23 comments to If all the atheists left the country…
Scott is a real-life friend of mine!!
how true. Most people who are religious reject science and will kill in the name of their religion.
I have a problem with your statement, particularly with the words “most people”. I think most people regardless of religious beliefs, are good peaceful people. Of course there are wingnuts in every group. And yeah, some religions are filled with hateful people but to say most people who are religious would kill people for their god is going too far.
except those that worship Kali, Bhaal, Baal, Beelzebul, and a few others
The problem with this is that it is supposed to concern people, and the religious nuts would not find this concerning at all. They love to reap the rewards of scientific discovery, but vilify science in general as “godless.” In their minds, a reduction of that size of the NAS is no big deal.
It seems that folks are missing the point that most everyone in prison finds God…
Correction,they find religion,or is it religion finds them.
Either way, God has nothing to do with it………that’s the point.
Pretty sure the point is that people who don’t find God don’t go to prison, they stay in school to discover the origins of life and the laws of the universe and not settling for “because God made it that way” as the answer.
You are right Richard. That is where they “find him” The problem is that, statistically, they also leave him there when they leave.
This “recent study” was done in 1998 (15 years ago). The thing about pithy facts is that they often leave out important information (the phrasing of the question or the methodology of the study or even the definition of “atheist”). I would just say *citation needed
The sad thing is, Science can be proven to exist.
I’m always fascinated by the tolerance I see in these comments.
November 21, 2005 – Penn Jillette
THIS I BELIEVE essay for NPR
I believe that there is no God. I’m beyond atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy — you can’t prove a negative, so there’s no work to do. You can’t prove that there isn’t an elephant inside the trunk of my car. You sure? How about now? Maybe he was just hiding before. Check again. Did I mention that my personal heartfelt definition of the word “elephant” includes mystery, order, goodness, love and a spare tire?
So, anyone with a love for truth outside of herself has to start with no belief in God and then look for evidence of God. She needs to search for some objective evidence of a supernatural power. All the people I write e-mails to often are still stuck at this searching stage. The atheism part is easy.
But, this “This I Believe” thing seems to demand something more personal, some leap of faith that helps one see life’s big picture, some rules to live by. So, I’m saying, “This I believe: I believe there is no God.”
Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life. I’m not greedy. I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. It has to be enough, but it’s everything in the world and everything in the world is plenty for me. It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more. Just the love of my family that raised me and the family I’m raising now is enough that I don’t need heaven. I won the huge genetic lottery and I get joy every day.
Believing there’s no God means I can’t really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That’s good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.
Believing there’s no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I’m wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don’t travel in circles where people say, “I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith.” That’s just a long-winded religious way to say, “shut up,” or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, “How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do.” So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that’s always fun. It means I’m learning something.
Believing there is no God means the suffering I’ve seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn’t caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn’t bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future.
Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-O and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.
I’m sooo confuuussseed. If an entertainer says it, it MUST be true. Seriously, I enjoy Penn Jillette. He’s entitled to his opinion. I’m glad he’s found peace with himself.
it’s not true or false. it’s a belief. his belief is that it is better to believe that you and your fellow man create and shape your destiny. not an invisible presence. in accepting this as so then the average man may be more willing to do something to improve the world for his offspring rather than pray an invisible presence will do it for him. pretty simple.
I don’t trust you “Earth is round” science types!
Science and religion don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
How about dark matter? I think it takes a lot of faith to believe that dark matter MUST exist even though we haven’t been able to measure/see it. I’m not disputing dark matter’s existence. It also took a lot of faith to believe that the Higgs Boson must exist. Just because you haven’t been able to see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
“It takes a lot of faith to believe that all the order around us evolved from some gaseous belch in the universe 6 billion years ago.”
- Mark Lowry
Thanks for sharing.
I could not agree more. Regardless if a big bang or the blink on an eye and the nod of a head created the universe, it came from somewhere. Out of nothing. The only disconnect occurs when religions restricts beliefs to ancient texts and do not acknowledge that what was taught 5000, 2000 or 600 years ago was not the sum of all knowledge that we will ever need. If religious beliefs are allowed to expand to encompass scientific findings then intellect and spirituality grow.
My only point is that people all over the world arguing my invisible friend is greater than your invisible friend (even though four of the largest religions share the same invisible friend, only arguing about who found him first) is too closed minded for me to accept any value in organized religion.
Well said my friend.
Jonco, I enjoy your site. I know you have the right to post whatever you find compelling. I just don’t see the point of these types of posts. I believe in God. Others don’t. We’re not going to know who is right until after we die. Why not wish each other well, and be content to let each believe as he chooses? Just as I’m not a backwards illiterate uneducated redneck for having Jesus Christ as my personal savior, you’re not an a-moral selfish loser for being an atheist. All that matters is that we treat each other with respect and dignity.
I’ve never said I’m an atheist. Just because I post something that seems interesting or another way to look at things doesn’t mean I support that point of view. I don’t have a problem with anyone who believes anything whether it’s in a god, a cow or nothing at all. I also don’t care whether you like members of the opposite sex or your own sex. I don’t care whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat or an Independent voter. I don’t care whether you’re white, black, yellow or green. I believe in living and let living. We all have to live here and should try to get along as best we can. We’re all different and that’s what makes us interesting. I surely wouldn’t want to have everyone be just like me. I post things that I think are funny or interesting or stimulate my thinking or ones that I think might stimulate the readers thinking and I welcome (civil) comments with opposing points of view.
Jen, I wish you well.
Is B&P turning against religion? There is nothing amusing about anti-religious posts.