Treat other religions with respect

Published July 9th, 2010 by Bobby Henderson

When I first found this site, I was thoroughly amused.  I understand and even agree with your argument on the teaching of the Theory of Intelligent Design in public schools.  Your way of presenting this was very amusing, and wittily got your opinion expressed on the subject matter.

I sincerely wish I would’ve stopped scanning your website after reading your letter.
It was the attitude of the rest of the website that made me stop and feel terrible for the people who disagree with you.  From the video of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float performing a "religious action" on a random person to the tab specially designed for hate mail, I was instantly turned off to your concept of how you express your opinions.

Believing in something is one thing, but pounding others into the dust–pretty much BEGGING for the opportunity for someone to argue with you?  That’s something entirely different.  I know people must be begging for the hate mail that only screams at what a dumb religion yours is… just so that you can slam your argument into their faces. 

I think your message got lost a long time ago, Bobby.  It’s really sad… you had a good thing going, I think.  It’s really sad that your message of "don’t teach Intelligent Design in our schools" turned into "religion is pointless", which then turned into "everyone who believes in a religion is below me, and that gives me the right to completely disrespect everything they stand for".  It’s really sad that people join this group just so that they can slam onto other people.  Because really?  What are you hoping to accomplish at this point?

I may not agree with Christianity 100%, but I do believe "Do Unto Others" is a great philosophy to live by.  So is "Turn The Other Cheek".  Basically, treat other religions with respect… but if they don’t honor your viewpoints back?  Take the high road.  Maybe make a simple comment (like your letter) and be done with it.  By dragging it out like this, you’re making yourself look bad… and that’s all.

Thank you for your time,
-Alfred



819 Responses to “Treat other religions with respect”

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  1. Sydney says:

    Well this isn’t fair. We are told to respect your religions, and others as well, when you can’t go and accept ours? I believe in FSM and I don’t go and mock those who believe in God, but people come and mock us. This isn’t very nice, and if you are following your God, doesn’t he teach you to respect others as well? Take your own advice and use it for yourself before coming and insulting us.

  2. Ian says:

    FSM teaches to love and be loved, to have a fun side, if you’ve got a problem with that, you, yourself can “Take the high road”.
    You see pathetic squabbles between other religions every day, you don’t post on a Christian site saying “LEAVE JEWS ALONE, THEY KILLED JESUS BECAUSE THEY DID NOT BELIEVE IN HIM” no… because you only stand up to the Oober Small Minorities, you’re worse than us, you’re a bully… You’d turn genecidal on all of us you Antagonistic fool!
    SHUNNNN!!!! SHUNNN THE HITLER BOT!!! Trying to reason racism againt FSM.
    RAmen

    • Anna says:

      your an idiot the Jews are Gods chosen people if you knew anything about the bible or what you were talking about you would know that.

      • gordon_uk says:

        I always thought that all men where equal in the eyes of god?

      • Drained and Washed Clean says:

        Yet still the ones who supposedly killed Jesus. If you read your bible you would know that. So, what is your point?

      • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

        More like the “choosing” people. They chose which legends from other cultures they wanted to plagarize for their Torah. Like the Great Flood. Or the Messiah. Or from wherever they got the Passover idea.

  3. emilee says:

    well to honestly say i AM a christian and i will be yelled at for commenting but…to be honest i completely luaghed when i saw this page. im sorry to be harsh and i realise what your trying to get across but is has turned into a complete joke. moking everything it once stood for. and i realise many of you think…she is a christian she is biest or something…my mind is not closed like that of my family. everyone is treating this whole thing llike a total joke…and i think you need to change your tactics of getting this across…i mean for gods sake (no pun intended) the church a the flying spagettie monster…again IRA A JOKE IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A SERIOUS POINT DO SO BY ACTING MATURE AND GO ABOUT IT IN A SERIOUS MANNER. DONT MAKE IT A JOKE AND DONT MAKE FUN OF RELIOION. JUST BECSUAE YOUR AN AITHEST MEANS NOTHING. YOU ARE TRYING TO GET A POINT ACROSS…DO SO…BUT DONT DOIT LIKE THIS.

    • B. says:

      Oh emilee…

      First of all, don’t scream.

      Secondly, this is serious in a way but it is also supposed to be funny. Its a way of using humor to attack serious issues. It might seem alien to you to use humor in this manner, but it is actually a common practice. Religion is not exempt from any kind of criticism or crude jokes, tho you as a christian obviously find this strange.

      Thirdly, a lot of pastafarians have great understanding for religion and are more then happy to debate you in a “mature way” if that is what you are searching for. Many have an extensive arsenal of arguments for their standpoint, which varies a lot depending on who you ask.

      I won’t yell at you because you are a christian. But I will yell at you because its my birthday. And because I like it.

      • Wench Bob says:

        Happy Birthday to B.

        And thanks for your sensible posts.

        • B. says:

          Thank you. As I grow older and wiser, I will continue making the world better with sense and rationality.

          R’Amen

      • Theo says:

        Happy B day!

      • Rev Toni Rigatoni says:

        Happy birthday B, pasta be upon you.

    • plumberbob says:

      @ emilee,

      Remember that religions were made up by people (mostly men) who were out of power and needed something with which to control other people. Look at all religions around the world today, and you will see that they are ALL run by men, and that they ALL treat women as second class human beings (at best). These are all institutions that are organized, maintained, and operated for the sole purpose of gathering from the people, power, money, and sex for the exclusive benefit of the people at the top of each organization.

      This is the most successful fraud and Ponzi scheme that has ever existed, tax free and secret to boot.

      No god exists! If you disagree with me, just show me the proof of her existence. Old scripture that you can’t read doesn’t count as proof.

      RAmen

      • Apostate says:

        Hi Bob, been a long time. I don’t recall you being quite this anti-religion. I could certainly see anti-organized religion but I think you do a host of philosophical thought a disservice to claim the whole idea of a god is crap.

        Mind you we’re of about equal mind where the organized groups are concerned but even there it’s not wholly a conspiracy theory, many, many well meaning individuals have used the various branches of this and that to do tremendous good.

        For me it’s only the evil so and so’s I rally folks against. You can spot them by looking for a combination of calls for blind faith and assurance that despite all evidence to the contrary they do hear from the almighty and have been told to do X.

        Other than that good to see you again,

        o/

        -Apostate

        • Drained and Washed Clean says:

          //but I think you do a host of philosophical thought a disservice to claim the whole idea of a god is crap//

          To think that there is one is not a disservice. It shows someone who is willing to think for themselves and rationally. God is a logical fallacy. As he said, there is not any evidence to support the claim. Philosophically there is no argument for it. Scientifically there is no evidence. How is this a disservice?

        • Apostate says:

          Philosophically there are no arguments for it? Have you read any philosophy? The question of is there or isn’t there, is the core, right up there with the, “Why are we here? and Is this all supposed to mean something?” questions.

          I’ll grant, you personally, may not see a reason to believe in some kind of god but I can’t personally escape the conclusion that the law of cause and effect either dictates something special had to be the first cause, or we live in a universe of infinite regress on time.

          Either is possible, I read recently that some physicists believe that infinite regress is unlikely but the math they used was way over my head and the language they used to describe it seemed to state only that there can’t be an infinite regress of time as we know it. Time being relative that still leaves the “Could there be time before time, or something before time?” Question. Also a great philosophical imponderable.

          I did not claim it is a disservice to think there is no god. There are many philosophical arguments to that exact effect and it’s a personal choice. The disservice comes from the highly dogmatic claim that it has been some how proven no god exists. The utter out of hand rejection of all arguments to the contrary simply because we have no evidence for a concept who’s definition precludes the availability of evidence. (FYI that’s just as bad a fallacy in reasoning as the nonsense about god exists because the definition of god means he has to)

          To put it another way, I believe in justice. I can’t show it to you, or prove it exists. There is no hard evidence for it. Justice, like god, is an immaterial concept. However justice has the advantage of being widely recognized as useful. So most people don’t get all hot and bothered when I talk about it.

          Science and philosophy are not at all the same. If I were claiming that we need to factor the ‘will of god’ into our calculations for a new bridge, yes you’d have a good ground to tell me to shove off. However this is not what Bob said and it was not the limited forum where we can pretty regularly show the idea of god as irrelevant. You’ll note, I hope, that the idea of Justice is also irrelevant in our bridge calculations. That doesn’t mean that Justice is a useless concept or one we should reject outright, only that we ought to keep it in it’s proper place.

          I believe I have shown you how an absolute and dogmatic rejection of an idea is a disservice to critical thought and philosophy. Could you please show me how the idea of god is a logical fallacy? Please note, the idea of a creator being, not any specific denominational crap. Disprove Jesus and I’ll still say you have fallen short of the mark, Jesus is not the concept I am defending.

          -Apostate

      • Theo says:

        How do you dare to call my religion a joke!
        May you be Touched by his Noodliness and find out that He is not a joke, nor is the Heaven with Beer Factories.

        • Cincoventry says:

          Apostate

          I must say, I liked your comment because few Christians seem to have any rational thought processes. But I must say that this site isnt about people who hate religion because it cant be proved. Its just for those people who realize that there is no feasible way to prove religion at the moment, and choose to not believe in any organized religion due to this fact. It is a historical fact that Jesus Christ was a real man. And that he did wonderful things for people who didn’t have much. Is there any proof that he magically healed people? Is there proof of his resurrection? I read a lot of Sci-Fi novels, and I don’t believe that Faster-Than-Light space-travel is possible. But many people read another book, and believe that a man can part a whole sea, and that another man can rise from the dead. I believe a book is a book, and is open to all to interpret its meaning. To me, that is where the irrationality is. A book written 2000 years ago is still a book to me.

          But cheers to your Comment! It made me think, and not many of these comments do!

          Cincoventry

        • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

          “It is a historical fact that Jesus Christ was a real man.”

          Actually, it’s NOT a historical fact that Jesus ever lived, Cincoventry. I was trolling a religious site the other day, and even they admitted there wasn’t any evidence either way. What we CAN prove is that most of the BuyBull is total horseshit, historically speaking.

        • Heretic Corsair says:

          “Actually, it’s NOT a historical fact that Jesus ever lived”

          True, but be fair with this one. As stated in a previous post, it’s extremely difficult to ‘prove’ the existence of a non-noble person from the ancient world.

          The only evidence is via references, nad more than one reference is about as good as you can get sometimes…not ironclad, but consider what you have to work with. The ‘evidence’ for his actual existence is therefore probably slightly better than any of the non-noble characters mentioned by Xenophon.

          But as for his miracles – well, people ARE prone to exaggerate, a little, on occasion, over time, for their own reasons…

          - HC

        • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

          OK then, Corsair – we are left with 2 possibilities then.

          1) Jesus’s “miracles” came long after his death in a early Christian marketing campaign. This means he was only a man.

          2) The idea that a miracle worker can’t get the slightest whiff of press is mighty fishy. Yes, he was not “noble”, but at least his trial and cruxifiction would have been cataloged by the Romans. This would mean he was only a myth.

          The attribution to Jesus of the time-worn saviour story used millenia before by Horus and others would almost certainly mean of the two possibilities I’ve listed. However, there IS one other possibility: God loved to bang virgins, but alas his sons who were supposed to save the world (Attis, Mithra, Horus et al) were a bunch of screwups.

        • Heretic Corsair says:

          My Comrade in Comestible Coils, good Marinara,

          I’d suggest an answer more like 1a) a local apocolyptic preacher, one of many in those troubled times, pulls a few rabbits from hats, gathers enough of a local illiterate following that the authorities, to be careful, judicially knock him off, hoping that settles matters. But the followers change the story to make him a martyr, and things grow from there.

          I’d wager ‘miracle-workers’ were a dime a dozen among the local yokels, as they are today (maybe more so, though some televangelists make me wonder…). I’d bet the authorities didn’t bother with the local crackpots unless they were a possible threat, which this guy may have become, so they offed him. Otherwise, why document every miracle from the local street preachers? And even if they did, we don’t exactly have the Official Roman Empire Judicial Provincial Records, volumes XIII through XXXIV, at our disposal for review.

          So, Dear Brother in Boiled Benificence, I’d suggest just a man, doing local illiterate ‘miracles’, perceived as a possible rabble rouser and offed…and then buffed by his followers. That would follow the evidence, not break the laws of physics, and require no twisted logic or leaps of faith…just human needs and weakinesses.

          Peace in Pasta,

          - Heretic Corsair

        • Apostate says:

          Cincoventry,

          I’m no Christian. Haven’t been in years. Tried Islam too and I’ll still claim that one, at least socially. Went though a pagan phase and all manner of other attempts to find some sense of religion that didn’t mortally offend my intellect. Finally I got to thinking what would god be if god actual had what we attribute to him and it became clear to me that what he would not have is any form of holy book.

          You won’t see me defend much about any organized religion. However I do have a serious beef with bigoted intolerance. To claim all religion is evil or stupid or proven wrong, that’s abandonment of a host of the last 4k years of critical thinking from Plato all the way up through the current years. I imagine Aristotle had a lot to say on the topic too but I haven’t read his work yet.

          One of the amazing things you can learn is that even in Plato’s time the early myths about gods interacting with humans and preforming miracles and what not were regarded with skepticism. The character Socrates makes this point eloquently in the five dialogs, especially the 1st, Meno. (It’s a quick read, go find it.)

          In that drama ending in Phaedo the character Socrates is put to death because an up and coming politician regarded his philosophy as a corruption of the youth and a danger to the stability of the city state of Athens. (Any of this sound eerily familiar?)

          One of the things that Descartes got very right was the notion that if we can’t be certain about something, and we usually can’t, than we need to be prepared to find out that the things we are pretty sure about are actually wrong. Learn, trust what works but only until you find it doesn’t or something else works better, and be vary wary of anything dogmatic. That’s my motto.

          -Apos

    • Stonefield says:

      Emilee,

      how can YOU know what “this once stood for”? And how Do you dare to tell US that we should change your tactics?

      It’s like if i went to a congregation of your creed (the vatican for example) and told them: Hey guys, you made Christianism a joke, its not what it originally stood for, you need to change tactics of getting this across! I mean for God’s sake (pun intended) The Church of Christ is a joke!

      The point is: WE know that this is a joke, acutally we want this to be a joke. But your people don’t exaclty come from the same angle, still by now you achieved the same end. Shouldn’t that be your concern, Emilee?

      • MiggityMike says:

        Senior Stone…

        I wouldn’t go to a congregation and say that they made Xianity a joke…no one is laughing (mostly). But I might point out that they have ruined it and bastardized it. For the first two hundred years prior to Constantine converting, a soldier couldn’t join any Christian church without first renouncing the military. I’ve always been confused because it seems that Christians should strive to follow the teachings of Christ…rather than focusing on old testament justifications for hating gay people and talking about how they ought to be stoned to death (with stones not weed).

        This insanity (which is completely lacking in humor) has progressed to the point that there is now a Christian Nation, which will put gay people to death and imprison others for knowing someone is gay without turning them in to the authorities. Not really following the teachings of Christ…at least not the ones people are so fond of. It might be consistent with Christ condemning a fig tree to death for not having a fruit for him to eat. Or wanting to turn son against father…etc….

        Anyway, get me a spot…I’ll take the pulpit at any evangelizing right wing Christian church and say all of this…pointing out that they ought to change tactics and look at their faith fundamentals. I’ll point out that what they have is nothing like what Christianity originally stood for. Gimme a bullet proof vest thought…I want to get home alive!

        –ThaMig

    • Danimal says:

      Emilee,
      Proper punctuation, spelling, grammar, and capitalization are all signs of maturity and intelligence. So in the category of tactics that need to be changed, yours are of the highest order. I’m not asking for perfection, that is reserved for the FSM, but this steaming pile of letters you left on our site needs some work. If you do come back and clean up your act I have two questions for you. 1. Do you know the original point of the CotFSM? 2. Do you have any idea what the CotFSM has grown to become? I’ll give you a hint, check the about tab and a wonderful post on this site called “Missing the Point.”
      Danimal

    • Drained and Washed Clean says:

      well to honestly say i AM a christian
      ** Would you like a cookie?

      and i will be yelled at for commenting but…
      ** We will only be hostile if you are first.

      to be honest i completely luaghed when i saw this page.
      ** Like that.

      im sorry to be harsh
      ** You seem to be giving yourself too much credit.

      and i realise what your trying to get across
      ** And what is that?

      but is has turned into a complete joke. moking everything it once stood for
      ** It was kind of a joke to begin with… And perhaps could clear something up. What the definition of “moking”? Can’t seem to find that one in the dictionary.

      and i realise many of you think…she is a christian she is biest or something
      ** Really unsure of the definition of “beist”. I will assume “biased” for the sake of argument, and say you have proven yourself to be biased and closed minded. You believe you are right and fail to offer a legitimate and constructive argument consisting of facts and proof.

      …my mind is not closed like that of my family.
      ** Have you ever done REAL research outside of your bible? Have you ever seriously considered another person’s view and heard really listened to fact? If not, then yes it is.

      everyone is treating this whole thing llike a total joke…
      ** This is not a joke. This is a serious matter. Christians are trying to indoctrinate children in sacred place of learning. They are going after our children in a place where the students expect to be taught facts and truth. They are attempting to trample on the Constitution and our rights. I can’t think of very many things that are more serious.

      and i think you need to change your tactics of getting this across…
      ** You mean perhaps begin using the scare tactics the Christians use by threatening eternal suffering and ridicule and exile while alive?

      i mean for gods sake (no pun intended) the church a the flying spagettie monster
      ** How is it any different?

      …again IRA A JOKE IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A SERIOUS POINT DO SO BY ACTING MATURE AND GO ABOUT IT IN A SERIOUS MANNER.
      ** Perhaps we should begin going to Christian websites and yelling at them on their forums as a mature act of making our point…

      DONT MAKE IT A JOKE AND DONT MAKE FUN OF RELIOION.
      ** Why? It has done nothing but promote hate, bigotry, mind control, and murder since its inception. What is the benefit?

      JUST BECSUAE YOUR AN AITHEST MEANS NOTHING.
      ** It actually means a lot. It is easy to be a lemming and follow everyone else off the cliff into the eternal abyss. This actually takes thought and reasoning.

      YOU ARE TRYING TO GET A POINT ACROSS…DO SO…BUT DONT DOIT LIKE THIS.
      ** “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.”
      — Thomas Jefferson

      • lazypoko says:

        @ drained and washed clean.

        First of all, are you really going to correct some one spelling in a religious debate? That seems trivial.

        Also, I would like to state that i am not a member of the church of FSM or of any other church. I don’t think my own religious views are overly important for this argument, but i think others may disagree.

        More importantly I wanted to address some of the points you made.

        I agree with some of what you said, and even laughed a little at the remarks made at the beginning. I thought them to be some what childish and mocking (did i spell it right :)? ), but then i remember that that is kind of the tone of this entire site, so I guess it makes sense to talk like that.

        However, some things you said bothered me or seemed to be false. I’m sure you’d do it even if i didn’t ask, but correct me if I’m wrong.

        -You said “Perhaps we should begin going to Christian websites and yelling at them on their forums as a mature act of making our point” This happens all the time. Thats not to say that Christians and Muslims and Jews don’t do it too, but to make that statement means you think that people from your “faith” have never done it. While I obviously have no proof of this, I think we can both agree it is a safe to assume that the church of FSM is not the only group in the world that doesn’t comment on other religions forums to argue and or make a mockery of it.

        -As far as being an atheist meaning a lot. While I agree that some atheists got to there beliefs through research and critical thinking, there are those who got there the same as people of religions to include Christianity, Judaism and even FSM. Thats what people do. They follow the crowd more often then not. If you truly believe that there aren’t atheists and members of FSM that simply joined because they wanted to be different, or impress some one, or follow a friend, then fine, but I am pretty sure you know that that is no the case.

        -lastly ill comment on the scare tactics thing. While there are those who threaten damnation on non-believers, most of the scare tactics are used on people already following the religion. It seems to be used more as a tool to persuade or mind control (a term i’m sure you prefer) the followers of that religion to behave a certain way and not so much as a tool to convince people to join the church. I think they preach “salvation” to convince people to join then threaten damnation once they are there.

        I await your surely witty and well thought out response. If you DID take offense to anything here I apologize, it was not my intention.
        -Anthony

        • AmiTheWaffle says:

          Though I am not drained and washed clean, I have noticed they have yet to reply to your questions. I hope you will accept my witty and well thought out responses instead. Furthermore I am not an English major so I feel no need to nitpick your response for grammatical errors. Please show me the same respect.

          I completely agree with your first point. I cannot account for the other members of this website. I am sure they have been trolling other religious sites. While I personally find it amusing, I have not done this and would not recommend it. It is rude to destroy their view on the world in such a manner. I prefer to reshape their world in person. In addition it’s much easier to wait for the more avid protesters to post here. They tend to be the most ignorant and are easily confused.

          As for the the atheists. Once again you make a valid point. Some do follow blindly but that will happen no matter what the topic is. But according to this survey, out of all the people surveyed the atheists tended to know the most about religions. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/us/28religion.html?_r=2&src=mv&ref=homepage
          Coincidence? I think not. Those who truly research religions tend to end up atheist. While many of the religious just follow what they are taught. So even if a few of the atheists are really just following to be different, I am still satisfied knowing that one less person will potentially knock on my door at 9 am with a bible in hand.

          Finally, the fear of “going to hell” is commonly used as a way to have those of that faith follow the intended morals. But, it also doubles as a way to draw people in. The biggest example of this is Johnathan Edwards in the 1700s. His preaching is a style which is known as the “fire and brimstone” technique. He was a huge role in the “First Great Awakening.” His sermons title is “Sinners at the Hand of an Angry God.” The too long didn’t listen version is pretty much believe or when you die it will suck. The fire and brimstone method has be significantly watered down since that time but it still exists. As an example at our college we often have religious groups set up tables decorated with candy and cupcakes to have you stop and look at their pamphlets. Then while you are happily munching on your cupcake, some religious crazy fiend talks about how you are committing sins and need to repent. If you do not repent when you die you will be sent to hell. Although their attempts are feeble at best, they are still trying to scare you into their religion.

          I have yet to find anything offensive in what you have said, but instead I hope this will help you feel more at peace. (and maybe you learned something :D yay history!) If you have any other questions ask away and I’ll answer to the best of my knowledge.

          ~Wafflez
          Ramen <3

        • lazypoko says:

          @ B. and Amithewaffle. I appreciate both responses and I promise, had no intention of correcting anyones spelling or grammar. God knows that I’m bad enough at it myself, despite it being my native tongue.

          @Amithewaffle I did not mean to imply that all or most atheist or members of FSM troll and bash religion on christians sites, I simply meant to say that religious people are not the only ones to do so.

          As for the Atheism meaning something, I’m not surprised that atheists are more knowledgeable about religions then most. I agree too that studying religion deeply often leads to people that are no longer religious. But I can’t help but think that there are those who become atheist and THEN study religion so they can know more about it to better support their argument. This obviously is not a bad thing, just a simple hunch. (I enjoyed that article by the way)

          @ B. and Amithewaffle You are both correct, and I feel foolish for not mentioning it before. I imagine that I should have said “these days, It seems to be used more as a tool to persuade or mind control (a term i’m sure you prefer) the followers of that religion to behave a certain way and not so much as a tool to convince people to join the church.” This has to do with the fact that the church (And i am speaking mostly of Christianity at the moment) changes it’s views to keep up with the times. You should watch http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/dan_dennett_s_response_to_rick_warren.html.
          I am sure you will disagree with a lot of what he says, and may not like the video in general, but he explains what i mean with the church better then I can.

          Thanks for the response
          -anthony

        • B. says:

          @Anthony

          You display a somewhat naive picture of how organized religion has acted trough history. I’m specifically concerned with your last paragraph:

          “It seems to be used more as a tool to persuade or mind control (a term i’m sure you prefer) the followers of that religion to behave a certain way and not so much as a tool to convince people to join the church.”

          Missionaries of all religions has, as you are probably very aware, always converted “the heathens” with the certain knowledge that if they aren’t of that particular faith at their death they will burn in hell. And, on a more socio-political note, the “heathens” in the colonial days of course had no other choice since they wanted to live, albeit it in slavery or misery. These “scare tactics” are part of (almost) all religions arsenal. “Join us or your soul will burn”.

          This reminds me of something I was told years ago. It took place a few hundred years ago. Swedish soldiers went out on a crusade to “christian” part of Finland (Which then was a part of Sweden). They met villagers whom refused to be baptized, so they cut their heads of. Turned out, they refused because they were already Christian and being baptized twice is a sin. I can’t test to the full truth in this story, but when people start to defend the reasonableness of religion or denies its history, this is what I think about.

          Don’t get picky on my language either, English isn’t my first language.

        • Drained and Washed Clean says:

          First of all, are you really going to correct some one spelling in a religious debate? That seems trivial.
          ** It speaks to ones intelligence and thoughtfulness. And there were many more than 2 spelling mistakes.

          Also, I would like to state that i am not a member of the church of FSM or of any other church. I don’t think my own religious views are overly important for this argument, but i think others may disagree.
          ** I am hoping you did not miss the satire that is the purpose for this website.

          I thought them to be some what childish and mocking (did i spell it right :)? ), but then i remember that that is kind of the tone of this entire site, so I guess it makes sense to talk like that.
          ** Did you read my Thomas Jefferson quote? It is a ridiculous proposition. Furthermore, when people come here and are not nice, they should expect me to take much less effort to edit myself. I believe respect is earned, and if one does not respect me, then I will return the favor.

          -You said “Perhaps we should begin going to Christian websites and yelling at them on their forums as a mature act of making our point” This happens all the time. Thats not to say that Christians and Muslims and Jews don’t do it too, but to make that statement means you think that people from your “faith” have never done it. While I obviously have no proof of this, I think we can both agree it is a safe to assume that the church of FSM is not the only group in the world that doesn’t comment on other religions forums to argue and or make a mockery of it.
          ** If others have done it shame on them. I don’t do it, and many others here don’t. We just want to be in a place among like minded people. Just as they would expect me to not go into their church and tell them what idiots they are, I expect to be left to my own thinking here.

          -As far as being an atheist meaning a lot. While I agree that some atheists got to there beliefs through research and critical thinking, there are those who got there the same as people of religions to include Christianity, Judaism and even FSM. Thats what people do. They follow the crowd more often then not. If you truly believe that there aren’t atheists and members of FSM that simply joined because they wanted to be different, or impress some one, or follow a friend, then fine, but I am pretty sure you know that that is no the case.
          ** And I would criticize any of those people who go to Christian websites and do that. Doesn’t make it right either way. That also means I am not going to stop criticizing the religious folks who come here and threaten our lives and eternal souls. Being an atheist is hard. People think we shouldn’t have the right to vote, to run for office, or even have citizenship. Those who do this just to be cool are just as idiotic as the christians who can’t think with their own brain.

          -lastly ill comment on the scare tactics thing. While there are those who threaten damnation on non-believers, most of the scare tactics are used on people already following the religion.
          ** We are threatened frequently. Hatemail and other comments on this site prove that.

          It seems to be used more as a tool to persuade or mind control (a term i’m sure you prefer) the followers of that religion to behave a certain way and not so much as a tool to convince people to join the church.
          ** Doesn’t make it right. It just proves that people are scared to die and need to feel there is something there. There is actually a scientific study that shows religion is an adaptation humans developed to alleviate anxiety about the uncertainty of death.

          I think they preach “salvation” to convince people to join then threaten damnation once they are there.
          ** No, it is a control tactic to get any weak minded person to join because they are afraid of their eternal soul. It is another form of Pascal’s Wager.

          I await your surely witty and well thought out response. If you DID take offense to anything here I apologize, it was not my intention.
          ** When someone comes and asks questions in a respectful and open manner, I am not offended. I am offended when people are dickheads and come here not only with a lack of understanding of what we are here for, but their head up their butts thinking they are right and the rest of the world is wrong. I am just a call it as I see it kind of person. I guess it can rub people the wrong way, but I am not really concerned with that to be honest. I have just as much of a right to my opinions as everyone else, and I will defend it if attacked. Religion should be subjected to the same type of scrutiny they put us under. I am just willing to ask them to look through the microscope :)

        • lazypoko says:

          -I am well aware that there were more then two spelling errors, and while spelling CAN be a sign of intelligence, I am sure there are Intelligent people who simply have trouble spelling.
          -I got the satire, but I appreciate the concern.
          -Not sure why you argued with me about the “childish response” thing, I agreed with you on it, but ok.
          -It’s good to know you are not one of the people that does go around and preach atheism or FSM on religious forums. That doesn’t change the fact that it happens, nor does it change the fact that you said “perhaps WE should start going to Christian websites” instead of saying “I”
          -The first part of your response to my saying that some atheist are atheists for poor reasons seemed to still be a response to the prior paragraph. The second part however is pretty much exactly what I said, so once again, why are you arguing with me over something we seem to agree on?
          -As far as the 3 responses to my damnation thing, I in no way meant that threatening damnation was good. I agree that the hate-mail you receive is foolish and wrong. A group that claims to preach peace and equality should not have members that speak violently. A letter to try and convince members of FSM that they are in the wrong religion I can understand, but threats of violence, that is uncalled for. I also understand that the tactics used by most churches are the same as any company that is trying to sell a product. They market themselves to appeal to people, at times using scare tactics, at other time using lies, and at others time using what they believe to be true. But again, my claim wasn’t that what the church is right in doing what it does as far as scare tactics, my point simply was to point out that the way you claimed they did it was wrong, but I was corrected before you responded to my post.
          -Lastly, I would say I agree with your final response. It is a good way to look at things with one exception. You said you hate when people come here claiming they are right and the rest of the world is wrong. But truthfully, isn’t that how YOU are, and how I am? You think atheism is correct and all religions are wrong, isn’t that similar?
          -I appreciate the response. Have a good one.
          -

        • Drained and Washed Clean says:

          Spelling IS a sign of intelligence because it shows that one has thought out, read, and edited their statement. Many people have an issue spelling. But, if someone has intelligence they understand their flaw and correct it very easily. I don’t care how poor someone’s spelling is when I am grading my students’ papers. I find it unfortunate that people don’t think spelling is important.

          It doesn’t matter who is going to others websites. I said we because we have developed a community here, and I know of others here who have specifically argued against doing such things. We doesn’t have to refer to everyone, but it does refer to more than just myself. Like I said, “I… and many others here don’t”.

          Right now all religion is doing is threatening. Debate is completely different than attempting to convert someone. Debate both sides offer facts and counterpoints. Conversion is completely different. During a debate both sides offer facts to back up their claim. The act of attempting to convert someone is claiming that the other person’s beliefs are wrong and then threatening them with eternal torment.

          Religion should be scrutinized more closely than anything on this planet. It is controlling the actions of millions with not a shred of evidence to back up their claims other than an old book (which has been taken apart, put back together, mistranslated, and has multiple historical errors). I find that kinda scary…

        • AmiTheWaffle says:

          @ drained washed and clean

          “I don’t care how poor someone’s spelling is when I am grading my students’ papers. I find it unfortunate that people don’t think spelling is important.”
          This is a contradiction because you obviously do care about how they spell in their essays. When it comes to you students papers, the hardest part is finding the errors not correcting them. This is because when you editing you own paper you see it how you imagine it but not how its written.

          Also just wanted to point this out.

          Including quality of spelling as a criteria of students’ writing proficiency is unfair, Gentry (1987, p10) argues, since “expert spellers are born, and cannot be developed in school”. Thus, he submits, there is no significant relationship between correct spelling and intelligence. That is, the “visual memory” necessary for proficient spelling is “not a skill one can consciously acquire”.
          http://www.spellingsociety.org/journals/j20/recent.php <– there is the website and you can find the quote under "The 'Whole Language' Connect" section

          Spelling is a sign of organization not intelligence. Pg 39
          http://books.google.com/books?id=biKOnUhQ8ocC&pg=PA38&lpg=PA38&dq=spelling+and+intelligence&source=bl&ots=XzB1igKZn1&sig=E6joUvAEDkWgpW_TLnmhj1G2fJE&hl=en&ei=VJK7TPnVN4Oclgel8oTbBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CD8Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=spelling%20and%20intelligence&f=false

          And as further proof, I personally have a high IQ but I am a terrible speller. I also lack organization. Even though I put the extra effort in by using spell check it shouldn't be an issue on a forum. It shouldn't even be mentioned up unless you can't read it because it takes away from the deeper issues.

          ~Waffles <3
          Ramen

        • Atsap Revol says:

          WAFFLE,

          You believe and even supply references that spelling and intelligence are not correlated. You even believe that the abilty to spell is a “God-given” gift that can’t be learned. You further write off spelling skill as just a meaningless abilty to organize.

          Organization begins with the word, Words form sentences. Sentences form paragraphs. Paragraphs form essays and books. My experience has been that those who can’t organize the spelling of words are also unable to organize the higher levels of communication skill. Good communication skill is a mark of intelligence.

          AR

        • Keith says:

          Regarding the post by AmiTheWaffle: Gentry evidently has his/her own problems. “A criteria” is incorrect, just as “an agenda” is incorrect. It should be “a criterion”. Criteria is plural.

        • Drained and Washed Clean says:

          “I don’t care how poor someone’s spelling is when I am grading my students’ papers. I find it unfortunate that people don’t think spelling is important.”
          This is a contradiction because you obviously do care about how they spell in their essays. When it comes to you students papers, the hardest part is finding the errors not correcting them. This is because when you editing you own paper you see it how you imagine it but not how its written.
          ** I don’t care how poor someone’s spelling SKILL is when I am grading papers. Obviously you need things spelled out for you.

          It is not unfair to ask student to correct the spelling on a paper that they have the time to edit. There are multiple resources for them to do so including the internet, a dictionary, parents, teachers… I am unconcerned with a person’s choice to not edit and use the resources available to them.

          Now, if a student does not have time to edit the paper, the only way I check spelling is if the word was written in the text they were reading or in the question.

          The ability to spell is not a sign of intelligence. The choice to edit your post for spelling before submitting it is. I cannot take someone seriously who continuously makes spelling errors in a post.

          And everything Atsap said :)

    • beardlywoodchop says:

      Emilee, since you’re honestly a christian and seem to excel at making yourself into a target, I’ll honor your underlying request to be ripped the fuck apart on a public message board.

      Since christians make up the largest demographic of the “religious” it’s safe to say there is money involved, lots of it. Instead of building gigantic churches how about use that money to, I don’t know, feed the hungry. I’m sure god wouldn’t have any problem with his followers assembling in fields (like the good ol’ days) instead of multimillion dollar buildings, especially if that money went where it was more desperately needed.

      “Change our tactics?” Should we go door to door, start em out at a really young impressionable age, stand on street corners handing out bibles, or send pamphlets in the mail? If you were raised under different circumstances I’m sure whatever you were raised to believe is the side is the side you would be arguing. I suggest you invest in some alternative forms of logical thinking. Are you implying our tactics are inefficient when I really don’t believe our goal is to hoard as many followers as possible, quality not quantity.

      How is it a joke? christians believe all sorts of wacky shit, burning unconsumed talking bushes giving commands to a 900 year old man being my personal favorite.

      Your claims are unfounded void of support and presented in a manner that suggest you’re completely fucking retarded.

      Maybe consider offering the same sympathies your requesting.

    • Tally says:

      Dearest Emily,
      The whole point of pastafarianism is to show that we are religious too, so as to not argue as an atheist. Also, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN???? People OBVIOUSLY take us seriously, that movie picked up millions of viewers. Good movie, just thought I would bring it up.

      Secondly, because we are a religion, we are on equal ground. By saying no one takes us seriously, you are demeaning a whole group of people. The commonly used term for that is racism. Do you not take Tom Cruise seriously because he is a Scientologist, another small group of people united for a cause?… Okay that was a bad example, but you get the general idea.

      NONE OF US ARE SAYING RELIGION IS BAD! Religion, one could argue is good. For example, it is the premise of law. Hell, WE ARE RELIGIOUS! And who is to say that our religion makes less sense than others. Hell, if heaven exists, who is to say that the beer volcano is not it?

      Finally, by declaring that you are a christian, are you trying to establish yet another religious war? One of the premisies that Pastafarianism was built on, is that war is bad and religious quarrels are one of the leading causes of war. To enphasise my last point, we may even be the real religion! Who is to say that we are not equal to others? The only one who could is the FSM and he is a pasta monter for heaven (beer volcano) s sakee.
      Thank you,
      Tally.

      • Rev Toni Rigatoni says:

        Tally, not everybody would agree with your proposition that religion is good, there are many here that would argue that religion has had many negative effects on the world as we know it now and throughout it’s history. No point in rehashing those points as they are well covered elsewhere, but you shouldn’t make broad statements such as ‘None of us are saying that religion is bad’, as clearly many of us are, and I count myself among them.

        The Reverand

      • B. says:

        Holy cows and manatees, you called me religious. And you said that religion is the premise of law. That made my head spin a little. I’m sure you mean well, but as I have learned myself on this site, saying “we” with certainty is never a good idea.

        Thanks Rev. Toni for bringing this to my attention.

  4. sam says:

    i agree with your opposition to teaching creationism in schools and the religion itself is cool, but slaming other religions is shameful. you should also not be racist with the gospel, and try not to pick fights with mainstream religion.

    • plumberbob says:

      @ sam,

      All religions are shameful to begin with. They are all just collections of fairy tales. Most of their writings are atrocious, and are less believable than those of Rowling and Tolkien.

      As I said to emilee, above, No god exists! If you’ve proof to the contrary, present it to us here!

      RAmen

      • sam says:

        as an athiest myself i see where your coming from, but this hatemail section is just a mud slinging fight. does it realy matter if they belive in god? everyone has their right to belive in what they want.

        • Noodlity says:

          This is, after all, a Pastafarian site; and while constructive criticism is appreciated, trolling and hateful bashing generally isn’t. As you may have noticed, those who share and discuss their beliefs without rancor are met with a similarly civil attitude. Those who try and offend our beliefs are in turn mocked. “Mud slinging” ensues only if the original letter/post is a badly written troll. Blame the other side for that.

        • sam says:

          i agree, it is mostly the others sides fault and this is a pastafarian site. the nay sayers can shut it.
          RAmen

        • Rev Toni Rigatoni says:

          Yes it does matter sam, if they want to keep their beliefs private and not let them affect others then fine, but the vast majority of those that come here display actions that evidences them as bible thumping, hate filled fundies, just the kind of believers in fact, that will commit the very ‘crimes’ that this site is in existance to prevent. As has been stated many times before, if a believer posts on this site with genuine, intelligent well reasoned argument, he or she will invariably be responded to in kind; the majority of regulars on this site genuinely enjoy a polite and well reasoned debate, the ‘mudslinging’ of which you speak is almost always instigated by the visitor to the site rather than the respondant. Frequently respondants will try to reason well beyond the realms of any chance of the original poster seeing their points of view and some, it’s fair to say will eventually become frustrated and sling some mud back, no-one has any right to swear, curse and verbally abuse another without expecting a response in kind. So, sam, until the believers keep their opinions and superstitions out of education and government, I and others here will continue to challenge their beliefs and challenge their failure to recognise the same right others have, to believe, or not believe what they want.

          Pasta be upon you,

          The Reverand

    • B. says:

      As I, also, said to emilee, religion should be mocked. “Picking a fight” is actually called discussion and it is a sign of a democratic state that all things can be discussed. If one stops “picking a fight” with established institutions or ideas one opens a door that leads to a world were just some ideas matter or are being accepted.

    • Danimal says:

      Sam,
      I never slam religion, only groups of bigots, hypocrites, and idiots trying to force their idiotic ideas on me . They all just happen to meet at the same place on the same day of the week.
      Danimal

      • Zeus Almighty says:

        Awesome!

  5. john says:

    lol, this letter is just funny

  6. theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

    “everyone who believes in a religion is below me, and that gives me the right to completely disrespect everything they stand for”.

    Don’t you think this is a reaction to what non-believers are subjected to? Don’t you think that Christians consider themselves morally superior? Of course they do – and look down on everyone else. Of course, this is a vast improvement over the old ways of KILLING those who didn’t believe.

    “Treat other religions with respect”. Aren’t you really saying “Don’t bring up any criticisms or discussions about my religion, because it doesn’t have a leg to stand on”?

    • sam says:

      true the cathiloc truth were murdering idiots, and the bible is full of holes and inconsistancies, but you are wrong about one thing, it is not my religion. i am just an atheist trying to understand why the cristians would write about what i origanaly said. i now understand it was the oppositian that starts it and by playing there part i now know how it developes.

      • sam says:

        i apologize for sying this in such a manner. i think i did not get my meaning acrost. peole should not fight and responding violently to faulty word choice.

      • OHMYFSM says:

        SAM,

        You are giving atheists a bad name with your lousy punctuation and grammar. You dumb shit!

  7. Araina says:

    Seriously? This is supposed to be a joke people! Just like all of the other religious of our world this is just like them, accept it is meant to be funny and as stupid as possible. I don’t understand why people expect their absurd and hate filled religious beliefs to be respected. Should we have let Hitlers beliefs be respected? How many people have died in the name or killed in the name of their ‘God’ or religion? To sit here and whine about some harmless and silly jokes made about world religious is just asinine when so much more horrors are commited by world religions. Yes, attack the FSM because he is a peaceful God, who only wants to touch every human on earth with his noodlely hands. Get over yourselves and go complain about someone who deserves it. The Catholic Church perhaps, or Jehovah’s witnesses both who actively cover up child molestation under the protection of clergy laws.

  8. sam says:

    child molestation is wrong and the church is wrong to protect them but why even when an athiest says to stop fighting each other you compare him to hitler.the only thing religon really causes is fighting.

    • Stonefield says:

      Sam,

      use a spellchecker please. Thanks.

      Uh … and as I mention this. I read in another thread (i think) that “atheist” isn’t capitalized. Why? And i do mean the “an Atheist” noun form of the word …
      Isn’t “Christian” as being a name for a follower of a certain religion also capitalized? Shouldn’t “atheist” then also be treated the same way?

      And … indeed i already tried to commune with his (or her) Noodeliness on the matter, by boiling and eating a hearty portion of pasta … with the somewhat godly inspiration of “Why do you care?” Well, i do care, because im curious! So that didn’t help much.

      So i meekly do ask for help from a more enlightend follower of his Noodeliness. Thank you.

      • lazypoko says:

        I don’t know if you were serious or not, but i’m going to respond none the less, because I am bored.

        I imagine a better argument would be that the word Christian should not be capitalized. As far as I can tell, the only nouns (other than names and places and such) that are capitalized, are names for religious people. Why should they get the special treatment of capitalization?

        However, I imagine that THAT is the reason atheism is not capitalized. Atheism is not a religion, so an atheist is not a religious person. If the capitalization thing only applies to religious nouns, then atheist would be excluded.

        -anthony

        • Stonefield says:

          Hey,

          you got my idea! Thank you. (And yes, i was serious)

          But i come to another conclusion. In my opinion “Atheist” should be capitalized, as it basically is the belief in something (here: The absence of a divine entity). So in no way it should be treated with less respect than any other belief system …

        • lazypoko says:

          The belief in something? or the belief in Something religiously based? Because psychics believe in telling the future. Pacifists believe in non-violence. Vegans believe that eating animal products is bad. These are all some sort of belief, but they are not capitalized. Atheism does have more to do with religion then these other words, but it is not a religion and there fore is in a somewhat different category. Just how agnostic is not capitalized, and I guess similar to how “believer” is not capitalized, or “follower”. It isn’t specific enough I guess.

          -anthony

        • Stonefield says:

          You’re just arguing words. (Well as this ist a language based Problem, its hard not to … but i hope you get the gist.)

          Still, i thought this over, you may be right with “no capitalization on religious nouns”. If The capital at the beginning of such a word, is meant to make clear personal respect is being paid to that specific belief system, like in someones name (e.g. “John”). Then i don’t see why any specific belief system should be more respected than any other …

          But i somehow am reluctant to suggest such a rule “in general”, maybe it’s better to leave that to everyones own decision. If one uses the capital, one pays the traditonal respect, and if not, one doesn’t.

          Thanks Anthony, and praise the FSM! It -of course- was right from start… the whole issue WAS about caring!^^

        • Rev Toni Rigatoni says:

          The word atheism or atheist should not be capitalised – it is not a belief system, it is a lack of belief. If religion didn’t exist the word atheist would not exist as there would be no need for it. Atheism is the default state for all human beings and we only adopt the title ‘atheist’ to distinguish us from the poor gullible majority that fall for the con. Please don’t say that atheism is a belief, the only thing about my atheism that has anything to do with belief is my belief that the world would be a far happier place without religion.

        • Stonefield says:

          Dear Reverend,

          of course atheism is a belief system, you cannot prove that no higher entity exists. So you BELIEVE that no god exists if you’re an Atheist.

          And the default state for all humans is “animism”. Small children and -as far as i know- all so called “primitive” cultures live by believing everything is alive. To them everything has a soul and shares some sort of divinity with everything exsisting around it. In my opinion this is a very blessed state of the mind … (Which we Pastafarians in some noodely aspect still share.)

          What bugs me a bit about your statement is, that you mimick very much the thinking of the majority churches. “my belief is absolute” and “my belief is superior to every other belief system”. In a way it seems, you also “fell for the con”.
          And didn’t Pastafarianism come into existence because people wanted to impose their dogmatic absolute belief on others?

          You see, your atheism has alot more in common with the poor gullible masses than you believed^^

        • B. says:

          Stonefield: No, atheism is no belief system. An atheist has rejected the thought of there being anything to believe in, as you can see in the word. Theist = someone who believes in a God or the liking of. A-theist = Someone who does not believe in this.

          You are approaching this from a very religious point of view. This doesn’t make your point correct. A belief system is a system of belief. Atheists do not believe. That is very simple.

          You speak (ofc) as tho believing in God is the basic state of humanity. Once again – it is not. Animism was a way of understanding the world when you knew very little about it. Thats not how people function today. They are born without faith because they have an explanation for all things that surrounds them and if they can’t explain it they assume that it is just a field where science hasn’t reached yet. And yes, we do believe in science. But not in the way you believe in God. Not in the way you have faith. I believe in gravity, but gravity is no belief system.

          I, and many with me, believe that there is no teapot orbiting Earth. That doesn’t mean that it is a belief system. You approach this from a God-centric point of view (Once again, ofc) and forget that we don’t look at the world as emanating from our faith, since we have none. In our world, it isn’t a question about disproving Gods existence, but rather proving his existence. So far, we have seen no evidence. So its really YOU that _chose to believe_ then the other way around.

          I’m surprised that you don’t know why FSM was invented. You should read up before you try comparing this to any of the more established religion and their “gullible flock of sheep”.

        • Stonefield says:

          You may not like it B. but Atheists as much as people following a religion CANNOT prove, that their belief is true. And so it stays a belief. A Theory – if you want to use a scientific term. A different theory than religious people, but one you also cannot prove.

          What you are talking about is a “non-religious” person (sometimes described as “Agnostic”). Which is a complete different matter, than saying “there is no god”. And I’m very sorry that this fundamental truth ist disturbing you.

          In what way am i being religious in your opinion? By saying animism is a very blessed state of mind? If thats a critic, I’ll take the blame of being unbiased and unprejudiced about other belief systems.
          But i won’t take the blame of saying “being religious is the basic state of mind”. Because thats NOT what i said. I’ll try to clarify this, and i hope you’re willing to try to understand. Animism -as i comprehend it- doesn’t deal with a higher entity (a god) but with the sameness of everything. As much as you and I are more than the sum of our parts, Animists believe that fish, a tree, a wood maybe even a chair or work of art share the same “state of being” in other words they too have “a soul”. And that’s fundamentally different from saying “there is, or isn’t a god”…

          And by the way i find it rather derogatory to say that an Animist “doesnt know much about the word”. If you really mean this, you’re just showing your ignorance. Go to a true savage shaman an ask him about his world, and you can be sure he knows more about his world than you. Oh! He may know less about YOUR world than you. But as you know less about his world than him, i think you shouldnt look down on him. And no, im not talking about the “spiritual part” of his world, but there too he will beat you with profound knowledge …

          Seeing this, and the way you dare talk about people you don’t know. I can only come to the conclusion that the only thing you really did “prove” was, that you wanted to say “I’m/we are better than them”. (Once more a hallmark of the big churches way of thinking.)

          Seemingly i do know (better than you) why the FSM was invented, namly “to prevent people imposing their belief system on others” (letter to kansas school board, to prevent ID being taught in schools.)

          One last thing. I think alot of true Atheists don’t share your point of view on the “proving/not-proving the existence of god” matter. We think it’s more important that Atheism is being accepted as equal to any religous creed. Because we believe, that having free choice about the matter is far more advanced and enlightened than being pummeld and scared into any belief system (including atheism), and so it’s in long term categories the far more mightier sword than adopting the tactics of the old churches …

        • B. says:

          Lack of belief is no belief. I won’t budge from that.

          Sure, rephrase everything in your head to be just my opinion. I can’t talk for anyone but me. I apologize if anyone felt grossly offended.

          I respect people of all religions. To suggest that I use church tactics is laughable. Try reading any of my previous posts and you’ll find that my sole purpose on this site is to discuss religion. As I’ve mentioned to you before, I have no trouble with faith. Its organized religion that I have an issue with.

          I’m well aware of what animism is. Early on most humans were animistic. But that number has declined. Even you can’t argue with that. To suggest that saying that means that I think I’m more worth then those that still practices animism (like the natives of my country) is a real stretch.

          Lastly, this is NOT my language. Maybe you should try figure out what I really meant before jumping to conclusions regarding particular sentences.

        • Stonefield says:

          Prove there is no god! If you can’t, you just BELIEVE there is no such entity. It IS as simple as that.
          You may dislike this, but if you want to argue logically and scientifically, you have to keep this in mind. If you don’t want to argue that way, i could go on believing the moon ISN’T a (mostly) cold hard rock, but maybe a nice and couriously carved teapot …

          I could quote you on many instances, but i don’t want to go nitpicking, so one quote will have to do.
          “Lastly, this is NOT my language. Maybe you should try figure out what I really meant before jumping to conclusions regarding particular sentences.”

          Three things i would like to tell you about this:
          1. I went through the hassle of explaining my first post on this matter again (which you call “rephrasing”), because basic communication theory claims “the sender is responisble for his message, cause the recipient doesn’t know what the sender wants to transmit”. I became aware, that you didn’t understand my meaning at first, so i tried again, with different words … seemingly succcessfull.
          2. “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
          3. This also is not my first language …

          And finally i have a somewhat strange question. Have you ever screamed at you computer or car, because it didn’t do what you wated it to do? Somehow – it seems – alot of people are still animists when they’re in a certain state of mind.
          ;-)

        • lazypoko says:

          @ B. (mostly) I would like to start by saying how ashamed I am that you both seem to speak better English than I do, and it IS my first language.

          Secondly, and shortly, I agree with stonefield on this matter. There is plenty of scientific data that supports evolution, that supports the big bang. There is evidence of the earths forming through heating and cooling and such, but there is no proof that a superior being or god does not exist.

          You do not KNOW there is no god, you assume and or believe there is no god.

          I wouldn’t say it makes it a “Belief system” considering there are no rituals, no habits, nothing required of an atheist, but I would say it IS a belief.

          (and there are atheists that join for just as poor reasons as some people that join the church) IMO of course

        • gordon_uk says:

          Sorry Stonefield but the word Atheism comes from a, meaning without, and theism meaning belief in god or gods.

          At no stage is there a requirement for the subject being described as ‘Atheist’ to have any understanding of the abstract concept of a god or gods, therefore to be atheist does not require someone to ‘not believe’ in a god or gods. For example a child that has had no exposure to religion or the abstract concept of a god or gods would not believe or not believe in god or gods but would be classed as an atheist as the be living without a belief in a god or gods.

          RAmen
          Gordon

        • Stonefield says:

          @ gordon_uk

          Reading your post I find myself a bit amused. As it sounds a bit like written by someone who’s not seeing the wood, because all those trees are blocking his sight.

          An “A-Theist” is someone who rejects the belief in god. Maybe even because the concept of “god” is unprovable, maybe because he rejects the religious practices the official churches think vital for showing proper respect to the god they believe in. But as the words “Atheist” or “Atheism” tell, (“A-” being “without-” or “not-”, and “-theist” being “believer in god”), such a person is “not believing in god”. To do so, he/she must have a concept of “god”. Like you, like B. he/she KNOWS what “god” means, and just rejects that idea.

          IF your theoretical child were the normal “Atheist”, you and I wouldn’t be able to discuss this. Because we wouldn’t UNDERSTAND what this is about. (“God? What is a “god”?”, could you please explain this concept, because I don’t understand what “god” is supposed to be…).

          It’s always (logically) bad practice if you use the concept you want to negate, as an explanation for it’s non-relevance or even non-existance.^^

        • Gordon_UK says:

          Stonefield I wasn’t trying to pick a fight just trying to add to the debate, sorry if my earlier post came across in that manner to prompt you to be so impolite.

          The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning “without god”, which was applied with a negative connotation to those thought to reject the gods worshipped by the larger society, the meaning of the ‘a’ in atheist means ‘without’ it does not mean ‘not’.

          My point was that you don’t need dis-believe in a god to be atheist you just have to be without a believe, as per the meaning of the word.

          G

        • Stonefield says:

          @gordon_uk

          In what way am i being impolite? But the answer doesn’t matter that much, as I really didn’t want to be “impolite” just provocative … so, i’m sorry for making this impression.

          Depending on the context the prefix can be translated in different meanings. And yes, one of them is “without”. But that’s really not the point here – I think.

          What I was trying to explain, is that an Atheist needs a concept of “god” (which he rejects). But I seem to catch your meaning now. You’re talking about a non-first-person perspective. Someone saying someone else is “not believing in god.” (or even: There is no outward indication, that this somebody has a god concept). But as you might see, such a statement is likely to be quite tricky – as we can’t look into other peoples brains. Besides … do you know anyone who doesn’t have an idea about what the word “god” means? It seems -to me- if you talk about someone, calling him “Atheist”, without knowing that this person considers himself an Atheist, you’re always dangerously close to slander …

          And if we are looking on this issue in a first person perspective. I also don’t know anyone who says “I’m an atheist”, and at the same time doesn’t have an idea what “god” supposedly is. Actually I think it’s impossible to do so. How can you say about yourself “I am without god” (atheist) without knowing what the term “god” means?

          About your somewhat hypothetical child, which wasn’t exposed in any way to religion or (the concept) of god. Would you really be so imprecise and put it in the same group with all the other colours of “Atheism”, or wouldn’t you too just call it “A child which never was exposed to religious ideas”?

          Btw. I really tried to prove your point to me, the crux is, I can’t find a way of describing the problem without the concept of “god”. Somehow I just always failed at finding neutral (non-negative, not loaded) words which can be used to describe the problem. To me it seems that once a concept is taught, you use the concept to negate it. The closest thing I could come up with, was “ignorance about god”, but in my world, this wouldn’t be even close to “atheism” …

          C.

        • gordon_uk says:

          I know what you mean, for me to call myself atheist i need to know what it means. But atheist is just a tag you give someone who lives without god, you view makes it sound like you have to opt out of religon rather them opt in.

        • Stonefield says:

          @lazy: Thanks for the compliment! And don’t feel ashamed, as I (and B. maybe too) need to make some serious effort to write like this.

        • B. says:

          I could go on discussing reception theory (with emphasis on Stuart Hall) with you, but I think thats really off topic ;)

          Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Lets agree to disagree.

          R’Amen

        • Lalala says:

          Re Stonefield…

          Ahhh the good ol “Theory” argument. Isn’t this what FSM is all about? If all theories are equal, then His Noodliness is valid – and FSM needs to be taught in schools, and Kentucky needs to add the Gospel of FSM to public school studies as well.

          Scientific theories actually have a standard of proof. (see below) In addition, part of the beauty of the scientific system is that people actively try to experiment and find new evidence in order to disprove old theories and develop new ones. Religious theories have no standard of proof. (or rather a very low one- a) I thought of it, and b) you can’t prove its not true) and the ‘beauty’ of religion is that it inoculates believers against logic and reasoning: the more evidence you find contrary to the religious theory, the stronger their belief in it.

          theories as per wikipedia:
          According to the United States National Academy of Sciences,

          Some scientific explanations are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them. The explanation becomes a scientific theory. In everyday language a theory means a hunch or speculation. Not so in science. In science, the word theory refers to a comprehensive explanation of an important feature of nature supported by facts gathered over time. Theories also allow scientists to make predictions about as yet unobserved phenomena,[7]

          According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science,

          A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world. The theory of biological evolution is more than “just a theory.” It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ theory of disease. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress. But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted fact.[8]

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