them, but you need to grow up. Just like they need to be thinking about how they live and not how we live, we need to do the same. Who cares if a neighbor displays a religious symbol? Why care? (I really don’t understand this). Their wrong-headedness is their problem. Let me address some of the specific attacks on Annie. a) she supports the school board because she criticizes you (FALSE – she was using rhetorical effect). b) she’s not really an atheist (i.e. if she doesn’t agree with you she must really be one of the religious. sounds a lot like something a Christian or Muslim would say about us. we non-religious are really showing our open-mindedness and inclusiveness, aren’t we) c) Annie is attacking pastafarians and letting others off the hook (there is no evidence of this; even if it was it doesn’t make her criticism invalid).

    • Gordon_UK says:

      Michelle a point you seemed to of missed is that they are tracking us down and taking the time to insult us, threaten us and try to ‘save us’ if it was not for them there would not be a ‘Hate Mail’ tab and therefore no responses that you disapprove of.

      You seem to live in a nice place where the religious don’t try to push their dogma in to your life (schools or law) or your to stupid to notice. This link may open our eyes to what’s really going on out there, http://www.secularism.org.uk/.

      Now grow up and open your eyes to what’s really going on.

      G

    • Drained and Washed Clean says:

      All religion accomplishes is a perpetuation of bigotry and discrimination. Oh, and so people feel better about dying (scientists actually think there is a reason we developed religion – to deal with the anxiety of death).

      I am offended by religion because people kill people because they don’t believe in the “right” sky daddy.

      I am offended by religion because it continues to see women as below men (i.e. the Vatican said it is a “grave offense” to have a women as a priest. The priest who tries to ordain her and the woman will be excommunicated… But not the pedophiles…?)

      I am offended by religion because if you chose not to believe in a sky daddy then it is argued you should not be able to vote, run for office, or even maintain citizenship.

      I am offended by religion because it is perpetuated by lies and fiction.

      I am offended by religion because no one is allowed to scrutinize or criticize it (and when we do, people like you send notes telling us to grow up).

      I am offended by religion because it stops scientific discovery and progress.

      And I am REALLY offended by religion because there were planes run into buildings.

      It took me years of study as well to come out of my religious coma. Now that I am out I realize how much damage religion does. If we do not speak out against religion then who will?

      There is really no point to it existing anymore. I find no reason to hide that opinion. And I will state that opinion as eloquently or as bitchy as the original poster. When someone comes to our house and acts like an ass I will not waste the energy to be nice.

      Let it be noted though, we don’t go out and post on their websites and tell them how ridiculously stupid they are for believing in a sky daddy. As I have said before; we don’t strike first, but we will strike back.

      • Atsap Revol says:

        Michelle, some Pastafarians are older than 12-22. I’m 77. I’m tired of the perpetual attempt of fundamentalists to force their beliefs on the rest of us. Many of them would like to have ID or Creationism and Christian prayer in public schools. Some of them would like to install the Ten Commandments in every courthouse and public building.
        -
        I don’t care if a neighbor displays a religious symbol on his property. I don’t care if a lady wears a cross on a a chain around her neck. The property and the neck belong to the individuals. But I do care when zealots try to force their symbols and dogma into our public institutions.
        -
        You should care too.

        • Apprentice Frederic says:

          Well said, ATSAP!!!!
          RAmen!

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      Like ATSAP REVOL and others have said, we don’t begrudge others their fantasies – hell, I enjoy Christmas for many reasons beside it being the birthday of Attis, Horus and others (it’s NOT the birthday of Jesus, by the way).

      We MUST protest against the inclusion of religion in government.
      No to the subjugation of scientific fact to mythology.
      No to world leaders who start wars because they’re on a mission from God.
      No to laws based on scripture.

  3. JuulManden says:

    The funny thing is, that we don’t believe we are right. We just know that the odds for everyone being wrong (if there actually is a god) is pretty high, so we choose the more funny (and scientific) religion. That’s how it is

    RAmen
    JuulManden

  4. scott johnson says:

    Giving Respect…a Christians greatest failure and most prominet hipocritical attribute!

  5. Atticus says:

    Rather than point out several examples of outrageous violence committed on religious grounds, I would like to raise a point that I’m sure has probably been discussed several times on this thread, me being too lazy to read them: Why does religion deserve automatic deference? Yes, people may base their entire worldview around religious beliefs, but disagreement is not intolerance, as Austin Cline so brilliantly states. Even ridicule and mockery aren’t uncalled for. Look at politics. People are always criticized and made fun of for their political views. Why should religion get special treatment? They’re making some of the most important claims about how people should live, think, etc, and we don’t get any say about it? We just get to tell them “No, you’re wrong” and move on? You may want to read some Dawkins.

    • Stephen says:

      People do mean things; all kinds of people. Still, it would be nice if we were nice to each other. All kinds of people.

      I think it’s childish to reason that since other groups do such and such a thing, I am justified in doing the same thing. That’s extremely non-progressive. Disagree with religion: decide that they are ignorant and that their ignorance leads to irresponsible and even destructive actions. Disagree with ignorance everywhere, and irresponsibility and destruction. Do this, and you’ll find yourself at odds with yourself. It’s not fair for me to call you to be better than everyone else, but I’d like that for you. This site, if it is to be a bastion of reason, ought also to be a bastion for true peacefulness [nonviolence being but a good beginning], because mockery, and the emotional arguments and hatred it breeds, is an enemy of the case for reason.

      Rather than consider this as a special “deference” to religion, take it as a special deference to reason. Reason is patient, reason is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. In fact, it bears no will at all, and that is its greatest utility. It’s a tool that I can employ dispassionately. Muddying it with ideas like “reason hates faith” or “reason compels attacks on faith” strikes at the foundation of its validity, going so far as to make its function comparable to the unreasonableness of faith. On Christian forums I expect self-righteousness and high-tensions, because many Christians are insecure about what they believe. But if what you believe is based solely on reason, then why allow its image to be like faith? Why be insecure? Why attack? Reason can handle itself.

      I feel like it’s only fair to say, I am a Christian [twist ending, right?]. But I understand that my faith is unreasonable, and that in fact it is necessarily unreasonable so that it can be faith. This would make me your enemy, right? Still, you are not my enemy. I went ahead and embraced the Christian doctrine in its entirety, including all the bits about loving my neighbors, not judging anyone, relying on the Spirit of God for my assurance of faith. Also, I believe that lengthy arguments can never bring a man to salvation in Christ, because that’s in the Bible too. The only reason I bring up my own beliefs here is so that you understand my perspective: I am a man of faith and also of reason, and I have a strong desire that faith would give up its attempt at veiling itself as reason, and that reason, as a mode of thinking about the universe and our place in it, would free itself from the mudslinging and petty mockery to which this argument has chained it.

      And from your perspective, if your opponents teach [teach at least; in practice things may be different] love and respect, then you should do at least that as well. Love and respect are reasonable in the classic mode of applying reason on sites like this: they result in circumstances that most people would agree to be desirable. So be reasonable, and try to show that what you are teaching is functionally superior. My interest in your success is two-fold: for one, by hook-or-crook, I believe it is better for the world to be more full of love and respect than mockery [even where mockery is deserved], and second, if those who subscribe most exclusively to reason show it to be a shining and superior alternative to ignorance, then maybe more people [of faith or not of faith] in the world will exercise it, which I believe would be better for the world.

      I’m not personally offended; I don’t think so. I have a strong desire to be honest about this, so hold your suspicions for just a beat. I mean, consider my position: if you were convinced of a loving and all-powerful God, and people made fun of you for it, wouldn’t that seem insignificant in comparison to the truth you had? And even if they mocked your God, you believed him to be all-powerful, remember? So why should you fret for him? He can handle himself [justice, he says, is his], and he’s been handling the abuse of generations of men. It just seems impossible to me that a man following Christ could respond emotionally and hatefully to this site and its mission. We’re called to be examples of love. Maybe if more people thought reasonably about their faith, their reality might actually reflect the teachings to which they subscribe.

      I want this to be useful for all of you. I’m considering just not posting this comment, because I’m starting to doubt its potential efficacy. This is what I’m talking about though:
      some believer: “You know I had a deadly disease a few years ago and I was healed from it. That’s why I’m a Christian.”
      Now at this point our Champion of Reason has a few options:
      option 1: “You know, I had a deadly disease a few years ago too. It led to the death of countless Muslims and is called CHRISTIANITY.”
      option 2: “Just because some doctors, who were probably atheists, patched you up, why suddenly believe that a magical fairy godmother is going to come and grant your every wish?”
      option 3: “Even if your healing was, for the sake of argument, divine in origin, why Christianity in particular?”
      option 4: “Are you aware that Christian faith claims not to be based on what you’ve seen? Like, for instance, your healing?”

      My favorite is number 4, then 3, then 2, then 1. The first one doesn’t really address the statement of the believer, and reflects a certain emotional state which is not useful in reasonable discussion [never use caps-lock]. Option 2 is better, because it addresses a fundamental flaw in our believer’s approach to faith, but still is unreasonably and destructively disrespectful [the whole fairy godmother bit]. Option 3 is respectful and progressive, and option 4 I like the best because it is not only noncombative and helpful, it demonstrates an understanding of the opposing side [in this case a deeper understanding than our believer, poor guy]. [I chose a Christian believer for this example, because those are the ones I know the best.]

      Functionally, and this requires not an ounce of faith, much of your mission would be achieved if you convinced people to think reasonably whether they denounce their faith or not. The really devastating consequences of religion stem in large part from unreasonable thinking in certain areas which don’t necessarily comprise [or even have anything to do with] the doctrine or beliefs of the religion in question.

      I’m really sleepy. I keep telling myself that I will no longer post on forums like this, but then I sometimes do. Goodnight, philosophers all.

      • B. says:

        Well, the original thought of this whole endeavor is to criticize the thought of adding ID in schools next to, and therefore raising it to the equality of, the theory of evolution. For me, evolution is reason. Sometimes people here get carried away but most of them defends reason – as in science. That is our point.

        You address something that has long since been my thought. I have no problem with faith, so to speak. I don’t like it, since I think it is fundamentally illogical, but I accept its basic function and that people have it. Religion is another matter tho. Organized religion is the real enemy of reason. You seem to make about the same distinction. But fact remains, a lot of people do horrible things in the name of their religion. And they say even more horrible things. If one truly believes that faith is something inheritable spiritual and personal and that religion is separate from this – then one must distance oneself from religion.

        You write “he really devastating consequences of religion stem in large part from unreasonable thinking in certain areas which don’t necessarily comprise [or even have anything to do with] the doctrine or beliefs of the religion in question.”

        I ask: Why is religion free from blame? It is true that organized religion has been a framework for greed and political conquests, power struggles and general search for power – but that is just the point. The religion about which you speak, one that is kind and “true” is just the core faith of an otherwise organized attempt to get power.

        Thanks for writing. Excuse the ramble.

        • Stephen says:

          You know, although it’s time-stamped at 2:30, that’s just the time I started writing that comment. After 12 I go a bit crazy. Not that I don’t see the line of thinking in what I wrote and recognize it as my own, but rather, as I read it, I can’t help but think, “why not just sleep? You could have played outside in the morning.” But maybe it was useful for the world.

          In answer to your question, religion is not free from blame. While I aim not to judge people, I can clearly see mind-boggling discrepancies between Christian doctrine as outlined in scripture and actions of the Christian church as outlined in history books and the news. And I have twice the reason to be offended that you do: not only do I see crimes against humanity and against reason, I see crimes against the very faith the church ought to be centered upon [is that three halves the reason you do?]. I won’t speak for other religions here, because Christianity is the one I know the most about.

          But this is a difficult thing you put forward: can I, or should I, separate my Christian faith from the organized Christian church? The word “church” in scripture generally refers to the group of all true believers, so in that sense it’s impossible to separate myself from the church because, by definition, my faith makes me a part of the church. This might seem pretty far from the reality of what “church” means today, but it’s important to me personally. The picture of the church as it ought to be [and by that I mean, as it is described in scripture] is something that even those who hate the notion of faith would value in their community. While the church will never be perfect, it should at least be eye-catchingly beautiful.

          The problem is this: the church ought to be built around faith, an unreasonable thing, and that makes it easy for corrupt men to exploit. They don’t even have the burden of trying to justify their actions, because they claim the justification for their actions has the same root as the faith the churchgoers subscribe to. Many evil (and highly consequential) things have been done, inside and outside of religion, but the scary thing about religion is that it can play with the fire we call faith. Suppose I was a respected member of a church, and this church is scripture-perfect: we meet together for meals each day and reason about the scriptures, we serve each other and we serve the community, we are a picture of passion and love. The men in such a church are moved in powerful ways by unseen forces, but say I slip in a little of my own personal issues with the truth. Say I think that homosexuals are just icky and deserve all the judgement and hatred the Bible teaches us not to practice, and say I slip this into our discussion of scripture: twist a phrase here, sneak a premise in there, synthesize a conclusion at last, and voila: I’ve got a faith-driven army set to show Jesus’s love for mankind using violence and social terrorism. I can conceive a situation like that.

          Obviously I don’t like things that the Christian church has done. Claiming a connection to faith engenders a frightening amount of persuasive power [over the faithful]. So the Bible is full of warnings about false teachings (like “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.”), but if you’re set to ignore some teachings of the Bible, why not ignore those too? It’s scary, I know, but this is the important part, so pay attention: scripture is full of expectations for believers to know and understand the scriptures, and one of the reasons for this is so that they will know and understand that, for instance, hating homosexuals or burning Korans is absolutely irreconcilable with the doctrine of their faith.

          And this is one reason why I aim to champion reason over ignorance. Faith in the God I know of never results in detestable things, but unreasonableness right next to that core faith can quickly explode into heartbreaking disasters.

          As for the original purpose of this site, I’ve read the letter. How could a thinking man not agree? Besides that, if Christianity were the only thing I knew, I would come to the same conclusion. A cursory look at scripture will reveal something fundamentally wrong with demanding that intelligent design be taught in schools. The truths of faith [for instance, that God a creator exists] are “spiritually discerned” (somewhere in 1 Corinthians) and “nonsense” apart from the Spirit of God. Since science is necessarily conducted based on reason and observation alone, and therefore does not discern its truth spiritually, it is nonsense to teach intelligent design in a science class. Biblically. [Unless you were convinced by physical evidence and scientific reasoning that the mechanisms of life we see today could not have occurred without help. But this is an issue of biology, not faith vs. reason, and therefore not of great interest to me. I'm a computer scientist, and while I've done some studying in computational biology, I think biology is kind of messy (I also think that my emotional reaction to it is kind of weird, and stems from my impulse to steer clear from the careers of my parents, both of whom were medical doctors at some point). This aside is getting wildly aside, so I'm just going to finish up by saying that it's unfortunate that so much politics and religion and hurt feelings got mixed up with the science here, but I think that scientifically the theory of macroevolution is the best working tool we have to describe the living systems we observe.]

          I’ve quoted a lot of scripture at this point, and talked a lot about a God most of the people reading this don’t believe in. I don’t expect you to view scripture as authoritative in general, but it is the best description of what real Christian doctrine is [it's really hard to tell by looking at the Christian church]. I can imagine that some of you care about more than just the crimes of the church as I see them [the hatred and violence and stuff like that], but go further to say that, since you believe that faith is false or evil, it is a crime merely to convince people of it. What I mean is: even if the all the believers in the world only made the world a better place, you would still hate them just for the ignorance you perceive in them. I don’t have a lot to tell you, since there are so many ways you could have come to that conclusion and I don’t really care to address them all.

          For the rest of you who look for a better, brighter world, in most cases you don’t need to convince people not to believe in their faith. If you could just help them reason their way through it, understand the tenets of their own religion [and then accept or reject it], it would be a huge step toward what I think all men desire. I’ve heard that atheists tend to know the bible better than professed Christians, and that would not surprise me. Arguing about unreasonable belief is usually fruitless, but focusing on the actions of organized religion allows all men to speak on the same plane. You have the tools and knowledge to stymie the destructive tendencies of organized religion. Just like the letter to the Kansas School Committee, open their eyes to what they are doing so they can separate the faith I read about in the Bible and the faith that comes from their own desires and false teachings.

          I don’t belong here, really. Do I really believe that a few half-crazed ideas tapped out at 3 AM will cause a sweeping change in the hearts of men everywhere, moving them to reconcile their differences and take steps toward a better world? [Crazy thing: as I wrote that, I became suddenly hopeful] Not really. My girlfriend doesn’t like it when I write on atheist hubs like this; she tells me I ought to spend these thoughts on actual conversations [which I do, often] and spend this time doing something more productive. She’s right. Since I don’t think it will make a difference, I’m not sure why I keep doing these things. Maybe it’s a crazy hope I have. Or maybe I just take it as an exercise in explaining myself. I crazy-hope this is useful to some of the people who read it, but I wish I could meet every single person in the world and have a genuine conversation. Not for the purpose of sharing the gospel [although that would happen pretty definitely, if we talked long enough, since it's on my mind so much] but because I want to know people. All kinds.

          I’m signing off. I won’t bother you Pastafarians any longer, or tell you how best to practice your “religion”. Or tell you interesting things about my frustrations with the way the Christian church [especially in the US, where I know it best] operates, when you believe it ought not operate at all. And B., in particular, thank you for being so unhateful in your response. It was heartening and I felt valued. And don’t worry about your “ramble”, you’ve got nothing on the long, long, [hour] long comments I’ve made here in this place where I’m the enemy. If you ever find such an inherent, spiritual faith within yourself I hope the failings of organized religion and the mainstream view of reason as the end-all judge of what we are to believe don’t stop you from bracing yourself like a man and taking it at face value, rejecting it or accepting it. If such a thing can ever happen. Either way, good luck. And you know what, if you ever want to talk to me again then let me know and I will arrange a way to do that [public forums like this are wearisome]. Maybe I should allow some of the not-so-real conversations that pop up on the internet take on some substance and humanity. We could email. [what more substantial than that? I think my girlfriend is shaking her head in despair for me somewhere.]

          Shantih

        • Pope Permesan III says:

          This sounds like an atheist trying to justify holding on to his faith though sheer volume of words. Come join us Pastafarians for tasty beer, clean strippers, and meatball marinara, mmmmmmmm yummie.

    • Zuri says:

      Ditto all the way. You said it.

    • Robert says:

      In response to Annie, people insult each other all the time when it comes to religion. The Christians and Muslims take it a step further and kill, torture, deny people jobs, petition the government to remove businesses, burn artwork and many other things in the name of religion. I have been harassed, fired, denied a place to live and assaulted because the zealots either don’t like the way I look (tattoos) or question my beliefs because of my music or they didn’t like something else about me that doesn’t conform to their religion. These people will not listen to reason and do not care because they are brainwashed at least once a week to do so. I have had them say ridiculous things like “Oh you’re an Atheist, so you’re a Satan worshiper.” and when I try to explain what I really am, they put their hand in my face. As far as I’m concerned, if they can dish it out they can take the heat from the Spaghetti Monster too. Let them get a taste of their own medicine.

  6. Mushuukyou says:

    Why the hell are people using “atheist” incorrectly? It’s not capitalized. It’s not a proper noun.

    • Gordon_UK says:

      So what?

    • Harry says:

      Why can’t it be? “Christian” and”Muslim” are proper nouns. Why can’t “Pastafarian” or “Athiest” be one?

      • Etienne says:

        And why would we capitalize the religions name ? They deserve nothing but despise. They even should be actually decapitalized (cHRISTIAN)

      • Zuri says:

        Yeah, Athiest is a proper noun. So is Pastafarian. Even if I don’t agree with a view, I still pay them respect by capatilizing (sp?) it.

    • Despair says:

      I myself am a Militant Atheist/Pastafarian. So as i would call myself a Militant Atheist i would say that is what i am, So surely it is a noun? Its what i am. You may be a christian, so if you don’t respect my right to call myself what i am then why should anybody respect yours?

    • spookie says:

      You’re right. No capital. Like christian.

  7. Krakalakin says:

    And what pray tell constitutes a religion that should be paid respect?? A certain number of followers? Beliefs that are tolerable within your particular view of what is socially acceptable? If a religion (as all are) is responsible in the past or present for violence and intolerance toward conflicting viewpoints, then I say expose them for what they are….a tool of control perpetuated by the weak-minded sheep who share a common delusion. Religion has done nothing positive for mankind, it is a source of conflict and abuse. Only by ridiculing it and satirizing it can we hope to break through the “sacrosanct” veneer surrounding it.

    • Patrick says:

      I completely agree with every point you have made excluding “Religion has done nothing positive for mankind.” Arguably the most important thing religion has given us (well some people) is hope. It may be as you and I think foolish, yet hope allows some to simply survive in this world.

      • Danimal says:

        Is a false hope based on lies with nasty strings attached really a positive?

        • joshua says:

          Okay this right here is what always pisses me off. I’m an atheist but I can’t stand it when I see other atheists start getting extreme with the viewpoint. Just because you don’t believe god is real doesn’t mean religion has some underlying malicious motive. The messages and morals (messages and morals, not people and/or god) are good regardless of whether you believe in the alleged “god” that inspired them. Don’t get me wrong–I realize that these messages are practically common sense and I could give two fucks less about the bible. It’s just wrong to say religion has never done ANY good because it’s such an integral part of today’s society. There is ABSOLUTELY NO way to determine what the world would be like today without it.

        • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

          Well, I don’t know about the whole world, but New York City would still have the World Trade Center. Also, women would probably be getting educated instead of raped in many parts of the 3rd world.

        • B. says:

          I’m guessing AIDS wouldn’t be such an epidemic.

          And I’m guessing that more people would actually help, since humanitarian efforts wouldn’t be monopolized by the church in everyones minds. Lets have a bake sale WITHOUT THE CHURCH!

        • Danimal says:

          A fair criticism. My question is how much good does it take to make the evil acceptable?

        • Matt says:

          Wars only start because of religion?

        • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

          The cause of many wars is hard to determine, even years later. But look around the world today, and tell me what percentage of confilicts involves Islamic extremists vs. someone else.

        • Ari says:

          They don’t only start because of religion – although many have – but they are certainly most easily justified through religion. Religious leaders use people, ask them to lay down their lives, and make them feel good about doing so by promising them heaven.

          If christians call themselves sheep, why don’t they call churches slaughterhouses?

      • gordon_uk says:

        What ‘hope’?

        That they picked the right one?

        That they will get away evil in its name?

        Etc……..

      • OH Lee says:

        Patrick simply makes the point that religion gives mankind hope, and his comment is hidden because the homosexual atheists who loiter here swarmed on it like the pack of ravenous vultures they are.

        You atheist sodomites should go back to hanging around elementary school restrooms and trying to seduce young children. We all know that’s what you do, no matter what the liberal PC drones say about your “lifestyles.”

        Your lifestyle is sinning against God and nature every chance you get.

        • Atsap Revol says:

          OH (shit) Lee provides an outstanding example of the Fred Phelps Syndrome for study and analysis. He ignores the fact that gross pedophilia is known to reside with members of the clergy. His fixation with homosexuality is classic. Perhaps he is a closet pedophile?

          Rave on OH shit, you are an entertaining distraction. Your God must be proud of you. Keep up the great testimonials for Christianity.

          AR

    • Zuri says:

      That it’s a faith that people follow. That’s what constitutes it respect.

      • Drained and Washed Clean says:

        Ahhh… So because Fred Phelps and his crew at Westboro Baptist Church spew hate and anger at… well, everyone who is not them, I should respect them because they are a religion? How about the practice of killing a woman who allegedly cheated on her husband? That is a religious practice in Iran. Should I respect that?

        Just because someone believes it does not mean that it deserves respect. Things that are the truth deserve respect, and you have no evidence that the mumbo jumbo that fills your mind (zombie people, talking snakes, magic tricks and all) is true. Not only that, when we do point out discrepancies, contradictions, historical inaccuracies, or atrocities, you either fail to acknowledge it, brush over it, or make excuses for it. That is not respectable.

        Show me your proof. Show me your evidence. Show us some respect instead of being an ass. Then maybe we will begin to take you seriously… But then again, maybe not…

        • Zuri says:

          No, that all human beings deserve respect, not just Pastafarians.

  8. P Hen says:

    And why is it that religious people find the FSM offensive? I suspect that it’s because they have a deep rooted insecurity about their (ludicrous) beliefs. They need to have their beliefs reinforced by everyone else either believing likewise or SHUTTING THE HELL UP!! Maybe they should tackle their insecurities head on…

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      This is exactly why the concept of heresy was invented, P Hen. When a scientist goes against the mainstream, he’s given the opportunity to prove the majority wrong. If he indeed is correct, he’s showered with praise. Of course in the realm of religion there is no such thing as proof, so any deviance – while it’s probably just as valid as the main doctrines – is aggressively stamped out.

      That’s what makes the pitiful cries of some visitors “Why can’t you respect MY beliefs? SOB!” so grating. If the Christian church still had the political power Islam has, they’d probably be executing heretics at soccer game halftimes, too.

    • DM II says:

      Because religion is not something you hang on a wall, like a certificate. It’s a stand. If you actually believe in your beliefs, so to speak, you know that it’s something you have to defend. I can’t speak for all religious people who had reacted to the things on this website but I can tell you it’s not all about insecurity.
      I’m willing to consider that the writer of FSM did not intend to directly bash Creationism (just the decision to teach Intelligent Design in science classes), the fact is, the entire thing sounds insulting. I know that atheists cannot relate to this because they do not believe in God, but you can imagine how annoying it is that the most powerful being that you recognise, the one that you actively thank for each day that’s passed, the reason why you live, is mocked. My God is a mere plate of spaghetti with eyeballs to many of you. And sadly, I know now that nothing I say will ever change that, and it’s very disheartening.
      Furthermore you have many jerks on this site who spout off the apparent senselessness and stupidity of believing in God, many times without proper provocation. Obviously people are gonna get pissed off! And obviously people are gonna react! And you have the gall to pretend that you don’t enjoy the incensed responses? My God!

      • Danimal says:

        DM II,

        Thank you for not cussing us out. Also, thank you for not telling us we are going to hell. You’re right that we do enjoy the incensed responses. It proves a point when the majority of reactions we get from believers are full of foul language, spelling and grammar errors and damnations. I respectfully ask you however, to consider the merits of what we are saying. Instead of your beliefs being something you have to defend, what if your beliefs didn’t need to be defended but instead stood on their own? Or better yet if you beliefs could be challenged as new evidence, information, and discoveries become available. If you’re upset about the mudslinging just remember that it goes both ways, and that atheists take more than our fair share of slings and arrows.

        Peace,
        Danimal

      • Drained and Washed Clean says:

        Because religion is not something you hang on a wall, like a certificate.
        – Could we keep it that way with you all leaving us alone?

        It’s a stand.
        – If it was a stand then there would be a cause. What is your cause?

        If you actually believe in your beliefs, so to speak, you know that it’s something you have to defend.
        – We are not talking people killing others, raping someone, stealing and defending someone’s rights. No one is attempting to take away your rights. Your religion is trying to take away ours.

        I can’t speak for all religious people who had reacted to the things on this website but I can tell you it’s not all about insecurity.
        –Yes it is. People are too scared to die or to veer away from this brainwashing… because they are scared to die or their families will hate them and society will cast them out.

        I’m willing to consider that the writer of FSM did not intend to directly bash Creationism (just the decision to teach Intelligent Design in science classes), the fact is, the entire thing sounds insulting.
        – We should care that it is insulting because…? Christians trying to disguise religion as science and teaching it in the classroom is insulting. What do you have to say about that? And, in my opinon, creationism should be bashed because it has no merit, proof, or evidence.

        I know that atheists cannot relate to this because they do not believe in God, but you can imagine how annoying it is that the most powerful being that you recognise, the one that you actively thank for each day that’s passed, the reason why you live, is mocked.
        – I know that Christians cannot relate to this because they do not believe in evidence and fact, but you can’t imagine how annoying it is that you constantly have your morals and values questioned, your citizenship threatened, your life threatened, your rank in society being so low that you shouldn’t have the right to vote, and this is all done because you don’t believe in an invisible thing that lives in the sky for which no one will begin to provide proof or evidence for.

        My God is a mere plate of spaghetti with eyeballs to many of you.
        – No, you are confusing your god with our god. See, we believe in the FSM and you believe in a bearded sky daddy. Our god looks much cooler, and offers much better afterlife experiences.

        And sadly, I know now that nothing I say will ever change that, and it’s very disheartening.
        – And sadly, no matter how much I ask you to even consider another point of view, offer evidence, stop arguing with a circular argument, and leave all of us in peace you won’t, and it’s very disheartening.

        Furthermore you have many jerks on this site who spout off the apparent senselessness and stupidity of believing in God,
        – I have the same right to “spout off” about the OBVIOUS senselessness and stupidity of god as you do to be a jerk and come here and throw your beliefs in my face.

        many times without proper provocation.
        – What exactlly would you consider “proper” provocation? I consider you sharing your beliefs you opening up the door for this discussion. You are coming here and opening your mouth (reminding you we have not come to you). That is provocation.

        Obviously people are gonna get pissed off!
        – Again, we are here, and now you are coming here… So you are saying I am not allowed to express my opinion that is contrary to yours because people are going to get pissed off? You are sharing beliefs that are contrary to mine, so I guess I get to be pissed off now! Yeah!

        And obviously people are gonna react!
        – Again, we are here, and you are coming here reacting. Since your god offends me perhaps I should come to your church and react. May I have the address? Or perhaps you belong to a christian forum where you chat. Let me have the web address so I can go there and react.

        And you have the gall to pretend that you don’t enjoy the incensed responses? My God!
        – Right. We love being told what wretched, immoral people we are and while all this is going on christians scream their heads off about how they are being discriminated against even though separation is the LAW! MY FSM!

        PS – No I don’t enjoy the incensed responses because it is a continuous reminder of the stupidity of the majority of the human race.

        • Chas says:

          Well said drained

        • Zuri says:

          NO ONE has the right to bash ANYONE. Period.

          I’ll let you believe that a flying dish of pasta created you if you want, just let me believe that God created the universe.

          Why can’t we just all be friends?

      • ProcessingOf says:

        I respect you because you have not come to our website screaming and crying. However, I do disagree with you.

        Your beliefs are something that you have to defend, you say, but I haven’t seen an ounce of even marginally credible evidence from people who come on this website to spout hate. Yes, we disagree with you, and we take out our anger at society for shunning us because we do not believe in a god, any god, laughing at us, putting “In God we trust” on our currency and “under God” in our pledge of allegiance in the 1950′s (in America- which is, by the way, also disrespectful to all religions who believe in multiple gods), and many more things out here in the form of satire. Have you ever gone on a Buddhist website and argued against their beliefs even though they obviously disagree with yours? No? Then why do you not find it rude and insulting to come onto our website, where we share what we believe, and argue against our beliefs?

        You say that we cannot relate to your annoyance when your god is mocked. I don’t believe in any supreme deities, but I have plenty of beliefs that are mocked, in my face (not on some website that I have the choice not to go on), every day. Feminism. Gay rights. Heck, even racial equality is laughed at, in front of me, every day. If we were talking about the FSM in front of you, in real life, would you come up to us and chastise us for being wrong? If yes, does that mean that I’m allowed to go into your religious gathering place and lecture all of you about how you’re getting it all wrong? No. No it does not.

        People who post hate mail are putting themselves up for getting rude comments. I find it sad, not enjoyable, when we get hatemail because it means that we have a long way to go before our message gets out to the world. And yes, those among us who don’t put up well thought out replies are setting our cause back, but this website is so little of what we believe in. Science. Little laws that help create religious freedom. Every little thing helps. And just like some commentors feel sad for us because we don’t believe in any deities, some of us feel sad for you because you have been trained, ever since you were young, to believe in that deity in the face of all evidence against its existence.

        RAmen.

        • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

          Why don’t our visitors complain to the Buddhists? Good question, since Buddhists – like atheists – don’t believe in God the Creator. It’s because in their ignorance Christians think of Buddhism as another religion. Lesser, sure, but they feel blind acceptance of any faith you’re born into is much better than careful consideration and intelligently choosing your belief system.

          I can remember as a Catholic child even going to a Protestant service was heavily frowned on. Trying to analyze your OWN religion was discouraged. St. Augustine warned of the “sin of curiosity”. In other words, sit down, shut the %^)#@ up and believe everything we tell you, no matter how ridiculous.

        • Zuri says:

          An intelligent comment from, yes, a Pastafarian.

      • LeiticiaQ says:

        I 100% agree to that all the way. I really think that this is blasphemy against God for such and evil dilusional act of evil nonsense. Now as for me as long as I live on this earth I am staying away from the church services because there is no life in them anymore and when I was going to their alters for prayer I walk out worse than I did before I went up for prayer. I don’t doubt God at all for healing because he is real and always will beeven when all the wicked is destroyed from the face of the earth. I have been despised and let down so many times and even the stupid ones that goes to church has turned their children against me and call me some stupid crazy fool. That’s why I don’t go to church anymore and don’t want to be around anyone who does go either because of the way I get poked fun at like I’m a dog on 2 feet who can’t spead for myself at all. Yes I have left christianity and don’t want anymore to do with it if I have to suffer and make such a big fool of myself. I just feel like christianity is not for me anymore. I am nuetral from all religions period. I go at things a much different way now because of all the stupid BS that I had to endure and it has brought to me nothing but a great big silver platter of tears agony and miseries to where I was getting ready to run out infront of a oncoming van and let that van hit me until I was dead and when I am rushed to the hospital I would be pronounced dead for real because I feel like I couldn’t heal from all the BS that was sent to my life as a nonbreakable curse or spell that could never end. I just got so sick and very tired of being a homeless and stupd person to where I just wanted out in the way of killing myself. But after a few more years and months that has past by God gave me a much better way to do things that made me more comfortable with my life and the curse of homelessness is now broken by the pastors fro Freedom In Christ Ministries church. After I’ve been to them for e=real help I haven’t been in bondage of homelessness since. The stupid looking homeless clothing has come off of me and I am not poked fun at as much as I used to be anymore. As a matter of fact those who had me dressing like a homeless crazy person trying to be a nun are now dressing that way today. I am wearing decent looking clothes now and have a decent hairdo and my hair is growing fast too. Praise God for all he has done for me to get rid of this stupid curse.

        • Drained and Washed Clean says:

          I cannot blaspheme that which does not exist.

          Glad you got out of your emotional pit, but be more proud of yourself. You did it. All by yourself. Give yourself a little more credit for your inner strength.

        • Despair says:

          And THAT is a blasphemy against our god? how can you say we’re crazy when you believe in something just as implausible, How can you believe in a religion that casts aside any scientific facts ever? like saying dinosaurs are a test from god. Your rligion is just wrong. can god create a stone he cant lift?

        • Rev Toni Rigatoni says:

          There is hope for you LeiticiaQ, just one more step and you will be free.

      • Chas says:

        I was raised a believing and practicing catholic and I was educated in religious tradition, and I can understand your defensive feelings about god, but look deep inside of your self and use some common sense, and you’ll realize that god is a fairytale character created by people tens of housands of years ago to explain the unexplainable universe. Further more, Catholicism was originally spread and developed by the romans to control the ever expanding judeo Christian population and was brutally forced upon unwilling peoples. And although Christianity may now be a benign entity, it stems from an evil and obsolete organization that was dedicated to the oppression of free thought and the advancement of man kind for hundreds of years. Christianity has also caused more deaths by war than the Nazis. The point of this response, to point out that 75% of atheists and agnostics were raised as believers, and that the people that leave the religion are the ones who know the most about it. And that is based on proof as well. Not faith…http://blog.beliefnet.com/omeoflittlefaith/2010/09/atheists-know-more-about-the-bible-than-christians.html

        • Chas says:

          *inexplicable
          **thousands of years
          ***is to point out
          Sorry for all the errors…I’m high:) praise athieismo! R’amen

    • Zuri says:

      The belief in an FSM? Nope, not offensive.

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