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7 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Obama\'s Refusal to Ad... · 1 reply · +3 points

It seems Obama has been careful not to say the words Christian terrorist to describe the perpetrator of an act of terror that appears to be motivated by the perpetrator's Christian beliefs. The Charleston church shooting is a recent example. Your proposal seems to be a reasonable explanation for why Obama does not use the words Muslim terrorist. I am suggesting that Obama might be just avoiding a religious adjective attached to the word terror during the moments when the public is trying to deal with a horrific event because the phrase Muslim terrorist or Christian terrorist is not particularly helpful at that moment. This takes nothing away from your larger point that we have to have a real discussion about what to do about Muslim motivated terrorists. We also need the same discussion concerning Christian motivated terrorists.

8 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Why Doesn\'t God Answe... · 0 replies · +3 points

I like your list and suggest there might be an additional reason for god not answering your prayers. When I was 12 I heard my father expressing love for someone who was not my mother. I was so young I didn't even know the term "having an affair." I felt I had to do something but did not know what to do. I prayed for god to give me help and let me know what I should do. After several days of urgent prayer with no answer from god, I finally decided that god was telling me to work it out by myself. So I went forward maintaining the belief that god had answered my prayer.

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - But My Faith Brings Me... · 0 replies · +3 points

The question is highly dependent on the premise “setting aside for a moment the issue of whether my religious beliefs are true”. Given that premise a basic answer to the question is to affirm to the believer that there is nothing bad about having a belief that provides comfort. A second answer is that the question makes no sense given the premise. For example, if we lived in a world where nothing was true, all beliefs would be equally good. Here is how I would reply to this question.

There is a problem with the question because the premise of the question violates how we form beliefs. As children we gain beliefs from what we are told by people we trust because we assume that these people are telling us something that is true. Later when we confirm for ourselves the truth of something we belief to be true, our belief is confirmed and becomes stronger. The moment our experience shows us that something is not true is the moment that we stop belief in that something and our belief evolves. Belief comes from what we conceive of as being true so we cannot set aside for a moment whether your religious beliefs are true or not when we try to obtain comfort from that belief. The comfort that is gained from the belief is only there under the assumption of the truth of your religion. It is possible to gain comfort by thinking something is true when it is not. I may be comforted by thinking that I may be heavy but I am not as fat as that person over there. This thought is based on the belief that I weigh less. The moment I learn that I weigh more is the moment my comfort and the belief that provided the comfort disappears. The same applies to your religion. If your religion is true then the comfort it brings will be lasting. If it is false then the comfort it brings is fleeting and actions taken based on a belief in something that is not true may have random and/or unpleasant consequences.

13 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Why it Matters Whether... · 0 replies · +1 points

I don't think your proposition works.

...that one's initial discarding of theism and one's continued lack of belief in gods are not conscious decisions and instead reflect one's appraisal of the available data.

I don't see a distinction between "conscious decisions" and "one's appraisal". When making the appraisal what is happening other than a conscious decision making process. By the time we can appraise the data for ourselves, society has already given us options that force us to make a choice. If you are making David Eller's point that everyone is born an atheist, I would agree that the infant is an atheist without making a choice. After that everything is a choice.

14 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Do Good Works Balance ... · 0 replies · 0 points

If I had a hobby of robbing banks and giving all the money to charity, I would hope that Mr. Albano's newspaper would publish glowing reports of all the wonderful charity work I had done.