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Why do we compete?

I am an atheist/Buddhist, and have to say that I'm more than a little bit offended by the written crusade that's going on all sides of the theological arguments. (Written crusade is my own term- I made it up and rather like it.)

Atheists seem to be pushing their religion out into the open and trying as hard as possible to convert Christians/Muslims/anyone who has a religion with regards to a god of any sort, claiming that these groups annoy them with their pushing of the religions.

Is it not possible to simply say, "I'm an atheist/Christian/Muslim/whatever. There's nothing more to discuss."? It seems that there is a requirement on both sides that to be an atheist you must have read the entire bible and be able to prove and ridicule points toward Christians, and vice versa.

I am a proud atheist, and went through a period of being extremely vocal about it, primarily because I felt that atheists were oppressed. In reality what I was doing was picking fights and asking someone to oppress me so that I could say as much.

The truth of the matter is that we can all just get along- while the Christian foundings may be scientifically innacurate, and even foolish at some (Alright, many. Alright, most. Alright, nearly every single) point, the religion gives these people hope and a joy in life. Most people choose to take it as a message to love thine neighbor, and to be happier.

I know I was a lot happier thinking that there was someone by my side back when I was still a Christian. While I wouldn't trade my enlightenment for that ignorant bliss, there's no reason to try to strip people of it, especially when, according to the atheist beliefs, there's no evidense that it would make a differance if they were a non-violent atheist or a non-violent Christian.

The point of this is not to bash any religion, but to ask why all religions can not simply get along peacefully.

Chris,

Hey if you think that Atheism is a religion, you're not much of a real Atheist, are you? It's living free from religion. Being passionate about something isn't the same thing as being religious.

If you ever felt the need to ASK someone to oppress you, then you were too impatient. Plenty of people are routinely being oppressed by religious groups. Consider yourself lucky if you're not. But we could fill a book with all of the religious harm being inflicted today. Many people have already written such books.I recommend "Christian Fundamentalism" available at American Atheist Press. www.americanatheist.org

I think most Atheist criticism of religion is on the mark. Respectful when the issue is minor, and firm when the issue is big, like with religious harrassment. We still get that in places, so why don't you learn about those instances, and get involved in them? Anytime you feel that we Atheists are pushing religion around too much, just learn some more about what religions are doing wrong today. Or you could just realize that every time a religious person goes Atheistic, that's one less religious person who might have ended up harming someone because of their religion. We are all a bit safer when they figure out the scam of religion. Atheists are more moral and less violent. Christians need to be more like us. We need to remind them of that. Criticizing religion is absolutely necessary if humanity is ever to become free from it totally.

Of couse he's no a real Atheist. He already said that he is an Atheist/Buddhist. Do Buddhists also worship gods? I think not, although I thnk they believe in them.

Just correct me if I'm wrong.

Buddhism is a lot like atheism, in which it is more a mindset than it is a religion (At least my branch is.) While it is true that the original version was based off of the Hindu religion, it has since divided into dozens of viewpoints, some of which are religios, some of which are not. I have a sort of Ghandi-like approach to it, stripping it down to the four noble truths and the eightfold path. That's just me.

As far as being a real atheist- I am. I just don't see the need to go about converting everyone when, in the great scheme of things, there are thousands of perfectly good, moral Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc. There are, of course, those who go off and blow some place up because of those religious beliefs, but there's no real way to predict which ones are going to do what.

I will admit that there are lots of stupid people on both sides of the debate- IE Creationists (I feel so much smarter after a finish shattering their logic with nineth grade biology lessons) and those who are way too obsessed with their religion and believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old (Their arguments are hilarious- I used Carl Sagan's line about how the light from a star 6,000 light years away would take 6,000 years to reach us. Thus, if that light is hitting us now and has been for some time, the universe must be older than 6,000 years old. Their responce? "Did I ever say that the UNIVERSE was only 6,000 years old?!? I'm talking about the PLANET!")

Still, I know that I didn't lie awake wondering at night back when I was a Christian very much. Essentially, if it ain't broke don't fix it, and if it still works reasonably well, that's fine, too.

I know Buddhists are the ones who want to be peaceful, like you're showing now. Your third paragraph, however, might be showing the part of your pre-Buddhism life.

Yeah, I slip far too much from the Buddhist path. *Rolls eyes*

By the way, I repeal most everything I said. So many idiots are knocking down my door on facebook with 'science' that disproves evolution. It's ridiculous!

"If you believe in evolution you can ONLY be a naturalist! It isn't like there are tons of other religions out there where evolution fits in perfectly! Deism, Hindu, etc. They don't exist."

I take back most all I have said- we have plenty of cause to compete.

... Though I will point out that plenty of Christians are still perfectly moral.

But you will still keep your peaceful principle right?

I am one of those people who disproves evolution, but I'm not raising that topic any longer. That's just my belief.

Life is about competition. Look at every species alive or that has ever lived on this planet. They compete against one another. It's NATURAL.

Beyond all that ... We need to compete against religion because it's a false belief system that turns good people into immoral idiots who think they're smart and moral. It brainwashes them. It's harmful, and noticeably so. Just look at what's going on now and what religion has done in the past. Look at the thousands of years of lost history that we'll never regain because of some fictitious deity.

Wipe out the whole lot of them. Kill them. Criminalize them. Do whatever is needed.

Whoa! Calm down there, Buddy!

While I can't go along with the "kill them" line of thinking, I agree with you on this - religion is a bad thing. It's just not good for you. Not only does religion lead one towards error and away from truth on a variety of levels, it clearly interferes with one's ability to act morally.

Of course, I using the term "religion" in the traditional sense (supernatural + theism). I know Humanists, Unitarians, and very liberal Christians who think of themselves as religious and are excellent moral beings, but this is not the religion I'm talking about.

I have dealt with *literal* Christians who seem to behave morally, but I am always on guard around them, because this kind of religion can make otherwise good people do bad things. What if they hear a voice telling them to kill the big fat atheist? (slowly!) They must obey God, right? Scary.

I love my fellow humans, and want the best for each of them. My fervent hope for my friends infected with religion is that they will repent of it or be cured somehow. Peacefully, of course...

Atheism is saying "hey look! I'm rebelling against God, I must be smart! I've proven that the reason this rock has moved is not because of God, but because the volcano exploded and put it there! You don't have to believe in God anymore! We're scientists!".....

Say THAT to the people in this site: www.christianster.com

The problem is persecution based on political and religious bias. The “righteous” are organized, united, and ready to enforce their "values" on us, not the other way around. We are being ignored. The "Righteous" wants to seize the country for themselves, and there is no room for those who disagree with them. (They don't need them). This political righteous constituency has a huge influence politically and economically.

Some leaders are becoming powerful by combining religious and political rhetoric, no separation between "self-righteous church and State." There are powerful ministers (that can bench pressed 2000 pounds) and run for the presidency, (Praise the Lord) he lost, but isn’t it clear that they want religion to be part of the political process. Some people think that their beliefs should be incorporated into public policy. Neither the Democrats nor the Moderate Republicans have opposed this. The use of power in order to force “values” on the rest of us is clearly wrong. In this country we are supposed to be free to make personal decisions about what we think, and believe. That’s freedom! Our decisions religiously or politically should never be used to prevent us from succeeding. The flawed values of the power-driven righteous will not make America great or more secure, it will bring about more insecurity, anger, and violence. However, broadcasting, politics, business, and education--everything is becoming a focal point for their control. The "righteous" insist that they are not a "Religion," they are just people of "faith" who believe every word in the Bible is the literal truth. They consider anyone outside their politicized organized "faith" an enemy. If you are not a "team player" (a buzz word denoting a self-righteous ditto head) you’re an enemy, and they clandestinely afflict their enemies. If you want no part of their land of OZ “faith” or politics, and don’t want to become a cookie-cutter version of these fanatics there are places where you can’t work, go to school, or even live. This "Compassionate" approach serves an important purpose; it prevents any change in the politics of the area. Their Righteous "services" rivals the football rallies that are held in huge fanatic domes. They reach an ear-piercing feverish pitch when they declare themselves winners and encourage their "Christian Soldiers" to go out and destroy the enemies of "Jesus” (anyone who doesn't agree with them). There was a booklet in a business with a list of “Christian” businesses to patronize with a quote comparable to Jesus said, “to take up swords against your enemies and slay them” with a picture of a skull that has a gash in it. What is an un-Christian business? Or is everything un-Christianized that doesn’t have a fish on it? They don’t seem to know that their corrupt system is doing horrible things to people while their self-righteous leaders watch in silence. When Jesus walked the earth he called these hypocrites every filthy name in the “Book,” and I don’t think he meant some poor fellow trying to make a living without advertising his righteousness.

I think these facts prove who is evil, cowardly, and dishonest. While they use terms like "moral” they are anything but that, and in my opinion many of them are thugs. They encourage letter-writing campaigns to "encourage" political candidates, businesses, products, entertainment, newspapers, and magazines, etc. to adopt their rhetoric.

Today, political campaigns are coordinated by the "choir boys," who have made "faith" a campaign issue because they want political power, but don’t want to discuss real issues. Making religion a part of our democratic process is perilous to liberty, and our democratic processes. They do not care, because their god is power.

Gullibility is a bug, not a feature.

Religious people have a predisposition to believe made-up stuff and give it physical manifestation through their actions.

A global mind purgation is overdue.

Most atheists don't push their non-belief. The ones that do are certainly justified in pushing back at the onslaught of religions pushing their nonsense. Even if they have no chance of convincing the atheist, he knows that they will sway many gullible or suggestible people who will then be used as pressure to he and others around him--even the government--to comply with the theists' dictates.

That said, every culture and subculture competes for mindshare and wants their thoughts to prevail in their environment. They do this because they obviously believe they are right; therefore they would like others to "see the light" and be right also. Or at the very least they don't want to be subjugated in some way to a "wrong" way of thinking. This is somewhat of a survival instinct, and for good reason, considering how many countless millions have died due to differing beliefs.

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From the officers:

The audio and video from Steve Bratteng's July 13th lecture are now available.