Why Nonbelievers and beleivers can’t talk to each other

Christians try to put everyone they don’t like on the same spectrum of rebellious and misguided children who are willfully disobedient;  that way, they think that if they are stern enough, that we’ll become manageable.

It’s because the authoritarian approach stern dietydaddy works on them, so they imagine that what works and motivated them, also works and motivates other people.

But, their tactics don’t work because we aren’t misbehaving children, we’re thinking adults who put god on the same spectrum as Santa, the easter bunny and the tooth fairy.

Non-believers think of believers as deluded and willful children who need to grow up and are chosing not to,   but, with encouragement and education (an authoritative approach), they can grow up and become productive adults.

But, we’re wrong too, because no one is willing to own how childish it is, in a manner that will break the stalemate – largely because the change that’s required is for believers, if not to stop believing, at least to not literally beleive.

There are orders of magnitude of belief – there is only one magnitude of non-belief.

I provide a true and not entirely typical exchange, because most exchanges devolve into childish name calling, but it’s the grown up essence of the usually childish debate:

JosephOne wrote:

 Lucifer had free will. And he eventually used that free will to rebel against God and take a third of the angels with him….

nina wrote:

so basically you are admitting that using your free will is what god deems to be evil
so good is obiedance and evil is using your brain
that explains much more than you meant to

JosephOne wrote:

Evil is rebellion against God.
How interesting that you identify with the devil…

You seem to be able to twist things as masterfully as Satan and seem to be able to know what God is thinking.

nina wrote:

if by “twist” you mean, unravel and speak plainly
then yes, atheists do speak plainly and truthfully
you should try it sometime

JosephOne wrote:

He didn’t create rebellion anymore than American created Charles Manson.
Think that through a little while. Ponder it for more than a few minutes.

nina wrote:

you think about it; we are all products of our environment, America did create Charles Manson – the lack of universal health care and welfare resulted in his being raised in a boy’s home rather than in a family home

the fundamentalist factions created the social conditions that resulted in the 50’s sexual/teenager generation gap, the 60’s civil rights – it created the disaffected and disengaged generation – that Manson drifted into and became a leader to a small group of disaffected suburban teens who a generation earlier would have been Manson’s childhood tormentors and what he had aspired to be.

Manson acted out exactly as a wounded, maladjusted power mad and righteous man who was angry at being shut out of the system where as a straight white man, he should have benefitted from.

I see little difference between Manson and George W. Bush – only wealth and entitlement separate the two; the scale of childhood difference created the scale of adult destructive behaviour.  Manson didn’t have a strong parental presence to guide him and neither did Bush Jr. Both resolved their daddy issues with violence – sending young men and women to do their killing for them.

JosephOne wrote:

So, shall we free Manson immediately? I mean you have just made a case, albeit flawed, for Manson’s innocence. “I am not responsible, I am only a product of my environment.”
Don’t think that flies in real real-world.

nina wrote:

how unsurprising that you missed the point. but then, what can I really expect when you are such a rigid product of your environment.
try to break the programming and use that free will you hear so much about

JosephOne wrote:

God. His creation, His rules.

nina wrote:

You admit your god is a dictator then.

JosephOne wrote:

Yes you are a petty dictator who can’t be reasoned with, but God is not like you.

nina wrote:

better to be the dictator than the dictated to, like you

JosephOne wrote:

There IS evidence. Just evidence that you do not believe. Again disbelief does not cancel existence out.

nina wrote:

claiming everything is not evidence for – that everything exists does not indicate where everything came from – it’s just a fact of existence.

also, claiming everything is evidence, doesn’t erase or take away from the contradiction of there being no objective evidence.

you are basically making the same claim that is the basis for the Elder Scrolls of Zion – that the lack of evidence of conspiracy is evidence for the conspiracy.

A lack of evidence is because there is nothing to create any.

As it occurred to you yet that the reason the people here are not believers is exactly because we stopped to think about these core issues and that it’s you who haven’t thought them through enough to reach the obvious conclusion?

The facts on the ground – reality – does not support there being a deity.

The laws of nature that can be observed or deduced or inferred through observation are observable because they are natural – unnatural or supernatural things do not make sense in a natural universe, they are against the laws of nature.

That every region throughout human history has had their own unique religion should be your first clue that religion is religion is religion – there is no more proof of one over another.

Unless you want to claim that god is all the gods of all the religions – in which case, you are worshipping a multi-personality, insane, instable, egomaniac, genocidal, god – with the only difference between that and your present god is the multiply personality part.

JosephOne wrote:

And you can’t say something or someone doesn’t exist just because you haven’t seen them, don’t know them, or don’t believe in them.
Imagine how Darwin would feel if every Christian would say that Darwin never existed? Or go back further. How do we know that Julius Caesar existed? Do we have his remains?

nina wrote:

Darwin won’t feel a thing, he’s dead. We have photos and film of him – and there are people with living memory of him.

if you don’t understand how we know that Darwin and Caesar were real people, it’s no wonder that you don’t understand what constitutes evidence.

His remains were burned and many historians wrote about the event and about his life and career DURING HIS LIFETIME.

Further, there are accounts of Caesar in civilizations OTHER THAN ROME

the same cannot be said of your Jesus – there are no historians who wrote about him, King Herod was dead before the alleged birth and as much as Herod was hated, there is no secular record of him putting infants other than his own family members to death.

Nazareth was a Roman village founded around the 3rd century CE, so Jesus couldn’t have come from there. No Roman census records support the Mary and Joseph story.

None of Pontius Pilot’s records support the crucifixion – so, the whole thing was pretty much a smear campaign done centuries and several generations after the fact.

The equivalent would be if Elvis Presley had done everything in the 1950s, but no one took his photo or wrote a word about him and no recordings or movies survived

and no one wrote about him until 2 or 3 hundred more years yet – think about that for more than a few minutes

16 thoughts on “Why Nonbelievers and beleivers can’t talk to each other

  1. Yes I guess your right. People can and do change.
    I have been reading alot of your stuff and I can’t say I disagree. You know all the stuff you have written about the bible, child molesting priest and the after life. It all makes alot of sense to me, but I can’t help to admit that just like you as a teenager it hits you….it’s hitting me at 43.. actually 27 but it’s taken me this long to get to this point and it’s hard to just start thinking a totally different way about things, because all my life it’s been instilled in me to believe in a Personal God. So, after years of silence, unanswered prayers and wasting time, I figured this is not personal because how can a God that is surposed to love me has forsakened me, This is my favorite, Ask, Seek, Knock or He will not put more than you can bear. What happened? Well , what happened was I was pushed away from the church for being a sinner and an outsider and what is formed to protect and help me broke all the rules, So here I stand

    • I’m 43 as well – I think it’s hard to learn things when your a teenager and already know everything – it takes you until midlife to realize how little you really know compared to how much there is to know.

      learning is a continuous process and it includes periodic re-evaluation of what you know you know – to make sure you know it’s real.

      So much that we are taught to learn, just doesn’t ring true, so in a why, the teenage mindset of constant rebellion is good, but it takes middle age to understand that you can’t rebel against everything – you’ve got limited time and energy.

      I like the Churchill quote about if you’re not a liberal in your 20’s, you have no heart and if you’re not conservative in your 40’s, you have no brain.

      But, to be a mench, you need a heart and a brain – hence – social liberal/fiscal conservative is the best balance.

      Too bad there’s not a political party for us to vote for like that.

  2. Just don’t take me the wrong way. I believe 95% of what you are saying ,but since I have been cursed and born with an open mind that tiny almost micoscopic shimmering light shines through. What can I say? The universe with all it’s natural processes from a galaxy to a strand of DNA. I can and do believe we came from all this. We are Star Dust. And, No I do not believe we were put here to be the center for any God. And ,Yes I do not think that there is a God who watches over us. You are right when you say we are a product of wishful thinking , imagination, insanity and so on….it’s all man made.
    This I will say again, The Universe is Infinite even before the Big Bang. Humans have been roaming the earth for 1.5 millions years compare that to Infinity it’s the smallest fraction of a blip of time. I know science has come along way from thousands of years ago and I know right now as we speak we know more about everything we ever had and I thurst for more, but I still am not convinced that we know everything even valid conclusions of probability.which are not far off from the truth. The Universe is so vast we may never know the fullscope, at least not in our lifetime. We are infants who think we are the elderly. We just put a man on the moon 42 years ago. Get the picture? I feel there is a God but, it’s not a personal God like in the bible. It’s an Energy Source and most likely doesn’t even know we exist as we are a part of everything else we see.

    • I find it extremely funny that humans think we’re the best the earth has or will come up with, when we operate our society on the fossil fuels of the dinosaurs, who in evolutionary terms, were far more successful, sustainable and long lasting that humans can hope to be.

  3. I would like to add going back to > ” This subject is blown out of proportion.” It like kicking a dead horse.” People are going to believe what they believe and anyone who has spent time talking about this subject knows that. When you are talking to me you are talking to an opened minded individual who is not a religious bible thumper just because 50 % of me believe in “A God” does not make me religious in any way.

    • Especially when you don’t mean the word god as believers do

      I think that Einstein also thought of god as the power or forced that binds and is the energy that’s released when bonds are broken.

      Creation and Armageddon, simultaneously – and it’s a power that is not yet understood or harnessed by us and isn’t likely to be so in our lifetime, especially when it is controlled by madmen and mad politicians who think that god is Marquis de Santa.

    • @onewiththeuniverse you wrote…”It like kicking a dead horse.” People are going to believe what they believe and anyone who has spent time talking about this subject knows that. ”
      This is the part of what you said that I disagree with. Most atheists started life surrounded by religious belief and nonsense dogma. Some believers have never given it a moment’s thought, because what they believe is the accepted belief and there’s never been a reason to question it. When we are silent in the face of stated religious belief, we agree by implication. But who knows? Maybe when we disagree, we might trigger some thought. At least the believer will come to understand that not everybody believes in a magical being who can read their minds and cares whom they sleep with. It’s harder to maintain an irrational belief when somebody is laughing at you and pointing out that the emperor has no clothes.
      I hear what you have said all the time – why talk about it; people believe what they believe and you won’t change anybody’s mind. But I don’t think minds are made of stone. People do change. If the believer doesn’t change, perhaps somebody else who reads the message will change. Maybe the teenager will find the courage to tell mom that evolution is a fact, not a theory. Maybe the fundie will have a reverse road to Damascus experience, slap the prayer mat callous on their forehead, and say, gosh I’ve been silly all these years. We can hope.
      There is a point to being out of the closet as an atheist, and being vocal about it.

      • You’re right Darwin Harmless – people will believe what’s presented to them, unless they know there’s alternatives.

        It’s not at all different from being gay – you grow up in a sea of heterosexuals and you know you’re different – and unless you find out that other people are gay – you bury that and try to be straight and so many people pay the price later when you can’t pretend anymore.

        Nowadays, it’s a lot harder to know there aren’t other gay people – but it wasn’t that long ago when you knew there were, but you just didn’t talk about it.

        Same for non-belief – it’s easy to say, well, my country’s dominant religion is right and all the other countries have it wrong – actually, I don’t understand anyone convincing themselves of that – the fact that there is a plethora of religions is enough to reject then all as equally invalid.

  4. I say blown out of proportion , I guess in terms of who excactly am I talking about it with because many don’t not want to see my point of veiw or hear my opinion . I did say that I am 50/50 on this subject. I do agree 100% about the universe, evolution, science is vast and we all are part of it and the question of the God factor is up in the air for me as to I am still sorting things out. I also think that 90% of the bible is flawed and hypocritical. As far as the athiest thing that you don’t have to proof anything, that’s just an excuse because if I were an athiest I would certainly try to disprove it and silently do so within myself everyday. Some of the most famous athiest like Richard Dawkins try to disprove God all the time, so to say You don’t have to prove it just don’t make sence to me.

    • The tricky thing is that atheism isn’t a replacement or alternative to religion/belief – it is merely the absence of religion/belief, full stop. As such, atheism isn’t a framework to understand the world or how to behave in it.

      There is nothing to say for or about atheism, it’s merely a label to identify one’s lack of relationship to religions.

      There isn’t any need to justify non-belief, just as there is really no justification for belief – pretty much in the same way that heterosexuals don’t have to think about or justify being heterosexual – it’s us non-heteros who have to realize that we’re the ones who are different and then make sense and meaning out of what that difference means.

      Where it gets tricky is that believers who are also heterosexuals, because they have accepted the default settings of the dominate culture without thought or awareness or justification – aren’t happy enough for themselves to be the majority unless everyone is the same as them – as if sheer numbers make the beliefs and sexuality that they have assumed valid.

      When, belief and sexuality are not validated by herds, but are actually individual characteristics with not a lot of impact on a herd the size of humanity.

  5. @onewiththeuniverse Disagree. We don’t know everything, but we know a lot more than they knew two thousand years ago, when the only explanation they had for the natural world was unnatural magical beings. The fact that neither side can “prove” they are right does not mean that we can’t come to very valid conclusions about probability. At this point, with our current understandings of the size and scope of the universe with which you are at one, which is more likely? That mankind is not an a kind of animal but somehow different from ALL the animals and created in the image of God? That this earth and the whole ball of wax was created just for us, with us in the central position? That there is a God who watches our every move, cares what we thing and who we sleep with, punishes us with eternal pain and suffering if we don’t believe he exists, yet loves us with a love beyond our understanding? Is it likely that these things are true, or more likely that they are the products of wishful thinking, insanity, imagination, power hunger, sociopathy, and that no such God or creation is real?
    To say that this is blown out of proportion is to dodge a commitment to obvious truth. You can’t prove there isn’t an invisible kangaroo in my bedroom, but that doesn’t mean you should accept my word for it and respect my opinion on the matter. For centuries we have given respect and even leadership to madmen. We still do, and are now contemplating laws to prevent us from pointing out that they are mad. In fact, such laws exist in many parts of the world, and disrespecting stupidity can be punished by death. There’s no way this issue can be “blown out of proportion”.
    Some things are just silly. Some things are just unbelievable and stupid. We don’t need to keep giving them respect, or allowing those who spread such beliefs to do so in the face of our silent implied agreement.

  6. This whole subject is blown way out of proportion, I do understand what you are saying here, but people are going to believe what they are going to believe just leave it at that. There is no right or wrong, because no one from either side can prove it or disprove it. And, as far as what has been said or written in history by people who think they know what they are talking about? They are men and mans opinions only, we do not know everything. Man has existed on this earth for 1.5 million years and compared to the Universe that has been here for Infinity THAT is a blip of time. This is coming from a border line athiest -believer 50/50 on the subject. All I am trying to say that there is no right or wrong and there does not have to be. We all are humans and we do not know everything,we just think we do.

    • the burden of proof belongs to the person making a claim – atheism isn’t a claim, it’s a rejection of a claim – so atheism requires no proof – in the same way that you do not have to justify not accepting claims for ghosts, unicorns, Yeti and Santa Claus

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