From the atheists' scourge, Edward Current:
This is awesome! He totally had me going for the first minute or so.
@Revere: So I see you're familiar with the great Ed Current as well? Check out Ed Current's God Delusion Index (taken mostly from Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion). It is, in my opinion, Ed's best video:
Marc: I'll check it out. In the five years of Sermonettes we've done quite a few of Edward's gems here, most recently about a month ago.
This is hilarious. To base your entire argument on the infallacy of the Bible, then to arrogantly believe that it only applies to Christians (and probably to his denomination of Christians)--hilarious.
I have a great photo of a ruined church that a lava flow went past then pulled a 180 degree turn and went straight in the front door.
Why is it that Christianity is the only religion openly attacked by atheists? Just a question. Seeing as how there are plenty of other religions out there; wouldn't it be necessary to investigate, break down, and denounce the plausibility of every religion on (and off of) this planet to truly claim that "God does not exist". Just a question, like I said.
@Rolan: I think what you're experiencing is mostly just the bias of atheists in the US towards focusing their attentions on Christianity because it is the dominant religion in the country as well as the religion that many of the atheists were likely born into themselves. I'd imagine that in a predominantly Islamic country atheists would focus on Islam.
ronlan is correct atheists select the christians
they dare not focus on islam, not if they want to keep their heads frimly attached
it happens in the more free countrys as in the us and europe
cmon all you atheists man up for a change and do a protest in the middle east
also not much to say about the jews??
John and lilbear68: There are several answers to your question. The first is that in this space we have taken on other religions, including Islam and Judaism (on many occasions). The second is that in the US and Europe the dominant religion is Christianity of some sort and that Christians are continually in the face of atheists. they are a big and easy target and are repeat offenders. The third is that there is no shortage of islam bashers in the US and Europe. In the Middle East they are in danger for their lives.
Rolan and lilbear68: have a three-fer Sermonette on the Abrahamic religions.
Ok. I'm Christian. Methodist to be specific. This video clip makes me not want to be Christian anymore. To me, the bible is the LEAST compelling reason to believe that God exists. I don't believe a lot of what people tell me currently so why should I believe the religious bigots who wrote the bible 2,000-some years ago? Especially since it's been translated and re-translated so many times for both innocent and self-serving purposes? Edward Current could have come up with more compelling reasons for people to believe.
Ryan: Not clear to me if you realized this, but Edward Current is a satirist. He's been doing these faux religious pieces for years and we've featured many of them here. We like them because while they are over the top, they are also close to what you can find in almost this form on many religious sites. And the fact that you may have taken this for real (not saying you did or didn't) is one of the most subversive things about it. It's quite blievable that this is real, given some the stuff that you can find out there.
You do make a very compelling argument, but there are some SERIOUS fatal flaws which should probably be addressed...
1.) This video presumes that humans, specifically the author of this video, have an infallible sense of what is morally right and wrong, good and evil, etc. Deification of human thought and vilification of God via natural events is more like a political campaign than logic.
2.) Much of the logic presented merely refutes terrible logic presented by misguided and often ignorant Christians. Physics students say stupid things about physics all the time; that doesn't change that fact that F=ma.
3.) Anyone can take a quote or an event out of context and make someone look bad. The press does it every day. The Bible, much like people's lives, is a coherent whole, and no singular event necessarily defines the whole.
4.) The answers to "why doesn't God do such and such" are either EASILY found in the Bible, or are that he does; just ask a Christian (but obviously not every Christian... there are a lot of bad ones).
Christianity, much like science, is very intricate and complicated. Not everyone understands it and very few people can teach it. However, when presented clearly and accurately, it is remarkably sound and definitely worth better competition than a 5 minute video with no study behind it.
@Rolan It's because there are more of you guys being dicks :P Not solely based on harm towards others, but just actions and forcing beliefs. If there were more Jews in this country, or Islamic followers in this area, yeah...we'd do the same to them and they'd wonder why we aren't that way to christians...so...there's your answer. We aren't bias, you just think we are ^_^
@rolan, et al.
There is a very simple reason for this:
atheists in islamic countries tend to meet very unfortunate ends. muslims have a habit of working furiously to oppress all other viewpoints in environments they have control in, are unsatisfied they obtain that control, and atheists anger them especially.
look what happened to salman rushdie for daring to insult islam! at innocent danish cartoonists for daring to insult islam!
atheists only make up about 5% of the population in the U.S, we really don't have the numbers to not work strategically.
re: "some kid" Comment 13
re: 1.) "...humans, specifically the author of this video, have an infallible sense of what is morally right and wrong, good and evil, etc. Deification of human thought and vilification of God via natural events is more like a political campaign than logic."
Yes, I, a human, think I knew that murder is bad etc. even before I studied the bible! But I know that I am not infallible.
If natural events, like tsunamis and earthquakes, which preferentially kill small -presumably innocent- children, are controlled by an all-powerful deity, you have a binary choice between evil and being all-powerful in the description of said deity. Or is killing small children justified by larger ends? (I heard this before: 'The ends justifies the means;' 'We had to destroy the village to save it.' Not so good by my fallible human morals.)
re: 2.)" ...terrible logic presented by misguided and often ignorant Christians. Physics students say stupid things .." So it is pick-and-chose, and only your selection of Christians is correct; how are we supposed to know, other than by applying our own human criteria.
I have heard something before, with various political movements, such as "[communism | fascism] is good, the true doctrine, but [Stalin | Hitler, Franco, Mussolini ] are evil.(or: "if only the leader knew...about the evil things done by the [secret police|SS]"
By the way, there are unique and generally agreed-upon ways to determine if "what physics students say" is stupid or a reasonably accurate description of nature. Theology does not have such ways (except, perhaps the most fundamentalist interpretation of scripture, with its agreement to all the bloodshed in the Old Testament, a 6000 year old earth....).
re: 3.) "...Anyone can take a quote or an event out of context and make someone look bad...."
So is it pick and choose, using today's morality (obtained from enlightenment criteria), or 'God's Immutable word?'
re:4.) "The answers to "why doesn't God do such and such" are either EASILY found in the Bible, or are that he does;...just ask a Christian (but obviously not every Christian... there are a lot of bad ones)."
If it is so easy, how comes there are "a lot of bad [Christians]?" "And Not everyone understands it and very few people can teach it." So picking and choosing from the Bible seems to lead to different results for "a lot" of Christians. No wonder they confuse us non-believers.
Actually I know a lot of "bad" Christians, and I like it when they are less doctrinaire and pick and choose moral principles we all can agree on. I like it when they help build houses for poor people, look after homeless people, operate food banks, and show evidence of a social conscience, advocate for social welfare and public health insurance, and do other things my fallible human morality considers good. I am not so much into sending missionaries to Haiti just for proselytizing, who take limited spots on airplanes from people who could actually help (by medical or construction expertise; apparently some 'Christian Scientists' did just that.).
For those recommending atheists to look after Islamic countries, do they think that those countries are better for having less visible atheists? (And did we hear much protests from Christians in the U.S. about the Christians in Iraq, almost all of whom have by now left that unfortunate country?)
I think its funny that people can make sense out of things that don't make sense. Ignorance it bliss... or so they would have you think. Religion is wrong and self awareness it right. I only say this for myself and not the entirety of humanity.
atheists only make up about 5% of the population in the U.S, we really don't have the numbers to not work strategically.
The no religions are 24% of the US population. This is combining the atheists, agnostics, and Deists. While the Deists aren't strictly speaking atheists, they aren't knocking on doors spreading the message of their god(s), who are named....well no one knows their names much less what they require of humans.
This is 72 million people. If the No Religions were a sect, they would be the largest one in the USA.
With present trends, xians will fall below 50% in a few decades. And really how many xians just check the box and otherwise don't pay much attention? Less than half go to church.
Why is it that Christianity is the only religion openly attacked by atheists?
They don't. The No Religions tend to attack the religion that is the biggest threat to their well being and continued survival. The one that routinely and continuously attacks them. It just so happens that 76% of the US population is xian. The fundie perversion openly hates the USA and want to destroy it and set up a theocracy. When they aren't trying to force their beliefs on everyone else and fighting wars against science, women, atheists, and everyone else including...other xians.
We are a lot more concerned with the Xians than the Moslems for a simple reason. The Moslems are over there stunting their societies when they aren't outright collapsing. The Xians are over here trying to do the same thing to the USA. I live here, simple as that.
And BTW. The fundie xians and their vaguely humanoid toad leaders such as Robertson, Falwell, Hagee, Haggard, Dobson, Palin etc. created the atheists and No Religions. Tens of millions of people took a close look and dropped the religion.
I'm glad someone is willing to have a reasonable, not "because I think so" discussion!
re re 1) Your response equates Good and Evil with Right and Wrong. Sex isn't evil, but absolutely wrong in the context of a kindergarten class. It's perfectly ok for parents to have children, but ask a child about sex and they'll probably tell on you. I wouldn't say that natural disasters are "a means to an end", but certainly an infinite God would have the maturity to allow and even cause whomever he chooses to die for whatever purposes he chooses. Decisions of that magnitude are beyond the human scope. (I'm not saying that God derives pleasure from watching children die, but that his decisions are beyond us like sexuality is beyond a 5 year old.)
re re 2) I don't think any person has the right to determine who a good Christian is; I was unclear and probably wrong in how I stated this earlier. To be perfectly clear, a distinction needs to be made between people who believe in Christ and people who study to know the Bible. Think about the difference between scientists and the average person. Much of Christian Theology is agreed upon, but much like science, deep, model changing things are often the point of debate. Your parenthetical statement is covered in re re 1).
re re 3) I'm saying yes God has caused children to die. He would be a terrible God if no one ever died and the earth had twice as many inhabitants living on top of each other in hungry, burning misery... I think that's fair.
re re 4) Christians are absolutely supposed to help the world! I agree 100% that Christians need to be more involved in improving human life! Jesus did it all the time and told his followers to do the same. That being said, the Bible literally equates human righteousness to a used tampon in light of God's righteousness. You can't earn your way to Heaven; it's a gift, but it's given to those who show that they want it.
To add to the above points, The biblical message of Christ is NOT one of hell and condemnation. It's a message of love, forgiveness and restoration. Of course if you choose to be outside and a hurricane comes, you're on your own. Until that happens, the door is wide open...
To enjoy "random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal," I recommend yet another from the scienceblogs.com, PZ Myers "Pharyngula." Dr. Meyers is fighting the good fight against creationism and the evils of fundamentalist religion. Effect Measure, however, does not list the site in its links. Dr. Myers also has interesting posts on evolutionary biology and cephalapod sex (with pictures).
kimw: I haven't updated my blog roll for years but PZ used to be on it and I'm not sure where the link went (maybe got lost in the move from blogspot). In any event, I link to him fairly often and defended him in the infamous cracker affair. He has linked to me pretty often in the past, too. But we cover quite different science areas, overlapping mainly in the godless area, where we see eye to eye -- completely. But if you are in to atheism, you already know about PZ. I'm small fry in comparison. He's the 800 pound scienceblogs gorilla.
@Revere: " The second is that in the US and Europe the dominant religion is Christianity of some sort and that Christians are continually in the face of atheists."
>> Oh no! In many European countries, most people declare themselves as secular, atheist or don't care (my favorite category!). And the stats have improved for non-religion with every generation since the French Revolution (the first French Revolution). Take Sweden, for example. 80% of Swedes do not believe in God. What an Enlightened people! Voltaire would be proud!