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airbikecop
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05 Dec 2005, 12:46 am

For the record, I'm a proud atheist, and have been for 6 years now. I have no qualms about other peoples beleifs, except...

Why are christians fine with other peoples religions that don't beleive in their god, or jesus christ, but not fine with atheists?



alex
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05 Dec 2005, 12:53 am

airbikecop wrote:
For the record, I'm a proud atheist, and have been for 6 years now. I have no qualms about other peoples beleifs, except...

Why are christians fine with other peoples religions that don't beleive in their god, or jesus christ, but not fine with atheists?


Lol there are a lot of christians who aren't fine with any other peoples religions, including other christian religions.


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05 Dec 2005, 1:10 am

And there are a lot of christians who are also fine with atheists. What's the point of this question?


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airbikecop
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05 Dec 2005, 1:13 am

It's something I've experenced seen in my travels... In my area there's a lot of problems with other peoples beliefs so...



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05 Dec 2005, 1:43 am

Some Christians might feel atheism to be a greater threat to their rights and influence than the other religions. See the secularization rampant on college campuses, the lawsuit over the pledge of allegiance and other church/state issues. When I used to be a Christian I had a poor understanding of what atheism actually was and I think many Christians may perceive atheism to be a radical belief, polar to their creeds. Some atheists are evangelical about their opinions, but they're a small minority I think.



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05 Dec 2005, 2:47 am

airbikecop wrote:
Why are christians fine with other peoples religions that don't beleive in their god, or jesus christ, but not fine with atheists?


I speak only for the people I know here, not for Christians at large. I, by the way, do not consider myself a Christian of any denomination:

Some Christians know the fact that there have been no highly successful cultures in recorded history that have prospered without a strong belief in a Supreme Being. That's not opinion, but sociology.

The decline and fall of a culture can be directly correlated to its loss of belief in its Supreme Being. America is no exception. As our religious focus has deteriorated, our statistics of social problems have increased exponentially. (I'm not saying its the CAUSE, so don't jump on my hood here...)

So, for the sake of our culture and nation, many Christians prefer to see the beliefs of other faiths prospering than a rejection of a Supreme Being altogether. In that respect, Christians have much more in common with a Jew or a Muslim than with an atheist. Ya dig?


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Sean
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05 Dec 2005, 3:54 am

airbikecop wrote:
For the record, I'm a proud atheist, and have been for 6 years now. I have no qualms about other peoples beleifs, except...

Why are christians fine with other peoples religions that don't beleive in their god, or jesus christ, but not fine with atheists?

I have had atheist and have agnostic friends, and personally, I find alot of atheists and agnostics I know to be more pleasant than alot of Christians I know. :oops:



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05 Dec 2005, 8:37 am

Sean wrote:
airbikecop wrote:
For the record, I'm a proud atheist, and have been for 6 years now. I have no qualms about other peoples beleifs, except...

Why are christians fine with other peoples religions that don't beleive in their god, or jesus christ, but not fine with atheists?


I have had atheist and have agnostic friends, and personally, I find alot of atheists and agnostics I know to be more pleasant than alot of Christians I know. :oops:


Same here. There are some Christians who are very close-minded about religion, and this seems to occur among a higher percentage of folks who were "raised in the church", not those who became Christian later on in life.

Most religions come with a set of moral codes to follow. Atheism and agnosticism don't really seem to have a set list of behaviour guidelines, so many Christians find themselves more similar to people who are religious (Jewish, Muslim, Buddhists, etc) because they all agree in some Divine Authority. Atheists and agnostics don't really believe in the same idea that there is a Supreme Being controlling the universe.

Lastly, it really depends on the person. I have some good friends who are atheistic or agnostic, but we get along just fine. I don't force my beliefs on them and they give me the same courtesy.


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toddjh
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05 Dec 2005, 4:38 pm

GroovyDruid wrote:
The decline and fall of a culture can be directly correlated to its loss of belief in its Supreme Being. America is no exception. As our religious focus has deteriorated, our statistics of social problems have increased exponentially. (I'm not saying its the CAUSE, so don't jump on my hood here...)


Which "statistics of social problems" have increased exponentially? Several important metrics, including violent crime, teen pregnancy, and abortion have been dropping steadily in the U.S. for years or even decades.

There was a study several years ago, conducted by a fundamentalist Christian organization, which concluded that there was an inverse relationship between religious belief and marital stability. The divorce rate was much lower among atheists than among Christians. If I recall correctly, only Orthodox Jews had a lower rate.

Jeremy



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05 Dec 2005, 7:16 pm

toddjh wrote:
Which "statistics of social problems" have increased exponentially? Several important metrics, including violent crime, teen pregnancy, and abortion have been dropping steadily in the U.S. for years or even decades.


Compare the trend since 1900. And of course before.

toddjh wrote:
There was a study several years ago, conducted by a fundamentalist Christian organization, which concluded that there was an inverse relationship between religious belief and marital stability. The divorce rate was much lower among atheists than among Christians. If I recall correctly, only Orthodox Jews had a lower rate.


GroovyDruid wrote:
(I'm not saying its the CAUSE, so don't jump on my hood here...)


I never said Christians had a lower incidence of social problems. In fact, I directly stated I was trying to prove no such causal connection. Read what I wrote again...


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toddjh
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05 Dec 2005, 8:49 pm

GroovyDruid wrote:
Compare the trend since 1900. And of course before.


Apples and oranges. The world has undergone tremendous upheaval in the last century. Populations have increased by a factor of nearly ten, urbanization has progressed rapidly, and the entire social structure has been bulldozed and rebuilt. Additionally, data gathering and record-keeping have both become much more thorough and reliable. More reports of crime and social unrest doesn't necessarily mean the rate has actually increased, any more than more reports of tornadoes and earthquakes means the earth is growing angry.

For these and other reasons, it's impossible to isolate the causes of any statistical changes over such a wide time period. Moreover, generalizations that may have held for previous civilizations don't necessary apply to modern ones. We live in a unique era.

Regardless, even on the timescale of a century, a steady decline for a decade is sufficient to cast serious doubt on the claim of exponential growth.

Quote:
I never said Christians had a lower incidence of social problems. In fact, I directly stated I was trying to prove no such causal connection. Read what I wrote again...


I read it, but you misunderstand. My statement wasn't meant as a rebuttal to something you never said, it was meant as evidence that your basic assertion is not supported by the evidence. The fact is that people who don't believe in gods tend to be more responsible citizens (for instance, there is a disproportionately low number of atheists in prison; far fewer than can be accounted for by "jailhouse conversions").

So, to sum up:

1. There is no clear evidence of an inverse correlation between religious belief and social problems.

2. You admit that you offer no mechanism by which such a phenomenon would allegedly take place.

3. There is evidence of a correlation between lack of religion and social stability on an individual scale.

Given all that, I must conclude that your hypothesis remains unsupported. Personally, I think we are currently at the height of western civilization, and most indications are that things will continue to improve as science and rationality progress.

Jeremy



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05 Dec 2005, 9:04 pm

Here is an article I found that debates the veracity of the studies revolving around divorce rates and beliefs:

http://www.adherents.com/largecom/baptist_divorce.html

Interesting how the Atheist/Agnostic category is said to be lowest, even if it is statistically identitical to the Lutheran and Catholic one.

Quote:
3. There is evidence of a correlation between lack of religion and social stability on an individual scale.
What study concludes this?


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05 Dec 2005, 9:29 pm

I'm Christian, and I have no problem with any other religions and non-religons as long as they're not rude about it.


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toddjh
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05 Dec 2005, 9:30 pm

Thagomizer wrote:
toddjh wrote:
3. There is evidence of a correlation between lack of religion and social stability on an individual scale.
What study concludes this?


As I touched on briefly in my previous post, there is a disproportionately small number of atheists in prison. According to a survey of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 1997, atheists account for only 0.21% of the prison population, while comprising roughly 8% of the population at large.

One explanation for this might be that most atheists pretend to adopt Christianity while in prison because they think it will cast them in a better light in parole hearings and the like. However, I don't think this could explain the discrepancy, because other religions (especially those which might have negative associations in America's predominantly Christian culture such as Islam, Wicca, Scientology, etc.) do not seem to experience the same phenomenon.

Another explanation is that atheists are somehow caught or convicted less frequently, but there's no evidence to support that idea either.

Jeremy



Last edited by toddjh on 05 Dec 2005, 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nirrti_rachelle
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05 Dec 2005, 9:32 pm

All you have to do is look at the crime rate in the northern and western parts of the U.S. verses the "Bible Belt" southern states. The majority of the cities that had the highest crime rates are in that region. I live in a city that has a church on just about every street corner yet it, according to the FBI statistics, has the 2nd highest crime rate in the country.

I lived in New York City..yes, big bad New York, for a month and not one person bothered me. Yet once back in my home town, I was inundated with men trying to follow me, harass me, several that flashed me...on crowded buses, my bicycle's front wheel being stolen (what the heck were they going to do with a front wheel?) and don't feel safe walking around this city, even in the daytime. In Manhattan, I could walk around anywhere I wanted and no one bothered me.

Here, in a city with only about one million people, I can't even go downtown to see a movie without some guys hissing at me or someone blocking me with their car after I refuse their offer for a ride to try to force me to accept.

Religion might not make society more prone to anti-social behavior but it sure isn't helping that much, either.


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Grievous
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05 Dec 2005, 10:23 pm

Namiko wrote:
Sean wrote:
airbikecop wrote:
For the record, I'm a proud atheist, and have been for 6 years now. I have no qualms about other peoples beleifs, except...

Why are christians fine with other peoples religions that don't beleive in their god, or jesus christ, but not fine with atheists?


I have had atheist and have agnostic friends, and personally, I find alot of atheists and agnostics I know to be more pleasant than alot of Christians I know. :oops:


Same here. There are some Christians who are very close-minded about religion, and this seems to occur among a higher percentage of folks who were "raised in the church", not those who became Christian later on in life.

Most religions come with a set of moral codes to follow. Atheism and agnosticism don't really seem to have a set list of behaviour guidelines, so many Christians find themselves more similar to people who are religious (Jewish, Muslim, Buddhists, etc) because they all agree in some Divine Authority. Atheists and agnostics don't really believe in the same idea that there is a Supreme Being controlling the universe.

Lastly, it really depends on the person. I have some good friends who are atheistic or agnostic, but we get along just fine. I don't force my beliefs on them and they give me the same courtesy.


Same here. Very astute obervation, Namiko.


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Last edited by Grievous on 06 Dec 2005, 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.