What is faith?

31 Dec

Today I went to the dentist. As I sat in the chair I looked over and saw a painting of a young woman with the title  “Saint Apollonia” and a little caption stating something to the affects of  “St. Apollonia is the patron saint of dentistry. She refused to give up her christian faith, so her torturers pulled out her teeth one by one. When she still refused to recant, she was burned alive.”

This got me thinking, what is faith? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary faith is:

1. allegiance to duty or a person

2. firm belief in something for which there is no proof

3. something that is believed especially with strong conviction

#2 is very important to remember, “for which there is no proof.” Theists often say “well it doesn’t matter, it’s a matter of faith.” That really is a conversation killer. But what does that say about the nature of faith? When in the face of reality you must resort to saying “it’s a matter of faith” you are basically admitting “I have no idea how this logically makes sense, I have no evidence to support it, but I like it and I’m going to believe it’s true despite the facts….”

That’s disgusting. Lets apply this approach to other aspects of life. I’m going to run a red light at a busy intersection, but don’t worry, I have a strong faith that says nothing will happen to me. I’m going to stare at the sun for hours, but I’m strong in my faith that I won’t go blind. I’m going to put a loaded gun to my head and pull the trigger, but I have a strong faith that I’ll be fine. I’m not going to wear my safety belt in the car, but I have it on faith that everything will be ok if I get into a crash.

People who believe things on faith and disregard facts ascertained by logic and observation are the types of people that get snuffed out by the cogs of evolution. If it were not for the good graces of other people who employ things developed by observing facts (ie. Medical science, physics and seat belts, etc) the people who relied on faith alone to make decisions would die off. (I sometimes wonder why we keep them from fulfilling their ridiculous desires…)

It blows me away how some people can argue against logic and reason. One example given in this wonderful video (the inspiration for this post) is how a christian could argue “Well, we all could be brains in a jar, or in the Matrix, and observation is circular, if you want to describe ‘red’ you have to point to it’…” True, but as the video points out the christian has already disproved his own argument about how logic and observation are inferior, for he his trying to have a rational, logical argument with the atheist. Secondly, (again, as the vid points out) look at where the two have gotten us.

Faith, on one hand, produces nothing. It is a flat statement of authority. Logic, reason, and observation (the very foundations of SCIENCE) have produced the clothes you wear, the car you drive, the electricity you use to heat your food, the computer to are reading this on, and the medicine that heals you when you become sick. Just about everything you touch and do in your life has been created by science, by people observing, testing, improving. Yet despite the fact that they use the benefits of science every day, some people still claim that this is inferior to faith.

Since when has this arrogant and extremely aggressive ignorance, nay, sheer stupidity, become a virtue? Why, in a society as technologically advanced as ours, with weapons capable of destroying all life on the planet, do we hold up this behavior on a pedestal?

Ask yourself this, would you apply the same attitude of faith to aspects of your life other than religion? Would you leave your money out on the sidewalk on faith that it would be there in an hour? Would you not pay your bills on faith that the utility company will do nothing? There is strong evidence based on observation that your money would be gone and the utility companies would shut off service, just like there is strong evidence that god did not create life, nor create the world in 7 days with dinosaurs and talking snakes.

So go ahead, apply an attitude of “faith” you have with religion to other parts of you life. See what happens….

A matter of faith....

10 Responses to “What is faith?”

  1. ramelswift December 31, 2008 at 1:59 pm #

    For real! The faith you are using for an example is just plain ignorant and you know that. You have faith. Everytime you sit down in a chair you have faith that that chair will hold you up. There are other examples of faith in everyday life than the arrogant ones you use. You say science has produced just about everything we touch but there is nothing new under the sun. God created everything down here humans just rearranged things the way they wanted or needed.
    An athiest was talking to God one day(I don’t know why an athiest would be talking to God but)and he was telling God we as humans don’t need him anymore. We have evolved so that we are self sufficient and can make and do anything he can.So the athiest challenged God to a test. He told God to go first and what ever God could make he would reproduce the same. God excepted the challenge and reached down and picked up a handful of dirt and molded it into a man and breathed on it and it came to life. He then turned to the athiest and said “Your turn”. The athiest reached down and picked up a handful of dirt to which God replied “Put down my dirt”
    God made everything there is nothing new under the sun!
    Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

  2. godlesspaladin December 31, 2008 at 5:47 pm #

    Making a decision to sit in a chair based on “faith” is entirely different than the “faith” I was arguing about. In fact, by definition the decision to sit in the chair is NOT made on faith,for one fundamental reason. You see, the belief that the chair will support my weight is an educated hypothesis based on previous OBSERVATION of other chairs, the thickness of the legs, the age of the chair, the materials from which it is made, and the fact that it could be sitting next to a bunch of other chairs that I know are commonly used. I have EVIDENCE to support my idea that the chair will hold me up.

    You will probably respond about how I technically can’t KNOW for sure the chair will hold me up, but then we’re going in a circle and you’re making the same erroneous claim about logic that I talked about in the post. (See the video)

    As for your little story, well the whole thing is flawed, like you admitted “I don’t know why an atheist would be talking to god”. I don’t know why either, because all atheists want is evidence. They don’t hate god because there is nothing to hate. If there was a magical, invisible man who floated in the sky and some how made everything, despite what science points to, all he merely has to do is provide evidence of his existence.

    Given sufficient evidence, I’m sure an atheist would no longer be an atheist. The funny thing is, if he really existed, and had a problem with atheists, he could just by for once and say hi, that’d clear up A LOT of fighting over his nature. (Why doesn’t he do that and stop the suffering???)

    Lastly, if god created everything down here just for us humans to enjoy (a view that I think is very arrogant and self-centered) why would we “need” to arrange anything? Why couldn’t we live just as god made us? Why make clothes? Adam and Eve were nude, they didn’t have clothes.

    The truth is we weren’t made by your choice one of a thousand possible gods, and we needed to bend out environment in some degree to survive, in this case make clothes.

    Furthermore, you imaginary friend did not make everything. Unlike theists, atheists have evidence to point to, not blind faith. Check out the “made easy” series on youtube. Here is one on how biology came from chemistry.

    Also see the Miller-Urey experiment which successfully created basis for LIFE in a lab by simulating the atmosphere of early earth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller-Urey_experiment

  3. Mark December 31, 2008 at 6:53 pm #

    Religious faith is built upon indoctrination and trusting that the nutjob spewing these fairy tales is telling the truth….for which it is not!

  4. scaryreasoner January 1, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    I define faith as “belief in something to a degree of certainty which exceeds what it warranted by the available evidence.” I’ve yet to find a better definition than that.

    Christians are fond of the “you have faith in your chair!” nonsense.

    Faith that a chair will hold you up? Well, to what degree of certainty do you believe the chair will hold you up, and what amount of evidence do you have?

    The evidence that I have is about like this: I have run thousands and thousands of trials of sitting on chairs with perhaps a handful of chair failures. Often, amonght these few instances of chair failure were immediately preceded by ominious creaking sounds emanating from the chair.

    So, when I sit in a chair, esp. one in which I’ve sat in before, which looks sturdy, etc. I’m pretty confident that it will hold me up. I have the evidence to be that confident. Likewise, if I am attempting to sit on a particularly rickety chair, or one which protests with creaky noises when sat upon, I am apt to sit upon it gingerly at first, and test it a bit to gather some evidence.

    So no. No faith in chairs. The faith in chairs canard needs to be shot in the head and buried.

    Now, isn’t it interesting that the proponents of faith are so quick to accuse everyone else of using faith. Why is that? You think it’s because deep down, they know there’s something wrong with faith? They make the logical fallacy known as “Tu Quoque,” or “you too.” Even if it were true that others did use faith, that does not make using faith ok.

    Faith is inherently and inescapabily dishonest because it involves lying to yourself about how certain you should be. If you lie to yourself about how certain you should be and decide to deliberately attempt to be more certain than the evidence warrants, who exactly are you fooling? Yourself, that’s who. Faith is plainly stupid. Give up.

  5. xmasfish February 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    The word “faith” that we Christians are so fond of is to be found in the New Testament, translated from the Greek word “pistis”. Interestingly, the word actually means “trust our allegiance based on prior evidence or perfomrance” when related to a person. This means that what modern day Christians see as faith is unbiblical and evidence is wholly consistant with Christianity.

  6. Mark January 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    Quite Humorous… I am tempted to not waste my time, as I have faith that it will fall on deaf ears, blind eyes and heart(s) of stone. But, at least I can unashamedly take the time to profess my faith in God.

    Faith is belief… i believe what I believe and you believe as you do. Defining faith as only a religious point of view is convenient and self serving for you, but still inaccurate. But, if you will substitute the word belief for faith… you will see that you too have beliefs. Everyone has to have something to believe in… I believe I’ll have a beer.

    First, it is perfectly OK that you don’t believe in God. Why? Because we are all part of the body of Christ and we have a role to play. You play yours well. I believe that is exactly what He intended. We have free will, you have chosen your path. Also, it is OK that you don’t believe in God because He still believes in you. So, keep up the good work my doubting (unbelieving) friends, you succeed in only confirming my faith even more.

    How does my faith harm you? Why do you feel the need to attack my faith when I feel no need to attack your belief that there is no God. I have many reasons for believing in God, I have experienced his love first hand on numerous occasions. I pray that one day you will too. My faith has produced some good, probably not as much as it should, but i am still working on it. But, you can point to many, many people whose faith has done as much or more for mankind as science. The humility and generosity and love that Mother Theresa showed the world is worth much more than any piece of clothing science created for us. Science began with the building blocks God gave us. Science and faith are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I believe science is in it’s own way a search for God.

    Until we had the means to measure the elements contained in the air we breathe we had to take it on faith that there was air and our next breath would be as life sustaining as the previous. Ok yeah, we had previous observations and so on… but that doesn’t mean that something won’t happen to take that air away. In fact someday it will. So until that time we will have faith or perhaps take for granted that it will continue to be there in plentiful supply. Likewise, the regular patterns of what appeared to be the rising and setting of the sun and change of seasons, were matters of faith as well. In fact, you have faith that God does not exist. You can no more prove He doesn’t exist than I can definitively prove that He does. I have loved and hope you have as well. But, I cannot prove that, nor can you.

    So, our universe is just some cosmic accident? Where did it come from? Science has proved it had a beginning and that it probably will also have an end. But, matter can neither be created or destroyed or more colloquially “… nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could.” So, what am I to have faith in? Which makes more sense a cosmic accident from nothing or some form of intelligent design? Neither can be proved or disproved. If you are right, then when I pass from here I will be no better or worse, just dead. But, if I am right then you may have much to be concerned with on your departure.

    I can point to many things science has not been able to give us. Science cannot create life. Science in fact cannot even create any seed of life.. not a seed of bermuda grass nor an apple seed or a human embryo. Science is getting better at making copies, but as yet science cannot create a seed from which any living organism can spring to life. So, you choose to believe this is biological happenstance and choose to believe God created all these things.

    Lastly, God did not promise us utopia in fact he promised us a life of hardship, pain and suffering. If everything in life was perfect then humanity would have nothing to strive for and science would have produced nothing, because nothing would be needed. How useless and boring life would be without struggle, failure, hope and triumph. You cannot truly experience euphoric joy until you have suffered pain and despair. If you never experienced pain then joy would not be joy, it would merely be just another boring day in paradise. Victory is not a destination it is the journey itself. So, continue your journey my friend.

    There is plenty of evidence of the existence of God for those who seek it with an open heart and mind. But, all these arguments can be summed up simply by saying ” For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who do not believe, no proof is enough.” As long as you don’t stop searching then one day maybe you too will believe in His existence as fervently as you now believe that He does not exist.

    Peace.

  7. godlesspaladin January 25, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    “How does my faith harm you? Why do you feel the need to attack my faith when I feel no need to attack your belief that there is no God.”

    Mark, if you feel no need to attack my lack of belief in your god, then a lot of our problems disappear. I would LOVE if the rest of christians had the same wonderful outlook that you do. (I’m being serious)

    Unfortunately, a lot don’t, at least the ones in positions of political power don’t. You see, as long as christians try and use that political power for coerce and force their beliefs on me I will fight, and attack. As long as people insist on putting their religious monuments up on public property, for which I pay taxes, I will fight.

    I will not try to force my disbelief on you, but I merely wish to establish a neutral “live and let live” society.

    Here I expect many to bring up the supreme court case outlawing forced prayer in public schools. Forced. That is a very important word to pay attention to. Forced prayer. Often people deliberately distort it to say “outlawed prayer” which is something entirely different. I do not care to try and impose my disbelief by forcing anyone to do anything, including not pray. If you want to pray, go right ahead, you can do it in public schools for all I care, but you can’t FORCE others in those public schools to pray. (Which is what the case was about)

    “I have experienced his love first hand on numerous occasions”

    Trying to use a personal experience to convince someone of something is useless because they have no objective point from which to evaluate your claim since they did not experience it. I have no doubt you experienced something that you equate to your god’s love for you. However, I can guarantee you that people of mutually exclusive faiths (ie, faiths that cannot simultaneously be right)

    “I pray that one day you will too.”

    I was a christian once, and had a strong belief in god and his love for me, though as I grew up and expanded my horizons, what I believed firmly just didn’t hold up to reality.

    “But, you can point to many, many people whose faith has done as much or more for mankind as science. The humility and generosity and love that Mother Theresa showed the world is worth much more than any piece of clothing science created for us.”

    I will not deny that there were people of faith who did great things for other people, just as there are ones who did horrible things. Same as there are people of science who have done great things for people, and horrible things. (I count Mother Teresa in the horrible category because she did nothing to stop suffering, only set up empty buildings, void of anything but blankets for the poor to go and die slow agonizing deaths while she took large sums of money from fraudsters and jetted around the world to fight for the most extreme of catholic dogmas, but I digress)

    “Science began with the building blocks God gave us. Science and faith are not mutually exclusive.”

    I would disagree about the “blocks god gave us” but I would agree that faith and science are not mutually exclusive.

    “You can no more prove He doesn’t exist than I can definitively prove that He does.”

    Correct! I cannot prove a negative! I cannot prove that your particular god does not exist. However! I do not have faith that he/she/it does not exist.

    You are the one stating a positive. I am assuming the negative until there is proof of the positive. (It’s called the burden of proof, and it’s on the person making the claim, regardless if the claim is as small as “You took my pencil” to “There is a god”. (The justice system uses this all the time. “Innocent (negative) until proven guilty (positive).”

    Until there is verifiable proof positive that your one particular god is true, and all the others that billions of other equally adamant believers worship are wrong, then I will continue to assume the negative because life and the universe just fit more simply.

    “So, our universe is just some cosmic accident?”

    No, I don’t believe that. I don’t believe it’s planned either.

    “Where did it come from?”
    I don’t know, and I’m humble and honest enough to admit it, and it doesn’t keep me up at night.

    “nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could.”

    Correct, so why do you get a free pass to say that your god came from nothing?

    “If you are right, then when I pass from here I will be no better or worse, just dead. But, if I am right then you may have much to be concerned with on your departure.”

    That argument is called “Pascal’s Wager”, and I’ve heard it ad nausea. The thing is, you have no more proof for the existence of your god than a Hindu has for his. YOU ARE AT AS MUCH RISK AS I AM. And one cannot simply force themselves to believe in something just to avoid punishment. It reminds me of one of my favorite Jefferson quotes:
    “Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.”
    –Thomas Jefferson

    If on the extremely remote chance that there is a god, and on the even more extremely remote chance that it’s the iron age desert god of Abraham, then my only hope is that, like Jefferson said, he will approve more of my honest reason, then my faith out of fear.

    “Science cannot create life.” Actually, you’re wrong. It can. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

    And the reason science hasn’t gotten father than creating that type of life is because it takes MILLIONS OF YEARS. Saying science can’t create life is a rigged and bias statement.

    “How useless and boring life would be without struggle, failure, hope and triumph.”

    Take that exact idea and imagine how boring heaven would be if it was perfect. The difference is that you would be trapped there forever, where as here is temporary, and thus much more valuable.

    “There is plenty of evidence of the existence of God”

    Really? Where? My eyes eyes and mind are open, and I used to believe there was plenty of evidence, but all the “evidence” turned out to be either just blind faith, personal emotions, or more simply explained by science.”

    Peace be with you.

  8. Mark January 26, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    Interesting – I appreciate the absence of attack. Thoughtful measured response makes the discussion much more interesting and palatable.

    I’ll begin with what I started last time. ” For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who do not believe, no proof is enough.” I have experienced personally things that cannot be explained as merely coincidence. These things are very real and not based in some delusional fantasy. So, for me He is real. For you He is not. At the ends of our lives we will both see where our belief has led us. I do not believe in Him because of fear. In reality I believe in Him because of his mercy (to me) and the quite personal experiences I have had. Maybe in time He will make himself evident to you in the same personal way He has to me, but only if your heart is truly open to it.

    I have reason to question that your heart and mind are open because if they were you would remain “open” to the possibility of His existence yet you argue adamantly against it. If your search for truth leads to absolute denial of the possibility of existence without absolute proof then you are not open to it. For you my doubting Thomas friend it is not a possibility until you have that proof. See my opening comment. So, I hope He does touch you in a similar way as I have experienced and I hope it will be proof enough for you.

    Yes, there are good Christians and not so good ones. Just as there are good politicians… hmmm let me rethink that one. Just as there are good golfers and bad ones, good priests and very bad ones and good parents and very bad ones. It shouldn’t condemn the whole because of the few. Pat Robertson’s faith leads him to what I consider nonsensical comments on New Orleans and now Haiti. He is as rigid in his absolute belief as you are in your belief that God does not exist. I cringe when I hear these comments because while I believe he is well intentioned I also believe he hurts his cause more than he helps it.

    It is absolutely OK and appropriate and imperative to question our beliefs and seek the truth. For many of us this is the way in which our faith is strengthened. Yet, you say the burden of proof is on me, and I say for me that burden lies with you. You are free not to believe and you are free to create a website proclaiming His non-existence. But that does not make Him any less real to me than my personal experiences and belief would make Him real to you.

    We can find the faults and cracks in any human being… except in my personal opinion Jesus and Mary. Everyone else has their imperfections which we are destined to struggle against or give in to. I have plenty, so I can not condemn others foibles unless they create a danger to society. (like flying planes into buildings or bombing innocent people in a market place). Yet, you and I look at the same thing and see two different things. You see faults and blemishes and believe that makes them imperfect… I can see the same things and realize that many times it is precisely the faults and blemishes that make them perfect for me. My guess is you are not a big fan of the USA and think we as a nation are imperialistic, arrogant, evil and hypocritical. Just a guess… So you will look at Mother Theresa and see her very human frailties that make her distasteful to you. Yet I see the small measure of comfort and dignity she gave to those who had none. She has far more admirers than detractors even among those who don’t share her faith… but I digress.

    Just because God has made Himself evident to different cultures in different ways doesn’t mean they are mutually exclusive. I know some believe this. I do not share that belief. While certain tenets of certain religions are at odds, by and large they are based in loving and caring for one another instead of killing each other. I prefer to look at the common ground and build from there… as best I can.

    You are fighting against forced prayer. OK, but I am against the elimination of prayer. Isn’t there some common ground in there where my choice to say a prayer shouldn’t infringe on your freedom and ability not to pray. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” If you are saying that I am not entitled to freely exercise my religion at any time or place, than as an American you are infringing on my constitutional rights. It doesn’t bother me if you don’t share my belief. You can do whatever you choose as long as it doesn’t infringe on this right. We are a representative republic based in democratic principle and as long as this is the law of the land it is my right to freely exercise my religion at any time or place in this country whether it is public or private property. You are free to think I am a fool and not participate, but you are not free to infringe on my right to do so.

    This same right gives you the right to shout from the rooftops or publish a website saying people of faith are misguided and delusional. But, you are not free to dictate when and where and how I can express and practice my faith. If the time comes when this is not the law of the land then I will have to accept that and practice my faith where I am allowed to.

    Ok, phenomenal… man can create the opportunity for life… he still cannot create life itself… he cannot even create this in a meaningful way without something to start with… and since I believe all things come from Him, man would not even be in existence to create life if life hadn’t been given to us first. I realize this is a circular argument, but no less than yours. So, until we have that definitive proof I choose to believe in His existence and you choose not to. We are both free to make these choices and live our lives accordingly. It boils down to belief. You have and are free to express yours and I have and am free to express mine, neither can be proven or disproved… I’ll take mine on faith. 🙂

  9. godlesspaladin January 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Mark, thanks for the response. If you’d like to get a better idea of where I’m coming from, check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wV_REEdvxo that guy has a lot of really cool videos that express my views much more eloquently than I can, and he does so in a calm, rational, non combative way.

    “I have reason to question that your heart and mind are open because if they were you would remain “open” to the possibility of His existence yet you argue adamantly against it.”

    It seems as your definition of “open” sounds like “agreeing with me”

    “Pat Robertson’s faith leads him to what I consider nonsensical comments on New Orleans and now Haiti. He is as rigid in his absolute belief as you are in your belief that God does not exist. I cringe when I hear these comments because while I believe he is well intentioned I also believe he hurts his cause more than he helps it.”

    I totally agree (well, not with the part about me being as rigid in my non-belief as he is in his belief, but still) I lived in Virginia Beach VA most my life, he was always there, his 700 club signs were in the Norfolk airport, and now I’m in Lynchburg, with his late evil twin Jerry Falwell…

    “I say for me that burden lies with you”
    Again I would disagree and point out that I am not claiming that god does not exist, you are, I’m assuming the negative, just as I do with everything else. Assuming the negative is how we are able to function in life. If I went around accepting positive claims without asking for proof I would fall for everything. (The movie “The invention of lying” comes to mind)

    “You see faults and blemishes and believe that makes them imperfect…I can see the same things and realize that many times it is precisely the faults and blemishes that make them perfect for me.”

    I would disagree with your view of me :-p I can see people’s faults and still love them despite of the faults. I’m much harsher on myself than anyone else.

    “My guess is you are not a big fan of the USA and think we as a nation are imperialistic, arrogant, evil and hypocritical. Just a guess…”

    I’m actually a born and raised American living in VA, and my family has been here since the Mayflower :-p But yes, I’m not an overly big fan of our foreign policies, but hey, so far nobody has come to shut down my blog or arrest me for not believing in god like they would in the majority of other countries around the world, so the USA does have its good spots.

    “So you will look at Mother Theresa and see her very human frailties that make her distasteful to you.”

    If by “very human frailties” you mean pretending to help people while actually just putting them in a building to die slowly, and then going to Ireland to fight against an amendment that would allow women to divorce husbands who beat them, then yes, I do.

    “She has far more admirers than detractors even among those who don’t share her faith…”

    ad populum fallacy. You can get a billion people to heartily agree that a pile of dog shit is a rose, but that doesn’t make it a rose. Everyone loves her, but how many actually stop to fully examine what she did? (But I also digress)

    “I know some believe this. I do not share that belief. While certain tenets of certain religions are at odds, by and large they are based in loving and caring for one another instead of killing each other. I prefer to look at the common ground and build from there… as best I can.”

    I like your view and I wish more people shared it, perhaps then there would be less car bombs…

    “OK, but I am against the elimination of prayer. Isn’t there some common ground in there where my choice to say a prayer shouldn’t infringe on your freedom and ability not to pray.”

    I totally agree! I have no problem with you saying a prayer whenever and wherever you want, just as long as it is not in an official government capacity. (As you pointed out in quoting the constitution)

    “If you are saying that I am not entitled to freely exercise my religion at any time or place, than as an American you are infringing on my constitutional rights.” If I was saying that, then you’d be completely correct, but I’m not.

    “We are a representative republic based in democratic principle and as long as this is the law of the land it is my right to freely exercise my religion at any time or place in this country whether it is public or private property.”

    I love you! So many people don’t understand the “representative republic” thing. :-p

    “You are free to think I am a fool and not participate, but you are not free to infringe on my right to do so.”

    Agreed, but for the record I don’t think you’re a fool. ~_^

    “If the time comes when this is not the law of the land then I will have to accept that and practice my faith where I am allowed to.”

    I certainly hope that is never the case, and I would fight any Atheist who wanted to impose non-belief on anyone. That goes against my values as a humanist. But I’m afraid the opposite is much more likely. The vast majority of this very religious country are christians, and day by day they are growing stronger. Did you know that by law I am banned from holding public office in 7 states because I don’t believe in your god? (Nobody’s tested those laws in court yet, but they’re on the books) I’d also point out that Atheists are virtually un-electable in this country. 😦 So much for my representation…

    Again, I end up disagreeing with you on many points, but I really like your “live and let live” views on things ^_^

  10. Mark January 27, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Hallelujah!!! 🙂 We find common ground… 🙂 I admit I made some incorrect assumptions about you. I think that came from some of the responses you got that I ascribed to you that were actually visitors to your website. However by and large we have a few items that are debatable and some we will just have to agree to disagree on and a few that maybe in time will be revealed to each of us. But, having a civil dialogue and finding that common ground has been the bright spot of my day so far… There are a lot more people like me out there than you might believe. It’s the folks who assign labels and write me off as a right-wing nut job that I take greatest issue with. Thank you for not being one of them.

    Mother Theresa is one of those areas we will obviously have to agree to disagree on. She dedicated her life to the service of the poor, it was a long life… I believe with far more good than bad… If I am condemned for my transgressions or poorly thought through moments when gauged in the entirety of my life span… I am in real trouble… but hopefully some of the little things will add up.

    On another point however, I agree in principle, though I might communicate it a little differently from my Texas perspective… you can’t polish a turd. In my mind, this doesn’t apply to the fair lady above.

    There are also those who think that if I pray in their presence they are offended and think I/we should stop for their sake because it makes them uncomfortable. FYI – I am the president of POOP – People Offended by Offended People. 🙂

    Anyway, thanks for the thoughts and I hope you have a nice day.

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