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When you have 3.6 Billion adherents

Published November 27th, 2010 by Bobby Henderson

When you have 3.6 Billion adherents to your faith, we can start talking about teaching your ideas in school. When you think you’re right or not the decision on whether or not to teach creationism in school should come from the majority and the fact is 82.3% of Americans are christian and therefore believe that the earth was created by God and only 11.6 are unaffiliated with a religion, of which only a fraction are atheist or agnostic. Take out the agnostics because if they’re really agnostic they won’t care what’s being taught in school, and we’re talking about a small number of really loud people that are trying to force their beliefs on the rest of the country. How messed up is that. I’m not going to force my beliefs on you. I think that’s why they did the whole separation of church and state thing, so that a certain belief system, Evolution included, would not be forced upon the population. So teach evolution, go ahead, I know for a fact that Brigham Young University and Brigham Young University Idaho, two christian schools teach evolution in their required classes, but if you’re going to teach one THEORY, and I emphasize theory not fact, then give credence to other theories that bare any social impact on our society. Like how about a theory that more than 50% of the world subscribes to? Anyway, peace be the journey, I give you credit for some funny stuff, like pirates and global warming, but don’t pretend to take nothing seriously if you actually do have very serious agenda.
–Jordan

All religions go through a phase of perceived fakeness. Funny you bring up BYU.  Mormonism got a lot of criticism for years because Joseph Smith used seer stones to find the location of their original scriptures and translate them from unknown languages.  Some might say that sounds like BS.  But with time and pressure it becomes a religion.  Not unlike the formation of rocks.  I am a scientist first, remember.



477 Responses to “When you have 3.6 Billion adherents”

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  1. Rev Toni Rigatoni says:

    I love you too.

  2. Miguelito says:

    I find it interesting that you bring up that 86 % of Americans are Christians and thus believe in Creationism as told in the Bible. It’s jumping to conclusions like that that becomes the kiss of death for what would otherwise be considered a wonderful argument. Just because somebody considers themselves a Christian doesn’t mean they believe in a literal translation of every word in the bible. One of my good friends, for example, is a devout Roman Catholic, and supports euthanasia (However that’s spelled. Basically suicide for terminally ill patients, for those who don’t know). Another good friend of mine calls themselves Christian, even goes to church every Sunday, but they believe that God made the earth over the course of 5 billion years or so, and supports Gay marriage. My mother is a Lutheran, but believes in a much broader interpertation of religion. The word “Christian” encompasses hundreds of thousands of different TYPES of people, each with different beliefs and ideals. This in mind, the number of Christians and the number of creationist Christians become vastly different, and the number of Creationist christians turns into something of 30-40%, which is most definitely not a majority.
    Secondly, people shouldn’t have to learn only one theory, but should allow themselves to learn all different theories across the world and decide for themselves. For example, if I told you that I firmly believed that a B-24 created the earth in 1945, you’d call me crazy (On a side note, that is an actual religion). But that’s only because you can make the decision based on other theories you have learned. The same principle applies here, and it’s exactly why Creationism should be taught in church and Evolution taught in schools.
    I think I’ve ranted quite enough. XD

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      I attended Catholic grade and high schools, and was always taught that the Bible was NOT to be taken literally. I think that extreme position is only taken by born-again Christians who suffered brain damage at the rebirth.

      • Miguelito says:

        Too true. Either that or they just want power, which is why a lot of churches, especially in the Bible Belt states (No judgement intended), preach sermons that sound rather political. It’s half the reason a ton of crap about Obama (him being a muslim, atheist, tyrant, ect, ect) came out was because those ministers were getting a little into politics.

  3. Fluke says:

    Denial is a thing that happens often to people, even if it be very subtle denial, where one might not realize it’s denial even if they stopped denying it and tried. Thus the “hoax of global warming.” Imagine the following situation:

    Person A says, “Global warming is a hoax.” He gives good arguments, facts that make logical sense. It’s a very persuasive argument to Persons B and C. Everything makes sense, and it’s all correct. Anyone can see it is a good and reasonable theory that can really be so. Then Person B says, “Good excuses. Very good. It’s all well and good, and you can continue to use your theory, so long as you do me one favor: while you give it, remember that the ice caps are melting and the world is slowly dying.” It doesn’t seem like a good argument, does it? But it feels like it. Person C is convinced to Person B’s argument. Person A feels cheated. He made actual facts, an actual argument. But his argument just seems stupid compared to Person B’s “You’re just wrong.” Why? Perhaps because the human subconscious is better at finding the truth than conscious thoughts.

    You can tell me that America’s economy is on the rise, and we’re in for sunny days. You can give me math and proof that this is the case. It can all make sense, and be very conclusive. But remember while you do that, we’re a trillion dollars in debt. A TRILLION. And we’re in for an unhappy future of being a less powerful nation. You can say, “But all this information says that we’re going to get better!” and then prove it, but America is getting worse, and with no proof, your argument will seem silly. No argument you can make will change that.

    You can always make arguments. But whatever seems right will win over the audience.

    You can give me an argument that the simpler way for the universe to exist is to remove the extra step towards God, and say that the universe is self-existent. You can say that the simpler way is always right. Therefore, you can conclude, the universe must be self-existent and with no inherent reason for existing. But you’re wrong. The universe exists because God decided he wanted to make a lot of humans, and needed a place to put them. That’s that. There’s nothing you can do about it.

    • Noodlity says:

      Luckily for us, science is not decided by an audience, and “there’s nothing you can do about it”. Any seasoned veterans, either from debate teams or online fora, will be abe to pinpoint logical fallacies that “seem right” , thus nullifying them.

      You for example, use both “appeal to popularity” , as if reality is a matter of opinion, and a bonafide “non-sequitur”, using your favorite imaginary friend as an argument.

      Contrarywise, according to you, we use “Occam’s Razor” , which, first, is not really a logical fallacy, and second, we’re not really using it. Modern theories of both biology and physics can explain the origin of life and the nature of the Universe quite well indeed, without needing any leaps of logic.

      Sorry, but I think your “Fluke” has run out.

      • Nicolas Powers says:

        What Fluke just said there is both hilarious and horrifyingly stupid, I can tell by what he said that whatever anybody says couldn’t convince him of anything even if it was right in his face. I’m not sure how flawed thinking like that comes to be but i’m sure discussing your opinions (in a nice manner, mind you) for once with someone that has their own opinions would be highly enlightening, rather than just bashing atheism with terrible and confusing arguments because it makes sense to you.
        ‘You can tell me that America’s economy is on the rise, and we’re in for sunny days. You can give me math and proof that this is the case. It can all make sense, and be very conclusive. But remember while you do that, we’re a trillion dollars in debt.’
        This to me, made absolutely no sense. How can someone prove America is not in debt when it is in fact, in debt? If someone could really prove that global warming is a hoax (as i’m guessing you believe) i’m guessing it wouldn’t be subjected to a vote of popularity from a random group of people. Also you assume that we are just believing the Universe is self-existent because it makes sense (which I won’t lie, it does) where in truth, like Noodlity said, we can use modern theories of today to better understand our Universe rather than make assumptions. Lastly, what you said at the end seriously contradicts EXACTLY what you were just saying, can you prove to me god is real? that he created the universe? no you can’t but to so many people it feels right and they chose to believe in God because it suits them better even if other people present pretty solid evidence otherwise.
        Pasta Be With You,
        Nic
        P.S ‘The universe exists because God decided he wanted to make a lot of humans, and needed a place to put them’ At first I thought you were joking but then any semblance of logic and reason were broken when I realized you were serious, this is such a contradictory statement of what you said before I don’t even know what to say but wow.

        • puppygoogoo says:

          the biggest reason why religion hasnt accepted criticism is pride. As we all know its hard to accept that something you ‘think’ (read believe) is right is proven wrong by someone with evidence. Its sad to see there are close-minded people that wont accept what is shown to them.

    • gordon_uk says:

      Fluke

      I really fell sorry for you, reading your posts it seems your only source of happiness and meaning is via your believe. If you can’t find happiness with your family, friends and your own achievements then it seems to me that your life is quite meaningless if you need to rely on the concept of a god of whom you have no evidence.

      Even your example shows the flaws in most theists arguments, person A had a “persuasive argument” bully for him but no wonder Person C sided with Person B as the fact that the “ice caps are melting” has been proven and contradicts person A who only had a “persuasive argument” with no substance.

      As for economic debt and growth don’t forget after the 2nd world war most nations had the same levels of debt (in real terms) as we do today but yet we all got out of it and have a better standard of living with greater life expectancy then before. As for the powerful nation part remember up until the start for the 2nd world war the British Empire was still one of the most powerful in the world which it lost soon after but did it lead to an “unhappy future”, no it did not. But you should know that with your degree in economics, I assume you have one otherwise your cant really put yourself up as a subject expert as you have in your text.

      Your statement “the universe must be self-existent and with no inherent reason for existing” could quite easily read “god must be self-existent and with no inherent reason for existing” , if god created the universe where did he exist before he created? (bare in mind that time is a component of the universe)

      “God decided he wanted to make a lot of humans” so why did he make two versions? Did you know only pure Africans are pure Homo sapiens where everyone else has traces of Neanderthal DNA in them?

      RAmen
      Gordon

    • JamesL says:

      Hey Fluke, you’re talking hypothetically. You never gave any evidence that global warming is a hoax, you’re talking “what if”. What if person A gives good evidence than an invisible man doesn’t live in the sky. Then person B says “Good excuses. Very good. It’s all well and good, and you can continue to use your theory, so long as you do me one favor: while you give it, remember Jesus will send you to hell.” It doesn’t seem like a good argument, does it? But it feels like it. Person C is convinced to Person B’s argument. Person A feels cheated. He made actual facts, an actual argument. But his argument just seems stupid compared to Person B’s “You’re just wrong.” Why?

      Sorry for the copypasta. Haha, I said pasta!

      RAmen!

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      Try to keep up, Fluke. That trillion dollars is only for one year. The total debt is about 14 trillion.

      But have no fear about America. As the nation that dominates the world economy AND all the oceans, we
      are just beginning the “American Age”. Geographically, we are gifted. We have multiple warm-weather ports on the Atlantic AND Pacific, and are almost impossible to be invaded, even if a powerful enough coalition was to be assembled.

      Hey, if global warming is a hoax, please give us your scientific insights that contradicts over 99% of scientists. Some of us would be fascinated to read this. Or is it that – as one moronic American politician said – your BuyBull didn’t say the world would end with another Great Flood, so global warming is out.

  4. Boozyth says:

    The Or. Post is of the same order of bollock-brain as “There has terrorism in the name of Islam therefore all Muslims believe in terrorism and any who claim not to are either lying or not True Muslims”. Christianity, its related Biblical religions and any others can have any amount of crap in their scriptures; that does not mean that any but a few morons take it as either literal truth or essential to the religion – or ever did. Jews and Hindus are a good example: the Bible and the Vedas are full of ‘burnt offerings’ and sacrificial feasting: so when’s the last time your local synagogue slaughtered an ‘unblemished lamb’ or even a ‘spotless dove’ unto the LORD? Religious Hindus are vegetarian. Some people just do not have the ‘mythic’ understanding that allows them to take ‘Adam & Eve’ as describing the clash between intelligence and instinct instead of a history lesson. It is no surprise that they have no time for any other science either; their mentality of of the kind to point out that the story of Oedipus is fiction (probably inspired by Satan) therefore ‘Oedipus Complex’ is a pervert’s excuse for incestuous feelings – no doubt inspired by Satan. The sad thing is that religion never has been about ‘believing twelve impossible things before breakfast’; it is a form of relational psychology phrased in language of very different ancient culture and mental outlook.

    The fact that N million people may believe in ‘God’ or even ‘Christ’ does not mean that those same people believe every single word of Scripture to be observation of literal truth. Unfortunately this is a fault their detractors fall into as well, contrasting the ideal of a ‘loving god’ with the monster paraded to justify the atrocities of ancient warlords – “God spake unto the King of Israel saying ‘Go forth and smite the Assyrians and the Babylonians for they displease me’ ” And lo, Asshur spake unto the Lord of Assyria saying {the same thing}, yea verily did Marduk speak unto the Mighty One of Babylon saying {just check it out with Israel and Assyria}.

    ‘The Bible’ itself even warns against this literalism. No I do NOT know chapter & verse but it’s St. Paul advising (to the effect of) “Whatsoever in Scripture {ie Torah, Old Testament} speaketh of GOD as love and mercy and justice, that is of GOD – but whatsoever speaketh of the god as wrath and anger and war, that is of MAN”. In other words, scripture is a mish-mash of Jewish history and philosophy and folktale and folklore (plus an erotic poem that nobody has ever quite understood how the ‘Song of Solomon’ got in there) and it’s up to us followers of the new reformed ‘Way’ to make some sense of it according to our new understanding of some cosmic moral order.

    Irony of the lot, the evolutionary cosmology that the loony-toons find so incompatible with Genesis IS ‘Genesis dressed up as science’ – at least, that is how Fred Hoyle, militant atheistic English promoter of ‘continuous creation’ (which now has some slight support in the form of ‘Hawking Radiation’) described it when dismissively naming it ‘Big Bang’. In broad terms, ‘God said “Let there be Light” {ie energy}’ is a whole lot closer to ‘Energy erupted, we know not how or why and, even “when” makes no real sense because time distorts’ than most creation myths. It makes continuous sense in the understanding of physics as a process of continuous ‘interpretation’ too: solid matter is really molecules which are really atoms which are really particles which really quanta which are really energy which is really ??? – call it ‘god’, the whatever it is all an understanding of, that itself in its ‘pure state’ is beyond all understanding.

    As far as religion concerns itself with ‘hard science’, it no more conflicts than psychology does with oceanography: they are entirely different things that might briefly overlap where they concern different ways to experience ‘phenomena’. Fundamentalism is not just bad science; it is much more bad religion, taking the teachings of all major religions away from belief that human conscience, empathy and intelligence reflect some microcosm of an ideal cosmic order that the observed natural order in itself does not, and back to external deity strutting the stage demanding worship and unthinking obedience to arbitrary commands, some supporting intelligent behaviour against ‘animal instincts’, others requiring suppression of intelligence to animal obedience.

    The worst excesses of the Inquisition were not as restrictive on demanding their interpretation of every single scriptural detail and beyond! It needs really primitive belief in demons under every stone and consulting the oracle and surrounding oneself with protective prayers before getting out of bed to approach the Fundamentalist mentality. That is the old religion of appeasing deities no more than irrational cosmic projections of Oriental despots of the day for whom people are grovelling robots: “Theirs not to question why; theirs but to do and die”. That’s the kind of religion that Christianity developed a whole more ‘moral’ and ‘universal’ understanding from – and so of course did Buddhism, modern Hinduism from Vedism, and in the time and place where Christianity was developing ‘Philosophy’ from archaic ritual and striking a deal with deity over a sacrifice, otherwise we ignore each other.

    This might sound like a specifically Christian apologetic but it is not: I cannot accept the essence of Christian teaching – but then neither do Fundamentalists: the ‘vicarious sacrifice’ took the Church centuries to change its mind about (CS Lewis venerated in the US and considered harmlessly mad in the UK wrote a version of their earlier understanding in his ‘Narnia’ novels – which at least is slightly more logical than the present version) and they still have not agreed on how the Human and Divine natures combined in Jesus or whether we can all aspire to Christhood or just worship with dropped jaw and vacant eyes. What an ideal way to defuse a revolutionary ‘spiritual’ (for want of a better term) message, than to demand veneration of the Messenger and belief in everything said about him and predecessors as literal truth.

    Two Buddhist saying sum Fundamentalism up – but they were intended as warnings against inadvertently falling into that trap, not as guides to imposing Fundamentalism:

    “A finger points at the Moon: the Fool looks at the Finger”.
    “If you meet the Buddha on the Way – kill him”

    Buddhism, Christianity, Blah blah all come down to guidelines for living a ‘beneficial’ life. They believe in ultimate rewards, usually eventual freedom from existence seen as pretty cruddy, but their essence is ‘Follow Me’, ‘Do as I did’ ‘You too can become what you see me as’. The essence of Fundamentalism is ‘Worship the Great Guru’, ‘you can never become Him’, ‘If what he said conflicts with grovelling or earlier beliefs, you did not understand, so grovel and stick with those beliefs’.

    • Noodlity says:

      The problem I have with religious teachings is that they usually account for two things in their respective religions – j@ck and $hit. I couldn’t care less about what a religion is supposed to teach, as long as it falls short on practicing it.

      Thing is, in most debates, even more official ones, the discrepancy between theory and practice is used as endless leeway for moving the goalposts. Xianity is especially prone to this, as there are discrepancies within the actual teachings themselves.

      For example, if you start with the issue of religious sexism, the immediate retort is “That’s not what the bible says!”. Naming a verse that does say so, only gives you “But that’s not what Jesus taught!”. And demonstrating that even the big J lapsed into this, either leaves you with “That’s not in the gospels!” , or the ever-popular “You’re reading it wrong”. So that’s that.

      * * *

      I don’t want guidelines. I want accountablility. Science has it, religion doesn’t. Simple as that.

      • Danimal says:

        Don’t forget xtians playing the faith card. The more outrageous, assbackwards, or just plain wrong part of the bible a xtian believes, the stronger their faith, and the stronger their faith the more secure their spot in heaven. This turns the rejection of logic and reason into a kind of reward. Just remember the transitive property of faith:

        Faith = Bliss
        Bliss = Ignorance
        Therefore: Faith = Ignorance

        Frustratedly yours,
        Danimal

      • Noodlity says:

        Yeah, that “faith” thing has always bugged me as well. In any and every other situation, blind unwarranted faith is a decidedly negative quality. In a court of law, conviction leads to convicts, as the saying goes. In parliament… let’s not even go there. So why should a church be any different?

        From what I’ve seen, though, only the Abrahamic religions play this up. Contrariwise, in the pagan world, a sacrifice is much more binding; and if the deities don’t do their part, you’re not obliged to do yours. Although it might be just that you’re less prone to accept no true Scotsmen about not having enough faith, when you’ve just incinerated a whole cow – they ain’t cheap, y’know.

  5. Alex says:

    ”82.3% of Americans are christian and therefore believe that the earth was created by God”

    I know nothing about the validity of the quoted statistic but the argument is fallacious. Announcing oneself as Christian is very ambiguous and its meaning ranges from accepting a label given to you by virtue of cultural norms to truly living your life in accord with Christian philosophy. I wonder how many of your ’82.3%’ believe that God created Earth.

    • Keith says:

      Or indeed how many “Christians” go to church just to be seen. Many of our politicians (Australian) claim to be christians. They start parliamentary discussion times (actually just schoolyard bickering sessions) with a prayer to their god to “help them serve the people faithfully” etc. Then they find new and exciting ways to screw the workers. On Sundays they go to church because it is a great place for photo opportunities. Bloody hypocrites the lot of them.

    • puppygoogoo says:

      I have “faith” that 82.3% of his statistics are made up….lol

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      One statistic that is very meaningful: More Americans will watch the Super Bowl on Sunday than will show up in all the Christian churches earlier that morning. We believe in football more than Jesus, apparently.

      • Danimal says:

        The difference there is I’ve thrown around a football in the backyard but I wouldn’t trust the god of Abraham any further than I could throw him.

  6. daniel says:

    it’s not a theory! it’s a fact,open wiki or any other side,watch national georafic or the hell knows what, but don’t talk nonesense.

    • CopaceticMan says:

      And you’re wrong. It is a theory, will always be a theory, and can never not be a theory.

      It is a theory: In the common sense of the word (an idea or guess) then yes, it is not. In the true sense (a tested hypothesis that explains a set of fact), you are wrong. The fact that species evolve (and have been observed to) = fact. The part that explains why and how = theory (of evolution).

      It will always be a theory: If you reread the definition above you will see that any hypothesis can become a theory. The theory of gravity is the theory that space-time curves around any massive (anything with mass) body. If this is true then the path of light should be deflected as to create a lensing effect. If the Newtonian version of gravity was correct, only mass would be attracted to other mass. This was tested, and is most likely correct theory we have.

      Can never not be a theory: Again see the definition. If we pull another explanation for gravity out of our asses and test it (doesn’t matter whether it is correct or not) and the test doesn’t automatically disprove the hypothesis it CAN be considered a theory (a poor one because of such little evidence backing it). As you can see, no matter how sure we are of one theory, another can arise and beat our the current one. A theory is not a fact. A fact is s specific piece of data that needs to be explained. Water is wet, why? Mass attracts mass, why?

      P.s.

      This was nothing against you, just something I wanted to clear up.

      • Zorak says:

        WAit–doiesn’t light bend around object of signfifcant mass, like black holes?

        • Danimal says:

          Or the FSM meatballs

  7. Omniscient says:

    What else is there to say – 3.6 billion wrongs do not make a right.

    • Easkial says:

      wrong is the opposite of right, is it not?
      left is the opposite of right, is it not?
      therefore, left = wrong
      3 lefts make a right, do they not? (and seven lefts and eleven lefts.. ect.)
      do the math, 3.6 billion (lefts) make a right THEREFORE
      3.6 billion (wrongs) make a right

      being right is exhausting, if you’ll excuse me, i plan to trek to my refrigerator and rummage through our (wrong)overs til i find adequate sustenance.

      something in that paragraph sounded (left) to me…

  8. pkrmgc says:

    Add that to the fact that it isnt 3.6 billion people agreeing. christianity as a resligin is split into many subgroups which have many different translations even their origin texts disagree and then theirs the “lost” texts (ie the these dont agree with what we want for our religin so into the trash they go texts) and assuming you were folowing only one branch and assumed that its texts were all true and the ones they threw out were completely false if you asked one of their preists what is christianity every 20 years since the 1700′s and every 50 before then you would get a different answer each time. it isnt 3.6 billion people agreeing its 10 thousand say this and 5 thousand say this and so on by defonition athists who bleve nothing are all united by the fact that we all dont beleve. we may only be a sloop compared to the frigate of religion but our sloop is manned by pirates!

    numbers mean nothing for we have been touched by his noodly apendage.
    ARR

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