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...Atheist says terror attacks reinforce his belief all faiths are nonsense.

 

FORMER trainee priest, ALEX MOONEY, claims terrorists are killing in the name of a god that does not exist.

 

HOLY men calling out the names of 10 journalists before systematically killing them one by one in a Paris office – in the name of a loving god.

 

Holy men taking seven hours to end the fledgling lives of 132 school children and setting their teachers alight in front of them in Peshawar, Pakistan – in the name of a loving god.

 

These two barbarous acts in the last month disgust all decent people and must surely hasten an end to the absurdity of religion.

 

Sentient beings who promote ancient fears, rituals and superstition must learn that their ludicrous beliefs are ultimately dangerous. Holy wars belong to the Dark Ages – as does all religion.

 

There are no gods, no heaven, no hell, no miracles. There never has been. There never will be. This is way beyond reasonable doubt now.

 

There is not one shred of evidence anywhere to prove the existence of a supernatural entity.

 

Thanks to science the greatest story ever told is not in the Bible, or any sacred scripture, but can be found from the Big Bang onwards.

 

If you must have faith then believe in that because it is more wondrous than anything in holy texts.

 

But we still live in a world that is predominantly religious. At my Catholic primary school in the 50s, pupils were told their faith was the only true one.

 

I recall one ridiculing Red Indians – as they were described then. A teacher said they were savages and heathens because they prayed to totem poles. We laughed with her.

 

In a science class, we were given moulds and shown how to make plaster statues. By the time I was 15 I had been in a cloistered seminary for three years, training to become a priest.

 

Hidden away from the world, we prayed a lot. One day I knelt before a statue of Jesus and as I prayed a *question disturbed me.

 

What is the difference between praying to a lump of wood or a mould of plaster? There is none, of course. That epiphany was the end of my *vocation – and my faith in God.

 

Yet, 50 years on, blind belief still has a hold on billions of people who cling to the hope of eternal life in a heaven.

 

Many are becoming fanaticised. One atrocity after another is done in the name of protecting their god.

 

Religious leaders denounce the perpetrators as “not being of the true faith” – until the next barbaric beheading is filmed live and fed to the world’s social media like some grotesque trailer for a reality show.

 

Apologists for religion blame fundamentalism for these despicable acts. Really? Well the one thing fundamental to fundamentalism is belief in a god.

 

In America’s Bible Belt millions of Christians, split into sects, are fleeced by charlatans and snake-oil salesmen. TV and radio stations make a fortune from pandering to deluded believers.

 

In a clinical environment some of those who swoon before the pastors and faith healers would be diagnosed as having mental health issues.

 

Astonishingly, though, throughout the world atheists are facing ever increasing persecution. A new report from the International Humanist and Ethical Union shows that 19 countries punish their people for apostasy – in 12 of those the sentence is death.

 

In Pakistan the death sentence can even be imposed for blasphemy where the threshold is very low.

 

In all, 55 countries, including several Western ones, have laws against *blasphemy. The sentence is prison in 39 countries and death in six.

 

In Saudi Arabia, a new law equates atheism with terrorism. And the *Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak branded humanists and *secularists as no less than deviants.

 

That this is happening in 2015 should trigger massive concern.

 

Yet politicians and governments shy away from confronting the issue in the hope religion’s followers and its *influence will wither away as believers increasingly look at science to explain the world rather than discredited theology.

 

While the number of believers is falling in the West there is a danger that those remaining will also become fanaticised as they are isolated.

 

Historians 100 years on will surely wonder why so many people were deluded and perhaps conclude that some form of mass brainwashing was in play.

 

The truth is, we don’t need scriptures or 10 commandments to be good folk.

 

Just be fair and decent in everything you do – and that applies to people, businesses, politicians and *governments.

 

If you want a better world then believe in that.

 

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/religion-belongs-dark-ages-atheist-4952352

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In these confusing times, many people seek solace in differing ways.

 

One's mortality being brought into question can have a real adverse effect on that person's mental health, some people can deal with the thought of dying, others can't. Those who can't deal with it, sometimes seek comfort in 'knowing' that when that time comes, their being won't end, but will instead go to Heaven where their life's good deeds will be rewarded by the loving God and they will meet others who they've missed since their own passing like parents, family members or former friends. If this helps people live a better life, then so be it.

 

To tell these people that they belong in the Dark Ages is pretty harsh. Blaming religion on the barbaric acts of a few against the many could be considered 'thinking from the Dark Ages'.

 

There will always be certain people who seek to harm others in the name of a cause. We've seen it state sponsored terrorism in Europe during the last century via the Third Reich, in Stalin's USSR, Franco's Spain and during the Balkan divorce. We've seen white supremacist kill 80 children in Norway to protest at immigration of all things, Timothy McVey's Oklahoma bombing, IRA attacks in England and Northern Ireland, the Israel/Palestine never ending violence cycle, the list is endless really and just broad-brushing religion because some cowardly scumbags wish to enact violence on people in the name of their religion isn't being fair on those who use their faith to undertake huge acts of kindness on others.

 

Sometimes Atheists are even worse than some of the religious fundamentalists that they wish to banish to the dark ages.

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In these confusing times, many people seek solace in differing ways.

 

One's mortality being brought into question can have a real adverse effect on that person's mental health, some people can deal with the thought of dying, others can't. Those who can't deal with it, sometimes seek comfort in 'knowing' that when that time comes, their being won't end, but will instead go to Heaven where their life's good deeds will be rewarded by the loving God and they will meet others who they've missed since their own passing like parents, family members or former friends. If this helps people live a better life, then so be it.

 

To tell these people that they belong in the Dark Ages is pretty harsh. Blaming religion on the barbaric acts of a few against the many could be considered 'thinking from the Dark Ages'.

 

There will always be certain people who seek to harm others in the name of a cause. We've seen it state sponsored terrorism in Europe during the last century via the Third Reich, in Stalin's USSR, Franco's Spain and during the Balkan divorce. We've seen white supremacist kill 80 children in Norway to protest at immigration of all things, Timothy McVey's Oklahoma bombing, IRA attacks in England and Northern Ireland, the Israel/Palestine never ending violence cycle, the list is endless really and just broad-brushing religion because some cowardly scumbags wish to enact violence on people in the name of their religion isn't being fair on those who use their faith to undertake huge acts of kindness on others.

 

Sometimes Atheists are even worse than some of the religious fundamentalists that they wish to banish to the dark ages.

 

You're in denial.

 

You're in denial about the blood soaked history of Christianity, about the Nazi's Christian/Catholic underpinning, about Anders Breveik's Christian zealotry and most of all that religion is a force for good in this world and is mostly there to comfort the poor, frightened people.

 

The biggest comfort people can have in this world is the truth. To face up to their own mortality and reject supernatural dogma which has held our species back for centuries. The Dark Ages were so called for a reason and it wasn't Atheism.

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I'm not in denial, far from it.

 

I'm pretty realistic about my own mortality, and yours for that matter. But I'll bet you a pint that if religion was outlawed throughout the world, all past records burned down, Churches, Temples, Mosques and Synagogues all demolished deleted from textbooks etc, then we fast forward 100 years, then there will still be hundreds killed in the name of something else be it, states, economic policy or sporting conquests. There will always be some people hell-bent on destroying what they see as evil or wrong.

 

These crazy Islamists don't think they're wrong, Stalin didn't think he was wrong, nor did Hitler, Franco, Timothy McVey, Gerry Adams, Oliver Cromwell, Oswald Mosley, Pol Pot, Scientologists etc etc etc, and in 100 years, after religion is wiped out, there will still be people who don't think they're wrong.

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I don't know one Atheist who wants to see religion outlawed and all trace of it destroyed and erased from history neither do I.

 

I want reason, logic and rationality to replace dogma, superstition and belief. If we lived in a world where the overwhelming majority of people valued this life more highly because it's the only one they'll ever know I'd imagine it would be a much more peaceful and progressive one but it wouldn't be free from human misery. We have a tremendous propensity for violence as a species and that is something we'll have to work on for centuries to come.

 

You can't put all the evils in the world down to religion but you can certainly attribute a large percentage. The subjugation of women, the persecution of homosexuals and the threat of death by stoning, hanging or the sword in Islam for anyone who is deemed to have committed a transgression of Shariah (God's) law. This is the situation for almost a billion people right now, today. Christianity commands less headlines but it too has problems with mysogony, homophobia and racism and we have a large proportion of the US who remain so ignorant to the reality of life in 2015 that they think this earth is just over 6,000 years old. Indonesia, Malyasia, much of Africa and across the globe there are entire populations who live daily life which has not improved since the 12th Century.

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How can you blame the lack of religion for atrocities, it's a very strange argument. There are greedy, selfish and evil people as well as psychopaths born into the world all the time - whatever religion they are indoctrinated will be unlikely to cure them and many of them will work out that religion is not for them. However, there are plenty of normal people, reasonably good people who can be turned evil by religion and do evil in its name.

 

The biggest difference though is that if an atheist commits an atrocity, you don't get millions of other atheists coming to their defence and defending them just because they are also an atheist. You don't get a load of atrocities committed due to some perceived insult to atheism. You don't get thousands of people abusing or murdering other people because they are not also atheists. You don't get laws that punish and kill people for blasphemy to atheism.

 

Atheism does not equate to a religion, it is not a religious group, it's those that are left after you take out all the religious groups.

 

In the end it seems to take illogical and strange thinking to defend "religion" at all - as by definition, all religions think OTHER religions are nutty. So it's actually pretty much unanimous in the world that religion is nuts but too many millions of people just don't get their own irony where they think, "except for mine".

 

Atheism is innocent as it's not even an entity.

Edited by calscot
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I don't know one Atheist who wants to see religion outlawed and all trace of it destroyed and erased from history neither do I.

 

I want reason, logic and rationality to replace dogma, superstition and belief. If we lived in a world where the overwhelming majority of people valued this life more highly because it's the only one they'll ever know I'd imagine it would be a much more peaceful and progressive one but it wouldn't be free from human misery. We have a tremendous propensity for violence as a species and that is something we'll have to work on for centuries to come.

 

You can't put all the evils in the world down to religion but you can certainly attribute a large percentage. The subjugation of women, the persecution of homosexuals and the threat of death by stoning, hanging or the sword in Islam for anyone who is deemed to have committed a transgression of Shariah (God's) law. This is the situation for almost a billion people right now, today. Christianity commands less headlines but it too has problems with mysogony, homophobia and racism and we have a large proportion of the US who remain so ignorant to the reality of life in 2015 that they think this earth is just over 6,000 years old. Indonesia, Malyasia, much of Africa and across the globe there are entire populations who live daily life which has not improved since the 12th Century.

 

I believe you are being disingenuous. Many Atheists I know would gladly outlaw religion, though most appreciate our old Church's classical architecture and wouldn't sanction their demolition...

 

You want reason and logic to replace dogma, well so do I. We're not that far apart I just don't think that people who use religion as a coping strategy should be told that they belong in the dark ages.

 

There will always be people, bad people, who will use something to control the masses. We see it in many Arab and Muslim lands, but without a shadow of a doubt, most people want to be good people, regardless of which version of the sky wizard that they subscribe to.

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I believe you are being disingenuous. Many Atheists I know would gladly outlaw religion, though most appreciate our old Church's classical architecture and wouldn't sanction their demolition...

 

You want reason and logic to replace dogma, well so do I. We're not that far apart I just don't think that people who use religion as a coping strategy should be told that they belong in the dark ages.

 

There will always be people, bad people, who will use something to control the masses. We see it in many Arab and Muslim lands, but without a shadow of a doubt, most people want to be good people, regardless of which version of the sky wizard that they subscribe to.

 

If reason and logic are followed, the only outcome is that the iron age cult of Christianity be seen as a work of fiction. The holy book itself is a mish-mash of texts, translations and edits chosen from many thousands of parables and written by people who lived and died in a totally separate time from the main character. The current version (KIng james Bible) didn't exist until 1611. All it takes is a bit of critical thinking and the whole veneer of substance melts away into the darkness.

 

I get the impression the main reasons you are a fan of religion seems to centre around the "what harm is it doing?" and "lots of people take comfort from their faith" thing. Please correct me if I'm picking you up wrongly or misunderstanding your position.

 

While I agree that lots of people do take great comfort from their belief in an afterlife for example I don't think it's valid to perpetuate this myth simply because vulnerable, frightened people can be placated by the promise of another life in paradise or, elsewhere, in fact I'd say that vulnerable, frightened people are the last group I'd be comfortable exposing to the religious zealots who prey on them and exploit their fears and insecurities. Fear is a very powerful emotion, it can make otherwise intelligent and balanced people ignore the evidence, or lack of, and submit to anything they think will protect them.

 

It's simply not enough to suggest that we should leave faith alone because it gives people comfort. Many heroin addicts find great comfort from the horrors of their past in a destructive and all consuming drug. The same can be said for alcoholics. A healthy dose of reality and the help and support to face up their fears and troubles is what they need.

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If reason and logic are followed, the only outcome is that the iron age cult of Christianity be seen as a work of fiction. The holy book itself is a mish-mash of texts, translations and edits chosen from many thousands of parables and written by people who lived and died in a totally separate time from the main character. The current version (KIng james Bible) didn't exist until 1611. All it takes is a bit of critical thinking and the whole veneer of substance melts away into the darkness.

 

I get the impression the main reasons you are a fan of religion seems to centre around the "what harm is it doing?" and "lots of people take comfort from their faith" thing. Please correct me if I'm picking you up wrongly or misunderstanding your position.

 

While I agree that lots of people do take great comfort from their belief in an afterlife for example I don't think it's valid to perpetuate this myth simply because vulnerable, frightened people can be placated by the promise of another life in paradise or, elsewhere, in fact I'd say that vulnerable, frightened people are the last group I'd be comfortable exposing to the religious zealots who prey on them and exploit their fears and insecurities. Fear is a very powerful emotion, it can make otherwise intelligent and balanced people ignore the evidence, or lack of, and submit to anything they think will protect them.

 

It's simply not enough to suggest that we should leave faith alone because it gives people comfort. Many heroin addicts find great comfort from the horrors of their past in a destructive and all consuming drug. The same can be said for alcoholics. A healthy dose of reality and the help and support to face up their fears and troubles is what they need.

 

Reason and logic might seem matter of fact for you, and me, but that doesn't mean that everyone else can follow things to a logical conclusion.

 

I'm not a fan of religion per se, certainly I'm no fan of fundamental religion where there is no scope for change or discussion. People carrying our atrocities in the name of religion aren't, they are doing so in the name of fundamentalism.

 

The discussion is centred on the basis that no religion = no atrocities or rather = less atrocities. My point is that it wouldn't be true. There will always be people seeking to control the many via a fundamentalist approach to their vision of a utopian society based on socialism or capitalism, or their views on abortion, or GM crops, or Frankenstein babies, or sporting conquests, or jingoism, or new motorways...

 

My point is, people who believe in God don't belong in the Dark Ages. 99% of truly religious folks are good people. The eejits who take it too far are not religious, but fundamentalists.

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