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Thread: Medeline Albright

  1. #1

    Default Medeline Albright

    I heard about this http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/...-at-wrong-time when looking for information regarding Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I was saddened to see a christian can be so misguided. Most of my soon to be wife's friends happen to be atheist or agnostic because of the false belief that fear is a good way to make people turn to christianity (they are disillusioned by misguided notions similiar to Madeline Albright). Clearly fear is not a good way to convert people.

    I wanted to ask everyone how many here on ADISC actually are not christians because they believe that individuals like Madeline Albright (there are other examples as well) actually represent the church? The fact of the matter is I see individuals like her being more of a threat to the church then anything else because of their misrepresentation of the church.

    Please be advised this post is about religion not about politics specifically. I would rather save replies regarding politics for a completely different thread as that would be going off topic.

  2. #2

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    Can't speak for all my fellow athiests, but while the significant pile of evil that organize religion brings into the world is probably what gets a lot of people initially thinking about their beliefs, increasing scientific understanding of how the universe works I feel is the major driving force behind the increase in atheism. The idea of a magic man in the clouds making everything work becomes increasingly hard to believe as we move towards understanding how things actually work. Religions organizations have tried to scale back the directness of the hand their various deities had in the creation of the universe as a response, but as we figure more things out through scientific method, the subset of the universe which can be relegated to magic is just going to keep decreasing.

    TLDR: hard core bible thumbers are annoying, but I don't think are putting people off religion

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoundCoder View Post
    . . . increasing scientific understanding of how the universe works I feel is the major driving force behind the increase in atheism. The idea of a magic man in the clouds making everything work becomes increasingly hard to believe as we move towards understanding how things actually work.
    I think you're doing many, many people a vast disservice here. I don't doubt it's coming from what you think is a good place, mind, but it's much like the faithful that ask how atheists know right from wrong without a fear of damnation or the like. I know a number of highly educated, intelligent, and faithful individuals. Faith and Science aren't mutually exclusive.

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    I find that understanding / framing reality on the basis of faith in a set of beliefs is, for me, not useful. I don't / can't have genuine faith, regardless of the belief system. At the end of the day, I know and can't escape the fact that I'm placing a lot of emotional trust on hearsay... and I just can't bring myself to do it. I can't hang on someone else's words, it's simply not enough to quell my existential angst. My foundational bedrock spiritual understanding of existence must primarily come from within, and has to feel right to me, before I can really trust it to such an extent. So far, I have found myself drawn to the path of Buddhism by following such an approach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traemo View Post
    Faith and Science aren't mutually exclusive.
    Maybe not, but historically they've certainly clashed.

    The typical timeline for most scientific advancement as it relates to religion would seem to start with declaring it blasphomy (which in less modern times may be accompanied by a beheading to really make the point), and then as the theory gathers more and more evidence try to shift focus away from the topic and eventually quietly accept it. The kind of things preached by organized religion in the past would be ludicrous to preach now, just as I suspect things that the church has fought strongly against now will be de-emphasized in the future (this is already happening with evolution.. compare religious objection when it was just a thin theory to modern times with a mounting pile of evidence, the church response is now "well, ok, mayve evolution is a thing, but god started it" and "yeah, well, the whole Noahs arc thing is more of a metaphore, it's not meant to actually be taken literally (even though in the past it was)" .



    Quote Originally Posted by Traemo View Post
    much like the faithful that ask how atheists know right from wrong without a fear of damnation or the like
    This is a very interesting subject, and certainly one no one has fully answered yet. I think the key thing is that people _are_ trying to find an answer though. There's been some interesting research on alturism as it relates to natural selection. In the future it's possible we will have an answer, one that will probably be objected to be the church at first, but as more and more studies are done and it becomes as hard to refute to an educated man as it would be to argue that the world is flat in modern times, the objection will quietly die down and religion will receed a bit more.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by giantguy99 View Post
    I heard about this http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/...-at-wrong-time when looking for information regarding Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I was saddened to see a christian can be so misguided. Most of my soon to be wife's friends happen to be atheist or agnostic because of the false belief that fear is a good way to make people turn to christianity (they are disillusioned by misguided notions similiar to Madeline Albright). Clearly fear is not a good way to convert people.

    I wanted to ask everyone how many here on ADISC actually are not christians because they believe that individuals like Madeline Albright (there are other examples as well) actually represent the church? The fact of the matter is I see individuals like her being more of a threat to the church then anything else because of their misrepresentation of the church.

    Please be advised this post is about religion not about politics specifically. I would rather save replies regarding politics for a completely different thread as that would be going off topic.
    I don't think Madeline Albright intended her "special place in Hell" comment to be taken literally, rather than as a rhetorical flourish... I wonder if Madeline Albright even believes in Hell? I'm not so well informed on the subject but I believe many more modern / liberal in theology believe that the unrepentant and unsaved simply die and are not resurrected, rather than being subjected to an eternal torment.

    I don't believe in God, and I REALLY don't believe in any religion. I can see why it's tempting to believe in a creator of the universe, but I can't see why anyone can go from that idea to the belief that the creator has any interest in their moral conduct or any interest in granting them eternal life to spend in his company.

    The idea of Hell as a place of eternal torment... I can understand why that's appealing in a world where "good things happen to bad people" and "bad things happen to good people" that God is watching and making notes, and it going to settle the score on your behalf later on.... it really seems completely unlikely to me though.

    People who are convinced that they are going to heaven, and are clearly enjoying the idea of other people going to Hell are not the kind of people most of us want to spend time with, and I'm sure they keep a lot of people away from Church, but they aren't the main reason I don't believe in God.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by giantguy99 View Post
    I heard about this http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/...-at-wrong-time when looking for information regarding Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I was saddened to see a christian can be so misguided. Most of my soon to be wife's friends happen to be atheist or agnostic because of the false belief that fear is a good way to make people turn to christianity (they are disillusioned by misguided notions similiar to Madeline Albright). Clearly fear is not a good way to convert people.

    I wanted to ask everyone how many here on ADISC actually are not christians because they believe that individuals like Madeline Albright (there are other examples as well) actually represent the church? The fact of the matter is I see individuals like her being more of a threat to the church then anything else because of their misrepresentation of the church.

    Please be advised this post is about religion not about politics specifically. I would rather save replies regarding politics for a completely different thread as that would be going off topic.
    Yes, fear isn't a 'good' way to turn people to Christianity, but it is an effective way that is used by many Christian denominations. That being said, it still isn't the driving force for why I am Atheist. If I still believed In god, I would just end up avoiding the fear based groups and go find a nice church that preaches love and acceptance and excitement for the atonement.

    Side note, I don't even know who Madeline Albright is outside of just barely looking her wiki page up. So I can strongly say, she has nothing to do with my Atheist views.

    So why am I atheist?
    1. Earth is way older than 6000-7000 years old.
    2. Noah's arc is not possible.
    3. The records of Jesus were written at least 70 years after Jesus and give room for doubt about that story.
    4. Being swallowed by a whale and staying alive sounds like a fish tale.
    5. God is responsible for a lot of massacres in the old testament, and I can't respect him for that.
    6. Adam and Eve would not have been enough of a population to produce the rest of the world without genetic fallout where their 4th+ generation of children would have suffered major effects from inbreeding.
    7. Spiritual confirmations told me a specific christian denomination was the one and only true church on the earth, and then I discovered that was a major lie, so, spiritual confirmations lead me astray and were not a reliable basis of determining truth, not to mention that those feelings appear at strange moments during movies and music which have nothing to do with Christianity.
    8. As technology increases, miracles decrease. The bible told about some amazing miracles, but as camera phones have become the norm, the reports of miracles beyond somebody finding their keys, tend to be decreasing. Most claims to miracles are based on healing events which ignore the effort that it took from the doctor, medicine, and scientific research to understand the workings of the human body. In essence, people give the credit to God instead of the men and women who put in all the effort.
    9. Religions in general tend to have a history of counter productive behavior with science and open thought.
    10. People tend to be good or bad regardless of their religion or lack thereof. However, religion has done an excellent job at producing fundamentalists who are responsible for persecutions against LGBT, other religions, and each other. I'll give credit to the fact that sometimes religion is exactly what somebody needs to have a sense of structure to be able to escape things like drug addiction, but there are other methods to establishing that structure as well.


    Edit: let me add to that list.
    11. James Randi, an amazing magician, let people know magic was all a mind game, and proved many other miracle workers to just be playing tricks too. With people falling for that stuff in our worlds level of understanding and technology, it would have been easy in the biblical days to for a trickster to make people think he or she was a prophet by using parlor tricks.
    12. Religion has given room for a lot of corruption, luckily that has had a downturn with events like the pope pushing for transparency in the church. However there are still many churches that will push people to donate money who cant afford it, and then not give help in return to those who need it.
    Last edited by Tyger; 13-Feb-2016 at 19:09.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MsClara View Post
    I don't think Madeline Albright intended her "special place in Hell" comment to be taken literally, rather than as a rhetorical flourish... I wonder if Madeline Albright even believes in Hell? I'm not so well informed on the subject but I believe many more modern / liberal in theology believe that the unrepentant and unsaved simply die and are not resurrected, rather than being subjected to an eternal torment.

    I don't believe in God, and I REALLY don't believe in any religion. I can see why it's tempting to believe in a creator of the universe, but I can't see why anyone can go from that idea to the belief that the creator has any interest in their moral conduct or any interest in granting them eternal life to spend in his company.

    The idea of Hell as a place of eternal torment... I can understand why that's appealing in a world where "good things happen to bad people" and "bad things happen to good people" that God is watching and making notes, and it going to settle the score on your behalf later on.... it really seems completely unlikely to me though.

    People who are convinced that they are going to heaven, and are clearly enjoying the idea of other people going to Hell are not the kind of people most of us want to spend time with, and I'm sure they keep a lot of people away from Church, but they aren't the main reason I don't believe in God.
    Just so. It's a figure of speech. She would have to phrase it differently for me to believe it was intended as an earnest, religious condemnation.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traemo View Post
    but it's much like the faithful that ask how atheists know right from wrong without a fear of damnation or the like.
    If you're only doing "right" out of fear of the consequences of not doing so, rather than actual belief in the righteousness of the action, are you really good? Besides, the same question can legitimately be asked of most of the adherents of most religions - how do you know which bits of your holy text are still relevant? Who are you to decide that some commandments can safely be ignored?

    We're a social species. We've historically benefited from co-operation, and the foundation of co-operation is reciprocity - if you hurt me, I hurt you; if you help me, I help you. We have natural instincts towards "doing unto others as they do to you", and to the greater extent, that is the foundation of the moral philosophies of most religions.

    To quote a point that Butterfly Mage (an ex-member) made about four years ago in a discussion about the Westboro Baptist Church....



    So... this opinion comes from a non-Christian that has bitter antipathy towards organized political Christianity. So take it with that filter on.

    I don't actually believe in a Satan. However, my idea of what a Satan's primary duty (within the context of Christianity) would be to turn as many people away from the Gospel as possible. After all, in Christianity, you can be forgiven if you do something bad (and we all screw up), but in that faith, the only unforgivable sin is practicing another religion or no religion at all.

    So, what's a Satan to do?

    Recording back-masked messages in Led Zepplin records didn't turn people away from Christ. Neither did violent video games. Neither did same-sex marriage. Neither did bad weather, earthquakes, recession, or any other personal tragedy. Say what you will about most Christians: they stick to what they believe in through thick and thin.

    However... There seems to be one opening for our crafty Satan to pursue. What if there were Christian leaders that made Christianity look so repugnant that it made people of wavering faith lose their belief? Or what if it made the spiritual person who is exploring religion for the first time look at Christianity and turn away in horror? That, I believe, would be a significant victory for the Satan in question.

    So, who do we know in real life that does things like that? Fred Phelps, Rick Warren, Pat Robertson, and Ted Haggert make up the "short list". However, I'd have to say that Fred Phelps wins hands-down for conducting a ministry that serves *only* to turn existing Christians away from Christ and deflects interested persons from wanting to know about Christ.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by giantguy99 View Post
    I heard about this http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/...-at-wrong-time when looking for information regarding Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I was saddened to see a christian can be so misguided. Most of my soon to be wife's friends happen to be atheist or agnostic because of the false belief that fear is a good way to make people turn to christianity (they are disillusioned by misguided notions similiar to Madeline Albright). Clearly fear is not a good way to convert people.

    I wanted to ask everyone how many here on ADISC actually are not christians because they believe that individuals like Madeline Albright (there are other examples as well) actually represent the church? The fact of the matter is I see individuals like her being more of a threat to the church then anything else because of their misrepresentation of the church.
    I'm atheist, and I suppose that part of being atheist means that you try to think "rationally" (whatever that ridiculously nebulous word means!). It really annoys me when someone judges a whole group as a result of the actions of a minority. I've never understood it. So, no; random people like that don't make me judge Christianity any differently.

    Besides, Christianity has become so splintered over the millennia. Different denominations can be so distinct that they seem like different religions. I don't think of Christianity as one big homogeneous thing (or, I try not to).

    Also, I looked at the link, and I reallly don't understand the fuss (although that's all I know about what happened). It's a cheap shot, but saying that, "there's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other" just sounds like a strangely sexist version of George Bush's "Either you're with us, or you're against us".

    "There's a special place in hell for..." is a reasonably common phrase, said jokingly. So I don't really see how it has anything to do with religion, or means that the speaker should come across as a "bad Christian" or something.

    But then I don't anything about this Albright character.

    I suspect that religion has long been (ab)used to galvanise support for political ideas. Any religion that manages to convince a lot of people to all believe the same thing automatically has a lot of power. Convince them that a corrupt political candidate represents those shared values, and it can be easy to control the masses.



    Quote Originally Posted by Traemo View Post
    I know a number of highly educated, intelligent, and faithful individuals. Faith and Science aren't mutually exclusive.
    Well... people can be both faithful and scientific intellectuals (although it's relatively rare), but I do think that faith and science themselves are mutually exclusive.

    If you use science to test your faith... there is no room for faith when you analyse the results. And if you use faith to test your science, then there is no room for science as, by definition, you have evaded the scientific method.

    -------------------------------

    The reason I'm atheist is because I have never seen anything to suggest to me that remote or invisible minds must necessarily exist in order for reality itself to exist. Gods, monsters, ghosts, fairies, unicorns and so on, seem to be superfluous to requirements when trying to understand reality. It would be different if there were any slim form of evidence.

    If god truly exists, I can't believe that he would give no plausible sign at all of his existence, and then expect us to believe the impossible when he has given us a rational brain that rejects such notions.

    And then there are the stories... God commits genocide, causes plagues of locusts, drowns most living things, impregnates a virgin by magic, whose son is tortured and executed, which (for no obvious reason) means that you can do bad stuff and still have a nice afterlife. And then the dead guy comes back to life. And you can whisper wishes into the air and they might come true. He knows everything and is ultimately good, but created a devil to torment us. Aaaand...

    It doesn't seem like a reasonable explanation of reality to me. But I can appreciate the psychological benefits that religion can provide for a "tribe" (whether ancient or modern). The sense of identity, community, purpose and meaning is no doubt valuable, regardless of whether any of the beliefs are true.

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