12/28/2009                                                                                       View Comments

Religion Has No Reality Check

by WizenedSage

On December 26, thousands gathered on Asian beaches and in mosques to pray, marking the fifth anniversary of the Asian tsunami which killed 230,000 people. Will it do any good? No one can say for certain and that is the frightening thing about religion that few believers care to think about.

I distrust religion because of one very important and inarguable fact; there is no reality check. This is in part because it is uniquely armored against criticism. If one suggests that a genuine, compassionate god wouldn’t allow the destruction of 230,000 innocent men, women, and children on Asian beaches, the believer answers that god works in mysterious ways, or that we shouldn’t expect to understand the mind of god, etc. To these believers, god doesn’t have to be logical and thus no evidence is accepted against their god hypothesis.

The unique danger of religion is that it ultimately depends “…on belief in invisible beings, inaudible voices, intangible entities, undetectable forces, and events and judgments that happen after we die.” The unique danger of religion is that it ultimately depends “…on belief in invisible beings, inaudible voices, intangible entities, undetectable forces, and events and judgments that happen after we die.”* Religion depends on a supernatural realm which none of man’s instruments can detect or measure. As a result, there is no reality check and the “god experts” are insulated from testing. As Proverbs 3:5 says, "Lean not on your own understanding.” And John 20:29 says, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Unlike any other area of life, religion teaches that believing without evidence is a virtue, ultimately walling itself off from all appeals to reason.

Communism collapsed in Europe because it failed to deliver on its promises. It failed the reality check. The efficacy of exorcism to cure mental illness failed the reality check. In America, we no longer consult with witch doctors because their “cures” failed the reality check. Over and over, the reality check has delivered us from evil. But there is no reality check for religion. It is an often overlooked fact that “…every single claim made by religion, every single claim, comes from people; not from sources out in the world that other people can verify, but from the insides of people's heads.”*

And religion is armored against criticism in another way; it demands and gets special treatment. If I question religion, I am told that I should respect people’s beliefs, that their religion brings them comfort and I shouldn’t interfere with their comfort. But religion is responsible for an enormous amount of harm in this world too, and this needs to be recognized, talked about, and remembered by all of us. It’s important. Why did the clergy child rape scandal take so long to be uncovered? Could it be because the clergy were assumed to be more moral than the rest of us, perhaps above reproach and beyond suspicion? There is little doubt that special treatment of religion and religious leaders enabled the abuse long after it would have been exposed in any other arena.

Because there is no reality check, Osama bin Laden could convince intelligent young men that Allah would grant them 42 virgins in the afterlife, if they would crash airplanes into tall buildings; the Pope can convince millions of Africans that god hates condoms, and the AIDS epidemic flourishes; religious leaders can convince people that god disapproves of homosexuality, so gay marriage must be condemned; and some believers can be convinced that prayer cures better than penicillin or insulin. Why do people continue to buy into such nonsense? It is because religion is uniquely armored against testing and self-correction. In short, there is no reality check.

One proposed exception from this rule is prayer, which has been tested. It should be instructive that whenever the efficacy of prayer has been examined under controlled conditions, via carefully designed double-blind experiments, it has failed (see http://salon.glenrose.net/default.asp?viewplink&idy12). But, believers generally respond that the results are simply explained by the fact that god refuses to be tested. So, again, there’s no reality check acceptable to believers.

This is why we should all be extremely wary of religion. Any nonsense, any abuse, any immorality becomes possible without any reality check. If the Imam says it is righteous that a young girl’s genitals should be cut (clitoridectomy), how do we test this assertion? If a televangelist says that the money you send him will be seen by god as a seed which will grow into prosperity for you, why does he never show you any data? You see, the way this works, if Bernie Madoff had been promising a reward in the next life instead of this one, his scam might have lasted for two thousand years, maybe more.


* Quoted material is from Greta Christina’s Alternet blog.

73 comments:

webmdave said...

It is so tragic. David and Goliath, Noah, and Moses all make for great fairy tales. I enjoyed the stories very much as a 4 year old. It is sad that pastors and xian parents preface them with this really happened, these are stories about reality.

I mean, come on? Really?

It strikes me as almost impossible that people still believe this stuff! This is 2010! Jeeeeeeebus!

Not only do they believe it still, but they are still brainwashing the little ones! So sad! I am just glad that my kids won’t be raised that way. And I guess that is the beginning of some kind of change.

webmdave said...

Yes. I find it more than interesting that "getting them while they are young" is seen as a positive. How sad is it of the adult that the adult's message is so weak the adult needs an intellectually and emotionally defenseless young child on which to work their magic?

webmdave said...

well of course it was easy for her to rejoice, none of HER family members were killed!

webmdave said...

Reasonate11 -

One final comment and then I think we should put this discussion to bed.

I watched Scott's presentation and was struck by how he changed what he had written just a year earlier, in an essay he wrote for a book entitled "Intelligent Thought". He was addressing the same topic in the essay, BUT there he made RELIGION the central theme?????Hmmmmmmm......maybe David (glebealyth, who lives in Europe) was correct in calling out Scott (see last paragraph of glebealyth's comment below). You know it usually ends up being about the money. Whoever pays the best gets the study to say what they want it to say!

Please read a direct quote from Scott Atran, from the book 'Intelligent Thought', published in 2006, pgs. 137-138.

"To evoke a strong and intimate sense of community, members of RLLIGIOUS SECTS often create families of fictive kin. For example, the mujahedin I have interviewed -from Paris suburbs to Indonesian jungles - who profess commitment to martyrdom come from almost every walk of life and socioeconomic background...........however, withing each cell of typically eight to twelve people, all tend to eat the same sort of food, wear the same sort of clothing, CHANT the same sort of slogans, share the same daily RITES and routines. Through incorporation of recruits into relatively small and closeted cells - emotionally tightknit brotherhoods -RELIGIOUSLY INSPIRED TERROR ORGANIZATIONS create a family of cellmates who are just as willing to sacrifice for one another as a parent is for a child."

I also found it disturbing how he basically called the lady doctor a liar (during Q&A) when she tried to produce evidence to the contrary; which she had received first-hand from a patient of hers, who was a former member of a militant masque.

I want to know truth. I am not just looking for confirmation for what I already believe. I spent many years doing that in christianity; I abhore that practice now. Looking for truth where ever it led, led me out of the delusion of religion. Perhaps you should be more open to looking for truth and not just chasing conspiracy theories. If you are looking for a good conspiracy theory, find out why Scott says different things depending on whos paying his salary at the time!

Just a suggestion,

XPD

webmdave said...

And by extension, does this not also go to the whole character of god and contradict the "god is good" xtian mantra? Also kind of confirms the "if god is all knowing would he this or that...if god is all powerful would he this or that... If so, then god is not blah blah blah. I am in a huury to get out the door so I don't have time to look up the saying. Thanks for the excellent post.

webmdave said...

Here is the URL to Atran's talk at the 2007 Beyond Belief conference about the role religion, particularly Islam, plays in terrorism. Notice he uses the term "reality check" right at the start.

http://thesciencenetwork.org/programs/beyond-belief-enlightenment-2-0/scott-atran

No, I am not a Muslim. I am a freethinker--and no, that doesn't give me permission to think whatever I find comforting or comfortable. As a freethinker I try to suspend judgment and follow the evidence. And yes, I know about confirmation bias. All of us, even very knowledgeable and scientifically oriented individuals, tend to look for and accept information which confirms what we want to believe while we tend to overlook or discard contrary information.

I am sorry I questioned on this board people's beliefs vis รก vis religion and terrorism. I won't do it again. Clearly, you, XPDan, and many others are not yet ready to question what you believe happened and why on one of the most important dates in American history. I must be a nut because I don't believe in miracles. http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_allen_l__080219_still_unanswered_9_2f1.htm

Thanks, XPDan, for the apology.

webmdave said...

I hate how much ignorance is valued with in the hallowed walls of religion. "Child Like Faith" Syndrome. Every minister wants a congregation of mental 4 years olds . . . who also have adult salaries!

webmdave said...

Excellent Point!

webmdave said...

resonate11-

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make, but your info. on Scott Atran is completely, 180 degrees, off the mark. Here is what Scott really said in his report -

" Scott Atran found that NON-Islamic groups have carried out very FEW bombings since 2003, while bombing by MUSLIM or ISLAMIST groups associated with a "global ideology" of "MARTYRDOM" has skyrocketed. In one year, in one Muslim country alone - 2004 in Iraq - there were 400 suicide attacks and 2,000 casualties."

Again, to emphasize my point, I quote other experts (not just relying on my own assertions):

"Recent research on the rationale of suicide bombing as an effective technique to kill enemies has highlighted the importance of RELIGION as a driving force.[46][47][48] While some scholars cite political and socio-economic factors,[49][50] others agree that RELIGION provides the framework for suicide bombing because acting in the name of ISLAM is regarded as martyrdom. Since "martyrdom" is widely seen as a step towards Heaven, those who commit suicide whilst discarding their community from a common enemy believe that they will reach an ultimate SALVATION after they die."[51]

46^ Vincetto Olivetti,Terror's Source2002
47^ Tariq Ali,The Clash of Fundamentalism:Crusades, Jihads and Modernity2002
48^ John Esposito,""Unholy War:Terror in the Name of Islam2003
49^ Nazih Ayubi,Political Islam1991
50^ Mohammed Hafez,2003
51^ Vincetto Olivetti,Terror's Source,2002

If your point is that there is Political and Nationalistic goals lying at the root of these movements; then your point is well taken. Of course that is the ultimate goal of the 'guys at the top'. But, where the rubber meets the road, out where the battle is being waged, it is Religion that is the motivator and the promised reward to the foot soldiers (i.e. martyrs).

Are you a Muslim? I'm not sure what the motivation is for your ill-conceived apologetic?!

Sorry for the personal attack on your character. Sometimes I blow off quickly when something hits me sideways (as your post did).

Sincerely,

XPD

webmdave said...

My mother used to cook up a mess of them for New Year's Day. We kids didn't like them, but we had to eat just one. That was a firm rule. We always had to eat all our green beans or peas or other vegetable, but maybe even my mother realized that this was a silly thing to believe, so we just had to eat one black-eyed pea.

Now, though, I like them, and you have made me crave them. Haven't had any in ages.

webmdave said...

Hotlipshulafan, that is just way too funny! Can't wait to share that with my heretical friends. It just goes to show that you can interpret the Bible any way you want and no one can prove you're wrong because The Man is never gonna step forward with THE authoritative interpretation.

webmdave said...

Brent -

You said, "I refuse to tolerate stupidity. This post is the best one I have ever read to illustrate just how much "tolerance" is given to religion, and how little it is deserved".

Today on PBS Radio I was listening to interviews with friends and past teachers of the Xmas day airline bomber. They all kept saying how amazed they were that he did such a thing, because he was so "devout in his religion". They kept mentioning how he was such a strong Muslim and devoted to his religion.......Hello, McFly (as he raps his knuckles on the collective head of poitically-correct America)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I recall in Sam Harris' book 'The End of Faith', where he sounds the alarm - "We can't afford to allow fundamentalists to practice their particular brand of faith anymore. Just decades ago we could ignore their screaming lunacy, but now they have nuclear weapons and the will to use them in their relentless persuit to either convert or kill the entire world!" (paraphrased)

I understand the fundamentalist mind. I was raised in a cult that was ultra-fundamentalist, Pentecostal. The politically correct, liberal christians in America, don't really understand the depth of the threat that we face with Muslim Fundamentalists.

France is beginning to realize how they 'screwed the pooch' by allowing so much un-controlled immigration of muslims to their country. They have sown the wind and are beginning to reap the whirlwind! They are contemplating putting a ban on the building of Minarets, like Switzerland did. America (and states like Michigan especially) better wake up and stop allowing so much sh*t to be heaped upon us in the name of religious freedom.

In tolerating so much stupidity will we end up tolerating our own assited suicide??!

We better wake the fu(k up!

XPD (great post Brent, sorry for the rant)

webmdave said...

Resonate11: "I surely don't believe the official conspiracy theory that Islamic radicals directed by a sick man in a cave destroyed three skyscrapers and managed to hit one of the most heavily guarded buildings in the world.”

Hyperbole, e.g. opinion.

Reasonate11: “But I have no theory about who committed these acts nor how they accomplished them. I simply do not have access to the necessary facts.”

If you simply have no access to the necessary facts on the subject matter to sketch out a theory; it seems disingenuous to arbitrarily dismiss the sick man in a cave hypothesis.

Don’t underestimate the power of a seemingly impotent entity; consider the poor supernatural-changeling bastard jew which has inspired the murder of millions upon millions of people across the globe for the past ~2K years…

Seven years prior to the tragedy of 9/11/2001, we have Christ inspired mass murder; in 1994, Rwanda sentenced two Roman Catholic priests to death for their pre-meditated plan and overwhelming success in effecting genocide for +2Million Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

When you figure out how an imaginary/physically non-existent literary character as metaphor affects murder in the millions, consider how much more effective a factually living charismatic person can be to an audience of supernaturally believing Islamic zealots.

webmdave said...

Wizie,

All this no reality check stuff comes from the same society that taught me to be sure to " Eat my black eyed peas on New Year's Day if I wanted to have good luck all year long!" Damn, check it out in any Southern grocery store they are sure to be selling more black eyed peas than usual. Oh, heck, after eating our black eyed peas on the first let's really have us some fun and go find witch to burn or at least some black guy to lynch on trumped up charges or pretend we are cowboys out west and get a rope and string up that horse thief!

With an and environment and cultures like this worldwide that form and influence us from childhood ways which offers no reality check but simply hand us its ready made traditional "ways" is it any wonder that the world we live in with such cultures is on the brink of environmental and financial collapse. Reality will certainly put a check on it soon enough because it refuses to check its truth with reality.

webmdave said...

WizenedSage,

Thanks for the article, great read. Religion has no reality check is a great summation.

I attended church a week ago, as this rural church doubles as a weekly family reunion.

While sitting in the back pew, and contemplating Nature/Reality, the preacher felt moved to preach the word.

While referencing a biblical passage, he stopped and took a few moments to read under his breath, and try to pronounce the words before speaking aloud… that took a minute or so… and then, he finally gave his interpretive, yet unintelligible view of the passage.

Before the service concluded, he proclaimed that the entire Baptist congregation was jewish, because only jews were to be allowed into the kingdom of heaven per the OT, and that we are to be with our jewish brother jesus.

The reality-check bus doesn’t make stops at religious outlets… Again, thanks for the thought provoking article.


Peace

webmdave said...

Oh, that aureliom,
What a quick wit,
With the comment flip.
Yet makin’ sense too,
To this heathen crew.
Now that’s my poetic last,
It’s all in the past.
I’m back to prose,
And cuttin’ down Mose
-es...

webmdave said...

WizenedSage -- religion by its nature allows NO reality -- only dogmas, their skewed world views, their "sacred text" that is allowed -- reality and evidence is opposite to all of those dogmas and "Sacred Text" and threatens religion's survival -- of course it is not allowed.

webmdave said...

Hi....I have a Internet name similar to "Yellow Cat" too..... I liked that cat in your picture and also your remark!!!

webmdave said...

resonate11: The flight data for AA77 released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) indicates that the cockpit door was never opened! No hijacking could have occurred during that flight

I highly suggest you do a google search on this false claim, as I just did.

It's too complex to get into here, but there are indeed VALID reason why the recorder didn't show the door being opened---EVER, on that flight, or on several previous flights of that aircraft.

Think of sensors, software, and electronic circuits and how they work etc..

This is just yet another lame assertion by the conspiracy nuts of the world, to insight distrust in authority figures.


Folks, how many far smaller embarrassing incidents in our history, had huge attempts to try and cover them up, by those in charge, and in the end they couldn’t pull it off.
(e.g. Clinton, Watergate et al)

In a nutshell, you can’t pull off something of this vast magnitude and keep all those involved quiet as a church mouse, especially when it has nothing to do with valid military secrecy, that would normally be clearly applicable to the security of a country etc..

I agree with XPD, this 9/11 attack, had everything to do with religious fanatics and most certainly wasn’t something anyone in any administration planned.

ATF (Who wonders why some are so eager to find conspiracies everywhere they look?)

webmdave said...

Just read the whole stream. The exchanges with Resonate 11 were a curious sideline. Of all the things to question, I would think that the Saudi insane believers in the 9/11 tragedy would not be one.
I thought at one point that being an exchristian puts you in a category above the level of the truly unexamined life of most believers, and one would be immune to the conspiracy theories of the gullible or the misguided zealots. Not so as proven in the exchange.

Well done AtheistToothFairy and ExPDan.

webmdave said...

Just knocked out two more poems...not among my best but with great emotion for me:

Religion Has No Reality Check (1)


Rites and prayer are wasted time for doing good:
Thousands kneel in hope, but I’m no dope,
Keeping apart and distant from believing brood.
Religion without a check’s a slippery slope.

How can you prove some one loves you?
Actions, deeds and evidence of caring attest
To feelings made flesh, through and through.
Religion, faith and church don’t pass that test.

In everyday life, it’s results that really count.
I wished, intended to, aren’t enough for the score.
By evidence we move: good deeds stack and mount.
“God wills it”s unreal, hopeless -- empty at the core.

There’s no reality check or balance for religion:
I’m ex-christian evidence, a bright stool pigeon.


Religion Has No Reality Check (2)

God-faith and religion have no reality check;
The bible is full of unevidenced cant and dreck.
A god-gene is passed on and nurtured at birth
Imposed and expounded, erasing personal worth.

A natural tendency to things transcendental
Adroitly exploited by faith becomes consequential.
Inherent need for data with maturity expands
Except for faith’s kings X: it blindness demands.

Invisible beings and voices inaudible become
The stock in trade of preachers and then some.
Forfeit your thoughts, reason and experience in life,
Your big daddy in heaven will remove all strife.

Open your eyes, check earth and nature around you:
Your life in this world’s the clue: think it through.

webmdave said...

aureliom,
I'm aromatic only when my deodorant lets me down. How I got my name: I needed a nickname for a chat room and wrinkled-old-wise-ass seemed a little long, so I slapped together a couple synonyms.

webmdave said...

"Obviously, this topic matter is something that should be discussed elsewhere, and not on an ex-xtian website."
Agreed. Therefore, I will not offer possibilities beyond your dichotomy of either hijackers or pilots crashing into the Pentagon. Neither choice checks with reality as I know it. But then others have determined that I am deluded and ignorant.

webmdave said...

Oh WizenedSage,
Reality check? Would you want a dip stick for the soul motor to see how much oil of grace there is? What would it take to measure the corpuscle count in the transubstantiated blood in the chalice after the wine is consecrated? (OK, so that's a Catholic schtick)...
Great piece...I feel another athiest ad-verse coming on. Poem to be posted soon...and we can blame this one on WS. (By the way, is your sage aromatic?)

webmdave said...

In the eyes of a fundy, it's God's will if he hurts other people. It's Satan's interference if somebody is 'tested by God' past the breaking point.

webmdave said...

No, they would probably just blame it on Satan and secularism that made god look the other way.

webmdave said...

resonate,
RE: Flight 77, Cockpit Door

Obviously, this topic matter is something that should be discussed elsewhere, and not on an ex-xtian website.
I'll say this though; from the standpoint of one who is greatly involved with electronics.

It is easy to assume that all the components that were involved, were not only functional, but that things like the software version being used, was capable of reading that cockpit door sensor properly, or at all.


We also have to assume that an error during the pre-flight check, wasn't just ignored for that one sensor, as I think it could have easily been, considering that pre-9/11 it most likely wasn’t considered to be in the category of "Flight-Critical"

There is also an unknown factor here, involving the software version of the recorder, whereby it may have been incapable of logging the door sensor condition, for that type/revision of aircraft.

When one considers that the flight recorder failed to log an open door condition on previous flights, it's not hard to imagine that it wouldn't do so on this flight either.

Also, unused inputs to some electronics have to put into a high or low state to avoid noise pickup, so if that door sensor input was 'floating', it could read a random condition based on the noise factors, but that's getting way too technical now for this website.

All I'm saying is that it makes no sense to conclude that this door was never opened, based on the flight data recorder alone.

To assume the door never was opened, is to assume the pilots crashed the plane themselves, and we have zero evidence for such a wild scenario.

ATF

webmdave said...

resonate11.....Why Oh Why does everything have to have a conspiracy
bend to it ? To begin with, RELIGION had everything to do with it, and your comment " No hijacking could have occurred during that flight "
really has me perplexed. Just what do you think occurred ? We know for sure that the terrorists bodies were on board, thru their autopsies, and thru the passengers messages via cell phone calls to loved ones. Do you think that the pilot suddenly went insane and decided to crash the plane into the Pentagon ? That cockpit door business is insane, because an autopsy on Captain Burlingame showed that he was dead before the crash & had suffered horrific
injuries that caused his death. Must have been crazed Stewardesses
huh ?
Why don't you look into Abraham Lincoln's assassination, I heard a rumor that it was actually committed by a rodeo clown.

webmdave said...

Probably.

webmdave said...

"resonate11: The flight data for AA77 released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) indicates that the cockpit door was never opened! No hijacking could have occurred during that flight

I highly suggest you do a google search on this false claim, as I just did.

It's too complex to get into here, but there are indeed VALID reason why the recorder didn't show the door being opened..."

AtheistToothFairy, I respect you greatly. I have admired many of your comments and posts. It appears that you agree with the claim that the data provided by the NTSB indicates that the cockpit door was never opened during that flight. But it appears that you disagree with the inference that the door itself was never opened. You suggest that their was a malfunction during the data recording. Maybe so. I don't know. Nor do I know what happened during AA flight 77 on September 11, 2001. Maybe you know; maybe you don't know. It seems more plausible to me that the data recording accurately shows that the cockpit door was not opened during the actual flight recorded. I suspect, however, that the flight data presented did not come from the 9/11 flight of AA77.

"ATF (Who wonders why some are so eager to find conspiracies everywhere they look?)"
Huh? I don't know what happened on 9/11. I don't hold any conspiracy theories. I surely don't believe the official conspiracy theory that Islamic radicals directed by a sick man in a cave destroyed three skyscrapers and managed to hit one of the most heavily guarded buildings in the world. But I have no theory about who committed these acts nor how they accomplished them. I simply do not have access to the necessary facts.

webmdave said...

"Go sell your snake oil somewhere else."
I'm not selling anything, especially not snake oil. Sorry to have upset your worldview to the point that you feel it necessary to hurl insults at me.

"You are sooooo mis-guided! Or are you just an out right liar?"
If I am misguided, why don't you teach me rather than insult me? I spoke my truth respectfully. I have not intentionally lied. Isn't the attitude you have exhibited similar to the attitude you dislike in Christians when you questioned their assumptions?

If it is true that the so-called 9/11 hijackers were merely patsies, then it is also true that religion had little to do with the events of September 11, 2001. If, on the other hand, it is true that those accused in the official account actually were responsible for the attacks, then their known behavior--drinking and nightclubbing--suggests that they were not devout adherents of their religion. Thus, it is hard to claim that it was their intense religious beliefs which drove them to engage in suicide attacks.

"You are a fool if you think suicide bombers are blowing theirselves up for any other reason, other than the fact that they are convinced it is what Allah wants."
Maybe so. Scott Atran's researchers actually talked with would be suicide bombers, their families, their associates, and anyone else who could shed light on their motivation. Religious extremism simply wasn't the primary motivator. But maybe I'm a fool to find his scientifically gathered data more convincing than your assertions. Maybe the researchers were deceived. I don't know. But the social dynamic factors Atran found to be the primary motivating factors are more plausible to my poor brain.

"...these 'cells' take young boys and brainwash them by filling their heads with all of the Koranic scriptures that push Jihad (holy war) and being Allah's sword to bring vengence upon the infidels."
Yes, as far as I know, this is true. It is also true that the armed forces take young men and convince them to engage in acts of terrorism and murder. The operator of a drone, for example, doesn't think of himself as a terrorist. But I am sure the people under drone surveillance find them terrifying--particularly if one has had members of ones family blown up by a missile fired by a drone.

Judging by the response to my post, it seems that brainwashing is not limited to religious groups. Most of you, AtheistToothFairy excepted if my memory serves, left some form of Christian brainwashing. You know how difficult it is to step outside of the worldview you are inside of and honestly look at alternatives.

webmdave said...

Nature is truly the only thing I am afraid of. I know what it is capable of and I know it changes every day. How is that for giving life a purpose....survive nature!!!!!
Every man must.
nina

webmdave said...

Extremely sick. And that's what scares me about fundy christians.

However, if god chose to wipe out their entire state with tornadoes, would the survivors rejoice?

webmdave said...

Wizened Sage, that is one of the best articles yet at this site.

In reference to that tsunami, a couple of years ago at this site I posted
a comment about the loving god that would wipe out 230,000 people.
An Xian woman responded to my post saying she was rejoicing, because
such tragedies were a sign from god that Jesus was going to return
very soon!

This omnipotent god couldn't just send us an e-mail or something to
let us know? He's got to kill hundreds of thousands of people to make
his point, and Xians are rejoicing? How sick is that?

As your article points out, Xianity and reality are total strangers.

webmdave said...

Wizenedsage,
Back to the original post, truly well said! Theistic religion does have to remain unexamined or it will absolutely fall apart. Remember the Emperors Clothes? That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

webmdave said...

Sage,

I truly enjoyed your post on a very personal level. You see, I was recently arguing with Catholics (pointless, I know) over facts & figures in the sex abuse scandal.

I cited newspaper articles (New York Times, Dallas Morning News, etc.) and even the Bishops' Accountability site to no avail...The faith-heads dismissed my sources as "slanted" and then accused me of "persecuting the innocents as foretold in the Bible".

I have NEVER been accused of persecution, let alone persecution with biblical implications, but I guess "holy torment" is one of those gems reserved for the religious as a smokescreen when the sources and evidence are overwhelming. Zero reality check...

Funny, though, the more sources I cited, the more they stuck to their guns. It was truly Orwellian "Newspeak": their "authoritative" sources were reduced. I was simply trying to expand their sources and challenge the lexicon mounted for the defense.

Your article made me smile :)

I'm going back to the den of Catholics....LOL!

webmdave said...

S'Yeah, and Dick Cheney PERSONALLY pushed the plunger that dynamited Building Seven.

Like XPDan said, go peddle you Randi Roads bullshit elsewhere. Most of us have gotten rid of fables and faerie tales in our lives, we don't want any others.

webmdave said...

Good point, Dan. I have to wonder what would be the reaction amongst the mush-brained in the US if a cult were to rise up that said "We are a Religion of Peace and LOVE Jeebus", yet further down the list called for "infidels" to be put to the sword (baseball bat, run over with a truck, shot, whatever)?

Would everybody get hung up on the "peace" bit and try to explain away those who killed "infidels" as "kooks"? "Oh, but we're a religion of PEACE, slaying infidels was meant as a metaphor!"


Read the OT. Violent gawd, violent people. Explained away as being "A violent time in history". Read the Koran. PLENTY of references to killing non-believers and "infidels", yet what we hear over here is "Islam is a Religion of PEACE!".
Sure, maybe to True Believers(tm), but to the non-Muslim the Koran prescribes anything BUT peace.

And now we also have to deal with these Christian Identity freaks and other Fundy neo-whatevers. The oddball who thinks gawd told him to go shoot up a different denomination from his own because they teach "false doctrine".

Yeah, we better wake the Eff up, fer shore!

webmdave said...

Good point Gladius; The whole act of male circumcision is one of the first contradictions I found in the old testament at the beginning of my de-conversion. You had to be marked to prove your faith, but showing off your jewels was a capitol offense. What is the point of a grand gesture that no one is allowed to see?

webmdave said...

Totally agree, but continue to object to any genital mutilation.

When carried out on young women it is touted as being symptomatic of a wider mysogyny. Interestingly though, it seems to be performed more often by women on women or girls in the belief that it confers better marital prospects. It is certainly an evil tradition.

When carried out on anyone it is cruel and unnecessary and should be banned as an instance of assault.

webmdave said...

While I don't like male circumcision either, female "circumcision" (let's call it what it really is--genital mutilation) is where the clitoris is cut off, often the labia are cut off, and in 10 % of cases, the raw edges are sewn together and the child's legs are tied together until the two sides of the labia grow together--at least six weeks. This is done without anesthesia or any sterile conditions (and, of course, not by a doctor).

Those girls who do not die or become unable to bear children from infection and scarring have to have their genitals cut open before giving birth--if childbirth takes place in a hospital, surgeons perform deep episiotomies-- or the baby will rip and tear the flesh or become stuck--unable to come out.

Most births do not take place in a hospital. Many babies die, unable to break through, and many women die in childbirth from either excessive bleeding or massive infections or a dead and decaying baby inside them.

If they survive childbirth, the genitals have to be sewn tight again and the legs bound again so that they can go through it all again with the next child.

So, yes, male circumcision is unnecessary. But, there is no comparison to the death and carnage caused by female genital mutilation. Surely you can see why it rates its own protest movement.

webmdave said...

Gladius,

Having been thus mutilated, just after birth, for supposed "health" reasons, I can wholeheartedly agree with you. I would like for the activists who complain about the mutilation of female genitalia to extend the gamut of their protests and include ALL genital mutilation in their campaign.

The "un-marked" stranger would have at least died "whole". If Adam didn't need mutilating, why did his children?

webmdave said...

I think he/she means that every atheist wishes they had the money, etc.

But I'm not entirely sure.

;o))

webmdave said...

your post is skin deep for me :-) can u tell me what are those unaware assumptions behind your brain when u draw those conclusion?

I was like u and fortunatedly still like u, hate God and being treated badly by this fcuk-God BUT I still trust that God exist and He still speak w me, in fact just heal me from long-run infection!

Unfortunately, existing church is nest of demon's teachings (sugar coated using Jesus's name) that's why all of us hate God and look down on church (as result of this false/demon teaching). Kingdom of God is not just mere words but of Power (no empty talk like todays church). Do u know what Power is? in black magic sense like this http://sg.news.yahoo.com/afp/20091224/twl-brazil-child-abuse-religion-4bdc673.html

webmdave said...

"Socialism, the evolution of communism, is flourishing in Europe."

Your ignorance is showing.

I am living in Europe and can tell you that only the proponents of socialism are flourishing - the people, as always, are suffering. This is the result of socialism, as all evidence about it proves. Socialism is no more than another manmade religion, designed to enrich the idle at the expense of the poor.

The politicians and bureaucrats prosper and get fat while the ordinary people pay for their privileges.

Scott Atran is required to draw that conclusion as he is in thrall to his EUSSR paymasters who are drawing large amounts of kickback money from radical Islam to acquiesce in the quiet conquest of Wurope by Islam through the silent medium of mass immigration.

webmdave said...

Pious_Ted, Yes, I know what you mean. Fundamentalists are
masochistic in their love of being "tested" by gawd. They seem to think that they are being singled out for greatness in the eyes of The Lard.
I've known many fundy's who thought this way. You're right, no RATIONAL person would think this way in a million years.

webmdave said...

summerbreeze,

I was watching an interview with a Pastor of a church that recently experienced flooding during the winter storms. I don't remember exactly where the church was, but it got hit with significant flooding. The Pastor said he knew it was a test from God. I can't imagine that any rational person would conclude that the flooding was caused by God as a test. I suppose it will be another test when the collection plate is passed around to the members.

webmdave said...

resonate11 -

You are sooooo mis-guided! Or are you just an out right liar? Religion had EVERYTHING to do with the 9/11 attacks. It has everything to do with the whole Middle East Conflict. You are a fool if you think suicide bombers are blowing theirselves up for any other reason, other than the fact that they are convinced it is what Allah wants. Research how these 'cells' take young boys and brainwash them by filling their heads with all of the Koranic scriptures that push Jihad (holy war) and being Allah's sword to bring vengence upon the infidels. God (whatever name you give him) has always been the ultimate motivator!

Even in the Bible, one of the ten commandments says "Thou shalt not kill". But, it becomes O.K. when God allows it (even commands it) as retribution toward those who don't know (serve) him!

In the words of Christopher Hitchens, "Religion Poisons Everything".

Go sell your snake oil somewhere else.

XPD

webmdave said...

Wizensaged, I fully agree your post. Yes, "reality check" is definitely out for many of these organized religions -- this is to guard against people finding out its falsehood -- In a discourse I shared with my friend, religion like Islam, Christianity, Judiasm etc. required the participant to give up intellectual integrity, free-thinking and their authentic real experience -- all it boils down is "belief" - which is like believing in fairies or little spirits.
We cannot let people choose to believe what they like without criticising -- precisely of the horrible actions they produce.

webmdave said...

WizenedSage,

Your commentary on female genital mutilation (FGM) being wholly or substantially encouraged by religion (Islam) brings to mind another prevalent form of child genital mutilation encouraged by the bible: male circumcision.

Once again, religionists (in Judaism and in Christianity [for other than religious reasons], though influenced by religion) have accepted without question the mutilation of the male organ as a sign of the "covenant" between god and humanity (or the male portion of humanity). Did ancient Hebrew males walk about raising their robes to strangers to display their "covenant mark" to male strangers? What if the encountered stranger did not have the mark? Was he forcibly circumcised or even killed?

Religion, in all its forms, is, I think, nothing less than an anti-sex, anti-happiness cult.

webmdave said...

Excellent post - thank you!
:-)

webmdave said...

It was when I figured that my religion, if it is true, ought to stand up to some reality checks, that my faith began its final rapid decline. None of the Church's promises and predictions panned out.

If one's faith cannot or will not stand up to reality, then what good is it?

webmdave said...

Unlike supernatural gods, Nature always submits to reality checks, which has enabled the explosion of knowledge and technology that has vastly improved the human condition.

webmdave said...

Wisenedsage,

I agree totally with you that religions fail reality checks. So I am not criticizing the main point of your post. And, incidentally, I enjoy your posts and comments. However, you use a couple of example which will also fail reality checks once you check them out.

One, Soviet communism failed more because it was overwhelmed by a cold war which rendered it unable to deliver on its promises due to the pressures exerted on it by a more powerful opposition than because of some intrinsic inability to fulfill its ideals. Socialism, the evolution of communism, is flourishing in Europe.

Two, Osama Bin Laden had nothing to do with the attacks of September 11, 2001. Furthermore, religion had nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11. Check it out. Once one starts looking at the official story with the same honesty that the exChristians who frequent this site now look at the Bible, one will see that the official account of what happened and why is as nonsensical as the Bible. Here is one little tidbit to pique your curiosity. The flight data for AA77 released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) indicates that the cockpit door was never opened! No hijacking could have occurred during that flight.

Scott Atran, Research Director at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, France, research reveals that religion has next to nothing to do with most acts of terrorism.

webmdave said...

Life is difficult. Why does it have to be made moreso with religion? My life became exponentially harder AFTER I was introduced to christianity.

webmdave said...

It's a mystery. (ha)

webmdave said...

Brilliant post, thank you.

I am told very often that I should respect people's belief. My response is always "why?" If I call my boss and tell him I can't come to work because the stars aren't in proper alignment, I would be fired, and rightly so. But my partner and I can't be married because someone thousands of years ago issued an edict.

I refuse to tolerate stupidity. This post is the best one I have ever read to illustrate just how much "tolerance" is given to religion, and how little it is deserved.

--Brent (leotracks)

webmdave said...

Lisa, you are correct. People say that god moves in mysterious ways, and yet, they know, really know, that god wants specific things from us. How can something be so unknowable, and so well known at the same time?

webmdave said...

I'm sure for many it just meant that god exists and he only allowed those he favored to live. After all, god allowed (or commanded) genocide many times in the bible.

We can't win an argument about the mysterious ways of god.

webmdave said...

When I actually hear god tell me that he won't be tested then I'll join the believers!

Excellent post and all so true.

The Pope in his popish, pious, pompous, way, led millions of people in prayer in the 2nd World war to stop Hitler's killings. If god didn't listen to that many people(including his head honcho on planet Earth) and let 11 million people die because they were "different" then that should have been a bit of a pointer that prayer is useless and god doesn't exist.

webmdave said...

Great analysis. Christians live in a fairy tale world armored by delusion.

webmdave said...

WizenedSage, Exceptional Post ! You are spot-on with all of your points.
When that Tsunami hit, I remember wondering how people ( ANY people of faith ) could possibly gloss over what had happened as " God, working in mysterious ways ".....and of course the christians were yapping about how it was The Lard's condemnation upon the muslim's, totally missing the point that 230,000 men, women, little children & babies drowned under countless tons of debris. eeeeechhhhhhh !

webmdave said...

IH8GODSTORIES.......Every atheist does what ?

webmdave said...

Huh....?

webmdave said...

Wonderful post!

webmdave said...

Very well put. Bravo.

webmdave said...

Every atheist does, GOD DOES NOT EXIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

webmdave said...

agreed.

webmdave said...

There's no arguing with the only REAL god, Nature--implacable, indifferent, relentless, eternal.

webmdave said...

Ain't all that the truth?!?

WizenedSage, many, many thanks for this opus. Absolutely spot on!

webmdave said...

Sister Dorothy, my eight grade teacher at Catholic school , reminded the class that the sin of omission means that if one can prevent sin or suffering and does not , they are as guilty as if they committed the sin or offense, therefore we remember that Jesus calmed the waves and wind but refused to stop the tsunami ergo, Jesus is guilty of the death by drowning of 300,000 people ,two thirds of them children...Barondon

webmdave said...

you are SO goin' to hell....
(kidding)
I wish I had the money to buy a full page newspaper ad and run this article every Sunday till every church in town goes outta business.
This one is a KEEPER, Wizen!!!!!!!!!!!!

webmdave said...

"uniquely armored against criticism" -

I am so jealous when, in four brief words, the major problem with religion is so well described!

Of course there is one word to describe a system of truth claims for which there is no reality check: delusion.

Just sayin'