An Open Letter to the Ex-CoG Community: Atheists Are People Too

OMG! Atheists! Run! They have superior arguments and--oh, sweet baby Jesus--facts!

Let’s say you don’t believe in Zeus. Let’s say you’ve attempted honestly to examine all the evidence for his existence but have not found any. Let’s say you have given philosophical arguments for his existence a fair shake, and have subsequently found that there are not even any valid arguments in support of his existence, at least none that stand up to rational scrutiny. Let’s say you have considered the possibility that you might, despite the lack of any evidence, evoke an emotionally driven faith in Zeus’ existence–to believe without reason–but you have discovered that your mind just does not work that way. Let’s say you’ve considered the potential pragmatical repercussions of non-belief in Zeus, but that they do not frighten you. Let’s say you have an abiding love of truth, and that you aren’t able to deceive yourself into believing things you have no reason to believe.

Now, let’s plop you down right in the midst of a society in which Zeus worship of myriad forms is the norm. And let’s pretend that any time you let on you don’t believe in Zeus, a crowd of hysterical believers descends upon you, making all sorts of weird and irrelevant noises: they question your upbringing; they say you never had a decent relationship with your father; they claim you stopped believing in Zeus because you are angry over your treatment in one of the smaller, less orthodox sects devoted to him; they call you arrogant; they say you hate Zeus (wha?); they try to shame you by associating you with members of the Dionysus cult (shudder).

How would you feel? How would you feel if, in all of this nonsense, not one argument for the existence of Zeus were ever uttered?

Well, my friends and colleagues, this is by analogy exactly where we the editors of Armstrong Delusion find ourselves. For you see, we happen to be atheists. We don’t believe in Zeus, just like you. And, just like you, we don’t believe in Thor, or Vishnu, or Allah, or Unkulunkulu–or any of the other thousands of deities that humans have invented for themselves to venerate and protect. But, unlike so many of you, we have displayed the courage to take our skepticism (and yours) to its logical conclusion: unlike so many of you, we go one god furtherwe don’t believe in Yahweh.

So what?

Good question. Why the controversy? Why is atheism such an obstacle for so many of you? We have observed, both on this site and on others, the mere hint of atheism give rise to excessively histrionic vitriol and ad hominem attacks. We have seen (and thoroughly dispatched) ESN’s ridiculous and irresponsible propagandist misrepresentations of atheism and atheists. What is going on here? Why do former CoG members so often become (or remain) anti-atheist bigots?

It should not be surprising, perhaps, that some of the most egregious violations of common sense and logic in the cause of bashing atheists should emanate from within the online ex-CoG community. After all, we former Armstrongists were taught to shun intellectualism and to restrict our cultural input to that which would be considered palatable within the parochial sub-culture of Fundamentalist Christianity. And in that world, atheism is about the worst thing there is. It is associated with some of the most reviled taboos Western society has inflicted upon itself. It is inconceivable. Abominable. Sacrilege.

Carl Sagan--world's most popular astronomer and beloved science advocate. Agnostic atheist.

It makes sense, then, that some of that unexamined, irrational revulsion should carry over in the minds of certain ex-Armstrongists once they have left the fold, and that it should be magnified if the direction they stray is further into the shadows of Fundamentalist religion. Furthermore, it makes sense that one who is so deeply imbedded within such an insular culture would be at least nominally protected from being disabused of their misconceptions about atheists.

But is there anything to it–this revulsion? What is atheism, anyway? And why is it so threatening to some of you?

The word atheism has been around for a long time. It derives from the Ancient Greek, atheos (“without god”) and was originally applied in a pejorative way (of course!) to those who were thought to have rejected the Greek gods. (So you shouldn’t be so smug: in the classical sense of the word, you’re all atheists too.) But over time, the word’s usage evolved so that it could be negatively applied to anyone who rejected the god(s) prevalent in the culture at hand. This led to the tendency among early Christians to call Hellenes atheists and vice versa. And that’s where the etymology calcified for some of you, as a term of abuse based on your targets’ lack of commitment to your own beliefs.

Hypatia--mathematician of Alexandria. Atheist. Murdered (skinned alive) by Christians, adherents to the religion of love.

But the rest of the world has moved on. Atheist is now a label people take for themselves, it has been the subject of some debate and it is given to nuance in its modern usage. For example, a common point of confusion is the insistence that the word can only mean one thing: the strict denial of the existence of any god. However, this does not account for the possibility of a less dogmatic view, the mere lack of belief in any god, without the necessity for something so strong as denial (since, after all, the burden of proof is on the claimant: as Christopher Hitchens has put it, “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”–whereas “god does not exist” would be a separate positive claim demanding its own burden of proof, “god does exist” can be dismissed on the basis of a lack of evidential support without necessitating a competing claim).

This dichotomy is handled quite efficiently with the addition of the concept of agnosticism. Agnosticism, despite popular linguistic convention, is a philosophical concept having to do with the limits of knowledge. In its original and academic formulation, it is not a half-way point between belief and non-belief. That is covered by the word ambivalence. By contrast, the agnostic says, “I do not–indeed, cannot–know…to say nothing of belief.” This contribution to epistemological terminology from Thomas Huxley allows us to talk about distinctions among gnostic theists, agnostic theists, agnostic atheists, and gnostic atheists.

So, what is atheism? Put in its most general terms, atheism is a lack of belief in gods. That’s it. It doesn’t map onto concepts of evil, except in the imaginations of theists who feel threatened by people not believing the same things they do.

John Lennon--somewhat famous musician and peace activist. Atheist.

But if you are this kind of theist, we want to allay your fears. Atheists are people too. They are normal people. They just don’t believe what you do. And they have their reasons for not believing. Those reasons are good reasons. And perhaps, deep down, you who feel threatened by them know those reasons are good reasons (you yourselves employ them with regard to gods you don’t believe in), and that is why you lash out so unreasonably–a childish response to your own cognitive dissonance. Perhaps. But it doesn’t have to be so. You could just let it go and be content with fighting the battles you can win (like not masturbating).

But if you can’t resist, if you simply must bring ignominy and rhetorical defeat down upon yourself, know this.

We will not stop. We will not pull punches for the sake of your apparently shaky faith. We will not give theism the arbitrary respect our culture seems to demand for it. We will afford its claims exactly the measure of respect that they merit, on a case-by-case basis. And if you just can’t stand that, then you have a few options, as I see it. They are

  1. Attack! Go ahead. Come rushing in here like a bull in a China shop. But don’t be surprised if you find the China slicing you to ribbons. If all you have is ad hominem anti-atheist bigotry, if that’s the best you can do, and especially if you can’t string two thoughts together in a coherent manner–then you can expect to be made into mincemeat. We will chew you up and spit you out unceremoniously, and you will have asked for it. We will leave the pulpy remains of your non-arguments smeared across the field of debate as an example to others. In short, we will humiliate you, publicly and thoroughly, as any who do this richly deserve. This is the height of obstinacy, and we won’t tolerate it.
  2. Ignore it. If you like your anti-Armtrongism sans any challenging ideas–if you prefer an echo chamber–just walk away from the articles you don’t like. Complaining to us about how we run our own website will get you nowhere. You are not a customer here. You are not paying for anything or investing in a business. You don’t get a vote. Take it or leave it. That said, we certainly welcome reasonable constructive criticism that is intelligent–but pearl-clutching from theists (or anyone, for that matter) will be met with swift ridicule.
  3. Join the discussion. Think you’ve got an argument we haven’t heard? Try us. But be forewarned: you should not mistake an attack (see Option #1) for an argument. That is, don’t attack the straw man you’ve erected as a substitute for the character of atheists–that is ad hominem and bigotry. Don’t make claims about our persons that you have no clue about (e.g., the stupid but popular meme positing our atheism as a result of some apocryphal tie-in with undesirable elements of Armstrongism)–that is ad hominem and bigotry. Don’t attempt the absurd and obviously inaccurate canard that atheists can’t be moral people–that is ad hominem and bigotry. None of these fallacious arguments speak to the truth value of the atheist position. In fact, the only way to validly argue against atheism is to defend theism. Why is this? Because, as we have already explained, atheism is the rejection of theism–nothing more. So, to repeat, the only way to validly argue against atheism is to defend theism. You bear the burden of proof. Do something about it. Tell us why you think theism is true. If you can manage this, we can have a lively, perhaps heated, but respectful discourse. If you can’t manage this, or if you are unsure of your ability, I strongly urge you to choose Option #2, above. The line between argument and attack is thin but bright: avoid ad hominem, and at least conceal your bigotry–or stay away. You will bite off more than you can chew if you decide to bite, and then you’ll be reduced to tears and it will be messy. You’ll need a post-spanking hug and we won’t be in a position to give it to you. So let’s avoid that, shall we? Just show some common decency and respect (yes, to atheists! Novel idea, I know!), and you will receive the same.

Amber Heard--actor and, you guessed it. Witch. LOL, just testing you. Atheist. (Ten points for you if you know the difference.)

Contrary to the hyperbole of a certain distraught blogger who made a poor choice in Option #1 (see above), this is not an atheist website. We could do an atheist website and it would look nothing like Armstrong Delusion. Considering our opinions, it would likely resemble something like this. In fact, at least one of our number (so far) does own an atheist blog, called Escaping Eden. On the other hand, some of our contributors are not themselves atheists. If this were an atheist site, what would they be writing about? If you think AD is an atheist website, then you obviously haven’t seen any atheist websites (and you should, too). The good Lord knows we’d get a lot more attention if we were running this as an atheist blog! But, alas, our interests fall into a far narrower range than that, so we by necessity target an exclusive niche audience. See, you’re special. And we get that.

But the subject of the existence of Armstrong’s god (the one so many of you still cling to) will inevitably come up in anti-Armstrongist literature (at least, any that is thoroughgoing in its critique of Armstrongism). We don’t shy away from this topic; we can’t. It isn’t in our natures to cower in the shadows of big questions. And we quite frankly expect more than that from our readers as well. You aren’t little children who need to be protected from the truth (that’s what the cults of Armstrongism did to us, remember), and we aren’t in the business of concealing uncomfortable facts. Even if that leads us to question openly the existence of God hisself. Nothing is sacrosanct here, and breaking down the barriers to inquiry is a good way to learn something new. You shouldn’t be afraid of that, or, for that matter, hostile towards it. After all, if you really have good reasons for believing what you do, then investigating those reasons will not dislodge your belief.

For those of you who are more secure, tolerant and open-minded in your faith, we welcome your questions about atheism in general and our experience with it in particular. We are obviously not ashamed of it and we are happy to talk about it in a gregarious way with people who are genuinely interested.

For you fellow atheists, agnostics, freethinkers and secularists, etc., well, you just keep on rockin’.

All of our readers should be glad of our strict adherence to and promotion of the rules of logic; our expression of moral outrage against pious fraud, hypocrisy and intellectual cowardice; and our tenacious effort to follow the evidence where it leads (all the things that have led us to atheism and beyond). For it is by the employment of these very traits that we have been able to expose the Armstrong Delusion.

-Casey Wollberg, contributing editor

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56 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Ex-CoG Community: Atheists Are People Too

  1. I have no argument with your title “Atheists Are People Too” I don’t think too many in the Ex-COG community doubt that fact.

    I also agree with “Agnostic atheist” Carl Sagan:

    “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”
    Carl Sagan

    And I believe God invented the universe so Carl can make his apple pie.

    Carl is one smart guy.

    • “I have no argument with your title “Atheists Are People Too” I don’t think too many in the Ex-COG community doubt that fact.”

      Ever heard of reading for comprehension?

  2. Boy do I know how to shut people up. Not really my intention though. I was hoping for some fucking dialogue. I guess the bigotry against atheists is so bad that the subject itself is taboo. You people just don’t get it, do you? Color me disappointed.

  3. Wow. Can’t beat that for timing! Welcome back, May-tard. Still as stupid as ever, I see.

    You’re just stating your belief. To say anything meaningful in the context of the article you’re commenting on, you have to, oh, I don’t know–argue for said belief? Got anything like that in your arsenal?

    “Carl is one smart guy.”

    Not as smart as you, apparently. How do you explain your ostensible superiority?

  4. Casey, I have no superiority. I am God’s humble servant and all that I am comes from him.

    The thought that keeps coming to me is, what if you had grown up in a loving church that taught Grace and love. Not in a legalistic cult led by a sociopath, narcissistic, tyrant, devoid of love, other than feigned plastic AC smiles, lacking the power and presence of God?? That is where I am now in my belief system and grace is an entirely different world.

    You condemn me for my belief but I do not just think God exists. I talk to him regularly and he answers of my petitions. I grew up in a family that received constant blessings, protections, miraculous instant healings from life threatening illnesses. I have had a number of miracles pulling me out of deaths jaws.

    For one, My wife and I on a motorcycle trip had a blow out at 65mph and the motorcycle spun out from under us. We were in a hard right hand curve and should have gone straight which was into to the oncoming lane and into a semi. Instead we both floated side by side through the air and landed next to each other in deep grass on the right shoulder of the highway in a sitting position without a scratch or even a grass stain.

    Immediately out of the oncoming traffic three angels, in human form, in a vehicle came straight across the two lane highway through traffic to help us. It was a Sunday late afternoon in the middle of nowhere. I needed a new rear tire so they said they would take me to the nearest town where there was a motorcycle shop but they knew it was always closed on Sundays, like the rest of the town. One of the individuals was a 10 year old boy that stayed to protect my wife and watch our bike and gear while the man and woman took me in their vehicle. When we pulled into the parking lot of the motorcycle shop two motorcycles pulled up and a man got off one and walked to the door and unlocked it. The two people who gave me the ride said they had an errand to run and would be back. It happened to be the shop owner and said he would be glad to put a new tire on. He was amazed and said he has never come to his shop on Sunday before in many years. A soon as he got the tire replaced the two people came into the parking lot exactly when I walked out the door and took me back to complete the tire repairs. (at least I think they were angels or just people that were send by God).

    Another, later on the same trip an axle on my cargo trailer broke off and the left wheel rolled off the road into a field at about 60 mph. We were in Kansas at 1 AM in the area where towns are small and far apart. I could not find the tire because it was so dark so I got on my CB and called for help. Immediately a voice answered asking what the problem was. While we were looking for the tire about an hour had passed and only one single vehicle, a black pickup truck, passed us heading east. The voice asked if we were along the side of a particular route, I said yes, rather shocked they already knew where we were before I even gave that information. They said they had just passed us earlier heading east and were on their way back and would help us. They pulled up in about two minutes. We did not find the wheel until they brought us back the next day. They took us to a neighbor farmer who was a welder who fixed the axle and sent us on our way…he refused to be paid. Angel’s, providence, luck? My life is filled with these undeserved miracles.

    When I was 13 I had an appendicitis and it had burst, more pain that one can even imagine, and I decided to trust God for healing rather than go to a doctor, it was my choice. On the 14th day I was near death probably only hours to live. My parents prayed for hours at my bed side. When mourning came I jumped out of bed, went to the bathroom for the first time in that period and then ate everything in the refrigerator when I should have been room temperature. To me that falls in the supernatural category. This is one of many and a normal occurrence in my family as well. When our children became ill we prayed, they were up the next day. Never had any shots, no doctors, never any of the childhood diseases…none!

    About 30 years ago my mother had a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her uterus and was in severe pain for several weeks after anointing and intense prayer, choosing God over doctors she waited. One morning she got up to find it had vanished and the pain was gone. Many women in the church at that time were having hysterectomies with similar symptoms. She is now a very healthy 78 years old.

    Anecdotal? You want facts, those are just a few of mine and I can go on all day. For me not to believe would be illogical, moronic, retarded, even insane. So now you have why I believe…in the very condensed version.

    • So, it’s Option #3, is it? I guess this one can be trained (no apologies, though, I noticed). Let’s see if he can be trained in the principles of reason. Pay attention, Maynard; this is something that should be taught to children beginning in the earliest stages of their primary education…but isn’t–obviously.

      “The thought that keeps coming to me is, what if you had grown up in a loving church that taught Grace and love. Not in a legalistic cult led by a sociopath, narcissistic, tyrant, devoid of love, other than feigned plastic AC smiles, lacking the power and presence of God??”

      The thought that keeps coming to me is, what if you had the intellectual capacity/courage to critically examine your beliefs? To answer your question, if I had been raised in a mainstream Christian household, I probably would still be an atheist, considering that the arguments for the existence of a mainstream Yahweh are just as impotent as the arguments for a cult’s Yahweh. It’s all the same nonsense. Are you implying that the warm fuzzies would protect me from logic? Perhaps. But that only works on certain kinds of people, and I doubt I have the temperament required. You on the other hand…

      Oh, and by the way, you don’t get to monopolize that word “love” for your Christian ideology, okay? Love is not a dogma that needs to be taught–unless you wish to argue that Christianity is an intervention for sociopaths.

      As for the rest of this syrupy, anecdotal mush, you have fallen into the same common errors made by all amateur Apologists. Let me break it down for you.

      (1) The kindness of strangers is a miracle, thus God (perhaps via angels).

      X. Wrong.

      The kindness of strangers is the kindness of strangers. There is nothing about the coincidence of your perils and the kindness of strangers that favors any particular hypothesis about divine beings. It is a non-sequitur, just as surely as it would be if I argued (using the same logic) that the kindness of strangers supports the theory of karma–or that undetectable mind-control rays from the Virgo Cluster, bequeathed to us by the peaceful and beneficent aliens who live there, are what causes intra-species acts of kindness. So, the first problem is that this line of reasoning is a non-sequitur.

      The second problem is that you are woefully under-estimating your fellow humans to believe that kindness requires an act of some god (or those aliens), i.e., that it is a miracle. This kind of behavior is predicted by so many well-known human factors (evolved altruism/morality, culture, ethics, religion) that it is astounding that a supposedly educated adult would posit such an absurd theory as a miraculous nature for acts of kindness.

      (2) This couldn’t be a coincidence, thus God.

      X. Wrong.

      If it seems like it couldn’t be a coincidence, it most likely is. The human mind is geared toward finding patterns–usually patterns that aren’t there–and we are woefully unqualified (without some remedial training) to determine the likelihood of a meaningful event being “just coincidence.” It has been said that with all the things happening at once, we should be surprised if meaningful coincidences didn’t occur with alarming frequency. Consider identical birthdays. What do you think the chances are for two people sharing the same birthday among a group of only 57? How big would the group have to be for the probability to reach 50%?Do the math and find out! It will probably surprise you.

      But, surprising or not, supposedly unlikely coincidences do occur, and more often than we would normally expect. It is we who assign meaning to the coincidences we find meaningful. After all, for example, you never brought up the infinity of other things that were happening at the same time and in the same place and to the same people as those things you brought together in your own mind. What about the grass you were sitting on after your motorcycle accident? Couldn’t that have had something to do with it all? And how do you know the grass was not indeed the very subject of this supposedly cosmic coincidence, instead of you? Well, the answer, of course, is that you don’t know–you believe, based on your confirmation bias, that it was all about you.

      You also failed to calculate in your assessment of these coincidences the infinity of moments in your life when meaningful things did not happen together–all those times nice people didn’t walk up and save your ass from some predicament you were in. This is the problem of counting the hits and ignoring the misses, a kind of hindsight bias that allows one to assign more significance to chance events than the mathematical probability would actually allow. If you counted the misses too, you would see that your hits are statistically insignificant.

      Another problem is that, even if these events were special instead of random, caused instead of coincidental, it would say nothing of the identity of the cause. That is, to use it as an argument for the existence of God is another non-sequitur, since the supposed cause could be anything imaginable. No fact relating to the coincidences themselves supports the proposed causal theory. It is merely your cognitive bias at work again.

      (3) I prayed, then I got better, thus I was healed by prayer, thus God.

      X. Wrong.

      Untreated people get better all the time, with or without prayer. That’s attributed to the complexity of things going on in the body, and therefore has a perfectly natural explanation. Studies have shown that Prayer has no effect, other than the one called Placebo, perhaps. But that’s a whole different mechanism from the one you would propose, i.e., God did it. That mechanism of prayer bears some explaining as to how it works.

      Another problem with your reasoning is that you assume your diagnosis was correct to begin with. You claim your appendix ruptured, but then you state that you did not go to a doctor. Who diagnosed you? Your daddy? A minister? Not really qualified experts, I’d say. And even a qualified expert can misdiagnose appendicitis. You might have just been gassy. As it says in this article on abdominal pain, “Severe abdominal pain can be from mild conditions, such as gas.” That goes away on its own, even if your parents are praying for the wrong thing.

      A third problem is that this line of reasoning depends entirely upon the logical fallacy known as post hoc, ergo propter hoc (“after the fact, therefore because of the fact”). That is to say, it is invalid to assume that a mere temporal relationship between two events presupposes a causal relationship. To put it in simpler terms, your parents’ praying happened before you got better, but that does not mean your parents’ praying caused your getting better. This is fallacious reasoning on a colossal scale and, sadly, it is common. We seem to be hard-wired to make such mistakes in reasoning, probably as a survival mechanism that developed on the primeval savannah, where false-positives might have been more desirable than false-negatives: the “better safe than sorry” strategy.

      A fourth problem with this line of reasoning is that it is a series of non-sequiturs. We already covered the Placebo explanation. It doesn’t necessarily follow that, even if prayer had an effect, it was because of a divine healing event. Furthermore, even if you were healed supernaturally, it does not follow that such a healing was the act of God. It could have been those aliens–or maybe the invisible spirit of Eowyn the Healer.

      To conclude, you have not offered one valid argument for the existence of any god; you have merely exposed your cognitive biases. And you’ll have to do better than that.

      • You assume that you are the only one in this discussion that understands the factors of probability and coincidence. The natural logic of the mature mind makes allowance for these variables and discards those items that don’t fit. You go laboriously through a long lecture when I already understand and live using all of these principles you apparently just discovered on the web. You approach everything backwards, you are presenting the elementary lessons in logic and reason and you try to show where the commenter is or is not following those kindergarten rules. I am way beyond kindergarten, I work and function very successfully in the real word and don’t need lectures.

        You think you are a lot more perceptive than you really are. The stuff you wrote is both academic and frankly puerile. You are actually the worse bigot I have ever encountered. Christians are not devoid of reason and the ability to self critique. There are many instances in my life that do fall under the possibility of coincidence or chance that I would leave out of the godly intervention category.

        Thanks for the humor, you gave me a laugh believing for even a second you are giving a commenter like me a “spanking.” Just because you posses the intellectual ability to verbally insult and abuse your guests (Don Rickles) does not mean the substance of your words carry any weight…they certainly don’t with me. Some use their intellect to serve mankind others to tear down.

        Believe what works for you and I will believe what works for me.

        In the end we will either see who was right and who was wrong or…nothingness.

      • “I already understand and live using all of these principles you apparently just discovered on the web.”

        You’re piling that bullshit pretty high, aren’t you? I called you a liar before, but I take it back. I’m sure you don’t respect the truth enough to be a liar.

  5. Michael, I hope you got rid of that bike soon afterward for to hang on to it is tempting God. Kinda like throwing yourself of a cliff waiting for angels to swoop in and rescue you!

    • Bill, Just got a new tire. Tires and nails don’t mix well.

      Do you drive a car? Tempting God too. Forty five thousand die each year in auto related accidents.

      Off a cliff… I would have a parachute…sounds fun.

      Kinda like different though.

  6. It took me a gazillion words to say that.correction, he answers my petitions…

    All wasted, Casey. Just needed some more of your garbage for my article. TX.

    What was that about armchair Psychoanalysists?

    • “All wasted, Casey.”

      There’s that delusional idea of reference again. It isn’t all about you, moron.

      “What was that about armchair Psychoanalysists?”

      Jesus fucking Christ in hot pants, they even have a spell-checker to hold your idiot…ic…al…ist (whatever) hand. I rest my case.

  7. Casey, I recommend before you go on learn the meaning of Ad Hominem, you misuse it all the time throwing it out like a trump card in your weak arguments thinking is makes you the winner when it actually demonstrates to the astute reader that your position is without merit.

  8. I am intrigued by this Michael Maynard. I have read his debate regarding atheism here in AD and I cannot help but wonder if it is the same Mike Maynard who posts in a Facebook Group called WCG Survivors. If it is you, Michael, when did your views change?

    Here are some snippets of a discussion on that FB group (for those of you who dare not go to FB lest the wrath of Flurry and his minions befall you … but I would expect everyone reading AD to be fearless of them):

    Kris Gosse Finger
    I’m interested in hearing how many WCG Survivors have decided to leave religion altogether? I personally am an atheist who’s happy, free and at peace.
    June 19 at 7:36am

    Mike Maynard
    Welcome Kris, There are many like you who after coming to realize the flawed and erroneous teachings of Armstrong, in disgust, gave up on a God. Who is to blame you? I have read some comments here from Agnostics that are apparently evaluating things. I chose to reassess what I had been taught and came to realize salvation (assuming a God) was through Grace and Faith and not the Law. Good luck on your journey. Peace.
    June 19 at 7:46am
    ….
    Kris Gosse Finger
    You guys are great. I appreciate that you accept my views on this page and aren’t trying to “convert” me. I am different, I always have been — in the church and out. I posted this thread in part because I feel atheists, agnostics, freethinkers don’t really speak out about what they’ve come to believe and I hope they will. While we don’t have a congregation to attend, there are plenty of us and we have deep convictions just like those of you who believe in christ do.
    June 19 at 1:52pm

    Mike Maynard
    Hey, Kris, if you wish to consider this your congregation IT IS YOURS as often or as seldom as you wish to attend. And I warn you. I WILL try to convert you only to joy and peace. If you believe there is no GOD then lets all blaze that trail together through this universe, but on this basis: I perceive myself no more than a lonely wandering question in search of answers, should they be out there and are willing to allow themselves to be found. I know what I think I believe, but I am no fool to think I can tell you that what I think is what you should believe when I am searching as are you. I do not presume to speak for the entire group, but without doubt, some graceful comments will hit here soon.
    June 19 at 5:14pm.

    etc etc. (Here is a link to the conversation http://www.facebook.com/groups/2244088720 and I hope it works: you can search via the timestamps.)

    Michael, is this you?

    I have no qualms with any one theist or atheist: what you do is your own business. Personally, I don’t really know what to believe in now. Armstrongism did a wonderful job of showing me how other religions are “wrong”. Personal research (and painful experience) has shown me how Armstrongism is wrong to such a point that am really not sure about all this stuff. For now, my guiding principle is “do your own thing and let me do my own thing as long as no one hurts anyone else.”

    Oh, and I have seen some positive side to that too: I now sell pork and other seafood in my butchery and my customer base is larger and happier! No more telling ‘em: “you can’t eat it since I don’t sell it and I know you hate the stuff at the local Wal-Mart!” I wonder if I were to send a tithe/offering from the pork revenue, would it get rejected by the Armstrongists?

    • Yes Bill, Kris Finger came to WCG Survivors in peace and with respect for theists there and I extended a welcome. He had been injured by the false theology of HWA like me. I did not agree that his view was correct but I attempted to show deference toward his views as the Apostle Paul taught us. To look to a man’s conscience and sensibilities and cause no offense. I got the opposite when I came here. I am an independent blogger, author, and researcher on things pertaining to God and on a journey in my personal beliefs. But unlike many who left Armstrongism I have not tossed the baby out with the bath water but am finding the middle of that narrow path to salvation.

      This afternoon I had dinner at my favorite local smoke house. It was all you can eat chicken and ribs…I never knew how good slow-smoked pork ribs tasted before this past year. Food does not commend us to God, we are saved through grace by our faith in Jesus Christ alone, not deeds of an obsolete law.

      I blog at the thetruedoctrineofchrist.blogspot.com, or linked here: May-tard’s Blog – LOL!

      • “I chose to reassess what I had been taught and came to realize salvation (assuming a God) was through Grace and Faith and not the Law.”

        ASSUMING A GOD! That’s quite an assumption, and you don’t get to carry your assumptions over into a debate, particularly one in which you are directly challenged to support those very assumptions with argumentation! Can I get a “DUH!”? You don’t support your position by waving around your cognitive bias and saying, “Hey, now, this is advanced stuff, alright? You just don’t appreciate it because you’re little.” In the “real world” that you keep going on about, this emperor of yours has no clothes. It is only in your imagination that logical fallacies are advanced reasoning. This is Dunning-Kruger gone wild.

      • “I got the opposite when I came here.”

        You got exactly what you asked for–you’re just too incompetent to realize that you made a mistake by revealing your true attitude toward atheists when you didn’t know atheists were standing right behind you–even after your mistake was explained to you thoroughly. Anybody can put on a dog and pony show when the object of their contempt is known to be present, especially those interested in “witnessing” for Jesus. I, personally, don’t believe a word you say. When you’re not being deeply dishonest you’re being incredibly stupid. Either way, nothing you say can be trusted.

        Now, valid arguments or gtfo. This isn’t your soapbox, it’s your pine box–and, after a verifiable display of obstinacy has been made, we can’t tolerate too much further struggling from our specimens.

      • Michael, Are you saying the commandments to not steal, lie, be sexually immoral, not covet, etc. are obsolete? Do you believe God’s moral law ended when Jesus died? I am sure you understand Jesus fulfilled the sacrifical laws and they upon Jesus death became obsolete as did other Old Testament laws, but God’s moral laws did not become obsolete or cease to exist or be binding. If you believe that Jesus is God why would a believer want to sin (violate God’s moral law)? Paul makes it very clear, as do the other writers of the new testament, that God’s moral laws are still in effect.Grace saves if we truly believe and accept Jesus sacrifice on our behalf because we cannot keep God’s moral law as Jesus perfectly did. However, that does not give us license to sin. If a person is truly changed he/she will become a “new” person. It is a sad thing that religion often misrepresents God, but Jesus did say many would come in His name and deceive many. In that group are both extremes (legalist and those who are anti God’s moral law). We are not called to follow a man, Herbert Armstrong, or any other man. We are called to follow Jesus and Him alone. We have rational minds and need to evalute what anyone teached. Herbert Armstrong taugh error for sure, but why are people so foolish and swallow without evidence what he taught? I guess we are lazy and chose to believe based on emotion not logic/reason.Of course many do not know what the Bible says and are easily misled by one who claims he/she does. Herbert Armstrong got me to open my bible and study it, something my previous church never did. I have come to believe the Bible as God’s Word. There is much evidence of that. I have read many of the Bible’s critics writings. They often have an emotional bias against its true teaching. They don’t look at it with an open rational mind but come at the Bible with a hostile approach. They have read and heard foolish statements by so called ministers and that caused them to dismiss the truth of the Bible. They build their “straw men”. I believe much of “christianity” is false as Jesus said it would be “many will come in my name and deceive many”. As a result I understand why many reject God because He is misrepresent by false teachers. Like Simon Aagus in Acts 8 some see the power of “religion” and use it for personal gain. Others are well meaning but are self appointed and distort the truth of the Bible. I suggest one study the Bible with an open mind. If one’s heart is right God will open that mind, but if ones mind is closed how can God work with that person. I personnaly have no hard feelings toward Herbert Armstrong. I respect those who honestly evalute the Bible and come to different conclusions than I do. My prayer is that I and all others have open minds with loving hearts toward all. An unworthy follower of Jesus and His teachings.

      • “We have rational minds and need to evalute what anyone teached.”

        It’s “taught”. At any rate, why does this call for rational evaluation not extend to the fundamentals? It’s great that you are promoting critical examination of what ministers and gurus say–but you don’t go far enough if you are not also willing to examine closely the propositions you already take for granted.

        “I guess we are lazy and chose to believe based on emotion not logic/reason.”

        We? You should be speaking for yourself here–leave out those of us who have and continue to put every proposition to the cold fire of critical analysis, those of us who are well-educated in and wary of the mind’s capacity for bias and short-circuited “thinking”. We have been thorough and fastidiously logical in our approach to these questions, so if you want to make baseless charges about our supposed “emotional bias” or “hostile approach”, then you are simply going to have to support them with more than just your say-so.

        “I have come to believe the Bible as God’s Word. There is much evidence of that.”

        Such as? If you are honest, you will admit that you started out believing and went looking for things to confirm your beliefs. And not only is that illogical, it leads you to craft really poor arguments. If you try to support your statements here, we will see that played out. I guarantee it.

        “I respect those who honestly evalute the Bible and come to different conclusions than I do.”

        You’ve already demonstrated that you do not, but you should be aware that I don’t extend the same respect to you that you claim to extend to me. This is because I’m confident that you have not done the thing you are so presumptuously demanding from others, and that makes you a hypocrite. I have no respect for hypocrites.

  9. “You assume that you are the only one in this discussion that understands the factors of probability and coincidence.”

    If you mean “this discussion” in a macro sort of way, I have never insinuated that. You don’t get to recruit everyone else to your cause without their consent. I was debating you, and in said debate, you demonstrated that you do not understand probability and coincidence. I merely pointed it out.

    “The natural logic of the mature mind makes allowance for these variables and discards those items that don’t fit.”

    You lack precision. I suspect that this is meaningless drivel, but to the extent that I can parse out a point from the drivel, it appears you are arguing for the superiority of cognitive bias in those instances in which such a bias would support your preconceived beliefs. No shit, Sherlock! That’s why it’s a goddamn problem! You are abysmally stupid.

    “You go laboriously through a long lecture when I already understand and live using all of these principles you apparently just discovered on the web.”

    Yes, of course. Assert your own understanding (immediately after demonstrating the opposite) and then cast baseless aspersions on your opponent when you can’t do any better. You are a sophist, a liar and an idiot.

    “You approach everything backwards, you are presenting the elementary lessons in logic and reason and you try to show where the commenter is or is not following those kindergarten rules. I am way beyond kindergarten, I work and function very successfully in the real word and don’t need lectures.”

    More nonsense. You are presenting the absolute rejection of logic as a sage development of rudimentary reasoning skills. Maybe on your planet, May-tard. But here on earth we do things a little differently. Here, a logical fallacy is a logical fallacy no matter how old you are. Contrary to your ridiculous assertion, you are, in fact, reasoning like a kindergartener–the ones they pick up on the short bus. And yes, you do need lectures. Lots of them. The first one has to do with eating glue.

    “Christians are not devoid of reason and the ability to self critique.”

    Straw man, dipshit. Care to quote me? I never said anything like that. Here, again, you are generalizing from your own idiocy in this debate to others who are not involved, putting words in my mouth like the sophist liar you are. No, May-tard. You are the one I am saying is devoid of reason and the ability to self critique. You. Dumb ass.

    When the heat is on, you want to disperse a little of it onto your fellow believers. But the fact is you are an amateur. Do you think I’ve never been in a debate with a theist before? I’ve seen it all, the whole gamut, from the low-brow schmucks like you, right on up to the professorial Apologists who can actually bring valid arguments to the game. I am only disappointed that I lured into this net the village idiot of Christianity. Far from being representative, you are an embarrassment to Apologists everywhere.

    “Just because you posses the intellectual ability to verbally insult and abuse your guests…”

    The word you want is guest–singular–except that you aren’t one. You’re an exhibit.

    “Casey, I recommend before you go on learn the meaning of Ad Hominem, you misuse it all the time throwing it out like a trump card in your weak arguments thinking is makes you the winner when it actually demonstrates to the astute reader that your position is without merit.”

    What does that even mean? It doesn’t really have to mean anything, because, you guessed it, it’s ad hominem. All it has to do is make your opponent seem distasteful (and, of course, be used in place of an actual argument). Interesting, though, that you should bring up my understanding of this concept. Let me demonstrate it for you.

    After your initial fallacious reasoning is pointed out, you respond with an assertion that these fallacies are actually advanced forms of thinking and therefore should be taken seriously (though you do not tell us the basis for this idea, nor do you offer your explanation of how one is to judge the merits of logical fallacies without using logic). This loony proposition is followed by a long tirade in which the only thing you talk about is me, your opponent. No argument in sight. So, challenged to provide an argument for the existence of god, you respond by talking about me. That is the very definition of ad hominem! That is it! You are doing it. And you are doing it because you are a goddamn sophist.

    Again, I ask, do you have any valid arguments for the existence of your god?

    If not, then perhaps you should just slink off and get to work on that masturbatory “article” you keep talking about.

  10. “Again, I ask, do you have any valid arguments for the existence of your god?”

    I started out this conversation stating “I believe God created the universe.” I do not need to offer you any proof, it is a given, self evident. Like a challenge, “prove gravity”, response, “jump up and see where you go.” The outcome is exactly the same every time.

    Since I and the vast majority of this nation believes (and world for that matter) in some creator the onus is on YOU to prove He doesn’t. But I guess you might claim we are all less intelligent than Casey…don’t even try that one. My challenge in the first debate, and continues, prove God did not create this universe and everything in it and controls it now.

    You have written hundred of words in an effort to deflect from the real issue and methodically avoid offering proof or anything of substance. What is the benefit of atheism I ask again..nothing is the correct answer. Throwing off all civility and restraint is what I pick up from your words. Not a nice world to live in for sure.

    Even the greatest minds you reference, like the atheist Hawking, say there was a beginning to everything they can not explain, Laws that caused the universe to be able to ‘just come into being.” Just come into being? And what about those laws?

    Where did those laws come from? Deafening Silence.

    You referred me to the video “Science Saved My Soul” which contradicted your own points. And you have never admitted it was nothing but garbage. Again I quote from the video, “If you can’t see this galaxy, you should run from religion,” What? What believer in God can’t see that galaxy? Only a blind one, All others marvel at it because of religion.

    Senseless garbage, and I think you know it..

    Your entire tirade has been nothing less than one collective ad hominem attack. You attack me personally and my intellect then you say my assertions are invalid because of my lack of intellect. The fallacy fallacy is the text book definition of argumentum ad homenim.
    (http://plover.net/~bonds/adhominem.html).

    Then when you do reference sources of proof they all immediately dissolve under close scrutiny. Unlike you, I have never tried to hide behind the tired and worn out ad homenim trump card. (So sick of that term). Like crying foul every time you get behind in points or the basket ball player who throws himself to the ground flailing when the opponent gets close trying to get the referee to call a foul.

    You have called me countless vulgar and libelous names, published a viscous article discrediting and slandering me and I have not once stooped to that level. This type of attack you mount in order to avoid defending your indefensible position often occurs when the loosing side in an argument has nothing. Rather than defend with solid proof, or any proof at all in this matter, you switch to the offensive which is a less than honorable tactic.

    The bottom line by your own admission in the prior debate…Atheism is a whole lot of…well nothing. So how could you defend something that is in actuality…NOTHING.

    Been lots of fun.

    Oh, I like the “apostate” better, it makes it much clearer what to expect here. I hope that is a temporary tat. LOL.verns it now.

    • “I do not need to offer you any proof, it is a given, self evident. Like a challenge, “prove gravity”, response, “jump up and see where you go.” The outcome is exactly the same every time.”

      I didn’t ask for proof. I asked for arguments. Do you know the difference?

      “Since I and the vast majority of this nation believes (and world for that matter) in some creator the onus is on YOU to prove He doesn’t.”

      Logic fail. This is called shifting the burden of proof. I explained this already in the article (and elsewhere). “God exists” is a positive claim. You have to support it. I don’t have to argue for a negative, because I’m not claiming gods do not exist, I merely have no reason to believe they do. Providing such a reason is your job as the claimant. This very sensible concept is why we are innocent until proven guilty. So, May-tard, I challenge you to prove you aren’t a child rapist. See the problem? I didn’t think so.

      “What is the benefit of atheism I ask again..nothing is the correct answer.”

      Yes. You’ve got it. Atheism isn’t about benefits. It’s a position on the existence of gods. That’s it. Saying it doesn’t do anything for you is not a challenge to its veracity. I’ve already addressed this thoroughly, and if you keep perseverating on it, I’ll smack you with a well-deserved ban.

      “Throwing off all civility and restraint is what I pick up from your words.”

      That derives from the fact I have a low tolerance for obstinate fools. It certainly has nothing to do with atheism. I was the same way when I was an Armstrongist. Stick to the subject.

      “Even the greatest minds you reference, like the atheist Hawking, say there was a beginning to everything they can not explain…”

      “Can’t explain” does not equate with “God did it” except under a cognitive bias like the one constricting your already tiny mind.

      “Laws that caused the universe to be able to ‘just come into being.” Just come into being? And what about those laws?

      Where did those laws come from? Deafening Silence.”

      Only to an obstinate fool who refuses to read the resources he was provided. Or can’t understand them (which is more likely).

      “You referred me to the video “Science Saved My Soul” which contradicted your own points.”

      Citation please.

      “Again I quote from the video, “If you can’t see this galaxy, you should run from religion,” What? What believer in God can’t see that galaxy? Only a blind one, All others marvel at it because of religion.

      Senseless garbage, and I think you know it..”

      I agree, what you say here is senseless garbage, and I know it.

      “Your entire tirade has been nothing less than one collective ad hominem attack. You attack me personally and my intellect then you say my assertions are invalid because of my lack of intellect.”

      UTTER BULLSHIT! I attacked your assertions head on (note you offered no valid arguments to speak of, only assertions), directly and without answer from you. I pointed out your lack of intellect as a side note. This is perfectly valid in a debate and is not ad hominem. Ad hominem requires that you address the person of your opponent without addressing his arguments (i.e., “to the man,” which is what ad hominem means) . This is mostly what you’ve offered, besides naked assertions. I could count the number of arguments you’ve ignored, if you like, but I would have to get back with you next week.

      “The fallacy fallacy is the text book definition of argumentum ad homenim.”

      And I wasn’t engaging in the fallacy fallacy. Pointing out that someone’s reasoning is invalid is not a case of argumentum ad logicam. If I were to say, “Your arguments are fallacious, therefore your conclusions are false,” that would be the fallacy fallacy. I didn’t do that, though. I merely said, “Your arguments are fallacious.” I then went on to offer valid arguments for the falsity of your position. And you went on to ignore everything, so you could continue your program of sophistry, of which this latest charge is part and parcel.

      Listen, May-tard, I’ve got your number. You aren’t fooling anyone–you’re far too incompetent for that.

      “You have called me countless vulgar and libelous names, published a viscous article discrediting and slandering me and I have not once stooped to that level.”

      You started at the level of bigotry and have not once risen to the level demanded of you: valid argumentation. “Libelous”? “Slandering”? Give me a break, May-tard. I have been fastidiously accurate in my portrayal of you.

      “This type of attack you mount in order to avoid defending your indefensible position often occurs when the loosing side in an argument has nothing. Rather than defend with solid proof, or any proof at all in this matter, you switch to the offensive which is a less than honorable tactic.”

      Projection much?

      “The bottom line by your own admission in the prior debate…Atheism is a whole lot of…well nothing. So how could you defend something that is in actuality…NOTHING.”

      Bingo. The burden of proof is on you. When are you going to shoulder it?

  11. “So, it’s Option #3, is it? I guess this one can be trained (no apologies, though, I noticed). Let’s see if he can be trained in the principles of reason. Pay attention, Maynard; this is something that should be taught to children beginning in the earliest stages of their primary education…but isn’t–obviously.”

    No Casey, Christian children are taught both reason and to have faith in God. The two are not mutually exclusive as you seem to indicate but go hand in hand.

    No lecture from you needed here or apologies from me.. Reasonable men could only accept God based on the evidence of creation alone. Billions times trillions of bits of data available showing an intelligent creation. It takes a concerted and well orchestrated effort to ignore it.
    You can re-label the evidence as “Science” but it is still the proof of an intelligent design requiring a creator.

    • Well, common creationist canards are a step above anecdotal fallacies, I’ll give you that. But “Intelligent Design”/Creationism is a fool’s game. The arguments were idiotic from its beginning in Adventist circles. Flood geology–anybody take that seriously anymore? No. What about intelligent design in evolution? No. What we have here is the classic regression of the god of the gaps. Your god is shrinking, May-tard, into the horizons of science–and we keep pushing onward. With every new natural explanation for some previously poorly understood phenomenon, unsophisticated theists like you sputter and scramble backwards for the next stronghold of mystery, carrying their all-powerful god with them like an idolatrous fetish.

      Now that introductions are over, how about an argument in support of Creationism? You can’t just assert that “the universe testifies.” You have to argue for that position. In what way does it testify that does not have a natural explanation? And if the origin of physical law is all you’ve got, then you’re talking about Deism, not anything with the theological complexity and specificity of Christianity (supporting that would require some real work–or a miracle). And, anyway, the origin of physical law is understood by physicists as something far more interesting than supernatural (as the resources I linked to can explain in more detail).

      “Reasonable men could only accept God based on the evidence of creation alone.”

      Accepting any specific god-concept on this “evidence” alone would be a non-sequitur. Even assuming some form of Intelligent Design (a ridiculous assumption, given the evidence), it does not follow that the designer is the Christian God. It could be Eru Illuvatar and the Valar.

  12. This is Dunning-Kruger gone wild. And their theory was based upon another theorist Charles Darwin.

    “I am the wisest man in the world, because I am certain I know nothing.” was that Plato or Socrates? Either way I concur.

    Guess there goes your Dunning-Kruger’s theory. (Another ad hominem attack on your part.)

  13. In my experience being brought up as a Seventh Day Adventist, then years being a Pentecostal, lastly in Armstronism – I have to say that Athiests who have NEVER believed in God are more loving than any ‘christian’ I have had the displeasure of knowing.

    As a little girl, I would let the JW’s into the house and talk for hours, oh how I wanted to know the ‘True God’.

    Thank fuck my prayers came true. I now know the truth.

    I know I haven’t been praying to you lately almighty one, but please help me SUPERMAN!

    Fairies, unicorns, Jesus etc etc. At least Superman keeps his promises!

    What pisses me off with those who ‘love the lord’, is their superior attitutde. They don’t have love, they have judgement. The same can be said for those who believe in any fucking deity as far as I am concerned.

    I’m not saying all christians are assholes, but a common trait they all share is that damn superiority – evident here by a christian who for some reason is offended by athiests. Why even give a fuck?

    I feel so naughty swearing, lol – thanks guys for allowing it on this blog! As an Aussie, swearing is very important (albeit inappropriate most times) part of our vocabulary.

    Now where is my Superman Returns DVD, I have some worshipping to do….

      • You’re goddamned fucking right it is, Kirrily :p

        Your kid is going to be very, very lucky to be raised in a home without indoctrination. Freedom from fear, freedom to reason? I’m practically jealous!

        I’m sure you’ll make one helluva parent, Kirrily. Congratz!

        Oh, but Superman Returns? movie fail ;-)

      • Thanks Splinter, I’m looking forward to being a mum, and being able to bring him/her up in a country like OZ. It sure is ‘The lucky country’.

        Only a few years ago I told my husband we were not going to have children because the Tribulation was nearly upon us. Being 38 now, I’ve wasted years not doing this earlier. I’m just so lucky that I fell pregnant so easily, and before 40.

        As for your comment re: Superman Returns …. *shuts eyes tightly, chants ‘Superman Rules’ repeatedly, whilst covering ears from Splinters unheard blasphemy, clutches onto Superman cape before falling to floor dramatically*

  14. “Since I and the vast majority of this nation believes (and world for that matter) in some creator the onus is on YOU to prove He doesn’t. ”

    At one time, most people believed the tomato to be poisonous. Why did those people believe that? Did they prove it? No, they believed it because their parents told them that. Why do most people believe in a creator? Hmmm.

    • Didn’t Armstrong himself point out that the greatest predictor of religion was one’s parentage? Funny how that argument was never applied to Armstrongists by Armstrongists (and even then, how many Armstrongists had already been Christian to begin with–and how many had been Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, etc.?). The religious, all of them, are in dire need of giving themselves the outsider test.

  15. “Since I and the vast majority of this nation believes (and world for that matter) in some creator the onus is on YOU to prove He doesn’t. ”

    So, if you had been alive during ancient Greece times when the majority believed in Zeus, then you would have believed in Zeus?

    • Yep, May-tard delivers another non-sequitur: argument ad populum. Hey, Maytard, globally, Christianity does not have even a simple majority (much less a “vast” majority) of adherents. Shouldn’t that tell you something (i.e., according to your “logic”)? Must be something wrong with Christianity, huh? Idiot.

  16. Hey Maynard,you are entitled to your theism views, but could you please explain why males have nipples that are utterly useless while females have full breasts that serve a purpose? Why the difference in genitalia? Males and females were made in his image? Why do human embryos have a tail that becomes residual by time for baby to be born? Humans have a residual tail bone. Would you suppose their maker also has one? What is the purpose of this structure? As trivial as this may seem to others, they are some of the issues I have never reconciled with creationism.

  17. Xtians think that if they can disprove evolution, that your only remaining choice is to believe in the God of Abraham. Not true, that would still need to be proven.

    • Indeed; Christian apologists seem to go in for such false dilemmas/exhaustive hypotheses: Jesus was liar, lunatic or Lord; either my god exists or nothing matters; you either believe my preferred mythology or you are amoral; either an untreated illness gets worse or it is healed miraculously; species are specially created by my god or the universe is just, like, totally random; I’m either the apple of my god’s eye or I’m a worthless, valueless collection of molecules; a proposition either makes you happy or it is false; etc.

      It becomes really tedious trying to get people like this to think properly. And it never ends: they teach these mysteriously persuasive “arguments” to their children, who have never heard them refuted, and they grow up to think in the same moronic patterns laid down by the idiots who spawned them. On and on it goes…

      • I have to say that is one thing I am most grateful for now I know the truth -my child won’t have the same god delusion shoved down it’s throat as I, and most of us here, had to endure.

        The cycle can stop with me. I think that is one of the greatest gifts I can give my little one.

      • “The cycle can stop with me. I think that is one of the greatest gifts I can give my little one.”

        Yes, we hold the power to end the idiocy and abuse of childhood indoctrination in fables. All we have to do is stop teaching them nonsense and start teaching them reasoning skills.

  18. Christ, how did I miss this party!? Epic subscription fail!

    Oh yeah, and Mike, I noticed how you avoided Casey’s query about my challenge to you.

    You know, the one I’ve posed multiple times on Banned by HWA, the one that you’ve still never responded to, to my knowledge anyway.

    But in case you missed it all those times, just let me know if you want to try a debate sometime, just you and me. I’ll even host it on Escaping eden.

  19. Atheism is the unavoidable result of consistency and logic. There is one place where atheism is even more common than university professors, and for the same reason that atheism is unavoidable. That place is volunteerism. It’s where logic, the burden of proof especially, leads. Most atheists reading this don’t know what it is, and won’t be able to drop their biases to reach the conclusions due to fallacies (due to biases, just like religion). But I would like the world to be a better place. Religion is a start, but it won’t do much good to live under a non-volunteer atheist future. Because that future is not built upon reason.

    • You have a strange way of articulating a point. Do you mean that atheists should work as volunteers? In what capacity? And where do you get this idea: “Most atheists reading this don’t know what it is, and won’t be able to drop their biases to reach the conclusions due to fallacies (due to biases, just like religion).”? What biases and what conclusions? Again, you are being excessively unclear and I’d like to hear your clarifications, because I think there’s a point in there somewhere.

    • By the way, I’ve worked as a volunteer in a developing country. I also volunteer my time doing this and “working” on other (albeit tiny) public education projects (in fact I pay a nominal fee for the privilege), while holding down a full-time job. I bristle a bit at your apparent presumption, but even more so at the way you express an opinion as though it were dogma.

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