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"spreading their propaganda "

Propaganda? I've not seen any atheist popaganda except on the web. And you can find anything on the web. On the other hand, in most English villages, there is a huge, imposing, opressive thing that is known as a church. Which is only one example of propaganda.

"and to stop their mad attempts of destroying religious public holidays "

As long as it's a holiday for everyone, I don't mind.

"Which message is more likely to be ignored by people bent on killing and plundering"

We weren't bent on killing and plundering untill we'd got greedy.

"stop trying to  make us HIDE in private places to worship God"

What? As long as you're not being inconsiderately disruptive, there's nothing wrong.

I wouyldn't like an orangeman march in my street because of traffic problems, no more. They can be religious whenever they want as long as they get in no-ones way more than usual and as long as I don't have to join in.

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Arguing that "well, it doesn't, but it might in the future" is ridiculous. It's like me wanting to put you in prison because I think you might kill me in 50 years' time...

Yes, but if you have killed someone already, then you would be placed in prison not only because of punishment but because you might do it again.

Acriku, missionaries are holy messengers of God at best and harmless at worst.

Harmless at worst? That seems largely biased. You do not know what they do every time and everywhere, neither do I, just because they follow "the word of God", doesn't mean they will obey it all the time. Just like the raping priests.

and to stop their mad attempts of destroying religious public holidays and trying to uproot everyone's cultural identity because others might find it offensive!

Athiests are not the only ones! People of different religions would find a different religion holiday shoved in their faces offensive! Even Christians! If they make a big deal about it in a school, there will be complaints from a lot of people. Not just athiests. And do not generally say athiests do, because they don't. Specific people do this, not athiesm.

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This was inspired by God:

'And he shall reign down from the heavens, and cast down all those who oppose him. The one way to avoid his wrath is by handing me, the one true prophet, one-hundred of your currencies.'

Believe this? I don't think so. Yet how do we know that isn't how the bible was made?

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One point: as interesting as this topic is, we have to remember that humans need a religion of some sort. I challenge you to find a single person who does not have such a crutch, whether in religion, science, or in the case of many of the people here, Dune. In a way we are all as bad as each other - we each believe in the ineffability of our own 'crutch', and we despise anyone who does not agree. Whenever someone is converted away from one religion, they always switch to another.

A word of advice: recognize your pseudoreligion as it is, but do not try to live without it; humans require meaning in their lives, and it is incredibly hard to live when you have decided that nothing is ineffable. I speak from experience.

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That's right people have been religious ever since they became self aware. If half a dozen people in a tribe have been eaten by wolves, the tribe starts making sacrifeces to "Wolf God" or whatever they call it in the hope the wolves won't attack again. Religion offers a feeling of safety to people.

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Don't think extreme philosophy is a good new alternative. Every philosophical position is doubtful and can be brought down. In the end, philosophy is a good way of understanding things better, but it isn't able to draw good workable conclusions. Not by itself that is.

A missionary on itself isn't bad, but as many things in human society at has been used in awful ways. The missionair should try to convert the people to his believe, he should try to help them from his believe, but they could maintain there own values. Use in that way he is relatively "good and harmless".

"who's to say that those words in the Bible weren't written by a man without divine inspiration. You believe that you are reading the words of God, for no other reason than the book you are reading claims to be inspired by God." - Old Worm

Doesn't science do the same thing ? You belive that this [ or your assumptions ] are really scientific.

Science ones believed the earth was flat, and the person who tolled otherwise was killed. The same with "the Earth as center of the universe", this wasn't a religious statement, is was science. And again the person who disagrees was killed.

Same with the Bible, the person giving it another interpretation was, you guess, killed.

Present day.

Freud has a good and workable theory. Then he exadurates it in some ways to explain everything and guess what. We say his ENTIRE theory isn't correct anymore.

And someone had an experiment that could show gratiton waves some years ago. [ Thought he went by the name Weber but I could be wrong ] Science wasn't able to duplicate the experiment so it wasn't "really accurate". We are now trying in Delft [ The Netherlands ] to show them in a totally different way.

So the same question you posted to religion can be posted back very easally to science.

"The Earth being round, contradicts writings in the Bible." - Old Worm

Does it ?

Another way of looking at it.

Let's say science is accurate and will evolve and get better with the years. Then one day we will have a "law of nature" that can describe any biological, physical and mathematic event and object in the universe. But humans are biological creatures, who then have to act according to that rule. It will describe the way we are born, to the way we eat and the way our brain functions. These processes in our brain don't only follow the rules of that "ultimate law of nature", they also act by them. So our actions aren't really ours, they have very strict rules to act by.

Then what is this "truth" people look for ?

:)

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Mordecai is right in that we must all make certain assumptions - and from them, deduce our goals and moral code. e.g.: I assume constructive activity in the search of knowledge etc.

Nevertheless, people are prone to draw from this things like fanatic religion - the belief that they are indubitably correct, and that questioning this is undesirable.

This fanaticism I oppose; it brings about the like of the corruption of institutionalised religion.

Also, we must consider the non-fanatics - the ones who are concerned with a more lenient approach - 'This is what I believe, but you may think something different, and I respect your belief'.

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"Extreme philosophy" was a joke. Yeah, I know, hard to understand in this context.

Oh, yeah, and your 'science' that proclaimed that the world was flat was actually the Catholic church. The first scientist to actually challenge these views was Galileo. The inquisition killed people, not scientists.

Listen to yourself, Gryphon. Can you not see that humans are blind, arrogant and gullible creatures? Unlike the Bene Gesserit, I do not see the state of "humaness" as something precious, but as something we should rise against. We are nothing! If a god did exist, it would never have taken any notice of us. Our arrogance blinds us and makes us want to be important, or at least to be noticed by some sort of higher power. Be cynical, and see your true nature.

We aren't even stardust. We're just dust.

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One small point... science has inadvertently caused suffering - as Edric has been at pains to point out. But it doesn't aim to kill. Only the malevolent use it to kill.

Missionaries should be there to inform, not to pester. He should state the beliefs and reasoning behind it, but should not be persistent in conversion of anyone they meet.

"Then what is this "truth" people look for ? "

We don't want to know every fact and detail. We just want to be able to explain things. We want to have an explanation for all pheneomena - including the phenomenon of the univverse itself.

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Gryphon,

Those people who were killed for saying the Earth was round and not the center of the universe, were killed due to the heresy of what they were saying, not by the scientific community. They may have been riduculed and outcast from science, but that IS the scientific process. If a theory does not have the evidence to back itself up, then it should be cast aside until it gains the evidence needed to validate it. Eventually, this evidence can possibly become too conclusive and the theory has to be accepted.

Darwin was ridiculed by the scientific community, and condemned by the religious community. He had to fight to find and present enough evidence to validate his theory. Eventually the scientific community had no choice but to accept his theory. Much of the religious community also accepts his evidence, so they twist the writings of the Bible to fit. Others fanatically deny it, vainly attempting to disprove his theory.

About your present day examples, shouldn't a theory have to endure extreme scrutiny in order to pass as a valid theory? If you don't have the evidence to back it up, then your theory is invalid. The theories that stand up to these challenges, such as evolution and relativity, are the theories that we hold as probable truths.

What seperates religion and science (and don't confuse science with scientists) is that science accepts it's fallability, and is always open to new theories (as long as they have the evidence to validate themselves). Religion is the opposite. They cling to theories with Little or no evidence and deny any opposing theories, calling them heresy. While individual scientists may ridicule theories proposed and discredit the proposer, the religious condemn these people to hell for heresy, and, in the past, have killed for blasphemy.

I think our curiosity IS a product of biology. We attempt, as humans to understand the real workings of the universe around us the best we can through our perceptions. Could our perceptions of the universe be false? Could the truth be absolutely unattainable? Yes, but the truth we seek drives us to accel as a species, drives us to advance and explore. The truth is not as important as the search itself.

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Darwins theory has not been proven, but is considered very probable by most people.

Yet christian schools in the US and Europe do not teach them about Darwins theory. They don't teach children about the way Earth came to existence, billions of years ago. Instead they tell children that God created the world in 6 days (6 days! Ridiculous!), and in those 6 days he also created every animal that roams on Earth. They deprive their students from knowledge, while stuffing them with (I am sorry to use the term - but I think it is appropriate) propaganda.

Darwins theory is commonly accepted to be true, and that Earth has been billions of years has been proven. Darwins theory is rejected by the church, and when you say "but you said false things about how Earth came to existence", they respond with "you shouldn't interpret the Bible that way", while centuries ago people got killed if they did not accept the Bible as the absolute truth.

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"Those people who were killed for saying the Earth was round and not the center of the universe, were killed due to the heresy of what they were saying, not by the scientific community."

Where they ? Didn't the scientific community claimed the earth was flat ?

Wasn't it science that the Earth was the center of the universe that every other object moved round. Like "Upper and Lower Moon" was a scientific fact before that ?

This has nothing to do with the Bible, it is they way science and sociology have miss-used the Bible for it's own cause more then the Bible's interpretation.

"About your present day examples, shouldn't a theory have to endure extreme scrutiny in order to pass as a valid theory? If you don't have the evidence to back it up, then your theory is invalid. The theories that stand up to these challenges, such as evolution and relativity, are the theories that we hold as probable truths."

Yea right. Einsteins theory was proven long after he was gone. Some fact in his theory where unimaginable until tested several years after the theory was "official". Think of the experiment with star placement. Heavy object should attract light so at a solar eclipse stars should have a different place then "normally". This has been proven long after accepting the theory.

Quantum mechanics. We are building computers based on this theory. we don't even know what it is exactly, let alone that we are able to prove it. Shore, the formula happens to fit some experiments. But that is not proving that is real.

[ the results where conclusive, it's just that no one has ever duplicated the experiment after he did ]

"The truth is not as important as the search itself."

Then why do you care about that "truth" [ or the end of your search ] ? That's weird, you are looking for something that's not important. How are you able to say that people base there search on religion are blinded by something. There search is as important as yours, and the result isn't as important to the search itself. So why care at all ?

Science itself doesn't admit that it has been wrong. Just that the science we used before was "inaccurate", "incompleat", "misused", "misinterpreted", etc. But the people who used that science before where [ I think and guess ] pretty shore that what they believed was real. And was the compleat and correct science, that would evolve and grow in the years to come. That was what I mend before with the comment "it was true then, no matter if it is now, for them and it that time that was truth / science".

You can't keep saying science is and has been the seen over the years. It has changed, even the basic premises that it uses has been changed.

[ From every thing consisting 2 elements, to 4 elements, to natural states and so on. That has not been the same science. The base of it has changed dramatically numerous times, and with every change and every time people believed they where on the right track. And they where holding some truth. ]

And that's the weird [ and in my opinion also unfair ]  position of science. Science means more the "general idea and theory's about our live and universe" than that it is a constant thing throughout history.

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Is it any different with religion? Centuries ago the mere idea that anything in the Bible was metaphorical or false would be rewarded with death. Now the majority of Christians accept that Revelations was a complex metaphor for the Roman persecution of the early church.

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"Wasn't it science that the Earth was the center of the universe that every other object moved round"

It was not very scientific, because no-one tried to prove it, logically or by example... in fact, it was just going with the mob. It had already been proven that the earth was round, although I forget the name of the greek who did it at present.

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I mean they weren't really scientists, they only claimed to be. Griphon blamed science for making people believe Earth is flat. Those "scientists" believed that the Earth was flat, in accordance with the Bible. They didn't try to prove their beliefs and therefore they where not scientists. Therefore science is not to blame for the silly assumption that Earth is flat.

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