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    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #1

    Oct 4, 2007, 09:57 AM
    Religion Must Be Destroyed
    Religion Must Be Destroyed, Atheist Alliance Declares

    Science must ultimately destroy organized religion, according to some of the leading atheist writers and intellectuals who spoke at a recent atheist conference in Northern Virginia. God is a myth, and children must not be schooled in any faith, they said, at the "Crystal Clear Atheism" event, sponsored by the Atheist Alliance International.

    Some of the luminaries who spoke at the conference, held at the Crown Royal Hotel in Crystal City, Va. over the weekend, included Oxford professor Richard Dawkins, author Sam Harris and journalist Christopher Hitchens. The Atheist Alliance International describes itself as "the only democratic national atheist organization in the United States."

    While most attendees on Friday night were adamant that God was a myth, the convention, attended by hundreds of people, brought into focus a divide among atheists as to their identity as a movement and the nature of the enemy they faced.

    In his speech, Dawkins portrayed a black-and-white intellectual battle between atheism and religion. He denounced the "preposterous nonsense of religious customs" and compared religion to racism. He also gave no quarter to moderate or liberal believers, asserting that "so-called moderate Christianity is simply an evasion."

    "If you've been taught to believe it by moderates, what's to stop you from taking the next step and blowing yourself up?" he said.

    By contrast, Harris's speech was a more tempered critique of the atheist movement itself. While Harris said he believed science must ultimately destroy religion, he also discussed spirituality and mysticism and called for a greater understanding of allegedly spiritual phenomena. He also cautioned the audience against lumping all religions together.

    "The refrain that all religions have their extremists is bull-t," Harris said. "All religions do not have their extremists. Some religions have never had their extremists."

    Specifically, he noted that radical Islam was far more threatening than any radical Christian sect, adding that Christians had a right to be outraged when the media treated the two religions similarly...

    Dawkins was particularly critical of parents who raise their children as a "Catholic child" or "Protestant child." Children must not be labeled as subscribing to a particular religion, he said, and should be allowed to examine the evidence and determine their beliefs for themselves...

    Atheists are still a small minority in America. A Newsweek poll earlier this year found that 91 percent of Americans believe in God. A more recent Pew Research Center poll found that atheists were among the most distrusted people in the nation, with 53 percent of Americans holding an unfavorable opinion of them.

    But they are a proudly elitist and self-certain minority. When asked what the main difference between believers and atheists was, Dawkins had a quick answer: "Well, we're bright."
    No word on whether tolerance was a subject of discussion although one of the speakers at the conference, Sale McGowan, believes "humility is the natural inheritance of atheism." I'm not sure one reconciles these "bright" atheists pronouncement that religion must be destroyed with the pronouncement that "humility is the natural inheritance of atheism." Anyone? Or is it all just an atheist aversion?

    Also, is anyone out there in fear of moderate Christians taking the next step and blowing themselves up, or is Harris right in that "Christians had a right to be outraged when the media treated the two religions similarly?"
    Greg Quinn's Avatar
    Greg Quinn Posts: 486, Reputation: 85
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    #2

    Oct 4, 2007, 10:20 AM
    Wow... That is a big bundle. I do not fear religion as I used to as I am now becoming a little more aware that going to war with it is just another waste of time. I believe it started with one man and look where it is now. I know that is not really an answer to your question's but I agree with a lot of the quotes you posted. Children should believe for themselves, we are not liked and we are bright. If in the post it was linked "Extremists and blowing themselves up was literal"?They won't blow themselves up because they are so much a part of western civilization and would miss their Starbucks and pay per view. Children schooled in fact not faith as I'm sure you heard "Faith is believing in something as fact when there is no logical reason to do so."
    NeedKarma's Avatar
    NeedKarma Posts: 10,635, Reputation: 1706
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    #3

    Oct 4, 2007, 10:36 AM
    Bah, both sides have wackos. Nothing to see here.
    Antony dot f dot's Avatar
    Antony dot f dot Posts: 8, Reputation: 0
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    #4

    Oct 4, 2007, 10:41 AM
    I completely disagree with this idea of 'science destroying religion'! Children do often choose what to believe and in fact, many scientists believe in God. And saying that believers will 'take the next step' and blow themselves up is complete nonsense!
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #5

    Oct 4, 2007, 10:54 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by NeedKarma
    Bah, both sides have wackos. Nothing to see here.
    It's comforting that you acknowledge that much, but curious you don't seem to have the same enthusiasm for criticizing these wackos as you do Christian wackos. I'd still like to know your thoughts on their stance that religion must be destroyed, particularly in light of number 2 on their "Who We Are" statement.

    Every human being is entitled to freedom of conscience, which requires absolute state neutrality towards religion and nonreligion and governmental maintenance of inviolate human rights. Thus, we oppose any law requiring or forbidding the personal observance of religion.
    NeedKarma's Avatar
    NeedKarma Posts: 10,635, Reputation: 1706
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    #6

    Oct 4, 2007, 10:59 AM
    Listen, I make it a policy to distance myself from fanatics of all kinds. I certainly don't give them airtime to popularize their twisted beliefs.

    Edit to add: that quote you show does not advocate "destroying religion" like you mention. You're putting a sensationalistic spin on it to rile up emotion - you are Fox News! :D
    kindj's Avatar
    kindj Posts: 253, Reputation: 105
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    #7

    Oct 4, 2007, 11:13 AM
    Well, let's see here:

    "Science must ultimately destroy organized religion, according to some of the leading atheist writers and intellectuals..."

    How am I to interpret that? Are they saying that it's a forgone conclusion (at least in their minds) that science will eventually disprove and invalidate all of the world's religions, or are they saying that--with their help--science will mount an intellectual attack and forcibly remove religion from the world?

    Out of pure kindness, I will assume the former, even though the latter seems to be on some folk's agendas.

    "children must not be schooled in any faith"

    I guess that's the difference between Mr. Dawkins and myself. I respect his right to believe what he chooses to believe, and to teach his children what he sees fit. So long as it harms no one, I see no problem with anyone doing just that. Too bad he is unwilling to extend the same objectivity and courtesy with folks of a religious nature.

    "Thus, we oppose any law requiring or forbidding the personal observance of religion."

    Good. They agree with the 1st Amendment. That should be sufficient to completely negate any other arguments they might make along these lines, then.
    tomder55's Avatar
    tomder55 Posts: 1,742, Reputation: 342
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    #8

    Oct 4, 2007, 11:19 AM
    The more science "discovers " the more we are able to appreciate the awesome magnificant complexity of God's creation.
    michealb's Avatar
    michealb Posts: 484, Reputation: 129
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    #9

    Oct 4, 2007, 11:22 AM
    The problem is that when you look at religion from a non-religious perspective meaning you don't favor a religion to start with. They all are about the same and all have about as much proof of god as I have proof of an intangible and invisible pink unicorn which is none. Religion is simply one story built on another that changes as one leader after another makes a change to it. Just look at the similarity between Hercules and Jesus.
    1. Both has a earthly mother and god father.
    2. Both had trials to over come in there life
    3. Both had power beyond that of normal men
    4. Both have stories that include information about birth but little about their childhood
    5. Hera wanted to kill Hercules and Herod want to kill Jesus
    6. When they died they both went to join their father
    7. Both are believed to be real people by much of the populace during their time.
    8. Temples are built to Hercules Churches are built to Jesus
    9. There is no writings from the time that either of them lived that make mention of them
    10. Both finally met their end only because of a loved one.
    11. Neither left an earthly corpse.
    If these were to movies coming out at the same time you would have a copyright lawsuit on your hands.

    This is when religious people start to talk about faith and they know they are right in their heart. The greeks thought they were right, too. The greeks were wrong and so is everyone else who believes in a god and most of you would see it but religious brian washing has taken control over the population. People are no more at fault for following their religion than the people that followed Jim Jones are, most people just don't have the ability to step back once they are involved. A flaw in gods perfect design.

    I know my words are flammatory but it's just how I feel about it and there is no reason to get angry with me remember I'm just some smuck on the internet. Don't bomb my house for it.
    jillianleab's Avatar
    jillianleab Posts: 1,194, Reputation: 279
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    #10

    Oct 4, 2007, 11:22 AM
    Dawkins and Harris are both loudmouths who get carried away. Then can make some good points at times, but when they get riled up their contempt for anything religious takes over and they go nuts. Harris is well known for his disdain for Islam, and Dawkins has an entire section in his book about calling a child a "catholic child" and so on. Taken in context it sort of makes sense; if you are born to Jewish parents in a strong Jewish family and strong Jewish community, it is more likely you will be Jewish. The same can be said for every other religion/denomination. He feels we should not tell children what to believe; "You're parents are Jewish, your grandparents are Jewish, you're Jewish", but rather let them make the decision on their own. Sort of reminds me of adult baptism, really. Anyway, obviously in his mind kids would choose the "right" path (atheism) and the world would be void of religion in a few generations, but let's be real here.

    I've never met an atheist who is as fanatical as either of these two men, or as the other outspoken atheists who make the media circuit. The ones I know are happy to carry on their way and let you carry on your way. Crazy things start to happen when you put people in groups, which I sure is what happened in this conference.
    inthebox's Avatar
    inthebox Posts: 787, Reputation: 179
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    #11

    Oct 4, 2007, 12:03 PM
    I personally think science and religion are compatible.

    As to destroying religion, Dawkins is not as smart as he thinks he is.

    It will never happen. Ask Nero, Stalin , Mao etc...

    Dawkins is entitled to his opinion, but when it comes to raising MY CHILDREN, he displays his elitism by his statements.

    As to Christians blowing themselves up, it is a theoretical possibility.
    There are "Christians" that want to harm doctors who perform abortions, and destroy abortion clinics. But I'd wager that multiple Christian organizations would immediately denounce these acts.




    Grace and Peace
    jillianleab's Avatar
    jillianleab Posts: 1,194, Reputation: 279
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    #12

    Oct 4, 2007, 12:31 PM
    Really, anyone who thinks that religion in the US (or the world, for that matter) will be 100% eliminated or take over 100% is just plain wrong. There are far too many theistic people in the US and the world to ever eliminate religion; even if science came up with undisputable scientific proof there is no such thing as "god", people would still follow their faith - they would say god is testing us, or the "proof" is a lie or whatever. It's an unreasonable battle to fight, which is what irritates me so much about Dawkins. It really is like fighting an uphill battle; you're never going to win. There is also never going to be an instance of the US becoming a theocracy; sure there are people who wish it would happen, but there are far more reasonable people who would put a stop to it.
    MoonlitWaves's Avatar
    MoonlitWaves Posts: 171, Reputation: 52
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    #13

    Oct 4, 2007, 12:35 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by michealb
    This is when religious people start to talk about faith and they know they are right in their heart. The greeks thought they were right, too. The greeks were wrong and so is everyone else who believes in a god and most of you would see it but religious brian washing has taken control over the population. People are no more at fault for following their religion than the people that followed Jim Jones are, most people just don't have the ability to step back once they are involved. A flaw in gods perfect design.

    I know my words are flammatory but it's just how I feel about it and there is no reason to get angry with me remember I'm just some smuck on the internet. Don't bomb my house for it.
    I hear often that we are brain washed because of our role models, be it parents, other family, pastors, friends, etc. We are not brain washed, we have a choice in the matter and we made our choice. Be it to follow what we were introduce to and learned about, or not to. I know many people who were raised in a Christian home who choose not to follow their parents beliefs. Actually you will even find that many pastor's children are rebellious against their parent's strict household based upon their pastor father's beliefs. They were not brain washed, but those who do choose to follow the beliefs we were introduced to are brain washed? That's not very good reasoning. When we are saved we are like infants spiritually. It doesn't matter whether we are saved when we are young or old. It doesn't matter how much we were taught through church, our parents or even school we are still as infants when we are saved. It is through God and God alone that we grow spiritually (gain knowledge). Sure, I was taught things about God and the Bible before I was saved, but it wasn't until I was saved that things become clear and undeniable truths to me and not because my parents said they were. It is by my own studying and with God's help that I grow spiritually and gain better knowledge of all things God. That has nothing to do with what my role models say or do. They have no bearing or influence on my spiritual growth, it is by my own actions that this happens.
    Sure people can be influenced or as you say "brain washed", but if their reason for believing there is a God is because their parents said so then they haven't gained any knowledge at all, and their belief means nothing to God.. it isn't real and true.

    You have just as much right to express your thoughts as those who disagree with you. I don't think your opinion is inflammatory, but your remark about bombing your home is ridiculous. People tend to put all Christians into one group as though we are all the same. Since some Christian priests molest young boys we all do, right? Or we agree with it? Since people hurt others because God told them to or in the name of God, we all do? Or we agree with it, right? Since some people damn people to hell in attempt to get people to see things their way, we all do it, right? Or we agree with it? Some stress their devotion as if they do no wrong yet you see with your own eyes their hypocrisy, we all do it, right? Or we agree with it? Some speak of God as though they are an expert yet you and even people of their same belief clearly see their ignorance, we all are, right? Or we agree with it?
    The point is that we are not all the same though we are all under the Christian religion. Our relationships with God are not all the same. We are on different levels spiritually and we have different levels of knowledge. We are not all bombers, molesters, hypocrites, ignorant, or "holier than thou". See people as who they are individually rather than grouping us all together.
    jillianleab's Avatar
    jillianleab Posts: 1,194, Reputation: 279
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    #14

    Oct 4, 2007, 12:59 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by MoonlitWaves
    I don't think your opinion is inflammatory, but your remark about bombing your home is ridiculous.
    PSSST, Moon! I think he was making a joke in reference to the original post and Christians blowing themselves up... :)
    MoonlitWaves's Avatar
    MoonlitWaves Posts: 171, Reputation: 52
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    #15

    Oct 4, 2007, 01:14 PM
    Jillian, He probably was making a joke, but my post still stands. People do tend to put all Christians into one group as though we are all the same. And my post wasn't necessary directed just to Michael, it is to anyone who speaks to us as if we are all alike.
    speechlesstx's Avatar
    speechlesstx Posts: 1,111, Reputation: 284
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    #16

    Oct 4, 2007, 02:03 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by NeedKarma
    Listen, I make it a policy to distance myself from fanatics of all kinds. I certainly don't give them airtime to popularize their twisted beliefs.

    Edit to add: that quote you show does not advocate "destroying religion" like you mention. You're putting a sensationalistic spin on it to rile up emotion - you are Fox News! :D
    What is this affinity you have for questioning my sources questioning the credibility of my sources complete with disparaging "Fox News" comments? From the horse's mouth, Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and convention speaker in an article entitled Science Must Destroy Religion:

    Religion is fast growing incompatible with the emergence of a global, civil society. Religious faith faith that there is a God who cares what name he is called, that one of our books is infallible, that Jesus is coming back to earth to judge the living and the dead, that Muslim martyrs go straight to Paradise, etc. is on the wrong side of an escalating war of ideas. The difference between science and religion is the difference between a genuine openness to fruits of human inquiry in the 21st century, and a premature closure to such inquiry as a matter of principle. I believe that the antagonism between reason and faith will only grow more pervasive and intractable in the coming years. Iron Age beliefs about God, the soul, sin, free will, etc. continue to impede medical research and distort public policy. The possibility that we could elect a U.S. President who takes biblical prophesy seriously is real and terrifying; the likelihood that we will one day confront Islamists armed with nuclear or biological weapons is also terrifying, and it is increasing by the day. We are doing very little, at the level of our intellectual discourse, to prevent such possibilities. 

In the spirit of religious tolerance, most scientists are keeping silent when they should be blasting the hideous fantasies of a prior age with all the facts at their disposal.

    To win this war of ideas, scientists and other rational people will need to find new ways of talking about ethics and spiritual experience. The distinction between science and religion is not a matter of excluding our ethical intuitions and non-ordinary states of consciousness from our conversation about the world; it is a matter of our being rigorous about what is reasonable to conclude on their basis. We must find ways of meeting our emotional needs that do not require the abject embrace of the preposterous. We must learn to invoke the power of ritual and to mark those transitions in every human life that demand profundity birth, marriage, death, etc. without lying to ourselves about the nature of reality.

    I am hopeful that the necessary transformation in our thinking will come about as our scientific understanding of ourselves matures. When we find reliable ways to make human beings more loving, less fearful, and genuinely enraptured by the fact of our appearance in the cosmos, we will have no need for divisive religious myths. Only then will the practice of raising our children to believe that they are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu be broadly recognized as the ludicrous obscenity that it is. And only then will we stand a chance of healing the deepest and most dangerous fractures in our world.
    Sounds to me like he means what the title of his article says, and I have no reason to doubt that was a theme of the convention.
    NeedKarma's Avatar
    NeedKarma Posts: 10,635, Reputation: 1706
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    #17

    Oct 4, 2007, 02:17 PM
    I wasn't questioning your source. It's obvious what the guy is doing regardless of who reports it. I mention Fox News because your sensationalistic topic and first post are similar to what the laughing stock of the 'news' industry does. Funny how that's the only thing you decided to comment on.
    michealb's Avatar
    michealb Posts: 484, Reputation: 129
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    #18

    Oct 4, 2007, 02:37 PM
    Moonlitwaves,
    You don't think the fact that atheist are currently the most hated group in a America gives a child pause before he chooses to turn away from religion. It gave me pause I still don't tell people about it in my personal life for fear of what people will do. Brain washing may be the wrong word for it, maybe it's more like conditioning. Children believe what they are told, it's why we all believe in the tooth fairy and santa clause, when we are young. Yes, we start to question it and our parents come clean but say parent didn't admit they are fairy tales. How long do you think a child would believe in santa clause? If the parent instead said you have to believe or santa doesn't bring you presents. If the parent could get a good portion of the people that spoke to the child to continue with the joke. I'm willing to bet you would have a almost 90% retention rate of adults that believed in santa and would point to the present left by their parent as physical proof of santa and nothing that you could do later in that adults life would shake his believe that Santa is alive and well and brings him presents every christmas.

    There are people who are religious that are smarter than I am maybe even some on this board. So I don't think it is solely a matter of intellect. At the same time it seems so simple to me that I don't understand why someone can't see it. Group think, conditioning or maybe just the fact that people tend to blindly follow authority, I'm not sure how you would test that.
    Choux's Avatar
    Choux Posts: 3,047, Reputation: 376
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    #19

    Oct 4, 2007, 02:45 PM
    There isn't enough time for Rationalists(science supporters) to destroy religion(blind faith)!! That would take hundreds of years, if then! I have read a leading atheist/rationalist on the subject(can't remember if it was Dawkins, but probably was), and they have no "hope" or reason to believe that religion can be stamped out.

    There certainly can be some inroads made with educated people in America(and elsewhere)who don't think about GodAlmighty and his description in The Bible, but just sort of go along without thinking. Atheists are indeed the more intelligent people. (and more courageous people, too) Education is an antidote to belief in the supernatural and superstitious actions and irrational thinking.

    Your statistics are incorrect, however. Recently, polls have indicated that 86% of Americans declare themselves to be Christians. Last month, another poll showed that around 80% are Christians. I studied the Newsweek article closely and found it to be quite excellent. I believe that "about 10%" of Americans are declared atheists which has been a stable percentage of population for quite a long time.

    Some Muslim men are far more violent than Christians. Christians inhabit the culture that was the culture of great scientific advancement, great advancement in the arts, in technology, in astronomy and physics, medicine , and everything that makes life pleasurable and alleviates human suffering. In short, Americans are much happier than most Muslims. Muslims can't blame Islam, so they project blame for Islamic culture's failure over the last hundreds of years on others. Remember, Islam is the center of their lives, their society, their culture, their law... *Islam* and Muslim leaders are what failed the people. The twisted thinking of those men-Jihadists who hate to see the lowly place of Islamic cultures compared to other societies on earth have GONE TO WAR to protect the cultures hence religion where men are supreme and exhaulted. (Wrote this paragraph fast so may need editing)

    Anyway, there will be lots of upheaval while the Islamic world caves in from being backward and barbaric since we have to fight against the evil JIhadists murders that come out of this slow pending collapse.
    firmbeliever's Avatar
    firmbeliever Posts: 2,919, Reputation: 463
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    #20

    Oct 4, 2007, 03:03 PM
    Islam is here to stay and will exist until the end of time, no matter which "intelligent" person says it will not!

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