Talk:Evangelical atheist

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Evangelical atheist

Hello, I was browsing through this site, and I noticed the article at http://www.conservapedia.com/Evangelical_atheist which said you are the author of that page. I am new to editing here, so I thought to check with the original author about this before editing anything. The article states "claiming that one can be good without attending religious services or reading the Bible" as a technique used by evangelical atheists. This bring to mind something, as it seems to be claiming that only those who read the Bible can possibly be good people. But what if, for example, there was someone who followed a different religion that didn't include the Bible, but who gave money to charity, worked to improve people's lives, and did many works of good in their life. Even if they did not attend services or ever read the Bible, it seems they would be a good person just by virtue of their good deeds. Do you agree? I would appreciate it if that one phrase could be removed from the article, because it would seem to define a lot of people as "not good" on a single criterion.


Thanks,

T. Otru.

No, I don't think it should be deleted. The point is not whether it is theoretically possible for someone to be good in such a manner, but that evangelical atheists exaggerate the opportunity by insisting on it. In other words, the point is about the style and arguments of an evangelical atheist, not where there is a shred of validity to it.--Aschlafly 18:40, 31 December 2007 (EST)

If someone can be good without attending services or reading the Bible, then why is this a "technique" of evangelical atheists? It seems that them pointing this out doesn't force their beliefs on anyone else, but simply states that religion isn't required to be a good person; this is in line with atheistic beliefs, and to me it doesn't seem to infringe on religious beliefs at all. Would it not help the article to make a better case by removing such an assertion, which seems to merely restate atheists' belief system? The only problem I see in this article is that it seems to deny that there is any validity to their arguments, which you yourself said exists. -Otru

The statement, often used by evangelical atheists, that "one can be good without attending religious services or reading the Bible" is grossly misleading. It's like a tobacco company claiming that "one can smoke a pack-a-day of cigarettes and live to be 100." Sure, one in a million can. The other 999,999 are misled by the argument.--Aschlafly 20:20, 31 December 2007 (EST)

But can't religion be equally misleading? After all, the Bible mentions and supports practices such as slavery (Leviticus 25), witch hunts (Exodus 22), and purely religion-based killing (Exodus 32), things that are now clearly considered immoral. Maybe these atheists are misleading in some ways, and religion does encourage many people to do good, but you must admit that some things that comes out of the Bible and religion are at least as morally misleading as atheism.

It seems to be a completely different situation from tobacco companies (which I am glad to see you do not support); smoking is obviously harmful, but NOT smoking (with this analogy, following the Bible literally) certainly is not a cause of poor health. Could you then at least modify the page so that it does not seem to be making contradictory claims such as this? --Otru 31 Dec. 2007

Where did "following the Bible literally" come from, or your claims that there are "immoral" things in the Bible? Those arguments are irrelevant to our discussion. The statement on the content page that "one can be good without attending religious services or reading the Bible" is often made by evangelical atheists, and you do not seem to dispute that. Case closed.
We can discuss why it is misleading, just as tobacco advertisements are. Check out young mass murderers to seem some examples, or the psych ward in a hospital. Lots of people "lose it" when they go years, and decades, without any spiritual nourishment. It's misleading to pretend otherwise.--Aschlafly 21:09, 31 December 2007 (EST)

I am not disputing whether atheists state this or not; I am concerned that the article incorrectly portrays it as misleading. The article you linked me to only lists 8 mass murderers, and I know there have been a lot more than that, many of whom were Christian. A few cases such as that is not enough to make a broad statement about a belief.

My points are quite relevant to this discussion. I pointed out the issues with following the Bible literally to demonstrate that it is misleading to claim evangelical atheists are spreading immoral practices when the Bible itself does the same. Unless you deny that slavery and killing are wrong, it's clear that the Bible does portray certain immoral things as just. If you do not wish to remove that statement, at least reword it to make it clear that it is not condemning that "technique" as purely immoral. -Otru

As to your first paragraph, you implicitly deny the correlation between mass murder and rejection of Christianity. The correlation is unmistakable and scientifically indisputable. There are many anti-Christian mass murderers, but few if any Christian ones. Line up the lists if you doubt this. It's 8-0 in our list of recent examples at young mass murderers.
As to your second paragraph, where does the entry claim that "evangelical atheists are spreading immoral practices"? And where does the Bible endorse slavery? The content page is accurate, perhaps a bit too much for your liking. But that's why Conservapedia exists.--Aschlafly 21:35, 31 December 2007 (EST)

So your contention is that there are very few "good" Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. Is that correct? What are the rest? Evil? SSchultz 21:40, 31 December 2007 (EST)

PS: Can you show a positive correlation between between "crime, depression, anxiety, immorality, insanity and rejection of Christianity." Are you suggesting that more Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists are depressed, anxious, immoral, insane, or criminals per capita than Christians? SSchultz 21:42, 31 December 2007 (EST)

Which of your mentioned religions do you believe in SSchultz??? Your argument is a bit too cute, leaving out 95% of those in the West who have rejected Christianity.--Aschlafly 21:48, 31 December 2007 (EST)
Nice try at a side step, Andy, but you failed to answer any of my questions. My religious beliefs have no bearing on my question. So, again, can you show positive correlation that more non-Christians are depressed, anxious, immoral, insane, or criminals per capita than Christians? Also, if it is significantly less possible (or impossible) to be a "good" person without reading the Bible or attending services, then is it your contention that there are few if any "good" Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. SSchultz 21:53, 31 December 2007 (EST)
And you failed to answer my question. Which of those religions do you believe in? None, I presume, making your argument disingenuous. Why didn't you include your own belief (disbelief) system in your list, which statistically more significant in the West?--Aschlafly 22:00, 31 December 2007 (EST)
I'm Christian, Andy, now answer my question. SSchultz 22:08, 31 December 2007 (EST)
Really? You believe that Jesus was God, and that He rose from the dead??? Why did you leave out the group of (former) Christians who deny that? They are far larger in the West than the groups you listed, and it is that group (along with suicide bombers and fallen away members of other religions) that sparks the correlation.--Aschlafly 22:23, 31 December 2007 (EST)
The article didn't state specific articles of faith, only that one must attend services and read the Bible in order to be a good person, this is why I didn't include former Christians (or Cafeteria Christians, for that matter). So, I take it your answer is that there are few if any good non-Christians. If that's the case, where is your evidence for such a statement? SSchultz 22:33, 31 December 2007 (EST)
SSchultz, you're arguing in non sequiturs now. Nothing in the entry supports your comment above.--Aschlafly 22:39, 31 December 2007 (EST)
Then straighten me out, Andy. Can you show positive correlation that more non-Christians are depressed, anxious, immoral, insane, or criminals per capita than Christians? Also, if it is significantly less possible (or impossible) to be a "good" person without reading the Bible or attending services, then is it your contention that there are few if any "good" Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. This is at least my third time asking this question. Is there an answer forthcoming anytime soon? SSchultz 22:43, 31 December 2007 (EST)
You're asking questions that have nothing to do with the entry and which I don't have an answer to. The entry simply states, "denying any correlation between crime, depression, anxiety, immorality, insanity and rejection of Christianity." How do you get to Hindus and Buddhists from there, most of whom have not rejected Christianity and few of whom reside in the West??? It seems you're playing some type of politically correct game that has no place on Conservapedia. I'd guess you're someone who rejects central tenets of Christianity, but you won't even address your own belief and instead want to discuss the beliefs of a tiny fraction of the West. Frankly, you seem to be wasting my time at this point and I'm going to move on to other issues soon unless you want to focus on what the entry actually says and where you are coming from.--Aschlafly 22:51, 31 December 2007 (EST)
Now you're just being willfully obtuse. The article states that evangelical atheists claim that people can be good without attending services or reading the Bible, so presumably you believe this to be false and that people can only be good if they attend services and read the Bible. Clearly, non-Christians do not read the Bible or attend services, so if this is the case, are non-Christians capable of being good. This seems a fairly straightforward question that you have dodged repeatedly. The same is the case for "denying any correlation between crime, depression, anxiety, immorality, insanity and rejection of Christianity." Well, non-Christians obviously reject Christianity, so where is the evidence that they are more likely to suffer from any of the above things? SSchultz 23:01, 31 December 2007 (EST)
SSchultz, your comments are illogical and I'm going to stop wasting time in replying, and expect you to insist on last wordism. The entry refers to "religious services," which of course is not limited to Christians. The entry does not, and I've explained on this talk page that it does not, claim that "people can only be good if they attend services and read the Bible." The entry is correct as stated, obviously a bit too insightful for the liking of some. Such is the purpose of Conservapedia. Have the last word as I'm sure you will insist. I'm moving on to other issues.--Aschlafly 23:06, 31 December 2007 (EST)

With your knowledge of the Bible, it seems you'd have a copy handy to look up my reference, Leviticus 25, which is the part that endorses slavery. Other a few cases at young mass murderers, which I notice were almost all listed by you, you haven't shown any correlation between following other religions and murderous tendencies. Though, if you were to find some good sources supporting it, it'd be more convincing. After all, isn't it one of the Commandments that's listed for this website to cite sources?

Nevertheless, it's fairly clear just from reading the page that it's implying evangelical atheists support or spread immoral practices. Going into questioning my reasonability ("a bit too much for your liking") really isn't helping us to have a calm, rational discussion about this matter, though.

-T. Otru.

Quote the passage that you think endorses slavery in the Bible. It was your claim and you should be able to back it up.--Aschlafly 22:00, 31 December 2007 (EST)

"Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families ... inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever." -Leviticus 25:44-46. It clearly is advocating the treatment of human beings as property, slavery by definition.

-Otru
Looks like Jose83 identified with bolding how you illustrate the point about "claiming to be smarter or superior than people who have faith." You're just so clever, aren't you??? I don't know what Isaac Newton had that you don't have!
As to your quote from Leviticus, you took it out of its context, which was to prohibit Israelites from ruling over "fellow Israelites ruthlessly." I'm not going to waste any more time debating you.--Aschlafly 22:38, 31 December 2007 (EST)

But wait, Andy

Above you claimed the line about religious services must apply to all faiths. Therefore, the item about attending religious services and reading the Bible is redundant to claiming that morality and religion are not inseparable. What's with the change? SSchultz 00:11, 1 January 2008 (EST)


Where is the reference?

Andy,

you have claimed that the sex abuse in public school is worse than in religious institutions. According to the group "Bishop Accountability," approx. 3000 priests out of the 42,000 across the country have since been denounced after abusing children, some of whom have been investigated and convicted. That is 7%, much higher than any other professions, it seems. How does that compare with public schools? --JBuscombe 12:18, 1 January 2008 (EST)

I don't even understand the point of this argument. Are all cases of sexual abuse at public schools committed by atheists? I think the point evangelical atheists make is that religious belief doesn't make you a saint - Christians do bad stuff, even in religious institutions. As such they got a point in saying that religious institutions aren't automatically free of bad influences (even though I also don't see how that should magically turn me into an atheist).
Saying "Oh, but you guys suck even more than we guys do!" (even ignoring my own objection above) strikes me as a poor way of defending my faith. Fact is that there are Christians who kill, rape, abuse, and deceive. I as a Christian am strong enough to admit that there are black sheep. I don't need to make myself feel better by trying to find non-Christians who do more and worse bad things.
If an evangelical atheist told me that religious institutions are not free of people who commit abuse, I would look him in the eye and say "Yes, that is true. But what's your point? How would it help the victims of these people if I stopped going there?"
I'm for the removal of the "even though secular institutions are worse" part. It makes it look like we're shifting blame, it's hard to prove in a way that makes a good point (Christians comitting sexual abuse in a church aren't better than Christians committing sexual abuse at school), and it's out of place in a list about techniques used by evangelical atheists. --JakeC 12:45, 1 January 2008 (EST)

Why the revert without any reason?

Andy,

Could you please tell me why you reverted my edits?

thanks

--JBuscombe 12:41, 1 January 2008 (EST)

The references on sex abuse are easily available on the internet. AP, for example, did a big study, and Congress requested another study. I've added data and welcome a good cite that is not simply sensationalism.
Your one-sided "reasons" for evangelical atheism are inappropriate and unsupported, and were reverted. Any section on reasons would have to include, first and foremost, hostility and animus towards religion and religious people.--Aschlafly 12:43, 1 January 2008 (EST)
On what basis do you say that atheists are hostile towards religious people? In my personal experience, it has always been the other way round.

--JBuscombe 12:47, 1 January 2008 (EST)

Take a look at young mass murderers, or the invective used by evolutionists, or numerous other examples. I doubt one can spend more than 15 minutes in discussion with most evangelical atheists without hearing a disparaging and disrespectful remark about religion, a religious institution, or a religious person.--Aschlafly 12:51, 1 January 2008 (EST)

Reason for latest reversion

The focus of evangelical atheists is against Christianity and it is improper to remove the references to Christianity in the entry. They have been restored.--Aschlafly 14:29, 1 January 2008 (EST)

Evidence? If they're evangelizing atheism, then why would Christianity be a particular target as opposed to all religious beliefs? SSchultz 14:31, 1 January 2008 (EST)

Also, where's the evidence for the correlation between being an non-Christian and being more likely to be depressed, criminal, insane, etc... SSchultz 14:32, 1 January 2008 (EST)

SSchultz, this is not Wikipedia where one inserts {{fact}} to try to discredit any statement he dislikes for ideological reasons. You inserted {{fact}} for a statement about what evangelical atheists say, and then turn around and say the same thing you denied that evangelical atheists say!--Aschlafly 15:13, 1 January 2008 (EST)
Andy, you have not provided any reference that being a non-Christian or an atheist makes one more prone to insanity, criminality, or depression despite several attempts. Please provide a reference. SSchultz 17:05, 1 January 2008 (EST)
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