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A Friendly Texas 'Howdy'

Hello to all. My name is Daniel.I'm a Texan, although not an Austinian. I live in the DFW area and teach History and English at a small Christian school. I found the ACA through watching a debate between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox on You Tube. I like Dawkins on a personal level but feel his arguments against God are sort of thin. I enjoy discussion with unbelieving people. Do I think I can prove God exists or that I can "convert" someone on line? Heavens no. I thought I would simply introduce myself and perhaps initiate a discussion or two on some interesting topics if anyone was willing. Scripture, science, philosophy, Christianity, evolution, culture, morals, ethics, The God Delusion (yes, I have read it) or anything else.

I do not claim to have all the answers. I'm a teacher. I'm not a scientist, theologian, physicist or apologist. But I do believe the common folk can still robustly participate in discussions which touch upon these subjects because they all have something to say to each of us, regardless of our professions or level of knowledge or understanding of them. I recently watched a video discussion from the ACA from last June and while I disagreed with the theological conclusions they were making, I liked the candor, wit and personality of the hosts.

I hope to have a few good exchanges! So, 'Howdy' from a fellow Texan and theist, if nothing else.

Toodles for now.

Daniel

Howdy back at ya!

I'm a theist-friendly atheist (sort of like being a gay-friendly straight man) and welcome you.

What issues do you care to discuss? One of my favorites is Creationism, because I see no conflict between evolution and religion except when believers try to refute evolution using absurd arguments. Regardless of what science discovers, one can always look at it from the perspective that they are "investigating the mind of God" as some would say it. Science never has, and never will, claim to know "why" or "what it all means." Those questions are the province of philosophy and religion. Unfortunately, theists are often quite a bit less friendly toward science than science is to theism. Scientists aren't known for sentencing Creationists to death for their beliefs, and no war has ever been fought in the name of a scientific theory.

What other debate would you propose? Debating the existence of God is futile because it's a matter of personal revelation, not subject to the rules of rational critique. If you have something revealed to you and I don't, then we're going to end up believing differently about the thing that was revealed to you. I try not to tread the path of mocking those who claim to know God. My only beef is with those who insist on disrespecting those of us who don't believe.

Then there's the old debate about morality having to come from a God, an assertion that has been dismantled thoroughly by so many people that it's pointless to get into again.

By the way, I only speak for myself, I'm not a member of ACA.

best regards, George in Austin

If someone wants to discuss a topic they need to present some thoughts that are backed up with facts. A personal profile isn't necessary for posting a topic or replying to messages in cyberspace. Atheists can debate all of the topics that were mentioned, but it's important to present them with something to discuss or debate, which wasn't done.

I think that "The God Delusion" exposes the absurdity of "make-believe" (or "religion"), and illustrates the stupidity and insanity of religion. Richard Dawkins is bluntly saying that what can't be proven to exist is not real, and he doesn't beg pardon from theists who don't like what he says. Why should anyone? "The God Delusion" was very revealing concerning religion. There is no reason to believe in god, and frankly that may be a good thing, since the god of the bible is a bad-tempered murdering S.O.B.

People who want to discuss different beliefs can post a topic on Comparative Religion, but atheists do not give credence to the supernatural, supreme beings or religious dogma. People who are sensible and respect the atheists do not have problems; but people who insult atheists for not ignoring theist's insults are not credible, and there are much better choices for people who want to get friendly with theists than an atheist message board.

When theists get on the atheist message board to tell the atheists about BEEZUS why do the atheists insult them? It's because; pawning ignorance and stupidity off on atheists is rude. I'm talking about all the things that theists claim must be true because everyone believes it. Many theists do expect the atheists to show reverence to their beliefs, and when they don't the theists are shocked, since they have never been confronted with their own stupidity. Most theists are not accustomed to atheists who don't roll with it. What most theists really want to believe is that everyone is just like them, and they will all cave in to bribes and threats. Many theists are very surprised when they find out that some of us don't.

Theists have unlimited opportunities to listen to their views being expressed. There are scads of places to proselytize, as well as discuss, theist views. Finding friends is pretty easy for theists; there are no obstacles, and there are innumerable places that spew religious dogma non-stop.

However, if an atheist even writes a book, theists throw fits and accuse them of spending all their time disproving god's existence. Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist who has written books like the "The Ancestor's Tale" about evolution. It is an educational book that explains evolutionary theory. Professor Richard Dawkins was the first holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. Dawkins did his doctorate under the Nobel Prize winning ethologist Niko Tinbergen. Nevertheless, I'm sure he could learn a thing or two from a teacher in the bible belt.

I recently read an article that expressed the view that many scientists started writing books about religion because of the attempts to bring creationism into science education. Theists have made it a priority to scheme their way into everything including the government. That's one good reason to examine how religion really affects society. Just how moral is religion anyway? Surveys show religion has no impact on whether a society does good or evil. Countries where people take more responsibly for changing the things that are wrong, instead of waiting for god to do it for them, are better off socially and have far less violence

According to a University of Minnesota study atheists are the most hated group in America. No other group, race, or affiliation is more hated by the American people. "The God Delusion" discusses the same issue. Theists are not discriminated against; it's atheists that are at a disadvantage. Anyone (no matter who it is) that is friendly toward a group that is not discriminated against is not exactly doing something amazing.

I think that the primary reason for an atheist group should be to support the atheists who have limited opportunities. If theists don't want to hear what atheists have to say they have lot's of other choices. Atheists don't tell theists what they should believe; we can only explain why we are not believers.

Hi Daniel. Nice to meet you. Since you didn't propose a particular topic, I thought I'd start with your statement on how you feel Dawkins' "arguments against God are sort of thin"

It is not the responsibility of atheists to disprove god claims. It falls on the shoulders of those making extraordinary claims to provide the evidence. Dawkins merely points out what every atheist in history has already said...there is no such evidence.

*chirp* *chirp* *chirp* *chirp* *chirp* *chirp*

Howdy,

"perhaps initiate a discussion or two on some interesting topics if anyone was willing. Scripture, science, philosophy, Christianity, evolution, culture, morals, ethics,"

"But I do believe the common folk can still robustly participate in discussions which touch upon these subjects because they all have something to say to each of us, regardless of our professions or level of knowledge or understanding of them."

You see these comments you made scream "I want to talk about religion, because I am a believer" to me....

What's next? Are you going to invite us to one of your "meetings"?

"I recently watched a video discussion from the ACA from last June and while I disagreed with the theological conclusions they were making, I liked the candor, wit and personality of the hosts."

Glad you got the chuckle out of it, since it seems like it was just a joke and practically entertainment to you, a teacher of all things.

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