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Poll
What do you think of atheists?
Atheists are hypocritical morons who have a petty grudge against Christianity. 50%
Atheists are the most intelligent people on Earth. That's why they resort to ad hominems and strawmen to win debates. 21%
I am a Wiccan. I have lost the ability to think. 28%

Votes: 14

 Atheism, Crime, and the Connection

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jan 04, 2002
 Comments:

Today, I was in a heated debate on MSN Chat about the connection between atheism and crime. Simply by observing atheists in action, one can easily see that atheists tend to be violent sociopaths, but if I hated atheists simply on that fact, I would have been criticized as being "prejudice" and "bigoted." I would have to prove to them that atheism is accountable for all crimes on Earth. I have finally found the connection between atheism and crime.

diaries

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A Love Sonnet
Even OSS Prefers Windows XP
Accepting Homosexuals
My Hard Life
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Miss Adequacy 2002
Declaration of War Against Adequacy
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Capital Punishment
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I hate the Open Source Community
I Miss Jin :(
Ask Adequacy: Am I a Pedophile?
Seatbelts - Bad Influence
The Perfect Career
End of Open Source

As everybody knows, people are born not believing in God. Therefore, they are born atheists, which means "no God." Knowing that, common sense suggests that all criminals were originally atheists. That includes the most heinous criminals, such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Tupac Shakur. Criminals who commit religious crimes against Christianity and other proper religions tend to empathize with other anti-Christian atheists (pardon the redundancy). As for criminals who commit crimes against atheists in the name of Christianity, like homophobes, they are simply trying to repress their atheistic/homosexual tendancies, but rather than act Christian about it, they take it to an atheistic extreme.

All criminals have been atheists at one time in their lives? I don't know about you, but if there was ever a reason to outlaw atheism and other non-Christian religions, this is it.




It all adds up (none / 0) (#1)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 02:37:12 AM PST
Joseph Stalin, Atheist: 20 million plus dead
Mao-Tse-Tung, Atheist: 40 million plus dead
Pol Pot, Atheist: 2 million dead
Kim-Il-Sung, Atheist: 5 million dead
Fidel Castro, Atheist: 1 million dead

Pope John Paul II, Anita Bryant and Pat Robertson put together have murdered no one. When will people understand this: atheism = mass murder.




Aren't you forgetting... (none / 0) (#3)
by derek3000 on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 05:17:59 AM PST
OBL, Islamic Fundamentalist -- ? people dead.
Who knows how many fundamentalist Christian Crusaders killed in fuedal times?




----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

Sure. (none / 0) (#4)
by tkatchev on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 05:34:31 AM PST
Whatever it is, it's surely less than 20 million, don't you think?


--
Peace and much love...




Nice try. (none / 0) (#5)
by derek3000 on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 06:41:40 AM PST
And weed surely isn't heroin, right?

How pitiful of you to suggest that we make our judgements that way. That comment has made me lose what respect I had for you--for sticking to your guns. It betrays the moral relativism that you profess to despise so much.

I can't wait to see you get out of this one. I wonder how you'll do it--find a spelling error, attack my character, call me names, or maybe look down your nose at me because I can't speak four languages. Do yourself a favor and answer directly, with no bullshit.




----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

I suggested nothing of the sort. (none / 0) (#13)
by tkatchev on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 09:07:51 AM PST
It was sarcasm. Nice to know that at least somebody realizes the fallacity of relativist arguments.

As for my pesonal opinion -- I don't think any philosophy contributes to murder; the urge to murder is an illness of the soul, and a person's soul is something that cannot be analyzed analytically. What goes on in a person's soul is difficult to know even if you are that person; trying to figure out what goes on in some other completely random person is completely pointless.




--
Peace and much love...




shit. (none / 0) (#14)
by derek3000 on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 10:22:04 AM PST
How do you suppose I calm the fuck down now? Geez, talk about coitus interuptus.

If what you say is true, then, atheism can't be blamed for it either. There. I knew I'd find a point of contention.




----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

Blaming atheism. (none / 0) (#15)
by tkatchev on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 10:42:28 AM PST
I think blaming "atheism" for any one person's actions is unproductive. (Especially if that person is psychotic.)

On the other hand, I think it makes sense to blame atheism for global social illnesses; in other words, I think it makes sense to say that "murder rates have risen with the rise of atheism", while it doesn't make sense to say "Bob killed Mary because he was an atheist".


--
Peace and much love...




ok, (none / 0) (#17)
by derek3000 on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 11:17:33 AM PST
I guess that's a little better. If I remember correctly, that's cause vs. causality? Maybe I'm messing that up.

Anyway, I can see where that might be true. I think that, in my view, I'm just not sure either way what is going on. When you look at even the tiniest insect or animal, you have to appreciate that millions of things went right for it to turn out the way it did (as far as DNA and whatnot). But I don't think that there is someone watching our every move. Besides, shouldn't we be able to make good decisions on right/wrong without God? If the answer is no, then we could be susceptible to moral relativism there, if what the Bible says is in conflict with the moral Absolute. This is where religion fails for me: how do you know that your version is correct, when (mostly) every culture has had religion of some sort?

I think that we should have a good base of ethics/morality without religion. I don't see why it isn't possible. You have to see it from my point of view: I sometimes get the feeling from deeply religious people that they would have no moral barometer if it weren't for the Bible telling them what God thinks is right/wrong.

Regardless, Fred Durst changing the lyrics to "Wish You Were Here" is blashpemy and should be punished with death. And I hate Pink Floyd.

I'm not arguing, just questioning. I'd like to know what you think.




----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

"Moral absolute". (none / 0) (#18)
by tkatchev on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 11:42:47 AM PST
There isn't any "moral absolute" other than God. In fact, trying to supplant God with some sort of abstract "ethics" is tantamount to woshipping your animal self.

The question of whether you have the "right" God is pointless -- we're talking about an omnipotent, omniscient creator of the universe here, not some sort of demiurge playing with a universe simulator. There is only one God; moreover, every one of us knows this God personally -- every one of us has felt His presence at least subconsciously.

You see, at the end of the line, the only true judge is your own conscience; it's the only voice you cannot willingly silence. Which is why the first thing an atheist does is to learn to ignore his conscience; effectively, killing the voice of God inside himself.


--
Peace and much love...




I don't know how well that works. (none / 0) (#19)
by derek3000 on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 11:53:45 AM PST
If there is no other moral absolute than God, than if God says it is 'good' to kill the unbelievers, it is 'good'? Don't worry about whether or not he would say that for now.

If my only true guide is my conscience, how is that related to God? I know that religious people don't usually rely on proof, buy what leads you to believe that my conscience == God?

I don't think it's a fair thing to say that atheists ignore their consciences. Like I said before, I'm undecided as to what is the Truth about the whole thing, but I've known plenty of atheists who lead moral lives. Of course, this is another flaw of religion--if you follow all of the ethics, but do it without the belief in God, then you are still amoral. How does that work?

Don't you think that it is more than coincidence that relgion was used to keep serfs waiting for the afterlife, while their masters reveled in the material world? "The more you suffer now, the better off you'll be later." Sounds like the perfect plan to me.




----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

Re: (none / 0) (#22)
by tkatchev on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 01:01:40 PM PST
Like I said -- the only ultimate judge is your conscience; we will all die one day, so the only thing that matters in the end is the state of your immortal soul.

Now, if you were talking about some sort of social and political (rather than a personal) concept of "ethics" -- then it's a whole other issue. In the words of Christ: "Render onto Ceasar what is Ceasar's". It means that personal and religious issues should not be confused with social and political ones. The vast majority of the time, they are unrelated. (Communists, in particular, always trip on this mistake. They think that an arrangement that ensures an ethical political system necessarily means that people will be ethical. Which is not true; quite the opposite most of the time, actually.)


--
Peace and much love...




ok, (none / 0) (#25)
by derek3000 on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 01:26:42 PM PST
I think I see what you're saying.


----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

 
Impossible (none / 0) (#2)
by KingTT on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 04:03:11 AM PST
You can't prevent people from choosing their own religion. Not just that it's a true violation of anyone's human rights, but how are you supposed to keep tabs on them? How would the US (I assume you mean the United States, because the world would make even less sense) ban atheism? Of course, the government keeps track of religion, but what makes you think they wouldn't start lying after this bizarre prohobition took place? What should they do, force all non-Christians to convert and attend church, and make sure nobody has a non-Christian upbringing? That is FASCISM. And it still won't work.

Now, about your proposal of banning non-Christian religions as well as Atheism. The two are completely different things. Sure, Atheism is a Non-Christian religion, but Atheism means no god, no afterlife, no higher being, no reincarnation, et cetera, whereas religions like Judaism or Buddhism do believe in an afterlife.

Criminals' religious views are anyone's guess. What most people seem to agree leads up to something like a mass murdering is a person's extreme religious views and/or mental illness. The fact is we don't know what was going on in the minds of these people when they did what they did. If "Atheism" is the best excuse we've come up with for this kind of behavior this far, we need to research this further.


why do people keep on repeating this lie (none / 0) (#7)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 08:03:03 AM PST
You can't prevent people from choosing their own religion.

We can prevent people from doing anything we want. We can make people do whatever we want. If you can imagine it, people can me made to think they want it.

The history of the world refers.


Lie? (none / 0) (#30)
by The Mad Scientist on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 02:33:28 PM PST
We can prevent people from doing anything we want.

How? This is the wet dream of any totalitarianism. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Fidel, and Dubya would all love to know the answer.

We can make people do whatever we want. If you can imagine it, people can me made to think they want it.

This is called advertisement.

Also, an interesting question for you is who is the "we" you refer to.


Well... (none / 0) (#38)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 05:57:02 PM PST
I think I disgree with that statement that "people will believe anything they are made to believe."

The fact is, most governments who begin to thrive under this rule FAIL because a group who does NOT believe everything they are fed and questions will make everyone else do so as well. As the quote I cannot realate properly to the person who said it states: "People are always aware they are subset by tyrrany, most, however, are afraid to question what they do not understand enough to disbelieve." Basically I'm saying that in any tyrranical government, you will always find a human or group of humans that will overthrow you. Corruption is always destroyed by anti-corruption who is thus destroyed. The balance of nature ALWAYS prevails.

Thank you.

--ShadowWolf


 
two examples (none / 0) (#52)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Jan 5th, 2002 at 09:46:07 AM PST
Also, an interesting question for you is who is the "we" you refer to.

Suicide bombers.

Lunix users.

We can make people believe anything we want. That means we can prevent people from believing the opposite of what we want.

Naturally we kill the more obstinate ones, as per usual; the universe doesnt care who lives and dies. For example, if the Open Source Doctrine ever achieves hegemony in people's minds, slashdotters will fulfill their repeated wish to kill Bill Gates.


Doesn't give sense. (none / 0) (#53)
by The Mad Scientist on Sat Jan 5th, 2002 at 10:35:43 AM PST
Also, an interesting question for you is who is the "we" you refer to.
Suicide bombers.
Lunix users.

We can make people believe anything we want. That means we can prevent people from believing the opposite of what we want


This doesn't give sense. Either you mistakenly used "we" instead of "you", or you talk for other side than I think; in both cases, the actual mechanism of how it could be done remains mystery, and probably a snake oil.

Naturally we kill the more obstinate ones, as per usual; the universe doesnt care who lives and dies. For example, if the Open Source Doctrine ever achieves hegemony in people's minds, slashdotters will fulfill their repeated wish to kill Bill Gates.

This wish comes just from the frustration.

When Open Source will acquire its well-deserved victory, and there will be no subject that would contrinue in polluting standards and file formats, there will be no reason remaining to kill Bill; the right moment was missed by over a decade anyway.

After all, by then he will be a broken old man, whose dreams of ruling the world will be shattered forever.

Quick death is too good for him - he will die anyway. What he deserves is having to watch his imperium crumbling in his hands.


what? (none / 0) (#54)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Jan 5th, 2002 at 11:00:43 AM PST
the actual mechanism of how it could be done remains mystery,

Yes, the algorithm for creating suicide bombers is classified.


 
i decided to read the rest of your commnet (none / 0) (#55)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Jan 5th, 2002 at 11:02:49 AM PST
you're fucking priceless


 
We don't? (none / 0) (#20)
by zikzak on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 11:56:32 AM PST
The fact is we don't know what was going on in the minds of [murderers] when they did what they did.

I always figured it was something along the lines of, "I'm going to kill that fucker!"


 
Impeccable logic (none / 0) (#6)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 07:56:08 AM PST
Sadly, your definition of atheism is out of date.

Newborn children have no belief as to whether there is or is not a god. This makes them agnostic, not atheistic. Only when they come to the natural conclusions that we all do and consciously reject the "God" canard, can they be described as Atheists.

By the way, what does the "K" in "WWKD" stand for?


Nice point. (none / 0) (#9)
by derek3000 on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 08:04:33 AM PST
There's definitely a difference. It's a shame that it won't matter to anyone here.


----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

 
More Lies (none / 0) (#24)
by MessiahWWKD on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 01:04:32 PM PST
Atheism means NO GOD. The A stands for no, such as anarchy meaning NO GOVERNMENT and THEIST stands for BELIEVER OF GOD. Christ, when will you hackers/atheists stop trying to change definitions to fit your sociopathic purposes?
Guardian angel, heavenly friend, walk with me 'til the journey's end.

sorry, (none / 0) (#27)
by derek3000 on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 01:42:11 PM PST
but I don't think you actually addressed his point. And tell the other trolls that the hacker thing is getting ridiculous. My most tasteless friends know when to stop with inside jokes that just don't work anymore.




----------------
"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

It isn't a joke. (none / 0) (#28)
by MessiahWWKD on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 01:56:11 PM PST
Hackers love changing definitions of words to make themselves look better, and this atheist was doing the same thing.
Guardian angel, heavenly friend, walk with me 'til the journey's end.

 
Congratulations. (none / 0) (#29)
by because it isnt on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 02:06:18 PM PST
  • Atheism means NO GOD
  • THEIST stands for BELIEVER OF GOD
So, logically, ATHEIST stands for BELIEVR OF NO GOD. No redefining needed. Compare with ASANTA, AYETI and ALORDLUCAN. Aren't languages fun?
adequacy.org -- because it isn't

Words from a Cunning Linguist (none / 0) (#34)
by MessiahWWKD on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 03:53:25 PM PST
So, logically, ATHEIST stands for BELIEVR OF NO GOD. No redefining needed. Compare with ASANTA, AYETI and ALORDLUCAN. Aren't languages fun?


Actually, it'd be more correct to define atheist as "no believer of God." Since babies do not believe in God, they must be atheists.
Guardian angel, heavenly friend, walk with me 'til the journey's end.

As I see it... (none / 0) (#36)
by The Mad Scientist on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 05:32:27 PM PST
Actually, it'd be more correct to define atheist as "no believer of God.

According to what I seen, atheism is "belief that there is no deity".

The arguments used by atheists are effectively proving that existence of any god(s) can't be confirmed. This is correct. The incorrect part is that it proves that god(s) don't exist.

As far, I was unable to find arguments for both confirming and denying the existence of deities. So I consider atheism a religion of its own, a belief there is no god.

Personally, I prefer agnosticism. This is what you get when you apply atheism on atheism.

Since babies do not believe in God, they must be atheists.

If they also don't believe God isn't, they are agnostics.


I agree. (none / 0) (#37)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 05:56:56 PM PST
Agnosticism is the middle ground and they can define their beliefs however they want.

Personally, though, I think it is a bit of a cop out. Saying "I won't choose" sounds weak of character. Also in the end, the result is the same: If there is a Christian-esque God, Agnostics and Atheists will have both refused to accept Him, and can really be lumped together, and if there is no God, they are both dead in the end and it doesn't matter.

Any comments?


Not a cop-out. (none / 0) (#39)
by The Mad Scientist on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 06:45:16 PM PST
Agnosticism is the middle ground and they can define their beliefs however they want.

I thought it is quite narrowly defined, as the belief that it is not possible to know if there is or is not a God.

Personally, though, I think it is a bit of a cop out. Saying "I won't choose" sounds weak of character.

Not necessarily, when the choice is irrelevant.

Also in the end, the result is the same: If there is a Christian-esque God, Agnostics and Atheists will have both refused to accept Him, and can really be lumped together, and if there is no God, they are both dead in the end and it doesn't matter.

Then the choice is irrelevant.

Tangent: Saying no choice is cop-out is in various form addressed to people that don't vote. What if it isn't? What if the choices resemble the choices in the poll of the Internet licences story and don't offer any acceptable choice for you? Why there is not an institution of "protest vote" that would say "I cast my vote and I hereby declare I don't like any of the proposed choices"? This could quite shatter the voter turnout statistics, especially if high number of these votes would have more than just informative meaning...


Ok... (none / 0) (#41)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 07:25:44 PM PST
Absolutely. If the result doesn't matter to you, then there is no reason to cast a vote, or choose a religion.

I just get annoyed when people say "Nothing here appeals to me, so instead of starting something that will, I'll just sit here and do nothing." I realize that not all agnostics are like that, but the ones that I know are. I'd just like to see the agnostics come up with a something to believe in (unless they truly are indifferent as you seem to be.)


Allow me to clear this up: (none / 0) (#44)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 08:08:54 PM PST
Atheist is someone who denies the existance ( consciously, and NOT in the light of ignorance such as a small child ) of any god, gods, or any other form of ominipotent being or such thereof.
(Derived from Marriam-Webster's Dictionary and findings of my own)
From www.dictionary.com:
a·the·ism (th-zm)
n.

Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
The doctrine that there is no God or gods.
Godlessness; immorality

a·the·ist (th-st)
n.
One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods

( the A of these pronounceation keys have been left off for some odd reason )

Word breakdown:
Atheism is broken down as:
a- prefix meaning without
theos greek for gods ( or adapted to fit also god)
-ism suffix meaning having or containing
thus atheism means:
being without god(s).


Agnostic:
Someone who denies the ability of one to know whether the existance of any God or Gods is even POSSIBLE, let alone make any reasonable or knowledgeable presumption along with these findings.
( Devired from Marriam-Webster's Dictionary and my own findings, being an Agnostic )


Also, from www.dictionary.com:
ag·nos·tic (g-nstk)
n.

One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.
One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.

adj.
Relating to or being an agnostic.
Doubtful or noncommittal: "Though I am agnostic on what terms to use, I have no doubt that human infants come with an enormous `acquisitiveness' for discovering patterns" (William H. Calvin).

Just for some worthless background:
The word agnostic comes from the work Gnostic, which means Knowledge or knowing of supernatural beings, the a- prefix means without, such as the word agnostic is supposed to mean 'without spiritual knowledge.' He also coined the phrase: " a man without a rag of a label to cover himself with"

That should clear up any confusion that either I or others might have had during any of these discussions.


 
Good man (none / 0) (#47)
by because it isnt on Sat Jan 5th, 2002 at 07:20:35 AM PST
<i>Personally, though, I think it is a bit of a cop out. Saying "I won't choose" sounds weak of character. </i><BR><BR>

This is commendable thinking. Agnostics should realise there would be no world for them to live in without militant philosophers, on both sides of the argument.

<BR><BR><I>Also in the end, the result is the same: If
there is a Christian-esque God, Agnostics and Atheists will have both refused to accept Him, and can really be lumped together, and if there is
no God, they are both dead in the end and it doesn't matter.

Any comments?</I><BR><BR>

Yes. Questions like "have you heard of Pascal's wager?" spring to mind.
adequacy.org -- because it isn't

Pascal's wager (none / 0) (#49)
by The Mad Scientist on Sat Jan 5th, 2002 at 08:28:38 AM PST
This is commendable thinking. Agnostics should realise there would be no world for them to live in without militant philosophers, on both sides of the argument.

Isn't "I won't choose" a choice as well?
Also, why one should necessarily have to pick any brand of faith?

Another question is, how many wars and suffering would be prevented "without militant philosophers, on both sides of the argument".

Questions like "have you heard of Pascal's wager?" spring to mind.

Pascal's Wager is so flawed it almost isn't funny. (Apparently he should've stayed with math and physics. Sad end for so great mind, to turn to a babbling philosopher.)

In the words of Thomas Jefferson: "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." [Letter to Peter Carr, 1787]


 
Both wrong (none / 0) (#58)
by Lint on Sun Jan 6th, 2002 at 01:29:54 AM PST
Atheism, literally meaning "no god", is someone who is "without belief in any gods". I have no belief in any gods. I do not "believe that there are no gods". A small quibble, but one that most atheists, including myself, feel is important to clarify.

One can also go a step further and demonstrate that there are two forms of atheism-- weak (implicit) and strong (explicit). Weak atheism simply means "not theist", and some may argue that this definition also includes agnostics. Strong atheism (closer to my personal understanding) explicitly denies the existence of any gods--a position that will usually require support at some time.

Agnosticism means, simply, "without knowledge" (it is not a "wishy-washy" standpoint on theism or atheism, mind you, and many agnostics are offended by the Pascal's Wager-type view many people have with regard to agnosticism). Likewise, agnosticism can be categorized as weak (without knowledge of any gods, but not excluding the possibility of the existence of any gods) and strong (the claim that it is impossible to know whether any gods exist). I will argue that agnostics have chosen-- they have chose to not say definitively either way that any gods do or don't exist.

Mad Scientist's miswording is what leads to the oft used, and fallacious, argument "isn't atheism also a religion?", meaning that atheism is a belief system based on the assumption that there aren't any gods. Rather than give you a lengthy answer here, this article clears things up quite nicely. I'm still willing to answer any resulting questions, however.

Note that atheism is not a religion, but neither are agnosticism or theism for that matter. The confusion of "religion" with any concept has to do with the possible existence of god is common mistake, but a mistake nonetheless .

If there is a Christian-esque God, Agnostics and Atheists will have both refused to accept Him, and can really be lumped together, and if there is no God, they are both dead in the end and it doesn't matter.

  1. The denomination of the god in question is irrelevant: Atheists have no belief in any god, be it the Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Aboriginal, et al, god or gods. Agnostics have no knowledge of the existence of any gods, and again, which god, be it the Christian god, etc., is irrelevant.
  2. Atheists and agnostics have not "refused to accept" any gods. Atheists have no belief in any gods. Agnostics have no knowledge of any gods. I hope this is becoming clearer.
  3. Everyone dies in the end, regardless of whether any gods exist, and regardless of our individual atheism, agnosticism or theism. Belief or non-belief in any gods has nothing to do with the biological state known as "death" to which all living organisms are subject. Whether or not one spends time believing in any gods while alive is the topic. And it would seem to matter very much if, a: A god or gods exist, and all humans who die are subject to said god'(s) post-death... itinerary, or b: No god or gods exist, and after death all humans simply cease to live. There is no "after life", and humans are not subject to said god'(s) judgment as to where one will spend "eternity".


Or at least, it would matter quite a bit to those involved, I would imagine. ;)


Your denial is beneath you, and thanks to the use of hallucinogenic drugs, I see through you. Bill Hicks

 
Actually the reverse is true (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 08:03:14 AM PST
In the general population, about eight to ten percent of the people claim to be atheists, agnostics, or other such non-believers. However, according to prison statistics, slightly less than one percent of inmates are atheists, agnostics, or non-believers. This indicates that statistically speaking, non-believers are up to ten times less likely to commit a violent crime than believers are. There are several possible reasons for this. The first is that atheists and agnostics tend to be more intelligent and affluent than theists in general, which in turn reduces their need to rely on violent crime in order to support themselves. The second is that some believers have a mindset wherein they have a cosmic "get out of jail free" card, and if they misbehave, all they have to do is ask forgiveness and all will be well. In a small number of these people, this may delude them into thinking that they can get away with crime.

Now there are exceptions to every rule, of course. Lots of theists are intelligent and affluent, and there are some atheists that are complete morons. As a general rule, however, the statistics are not with you. You would have to explain why the areas of the country that are the most religious (places in the Deep South like Mississippi and Alabama) also have among the highest per-capita murder rates, the highest incidence of domestic abuse, substance abuse, petty theft, illiteracy, teen pregnancy, etc. I'm not saying that it's because of religion, but I do think it's obvious that religiosity isn't helping things all that much, either.


It's more a failure of Protestantism in the Deep (3.66 / 3) (#12)
by Adam Rightmann on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 08:41:03 AM PST
South, with their heretical idea that all one needs to be saved is being born again on their deathbed. In my personal experience, Protestants and Southern Protestants in particular have very slippery morals. Credit may be bad, but declaring bankruptcy to default on your loans that you used to buy material goods is stealing.


A. Rightmann

 
It may interest you to know that... (none / 0) (#45)
by Thon on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 09:06:55 PM PST
slightly less than one percent of prison inmates actually commited a crime... at least that's what they'll tell you. You see that's the problem with atheists and other christless individuals. They'll say anything if they think it will score them more "rock."




"I undrestand"

Let me get this straight (none / 0) (#46)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 09:52:52 PM PST
An atheist or some other "christless individual" is going to pretend to be a Christian so that he can score some "rock?" Are all of the "rock" dealers Christians, I take it? Good Lord.


Good Lord indeed my friend (none / 0) (#51)
by Thon on Sat Jan 5th, 2002 at 09:01:39 AM PST
Good Lord indeed.


"I undrestand"

 
Agree, mostly (3.40 / 5) (#10)
by seventypercent on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 08:26:59 AM PST
However, I disagree with this:

As everybody knows, people are born not believing in God.

The vast majority of the scientific community would disagree. Most recent studies indicate that an innate sense of the supernatural is part of everybody when they are born. Even babies and small children have a sense that there is a higher power, and they have an indication of what is right and what is wrong. No small child raids the cookie jar without looking carefully over his or her shoulder, and without some shred of guilt. This is not an accident, and it does not come from nowhere. It takes a deliberate act of rebellion to turn away from this. I would say that the evidence suggests that everybody is born believing in God. I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that everybody is born Christian (although many scientists have proposed this.)

The main reason that so many atheists are criminals is that they reject the presence of a higher power that is a source of absolute morality. They do not believe that there will be any final consequences for their actions. After all, when they die, they die. End of story. So why not shoplift, and use drugs, and go on a killing spree, and read Harry Potter books, and rape as many people (of arbitrary gender and age) as possible? After all, in the end, it isn't going to matter, is it? This sick worldview is one of the biggest problems with society today.

--
Red-blooded patriots do not use Linux.

*Bzzzt* You lose. (none / 0) (#26)
by Lint on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 01:33:16 PM PST
The vast majority of the scientific community would disagree. Most recent studies indicate that an innate sense of the supernatural is part of everybody when they are born. Even babies and small children have a sense that there is a higher power, and they have an indication of what is right and what is wrong.

Would you mind showing us where the "vast majority of the scientific community" presented these "studies"? Were these studies featured on the `700 Club', by any chance? And how did they get this information from babies and small children who are physically unable to verbally say, "Hey, scientist dude. I'm having an innate sense of the supernatural. Make sure to mark this down for your 'study'"? Were finger paints involved?

And how does that account for all of the crime taking place in the world, even as we speak, since children know these things at such an early age? Did they forget about it as they got older? Are all criminals atheists? Should we ask all of them and make sure? If all children have a "sense of god" at an early age, how does that account for the existence of atheists, who do not have this... um... sense ?

Inquiring minds want to know. After all, if all children have an "indication of what is right and what is wrong", as you say, why then do parents put so much time into correcting, shaping and disciplining their children's behavior while teaching them "right from wrong"? Were my parents misinformed? Was there a big parental memo that they didn't read? "Your children know right from wrong! They already believe in god! Stop your parenting and go take a much needed vacation now!" Which is a shame, 'cause they could have used a break from parenting three children, poor folks.

Oh, and P.S. -- I am an atheist and I have never broken a law in my life. Not even a traffic violation. No atheist I personally know has ever broken any laws either, now that I think about it. Not to say that there aren't atheists capable of breaking laws-- by gum, after all they are as human as theists, despite their non-belief, and are capable of making mistakes. So does this make us the exception to the rule? Are we freaks of nature or just closet Christians, as Christians are apparently incapable of breaking laws?

I think it's sad that your morality has to be defined for you by a supernatural being, and that you need the fear of punishment to tell you right from wrong. And thank goodness you weren't around in the 50s... bob knows they didn't need another "Them jazz-loving, dope-smoking blacks is gonna rape yer women after they git done robbin' y'all" ignorant, bigoted, generalizing person such as yourself.


Your denial is beneath you, and thanks to the use of hallucinogenic drugs, I see through you. Bill Hicks

 
What!?! (3.00 / 2) (#35)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 03:54:49 PM PST
"The main reason that so many atheists are criminals is that they reject the presence of a higher power that is a source of absolute morality. They do not believe that there will be any final consequences for their actions. After all, when they die, they die. End of story. So why not shoplift, and use drugs, and go on a killing spree, and read Harry Potter books, and rape as many people (of arbitrary gender and age) as possible? After all, in the end, it isn't going to matter, is it?"

This statement flies in the face of logic. If you are an atheist, you believe that you have 80-odd years on this Earth, and that's it. Jail is the worst possible way to spend 5%, 10%, or more of this precious time. A truly repentant theist might hope for a new chance in the afterlife, but an atheist has no such recourse.

"As everybody knows, people are born not believing in God"

Also, in disagreeing with this statement, are you not dismembering the whole previous author's argument? It seemed to me that the statement was the basis of the whole connection that the author drew.



 
Actually Hitler believed in God (none / 0) (#11)
by PotatoError on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 08:37:04 AM PST
Stalin wasnt athiest either.
In the 18th century when atheists were a rarity where did all the criminals come from?

Noone is born atheist. It comes as a sudden understanding.
How come so many separated nations started various wildly different religions? Obvious answer is that its human nature to invent Gods to explain the unexplained.
Science has explained more about the universe than any religion ever did. And no psycobabble about religion teaching love and cooperation as these two things existed before religion.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Well... (none / 0) (#16)
by hauntedattics on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 10:50:08 AM PST
given your wildly off-base comments about Hitler and Stalin, I'm not even going to give credence to your thoughts on atheism. But feel free to try again, once you've read some 20th century European history.


wildly off base? (none / 0) (#21)
by PotatoError on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 11:57:17 AM PST
hitler was raised as a Catholic and the catholic church never excommunicated him and so he remained catholic to his death. Whether he was truely religious in his heart is difficult to work out.

"I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so"
Hitler said these words in 1941.

In Mein Kampf he writes:
". . . I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews, I am doing the Lord's work."

Doesnt sound like an atheist does he?

But then again in many speaches he said he was anti-christianity and didnt think there was a place for God. Maybe it was his own warped occult religion he followed or his insanity which caused his contradictions but just because he didnt follow a religion it is plain he wasnt an atheist.

As for stalin I took a wildly off-base guess so I dont actually know if he was religious :D and I didnt know who the other guy was.
<<JUMP! POGO POGO POGO BOUNCE! POGO POGO POGO>>

Both Were Atheists (none / 0) (#23)
by MessiahWWKD on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 01:02:12 PM PST
What you are blindly ignoring is that both Stalin and Hitler were originally atheists. As for Hitler, he was simply a closet atheist pretending to be a Christian. I explain it in my article. Try reading it instead of posting ignorantly.
Guardian angel, heavenly friend, walk with me 'til the journey's end.

Practice what you preach (none / 0) (#31)
by Lint on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 02:42:08 PM PST
Hitler, originally, was a Roman Catholic. While he later renounced his Christianity and openly ridiculed Christians, he never denounced the existence of any gods-- which is what it takes to be an atheist, sorry to inform you. In fact, Hitler stated:

"We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out." (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942)

I find it hard to believe that a self-congratulatory person such as Hitler could be an atheist and not shout his atheism from hill to yonder, as he did with so many of his "ideals". Had he been atheist, don't you think he would have forced atheism upon those who followed him? In fact, Hitler often claimed that his "racial cleansing" was fulfilling god's "will", a manifest destiny of sorts, that paved the way for the "pure" Aryan race to take over the Earth.

Crazy, definitely. Evil, perhaps. Atheist? Unless you can show me more compelling evidence than "He had no morals, therefore he was an atheist", I will have to disagree with you. The thought of a Hitler who believed in a god must be quite outlandish to you, Messiah, but I assure you that bad people come in all shapes and sizes... and belief systems.

Yep, Stalin was an atheist. Most who followed the tenants of Marxist Communism were. Did his atheism make him a murderer? Did Pope Urban II's Christianity make him a murderer?

The world may never know...

P.S. -- Isn't it bad to go around calling yourself "Messiah", as you believe that there is only one true god? Wouldn't that be blasphemy, terming yourself so? Please explain.

Proud to be an Atheist-in-Action!


Your denial is beneath you, and thanks to the use of hallucinogenic drugs, I see through you. Bill Hicks

Sarah Michelle Gellar Is Hot (1.00 / 1) (#33)
by MessiahWWKD on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 03:50:46 PM PST
Hitler, originally, was a Roman Catholic. While he later renounced his Christianity and openly ridiculed Christians, he never denounced the existence of any gods-- which is what it takes to be an atheist, sorry to inform you. In fact, Hitler stated:


What is it with the atheist's lack of ability to read articles? Although Hitler later was said to have been a Roman Catholic, he was originally born as an atheist, as all children are. Babies lack the ability to understand what God is, so how could they possibly believe in God?
P.S. -- Isn't it bad to go around calling yourself "Messiah", as you believe that there is only one true god? Wouldn't that be blasphemy, terming yourself so? Please explain.


Get a dictionary before you make moronic statements like that again, all right?
Guardian angel, heavenly friend, walk with me 'til the journey's end.

Faulty Logic There... (none / 0) (#42)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 07:36:53 PM PST
Thank you, you've proven something.

Under your theory:
One who cannot understand cannot believe.

You've, in doubtedly, proven that you don't believe in God. Why?

Tell me, do you TRUELY understand your god? Do you understand his ways and his existance? can you explain his whereabouts exactly and not give some worthless relation like "heaven." No one can EVER understand a being that is ominipotent. How could you? He's ominipotent, nothing he does could EVER make sense because of that fact. He lives unbiasly, you have biases. He lives without fault, you have faults, etc...

Your emotions would make it virtually impossible for you to understand such power.

Thus, you do not understand god and thus do not believe in him.


 
Thanks for the tip, Messiah! (none / 0) (#48)
by Lint on Sat Jan 5th, 2002 at 07:42:43 AM PST
Ask, and ye shall receive.


blas·phe·my (blsf-m)

n. pl. blas·phe·mies



  1. a. A contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing concerning God or a sacred entity.

    b. The act of claiming for oneself the attributes and rights of God.

  2. An irreverent or impious act, attitude, or utterance in regard to something considered inviolable or sacrosanct.



It clearly seems that you are guilty of 1a, definitely 1b, and certainly 2. I don't think that religious folk consider it cool to be messing around with God's name like that, or calling yourself by his name. And, if I remember my Sunday school lessons of old correctly, I believe that taking the Lord's name in vain is one of the Mucho Grande sins.

Just looking out for your best interests.

What is it with the atheist's lack of ability to read articles? Although Hitler later was said to have been a Roman Catholic, he was originally born as an atheist, as all children are. Babies lack the ability to understand what God is, so how could they possibly believe in God?

Although you insist on children being atheist, which at the most would make them "weak" atheists (not believing in any Gods, or a person who does not happen to be a theist), wouldn't agnostic be the better term? "Without knowledge of God" seems to make what you are trying to say jibe with the conclusion you are trying to make, more so than "not believing in any Gods". The latter implies that the child would have to have some knowledge of God in order to not believe in one, and assumes that babies and young children have the reasoning skills to differentiate between "believing" and "not believing". When, I believe most scientific studies have shown, most young children are incapable of this type of abstract thinking and symbolic construction until the ages 12 and up-- the Formal Operations stage (Erickson and Piaget might have more valuable insight on this). So would that have made all of us atheists, then, if we are incapable of abstractly reasoning the concept of atheism until this stage (one would have to believe in God in order for another to not believe in God). How would that account for most children patterning their belief systems on that of their parent's (when they are capable of concrete reasoning-"what is, is"- at ages 7-12)? Your input would be nice.

Oh, and sir? Atheists are capable or reading and discerning things just as capably as anyone else, regardless of their non-belief. But, just like others, we might see things with which we disagree and feel that giving our opinion is necessary, though it might be an opinion with which you disagree. But answering questions in the manner you are given does not make for productive discussion. Didn't the Bible teach, "Do unto others as you would have done unto you"? I can hardly see where being rude to people and making snide, generalized comments makes one a true, loving, moral Christian.

Just an observation.


Your denial is beneath you, and thanks to the use of hallucinogenic drugs, I see through you. Bill Hicks

Wrong (none / 0) (#50)
by MessiahWWKD on Sat Jan 5th, 2002 at 08:54:41 AM PST
It clearly seems that you are guilty of 1a, definitely 1b, and certainly 2. I don't think that religious folk consider it cool to be messing around with God's name like that, or calling yourself by his name. And, if I remember my Sunday school lessons of old correctly, I believe that taking the Lord's name in vain is one of the Mucho Grande sins.


If you knew anything about God, you would know that "messiah" is not his name. Messiah is a title, like Lord, or King. If you can't comprehend that, I won't even bother with the rest of your preaching.
Guardian angel, heavenly friend, walk with me 'til the journey's end.

Would this be 'preaching' (none / 0) (#57)
by Lint on Sun Jan 6th, 2002 at 12:27:46 AM PST
in the gospel sense, or in the advocacy sense? I ask merely because you have demonstrated your ability to twist definitions to suit your needs, and it is apparently important for us to be clear on such things.

So is it Messiah in the "Savior of man-Biblical" sense, or in the "Savior &/or liberator of man-general" sense? Not that it really matters, as either would be a presumptuous effort on your part. But just curious, as you've shown more interest in quibbling semantics than elaborating on this theory of yours-- or taking the time to defend your position that "atheists tend to be violent sociopaths" despite some rather valid evidence to the opposite, as provided by other posters.

Some would say that your inability to defend your theory is proof of its invalidity and fabrication. I certainly subscribe to that school of thought.


Your denial is beneath you, and thanks to the use of hallucinogenic drugs, I see through you. Bill Hicks

 
What Religion System is The Right One? (none / 0) (#32)
by The Mad Scientist on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 03:02:02 PM PST
We have several paradigms of religions: unknown amount of deities (agnosticism), 0 deities (atheism), 1 deity (various brands of Christianity, Islam, etc.), 2 and more deities.

Each paradigm can have several versions (ie, Christianity or Islam), each version can come in a variety of distributions (ie, catholic, protestant, evangelic, ecumenic...).

In sum, great mess.

There was a great deal of wars in history just over the question whose imaginary friend is better or whose distribution of spirituality is better.

There are answers to the question what religion is The Right One. However, the answer greatly depends on the religion of the person you ask.

Can any religion be principially better than another one? Is there any objective answer? If so, what are the criteria the answer depends on?

Or does it serve just the purpose of giving diverse people Something Common - an imaginary club card of the Club Of The Saved - in order to make them feel better than the Doomed Others, together with simple answers to complicated questions?


Now that's a Question. (none / 0) (#40)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 07:09:01 PM PST
Hmmmm..
Personally I am Catholic, and can't help believe that my way is best, but I do think that that there are other less direct direct ways to God, Heaven, ect.

The majority of the Protestant sects are also on the right track, though they strayed (quite understandably) back when the Church sucked. I respect people who have the courage to cast off their old ways when those become unacceptable, even if I don't like the new idealogy that they replace it with. Now, however, I don't see any reason why Protestants can't come back to the original way.

The Jews are cool: they were the original chosen people, and that counts for a lot, as far as I am concerned.

In addition, I think that the far eastern religions are pretty cool. Hinduism and Buddhism are in teresting that they don't hold with the monotheism of most of the world, and but still embody almost the same "be good" attitude. Also, they have a much better record of collective violence. The Catholics had the Crusades, The Protestants had the Know Nothing Party ( pardon the generalization ), and Islam has it's fundamentalist Jihads. Compare that to the Eight-fold Path, and the monotheists come up a bit wanting.


Don't forget! (none / 0) (#43)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jan 4th, 2002 at 07:51:59 PM PST
Wicca, who's values have remained virtually unchanged for over 1000 years! And also general paganism, and norse! Gotta love those ancient 'hethen' religions ( named so because it fit the time period of conquistadors ( sorry for the spanish word ) ... ) :-)


 
That is a good question (none / 0) (#59)
by Lint on Wed Jan 9th, 2002 at 10:31:04 AM PST
but it appears that you still have not read this article that I provided for you in the above conversation.

Atheism is not a religion. For that matter, neither are agnosticism or theism. Mere belief or non-belief in a god or gods does not automatically equal "religion". Religion entails more than an individual's philosophy toward the presence of any gods-- religion involves ritual, a world view adhered to by a social group, etc. And, as the article points out, if atheism is a religion, just what isn't a religion?

But anyway, I agree with the rest of your point. Arguments over which is the "right" religion have caused an unacceptable amount of bloodshed and divisiveness throughout history-- which is ironic, considering that most religions, being theistic, are oriented along the premises of god-worship and sacred texts, both of which are typically aligned against murder, hate, etc. Unfortunately, far too many of those who adhere to a religion fail to see this irony-- thus, the problem.


Your denial is beneath you, and thanks to the use of hallucinogenic drugs, I see through you. Bill Hicks

 
Prejudice and Bigotry (3.00 / 2) (#56)
by Slubberdegullion on Sat Jan 5th, 2002 at 11:41:33 AM PST
Prejudice and bigotry are completely justified when it is toward a religion or similar group, such as atheists. This is because the group is based around an ideology, not something inconsequential like skin color. For instance, part of the ideology of Islam is that freedom-loving, democratic nations are evil, and should be attacked (say, by hijacking a plane and smashing it into a building). Calling someone 'prejudiced' for hating Islam and Moslems or for hating any religion is like calling someone 'prejudiced' for hating serial rapists.


 

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