Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Effects of Cognitive Dissonance on a Jumpy New Christian

Six years ago, a man contacted me after having found me on the web - he was looking for a product I was selling at the time and found me via a search, but was not looking for me specifically.

I met him and his wife once and it became clear my product wasn't a fit. For some reason, he added me on Facebook. No big deal. A couple years later, he asked if he could put his then 17 year-old, who was writing a book, in touch with me; yes, fine, although not sure at all what I could do to help, as I've never written a book - ok, I have, this blog, but it hasn't been published.

I have not spoken to the child, who is now an adult, since although we were also "friends" on Facebook. No contact at all for I think four years. Until tonight.

I am more than happy to engage in honest debate. I like it a lot. Honest is the operative word here.

This person said they wanted to engage in a theological debate. What I discovered was they had no intention of debating and - I'm speculating now, but based on some pretty decent evidence - that they were challenged by someone at their church to find someone and "tell them about Jesus."

This person has recently discovered "god," as a result of being engaged to a christian, and, as happens, is SUPER EXCITED about the whole finding god thing and REALLY WANTS TO SHARE the experience. Except doing that with an identified (grumpy, old) atheist was not the best place to start.

As always, these conversations are long, but I will do you, dear reader, the favour of putting in bold the salient places where it is obvious the "debater," is drowning. I've corrected my spelling/grammar errors - I hope all, but probably not, and I've left those made by the other writer, because to some extent they make a point about this person's education. Limited

Have fun.


DE
I know we haven't spoken in a very long time. I was just curious..you're religious, yes? I'm in search of someone to have a theological debate with..if you're interested

ME
Was. Very atheist now. (THIS is where this person might have disengaged)

DE
Might I ask why? (This is when I should have known I was a project and this was not going to be a "theological debate.")


ME

Because religions are illogical, based on no evidence and are not historically, archaeologically, or scientifically supported.

DE
Well science usually goes against religion. (and cue church-infused bias) And as for the rest..all it took for me was a prayer and faith (and cue church-infused rhetoric). When people say the bible contradicts itself, I doubt the apostles sat down to compare notes ** (and cue this person knows NOTHING about biblical history or chronology). 

ME
Probably the best way to understand all this is to analyse why other religions are not correct. For instance, why doesn't hinduism or taoism or islam work for you?

ME
Tell me what "faith" means to you. (This is where I should have disengaged. This person not only didn't answer this, they got to refusing to answer.)


To your point above, you're absolutely right, ** the apostles did not and could not have sat down to compare notes. Matthew was written by several - many, actually - unknown writers about sixty years after the time frame it references. Mark is also a compilation of writings by various writers, many unknown, and dates something like 125 years after the time frame referenced. 

Same for Luke and John. Not surprisingly, those gospels do not agree with each other. Particularly, two of them do not mention "virgin mary." Also specifically, two of them do not consider "jesus" as a messiah. But more importantly, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever such a person lived. 

There are variously 12 to 15 writers quoted to substantiate "christ," but not one of them was alive at the time and none of them actually does mention such a person, let alone corroborate. 

This blog post deals specifically with all of these writers. The writer/owner of this blog is extremely knowledgeable about the subject of religion generally and specifically christianity, its myths and origins
A couple of interesting points: DNA, and particularly mitochondrial DNA essentially holds all human information. MDNA is the means by which ancestry is traced. It is highly accurate. Where we're talking about "Adam and Eve," mDNA is a critical detail. Two things; all creation myths have an original couple of some description and the descriptions are mostly similar. 

The existence of a creation myth in all religious stories is evidence of people trying to make sense of things they had no means to understand not of a fact. Where mDNA is concerned, however, if Adam/Eve were a true story, all humans would HAVE to have a shared marker. Not only that, they would also have to have a shared marker for "Noah's" wife - given the mythical floods. We humans do not, however, share mDNA on that scale. 

So this poses a dilemma. In the biblical story, Adam bites into an apple offered him by his partner and such is the reason for the fall. Two problems arise from this: If "god is all knowing and created all things," then such a god would know its creation would fail; in that sense, punishing an underling for something you not only put in their way but which you know in advance will cause them to fail, is psychopathic.

Let's carry on, however. As DNA - mDNA in particular provides us irrefutable proof adam/eve did not exist, then we have no original sin. If there is no original sin, there is no need for a 'saviour.' As such, the necessity for christ is negated. Finally, there's a biological dilemma that cannot be got around. I hope we will agree spirits and angels and gods are not understood to have genes and DNA - if they did, they would necessarily be human. With the "virgin" story, there can only be two logical conclusions. 

Human females require X and Y chromosomes to produce male children. Human females always contribute X. It is not out of the question a human female could - by a very, very long stretch - asexually reproduce. However, that would necessarily produce a female child. If we stick to the story of "Mary" having been made pregnant by a spirit or angel, we must assume that spirit or angel didn't have the means of providing a Y chromosome. Or, if it did, it was human, and the whole "virgin" thing goes out the window, as does the idea such a conception could result in a son of "god." The bible does, by the way, very much contradict itself on this point, when it mentions Jesus was a descendant of the royal house of Kind David...

Now we have also the dilemmas of essentially impossible stories. Take Noah: it seems bizarre that a "perfect being" such as "god" could manage to create such imperfect being as humans, and having foreknoweldge of how fallible such beings would be, eventually gets into such a rage it/he decides to drown nearly every one of its creations and start over. 

To do this, it chooses a very, very ancient man - 600 years old - and his also ancient wife and sons, tasks them with building a massive boat, despite they have absolutely no experience doing so, so could not have possibily known how to acquire the right type of wood (which, incidentally could not have grown in the area described) dry it properly - and in reality such drying takes years - hew the wood, construct a water-tight vessel, stock it with 14,000 animals, conservatively, and all the food they'd require - including meat for the carnivores - keep them healthy, watered (because a world-wide flood would cause salt and fresh water to mix, and hence poison these animals) and keep abreast of all the literal poo that would have piled up several times a day. 

It is, to be blunt, an outrageous story. But, on the very off chance such a think could have happened, we still have the dilemma of how such an old man travelled to places he likely did not know existed, acquire animals like Koalas and kangaroos and iguanas, get them back to his small area of the middle east, and keep them from dying on the way AND keep them alive for a year AND place them back where he found them - AND somehow, by what magic, see them fed from a planet that was flooded for a year and then mate. It's preposterous.

Or consider the story of the jews having wandered for 40 years. This also has absolutely no support at all. Start with the area this is said to have occurred in being about the size of the city of Calgary within its city limits. If such an area were mountainous, perhaps a small tribe of people could hide for that long, but they certainly could not be lost for that long. The logical approach is to wonder where they got food and goods - because what they had with them MUST have worn out at points. 

But archaeologically, this story cannot be true. Even if a tribe of people never made contact with anyone for 40 years, they would have had to dispose of various things as they moved about: earthenware, animal bones, human bones, clothing, etc. If that clothing were made from the sheep they might have had with them (drawing on the very real and very nomadic Bedouin people) there would be remnants of that clothing, and of tents. But no, there is not a scrap of physical evidence of any tribe having wandered.

Given the land area where this is said to have happened is so small and was, even at the time, surrounded with populated places - Iran in particular, which was very progressive and modern at the time - there is no real possibility such a group managed to avoid other humans. They might have been lost but others weren't and the area was a well-used trade route. Someone would have stumbled on them or their stuff at some point.

So, we can prove scientifically the Adam Eve story cannot be true and we can prove both scientifically and by logic the Noah story cannot be true, and we can show via archaeology the wandering tribe story is also not true and we have eliminated the possibility the saviour is necessary, let alone real.

Beyond all that, we DO have masses and masses of irrefutable evidence evolution is a fact. It is undeniable and the only real way to deny it is to ignore facts. We also have masses and masses of verified, observable facts proving there was a "big bang," one being the still-audible universal hiss, in addition to measurable, viewable microwaves (not the kind from a kitchen appliance, by the way) that essentially lead us literally to the point of this bang. The fact the human body, indeed everything in us and on us and on this planet - is made of exactly the same materials found in space, is also undeniable evidence we are, as the excellent and brilliant Dr. DeGrasse Tyson says, literally stardust.

To your point that "science usually goes against religion," that's not exactly correct. Science has shown things proposed by religion are not, and in many cases cannot be true, but that's not "going against," which implies a battle of some type. In reality, science does what it does: it makes and observation, develops a hypothesis, test and tests and tests, and then retests many more times, to develop a theory, and then that theory is put to the test to see if it stands or not. In short, science always, by definition, seeks to disprove itself. Religion, conversely is very, very resistant to being tested, and when it's premises are shown to be false - not possibly false but absolutely false, religions react by digging in, rather than "Oh, well, ok, that's not true."

++So here are some things to think about. If the christian god is omnipotent, all knowing, knows the number of hairs on your head, knew you before you were born, has a plan for your life and knows the hour of your birth and death - as is stated in 1Timothy - how do you have free will? If god knows in advance what you will do in your life, how is it possible to go against god? And, if god already knows what you'll do and what you do is part of this plan, what is the point of punishment?

To make this more real, imagine you have a child you love to the core of yourself. Your goal as a loving parent is to guide that child so it becomes a good, kind, productive person. This is what christians suggest is god's will, yes? So then what would your child that you love have to do in order for you to lock it in a basement and torture it for all eternity? And you do not have the advantage of knowing in advance your child might "sin."


Otherwise, many people say one cannot be moral without religion. My question is this: what is moral about a person who cannot be moral except because there is a threat of death hanging over them? If we're speaking biologically, and we can support this with years and years of research with not only animals but with sociological research of culture and society - moral behaviour is ingrained. 

It is innate and instinctual and core to societies and cultures surviving. The idea of morality being impossible without religion does not play out in reality. To quote Penn Gillette, the magician, when asked what stopped him from raping and thieving all he wants as an atheist, "I do rape and thieve all I want, and all I want is none." The bible itself is not by any definition a source of morals. One need only read the Levitican laws to know following them would be fully, undeniably immoral. I am sure we agree taking one's unruly child to the city gates to have the citizens stone it is not a moral act, nor is doing what the voices in one's head tell one, up to the point where one straps down one's son with a goal of slitting his throat as a sacrifice to an invisible man... 

We also know by innate morality it is NOT moral to rape a female and by that force her to marry her rapist, but that is a prescribed method of wife-getting in the bible. We also know slavery is horrific, immoral and inescuseable, but not only are the rules for how to keep slaves, where to get them and what to do if you beat your slave to death laid out in the old testament, they are reiterated by the jesus character in the new testament.... and why did the kid have to come fix the errors of his perfect, omniscient "father?" So. there you have it. I have less to write about other religions because I have nearly zero experience with them. Beyond that islam derives from christianity - as in it is a younger religion with the hallmarks of a schism from christianity, including acknowledging "jesus" it is decisively a violent religion with a goal of irradiating non-muslims and coercing existing muslims to a narrow interpretation of life, or killing them if they don't comply.

Sorry about all the spelling errors.. I was typing pretty quickly.

DE
God sends challenges. (WHAT?)God gave free will. ++ How your life goes is purely your choice. God sends things and how you deal with it is your choice which ultimately leads to how you live and where you places your denomination. I was an atheist at one point..(I don't think so) then a feeling which I can't really explain came over me and from then I found Jesus..ive found a church and I've been baptized. Since I gave myself to Jesus, everything changed. 

People look to "facts" which really, are just opinions..all opinions, some say God is man made and we created him in our image. Its all how you as a person perceive things. 

To me, Jesus is very real and his is alive and he died me for me. You say the gospels were written by several people? Did these people know each other? Was it all written over a pint? Don't think so..clearly there is truth to it..we're unable to get eyewitness accounts..so its all down to faith, prayer and what you feel within. (Cue confirmation this person has absolutely no background on the bible and how it was written: over 1500 years, three continents and who knows how many people). 

ME
Danny, go back and read what I wrote. I answered this "challenges" thing in detail. No, opinions are not facts. Facts are supported by evidence. Opinions are usually not.

##
Question: which god? How did you determine you have the right god, when there are many to choose from. So, given the facts I presented you here, how do you logically ignore them? Why is your god correct and Shiva not? Or thor? What is the evidence you base your choice on? I'd really like you to answer these four questions.

DE
I believe in the God that presented himself to me.. God the father, God the son and the holy spirit. And no amount of man made facts, opinions, whatever will shake my faith. For whatever reason your faith was shaken. (This is the place I knew there was no debate gonna happen. The second someone says nothing will shake their faith is the second you know you're not speaking with a rational person). 

ME
So here's the problem with your statement above here: You engaged on the basis of a debate. Debates rely on facts and substantiation. If you refuse to entertain any facts, logic, evidence, support, proof, then you do not want a debate. HOW did this god present itself to you? HOW do you know it is the god described by christians not Krishna? HOW do you know? Why are you right and Hindus are wrong? I'm curious: Has this new church of yours charged you to go out and "win hearts for christ?"

DE
##I'm not bringing other denominations into this. He presented himself to me with a wonderful warm and almost indescribable feeling (some people say the same about peeing themselves).

I knew straight away who it was and what it meant. My proof is my faith and I tell you ever since I found him I've been smiling like I found gold because he touched my heart and warmed my soul. And yes my girlfriend now attends service as does her father and step mom. Aha!

ME
So how do you know that warm wonderful feeling came from the christian god? HOW do you know which god "touched" you? To say you know by faith is to claim to know something you not only do not know, you cannot know. I understand you're happy, and your experience is exactly that of ANY religious convert. But this experience of your does NOT confirm which "god" So I ask you again, HOW do you KNOW which god you're claiming to know.

I will remind you again, YOU said you wanted a debate. You can't now back out and refuse to debate because the information is uncomfortable. Seriously. You're not an idiot. Are you really telling me you don't care at all about facts and evidence? Are you really saying to me despite things that cannot be true, you're still going here?

ME
Because that's not a rational choice: that's buying in to group-think and to the feeling of the community you've got at a church. But what they're selling you - does it matter at all to you there is no evidence for it? Are youeally saying facts do not matter to you?

DE
I thought you said there was no evidence? What evidence do you speak of? (What I didn't know here, but which was revealed later, is this person didn't read ANYTHING I wrote above). 

DE
Tell me..if I gave you the most compelling, most beautiful testimony ever...would it change your mind? Would you accept it and not try to shoot it down?

DE
Did you accept the conversation because you're actually searching for answers? Or just because you wanted to try to make me atheist (This was my "holy shit" moment... I'm not sure why this person figures I'm "searching for answers" or trying to make them an atheist. I made it clear in my first comment I am atheist. This is just such a weird moment, but it was where it really started to smack of church-speak). 

ME
I just spent 45 minutes presenting you information. Did you read it?

DE
No, im packing as I said. Regardless of the essays, we may always see differently

ME
First of all, You approached me. You don't get to suggest I have an agenda. You asked me a couple questions and I gave you a very comprehensive answer.

Does evidence matter to you?

DE
Yes. But my evidence is my faith (so no) Your opinion is yours but don't suggest I change mine (AKA, don't debate me despite my having asked you to debate).

ME
Because I can tell you exactly how this is going to go. I've asked you three or four very specific questions here and you have not only ignored those, you have ignored my very long, comprehensive information above.

That is not fair. Faith is NOT evidence. It is based on nothing and it makes claims to knowledge it cannot have.

I'm not suggesting you change anything.

DE
Just because. Faith isn't your evidence doesn't mean facts are better (what does one say?)


And you wrote too many facts I didn't bother reading it because you to were ignoring my faith. 

All I asked why you dropped god. Did not need all these facts that too are just here's say. (I answered that in my second comment above).

ME
I asked you some questions. There is no suggestion in them to change anything. I'm trying to understand how you KNOW what you say you know. 

What you're doing is called a logical fallacy - and the fallacy you're committing right now is called "moving the goalposts." It consists of you making claims, me asking for clarification of those claims and you not providing clarification AND proposing another question or subject to remove yourself from having to substantiate what claims you made.

I removed a section here about my background - long, evangelical, generations of it. Boring, and if you've been here before, you know this. 

DE
You're asking for proof that obviously doesn't matter to you anyway (this is a common tactic with the religious - it translates to "I have proof but I'm not going to give it up because you're an asshole).

 I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe. We might as well be arguing that red is black, we're going to get nowhere so to be honest..this is completely pointless. Yes facts matter to me..and I listen to both sides but my faith will never be broken. (So no, facts do not matter).

ME
No, I am not asking for proof. Pretend I'm a devout muslim. Now convince me YOUR god is the right one.

Seriously. If you can't address this, you have a problem. You cannot say facts matter at the same time as you claim your "faith" will never be broken. 

If facts do matter to you, then go back and READ what I spend nearly an hour writing. The FACTS prove beyond ANY doubt NONE of the characters you say you believe in CAN or ever did exist. 

(This is where I become a bit touchy... ) May I caution you to not invite people to debate you when you have no intention of debating. It is dishonest to make such an approach, refuse all facts put to you, suggest your testimony will shift someone away from fact and then claim the discussion YOU invited is pointless when the facts put to you entirely contradict your unfounded, and unsubstantiated beliefs.

You're welcome to believe whatever you wish but you are not welcome to dishonestly engage in "debate," when your goal, which is now very obvious, is to take someone's time - which in my case was given quite freely - refuse to acknowledge ANY points put to you, refuse to substantiate your claims and then retreat with the ridiculous "nothing can shift me." It is not intelligent.

I realise you are presently in the excitement phase of being a new christian - been there, done that, seen it a hundred times. But at some point you either entirely give up being a rational thinker or you WILL have to confront the points put to you, starting with HOW do you KNOW this god of yours is the christian god and not Shiva or Thor or Zeus or the Great Juju in the sea. 

If you can't answer that very fundamental question - how do you know - then you cannot expect anyone to consider you credible.


So tell me again how exactly this emotional experience you had is for SURE the christian god "touching" you and not some other god.

And tell me again how, despite the facts put to you - DNA, genetics, biology, history, archaeology and science are all wrong and your "faith" overrides all that evidence.

(And now the wife-to-be jumps in...)
DE/NE
K this ends now. I am NE, DE's soon to be [spouse. They were] NOT DEBATING ... just asking one stupid question about why you changed from god that is all. You DID,NOT need to blow up with [them].

ME
(I'm still speaking to the initial poster here... And I'll wager you are angry at the moment and you think I'm quite mean for having put these questions to you and for having presented you quite a bit of information. (this is going to play out shortly)

This is called cognitive dissonance and it happens when information - in this case rational, logical information directly contradicts something you believe. It results in the person feeling VERY uncomfortable - usually really angry - which they sort by saying the other person is doesn't have an open mind, or, as you put it above here, won't accept the proof you could offer, so you won't bother. all that only serves to get you an out from having to substantiate these claims.

DE/NE
These stupid facts about this crap just stop cuz you are upsetting ... and pissing me off. No offense. Believe what you want. I don't care facts aren't always right but faith is (church-speak 2.0)

ME
Hello NE. DE engaged me in this conversation. This is his opening post: "I know we haven't spoken in a very long time. I was just curious..you're religious, yes? I'm in search of someone to have a a theological debate with..if you're interested."

As they point out, we haven't spoken in a very long time. They said they wanted a theological debate. I thought that was an honest approach but it seems it was not a debate they were after; it was an opportunity for conversion. You're more than welcome to read this entire thread and I hope very much you will, and then I hope you two will engage in some honest discussion between the two of you.


DE/NE have been reading the whole time. And your points I do not like and I'll it again DE was not debating he has strong faith in his god WHICH is evidence ... doesn't need to be to you. 

Facts are not always justified. I know the lord is real yet im not 100% committed I see and feel him in my own way DE never once said you were wrong but you are soo damn judgmental. (um what? Since when is posting information and asking questions judgemental? Oh... when the cognitive dissonance kicks in. Right). 

 And saying what DE thinks is wrong or can't exist. This conversation stops now and I mean it. Sorry for the rudeness but you are upsetting DE and I protect those I love. Good byw

ME
GREAT. WHICH god? HOW do you know the "Lord" is real?

 I am judgemental about someone who engages dishonestly, yes. 

THE FACTS say what you believe cannot exist. I did not say this. I am quoting facts and referencing science, history, archaeology and logic.

It is rude and dishonest to engage a near stranger in a "debate," when you have absolutely no intention of debating and every intention of proselyting. 

So you both know, I have copied this entire conversation and will be posting it to my blog, as I always do with these types of "conversations." Neither of you will be identified in any way, and my blog does not identify me, although many people who read it know I am the writer. The reason I post these conversations is to point out the flaws in these religious arguments - and particularly the refusal to read, let alone consider the facts. 

May I say how really despicable it is to engage someone like this, and then resort to name calling.

DE/NE
What you have quoted are not facts its called being too damn opinionated. Just drop this and stop replying like I asked because I am getting mad  (cognitive dissonance, with the effect I noted would occur). and I do not like being disrespectful to older people.

Facts facts facts can only get you so fair in life... faith love gets you everywhere. And you are not allowed you post this without consent. (Yes, I can)
DE wasnt debating just one simple question and you ran over with atheist opinion (or a bunch of facts) Now please stop. And better not post this because its against the law without him saying its okie (nope, it isn't. And that's "Okay," by the way). 

Nope. Facts. It's not my opinon there is not only no evidence for your god or any god, nor is it my opinion there is no evidence at all for christ and proof that adam and eve did not and could not have existed. I told you, Danny. Cognitive dissonance. You engaged ME. YOU said YOU wanted a theological debate. A debate is not what you're doing here.

DE/NE
All im saying now is enough please. And dont you dare post this personal crap on your blog

because thats stirring up trouble with he nor I need.

ME
I am going to post it. You will not be identified in ANY way. Not city, not gender not work. Nothing.

DE/NE
I gave my views, you gave yours. You've been told many times that this is done now. I wanted a nice conversation where both sides could be seen..not you attacking me for having a god that you chose to leave (oooohhh nice attack!)

Does not matter its DE's words meaning DE has rights and you cannot post what DE as said NOT ANY OF IT. Post your parts but not DE's.

ME
I am NOT attacking you. I am pointing out the flaws in yoru argument and the fact you can't substantiate your claims. ANY time you want to substantiate your claims, you're more than welcome. I can absolutely post it and I will. It will not identify you in any way.

DE/NE
I've gave MY POINTS! I BELIEVE BECAUSE HE CAME TO ME! JUST AS HE ONCE CAME TO YOU (Church-speak)

Again DE's words meaning you cannot not because you have no consent grow up please and learn the rights and laws... you can post what you say yes but not DE's

You chose to leave..its because of people like you that my faith and love for him only grows stronger (I'm not sure even what this is supposed to mean, but it's church-speak)

DE/NE
I don't have to hide my believes..and I don't call people out for worshipping a different God to me. That's their choice..who am I to tell them any different? Who am I to say they're wrong?

Regardless of beliefs, they're my fellow man..and all I can do is love them and look,after them as best I can until we're all called home (except for the atheists who ask questions that make you uncomfortable, I assume?)

This is called a personal conversation and you are very rude for saying your gonna post this. Post what you say and believe but dont you dare post his even tho you take DE's name off. It is still wrong.

And whether you once had Jesus..whether you're still trying to find him or whether you cast him away from you..he loves you and always will (oh for shit's sake..... )
ME
HOW do you KNOW? Did you see this person? IF you're relying on a feeling, then you don't have any solid reason to know. Feelings are not reliable and they are certainly not evidence. Please don't presume my experience. I was raised in that environment. I did not choose it.

DE/NE 
I was as well I was forced to believe. As I grew up I did not want to follow it. But I do know its real just because you dont doesn't mean it isn't (wow. Stunning logic... also known as drowning)

You always have a choice! That's the point! You chose to leave..not because as I can work out because you felt forced but because your apparent facts (yeah, "apparent" facts) told you otherwise. How would your eleven generations feel about your sudden atheism? (They don't like it. So what?)

ME (still trying to get this person to understand they cannot confirm which god they're talking about...)Exactly. Who are you to say they're wrong. But how do you know YOU are right and they are not??

What if you ARE wrong and Allah is the right god? HOW do you know you've made the right choice? How do you substantiate there is such a thing as what you call "home?" You do understand you can see fully 400 GALAXIES with your naked eye? If earth is a tiny, tiny, tiny planet on a tiny arm of a tiny galaxy in a tiny part of the cosmos and there are 400 galaxies viewable and all of those could potentially have planets like this one, WHERE is your "heaven"?

DE/NE
Heaven is not of this world..as Jesus said he is not of this world. Heaven is Gods home, beyond our known universe. (Church-speak spoken by someone who has no science to speak of).

ME
The facts are these and these are NOT opinion. DNA proves the adam eve story cannot be true. DNA also proves the noah story cannot be true. History, archaeology and the 48 historians alive and writing at the time jesus was supposed to have lived provide NO EVIDENCE AT ALL that person ever lived. History and archaeolgy DO substantiate the Council of Nicea has a very specific, written-down agenda that included erradicating the jewish population of the time - and having a dead messiah - which They MADE UP - was a great tool.

DE/NE
I believe what my heart knows is real. And I know you are pushing and pushing to say what you say is apparently right. But who are you to say you are right huh??? JUST YOU. But that's you I am not telling you what to think or say or believe but I know you arw now being a bully and attacking because we are rebelling your thoughts but we arw who we are grow up and deal with it and stop replying if your really mature

ME (Stunned by that writer's really bad grammar and sentence structrure. WHY is it always the uneducated who fall for religion. I know; rhetorical).
Again, that's nice but it's not evidence.

I said syop replying

Do you not understand

Dont reply

ME
Hindus also believe with their hearts as do muslims and zoroastrians and mormons. NOT evidence.
I'm not attacking. I am asking you to substantiate your claims here. I am also pointing out feelings are not evidence. Neither of those is an attack.

DE/NE
Jeez... I guess english doesnt get threw (sic) to you... ma am I have said enough drop it is that too hard or what


ME
if you're going to engage someone who made it very clear in my FIRST post back to you is an ATHEIST, then do not be surprised when you get yourself deep into stuff you haven't thought about. 

I have. All my life.

DE
You know what..and this proves im pissed off..DNA can suck my balls, alright. I Believe WHAT I WANT TO BELIEVE! ACCEPT IT. Goodnight.

ME
But I'd sure love to hear this heartfelt testimony that will convert me.

DE
If you reply you will be blocked. Have a good life apparently you have without him. Piss off
 

And thus concludes a lesson in what happens when people join churches, get all warm and fuzzy up in there, take on what seems to be a church challenge to go find a non-believer and hit 'em up.

It's called cognitive dissonance and it results in a high level of discomfort when what one believes is shown to be crap. Usually results in anger and very often in insults, screaming and yelling and stomping about, kinda like what happened here.

It's predictable and annoying, but hilarious in a weird way. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I DO believe in pink unicorns, damnit! It's my right!

You won't be surprised to know I've engaged in yet another "conversation" with people who seem not to like logic or facts. 

Despite the discussion having launched over this (IMO) really exploitive and non-scientific (that part isn't my opinion) book, it rapidly went to "everyone has the right to their beliefs." 

I will ask you right now, dear reader, to think for a second what that statement really means. EVERYONE. Has the RIGHT to their BELIEFS. EVERYONE necessarily, then, includes every crazy person who as done any horrifying, terrifying, brutal, murderous thing because of their beliefs. Everyone. Parents who choose prayer over medicine and allow their children to die whilst waiting for 'god'; men who stone to death the women they have raped, and cut the hands of starving cildren accused of theft when they attempt to feed themselves, because their prophet says it is the right thing to do; priests who rape children.... EVERYONE

However, there was, later, a pronouncement that I did NOT have the right to my beliefs - pink unicorns, for which there are many drawings and stories and even effigies and images - because MY beliefs are insulting, rude and assaultive. Hm. So NOT everyone. 

I've cleaned up the grammatical and spelling errors everywhere (that I noticed them).

JK shared a video.
Wow....this film looks incredible...

"I see it, so I believe it. Do you?" Heaven Is For Real is in theatres Easter Weekend 2014.
SK I read the book about all of the things this little boy saw. There's no way I could deny life after our time on earth. Such an amazing thing we have is knowledge of god and that there's someone looking out for us.

ME Yeah, except for the extensive, faulty premises and the idea of relying on a child's experience in a coma. There is NOTHING the least scientific in this disaster. 

I could write a book on how appalling and manipulative and unscientific and frankly garbage this book/movie is.

SK You have your beliefs, and I have mine. (well, no, I have evidence the writer ignored good science, which is not a belief) That's what is great about this world! I don't need scientific facts to prove to me that god is real (oh dear...). I have faith. If you need science to believe in things then that is totally fine! But as for me, sometimes I believe in things that science can't explain, and it's helped me see life in a beautiful way. If you're beliefs make you happy, that is awesome! But mine make me happy too, and that's also awesome! :)

(1. what things can't science explain, or at least make a decent stab at explaining? 2. Atheists do not have beliefs. A-theism is "without beliefs" or without gods. Our sole premise the lack of evidence for any god(s) makes bowing down to it/them ridiculous. 3. Heroin, which also helps people believe in things that aren't real, also makes some people very happy, and like religion, addicted and dependent)

Book Review: “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo

ME So, if I have faith I will see a pink unicorn this year, real, true faith, you say that is fine and normal?

JK I would appreciate if you guys don't do this kind of insulting/antagonistic debating on my page. (Ok, so I am not allowed to clarify this person's statement. Got it. Also, that is bullshit)

I respect all beliefs and I would appreciate anyone choosing to comment on my posts have the same courtesy for each other...or don't post (Bullshit this person respects all beliefs! BULLSHIT. IF that were true, this person would be on the front line of protesting their country's contribution to 10 years of US invasion in the Middle East. The second part of this post - the "please shut up" part really means "sure as hell don't ask anyone if they really do mean ALL beliefs when they SAY all beliefs")

I'm not saying anything about whether its right, wrong, true or untrue. It looks like an interesting film and could be very positively inspiring to many in a day and age that hope is hard to come by. Take it all for what you will, but please don't be antagonistic. Thank you.

(I just want to point out here that I have been asking questions up to this point, with the exception of my pointed statement about the film, which I followed with a review of the film. This allegation I'm insulting and antagonistic and rude continues as does this suggestion I "have to be right." It is ridiculous. I am trying to understand these people and their position on "live and let live" by asking what they mean and how what they mean applies.)


SK Why does it matter so much that you have to be right and I have to be wrong? We both have different opinions about religion and faith. Who cares? You don't have to be right. I'm not wrong, you're not wrong. Let's leave it at that.(Um. when did this I'm right, you're wrong thing happen, exactly? Oh... right now... I see)

ME Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (In case it isn't obvious to all, this is a statement and it is not aimed at anyone, and doesn't criticize anyone)

JK For you they do, and that's fine....for others they do not.

ME Extraordinary claims always require extraordinary evidence or they have absolutely no credibility. (sorry, I personified...)


This particular book - its story and contents have been scrutinized - properly - with the lens of neuroscience and have come up severely lacking. I appreciate this story makes people feel good - but so does chocolate, which is also dangerous if over-consumed. 


The phenomenon of people "seeing heaven" as a result of major trauma is world wide. HOWEVER, the visions people have in that state are decidedly NOT uniform; they are heavily dependent on the person's culture, religion (if they have one) and ethnicity. 


If THIS particular heaven did exist, then those experiences would necessarily be uniform and there would be mass shifts in people's religions. This is not the case. 


The simple fact these experiences differ specifically along religious paradigms must be enough for an intelligent person to question the validity of such a story.

(Sorry for again pointing out the obvious, but I am making a statement here, again, not aimed at anyone in particular - although obviously for the consumption of those participating - and am not making a criticism of anyone. I am making points about the film and what it seeks to say)


ME But, if extraordinary claims do NOT require evidence, then we are free to make any claim at all and expect others to accept that claim - and to see any questions about such a claim as "antagonistic?" I don't think so. If that's the case, then we must accept ever crazy serial killer who claims "god" spoke to them and they were just doing "god's" bidding. 

Either all extraordinary claims require evidence or our judicial system is a complete failure.

JK Well, I don't know how it is in Canada but the US Judicial system is kind of a complete failure (just sayin'). I appreciate what you have to say. And I appreciate the references. I am genuinely intrigued by this sort of thing because it is very interesting, I have seen documentaries about children "remembering past lives" also which is another odd phenomenon that occurs quite frequently...is it true? Who the hell knows! (um....neuroscientists?... ) 

Is it interesting? You betcha!  But I don't appreciate the blatant attack on an individual's level of intelligence  just because they don't agree with what you are saying or the research you are providing as reference though... (I was substantiating THEIR statement with that link.... not everyone reading, myself included, was familiar with this alleged mathematical "proof" of god) so can we please ease off that particular tone? 

(WHAT blatant attack on WHICH individual??? WHEN did I mention ANYONE'S intelligence?? I just used my word processor's "find" option and there is no mention of "intelligence" anywhere before this poster writes the word and makes the allegation. I SAID, "The simple fact these experiences differ specifically along religious paradigms must MUST BE ENOUGH FOR AN INTELLIGENT PERSON TO QUESTION THE VALIDITY OF SUCH  A STORY)


ME No, it is not true. There is endless science - good, fact-based, falsifiable, verifiable, observable, repeatable science on both these subjects. One (One. Not you. ONE; general) need only have the courage to expose their "beliefs" to research and knowledge. 

As for faith, it is simply a way of claiming to know things one cannot know, and to bring that even further, once one DOES know a thing, one no longer has faith; one has evidence. (Yes, this is direct. But direct does not mean wrong, nor does it mean offensive)


As I say, I appreciate stories like this make people feel all warm and fuzzy but that does not mean such stories are true. Again, there is a LOT of reviews of this book, from a "christian" standpoint, where there is no analysis AND a rejection of science, and neuroscience specifically, and a rejection of the FACT that people from other religious paradigms have experiences that "prove" their version of "heaven" is true, when that version bears no relation at all to the versions that appear in American culture. 


It is the only logical stance one can have, as a thinking person, to acknowledge there is no way "proof" of "heaven" experienced by a muslim person or a buddhist person or a christian person can all be true. 


I made no "blatant attack" on anyone's intelligence. I don't care whether anyone agrees or not. My point is one - anyone, nobody in particular - must be intelligent enough to acknowledge all religions and all these experiences people claim to be true and to be proof of their version of heaven cannot actually be true. 


I asked a valid question up there. If we must accept other people's faith, then people must accept mine - that there are pink unicorns, and I am sure of this because I feel it, I have seen pictures of them and read stories of them and I know in my heart they are real. My faith cannot be attacked either, because faith somehow sits outside intelligence and to ask any questions that might rock my faith are to blatantly attack me.  

Right? (later, someone threw this example back at me as being rude and in their face.... Oh, hello wall, meet back)

CR Gödel’s Ontological Proof.

This is mathematical proof that God exists. German mathematician Kurt Gödel proposed this theory that a higher power must exist. Christoph Benzmüller and Bruno Woltzenlogel Paleo have proven that Gödel’s theory is mathematically correct. There for it is a scientifically provable fact.

JK Oh Hell (exasperated sigh).....you two have fun with this....

CR No I believe the argument has ended before it begins. I accept her belief in science. (Just so it is clear, one does not "believe" in science. One can rely on science becasuse science specifically seeks to DISprove itself. The goal of all scientific research is to find the holes in current understandings in order that scientific understanding can improve. This is not what belief is. Belief exists regardless of fact and contrary to fact)

I have presented a provable scientific theory that supports both of our beliefs and the only way to argue that would be for her to go against her beliefs and claim science doesn't matter or to provide me with a provable mathematical and scientific theory that God does not exist. But like her belief about God that theory doesn't exist. 

ME Here's the background on Charles's information:
Two scientists have formalized a theorem regarding the existence of God penned by mathematician Kurt Gödel. But the God angle is somewhat of a red herring -- the real step forward is the example it sets of how computers can make scientific progress simpler.

This is ontological "proof," that does not address WHICH god, nor does it provide a means to disprove all the 4000 or so "gods" proposed by humans.

(Just to simplify, this mathematical theory does not prove 'god' exists necessarily. It would be more apt to say 'gods,' plural. There is a clue in "formalised a theorem...".)


CR Sorry Julie but I will not debate you for no amount of proof would be sufficient and for me no amount of proof is needed.

ME I wasn't inviting you to debate. I posted background on your proposal. 

But, as you've brought up science, which seeks to disprove itself in order to better its theories, it seems inappropriate to say you need no proof to support your position. Falsifiability is core to good science. Anything else is simply pretending to know things one cannot know.

SK Look, the bottom line is we all believe different things. Julie, if you believe in a pink unicorn, go right ahead! I appreciate your opinion but I stated mine as well. I don't care if you think you're right, I don't care what science says. (This is very sad in 2013/2014)

To me, I've experienced things that make it so I could/would never deny God or life after our life on earth ends. If I believe stories like this like many others do, leave us be! We all have beliefs. Like I said earlier, let's leave it at that!

(Just to clarify the definition of what a miracle is: 
miracle is an event not ascribable to human power or the laws of nature and consequently attributed to a supernatural, especially divine, agency.[1]

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say there is NO possibility this person's experiences of "things that make it so I could/would never deny god or life after our life on earth ends," qualify as "Not ascribable to human power or the laws of nature," and ARE, consequently, easily attributed to HUMAN intervention and help.)


ME Well, I'd leave it alone if "leave us be" didn't also apply to those who believe it is right to stone a woman to death for the crime of being raped, or to those who believe it is right to mutilate little girls' genitals, or to those who believe it is right to pray over their sick and dying children rather than take them to the doctor, or to those who believe it is right to forcibly marry off girls to men who already have five or eight other wives AND kick the young boys out of the colony to fend for themselves rather than those boys being competition to group abuse and child rape. 

Do you really believe "let them be" should also apply to people who hurt, abuse and kill others when their reason is "god" said it is right?

ME And for the record, I would absolutely accept the proof of god - any of them - doing what it/he/she is alleged to be able to do and rearranging the stars into a pattern that says "I am your god." 

However, until the allegedly-all-creating-all-knowing "god" does that, there is no reason to believe in it/them; to do otherwise is to live in a type of voluntary north Korea, where your entire life is dedicated the Dear Leader and his Son/replica of himself, with the constant threat of death by burning for doing it wrong. Full disclosure: I owe this little bit of excellent prose likening 'god' to the North Korean dictator, to the wonderful, late Christopher Hitchens. (*click for video)


JK Okay...I am putting my foot down. Enough is enough. Back down. Julie you are bringing up so many completely unrelated topics its is ridiculous. (Which topics are unrelated? I've been asking questions and responding to what others have written).

There are heinous issues with our world today and the people in it. That is not being disputed. Nor is it being disputed that many people do horrible things in the name of "God(s)"...but that is NOT the root of what this film or book is trying to give people. It is a message of hope. Nothing more. 

Stop turning anything spiritually based and intriguing that I may post onto MY TIMELINE into a "pro-heinous religious acts" accusation (Well, actually, I ASKED if these people actually believe what they are saying, when they say everyone has the right to believe what they will. I didn't accuse anyone of anything; I asked them to clarify what they meant. I do realise this is the portion of the program where they have got themselves uncomfortably lodged up against a corner....) on my page. None of us (that have spoken on this thread) are supporting those things and I'd appreciate it if you all knock it off....


ME As always, I am bemused by the termination of this subject when the realities of "Live and let live" invade.

JK Its being terminated because Im now annoyed at the fact that you won't just get off it. You all believe differently. Just get off it already and leave the goddamned bone alone.

This is the private continuation of this discussion:

I'm not happy to argue but I AM very put off by being told to shut up when my well-researched opinions happen not to be popular.
I appreciate you weren't looking for a discussion. However, discussions are important, particularly when the subject at hand has a very solid, scientific explanation. It is not intelligent to shut down a discussion because the information is counter to what one currently possesses.

JK I will take a look at that. I don't have a problem with your well thought out research. I do have a problem that you were actively on the war path and determined to fight.
Sometimes its best to just back off. (AKA, shut up when you make points that shine a light on the posters' inability to support their arguments).

I dont always post things for discussion. And I appreciate it if people would take the hint and "be nice" when I ask nicely...the first time...
I didnt mean to be as harsh as I was...but you kinda walked right into it by willfully refusing to ease up.... (Pretty sure - almost positive - the other parties in this discussion did NOT get the same message).
You know me well enough now to know that I am always open to a private message conversation (I've highlighted this because it becomes important shortly) about such things, nothing irritates me more than public comments that are easily misinterpreted as aggressive and confrontational...because , as youve seen, it turns into arguments.

ME Why is it a "warpath" or a "fight" when someone like me, with a lifetime of engagement in an evangelical family, spends more than seven years understanding that paradigm, comes to a very researched and substantiated conclusion that paradigm and all others like it are false, and on that wealth of experience and research, asks a person making a statement to substantiate what they've said?
Here's the thing JK: no person should "ease up" when they see information that is FALSE being presented as true.
I know you. I know you would NOT stand by or ease up in the face of something you know was wrong.
JK I post things that are interesting to me onto my wall, as is my right, I in no way say I believe every single thing 100%. (Ok, so why so disturbed by the conversation?)

They are posted to help inspire and promote positive thinking and positive action....not to destroy positive sentiment and belief in things that cannot be proven...that is not my cause to champion and I would appreciate it if you stop practically accusing "spiritual & religious based" ites (sic.. I don't know what word goes here) as somehow being blaketedly (sic) supporting of all the heinous things done in the name of religion and God.... and just because we cannot prove something now is a weak argument...it doesn't make things untrue, it means we cannot prove it to our knowledge right at this moment in time...that is all.... 
(Except that neuroscience has excellent, science-based, observable theories for what happens in an NDE and why those vary so widely, dependent on culture, language and religion). There was once a time when using leeches and bleeding people was "scientifically" supported as the best way to treat certain illnesses....we NOW know differently....

JK ....so yeah....Im sorry if I upset you with how I shut down the conversation....but Im so done with that whole conversation....

ME Fine. But if they're posted publicly, you might anticipate comments.
I did NOT accuse anyone of blanketly "supporting of all the heinous things done in the name of religion and God."
I ASKED them if they REALLY believe that statement (the one about "everyone has the right to their beliefs).
One cannot say, "live and let live," but engage in wars, or call out parents who allow their children to die (by relying on prayer) rather than seek medical attention.
I asked your poster to state whether he/she ACTUALLY meant what they said - because I KNOW, if they really thought about it, they do NOT. What they mean is "don't point out the fallacies of my statements; it pisses me off."
By the way, leeches are still used, very successfully, in many hospitals to treat flesh that has necrotised. Leeches are a common treatment for people suffering diabetes and whose skin tends to die off. Leeches are very effective in removing the dead flesh and, thanks to their saliva, very effectively and in a sterile manner, keep the wound from bleeding.
JK Dude...you are drawing so many false conclusions from everything they said...
they simply were saying they DO believe in a God....THAT IS ALL....the fact that you feel its your right to railroad people that matter to me all because they believe in a God is what pisses me off (I don't "feel it is my right to railroad people... because they believe in god," but I do KNOW it is my responsibility to ask questions when people say things that will lead them to a much different logical conclusion than they mean, if they were to actually THINK about what they said/wrote)
ME There are some really excellent researched, peer-reviewed articles on the phenomenon of near death experiences (NDE).
There are also some very good reviews of that book - those reviewing it from a scientific standpoint and from an ethical standpoint where it concerns capitalising on the experience of a four-year-old who, seven years previously, had a pretty significant medical event.
ME I'm not drawing ANY conclusions. None of my questions were answered.

JK and no, leeches are not effective treatment for 90% of the ailments we USED TO use them to treat....so that counterargument you present is splitting hairs and a weak argument at best

ME I have no issue with their belief in god. I have an issue with people having no means of substantiating "god" and being angry when someone says, "How did you come to that conclusion?


I also have a big issue with people who say everyone has the right to their beliefs but won't follow that through to the logical conclusion, which, in our recent past, (referring to 9/11) MUST include very religious people who are convinced of their version of heaven, flying airplanes into buildings.
Answer this: If it is true we all have the right to our beliefs, then why the hell is the US still in the Middle East and why the hell is TSA presuming we are all terrorists?
If one has the right to their beliefs, then we cannot, to use your term, split hairs: either beliefs are without consequence or they are not.
JK but ultimately Julie I feel like you are hell bent on a fight. I really dont have time or energy for this. . . AND further more...I DO NOT post them publically. I post them only so my "friends" can see them if they so choose to subscribe to me. I do anticipate comments...not harsh debates and blatant attacks on what is clearly intended to be a positive thing.... (well, I am an accepted "friend" of this poster, so um, they might expect comments on that basis)
ME I'm not bent on a fight but I am very interested in statements being followed to their logical conclusion.
JK No....it is pretty clear you aren't just bent on a fight but "Hell-bent" on one.... (Ok... has devolve to ad hominem, meaning now going after my character and my motivations - which is to say presuming motivation - rather than sticking to the points of the discussion... but back against the wall requires alternative measures, apparently)
ME I realise this is a difficult subject for you, JK. I get it. But difficulty aside, as you are not unintelligent or dishonest, you must at least think about what it all means.
I realise there is pushback from some of your friends and family but that isn't any real, or honest, impediment to really understanding what it means to say "we all have the right to our beliefs." I say it is critical to understand why that simply is not right and cannot be right.
If it is right, there are sure a lot of dead American soldiers fighting against people who should, by that statement, have the right to their beliefs.
ME Do you understand why this is important?

JK They have a right to believe in God....that is ALL that was said or implied...really bottom line. That's all anyone is saying. You are giving far too much implication to their words where NOTHING was actually said to support those accusation. They can believe 
(Ok. I'm frustrated now. Belief in 'god,' whichever one chooses to believe in, is usually not a benign thing, and when it is, the people who have such benign beliefs call themselves "spiritual." For most people, belief in 'god' comes with a certain code and dogma, so that belief is not "all.")

ME Yes, you do. (I meant "they")
So do those members of the Taliban. They believe in what they want. It does hurt people.
So do people who are prayer-only fundamentalists; their children die. Does their right to their beliefs override morality?
JK Its not their BELIEF that hurts people....its what they DO about it. TWO completely different things. People can believe in a God and have all kinds of "logical conclusions" and not all of them are bad....you are just hyper focusing on those people who DO bad things in the name of their God....even in spite of it, they still have the right to believe it....not so cool for them to act on it the way they CHOOSE to....

ME Like I say, I realise this is an immensely challenging subject and I am not a stranger at all to your point of view. I was once a very believing person who was challenged and was hell bent on proving non-believers wrong. I get it. I was raised in that environment and stayed in it voluntarily until I was 35. I am no stranger to scripture. Not at all.
Ok. Let's go there. It is not their belief that hurts people, it's what they do about it. OK. How does one divorce themselves from their beliefs, if their belief is god will heal their dying child. What action does that parent take?
JK the problem isn't with believing in good things...its when anyone becomes such an extremist about anything that they become intolerant and cruel. (There's a veiled allegation here... I see it but I didn't rise to it, and this poster did not make the same suggestion to the other participants)
ME I agree.
It is not extreme to ask questions. It IS extreme to be a prayer-based fundamentalist and allow your child to die.
JK So why the hell are you attacking people on my wall for simply BELIEVING in something good and better than themselves?
NO ONE SAID THEY DID THAT
WTH? NOR did ANYONE say they believe and support that
ME Who did I attack? Please will you copy and paste what I said that was an attack? 
(One of the reasons I'm editing and posting this conversation is to read through it again to see if/where I actually did attack a specific person. So far, nope)
ME They said - and you have said - people have the right to their beliefs.
Who does that apply to? Just christians? Just muslims? Who?
JK Everyone! But a belief in something does not mean someone has the ethic right to damage and destroy ourselves as a people because of it. Ethics and religious beliefs are two different creatures

ME I absolutely agree with that. Religious belief and morals have zero to do with each other.
So I'll ask you this again: Does it apply to everyone that they have the right to their beliefs?
JK Yeas everyone has the right to their BELIEF. "So, if I have faith I will see a pink unicorn this year, real, true faith, you say that is fine and normal ?" <----very a="" amp="" attack="" b="" distatefully="" form="" insulting="" is="" of="" patronizing="" which=""> (what??? How is my statement of belief in pink unicorns an attack???)

ME JK, you've just said people have the right to believe what they will, and then posted here my belief in pink unicorns is NOT ok and to state it is somehow an attack.

JK People of no ethical integrity have no right to ACT on their beliefs (um, yeah, they do. Just because I don't agree with another person's ethics or beliefs, doesn't mean I get to bring the hammer down on those beliefs. OH/ WAIT!! This is EXACTLY the point I've been trying to make with this person. HOLY CONTRADICTION, BATMAN!)
Because you are being sarcastic and rude. I'm not saying you don't have a right to it. I'm saying you are being an ass by throwing that in someone's face...just to somehow prove your point.... 
(The poster is referring her to my belief in pink unicorns and suggesting that my asking if I have the right to my beliefs as per their "Live/Let live" statements).

ME Ok. Everyone has the right to their beliefs.
Some muslim people really, truly, honestly believe they will see the kingdom of god if they kill infidels. This is the foundation for the attacks in NYC.
Do those people have a right to that belief?
Why is my belief "rude"?
JK the way you present it is rude....not the belief itself

ME JK. C'mon. Seriously?

JK and hell yeah they have the right to believe what they believe, its not my place or right to say they cant, it DOES NOT mean they had any ethical right to act on it in the way they did. I don't believe they should have DONE what they did. (So they DON'T have the right to their beliefs??? THEY BELIEVE THE ATTACKS WERE GOD'S WILL. How do they divorce themselves from their beliefs in this instance? This poster is completely missing the logical dilemma they have walked themselves into.)
yeah seriously
ME But they DO believe they were doing their god's will.
If we say everyone has the right to their beliefs, we cannot judge those acts by OUR beliefs. Either your statement applies across the board or it doesn't
JK your entire tone when you write is full of insult and disdain that someone could even possibly believe in a god despite all your "evidence" against it....its arrogant, and honestly that's what has put me off the most. What right do you have to tell someone that their innocent belief in something that makes them strive to be a better person is somehow bad. 
(At no point did I say any such thing. I believe this person is now spilling something of their own)

ME I'm not telling anyone anything, JK. I am ASKING QUESTIONS

JK sure you are....in a very aggressively intolerant manner

ME I am asking you if you really do believe everyone has the right to belief what they

JK to which I have answered you, but not in a way you like

ME I'm sorry you are getting aggression and intolerance. I'm having a really tough time understanding how you mean for it to apply.
We cannot say everyone has the right to their beliefs but sanction them when they do what they think is right based on those beliefs.
JK I don't based on MY BELIEFS....I base it off of an unrelated code of ethical conduct based upon the whole human race finding a way to co-exist and thrive together....NOT based upon religion.
ME I KNOW you do. Which is exactly what I meant when I said religion and morals have zero to do with each other/.
ME I'm not sure why you understand me as being intolerant when I'm just asking questions. I'm trying to understand how it works to say everyone has the right to their beliefs when some of those beliefs are frankly horrifying.

But what do we do when someone really truly believes, based on their interpretation of their holy book and the counsel of their religious leader, that it is right to stone a woman to death for being the victim of a rape?
What do we do then? They have the right to their beliefs and they really believe they are doing the right thing - the moral thing - based on their dearly-held beliefs. What do we do with that?
ME And to be clear, we're not talking about you here. The subject is "everyone," and yes, you're included but this is not specifically about you or me.