Who’s delusional?

“Faith in God certainly is a delusion, if God does not exist. But what if God does exist? Then atheism is the delusion. So the real question to ask is: does God exist?

Many atheists (inspired by Sigmund Freud, who himself thought that faith in God is an illusion) claim that they have a very simple and convincing explanation of why people believe in God. It arises from incapacity to cope with the real world and its uncertainties. 

Michel Onfray tells us that “religion is imagined because people do not wish to face reality….They would “rather have the faith to soothe than reason at the price of a perpetually infantile mentality” (In Defense of Atheism, p.21, 23).

In his best-selling book God: A Brief History of the Greatest One, the German psychiatrist Manfred Lütz points out that this Freudian explanation for belief in God works very well —provided only that God does not exist. However, he continues, by the very same token, if God does exist, then exactly the same Freudian argument will show you that it is atheism that is the comforting delusion, the flight from facing reality, a projection of the desire not to have to meet God one day and give account for your life.*

For instance, Polish Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz, who had reason to know, writes:A true opium of the people is a belief in nothingness after death —the huge solace of thinking that for our betrayals, greed, cowardice, murders, we are not going to be judged.” *

Thus, if God does exist, atheism can be seen as a psychological escape mechanism to avoid taking ultimate responsibility for one’s own life.

Lütz presses home the implication of his argument: as to whether God exists or not, Freud can give you no help whatsoever.”

[Taken from Lennox, Gunning For God: Why The New Atheists Are Missing The Target, (2011), p. 46]

Are atheists the ones who are delusional?

Here’s an interesting video clip from InspiringPhilosophy titled, “Is Atheism a Delusion?” According to various studies on cognitive brain functions, it seems that it’s the atheists whose beliefs are unnatural, and the data leads to a strong possibility their beliefs are the ones that are delusions.

“Disbelief is generally the result of deliberate, effortful work against our natural cognitive dispositions—hardly the easiest ideology to propagate.” (Pascal Boyer, Nature, Vol.455, p. 1039)

* Emphasis added to original text.
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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 37 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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324 Responses to Who’s delusional?

  1. john zande says:

    Thus, if God does exist, atheism can be seen as a psychological escape mechanism to avoid taking ultimate responsibility for one’s own life.

    What a thoroughly odd remark coming from a person in a religion that preaches vicarious redemption…

    • Mel Wild says:

      It’s only odd to someone who thinks that Christianity is an escape mechanism, which is the typical atheist’s stereotyping of Christianity and a straw man. It also depends on what you mean by escape, then we must ask what atheists are trying to escape by not believing, too.

      • john zande says:

        Who’s talking about escape? I’m talking about your religions selling of vicarious redemption; the obscene concept that man need not take responsibility for his actions as another will pay that debt.

        Buddhists are atheists, Mel, and their central belief is in personal responsibility. And your attempt to slur atheists is laughably absurd. Most atheists are Humanists, and you want to know what the definition of Humanism is? Here’s a hint, it’s the complete opposite of your pantomime.

        Humanism: a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity. (American Humanist Association)

        You see Mel, the central theme of humanism is taking personal responsibility, and knowing no third party is going to vicariously solve our problems for us.

        As to the reason why belief in gods exist, I’ve already told you: Mortality salience (coupled to symbolic language), Existential Death Anxiety, and Terror Management Theory.

        • John Branyan says:

          “…the central theme of humanism is taking personal responsibility…”

          I know you’re incapable of answer this grown-up question but I gotta ask:
          For what are you taking personal responsibility?

  2. tildeb says:

    If the claim were true that atheism is an escape from responsibility, that atheists are susceptible to selfish behaviour because there’s no accounting for behaviour in the afterlife, then we should see this in aggregate data that correlates non belief with anti-social and selfish behaviour.

    Is this the case?

    No.

    In fact, the lower the rates of religiosity, the lower the rate of all kinds of anti-social and irresponsible behaviour. This data is not just overwhelming contrary to this recycled religious nonsense about atheism and its contribution to real world problems but the correlate between religiosity and exactly the kinds of selfish and irresponsible behaviour the religious often accuse atheists of being susceptible to holds true from national to county levels for the religious.

    This data is incompatible with this kind of religious apologetic trope that smears the character of non believers. It is unquestionably wrong.

    So the claim not only isn’t true but is exactly backwards. If you want to be a mature, well adjusted, and healthy adult, then lose the theistic delusions and own your own life. That’s how you become a responsible and mature adult.

    • anon says:

      “In fact, the lower the rates of religiosity, the lower the rate of all kinds of anti-social and irresponsible behavior.”

      That is the exact opposite of my real world experience.
      Perhaps the people providing this information are the same ones who predicted that Trump would lose to Hillary by double digits.

      • tildeb says:

        Then you must be right. God forbid you check out the aggregate numbers.

        Remember, the link is correlational and not claimed to be causal. For example. just this week we have this. As is typical, the correlation remains quite strong, that only Ireland ranks highly as both a good place to live and has a religious majority. But what is obvious is that the common apologetic claim that religion is correlated (and not even caused) with social benefit (and that a lack of religious belief translates to Bad Things) is plainly and factually wrong. Where such correlations may exist for benefit, they are clearly the exception rather than the rule… your personal experiences notwithstanding.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Tildeb, do you really think this study is making your case? And you want to compare countries like Denmark to the US? What are these small countries’ demographics and immigration policy? What about their style of government? What income variation is there in the demographics? Does the government provide all their well-being? What works in small fairly homogenous country like Denmark cannot work in a country so large and diverse as the US.

          And these are no indication of religious beliefs, other than possibly in countries where extreme Fundamentalist religious leaders are war lords. In fact, it could be argued that all the prosperous European countries were built upon centuries of Christian-based cultural values that promote well-being. Also, why isn’t China the best country, Tildeb? After all, they have an atheist government. They should prove your point.

          No, just more bogus anti-Christian nonsense.

        • tildeb says:

          Too funny, Mel. I’m starting to feel the wind from all of your furious hand waving.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Right, anything that challenges your manipulative use of data is hand-waving. That IS funny.

        • tildeb says:

          That should be aggregate data, Mel… you seem to keep ignoring that central point. Of course you would.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And do you have a central point?

        • tildeb says:

          As already stated, already waved away by you. Your question now is simply a dishonest attempt by you to continue to ignore it and pretend the fault lies elsewhere. SOP for apologetics: ignore what’s inconvenient and then start waving furiously when challenged. That’s why it’s funny.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I looked at the data, Tildeb. What was waved away were my questions about your conclusions from the aggregate data. Essentially, how do you prove that this is related to Christianity or religion? And you want to compare countries like Denmark to the US? What are these small countries’ demographics and immigration policy? What about their style of government? What income variation is there in the demographics? Does the government provide all their well-being? What works in small fairly homogenous country like Denmark cannot work in a country so large and diverse as the US.

          And if atheism and religious suppression is so wonderful why isn’t China number 1? Yes, your anti-Christian conclusions are what’s funny.

          And, btw, the data used to support the point of my post was based on hundreds of studies of actual human beings, not governments and cultures in general.

        • John Branyan says:

          Of course you, Tildeb, have the advantage of being the arbiter of all reality. Your causal links are irrefutable. Your word is unquestionably true. Blessed be your name, Dear Leader.

        • tildeb says:

          That’s more like it, JB. You may now send me all your cash.

  3. tildeb says:

    The video is grossly misleading. Ever single point raised in the first 3 minutes misrepresents the scientific data. Intentionally. Every single point. This is a classical case used by religious apologists to try to make a religious ‘up’ seem to be another but equivalent kind of scientific ‘down’, to make a factual ‘white’ appear to be an equivalent but different kind of metaphysical ‘black’.

    This is not philosophy. This video is pure and unadulterated religious apologetics intended to mislead and fool people. It is not an attempt to understand anything; it is slick con job and is perfectly suited to help Sly Mel sell his delusion and rational.

  4. Awesome, Mel. Well said. I come from some pretty dark atheism and as a kid accusations of being delusional,over imaginitive, and just self soothing where quite common. Eventually I had to reason out that if the harshness of reality, the ugliness of life, the evilness of people was all there was in the world, than the only rational, sane response, was to just become delusional and embrace the crazy. To do anything else would actually be irrational, delusional, self destructive.

    Contrary to the internet peanut gallery, it turns out I am surprisingly resistance to indoctrination, quite rational,and far from delusional. 🙂

    “….atheism can be seen as a psychological escape mechanism to avoid taking ultimate responsibility for one’s own life.”

    A bit of a tragic comedy, but in the irony of life, I of course became codependant, a caretaker for all these blasted atheist family members who have refused to take responsibility for their own lives. There is no doubt in my mind that atheism is an escape mechanism. Crazy too, they’re all really angry at God…who allegedly doesn’t exist. It’s a mysterious thing, but when we take full responsibility for our selves, admit we need Savior, and turn to Him, there He is, right where He’s always been. We are the ones who are angry and delusional,not Him.

    • Arkenaten says:

      The problem with this, IB, is that you are not talking about any god but yours. Therefore your personal views regarding atheism will naturally include every other individual who believes in a god, but just not the god you beleive in.
      And of course these other people will view your version of god belief as just another form of atheism.
      Yes it’s an old, well worn argument, but it is also an accurate one.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Great comments, IB. What you said here…

      There is no doubt in my mind that atheism is an escape mechanism. Crazy too, they’re all really angry at God…who allegedly doesn’t exist.

      This is my question, too. It doesn’t make logical or psychological sense to me. If atheists think our belief in God is a delusion then why do they aggressively attack our beliefs. Why not just roll your eyes and move on? Why do they troll Christian blog sites and fire away with so many belligerent comments all day long? I don’t go on blog sites I don’t agree with, of people of other religions or humanists or skeptics, and attack their beliefs all day long. I just disagree. As you said, why are they so angry? Me thinks they doth protest too much. 🙂

      • tildeb says:

        Because your lies and deceit and dishonesty and misrepresentation need to be confronted, Sly Mel.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You see, Tildeb, this is why you cannot be taken seriously. You cannot disagree with someone without calling them liars and names and belittling their beliefs. I think you need to ask yourself why this is so.

        • tildeb says:

          Because the religious have their collective noses stuck under every tent they can find and affect the public domain perniciously when ever they find a willing ally to do so.

          From parenting to public policy, healthcare to foreign aid, from education to taking care of this planet, the religious are busy causing real world effects based on their faith-based beliefs that cumulatively pernicious, that cause real harm to real people in real life by means of what you do, by by pretending to know stuff they don’t know, making all kinds of claims about the ‘why’ they believe their gods wish upon all of us and then go about trying to abuse their secular rights and freedoms to take away the same from others and impose the authority of their incompatible gods on the rest of us. Religion in the public domain must be neutered to counter this pernicious public effect. And that starts by those of us with integrity and sanity taking on those who either have no clue or any care that their rendition of religious belief causes real and sustained harm.

          What you do, Mel, spreading malicious religious apologetics disguised as compatible with both science and enlightenment values, when acted upon causes real harm to real people in real life in many, many ways. Yet you continue. You are guilty of not just being a willing accomplice but an active recruiter of others to take up your authoritarian cause and you do so by means of misrepresentation, deceit, dishonesty, lying, and refusing to take personal responsibility for any of it. You won’t even answer simple questions honestly, so busy are you trying to misdirect and divert attention in order to try to maintain the fiction that your faith-based beliefs are not morally reprehensible when they are, not ethically bankrupt when they are, and intellectually dishonest in every way that you help demonstrate post after post.

        • John Branyan says:

          Lemme run this past you, Dear Leader.
          Mel is the product of unguided, unintentional naturalism. His lies, deceit, dishonesty, and misrepresentation are the result of evolution. You don’t confront tornados. You don’t confront earthquakes. You don’t confront flesh-eating bacteria. So relax! You don’t have to confront Mel either!

      • john zande says:

        If atheists think our belief in God is a delusion then why do they aggressively attack our beliefs.

        If you (evangelicals, specifically) didn’t try to meddle in the functioning of our secular societies by inject “god” there would be no need to give you a second thought… Unless you needed help in some way.

        • Mel Wild says:

          John, I probably agree with you about that in a lot of ways. I think Fundamentalist Christian do try to do too much social engineering. Although, it’s not meddling if we sincerely believe there is some injustice being done. I think both atheists and theists have that right in culture. I principally prefer an open marketplace of ideas.

        • john zande says:

          If you agree with it, why did you say If atheists think our belief in God is a delusion then why do they aggressively attack our beliefs.?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Because the subject of what’s delusional has absolutely nothing to do with what’s going on in the culture. One does not follow the other. Whether theists should legislate their morality in a secular culture a different issue. It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether their beliefs are delusional or not.

        • john zande says:

          What morality? Roy Moore, the child molester?

        • Mel Wild says:

          What morality? Roy Moore, the child molester?

          Nice straw man, JohnZ.

          Okay, how about Stalin, the murderous monster who mercilessly killed over 60 million people, pretty much everyone who disagreed with him? Or more recently, Charles Carl Roberts, who took hostages and shot eight out of ten girls (aged 6–13) in an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania in 2006, killing five, before committing suicide in the schoolhouse. Besides admitting to sexually molesting several of his relatives, Roberts’ suicide note spoke of the anger he had held against God.
          Btw, the Amish response was to forgive him.

          We can all play this fallacious game.

        • john zande says:

          You brought up legislating morality. What’s your veiw on Kim Davis and her meddling?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I don’t agree with Kim Davis’s position on what government should allow or not allow when it comes to civil marriages, but I respect that she was following her personal convictions. Probably not a good job for her to be in under the circumstances.

    • Nan says:

      IB, you wrote, There is no doubt in my mind that atheism is an escape mechanism. Crazy too, they’re all really angry at God

      This statement is so inaccurate, I almost didn’t address it! But then, this is usually the best believers can come up with to justify the fact someone doesn’t believe in (their) “God.”

      In any event, I want to assure you that, at least in my life, disbelief in your god is NOT an “escape mechanism” (I don’t feel the need to escape from anything). Nor am I “angry” with your god since in my world, he/she/it/they does not even exist so what would be the source of my anger?

      While I may think Christians are trusting in a delusion, that’s there choice. At the same time, it’s my choice to disregard that delusion.

      • “At the same time, it’s my choice to disregard that delusion.”

        Well, with all good humor here, that’s a rather long comment just to demonstrate how you are totally engrossed in the job of completely disregarding my alleged delusions.

  5. Arkenaten says:

    Here you go, Mel. This is an excellent way to test, ”Who’s delusional.”

    Point out a demonstrable manifestation of god interacting inside the natural universe.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You go first, Ark. Prove there’s nothing outside of the natural world. Remember, you cannot use the scientific method for this “evidence” since it would not be physical.

      • Arkenaten says:

        The post was directly focusing on atheists being delusional.
        Of course there is the big ‘IF’ included here regarding your god, but you are making the assertion that atheists are delusional.
        That is a positive claim, is it not?
        This naturally leads from the assumption that you believe there is a god, and not just any gods, but your own personal saviour god.
        Therefore, for us to change our minds and acknowledge that we(atheists) may be delusional the onus is on you to ”step up to the plate and show us what you got”.

        As I have asked before concerning your belief. Something tangible must have convinced you, so all I am asking is for you to point out a demonstrable manifestation of god interacting inside the natural universe.
        You must be able to show one example, surely?

        • Mel Wild says:

          The post was directly focusing on atheists being delusional.

          No, my post was a response to anti-theist’s favorite talking points, like Dawkins and his ilk who say that believing in God is a delusion. But it goes both ways. It all depends upon whether God actually does exist or not. And that cannot be proven either way, so the question is an open one, which is why I titled the post, “Who’s delusional?” Notice it’s a question, not a statement.

          And my response to your question would be, how can I show you when you embrace scientism? You only accept scientific evidence, which is a severely restricted and myopic worldview, not to mention, self-refuting. For instance, I could point to God interacting with billions of people in the world, and all the studies mentioned on the video, but you would not accept that because it cannot be empirically tested by scientific method. I could point to a lot of other things, but again, your closed-mindedness would prevent you from accepting it. So, what would be the point? You only accept one kind of evidence.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I am not closed minded at all.

          You do not believe in the Hindu gods and you do not accept the Islamic view of the character Jesus the Nazarene.
          Therefore, on these terms you are more close-minded than I am.
          I am at least consistent with my skepticism.

          Furthermore, as you are emphatic that your god is real, and you beleive crucial that all ”Come to Him” lest they be damned for eternity, yet you will not (cannot?) offer any method of demonstrating your god then the person who is delusional is surely the theist?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Okay then, let’s put your open-mindedness to the test. Is there any part of our reality or existence that science cannot answer? And if there is, what would that be?

        • Arkenaten says:

          No deflecting again, Mel. You are a Christian with firmly held beliefs who claims that your god is the only one and irrespective of the wording of the post title believe that atheists are delusional.
          Now, I opened the comment thread and I would like you to show a little honesty and integrity and answer my initial question, please.
          Thanks.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No deflecting again, Mel.

          Nice try, Ark, but your shop-worn diversionary tactic simply doesn’t work. I’ve already told you I cannot answer your question to your satisfaction because you embrace scientism, which is a closed-minded worldview (only believes in scientific evidence as real evidence). The funny thing about that is, science cannot prove that view by any scientific method. So it’s a worldview, not science.

          You said you were more open-minded than me, to which I asked you to prove it by telling me what there is about our reality that science cannot answer.

          So, if you cannot give me examples of non-scientific “evidence” I cannot answer your question. But it would prove that your worldview is a truncated, closed system. For instance, I do believe in science for describing natural processes and that there’s a reality beyond the physical world that science cannot address. So, logically, I would have the bigger worldview. But if this is not true, then you can prove me wrong, that you don’t embrace scientism, by answering my question. It’s really not that hard.

          Is there any part of our reality or existence that science cannot answer? And if there is, what would that be?

        • Arkenaten says:

          I’ve already told you I cannot answer your question to your satisfaction because you embrace scientism, …

          Which perfectly illustrates just how fallacious your position is and how disingenuous posts like this are.

        • Mel Wild says:

          How is it fallacious and disingenuous, Ark? You need to explain that one because the reason I gave is logically sound. If you don’t accept any “evidence” outside of science. I cannot give you a satisfactory answer for something I believe that’s outside the realm of science.

          And, speaking of diversion, you STILL haven’t answered my question. Prove to me that you don’t believe in scientism.

        • Arkenaten says:

          You cannot provide any verifiable evidence outside of science. This is the point. And thus, your claims are fallacious.
          it really is this simple.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Only if you call the only “verifiable evidence” scientific evidence, which is scientism and self-refuting. It’s really THAT simple.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I really don’t care what you want to call it. You are alluding that atheists are delusional for not believing in god, and when we say atheists we mean everyone who does not believe in YOUR god.

          And if you cannot produce evidence for your god then it is you who is delusional.

        • Mel Wild says:

          But if God does exist, you ARE being delusional. The logic goes both ways. Why don’t you get this? You cannot prove or disprove God’s existence by scientific method, so that’s why I’m asking you what you mean by “evidence” since it cannot be scientific evidence. And that’s also why my question about what you consider valid non-scientific evidence because if you believe in scientism, your question cannot be answered.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Not delusional. Mistaken.
          I cannot see how one can be delusional about something that exists.

          I can be delusional for not believing there are flying cars but if there are flying cars then I am simply in denial.

          Can you demonstrate in any way that your god is real?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Can you give me examples of what you would consider equally valid non-scientific evidence?

        • Arkenaten says:

          Is there any such thing?
          Please tell me what qualifies as non-scientific evidence.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I’m asking you, Ark. Is there anything about our reality and what we can know that cannot be tested scientifically?

        • Arkenaten says:

          Haven’t we had this ”chat” before?
          You are suggesting atheists are delusional fr not believing in your god, and this obviously includes every individual who does not believe in your god.
          All you have to do is provide a piece of evidence for your god.
          Are you prepared to do this?

        • Mel Wild says:

          We’ve had this conversation many times because you usually duck out of it. I think the only time you answered it at all, you said you believed there’s nothing outside the purview of science. That is a worldview, a faith statement, not a scientific one because it cannot be proven by scientific method.

          I’m saying that anti-theists can be (just as) delusional if they don’t believe in God and He actually exists because they are deeply and emotionally invested in being combative with theists. Obviously, there’s more to it that simple non-belief.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I’m saying that anti-theists can be (just as) delusional if they don’t believe in God and He actually exists

          Except you cannot even offer a single piece of evidence that even suggests your god is real.

          And if you are prepared to offer anything then you are most definitely delusional.

        • Mel Wild says:

          What KIND of evidence, Ark? Sheesh! You refuse to give me what you would accept so how can I answer you? Again, what evidence would you accept that goes outside the limits of science? Are you that oblivious to the worldview you smuggle into your question?

          I’m not going to keep going around this merry-go-round with you. Apparently, by your non-answer, you are stuck in your scientistic paradigm. The question cannot be answered for you then.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I have told you that I have no idea what kind of evidence as it is not me who is claiming your god is real.
          I have no ”connection” outside of this reality.

          Tell me what evidence you would present to convince your Muslim counterpart.

        • Mel Wild says:

          “I have told you that I have no idea what kind of evidence….”

          Exactly, you don’t know. Period. And I have told you that you cannot tell me I’m wrong then. It’s irrational to say I don’t know but you’re wrong. You don’t know so you cannot say I’m wrong. You can only say you don’t know.

          I could give you lot of “evidence” but it would be a waste of my time since all you accept is scientifically provable evidence (scientism).

        • Arkenaten says:

          I could give you lot of “evidence” but it would be a waste of my time since all you accept is scientifically provable evidence (scientism).

          Fine. Then let’s start with the non-scientific evidence .
          What have you got?

        • Mel Wild says:

          We could start with millions of people’s lives literally being transformed by their faith. Of course, that won’t count to you, so I won’t waste my time.

        • Arkenaten says:

          But millions of people consider their lives have been transformed by Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, and every one of the 30,000 plus sects of your very own religion.
          What about the millions from ages gone by who consider their lives were transformed by believing in Greek gods or Roman gods?
          How is this a demonstration of evidence?

        • Mel Wild says:

          But it’s non-scientific evidence, nonetheless. And believing in Greek gods died out long ago for very good reasons. It was very bad theology. The continuing transformation of human lives in spite of all the scientific advancements in our culture is only part of a much larger puzzle, one piece doesn’t stand on its own. which is beyond the scope of this post. The only thing we’re talking about here is whether there is non-scientific evidence or not. And there most certainly is.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Okay. So I’ll agree for now that there is non-scientific evidence. I’m not happy with it, but to further the discussion I’ll accept that it exists.
          Is there non-scientific evidence for Islam, Hinduism and Jainism?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Why don’t you ask them?

        • Arkenaten says:

          And the second I agree to your claim of non scientific evidence you move the goal posts.
          You believe my atheism is a dead end(excuse the pun) and tell me so in no uncertain terms and now you will not answer regarding other religions.
          Why are they exempt from your judgment?
          Do you consider there is non scientific evidence for Islam?
          It is a straightforward question.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, Ark. You ask them. There are plenty of Islamic apologists who will argue with you. I’m not going to waste my time defending other faiths.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I am not asking you to defend other faiths at all. They will state there is, obviously. I am simply asking you if you>/em> consider there is non- scientific evidence for Islam, and other non christian religions.
          Well, do you?

        • Mel Wild says:

          There are similarities in all religions that are non-scientific but real. If one believes in God, you would expect some overlap.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Right. We have a discussion.
          So are you saying that your god is the same as the Islamic god and the Hindu god(s)

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, I’m saying there would be similarities in beliefs about God.

          Look, I don’t have time for chit-chat about various subjects having to do with religion. I’m already running behind on a project I’m working on. I think this conversation has run its limit.

        • Arkenaten says:

          No, I’m saying there would be similarities in beliefs about God.

          This is misleading. How can there be similarities in beliefs if each religion believes in different gods?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I didn’t say belief in different gods, I said similarities with our various beliefs about God.

          And if you can’t see the difference I don’t know if I can help you. We might all believe God created the world, that our purpose is to find God, to learn to love, etc. We might all agree with certain parts of the Bible, like with Islam and Christianity. There are lots of ways there can be agreement and not believe in God the same way.

        • Arkenaten says:

          But each religion has a different god.
          This is the point I am trying to make, whereas you are suggesting you all have the same god.
          This is obviously false as only Christianity believes Jesus the Nazarene to be the creator deity you claim he is.
          Your replies are becoming disengenous Mel.
          Simply answer the original question with truthfully and with integrity.

          Do you consider there is non- scientific evidence for Islam, and other non- christian religions. A straightforward Yes or No will suffice.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, I’m not suggesting we necessarily worship the same God. But your conclusion is not provable. How do we know we’re not, in some way, trying to explain the same God? Yours is not an argument against God. We might be wrong about our particular theology but not wrong about the existence of God.

          Again, this conversation has gone on long enough. I’ve got to get back to work.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Of course my conclusion is not provable.
          This is, after all, all about belief .
          And this is why I am asking if you consider there is non-scientific evidence for Islam and Hinduism and every other non christian religion.
          It is a simple, straightforward yes or no answer, Mel.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I already said there probably is. Believing in God, even if it’s the wrong God, doesn’t negate intuiting the existence of God. That is a type of evidence. I can believe in invisible energy, like electricity, and still be totally wrong about its specific nature. One does not follow the other.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I don’t think you did, or it seemed a bit vague to me.

          My question was, specifically: do you think there is non-scientific evidence for Islam and other non christian religions.
          Yes or no?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I can’t get any more specific than that. Read my comments.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I have.
          And you can get more specific if you have no desire to avoid the question.
          Is there non-scientific evidence for Islam Hinduism and every other non Christian religions?
          Yes or no?

        • tildeb says:

          But if Itztlacoliuhqui-Ixquimilli does exist, you ARE being delusional. The logic goes both ways. Why don’t you get this?

          But if Vishnu does exist, you ARE being delusional. The logic goes both ways. Why don’t you get this?

          But if the Loch Ness monster Nessi does exist, you ARE being delusional. The logic goes both ways. Why don’t you get this?

          But if Poseidon does exist, you ARE being delusional. The logic goes both ways. Why don’t you get this?

          But if the Holy Grail does exist, you ARE being delusional. The logic goes both ways. Why don’t you get this?

          Here you are talking about your god ‘existing’… but then refuse to allow anything knowable about this existence to play an part of formulating the likelihood of this ‘existing’. That’s irrational.

          This is both dishonest and delusional thinking, Mel, because there is obviously no end to the list of the most unlikely possibilities in order to claim whoever doesn’t share a belief in any of them is therefore delusional. Yet to then turn right around and infuse one with certainty without any rational means to differentiate one absurd claim that has no evidence in its favour from another as you do over and over again is the very definition of what constitutes delusional thinking. You believe in your delusion while rejecting all others as delusional.

          Why don’t YOU get this?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Okay, Tildeb. How many Itztlacoliuhqui-Ixquimilli blog sites do you argue with on a continual basis? Or how angry do you get with people who believe in Vishnu or the Loch Ness Monster?

          It’s interesting that children may believe in the tooth fairy or Santa Claus as a child but I know of no adult who comes to believe in the tooth fairy or Santa Claus as an adult, yet millions and millions of adults come to believe in God. I wonder why that is? Again, I don’t think you’re really in touch with the deeper issues here.

  6. John Branyan says:

    Hey Mel,

    Judging from the amount of outrage from the gaggle of godless goons, I’m pronouncing your post a winner.

    The Windbag boldly proclaimed, “You see Mel, the central theme of humanism is taking personal responsibility, and knowing no third party is going to vicariously solve our problems for us.” Thankfully, Zande doesn’t think about stuff before he writes it so his theology implodes immediately.

    For what are humanists ‘taking personal responsibility’?

  7. Arkenaten says:

    @ Nan.

    Less Christian comedians? 🙂

    Oh, this is priceless.

    • Mel Wild says:

      And, let’s add less Bill Maher’s, and less belligerent, combative, and condescending anti-theists, too. Yes, priceless.

      • Arkenaten says:

        There would be no combative, condescending anti-theists if you simply stuck to faith, stopped indoctrinating kids, and on a more day to day level …. if churches paid taxes.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Okay then, if all anti-theists shut up and stopped giving their viewpoint in the marketplace of ideas and also stopped talking to children, it’s a deal.

          Stalin must be your hero! You certainly love his form of totalitarianism.

          And churches aren’t the only ones who are tax-exempt. All charitable organizations, secular or religious, can apply and qualify for tax-exemption. Your parroted talking points are just worn out, weighed in the balance and found wanting.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Stalin must be your hero! You certainly love his form of totalitarianism.

          Stop being a ”Branyan” , Mel.
          That’s beneath even you.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I’m not being a “Branyan.” You want your censorship to be forced on the culture, just like people who have opposite view. That’s a subtle form of totalitarianism. I’m just showing the hypocrisy of your statement.

        • John Branyan says:

          Being a “Branyan” isn’t so awful.
          You can acknowledge order and meaning in the universe without collapsing your entire worldview.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, I agree. But pointing out their delusion with humor is the unpardonable sin of anti-theists. How dare you blaspheme! 🙂

        • John Branyan says:

          Simply stating the anti-theist position is comedy.
          The tragedy is watching them chase their tails in search of hope.

        • Arkenaten says:

          So why don’t we have Creationism and Intelligent design taught as fact, Mel?

          How would you feel if your own kids were taught that the earth is only 6000 years old that humans existed with dinosaurs and that Adam and Eve were real and every word of the bible must be believed from beginning to end?

        • Mel Wild says:

          So, what public schools is creationism being taught, Ark? It’s certainly not being taught in any public school here.

        • Nan says:

          I hope you won’t mind me jumping in here, but what I see as the core issue is not whether creationism (or any other religious-based idea) is currently being taught. Rather, it’s that if the majority of Christians had their way, it WOULD be taught … along with a plethora of other ideas that are solely based on the bible. Yes, I know. The Christians are disturbed that “science teaching” is the default, but whether you or any other believer wants to accept it, science DOES provide more evidence (proof, substantiation, corroboration, data, information, etc.) for certain events than any faith-based religion.

          Besides, there are always private schools for believers.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I agree with you, Nan. I’m not for Fundamentalist, anti-science religious views being taught in public places. And I seriously doubt it will ever happen. But that’s democracy in action. I’m arguing against Ark’s point that parents should not be able to teach their kids what they believe or that Christians can’t have alternative views taught in Christian schools, or have a voice in the marketplace of ideas. That’s a mild form of totalitarianism.

        • tildeb says:

          Unfortunately it is Mel, in a little known place called ‘Mississippi’.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I stand corrected then. I wasn’t aware of that. But Mississippi has historically been an anomaly to the greater culture in many other ways, too.

        • tildeb says:

          Creationist bills come forward all time and some have advanced further than others. The latest is Florida. Kentucky just passed another creationism bill. So did Oklahoma. Textbooks are targeted. School boards are targeted. It’s a constant attack against the Constitution, against the separation of Church and State… in the name of God, of course. And it’s not just the evangelical wing that pushes and pushes and pushes their faith-based beliefs into the public domain as state supported programs and policies, just like the ridiculous yet very successful attack against providing women’s healthcare; it’s standard Christian doctrine supported by the RC Church and mainstream protestant denominations in all kinds of inappropriate branches of government, from the courts to the military. ACE, for example, is the go-to home-schooling idiocy for millions of children who have no say in the matter but note how it’s the religious who usee the senate and congress of both state and federal government to attack public education… to create an artificial need for more home schooling. One has to be willing to suspend any and all criticism of this intentional yet massive attack against a secular nation, its laws, its Constitution, to pretend intentional harm is not being supported by the vast majority of religious people… in the name of an authoritarian god, of course.

          It won’t be you condemning the abuse brought into real people’s lives through the tyranny of following the ACE program. It won’t be you complaining of the utter lack of education so many innocent children must own for the rest of their lives. You simply don’t have the intellectual courage or fortitude or integrity to stand up and criticize this religious attack against your freedom of religion because you have assigned to yourself the role of being a religious apologist as more important than addressing through legitimate criticism these flagrant and growing abuses. You honestly don;t care about any of this harm; you care more about sanctioning and promoting your wishful view of some divine critter.

        • Mel Wild says:

          That’s called a democracy in the marketplace of ideas, Tildeb. Pointing to extreme abusive views that are actually e in order to condemn the whole thing is a straw man and prejudicial.

        • tildeb says:

          No. they’re not Mel. They are in direct conflict with and in contravention of multiple Supreme Court rulings. And in each ruling, the Supreme Court argues about the necessity for separation of Church and State to protect freedom of religion for the entire population. This religiously inspired apologetic argument you recycle (why am I not surprised?) about respecting democracy when a majority of its citizens don’t grasp the danger to a common right their piety promotes is exactly what the Constitution was made to protect all of us from: the mob mentality you are trying to further because it just so happens to align with your religious beliefs. That’s how idiotic such apologetics are when exercised on the entire population… in other words, in the public domain..

        • john zande says:

          And then we have The Cornwall Alliance’s Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, perhaps the most reckless, anti-human, anti-life declaration made by any organisation in history.

        • tildeb says:

          There is a strong correlation between religiosity and human caused climate change denialism. When reality is not allowed to robustly challenge beliefs about it, this is what we get: a threat to entire species in the name of god. It’s truly pathetic if not criminal.

        • Mel Wild says:

          There’s a strong correlation between evangelical fundamentalists and anti-climate change. And to imply that Christians don’t care about the environment is false and prejudicial, painting everyone with the same brush.

        • tildeb says:

          No Mel. The correlation goes far beyond evangelical Christianity. That’s why I specifically said ‘religiosity.’ Stop waving it away. Grow up and start seeing what’s right before your eyes and understand that you’re on the wrong side of history.

        • tildeb says:

          Now you keeping your beliefs to you and me keeping my beliefs to me rather than trying to wheedle them into the public domain and have state authority is ‘censorship’, eh Sly Mel? I see you don;t believe in freedom of religion. That’s a clue…

    • Nan says:

      Whoops! Forgot to close the bolding. Sorry about that.

  8. Arkenaten says:

    I’m not for Fundamentalist, anti-science religious views being taught in public places

    Yet you’re okay with such views being taught to children in private schools? Children who are also taught that the devil is real, hell is real, eternal damnation is real, and in certain cases that mixing with those who do not follow the bible literally is discouraged for fear of some form of spiritual contamination?
    As the children have no means to defend themselves against and are punished for failing to toe the line do you agree that this is a form of child abuse?

    • Mel Wild says:

      And you want a world that is free from anything Ark disagrees with. Again, a mild form of totalitarianism. Democratic societies don’t work that way.

      • Arkenaten says:

        No, because I believe ACE and similar theological extremism of all religions is nothing but child abuse.
        I am asking if you also consider it child abuse.
        Well, do you?

        • Mel Wild says:

          If something in particular is abusive, it would need to be addressed. I don’t believe in any form of harmful extremism. But that’s a very small percentage of religious people. You are trying to paint everyone with the same brush, that all religious beliefs harm a child. That is both ridiculous and prejudicial.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Fair enough.
          As as Christian, what specific beliefs about your religion do you consider are harmful to the emotional well being of children?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Anything that would cause them to act out in hate or in some other way contradict the teachings of Jesus.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Do you consider that teaching children of a literal Hell ( as Young Earth Creationists teach) to be an example of abuse?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I believe in teaching age-appropriate things. I don’t think the way most parents and Christian teachers teach on God’s judgment or hell to children is traumatizing. Certainly, it is in some more extreme Fundamentalist cases when it’s taught manipulatively, and I have spoken against that kind of fear-mongering, even for adults. But I grew up hearing about going to hell if I missed church as a Catholic and a whole host of other things, and it didn’t traumatize me one bit. And I didn’t come to Christ to escape hell or out of ungodly fear. I just think this argument rings a bit hollow for most people’s experience while I’m sure it’s true for some.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Certainly, it is in some more extreme Fundamentalist cases when it’s taught

          So you agree that what private religious schools, such as ACE are doing to children regarding the doctrine of Hell is child abuse.

          Are you aware how many children are currently enrolled at ACE ministries?

          As a Christian who recognizes this is abuse, plain and simple, what do you think can be done to stop ACE from indoctrinating children with this type of abusive and plainly non-Christian teaching?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I don’t know HOW they teach what they believe, so I can’t answer your question. Teaching Christian doctrines is not abusive, in an of itself. You are making sweeping generalizations here.

        • Arkenaten says:

          You have the internet. I can also put you in touch with an ex-ACE pupil, Johnny Scaramanga, who did a phd on ACE education.
          They teach a literal Hell. ( Eternal damnation, Satan, burning for eternity etc) You recognise this is child abuse.
          As a Christian, if your child were subject to this type of indoctrination what, as a parent and/or someone working in child protection, would you do?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I’m smart enough to know not to put my child through extremist doctrinal teaching. There’s a thousand different Christian curriculums that don’t teach extremist views.

          I don’t have time or the inclination for a witch hunt. I express what I believe here and people are free to disagree.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I’m smart enough to know not to put my child through extremist doctrinal teaching.

          Excellent!
          So as you agree that what ACE are doing is child abuse what do think should be done to prevent them teaching this deviant doctrine?

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, I don’t agree with your sweeping generalization. You certainly like to pigeonhole people, don’t you. IF I see something that’s actually abusive, I wouldn’t put my child in that curriculum. Not all doctrines taught by Christians are necessarily abusive. And even the harder ones for children to understand can be taught in a way that’ s not abusive. That’s the only point I’m making.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Fine. What I am asking is this: You have already acknowledged that what ACE are doing regarding their teaching of Hell is abusive. You are a Christian who disavows this level of extremism, so what in your capacity as a claimed moderate christian who preaches the correct form of Christianity, do you think should be done about ACE to protect all these kids?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Again, I have taught against an extreme, fear-mongering version of Christianity at my church and on this blog. We don’t teach our children this extreme version. I wrote against that version of God in my book. That’s about all I can do as a merry fool from the provinces. 🙂

          But, as far as the doctrine of hell itself goes, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no hell. It depends on how you interpret those passages. It could be a non-infernal version of “hell” that a lot of Churches teach and believe. So, in our day, your issue is primarily only with a wooden-literal Fundamentalist view. A large number of Christians don’t have a Dante-Medieval view of hell.

        • Arkenaten says:

          And why do you not believe in the Dante -Medieval view of Hell?
          How do you know it is not the correct version of Hell?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Because it totally contradicts the God that Jesus teaches. And Jesus was the only one in the NT to teach on hell. And because we know that many of these descriptions are not to be taken literally, it’s phenomenological language or anthropomorphisms, etc.. Like God being a “consuming fire.” We know He’s not literally a consuming fire. It’s descriptive language about a spiritual reality that cannot be fully understood in the natural world. This is why we need symbolism and other literary devices to describe this phenomenon.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Actually, the biblical character Jesus the Nazarene was said to be a Jew and there is no Christian Hell in Judaism.
          As a professional theologian you are, of course, perfectly aware of this, yes?
          Okay, so what other do you consider to be extreme that should never be indoctrinated into children?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Not true. The doctrine of Sheol and the grave and the afterlife developed over time. By Jesus’ day it was a more fully-orbed doctrine in Jewish writings, like Enoch and others. But no one actually knew or saw God at any time. It was Jesus who explains Him (Matt.11:27; John 1:18).

        • Arkenaten says:

          Sheol is not the Christian doctrine of Hell.
          Jesus referred to Gehenna.
          But you know this … as a professional Christian.
          So, what other things about your religion do you believe are extreme and should be considered as abusive and should not be taught to children?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Sheol just means grave. But there were people who believed in the afterlife and those who didn’t (Sadducees didn’t, Pharisees did). The Jewish book of Enoch talks about angels being bound in Tartarus, etc. Jesus used the Greek word, Gehenna (a literal garbage dump in Jerusalem) to illustrate eternal death and separation. These views are not extreme if they are real. You just teach it in an age-appropriate way.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I know full well what Sheol means, Mel, thanks.
          The character, Jesus the Nazarene was a Jew. There is no Christian Hell in Judaism. There is no eternal separation in Judaism.

          These views are not extreme if they are real. You just teach it in an age-appropriate way.

          At what age would you introduce this doctrine to children?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Again, this discussion has run its course being that it’s veering farther and farther away from the point of the post.

          And I have to go to a Christmas party so I will be gone. And I mean that in the wooden-literal sense.

        • Arkenaten says:

          So you do not believe there is any non- scientific evidence for Islam or any other non christian religions. Thank you!

        • Arkenaten says:

          Oh, and still waiting on an answer regarding if you consider there is non-scientific evidence for Islam?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Oh, and my answer is the same. Go ask an Islamic apologist.

        • Arkenaten says:

          But they will say there IS non scientific evidence.
          I am asking if you condiser there is non scientific evidence for Islam and every other non Christian religion.
          I cannot understand why you are so reluctant to answer, Mel.

          I would have thought any true honest Christian would have no qualms about answering.

          You either do believe or you don’t?
          Which is it, Mel, yes or no?

        • Arkenaten says:

          But they will say there IS non scientific evidence.
          I am asking if you consider there is non scientific evidence in all non Christian religions.

        • Nan says:

          I have to agree with you about hell, Mel. (HA! Notice that rhyme?)

          In my research I discovered there were many different beliefs about hell, including whether it’s symbolic or literal, whether it’s hot or not, whether it’s short term or long term … some even claim “God” will be present to dispense “divine punishment.” And of course, there’s the belief that it doesn’t exist at all … which I ascribe to.

          Hell, like many other bible “facts,” can be (and are) interpreted in dozens of ways. That’s why so many “anti-theists” continue to probe and question believers. If it all were “true,” one would think there would be consistency and agreement among “the faithful.” But as I think we can all agree … this is most definitely not the case.

        • John Branyan says:

          “In my research I discovered there were many different beliefs about hell…”
          This is the same research that you won’t say is true, right?
          I know you won’t vouch for the trustworthiness of your book so I’m just checking.

        • Mel Wild says:

          For people who want to dig deeper on the doctrine of hell, there’s a great book by Brad Jersak titled, “Her Gates Will Never Be Shut.” He lays out the development of the doctrine and covers the four major views about hell among theologians who take the Bible seriously.

  9. Arkenaten says:

    That’s called a democracy in the marketplace of ideas, Tildeb. Pointing to extreme abusive views that are actually e in order to condemn the whole thing is a straw man and prejudicial.

    So you consider it is a parent’s democratic right to abuse their children in this manner?
    And we are not talking a few kids in the ACE program either, as Tildeb has pointed out.

    I would like to remind you that the template such institutions as ACE use to inflict this sort of abuse on kids is the exact same one as you use to base you supernatural worldview on, Mel. The bible.

    That you are able to reject a 6000 year earth and all this encompasses, not least a literal reading and understanding of the bible, suggests you have at least moved a couple of rungs up the ladder, which is a good thing.

    However, you are still perfectly at home with a man walking on water, are in two minds about an Exodus and Conquest, are adamant that a man rose from the dead and that his death was in some way crucial to the salvation of humanity for something you call ”sin”, to list just a few things.

    Are you truly unable to see that from a non-christian/ believer’s point of view that such a selective approach to your religion comes across as incredibly hypocritical?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ark, I am with you on actual abuse, but if you think we’re going to give up the resurrection from the dead and the supernatural reality in general, you are most certainly delusional. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central tenet of the Christian faith. This only shows that what you really want to do is force your narrow-minded and truncated worldview of scientism on everyone else. As I’ve said before, what I find fascinating about all this is that you guys are the flip-side of extreme religious fundamentalism, wanting to make everyone believe like you do. This makes you hypocritical since you want government to force your views on people just like the religious fundamentalists. You are both cut from the same ideologue cloth.

      • Arkenaten says:

        The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central tenet of the Christian faith.

        Yes, the non-historical, non-evidenced epitome of the hypocritical indoctrinated cherry-pickers wet dream.

        I would like governments not to make exceptions when it came to child abuse. And much of religion simply is child abuse, and that is a fact.

        And wouldn’t it be nice if there was no religion and people stopped believing in supernatural nonsense and devoted themselves to secular humanism.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It would be nice if there was no atheism. We can’t always get what we want.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Really? And what would we have? A global Syria-like situation?
          Islamic fundamentalists blowing shit up all over the place?
          All out war in the Middle East.
          Catholic Priests getting away with even more child rape?
          Creationism taught in all schools?

          Is that what you really want?
          You should thank your made-up god
          there are atheists and secular humanists.
          And you should offer up thanks ’til you bleed tears.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Really, yourself, Ark. You see, this is the kind of unbalanced and biased tripe you promote that’s why you will never be taken seriously. You take the most extreme nutjob religious demagoguery and worse cases, then paint everyone with the same brush, conveniently ignoring the benefits of religion to society.

          Ark, are you so naïve to think that ending religion would stop violence and human atrocities? I remind you that we almost made ourselves extinct during the Cold War and it had absolutely NOTHING to do with religion. Are you such a humanist Pollyanna that you think humankind would somehow live in peace and harmony once we got rid of religion. Ha! Talk about delusional! Ask the people of Russia how that worked out under Stalin in the Soviet Union. Or perhaps ask Kim Jong-un, he’s a fine upstanding atheist. I think it’s time you woke up.

        • Arkenaten says:

          The nutjobs all use the same material. The Bible, the Qu’ran to name two.

          Interpretation is the name of the game.
          One man’s peaceful Jihaad is another man’s licence to blow up the twin towers.

          To a Muslim or Hindu you are a nutjob.

          To Ken Ham and Norman Geisler you are a heretic.

          I never said it would stop violence or atrocities.
          However, it would most certainly be a step in the right direction that there would be no religiously motivated violence, religiously motivated misogyny, child abuse, no religiously motivated creationist nonsense screwing up education, medicine the legal system etc.
          That would be a good thing wouldn’t you agree, Mel?

        • Mel Wild says:

          The nutjobs all use the same material. The Bible, the Qu’ran to name two.

          Ark, the common denominator is evil human intent, the same thing behind nut-jobs like Kim Jong-un who is an atheist. The religious version only used their scripture as an pretense to promote their evil intent. It’s ideology taken to an extreme. They misuse, misinterpret, and pervert Scripture to their own ends. That’s the truth of it.

          “However, it would most certainly be a step in the right direction that there would be no religiously motivated violence…”

          While I agree it would be good to reduce violence, it’s dangerously naïve and wrong to think getting rid of religion will reduce violence. I would argue the opposite. It’s a step in the wrong direction. One thing we can know from the Twentieth Century is that the humanistic idealism that prevailed failed us miserably. It was arguably the most violent century of all. But if people actually followed Jesus’ teachings there would be no violence. He taught us to love our enemies, not seek revenge, be greedy or covetous, not be judgmental, to forgive, to go the extra mile, and do unto other as you would have them do unto to you. It’s only the perversion of religion by evil people that causes violence. And again, Stalin and Kim Jong-un, and many other atheist despots, didn’t need the Bible or religion to commit atrocities and threaten the existence of life on earth.

        • Arkenaten says:

          But if people actually followed Jesus’ teachings there would be no violence

          And you call me naive?
          Good grief!
          Your own religion has over 30,000 sects: each with its own interpretation.
          The non-Christians of the world who make up the majority have absolutely no interest whatsoever of accepting, let alone following, the teachings of the biblical character Jesus the Nazarene, much of which are ridiculous and impractical.
          Notwithstanding the fact he said absolutely nothing original. Neither have you any idea at all if anything attributed to him is true or not.

          Secular humanism is the way forward, and in your heart of hearts you know full well religion will <em<never ever be the answer.

        • Mel Wild says:

          That is a fallacious argument and not even right, Ark. You keep parroting anti-theist myths as if they are factual. Sorry, but I don’t buy it. And there has been far more good done by Christians than evil. You just parrot Dawkins and Hitchens malicious and poisonous cherry-picking on this subject. And just because people are not following Jesus’ teachings doesn’t negate them as a solution to the human problem. It only means that, to quote G.K. Chesterton, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

          The solution of secular humanism is a fanciful myth that borrows heavily from the very teachings it rejects in order to look viable.

        • Arkenaten says:

          What the hell are you talking about? Now you are rabbiting on like a damn apologist.
          Even Christians don’t follow the teachings of the character Jesus the Nazarene.
          ”His ” teachings can be found in many many other cultures and following Jesus is all about accepting he is a god, failure to do so means we are all doomed to hell for eternity.
          Who on earth outside of those indoctrinated in the faith is going to buy that nonsense ?

          The solution of secular humanism is a fanciful myth that borrows heavily from the very teachings it rejects in order to look viable.

          And this not only shows your ignorance but also your refusal to even consider secular humanism.
          Secular Humanism a fanciful myth?
          Compared to the viability of religion?

          What do the stats say Mel?
          You are on to a hiding to nothing using this silly angle.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Whatever. And you’re rabbiting on like a Dawkins’ apologist puppet. Believe whatever myths you want about the dangers of religion that get regurgitated in your anti-theist echo chambers, Ark. But you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m very busy and don’t have time to go on and on with this propaganda nonsense. I really don’t care what you believe because you wouldn’t know the truth if it hit you in the face.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Ah… and here comes the ”whatever”. Why am I not surprised, Mel?

          Tell you what, explain why Christianity is better than Secular Humanism

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, whatever. Ark. Because you constantly make ridiculous assertions that you never back up with actual evidence.

          Name one thing that secular humanism believes that is beneficial to society that wasn’t borrowed from religion? And explain to me why secular humanism, which was a prevalent philosophy for social engineering and government in the 20th Century, led to the most violent century that brought us to the brink of annihilation?

        • Arkenaten says:

          I asked you to explain why Christianity is better than secular humanism.
          Lay it out for me….

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark, you love to ask questions but getting you to answer one is like pulling teeth.

          Okay, so in fairness, let’s both answer our questions.

          I believe Christianity is better because following Christ deals with our self-serving, fear-driven human nature at a deep subconscious level. His teachings deal with the very essence of relational dysfunction. And, more importantly, His indwelling Spirit of Grace transforms and empowers us to actually do the things we know we should do but are actually powerless to do consistently in our own strength. Secular humanism is incapable of dealing with this human problem at a deep heart level without borrowing from religious principles, as I have shown from the futile attempts at social engineering the 20th Century. And even then, following principles is only a surface-level solution that does not deal with the heart and is not transformative.

          So, now your turn. Since you make all these claims against Christianity in favor of secular humanism. You can start by telling me one thing what makes secular humanism better for society than Christianity (actually following Christ) that wasn’t borrowed from religion in the first place.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Christianity involves a lot more than following the claimed teachings of the biblical character of Jesus the Nazarene.

          However, would you be prepared to accept me ( or anyone else) as a so-called Christ-follower if I followed the so called teachings but did not confess to being a sinner, did not accept the need for salvation and did not accept that the character Jesus the Nazarene was a god and the creator of the universe?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Christianity involves a lot more than following the claimed teachings of the biblical character of Jesus the Nazarene.

          No, it’ doesn’t, really. All the epistles were commentary on the same thing Christ taught. Even so, as Jesus Himself said, the whole of Scripture was to teach us one thing: to walk in other-centered, self-giving love.

          “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt.22:37-40)

          We are empowered to do that by trusting in Christ and following Him.

          And, as per the usual, Ark, you have not answered my question. Still waiting….

        • Arkenaten says:

          So your answer to my question is an emphatic ‘No’ then, am I correct?

          Answer me honestly and I will gladly answer your question.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark. I gave you my answer. It’s pretty clear. Now answer my question. I’ve had enough of your tiresome diversions. Are you capable of answering a direct question or not?

        • Arkenaten says:

          You can start by telling me one thing what makes secular humanism better for society than Christianity

          Secular Humanism has no doctrine of hell.

        • Mel Wild says:

          So, explain how “no hell” helps us be better citizens in this life? That doesn’t even make sense, Ark.
          I would think the opposite is true. Regardless of what hell actually is, knowing that you would have to face an ultimate judgment for your actions would make you treat people better in this life.

        • Nan says:

          knowing that you would have to face an ultimate judgment for your actions would make you treat people better in this life.

          WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

        • Mel Wild says:

          You can say whatever you want, your refutation is nonsensical, Nan. So, why do we have laws and lock people up for violating them in the first place? There’s no deterrent there? As much as fear of punishment is not the best way to make people behave, and not the main point of Christianity, it does work. That’s all I’m saying about it.

        • Nan says:

          The difference, Mel, is that you wrote “ultimate judgment.” This, in Christian-ese, is much different than “locking people up.”

          Further, I would hope that as human beings we treat each other well because it’s in our nature … not because we are fearful of an facing an ultimate judgment for [our] actions.

        • Mel Wild says:

          The difference, Mel, is that you wrote “ultimate judgment.” This, in Christian-ese, is much different than “locking people up.”

          The principle of locking people up is a principle of judgment, Nan. That’s why a judge sends them to prison.

          Further, I would hope that as human beings we treat each other well because it’s in our nature … not because we are fearful of an facing an ultimate judgment for [our] actions.

          I would hope so, too. But, unfortunately, that’s wishful Pollyanna thinking if we think our good intentions will bring about world peace in any way. As the great Dr. Samuel Johnson once said:

          “With respect to original sin, the inquiry is not necessary, for whatever is the cause of human corruption, men are evidently and confessedly so corrupt, that all the laws of heaven and earth are insufficient to restrain them from crimes”

        • Nan says:

          What a horrid perspective! I guess I like to look at the more positive side of life. And I’m not even a Christian! 😉

        • Mel Wild says:

          It is a horrid perspective, I admit, Nan. But if we take a close look at human history, it’s a self-evident and brutally honest perspective.

          On the other hand, I do see that people are capable of good, religious or otherwise. I don’t believe in total depravity either. I just believe we’re broken and fear-driven by nature. And that God’s perfect love casts out our orphan-hearted fear. 🙂 So, my outlook is positive overall, and I do have faith that there will be justice for all the wrongs done in this life in the end. I just don’t delude myself into some fantasy that we can fix ourselves and come to any sort of world peace by our good intentions. That’s what I mean by a Pollyanna fantasy.

        • Arkenaten says:

          The threat of judgement … ie supernatural punishment – is an utterly ridiculous notion that is based solely on fear and has to be indoctrinated.
          If you require this to behave … and quite obviously you do, then you are in serious need of help and you have demonstrated once again why your belief system is quite vile.

        • Mel Wild says:

          So, knowing that there is justice and restitution doesn’t work? So, why do we have laws then, Ark? Why do we have the court system where someone faces a (gasp)…judge. Your argument is inane and too ridiculous to argue.

        • Arkenaten says:

          No, the threat of eternal punishment.
          And the threat is indoctrinated into kids until they believe it is very real.
          That is a very sick system, Mel, and you are , part of it.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Okay, Ark, you love to paint Christianity in the worst possible light. Let’s look at it another way. Let’s call “judgment” having to take responsibility for your own actions then. That’s its primary purpose, as Jesus taught in His parables. And that’s certainly healthy for childhood development.

          So let’s put your assertion to the test.

          Let’s say there’s ridiculously rich dictator that can have whatever he wants and controls a powerful nation and army capable of causing mass destruction, even human extinction. Because of this, the UN and other global forces have no real leverage over him to stop him (other than starting a nuclear war). He has absolute power so he decides to engage in the worst forms of sex trafficking, drug cartels, commits genocide, and subjugates other human beings in the worst possible way.

          So my two-part question is this: How will your secular humanism deter this man from doing whatever he wants? And, second, if this man dies without facing any retribution for his crimes against humanity in this life, how is justice served?

        • Arkenaten says:

          So my two-part question is this: How will your secular humanism deter this man from doing whatever he wants? And, second, if this man dies without facing any retribution for his crimes against humanity in this life, how is justice served?

          If this man is in the position you claim then no one could stop him, could they?

          If he cannot be stopped, caries out the dastardly deed and dies in the process, thus avoiding the justice system then he is dead. Period.
          What would you recommend – chiseling out a life- sentence for War Crimes on his farking tombstone?

        • Mel Wild says:

          So, there is no justice in this situation with your secular humanism at all. Of course, he wouldn’t be deterred by judgment from God because there is no god in your world. So, how is this is better, Ark?

        • Arkenaten says:

          Because it is a supernatural threat with absolutely no content and it certainly did not stop Christians committing possibly the worst genocide in human history.
          Therefore, developing a global society based on the inclusive principles of secular humanism in a democratic world trumps(sic) any brand of religious nonsense any day of the week.
          See? Much better … and no gods needed.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Well, it doesn’t stop “Christians” who don’t really believe they will have to answer for their actions, I agree. But that’s not what I mean by following Christ. It doesn’t change my argument.

          I have just given you a concrete example (rich despot) that shows that secular humanism fails. It always will ultimately fail.

          Your secular worldview leaves the world without any ultimate justice. People will be abused, marginalized, and then just die. The rich dictators will commit atrocities and get away with it and just die. No justice whatsoever in these cases. It’s just a Pollyanna pipedream that fails on all counts.

        • Arkenaten says:

          No it doesn’t. It merely demonstrates that bad people will do bad things.
          However, religion has a nasty habit of encouraging ordinary people doing vile things in the name of a god.
          he genocide of the North American Indians is a perfect example, as too the genocide of the South American Indians.

          And this is a fact.

          What the Gehenna do you mean by ”ultimate justice”

        • Mel Wild says:

          That is a totally fallacious argument, Ark. The people who did this were not following Christ at all. They were following an wicked aberration called Christendom. They were prejudicial, greedy, arrogant, power-hungry imperialists using the false doctrine of Christian dominionism as a pretense to subjugate the Native Americans and commit atrocities in the name of God. They weren’t any more Christian than the devil himself.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Really? These were the same Christians that established the doctrine of Christianity from the fourth century onward.
          The Christianity that determined the character Jesus the Nazarene was the god Yahweh and the creator of the universe.

          These were the Christians that established the religious doctrine you follow today, Mel.
          Who the heck are you to tell them they are not Christians?
          Are Jesuit priests not Christian?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Really? These were the same Christians that established the doctrine of Christianity from the fourth century onward.

          No, they are not! Sheesh! You sure like to paint everyone with the same brush, don’t you. Talk about prejudice! The atrocities committed by alleged “Christians” in North America were NOT following the Christian doctrine of the early church at all.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Yes they were … and they used the bible to justify it and also slavery.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Wrong! They used the Bible anachronistically, falsely, and pretentiously to excuse their own evil desires. But there is no excuse for their wicked behavior and it had nothing whatsoever to do with following Christ. You’ve been drinking the anti-Christian Kool-Aid too long.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Wrong, they interpreted the bible … just as you do and were responsible for probably the largest genocide in history. Christians.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It doesn’t make them actual Christians. This is just irresponsible cherry-picking the worst so-called Christian crimes and ignoring all the good real Christians do in the world.

          So, to be fair, shall we lay the 60 million murders by Stalin at atheism’s door? It’s a totally fallacious argument that any honest person who understands history can see through.

          I think this conversation has gone on far enough.

        • Arkenaten says:

          What about the Christians who declared the Cathars heretics and slaughtered them?
          What about the fact Christian doctrine taught that the Jews were responsible for the death of the character Jesus the Nazarene thus laying the foundation for millenia of anti-antisemitism? (including the holocaust)
          How about the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland?

          YOu are a damn coward and a fraud.

        • Mel Wild says:

          So, what would killing heretics or violence in Northern Ireland have to do with the teachings of Christ?
          NOTHING!

          You are just parroting anti-Christian tripe.

        • Arkenaten says:

          But they are CHRISTIAN.
          Just as you are …

        • Mel Wild says:

          No Ark. They were only Christian in name. You’re only truly a Christian if you act like one. They were false, politically religious?and violent, which has nothing to do with actually following Christ who said love your enemies, don’t seek revenge, and love your neighbor as yourself. Whose fruit is love, peace, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, and self-control. It had nothing whatsoever to do authentic Christianity. It’s a fallacious accusation.

        • john zande says:

          John Chrysostom, considered perhaps the greatest preacher of the early Church said:

          “The Jews are the most worthless of all men. They are lecherous, rapacious, greedy. They are perfidious murderers of Christ. They worship the Devil. Their religion is a sickness. The Jews are the odious assassins of Christ and for killing God there is no expiation possible, no indulgence or pardon. Christians may never cease vengeance, and the Jew must live in servitude forever. God always hated the Jews. It is essential that all Christians hate them” (year 379).

        • Arkenaten says:

          So we can deduce that the entire body of the Catholic Church which dominated Europe for centuries was not Christianity?
          And we can deduce that after the reformation the Protestant movement technically begun by Luther was also not Christianity, especially in light of his views on Jews etc.
          Is it all possible that you could actually identify what real Christianity is, Mel and also identify who out of the current crop of 30,000 plus Christian sects are genuine?

        • Mel Wild says:

          NO! Sheesh! Are you dense? No wonder you’re an atheist! You obviously don’t even read anything I say. MOST Christians in history did good things which you conveniently ignore. You try to paint every Christian with same evil brush, cherry-picking the worst examples over a 2000 year period and call that Christianity. That is totally fallacious and false.

          Here’s how you can tell if someone is actually following Christ:

          7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love…20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. (1 John 4:7, 20)

          21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matt.7:21-23)

          12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matt.7:12)

          16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matt.7:16-20)

          22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Gal.5:22-23)

          There are true Christians in every denomination throughout history. It has nothing to do with what denomination you belong to. It has to do with actually doing what Jesus says.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Most Christians?
          The American Native Indian Genocide (North and South)
          Apartheid, Slavery, Crusades, Luther’s stance on the Jews laying the foundation for antisemitism including the Holocaust,
          The African genocide via the Catholic Church’s stance on condoms and HIV/AIDS.
          Colonialism largely carried out in the name of God King or Queen and country,
          the attempted genocide of the Cathars.
          The Inquisition, the ban on reading or owning the bible in English, burning witches,
          Systematic rape of children by priests, the Workhouse system for single mothers in Ireland, Indulgences, ACE education and the systematic indoctrination and abuse of children, the fallacious nonsense of YEC and Creationism and the push to undermine the secular state with such garbage as the Wedge Document …
          let me know if you want any more examples, okay?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Nice selective cherry-picking, Ark. Your ignorance of history and fallacious argumentation knows no bounds. Yes, those things were done by evil men. Do you really think this is what Christ taught?

          Except you left out a few other impacts Christianity has had on civilization.

          1. Laws that required justice among all people. (Before this, power and oppression ruled.)
          2. Laws that required providing for the feeding of the poor by leaving grains and produce for the poor in the fields.(Law of Moses)
          3. Dietary laws instituted hygiene at a time when few practiced it.
          4. The universities began in Europe by the church that helped bring people out of the dark ages of illiteracy.
          5. Christians were the force behind getting the vote for women
          6. Christianity is the basis of our jurisprudence, economics, and owning property.
          7. Christianity is the force behind fairness for the poor, orphans, widows, and the disenfranchised of every age.
          8. Wilberforce’s Christian beliefs motivated him to work for liberation of slaves, and to work for child labor laws.
          9. Pragmatic evidence of Jesus’ teachings: WORK IN REAL LIFE.
          Jesus’ teachings promote healthy relationships, strong marriages, honest business practices, positive parenting, racial reconciliation, cultural kindness, champion the value & dignity of all humans regardless of creed, race, sex, nationality, or orientation.
          10. During the great plagues, and black death – Christians cared for the sick. Jesus said to love your enemies, love everyone regardless, and care for others.
          11. The Red Cross was begun by a devout Calvinist Christian, Henry Dunant.
          12. Salvation Army and Y. M. C. A. were begun by Christians.
          13. Divorce is less than 10% when families pray together regularly, attend church regularly, and read the bible regularly.
          14. When the French statesman, Alexis de Tocqueville came to this country in the early 1800’s. he was startled by the volunteerism that was carried out by associations mostly founded and run by Christians, and said that America’s volunteer spirit is its greatest strength. (He went on to say that he did not know ten men in all of France who would do what ordinary Americans do every day as a matter of course.)
          15. Mission shelters and soup kitchens in virtually every community in this nation is sponsored for the most part by Christians to dispense Christian mercy and compassion with food and shelter to the destitute.
          16. The modern science revolution was ignited by devout Christians who felt because God created the natural laws, science should be pursued.
          17. Habitat for Humanity builds homes, Prison Fellowship ministers to the imprisoned outcasts of society. It’s Project Angel Tree delivers hundreds of thousands of gifts and Christmas cheer to children of inmates every year.

          And, of course, we’re not talking about the paradigm shift Jesus’ teachings had on Western Culture:

          Human Rights. The concept of universal human rights and equality comes exclusively from the biblical idea that all people are created in the image of God.
          Women. In ancient cultures, a wife was the property of her husband. Aristotle said that a woman was somewhere between a free man and a slave. According to the book Reasons for God by Tim Keller (page 249), “It was extremely common in the Greco-Roman world to throw out new female infants to die from exposure, because of the low status of women in society. The church forbade its members to do so. Greco-Roman society saw no value in an unmarried woman, and therefore it was illegal for a widow to go more than two years without remarrying. But Christianity was the first religion to not force widows to marry. They were supported financially and honored within the community so that they were not under great pressure to remarry if they didn’t want to. Pagan widows lost all control of their husband’s estate when they remarried, but the church allowed widows to maintain their husband’s estate. Finally, Christians did not believe in cohabitation. If a Christian man wanted to live with a woman he had to marry her, and this gave women far greater security. Also, the pagan double standard of allowing married men to have extramarital sex and mistresses was forbidden. In all these ways Christian women enjoyed far greater security and equality than did women in the surrounding culture. See Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity.” In India, widows were voluntarily or involuntarily burned on their husbands’ funeral pyres. Christian missionaries were a major influence in stopping these century-old practices and ideas. Also see Misconceptions item #13.
          Children. In the ancient world, for example in classical Rome or Greece, infanticide was not only legal, it was applauded. Killing a Roman was murder, but it was commonly held in Rome that killing one’s own children could be an act of beauty. Through a higher view of life, it was the early Christian church that ultimately brought an end to infanticide. The modern pro-life movement is largely Christian. This pro-life view has been true from the very beginning of Christianity. A Christian document called the Didache, dated from the late first century or early second century, contained instructions against abortion.
          Slavery. While it is true that Christians have owned slaves in history, it is clear that this was a distortion of biblical teaching. Early Christianity elevated the roles of those oppressed in society, by for example, accepting women and slaves as full members. Slaves participated equally in worship and the community and were afforded contract and property rights. According to historian Glenn Sunshine in his book Why You Think the Way You do, “Christians were the first people in history to oppose slavery systematically. Early Christians purchased slaves in the markets simply to set them free.” It is also true that slavery was ended in great measure by Christian activists. For example, historians credit the British evangelical William Wilberforce as the primary force behind the ending of the international slave trade (which happened prior to the American Civil War). Two-thirds of the members of the American abolition society in 1835 were Christian ministers.
          Gladiators. A 5th century monk, Telemachus is credited as being the pivotal force ending the gladiator spectacles.
          Cannibalism. Missionary followers of Jesus are credited with stopping cannibalism in many primitive societies.

          And I haven’t even gotten started. So please stop with your Dawkins’ cherry-picking tripe. Anyone who knows history would not buy your poisonous cherry-picking distortions for one minute.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Anyone who knows the true Christian history and is prepared to acknowledge it usually deconverts.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark, anyone who deconverts because of anti-theist’s selective rendering of Christian history is an gullible fool. You’ve been drinking the Dawkins/Hitchens Kool-Aid. First, the basis of Christianity is not with church history, good or bad. It’s a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Second, your selective depiction of “Christians” is dishonest and deceitful. Of course, you’re just parroting the likes of Dawkins and Hitchens deceptive use of selective history, so you may not don’t know any better yourself.

          Let’s take just one example of anti-Christian propaganda that anti-theists like to point out.

          JohnZ told me that Hitler was a Christian, quoting the Catholic and Lutheran church leader’s view of Nazism (in the 1930’s before anyone knew what Nazism was actually about). But what did Hitler think of Christianity?

          Michael Rissmann records that Hitler thought of “God” as “the rule of natural law throughout the universe”, and that “his [Hitler’s] religiosity consisted of an attempt to equate predestination with the regularities established by science”. Rissmann also relates how Hitler on one occasion told those gathered in the Bunker that as a schoolboy he had already “seen through the lying fairy tales of a church with two gods”. (Michael Rissmann, Hitlers Gott: Vorsehungsglaube und Sendungsbewusstsein des deutschen Diktators, Zürich, Pendo, 2001.)

          If anything, Hitler’s view of God came from Enlightenment humanist thinking, not the Bible or, especially, the teachings of Christ. Although he did quote Luther’s later anti-Semitic writings to justify exterminating the Jews (which is about as anti-religious and anti-Christ as you can get!) But he did this as a pretense to serve his own malicious ends, not because he had any true Christian convictions.

          Furthermore, Hitler himself expected Christianity “to shrivel before the inexorable advance of science.” In Table Talk he is reported as saying: “When understanding of the universe has become widespread… then the Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.”(Hitler’s Table Talk, stenographic notes of Hitler’s private conversations, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1953.)

          So, no, Hitler was not a Christian by any stretch of the imagination. He was anti-Christian.

          But who does this sound like? I got it! It sounds like you, Ark! You can proudly look to Hitler as a forerunner of anti-Christian scientistic atheists! Like you, he expected Christianity to “shrivel” with the knowledge of science. Now, I see where Dawkins and his ilk got their inspiration for their books.

        • Arkenaten says:

          You sound like you are now desperately trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, Mel.
          Too late I’m afraid.
          Ask the Native Americans you Christians exterminated and all the millions of slaves who perished at the hands of you Christians.
          These two examples alone are quite enough to turn the stomach of any individual with an ounce of compassion.

          Most people who were brought up Christian … and stayed in the ”faith” have little or no idea of this ”relationship with Jesus” you continue to harp on about.

          As a sign that you have even an ounce of humility perhaps you could do a post formally apologizing for all the millions that have died as a result of you Christians?
          After all, you lot go to great lengths to inform everyone that we are em>all responsible for driving in the nails of your man god, yes?

          So let’s see you man up and do the right thing, eh?

        • Mel Wild says:

          And you are making a totally fallacious argument. This is why your argument has absolutely no credibility with anyone who actually understands authentic Christianity and doesn’t have selective amnesia about history. You are being totally dishonest and deceitful.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Based on what exactly do you get to define what ”authentic Christianity is?”
          The Cathars thought they practiced authentic Christianity but the Church tried to exterminate them.
          After the great Schism each side believed they were Authentic Christians and each one of the 30,000 plus sects today consider they are Authentic Christians.
          Authentic Christians of the day exterminated Native Americans (north and south) and later, developed the largest human slave trade in our history.
          Authentic Christians also had a civil war, largely over the slave issue.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It’s pretty simple, Ark. Jesus taught us to love our enemies, forgive, settle disputes quickly, don’t seek revenge, go the extra mile, don’t be greedy, don’t be judgmental, and treat others as you would want to be treated. So, killing other Christians or enslaving people would automatically tell you that they’re not actually following Christ. They were being religious (like the Pharisees, who had Christ arrested).

          You keep pointing to human behavior but you totally ignore what Jesus actually said. And He said if you’re not doing what He says you’re not His. It doesn’t matter what you think you are. There are authentic Christians in all denominations. Your sweeping generalizations are just more fallacious argumentation.

        • Mel Wild says:

          “As a sign that you have even an ounce of humility perhaps you could do a post formally apologizing for all the millions that have died as a result of you Christians?”

          Ark, again, you only prove that you don’t even know me at all. You speak out of total ignorance and prejudice. I have written AGAINST this false version of Christianity. One example would be my blog post here. I have acknowledged the atrocities done to people in the name of Christ. That is inexcusable. But that is NOT the point here. These people were NOT acting according to Christ. They were ANTI-Christ in every way. They were evil people. Period. You are associating evil people with Christianity itself. They are two very different things.

          And if you insist on laying this at our door then, logically, we should lay all the atrocities done by anti-Christian atheists (like you) at your door. This is the absurdity of your argument. It’s fallacious in every way. That fact that you don’t see this hypocrisy is amazing. Talk about deflection and delusion!

        • Arkenaten says:

          No deflecting. After all, according to you , we are all guilty of nailing up the god-man.

          So on behalf of the thousands upon thousands of Christians who were complicit in the extermination of millions of Native Americans, North and South and the millions of Africans that died at the hands of their Christian Masters(sic) let’s see a bit of humility and an official post of apology.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Okay, will you apologize for 100 million people who were killed by Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. For all the religious people who were tortured and mutilated, and exterminated. In fact, more people were murdered in the name of secular humanism and atheism in the 20th century than all the atrocities in human history combined. And the Vatican wasn’t behind it. Ark. So, are you going to man-up and apologize for your anti-Christian forefathers. Or are you just going to continue regurgitating your hypocritical tripe?

        • Arkenaten says:

          Me apologize? I am not a despot, communist or totalitarian.
          Yes, they were monsters.

          So, does this mean you are not going to apologize?
          And yet you insist I was also responsible for nailing up Jesus the Nazarene?

          Come on , Mel. Don’t be a miserable little wiener. Say you’re sorry for all those Injuns!
          After all, it is the Christian thing to do.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Me apologize? I am not a despot, communist or totalitarian.
          Yes, they were monsters.

          Exactly, Ark! Do you get it now? I’m not a despot, Native American killer either. Yes, they were monsters. Finally, you see the irrationality of your argument.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Of course you are not a Native American killer, Mel, any more than I am responsible for nailing up you man-god.
          However, it was CHRISTIANS who were responsible for the Native American Genocide and CHRISTIANS who were responsible for the worst episode of human slavery in the history of mankind.
          Christians, Mel. Which is what you are.
          Doing your god’s work as recorded in the bible.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, and I already told you I have spoken against that false form of Christianity. I’ve written about it. There is no excuse for what they did. But people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I have already shown you that your anti-Christian beliefs mirror that of Hitler and Stalin. Sure, they acted it out to its evil extreme. But it’s the SAME ideology. You both believe the world would be better off without Christianity. You both believe that science will replace religion. You clearly don’t get that you’re not just an atheist; you embrace a worldview (scientism), which is just a secular version of religion. So, again, your argument is called an association fallacy. It’s bogus.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Oh, I’d just like to point out that it was Christians …. thanks to rules laid out by your god, YHWH, who were instrumental in organizing the largest slave trade the world had ever seen and on the backs of slaves was the original economy of the US built upon. After stealing the land from the Native Americans, of course.
          I could dismantle the rest of your nonsensical list but I suspect your Rose Tinted Glasses are super-glued to your face.
          And if you doubt the claim regarding one of the largest genocides in human history … go talk to a Native American and preferably one not corrupted by your religion.

          If you do not know any well enough to discuss this matter with I could point you to a a blogger who is very clued up, and she is a Native American.
          Just in case you’re interested in facts.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Total nonsense. It was not God who instituted slavery. He dealt with existing slavery at the time in the context of the culture. But it WAS Christian groups who ended it. And, yes, evil things were done to Native Americans in the name of God, I’ve actually written about that. But again, you are pointing to evil people and associating them with Christianity. They were doing the very OPPOSITE of Christ’s teachings! You are being totally dishonest and deceitful by maligning Christ when you regurgitate this perverse anti-Christian propaganda.

          Again, if we use YOUR logic, we will associate anti-Christian anti-theism with Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and Kim Jong-un, All of these are anti-Christian dictators who have tried to stamp out Christianity and religion in general. This is the ridiculous logic you are using by making your accusations.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Yahweh laid down rules when he could easily have banned it outright. He’s ”God” right? But which ever way you look at it, he … sorry… He condoned it. (Of course you must realize I think Yahweh is simply a made up bogus piece of nonsense like all gods, I hope?)

          So, what if a few Christians developed a massive guilt trip and set about overturning slavery?
          About bloody time! They were the ones who sanctioned in the first damn place!

          If you think you are so smart on the topic of slavery, tell us all exactly what Jesus said about slaves and slavery citing chapter and verse. Allusions do not count.
          And of course, bearing in mind in his Yahweh form he sanctioned it and laid out rules governing it did he not?

          Off you go… surprise me.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark, surprising you would require that you actually listen to a thing I say instead of spewing out your poisonous garbage. I’m clearly wasting my time here.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I give you my solemn word I always ”listen” to you. Or a least read the things you write – when I bother to visit your spot, that is.

          Many would consider you have been wasting your time for a very long while. I’ll wager some of those would even be members of your own congregation.

          But don’t be shy. I am serious. Where in the New Testament did Jesus the Nazarene talk. about slaves and slavery?
          Just a couple of examples to show us all you are not simply spewing out poisonous garbage.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I give you my solemn word I always ”listen” to you. Or a least read the things you write – when I bother to visit your spot, that is.

          Ark, if you believe that, you have deceived yourself! Do you actually believe that? I don’t think for a minute that you would listen to me. I’m not that gullible. I certainly would be wasting my time if I thought that. But it’s not a waste of time to show Christians the irrationality and fallacious nature of your anti-Christian poison.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Of course I read what you write.
          Everything I write about Christianity is fact.

          If you dispute this then provide evidence to support your claims.

          Remember, I am not a Christian, and have no need to lie.

        • Mel Wild says:

          If you think you don’t lie, Ark, then you have seriously deluded yourself. Every time you talk about what Christianity actually is you are lying (or you’re willfully ignorant). This is another reason why no one should take you seriously.

        • Arkenaten says:

          And where are the passages in the Gospels where Jesus the Nazarene talks about slavery, please?

        • Mel Wild says:

          And where are the passages in the Gospels where Jesus the Nazarene talks about slavery, please?

          This is a totally bogus question the way you’ve set it up. You think if you can prove that if Jesus didn’t specifically speak out against the practice of slavery, then He was for it. But that’s an argument from silence, which is fallacious.

          First, you are reading the New Testament out of its cultural context. Slavery in biblical times was very different from the slavery that was practiced in the past few centuries in many parts of the world. The slavery in the Bible was not based exclusively on race. People were not enslaved because of their nationality or the color of their skin. This kind of slavery was based more on economics; it was a matter of social status. People sold themselves as slaves when they could not pay their debts or provide for their families. In New Testament times, sometimes doctors, lawyers, and even politicians were slaves of someone else. Some people actually chose to be slaves so as to have all their needs provided for by their masters. Many, if not most, of the first century church was made up of slaves in the Roman Empire.

          Second, the Bible teaches that God is no respecter of persons and He has made all humankind in His image. Furthermore, the Bible clearly condemns the type of slavery we are familiar with.

          “He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death. (Exod. 21:16)

          The New Testament agrees with this, condemning “slave traders” (1 Tim.1:8-10)

          So, the Bible clearly condemns the type of slavery we’re familiar with.

          But Jesus didn’t come to reform society; He came to reform the human heart, and from a reformed human heart, society can reformed. Jesus taught against a much more diabolical form of slavery that imprisons the human soul.

          Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
          33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
          34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31-36)

          For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. (John 12:47b)

          Finally, it was Christian principles that led Christians like William Wilberforce and the abolitionists in the US to fight against modern slavery.

        • Arkenaten says:

          But Jesus didn’t come to reform society; He came to reform the human heart,

          Actually, according to words attributed to him he came to fulfill the law. The Law of Moses. (who was a fictional character).
          And I didn’t ask you for the usual treatise on what Christians like to tell us about how slavery was in the good old days. I know all about it thanks.

          I asked specifically , chapter and verse where Jesus the Nazarene discusses slavery.

          And you could not even do this.

          This is why you have to resort to being disingenuous and try to ram apologetics down people’s throats.

          And it is one reason why the character Jesus the Nazarene said nothing against human slavery that Christians considered it was okay and biblical: because Jesus in his Yahweh form was okay about it and laid out rules on how to deal with slaves.

        • Mel Wild says:

          See, I told you that you wouldn’t listen. You obviously spent more time writing your response that trying to understand my point. I’m wasting my time here. Good bye.

        • Arkenaten says:

          I just found the thread where you copied and pasted you initial list! lol
          There you are a qualified paid </em< professional Christian who has to rip off someone else because they don't know their own christian diatribe well enough to formulate their own responses!

        • Mel Wild says:

          I just found the thread where you copied and pasted you initial list! lol

          Of course, I copied and pasted that. I would think that was obvious from the formatting. I don’t have the time to write everything out when it’s already written. It’s just like all the quotes and links you guys like to post. Not to mention, every argument you’ve made against Christianity is just parroting what Dawkins and Hitches and their ilk have already said. You have said nothing original to me in your diatribe against Christianity.

          But the point here is still valid. You are pointing at “religious” people and groups who do evil things, not Christ or His teachings. You make out like all of church history is represented by these crimes, when it is not a fair representation. You are taking the worst examples in Christian history and trying to paint all Christians with the same brush, willfully ignoring all the good and beneficial things Christians have had done for society. That is why it’s a totally fallacious argument.

          Okay, I think this conversation has gone on long enough.

        • Nan says:

          Okay, I think this conversation has gone on long enough.

          Hmmm. Where have I read that before? 🙂

        • Mel Wild says:

          Well, after 20-30 comments from Ark, just today, going nowhere at all, it’s an appropriate response. It’s getting very annoying. Ark won’t shut up with his fallacious comments and has taken up a lot of my time today. I could just bar him from my blog and get something else done, or say it’s time to close the conversation. I thought it was more gracious to just end the conversation.

        • Nan says:

          But the thing is, Mel … you don’t “end the conversation.” That was my point.

          Of course, it’s your blog and you can “talk” as much as you want. I was just pointing out you haven’t followed through on your intentions. 🙂

        • Mel Wild says:

          I agree, Nan. You’re right about following through The problem is, they keep talking and then accuse me of not answering them. But I’m probably better off just ignoring them after 20-30 tries. 🙂

        • Mel Wild says:

          True Christianity is not a club you can join. You must follow Christ or you’re not one. It doesn’t matter if you’re the Pope. That’s what the New Testament actually teaches

        • john zande says:

          Martin Luther on what should be done to the Jews:

          First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly ¬ and I myself was unaware of it ¬ will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know.

          Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.

        • Mel Wild says:

          That’s well known about Luther, John. This came from later in his life when he seemed to have gone off the rails with anti-Semitism. I could add that Hitler quoted Luther’s words to justify His final solution to exterminate the Jews. But that was Luther the man who was a product of centuries of anti-Semitic European Christendom, which came from very BAD theology (The Jews were Christ-killers), which had nothing to do with actual Christian teachings.

        • john zande says:

          Hitler was indeed a Christian. In fact, he considered himself a very, very good Christian, and many Church leaders agreed.

          Father Senn, a Catholic priest, writing in a Catholic publication, May 15, 1934:

          [Adolf Hitler is] the tool of God

          Kirchenrat Julius Leutheuser, addressing German Christians in Saalfeld, August 30, 1933:

          The word “German” is God’s Word! Whosoever understands this is released from all theological conflicts. This is German: return home to Germany and leave behind egoism and your feelings of abandonment. …Christ has come to us through the person of Adolf Hitler. …Hitler has taken root in us; through his strength, through his honesty, his faith and his idealism we have found our way to paradise.

          Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, meeting of Bavarian bishops on his meeting with Adolf Hitler, December 13, 1936:

          “The Führer commands the diplomatic and social forms better than a born sovereign. …Without a doubt the chancellor lives in faith in God. He recognizes Christianity as the foundation of Western culture. …Not as clear is his conception of the Catholic Church as a God-established institution.” As a result of this report, the conference votes to “once again affirm our loyal and positive attitude, demanded by the fourth commandment, toward today’s form of government and the Führer.” They assure the Führer they will provide him “all available moral resources his world-historical struggle aimed at repelling Bolshevism.”

          Catholic Hierarchy of Austria, March 18, 1938:

          We are also convinced that the activity of the National Socialist movement has averted the danger of an all-destroying atheistic Bolshevism. For the future, the bishops confer their heartiest blessing on this activity, and they will instruct the faithful to this effect. …it is for us a national duty, as Germans, to vote for the German Reich, and we also expect all believing Christians to demonstrate that they know what they owe to their nation.

          Bishop Hans Meiser of the Bavarian Evangelical-Lutheran Church, May 18, 1938:

          Pastors in the Bavarian regional church are required as public officials to perform the following oath: ‘I swear to God the Almighty and All-knowing: I will be loyal and obedient to the Führer of the Reich and Volk, Adolf Hitler, I will obey the laws, and I will conscientiously fulfill all my official duties, so help me God.’ This law is effective immediately.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You don’t have to keep posting your quotes about Luther, or the Nazis and the German Catholic and Lutheran Churches during that period, John. Those churches were duped by the Nazis (like most of the German people at the time). Calling Hitler a Christian would be like calling him a German because he lived in Germany. It means nothing real at all. He manipulated everyone, including the churches, to his own sociopathic end. Another German Christian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, spoke vehemently against the Nazi party and warned the German people against them. He was eventually hanged in prison by the Nazis for doing so.

          Following your logic, we will just associate all atheists with the likes of Stalin and Kim Jong-un. Fair enough?

        • john zande says:

          No Mel, Hitler thought himself a very, very good Christian… and as I have demonstrated, it was a view also held by Bishops and Cardinals and priests alike.

          Essentially, though, I agree that the argument you were presenting, re Stalin, was ludicrious. Stalin killed for political reasons (a-theism is content free, it inspires nothing), but whenever a theist brings this up, I like to remind them of the tyranny conducted by European Christian disctators. Here we have:

          Adolf Hitler
          Benito Mussolini
          Franco
          Napoleon
          Oliver Cromwell
          Maximilien Robespierre
          Miguel Primo de Rivera
          Vlad III
          Kaiser Wilhelm II
          Nicholas II
          Leopold II
          Romuald Traugutt
          Slobodan Milošević
          José Mendes Cabeçadas
          Lord John Russell

          To name just a few.

          We could go through the many African, Central and South American Christian dictators too, if you like… like Simón Bolívar, Hugo Chavez, Pinochet, Agustín de Iturbide, Antonio López de Santa Anna, Porfirio Díaz, Rafael Carrera, Efrain Rios Montt, Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, Jorge Ubico, Daniel Ortega, Manuel Noriega, José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia y Velasco, Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, Getúlio Vargas, Juan Vicente Gómez…

          And let’s not forget the Christian (Baptist) Théodore Sindikubwabo who ordered the Rwandan genocide.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Anyone who does these things is NOT a Christian! I don’t care if they go to church, got baptized, and are members in good standing. They are as diametrically opposed to Christ as the devil is opposed to Christ. NONE of these people did what they did because of the teachings of Christ. They were evil criminals.

          This is a totally fallacious argument, John. Sure, you can come up with a historic list of evil people who called themselves Christians. That means nothing. So, out of the two billion Christians today, and the billions who lived before, who have done good things, are you going to list them as well?

          So, according to you, all atheism produces leaders like Stalin and Kim Jong-un. Thanks for clarifying that.

        • john zande says:

          I’m not presenting an argument.

          You, however, were trying to, re Stalin.

        • Mel Wild says:

          But you are insinuating a lot. And I’m just using your reasoning. Atheism produces leaders like Stalin and Kim Jong-in.

        • john zande says:

          Not insinuating anything… merely responding in-kind to your attempted smear.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Good grief yourself, Tildeb. We get tired of the fallacious anti-Christian arguments of likes of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and their ilk with their selective history. Then JohnZ follows this fallacious logic like a good parrot with his lists. So I returned the favor. According to this logic, I can say that all anti-theists are despots like Stalin and Kim Jong-un. Fair enough?

          If you want to be ridiculous and paint all Christians with the same brush, two can play this stupid game. So, yes. Good grief.

        • tildeb says:

          It’s not stupid at all, Mel, because the religious violence can be directly caused by the religious belief, whereas the actions of these totalitarian cannot be equivalently and directly caused by non belief. So the No True Scotsman fallacy holds true for you deciding which religiously motivated actions were not real or the right or the proper religion in action. Again, you are simply waving away those parts of reality that do not align to your religious apologetics and countering them with fabrications, misrepresentations, deceit, ignorance, and dishonesty. DEAL with the discrepancies straight up and honestly, Mel, and stop running away from them.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, Tildeb. A despot who claims to be a “Christian” and does these things does so in direct contradiction to Christ’s teaching. You cannot rightly look at it any other way. It would be anti-Christ, not Christian. But we can link their behavior to other negative factors both psychological and political. Your shop-worn anti-Christian argument is fallacious to the core. If they are actually doing what Christ said, they are Christian. That’s how Jesus Himself defined it. Otherwise, in reality they are not. It doesn’t matter what they say they are or what denomination they may belong to.

        • tildeb says:

          “You cannot rightly look at it any other way,” you say.

          You cannot rightly define a true Scotsman any other way.

          Fuctum es.

        • Mel Wild says:

          “Essentially, though, I agree that the argument you were presenting, re Stalin, was ludicrous. Stalin killed for political reasons (a-theism is content free, it inspires nothing)…”

          Of course, the argument is ludicrous. That’s why I was countering your fallacious argument with Stalin. But Stalin is a product of anti-theism. And your “content free” point is a total myth that no one but anti-theists believe. If you really believe your own spin you really are delusional! There is no such thing as “content free.” Everyone has a perspective, a viewpoint, and a bias. Your “religion” or worldview is anti-Christian scientism.

          So, if you really are “indifferent” then why are you here posting hundreds of comments on my blog, John? You have shown over and over again that you are a combative and belligerent anti-theist, AGAINST Christianity in particular; otherwise you would not be on this site. You expend a lot of energy to demean Christianity and try to show it in the worst possible light for someone who is indifferent.

          Likewise, Stalin was vehemently against religion and shut all the churches down in the Soviet Union.

          The USSR anti-religious campaign of 1928–1941 was a new phase of anti-religious persecution in the Soviet Union following the anti-religious campaign of 1921–1928. The campaign began in 1929, with the drafting of new legislation that severely prohibited religious activities and called for a heightened attack on religion in order to further disseminate atheism. This had been preceded in 1928 at the fifteenth party congress, where Joseph Stalin criticized the party for failure to produce more active and persuasive anti-religious propaganda. (Wikipedia)

          This isn’t any different than what Ark suggested to me in other comments. Let’s stamp out religion and make illegal so we can all hold hands and hum for world peace. You combative anti-theists and Stalin have a lot more in common than you’re willing to admit. So don’t give me your anti-theist baloney. No one is gullible enough to buy that here.

        • john zande says:

          I believe it was you who brought up Stalin, and it wasn’t to me, rather Ark. I just jumped in to show you how ludicrous your argument was.

          But Stalin is a product of anti-theism.

          No, Stalin was a political beast, exercising his psychotic tendencies in a country that had seen hundreds of years of putrid, cancerous corruption perpetrated by, and maintain by, the Orthodox Church and the Czars.

          Your “religion” or worldview is anti-Christian scientism.

          A-theism is content free. I know that ruins your pantomime, but hey, facts are facts.

          Humanism, conversely, has plenty of content, and I do often call myself a Humanist. Feel free to attack the central tenets of Humanism, if you like.

          So, if you really are “indifferent” then why are you here posting hundreds of comments on my blog, John?
          If you simply wrote posts about how Jesus loves you and how great heaven is going to be, I would have no interest at all in being here. The moment, however, you start trying to present bullshit about history and science then I will answer that bullshit.

          Don’t publish bullshit on a public blog, and you won’t hear from me. Problem solved.

          AGAINST Christianity in particular

          I counter bullshit wherever I find it. As I happen to live in mostly Christian countries, then it’s typically bullshit coming from Christians, such as yourself, that comes to my attention.

          You expend a lot of energy to demean Christianity and try to show it in the worst possible light for someone who is indifferent.

          By all means, show me where I demean Christianity.

          What I do do is answer apologists publishing bullshit on public forums.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, Stalin was a political beast, exercising his psychotic tendencies…

          Exactly, John. Now you’re starting to get it. Congratulations! Which is exactly what I could say about all the alleged “Christian” leaders you listed. They were about as Christian in their actions as Satan is a Christian. Do you see the fallacy of your point yet?

          A-theism is content free. I know that ruins your pantomime, but hey, facts are facts.

          Sorry, this is YOUR pantomime. A self-deceptive myth that no thinking person believes. And besides, you are not an a-theist. You are a combative anti-theist. So the “content-free” argument wouldn’t apply to you anyway. You are propagating your poisonous anti-Christian “religion.”

          I won’t comment on all the rest of your hypocritical nonsense. It’s pretty much the same as above.

        • john zande says:

          Mel, you raised Stalin. I was demonstrating to you how patently ludicrous that argument was.

          As I have demonstrated, Hitler not only thought himself a very, very Christian, but Bishops and Cardinals thought so, too. Now read this next bit slowly and carefully: I’m not saying Hitler did what Hitler did because he was a Christian. It’s a silly argument… as silly as apologists trying to claim Stalin did what Stalin did because he was an atheist (who, incidentally, studied to be a priest as a young man).

          A self-deceptive myth that no thinking person believes

          Well Okay… Please list the content in a-theism.

        • john zande says:

          And Mel… Are you ever going to address the question, Why is there an artificial something? on your post, How is God Creator?

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, because it’s a stupid question. I’ve already told you my answer to why there is something instead of nothing. I don’t waste my time answering the same question over and over. If you don’t like it, fine. Believe whatever you want.

        • john zande says:

          Stupid question, it seems, because you can’t answer it.

          Your copied and pasted answer is wrong. I have shown you how it is wrong. Dead wrong, and self-negating.

          You have answered nothing… and I think you know this.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Sorry, it’s still stupid because it’s inane and you’re not interested in hearing the answer. You just want to waste my time with your pantomime.

          And you have answered something, John? That’s hilarious. No, you’re wrong. Ha! That proves it, doesn’t it.

        • john zande says:

          I read your copy and pasted answer.

          I explained, in detail, how it was wrong.

          You have not countered a single word in that detailed explanation.

          “Inane”?

          It’s the central question of your post!

          Are you calling your own post “inane”?

          Why is there an artificial something?

          That’s YOUR question, Mel.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Well, you are wrong, John. So there.

          If don’t like my answer, so be it.

        • john zande says:

          Well, you are wrong, John. So there.

          Well, that’s certainly a robust and intellectually persuasive rebuttal.

        • Mel Wild says:

          About as robust as yours. Thanks.

        • john zande says:

          No, mine had content.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Right, it was your opinion. You say I’m wrong but you cannot prove it one way or the other. It’s a stupid argument. Believe whatever you want.

        • john zande says:

          What was my opinion?

          The standard definitions of aseity and panetheism, as taught by all good philosophy departments across the planet?

          That’s interesting.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, John, it was nothing but unprovable opinion. You said…

          These qualities are unknowable to the aseitic being, they do not exist (even in an abstract form) in the actual world, and as they are unknowable, your proffered idea of panetheism is irreparably flawed. An aseitic being cannot be a part of something that it is not. Critically, it cannot cease being aseitic…. But that is exactly what you are suggesting.

          How do you know that an aseitic being cannot know? You don’t! This is nothing but meaningless opinion. We believe God would be omniscient. That means there isn’t anything He wouldn’t know about His creation, there is nothing outside of Him, and there is nothing you could teach Him. Your argument does not address the Christian form of weak Panentheism at all. And we get our position from the revealed theology of God.

          16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Col.1:16-17)

          20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. (1 John 3:20)

          O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
          2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
          You understand my thought afar off.
          3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
          And are acquainted with all my ways.
          4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
          But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. (Psalm 139:1-4)

          3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. (Prov.15:3)

          I could go on, but this small sample makes my point.

          Your hubris is mind-boggling. Your ignorant arrogance against the knowledge of God knows no bounds. To this foolishness, God would ask you..

          2 “Who is this who darkens counsel
          By words without knowledge?
          3 Now prepare yourself like a man;
          I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
          4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
          Tell Me, if you have understanding.
          5 Who determined its measurements?
          Surely you know!
          Or who stretched the line upon it?
          6 To what were its foundations fastened?
          Or who laid its cornerstone,
          7 When the morning stars sang together,
          And all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:2-7)

          This is why I won’t waste my time on your inane questions.

        • john zande says:

          Yes, John, it was nothing but unprovable opinion

          OK then, answer me these two questions:

          1. Was there a time when Yhwh (an aseitic being) did not exist?
          2. Can Yhwh (an aseitic being) die?

        • Nan says:

          But you do … and you are. 🙂

        • john zande says:

          Mel,

          1. Was there a time when Yhwh (an aseitic being) did not exist?
          2. Can Yhwh (an aseitic being) die?

        • john zande says:

          OK, I think we can all see that you’re not going to answer these two questions. It doesn’t matter, because I know what your answers already are:

          1) Yhwh always existed, and
          2) No, Yhwh cannot die.

          Alright, let’s marry these two statements with your copy and pasted answer which assumes aseity (so as to excuse Yhwh from the rules of causality, which is fine), but then smears the whole thing in panetheism, which insists God (through emanations) is in everything.

          So, if there was no time when Yhwh did not exist, then Yhwh (an aseitic being) cannot have even an abstract idea of a beginning. And if Yhwh cannot die, cannot not be, then Yhwh (an aseitic being) cannot have even an abstract idea of an end.

          This, Mel, is why you yourself have gone out of your way to say that this world is an artificial contrivance. And you’re correct—philosophically, at least—when you said:

          “I believe the “world” is a construct.”

          A “constructed” world is a false world, Mel. It is, as you yourself have said, “Not God.” It has a beginning, a middle, and an end… and these three things CANNOT emanate (leak out) from an aseitic being. And yet that is what you’re trying to argue in your proffered panetheism.

          So you see, your aseitic statement and panetheism’s notion of emanations are self-contradicting. Indeed, considering the reality of this world, you’re trying to present two antagonistic ideas as somehow complimentary, and hoping (praying) no one sees through it.

          I’m sorry, but a first year philosophy student can see through it, Mel.

          Your copy and pasted answer is hopelessly, thoroughly, and irredeemably wrong. And the crazy thing is, you KNOW it’s wrong. You’ve virtually said exactly that when you made these statements:

          “God is NOT the universe!”

          “He exists outside the universe”

          “I believe the “world” is a construct.”

          Each of these statements is categorically inconsistent with panetheism which insists God is in everything. If God is in everything (through emanations) then God must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. That, of course, is not what you believe, and rightly so because it contradicts aseity. So, by your own understanding Mel, the question remains unanswered, and I’m hoping you will for once forget letting others do your thinking for you and give an answer in your own words:

          Mel:

          Why is there an artificial something?</blockquote

        • Mel Wild says:

          Alright, let’s marry these two statements with your copy and pasted answer which assumes aseity (so as to excuse Yhwh from the rules of causality, which is fine), but then smears the whole thing in panetheism, which insists God (through emanations) is in everything.

          Then you don’t understand what Christian (weak) Panentheism is at all. You are describing pantheism, which is a pagan notion of God. God is NOT in everything. That would be your first mistake.

        • john zande says:

          Weak panentheism, please. You’re just playing word games designed to try and excuse Yhwh from the Problem of Evil. So you take Panentheism (which is nothing but pantheism with a hat), see it gets you in all sorts of problems, so you dilute it to give you wriggle room. It’s pathetic, and it does NOTHING to solve the inherent contradiction with aseity. It also flatly contradicts all your other statements that Yhwh interacts with this world, manipulating it, which is the panentheism you need for that, but can’t have, so you pretend you can have both, and present either/or depending on who you’re talking to and what the topic of discussion is.

          This really shines a spotlight on just how dishonest radical right-wing fundamentalist apologists like you are. You posit aseity to excuse your Creator from the rules of causality, but then jettison aseity in the very next breath for no reason other than theological expediency. Ignoring the contradictions, you need panentheism so Yhwh can manipulate this world, but then jettison it for something you’ve invented called “weak” panentheism which excuses the very same tinkering God from any and all responsibility because, well, in this version that God doesn’t, in fact, tinker.

          It’s like playing whack-a-mole with someone who has no intention of ever being honest. You don’t give a damn that you’re presenting bullshit.

        • Mel Wild says:

          John, if you don’t understand something you just call it dishonest and radical right-wing. I see.

          You know, this tactic gets a bit old after awhile. If you don’t know the terms you shouldn’t be commenting, because when you try to say Panentheism is just pantheism you just sound ignorant and foolish. I can’t help you there.

          Maybe you should study up on it before you embarrass yourself further. https://orthodoxwiki.org/Panentheism

        • john zande says:

          Stop trying to suggest I’m mistaking pantheism for panentheism. I know this stuff better than you, and know the deceptive game you’re playing.

          An example of your dishonesty

          I have asked you:

          Do you accept that human beings are an entirely unintended product of an entirely unguided process, where mutations (and the environment in general) are random, meaning they are not adaptively directed, not goal-oriented?

          You strictly rejected this, arguing (without evidence) humans were intended, and the processes of evolution are NOT random, meaning not goal-orientated, not adaptively directed. That position, Mel, demands STRONG PANENTHEISM, which states the laws of nature are not autonomous of God, and he manipulates them (including matter), to effect his will.

          And now, here you are in another post, arguing for WEAK PANENTHEISM, which states the laws of nature ARE autonomous of God, but are stitched-through with God’s ‘essence’ (whatever the hell that is supposed to mean). Weak panentheism DOES NOT permit a manipulative God, a God who directs things, guides evolution, a God who can interact with this world.

          So, two completely antagonistic positions, yet presented by you in different posts as what is supposedly real. You need weak panentheism to excuse your god from the problem of evil, but you need strong panentheism to prove human beings were intended and planned. On the one hand, Yhwh is responsible for this world, but then when that becomes awkward you jettison your previous position and present the complete opposite…. and pray no one notices.

          And BOTH positions, strong and weak, flatly contradict aseity, which is a position you argue in yet other posts so as to excuse your god from the rules of causality, stating:

          “God is NOT the universe!”

          “He exists outside the universe”

          “I believe the “world” is a construct.”

          And fuck, just for fun, at times in your threads with Ark you’ve damn-near well tried to argue from a position of pure deism.

          You’re a shapeshifting, unprincipled, dishonest interlocutor, Mel. As previously stated: It’s like playing whack-a-mole with someone who has no intention of ever being honest.

        • John Branyan says:

          GO get em’, Windbag!

          Stamp out shapeshifting, unprincipled dishonesty because…evolution!

        • Nan says:

          Mel, I understand the principle of the sheep and the goats. But the fact remains … these people make full claim to the doctrines of Christianity. Whether you or I or anyone else paints them as “fake Christians,” this doesn’t change the fact that they present themselves to the world as Christians. This is Ark’s point.

        • Nan says:

          You know, I could somewhat go along with this part of your response: … because following Christ deals with our self-serving, fear-driven human nature at a deep subconscious level. His teachings deal with the very essence of relational dysfunction.

          But then you say stuff like … His indwelling Spirit of Grace transforms and empowers us .,. and you lose me. IOW, the principles Yeshua laid down have a lot of merit, but all this transforming, indwelling, he takes over my life part … phffft!

        • Mel Wild says:

          @ Nan.

          “and you lose me. IOW, the principles Yeshua laid down have a lot of merit, but all this transforming, indwelling, he takes over my life part … phffft!”

          That’s only because you don’t believe there’s a spiritual reality. But it’s not some hyper-religious notion of Jesus “taking over,” like we have no responsibility to change ourselves, but a cooperative process called “participating in the divine nature” (2 Pet.1:4) that transforms us from the inside-out. I think history has proven that trying to be good citizens simply by following principles to live by (which is better than nothing) is a dangerous and deluded Pollyanna fantasy. It won’t stop violence and war because we are incapable of really changing our own spots. Even so, actually following Jesus’ teachings would be a huge step in the right direction.

        • tildeb says:

          ” I think history has proven that trying to be good citizens simply by following principles to live by (which is better than nothing) is a dangerous and deluded Pollyanna fantasy.”

          So you’re calling the United States of America and its Constitutionally protected rights and liberties a “deluded Pollyanna fantasy”. This is a clue just how clueless you are under the influence of religion. The problem is you never get sober.

        • Mel Wild says:

          So you’re calling the United States of America and its Constitutionally protected rights and liberties a “deluded Pollyanna fantasy”.

          No, if you actually read the context of the conversation I was pointing to the failure of secular humanism in the 20th Century. But, since you brought up the Constitution, let’s see what the founding fathers thought about religion in society:

          “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

          “The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.  Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.”   Benjamin Rush

          “The Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government. . . . and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence.” Noah Webster

          “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.” George Washington

          “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Benjamin Franklin

          “Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness . . . it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several States to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof.” Statement from the Continental Congress, 1778

          There’s a lot more I could quote, but I’m sure you get the idea.

        • tildeb says:

          Oh, many of the founders were religious and were not afraid to say as much. But look at the Constitution, Mel. Not one word about any gods or a god. Not one. This is not an accident or oversight. It is very, very intentional and revolutionary. It was new to the world. It is secular humanism made manifest.

          And you think this is a failure of the 20th century when world wars were fought over preserving these Enlightenment values from totalitarian authority?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Of course, the Constitution was purposely written in a non-religious way because they did not want our country to be a religious state (I don’t either). Nonetheless, its principles undergirding it were forged by a shared distrust of human nature. This is why there are so many checks and balances.

          And there is no doubt that these framers thought that the American experiment would not work without religious convictions governing the behavior of the people.

        • tildeb says:

          No, that does not follow, Mel. Authority comes from each individual and this is what grants authority to be consent of the governed, the individual is supreme in law. That is where all rights and freedoms are shared and sacrosanct. The individual. No greater authority. Period. End of story. All laws derive from the consent of the governed. That’s why no gods are allowed. That’s why no religion in the public domain is allowed. At all. Ever. Case after case after case in the Supreme Court uphold this fundamental principle. To have a a secular state requires people to be all grown up and responsible for themselves, responsible for their actions; the foundation of the ‘people’ is the ‘people’. Not some god. The people. Each person equal in law.

          This revolutionary idea has been under intensified attacks by religious apologists like you throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. They and you are attacking our shared secular rights and freedoms…. including freedom of religion. You. This is what you are undermining by pretending this secular state, this secular Constitution is really rife with religious apologetics.

          No. It. Is. Not.

          Not one word anywhere in the Constitution. State constitutions, sure, but you take a primary oath to defend the Constitution of the United States from enemies foreign and DOMESTIC. That’s you, Mel. Dfend it against people like you who seek to undermine it, to reduce the common law to that which favours religious privilege in ways small and large.

          Religion cannot have any say in the public domain without undermining the fundamental principle of individual autonomy. That is what you are attacking by trying to make wiggle room for religious support for your beliefs in the public domain, in healthcare, in the military, in education, in science, in social and foreign policies. You, Mel, and your deeply misguided beliefs in religious righteousness are a threat to secular liberal democracy by trying to advance the attack on its fundamental principle of individual autonomy in the name of furthering your religious privilege. You, Mel. You.

          This deeply anti-American.

        • tildeb says:

          That’s too easy, Mel: that each person is the legal source of authority for government to gain consent. This idea is antithetical to religious authority.

        • tildeb says:

          How can non belief in gods or a god be an ideology? It’s an empty set. There’s nothing there. It is NON belief. You keep recycling this idiotic trope that atheism contains something, contains an ideology, that it somehow has principles or fundamentals.

          No. It. Doesn’t.

          You then abuse this imposed belief you have about atheism and assign it to be somehow a condition that has brought about a Stalin… someone who trained to be a priest for the Russian Orthodox church , may I remind you.

          This association you keep making is the Big Lie, as if it somehow counters millennia of religious violence, or is the flip side of religiously inspired violence. That’s a lie. It’s not true. It is false. It has no merit. It is a creation of people like, you determined to smear those who admit to having no belief in your god or any gods as if not believing was correlated to totalitarianism.

          It isn’t.

          What’s correlated is the elevation of an ideology by state authority to the same status as a religion! There’s your equivalency, Mel: the worst totalitarian states duplicate the kind of submission demanded and the intolerant authority on the civilian population exercised when a religion gains state leadership. Two peas in a pod.

          So, please, stop lying. Knowing how much you adore the ‘why questions, here’s one that actually matters: Why is not lying so difficult for you?

        • tildeb says:

          You’re ‘filled’ with atheism, Mel… towards every god that ever was said to exist, except one. So, start with yourself and begin believing in them all. Oh, wait…

        • Mel Wild says:

          And you can’t always get what you want either, Tildeb. Sorry, king of the universe is already filled.

      • tildeb says:

        What a bald-faced lie. I have said I don;t know how many times you are free to believe whatever you want, but you are not free to reduce mine. You call this necessary boundary ‘censorship’ because you are a tyrant, you support tyranny of the kind you prefer, and you lie to help bring it about. For shame, Mel. For shame.

  10. Arkenaten says:

    Even so, actually following Jesus’ teachings would be a huge step in the right direction.

    Which specific teachings are you referring to , Mel?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ark, I’ve already laid that out. We could start with the Sermon on the Mount. All of them deal with our self-serving nature.

      • Arkenaten says:

        But you insist one must acknowledge the character, Jesus the Nazarene to be the god you worship and the creator of the universe.
        Even he didn’t believe this, his divinity being imposed through church doctrine.,
        Furthermore, am I correct in stating that you do not accept non-Trinitarians as true Christians either?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark, you don’t know what you’re talking about! Your fallacious “theology” is atrocious. Please don’t try to preach to me what you think Jesus believed. I don’t buy your atheist urban legends. You’re wasting your time.

  11. mrsmcmommy says:

    Hi, Mel. I’m Amanda (John Branyan’s daughter).

    Just a suggestion… but if you’re tired of the Ark Circus, we had an amazing breakthrough a couple weeks ago. Ark balked when I used the phrase “order and meaning in the Universe.” And he started asking me “What order and meaning?” over and over and over. (Because you know how he tics like one of his wires is shorting.) So, finally, I asked him, “Is there order or meaning to your comments?” aaaaaand, he wouldn’t answer!

    That’s when I established a new rule: Ark isn’t welcome to post disordered and meaningless tripe on JB’s blog. His comments go to spam automatically. Graciously, I promised he could comment freely again, if he would admit his attempt at dialog is evidence of order and meaning in the Universe. But, of course, he’s too stubborn to agree with a Theist…and I’m not complaining about the much shorter, much more on-topic comment threads we’ve had since then! (It’s hilarious to watch him try to post his standard personal insults, while they go straight to nowhere.)

    It’s up to you, obviously! If you don’t mind having him around, keep up the good effort! But I’d hate to watch your thoughtful comments get wasted on a hate-filled, foul-mouthed manic depressive who goes looking for attention when he’s having an episode and can’t sleep. Apparently, even he doesn’t think he’s saying anything ordered or meaningful! 😉

  12. Pingback: “Who’s Delusional?” | See, there's this thing called biology...

  13. Citizen Tom says:

    @Mel

    I see you hit a nerve.

    Not ready to take such psychological studies too seriously, but we have been living with ridiculous assertion that science has shown that religious belief is just an instinct so long I think is an ironic turnabout that that we now have scientific support for this verse.

    Romans 1:18-19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

  14. Pingback: Is religious faith harmful to society? | In My Father's House

  15. John Branyan says:

    Hey Mel,

    I agree with CT. Your post is definitely going to leave a mark on the atheist egos.
    We’re two days past the post and you’re still getting angry rebuttals in the comments.
    Gold star!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yeah, funny they’re so obsessed with rebutting me when atheism is supposedly “content-free” and has no worldview. Looks suspiciously more like I’ve blasphemed their religion. I can only logically infer that they’re not actually atheists. 🙂

  16. Arkenaten says:

    Do you ever stop to consider, even for a moment, just how truly arrogant you are presuming to speak for a claimed omnipotent deity?
    In fact, your presumption borders on vulgarity.

  17. mrsmcmommy says:

    Uh-oh, Mel.
    I think you may have a spam problem!
    The bot is called “Arkenaten.” (It’s a misspelling of an ancient Egyptian god, which tells me something…)

    Maybe it’s a real person! So it’s up to you how to handle it! But all I know is it/he won’t say whether it/he says ordered and meaningful things. 🙂

    • Arkenaten says:

      Hey, Gunslinger! It’s great that you make an appearance over here at No, 1 Apologists Blog, but shouldn’t you be snuggling up with Mrs Believer?
      😉

    • Mel Wild says:

      Uh-oh, Mel.
      I think you may have a spam problem!
      The bot is called “Arkenaten.” (It’s a misspelling of an ancient Egyptian god, which tells me something…)

      Thanks for your concern. I do have malicious software removal installed, just in case. 🙂 I also have Ark on a short leash here but he is beneficial to keep on display for all to see the hypocrisy, irrationality, and fallacious argumentation of these angry anti-theist offspring of Dawkins and his ilk. Although these guys have to be an embarrassment to rational atheists.

  18. Arkenaten says:

    @ Mrs. McMommy
    It is forever baffling why someone like you, Amanda, apparently so steeped in the faith, and especially considering your rather upsetting history, would take it upon themselves to actively and aggressively attack and vilify any non-Christian, on blogs and from what you mention yourself, on Facebook as well.
    Surely someone who was brought back from the brink of suicide would have a little more savvy and simply cherish the life returned to you and celebrate your faith and promote all its good points rather than set yourself up as some sort of High Priestess of Morality banging a worn out drum.
    That you also continue to defend people such a David Woods indicates that you too are still not quite over whatever emotional trauma drove your suicidal tendencies.

    You are not funny, your aren’t clever, and you certainly aren’t what any normal person would consider to be a ”Proper Christian.”

    I hope that is ordered and meaningful enough for you, Amanda?

  19. shiarrael says:

    OK, I’ll bite 😉 … not that you haven’t got a slew of comments already but I got the impression you were inviting a discussion with your question “Are atheists delusional?” … so. Without going too deeply into metaphysics (aren’t we all delusional to some degree?), I’d like to point out some issues I have with the video you posted.

    IF this was not intended for me but only for like minded people to reaffirm your beliefs, please feel free to disregard from here on.

    Starting with a frustrated atheist was good to get the conversation rolling, but then it went immediately to “We believe in evidence”.
    I LIKE evidence.

    However.
    Leibniz’s cosmological argument, the ontological argument, the digital physics argument, et al are philosophies. Hypotheses at best. Evidence is what is needed to PROVE a hypothesis.
    “That there is life after death” – again, I do not follow. If there was such evidence, why is science not ALL over this groundbreaking discovery?
    “That the bible is reliable” – in what sense? I could claim the opposite and back it up with evidence as well, and we might have an interesting discussion, but so far NO evidence was presented.

    Onward.
    “Many atheists already pre-suppose” is an erroneous statement. Many, me included, are aware you DO believe in a god. Otherwise, your actions would make no sense at all.
    That to an atheist your belief in your god seems as odd as someone believing in Thor, or Zeus, seems to you .. that’s a different ball of wax, and might account for the assumption that “They think we’re delusional, they think they know better”
    Personally, if someone wants to pray to the All-father Odhinn that’s fine with me, but I don’t think thunder is caused by Thor’s chariot.

    “Where they might listen … SCIENCE!”
    Yes. Got me there. Kid-> candy store. Monkey -> banana plantation.

    I found the original study referenced in the video. It’s a fascinating read, but it was NOT news to me. In fact, I could direct you to other, even more comprehensive studies on the subject if you like.
    This particular one did NOT help the argument much, however, since it involved Buddhist monks. Buddhists, to my knowledge, do not believe in a god. I’m sure they don’t believe in an Abrahamic god. They do however achieve trance-like states in meditation which CAN be measured, and compared to religious experiences of people of other faiths.
    It’s quite amazing to be honest, and I will fully concede it is NOT delusional.
    However it does not convince me that there is ANY specific deity.

    “Their research suggests another reality” is slightly misleading (btw, the computer was a bad example since it also involves sensory input, but OK… moving on). The original research stated nothing of the sort. The OTHER shown article did – from a database for PHILOSOPHY.

    re: Jesse Bering: again, a hypothesis. Quite on par with Cicero, who stated “Nature herself has imprinted on the minds of all the idea of god” 2000 years ago. Cicero believed in Jupiter, Hera, and Venus by the way.

    “Our cognitive biases make us prone and receptive to religious ideas” – that might be why we have so many of them. Religions, I mean. Said biases also make us receptive to fall for snake-oil salesmen, con artists and fortune tellers. Not a good argument FOR religion, in my view.

    re: Justin L Barrett: We also believe in elves, Santa Claus and unicorns as children. In magic.

    Again, this is NOT new, and I’ll happily concede magic is a part of our cognitive development. A beautiful one, even. One that enables us to be creative as adults. I still don’t quite see how this proves the existence of any deity.

    “To the ironic surprise of atheists, research shows it is ATHEISM that is unnatural”
    Alright, I am ironically surprised.
    Insofar as none of the research so far bears out, but OK. (“Get aroused when daring God to do terrible things”? Really? I mean, REALLY? Please, please don’t take the snark personally but it can be hard. “I dare thee Zeus to smite me, ye mighty smiter!” *giggling hysterically*. A-theist = NO belief. No smiting. No arousal. Honestly.)

    “Almost impossible for the human mind to believe” – No. Quantum Physics … THAT is hard.

    “Most atheists believe there is purpose and meaning in their lives…” – YES. Absolutely.
    “..and believe in a higher being” – logical fallacy. Personally, I’m more of an agnostic and MAY lean towards some spiritual meaning, but it is entirely possible to find meaning simply in being human. Being the best human one can be. Without having to be shamed into it.

    “Atheists refused to say aloud the God statements…” etc. – since the study appears to not be released yet, it’s difficult to comment. However. I’m not even a staunch atheist and would have messed up the study’s results. So I’d be interested in the size of the test group, control group, prior screening. For starters.

    “Requires hard cognitive work” – well, yes. Accepting that the wind is magic is easy. Accepting that lightning is a punishment from Jupiter is easy. Understanding atmospheric conditions and electricity requires effort.

    “Atheists showing anger towards god/s” – THAT might explain the results of above study. An A-theist does not believe in deities. An ANTI-theist believes, just no longer in a specific religion/god. Lumping both together is another logical fallacy, and creates a bit of confusion.

    “I may not like Zeus or Allah…” – Does that mean you BELIEVE in Zeus (he’s a cool dude, I wouldn’t blame you)? Allah happens to be the same guy YOU believe in. So why don’t you like him?

    “Comfortable to know they’re not being judged…” -no, not really. As a matter of fact, knowing that you have only ONE shot at getting it right, and having to be able to look into the mirror every day can be quite stressful. But strange as it may seem to you, it’s worth it.

    “Do any of you really believe this odd fairy tale you have told yourselves?”
    Non sequitur.
    I do not believe in Zeus. Odin. Allah. Vishnu. I do not believe in fairy tales. Odd or even. (sorry. Snark coming through…)
    Do I believe I’m better off without religion?
    Yes.
    ARE there people who genuinely can’t conceive of a deity like the one you’re describing?
    Yes.

    “I am in no way saying this proves LOGICALLY that God exists”
    NOW he tells me.
    But wasn’t that the point?
    Now I’m just confused.

    “Proves that atheism is a delusion” – sorry, no. It proves the existence of anti-theists, and makes some good observations on meditation, creativity, mentalizing, imagination and metaphysics. But nothing groundbreaking.

    “Emotional desire to reject god/s” – again, applying to anti-theists. Often abuse victims, sometimes just disillusioned people searching for truth and ostracized by the ‘righteous’ for daring to ask questions. Finding a safe haven among actual atheists and subsequently identifying with them as their ‘tribe’. What THAT says about religions and their gods… is another can of worms.

    “Desire to be their own god” – bugger why didn’t I think of that! BOW you worthless mortals! Bring me chocolate or suffer for eternity! (sorry, sorry, I’ll stop, I promise… but that particular accusation gets me every time *gigglesnort*)
    I’m mortal. That’s the WHOLE POINT. I’m alone, fallible, and it’s OK. It’s scary, and exhilarating, and a whole lot of other things. I’m me. Just me.
    (But I’d still like that chocolate)

    OK, if you’ve managed to bear with me:
    I was honestly curious (I usually am when someone dangles the ‘SCIENCE’ carrot) but if you hoped this video would convince even a mild-mannered agnostic, it just had TOO many logical fallacies, hypotheses, and all out erroneous conclusions. It’s too bad, because there WAS some good research in there.

    What I’m trying to convey is, that unless you deal with an angry, frustrated anti-theist like the one shown at first, I would suggest NOT using it to make your argument (actually, don’t use it with him, either. He’ll dismiss it at the first fallacy). Never mind that the condescending tone won’t help start a real, open conversation. That is, if that’s what you were hoping for.

    If not … never mind, and may mighty Thor vanquish your enemies and bless me with chocolate!
    (sorry)

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks for your comments. The question was, WHO is delusional. And the video has a question mark. The point is, Dawkins said believing in God is a delusion. He made an awful lot of money saying that. But believing in God is only a delusion if He doesn’t exist. But atheism would be the delusion if He does exist. And since we cannot prove or disprove God, the question remains open.

      And thanks for the shop-worn comparison to Zeus and Thor, et al. What’s funny about that is that no one believes in Zeus or Thor (who is not delusional), yet over 2.4 billion people still believe in Christ (and growing), and most of the world believes in some form of God, even after 400 years of scientific advance and the anti-theistic onslaught. And I have never known an adult to start believing in Santa Claus, but millions will start believing in God as an adult.

      And you keep talking about “evidence.” What do you mean by evidence?

      • Nan says:

        most of the world believes in some form of God — And the reason for this goes back to something I think I’ve mentioned before on this blog …

        It’s our “existential angst,” defined by Paul Tillich (a Christian existentialist philosopher) as our fear of death. Tillich reasoned that we need something “out there” to save us, to help us overcome the dread of our demise. For thousands and thousands, the Christian God has become the agent that helps them deal with this fear. No other entity offers this “assurance.”

        • Mel Wild says:

          Nan, while that may be a superficial reason for why people intuit God, it’s much more than that. We then must ask the question, why angst? For it’s certainly more than just some animal survival instinct. There’s anxiety and dread, we contemplate, we regret not doing the things we could’ve done, it doesn’t seem right. Then there’s the grief and separation of those left behind. The Christian answer is we don’t like death because we weren’t meant to die. It’s unjust and an intruding enemy truncating our purpose and destiny. Without God, there’s no justice and there seems to be no greater purpose in the end than to just exist the best we can and then we die. As Solomon said about this life, everything is meaningless. Like I’ve said before, it’s not a very satisfying answer.

        • Nan says:

          it’s much more than that.

          I don’t agree, Mel. I think Tillich was right-on. When push comes to shove, NONE of us want to face death … and if somehow we’ve been convinced there’s something beyond the grave, that’s what we’re going to cling to. ALL the other reasons you gave are simply flowers by the wayside on the way to the final breath.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, Tillich is right in what he’s saying, and I may be talking “flowers” but they are the flowers behind the angst we feel. To reduce this dread to animal instinct for survival would be to superficially ignore the more important aspects that make up what we call living. Which is why just “fearing death” is not a satisfying answer.

          But you are free to disagree. 🙂

  20. shiarrael says:

    Hello and thank you for replying.

    Well, it may be a matter of perspective. The video’s phrasing (“PROVES that atheism is a delusion” etc) does not sound like a question mark to me, but alright. Maybe I should have been more clear I was critiquing the video, rather than your original post, which DOES allow for a question mark. A small-ish one 😉

    “Since we cannot prove or disprove,…” exactly! Again, sorry if I wasn’t clear. The video, to an agnostic, does NOT say that. Rather it seems to try syllogism – and again, some of the premises are very interesting! – but draws the strands together in a “Therefore Socrates is a cat” way.

    “And thanks for the shop-worn comparison to Zeus…” – shop-worn it may be, but the video itself mentioned the old boy, so I thought it was alright.

    “What’s funny about that is that no one believes in Zeus or Thor (who is not delusional)” – I THINK (I don’t have any evidence, so I want to be clear this is opinion) that the reason many atheists use this example to the point of exhaustion is that from their perspective it’s a good, logical comparison. Because at some point there were MILLIONS of people who did believe. Who prayed to, sacrificed, killed for these guys. Guys you yourself NOW call delusions. But to an ancient Roman or Viking they were as real as your god is to you.

    So, for an outsider, it can be hard to see the difference.
    Imagine, if you would, an interested observer standing off to one side for a couple of thousand years. He watches religions rise and fall. Gods and priesthoods intertwined with mighty cultures attract massive followings and power. Then they fall, and new gods rush in to fill the void. This happens again and again. The old gods are discarded and deemed delusions, often they survive in some form or other by being partially absorbed into the new faith (which is now REAL) to facilitate transition of the conquered.
    Rinse and repeat.
    HOW does this observer know that THIS time humans got it right? Especially, since even those who seem to agree that now there’s only ONE, can’t seem to agree on who he is and what he wants? Can you blame the observer for watching which CULTURE will win, and then logically concluding THEIR god will be top dog (and the ‘real’ one)? For as long as the culture remains dominant, that is.

    “…yet over 2.4 billion people still believe in Christ (and growing), and most of the world believes in some form of God, even after 400 years of scientific advance and the anti-theistic onslaught.”
    See above. Altogether, FAR more humans believed and believe in other gods. From ancient rain-spirits and billions of minor local deities, to once big players like Ra and Odhinn and Pangu and Bai-Ulgan of fond memory, to still alive and kicking Vishnu and Shiva, to the Shinto “Kami”and the still existing folk gods.
    HOW is an outsider to make sense of this? HOW is he to decide which one has it right?

    If I go by sheer numbers, the polytheists have it. If I go by who currently wields the most power, the monotheists would be top dog, but any Muslim will tell me I’ll burn in hell for picking your side. And vice versa.
    I am quite literally damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

    Is it really so surprising that more and more people tell the bickering gods to stuff it and keep their damnation while they’re at it? 😦

    That anti-theistic onslaught you mentioned has, I think, much to do with this (AGAIN, opinion based on mostly circumstantial evidence and only some observation, coalesced into a hypothesis. I do NOT claim to KNOW with any degree of certainty).
    It appears to be a classic “Fight or Flight” response to pressure. Pressure to conform, pressure to obey, pressure to follow or be punished. And even if one conforms with ONE group, there is no relief because now all other groups consider you evil.
    Confronted with this Kobayashi Maru no win scenario, many seek the escape pods. And then are triggered into a fight response when religion asserts its beliefs, and exercises power in worldly ways rather than spiritual ones.

    As for the 400 years? Less than the blink of an eye, when measured against the history of the human race.

    “And I have never known an adult to start believing in Santa Claus, but millions will start believing in God as an adult”
    That one might invite an interesting thought experiment.
    IF, say, a yet isolated tribe in the Amazon region or the far reaches of Siberia, who have NEVER heard of Jesus, Allah, Vishnu or other popular deities were asked to describe their god – what would he/she/it MOST look like? What form would be most plausible? A jolly old man with reindeer? Likely not 🙂 Tough the reindeer might make some sense to the Siberian tribe.

    It’s my thought that people become Christians because they’re exposed to it. Because they’re told about it. And the ideas DO have a certain appeal. Do as I say, and everything will turn out all right. You’re not alone in the universe, hurtling on a rock through uncaring space. There’s a plan, and all you need to do to be an eternally happy part of it, is to follow me. No, not the other guy, he has the same god but prays wrong.
    We’re hardwired as humans to want to belong to a group. A tribe. Christianity is a pretty big one, and there’s safety in numbers. Survival instinct 101.

    “And you keep talking about “evidence.” What do you mean by evidence?”
    Sorry, I should have clarified that, too.

    Unless I specify otherwise, I generally mean scientific/empirical evidence. Meaning, the data one uses to prove or disprove a hypothesis. Information that was gathered by direct observation and/or experimentation, that can be independently tested, verified, possibly quantified.

    OK. One more clarification, if I may.
    Since it’s hard to convey facial expressions and tone of voice via the internet, and this particular topic tends to be or become confrontational in a NY minute – I’m not trying to attack you in any way.
    The reason I’m here in the first place is curiosity, and an attempt to understand how ‘the other side’ thinks. In the process, I try to explain my own viewpoint with mostly good humor and the occasional bit of melancholy or mild vexation in the hopes of getting at least SOME dialogue moving.
    As you yourself pointed out, Christians are still a majority in our hemisphere, and us poor heathens must needs find a way to get along without sacrificing our own identity. So I talk. Or try to.

    I also often find myself in a position of having to explain the hostility of anti-theists, since while often the cause of their behavior (and frequent deterioration into rudeness) seems obvious to me, it appears to baffle theists – or, more often, cause knee-jerk reactions and a willingness to charge at the impetuous heathen that would be comical if it weren’t so sad.
    But that’s yet another can of sardines. 😉

    • Mel Wild says:

      Shiarriel, your comments are very long and hard to focus on all the points. But I do appreciate your respectful tone and that you’re not trying to attack me. We should be able to respectfully disagree. 🙂 I will focus on just two points you mentioned (one was answering my question)…

      If I go by sheer numbers, the polytheists have it.

      Actually, that’s not true and hasn’t been for many centuries. According recent data, monotheistic religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) constitute approximately 56%, whereas Hinduism and other polytheistic religions are about 20% of world religions. And the monotheistic numbers are growing faster than the others.

      Unless I specify otherwise, I generally mean scientific/empirical evidence. Meaning, the data one uses to prove or disprove a hypothesis. Information that was gathered by direct observation and/or experimentation, that can be independently tested, verified, possibly quantified.

      So you are wanting scientific evidence then? But we have talked long and hard on this blog that science itself has inherent limits and cannot ever prove or disprove the existence of God who would, by definition, exist outside the natural world. And if you mean that the only evidence there is would be scientific evidence, you would be defining scientism, which is a worldview and not science since you cannot prove that supposition by scientific method. You didn’t say “only” so I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Nonetheless, this is a major consideration when asking for “evidence” for something or someone that would exist outside the natural world. Just so you understand that you will never answer that question in a science lab.

      • shiarrael says:

        “According recent data, monotheistic religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) constitute approximately 56%, whereas Hinduism and other polytheistic religions are about 20% of world religions”

        Blimey, THAT is why my posts ramble on like that – I try to avoid this kind of misunderstanding by elaborating. And then I run smack into it anyways. 😉
        I was coming from the historical perspective, with the rise of monotheism being a more recent (past 1200-1500 years) development.

        If we’re narrowing it to right now, or the past few centuries, you’re of course correct. Somewhat conservative in your figures, even. My favorite data outputs have the Abrahamic religions currently at 58%.

        Doesn’t quite resolve my “damned if I do” dilemma, though.

        “[…] Just so you understand that you will never answer that question in a science lab.”

        That is why I said “I generally mean” 🙂
        I’ll freely admit to having a preference for empirical evidence. Depending on the subject, that bias can be quite pronounced (when I drive at 95 mph I need physics, not philosophy).

        In spiritual/philosophical matters I’m more flexible, but I’ll still jump on any interesting bit of evidence anyone may present.
        Which was my original beef with the video – it promised me sweet, juicy evidence (kitten -> ball of wool) and then left me hanging out to dry. 😦

        Had it been presented as a philosophical/spiritual argument rather than solid SCIENCE, I might have been less disappointed. Or even a philosophical discourse BASED on some interesting research.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Thanks for your clarification so we’re not talking past each other. And I understand your issue with the video. It’s hard to make a substantive argument in a short clip. And it really does come down to a philosophical viewpoint since science really can’t solve it properly. And the other problem is, science and philosophy don’t define their terms the same, like what a “theory” is, or “proving” something. It makes it all rather confusing.

  21. Very intersting and truly shows how “perceptions” are controls of truth.

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