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Snippets are quick responses you can cut-and-paste to address arguments. Many religious apologists use the same tired arguments over and over. That's no reason for you to waste too much time addressing them, but in case other people are watching the discussion, it may be productive to not let their goofy argument go unanswered. That's where snippets come in. Pick the subject and you'll find an easy way to answer the question with references;

Contents

In-a-nutshell

Simple, short responses that say a lot in a few letters.

Christianity

So this god fellow, he revealed himself only to an obscure tribe in Palestine and effectively condemned the rest of his own creation to hell? That seems a little bit hard to believe.

"The Lord is my shepherd?" Only sheep need a shepherd.

5 Things Most Christians Think They Know But Are Wrong About:

1. There is legitimate evidence that Jesus historically existed (http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/A_Silence_That_Screams)

2. Abortion is a sin and against God's will (http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Abortion_and_the_Bible)

3. Prayer can make a difference (http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Harvard_prayer_experiment)

4. God gave man "free will" (http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Free_will)

5. America is a Christian nation (http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/America_is_not_a_Christian_nation)

What's wrong with Christianity?

  1. Christians follow a book of fables concocted by a Bronze Age desert tribe, attributing to it the answers to everything important in our world and denying well reasoned, testable, scientific discoveries and advancements until forced, after decades, centuries even millenia of naysaying, war, oppression, executions and banishments from society of people who dare to question the complete inerrancy and/or relevancy of said book of Bronze Age fables.
  2. Christians ascribe their individual sets of beliefs, occasionally moderated, often exacerbated, by clergy, to an invisible, inerrant and all powerful "friend" who lives in their minds. Not coincidentally, each person believes that "God" believes exactly the same way they do, yet each person has a different set of beliefs.
  3. Real world decisions with very serious consequences are made based on these commonly shared fantasies.
  4. Christianity teaches people to simply believe what they're told and to develop cognitive systems for confirming ideas that they MUST hold, even if it conflicts with observable reality. The result is that reality is distorted to conform to their ideas of "God" and not the other way around.
  5. Many Christians believe in a "literal" interpretation of the Bible, as though every page contained therein, not one more, not one less, is the unquestionable, literal word of the entity that created and runs the universe. This is so utterly ignorant of the facts of linguistics, namely the fact that each person is reading a different translation that has been filtered through two to three languages. Moreover, there is no way that modern people have any sort of definitive understanding of all of the nuances of ancient Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. Yet, somehow, the New International Version, or "God forbid" the King James Version is word-for-word literally inerrant. And then there were all of those "books of the Bible" that were arbitrarily tossed out for political or other reasons.
  6. Emboldened by this sense of grandiosity and righteousness, from many peoples' experience, a vast majority of Christians feel completely comfortable passing judgment upon other people, including other Christians, and are willing to use whatever means are at their disposal to cause them to conform to a "righteous path" (see: that which each individual in his head thinks is appropriate, and with which God inevitably agrees). Sure, there is Biblical scripture that cautions against such judgments. But if you're going to make a statement about what Christianity is, or what Christians are, generally, the only meaningful measure is how the scripture, culture and customs as a whole are interpreted and implemented.


Religion and the Supernatural in general

What can be accepted WITHOUT PROOF can also be dismissed WITHOUT PROOF.

As a scientist I am appalled by the malice that religious groups have shown towards science, especially in schools where it is most needed if America is to remain competitive. I'm shocked by death threats, physical assaults, bombings, and hatred coming from such professed "christians" who surely do not know their maker.

Dawkins states that he believes religion is bad because it teaches people to accept NOT understanding the world. I go one further and say that organized religion is flat-out dangerous to the continued survival of humankind. The hatred shown against pacifist Muslims in recent years is a great example of the type of "tolerance" we can expect from Christians in leadership.

To me, Religion is group-hate. It's not just a feel-good, daddy-god, momma-jesus wishful thinking or lifestyle. It's an organized, sedulous, and violently determined movement that continually attempts to seize control of government, education, and science itself.

As long as religious leadership continues to target science, science will rightly defend itself and the human rights of all people. America has slipped to #47 in education worldwide thanks to religion in our schools. America has slipped to #13 in medicine, again thanks to religion. As our financial institutions crumble under the massive weight of 20+ years of "divine right" leadership, we can again thank religion. Economists tried to warn you all, many times over. Nobody would listen.

Religion is deliberately blinding yourself. Religion is torturing your children, and even mutilating them, because your god says so. Religion is the embodiment of intolerance, the opposite of logic, and a threat to human life.

All of human history has done little to paint any sort of positive light on religion, an unfortunate belief set that has set the world back over a thousand years once before when it ruled the world. I don't want to see a second dark ages.

Regardless of the invective, emotion, and dedication of its followers, religion has failed to do anything at all except hurt people. Religion has not stopped wars, fed the hungry, sheltered the poor, nor stabilized any government. Ever. Ministers in Haiti are there even now to take advantage of people when they are most desperate, because obviously it is their best opportunity.

Apparently religion needs to convert people when they are weak. Science does not. We want you at your best, and not until then, which is why there are so few believers in the realm of science.

Why do atheists and other non-religious people care about religion?

The problem has to do with the fact that theists can't just practice their faith in private or among themselves but insist (as a group) on inflicting their beliefs and practices on society as a whole. Here's a short list of effects of theism on the un-believing, just off the top of my head. Most of this is USA-centric, effects seen may differ from country to country. A few Arabic countries make this list look tame.

  • Circumcision. Wholly unnecessary, involuntary mutilation. "Standard" medical practice thanks to religion. Though not so much in the USA, there's also Female Genital Mutilation, which is horribly inhumane.
  • No booze sold on Sundays. In fact, all kinds of stuff not done on Sundays, starting with no mail. No elections, although that works out just fine in other countries.
  • Medieval attitude on all things sexual:
    • A nipple causes a national outrage! Lots of people enjoy the occasional raunchiness, and there is no proof that nudity harms children.
    • Flashing or mooning someone as a prank, or urinating by the side of the road, can get someone lifelong membership in the Sex Offenders Registry.
    • Private sexual activities among consenting (but not married) adults can lead to losing one's job, a dishonorable discharge from the Armed Forces or even jail time.
    • Production, sale or possession of pornography (of/by/for adults) can lead to criminal prosecution.
    • Prostitution, which along with pornography is an effective pressure relief mechanism for sexual urges, is criminalized.
    • Attacks on the rights of homosexuals, up to and including criminalizing their consentual activies.
    • Preventing people from obtaining means for contraception. Millions are dying in Africa and elsewhere, while overpopulation keeps getting worse.
    • Abstinence only education, leading to horrendous rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. You won't like to hear this, but abstinence only education and denying contraception are leading causes of abortions!
    • Harrassment (and occasional killing) of people involved with abortion.
    • "Honor killing" and mutilation of women. This is more an "Arab country" problem but it's happening more often lately in the US too. And it's practically always religiously motivated.
  • A puritan attitude toward harmless drugs (e.g. pot) and victimless "crimes" associated therewith. 1% of the US population is in jail, mostly for that. Could there be something wrong with a society that leads the world in locking people up, ahead of, say, China and Uganda?
  • Blocking of scientific progress. Latest example: Stem cell research.
  • Blocking efforts to act against global dangers like mass species extinction and global warming.
  • Exorbitant funding support of Israel, which continues to perpetrate crimes against humanity.
  • Introduction of false information in school textbooks.
  • Inhumane decisions on life support for people so ill they wish to die or are not even mentally alive any more.
  • Indoctrination of the idea of congenital guilt in children, with psychological problems resulting sometimes for the rest of their lives.
  • Preference for prayer and other hocus-pocus over proven medical intervention.
  • (unconstitutional) tax paid funding and state support for faith based initiatives. Do courts ever refer alcoholics to sobriety programs that are not faith based?
  • Harrassment of people of another faith, including people of no faith.
  • Interference by religious groups in political processes.
  • Politicians (allegedly) basing far-reaching decisions on "messages from God" rather than solid information. You know who told Bush to invade Iraq? Can't argue with God, right?
  • Unfair privileges and leniency toward people of faith. How's the prosecution of pedo priests coming along? Are you aware that prisons grant meal and holiday privileges to Christians, Muslims and Jews that they don't grant people of no faith?
  • Children are routinely beaten black and blue based on Biblical concepts. Some of them die.
  • For more see: http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Why_atheists_care_about_religion
No, not all of the world's events involve religion (thank God! :P) . But enough of them do that I'm negatively affected, and so is everybody. You're making our (only) life hell on earth for lots and lots of people based on a crazy, inhumane, evil belief not backed up by the tiniest shred of evidence.

Morality

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion." - Stephen Weinberg, Physicist and Nobel price winner

Prayer

"I will pray for you"

Thanks for the sentiment but it's not necessary. Don't feel sorry for us. It is us non-believers who feel sorry for people like you. You live your whole life being fixated with what happens when you die, and ultimately you won't even know if it's right until it's too late. You pay homage to a 1200 year old story book written by anonymous bronze-age nomads, assembled by political committees who fought for power, money and influence, that promotes ideals such as slavery, treating women as property, inherited sins and curses, and ritual sacrifice of innocent people as a means of paying off debts. And you really believe that stuff?

You go ahead and pray for me. I will think for you.

God claims

Jesus is real

This is one of the best-kept secrets in all of Christianity. You are welcome to research it yourself and you'll find this is 100% true.

There is no direct evidence that Jesus ever historically existed. Seriously. There's not a single person who was alive during the time when he supposedly lived that wrote anything about him. We do have records from Rome during the time he supposedly lived, but nobody there seemed to know *anything* about this Jesus guy. It wasn't until 30-40 years after his supposed death that anything mentioning the guy appeared. This is extremely odd for someone who supposedly performed miracles and rose from the dead. Not a single person ever heard of him! None of the gospels were written by anyone who knew Jesus personally. It's all hearsay, written decades after the fact. And that's a fact.

See: http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/A_Silence_That_Screams

All the claims Christians make that supposedly justify Jesus was a real person are phony:

  • Josephus - This Jewish historian supposedly wrote about a guy named Jesus who was the messiah - his work is widely referenced as proof Jesus was real. The problem is, most scholars agree the passage mentioning Jesus was a later forgery and even then it's moot, because Josephus wasn't even born until decades after Jesus died, and this is the same story with all the other claims, from Paul of Tarsus to the four gospels (which by the way, nobody even knows who authored, but the earliest of which are still decades after Jesus supposedly died - we know this because the writer in the gospels acknowledge the destruction of the Jewish temple which we knew happened around 70AD, about 40 years after Jesus died). Ultimately, there's not a single person who ever knew or saw Jesus that wrote a single word about him!

Jesus will return soon

Actually according to the bible, he should have already come. He was to return during the lives of the writers of the Gospels:

- Matthew 24:34:

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

- Luke 21:32:

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.


God is "Love"

Re: "God is love"

Feel the Christian love:

Deuternomy 20:10-17: When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby. However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you.

Let's look at some of God's love:

Exodus 32:10 "So now, let me be, that my anger may burn against the Hebrews and i may destroy them."

"God is real"

The reason so many people "Know for sure God is real..." is because they were taught to believe god was real at a very early age before their brain fully-developed and their critical-thinking skills were honed.

There is biological and genetic evidence for why this happens. When young animals (including humans) are born, they're completely defenseless and at the mercy of their parents for protection. They are genetically wired to do what their parents tell them to do - it's part of the survival instinct. This is why the church likes to get people as young as possible and toss them into Sunday school. If you introduce something like "Jesus is the reason you exist." they will believe it without asking any questions - it's genetic. If you don't indoctrinate children with the religion virus early on, it's much harder to get them to believe this stuff.

This is why some people just can't be reasoned with. Because this "idea" was programmed into them before they learned to reason.

"Can you prove God doesn't exist?"

  • "That’s a tough one. Show me how it’s done by proving Zeus and Apollo don’t exist, and I’ll use your method."

Intelligent Design

Summary

There is clear, repeatable evidence for evolution that shows complex life evolving from simplistic life. Natural Selection determines that more adaptable and intelligent life forms will live longer and thus procreate and continue the line.

That's a fact. It has been proven. It can be observed and repeated. We have evidence that one species can produce another species. All evolution happens on a "micro" scale. This is not a "theory". It can and has been repeated over and over.

So those of you saying there is "no way" complex life can evolve, are either ignorant of the facts, or you're lying to yourself and others. This is no longer up for debate. It's BEEN PROVEN. You are wrong about "intelligent design."

Here is clear information with references:

http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/The_fact_of_evolution

So END OF STORY. Every credible scientist on this planet no longer debates this issue. PERIOD. Stop being STUPID.

Some people might want to leave out the ad hominem at the end, but I recommend mocking people who are still promoting creationism. Their level of closed-mindedness means they will not respond to logical arguments so ridicule is probably more effective.

  • Christine O'Donnell: 'If evolution is real why are there still monkeys?' Well Christine, education is real and there are still morons.

Questions for atheists

Why do atheists bother fighting with religious people?

Why argue against religion if you don't believe?

We wouldn't if you religious folks were content to practice your faith in peace and not bother anyone else, but you don't. You want to have the government subsidize your goofy beliefs; you want my tax dollars paying for public schools and universities to preach your dogma; you want to corrupt science with your boneheaded, superstitious bronze-age mythological theories about geology, biology and everything in between; you want American soldiers dying over in some middle eastern country so you can protect a few piles of rocks because they have religious significance; you tell us we can't buy alcohol on Sundays, can't be in the Boy Scouts, gays can't get married, women can't do what they want with their own bodies; you'll vote a complete idiot in office that will bankrupt and destroy our nation's reputation, economy and military and you don't care as long as he is "Christian enough", people in Africa dying of AIDS can't use condoms because your stupid interpretation of a 1200 year old story book says God wouldn't like that... you can't keep your goddam nose out of other peoples' business... so now it's time for us to push back.

http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Why_atheists_care_about_religion

Religion and Science (can they co-exist?)

This is a good philosophical topic. When theists get pushed into a corner they will often suggest, "Why can't we all get along? Why can't science and religion co-exist?"

Religion and Science are historical enemies

The problem is, science and religion are not very compatible with each other. You can see this throughout history. Science has proven that the book of Genesis claim of creation is not accurate. The earth was not created in six days, nor is it merely 6000 years old. The bible is full of claims that have been proven false by science. See: http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/The_Bible_and_Science

Rewind a few thousand years back in time. People used to believe that weather was the gods being angry. The Aztecs murdered people to make the weather improve. The Greeks had a whole pantheon of Gods centered around astronomical signs and seasonal events. When lightning crashed, they KNEW it was Zeus angrily riding across the sky on his flaming chariot.

But thanks to SCIENCE we now know that such notions are foolish. We know what causes lightning. Ionization of the atmosphere and build-up of electrical charges. No gods required. Likewise, a rainbow is not a marker to a Leprechaun's pot of gold. It's a visual effect caused by light passing through the prism of suspended water molecules. Science. Not supernatural.


Pascal's Wager

What if you're wrong? Why not believe in God?

That is called Pascal's Wager. Here's the problem with your "bet": WHICH GOD do you believe in? There are literally millions of different gods and if you believe god is all-knowing, he's going to see through your "I'm going to play it safe" charade. Pascal's Wager is a fool's bet.

http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager

What if? The real test was to reject god? What if God really only wants independent-minded people? Your god created me and gave me a mind and an ability to be skeptical and analytic. It would be a lot easier for me to blindly follow the majority, but what if god really wants people to think for themselves? The ultimate "free will." And I'm the one doing it right, and you all are wrong?

Taunts

"True Christians"

By the way, isn't it funny that people who "thank god for everything" are the first ones to go running to the hospital if they're ill?

They'll put any non-serious issue in "god's hands" if it doesn't really matter, but when it comes to something important, god goes out the window. Do they pray for an angel to give them a ride to work? Nope. They hop in their cars.

It clearly says in the bible:

John 15:7: "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

If you ask god, he will deliver. Why do so many Christians avail themselves of SECULAR medical technology; use antibiotics which are the result of EVILUTIONISTS who fight ever-mutating bacteria and viruses. Where are the TRUE CHRISTIANS?

"Christian Hypocrisy""

  • You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of YOUR god.
  • You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from lesser life forms, but you have no problem with the biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
  • You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a trinity god.
  • Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua", including women, children and animals.
  • You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
  • You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of the Earth (4.55 Billion years ) but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by pre-historic tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that the Earth is a couple generations old!
  • You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -though excluding those in all rival sects- will spend eternity in an infinite hell of suffering. Yet, you consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving".
  • While modern science, history, geology, biology and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor "speaking in tongues" may be all the evidence you need.
  • You define 0.01% as a high success rate when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayers work. And you think that the remaining 99.9% failure was simply the will of God.
  • You actually know a LOT less than many Atheists and Agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, church history and religion in general - but you still call yourself a "Christian".

Islam

Christianity vs Islam

The Quran was started in A.D. 610 when Muhammad said the angel Gabriel spoke to him while he was meditating in a cave near Mecca.

Muhammad wrote down these words as they were received - they were supposed to be the direct words of Allah. The books of 'Hadith' are another set of holy writings that record a verified account of what Muhammad did and said during his life.

Muhammad's life and teachings have served to establish principles of warfare and coersion that are practiced today. The revelations he received are dictated by periods in his life. When there is a contradiction in Quranic verses Islamic scholars had to determine which verses to follow. This was accomplished by the principle of naskh, which means that the new revelations would override previous revelations.

There are at least 114 verses in the Quran that speak of love, peace, and forgiveness ("The Heifer" Surah 2:62, 109). But when Surah 9:5 was revealed later, it cancelled out those previous verses. This Surah is known as the 'verse of the sword, and it explains that Muslims must fight anyone who chooses not to convert to Islam, whether they are inside or outside of Arabia. It is considered to be the final development of jihad in Islam.

Now that sounds crazy doesn't it?

I mean how silly is that? a religion based on love peace and forgiveness would advocate killing those who don't follow..

What does Christianity say?

Luke 19:27 -> http://bible.cc/luke/19-27.htm

Jesus said : "But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of me.'"

sounds rather similar doesn't it?

but what else does Christianity say?

Who should we kill?

  • Homosexuals (Lev.20:13, Rom.1:26-32)
  • Adulterers (Lev.20:10, Deut.22:22)
  • Disobedient children (Deut.21:20-21, Lev.20:9, Exod.21:15)
  • Women who are not virgins on their wedding night (Deut.22:13-21)
  • All non-Christians (parable told by Christ - Luke.19:27)
  • Those accused of wickedness by at least two people (Deut.17:2-7)
  • Anyone who works on the Sabbath (Exod.35:2-3, Num.15:32-6) (not even to kindle a fire, and no exclusion for ambulance drivers)

Women

  • It is shameful for a woman to speak in church (1Cor.14:34-5)
  • A man must OK his wife´s words if they are to have force (Num.30:8)
  • A woman must not teach or hold authority over a man (1Tim.2:12)
  • Lot saves the messengers from the men of Sodom by offering up his virgin daughters to ´do to them as you please´ (Gen.19:8) Kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourself every girl who has never slept with a man (Moses - Num.31:17-8)

Slavery

  • God supports slavery (Lev.25:44-6, Exod.21:2-8, Eph.6:5, Col.3:22)
  • Instructions on how to sell your daughter as a slave (Exod.21:7-8)
  • When to give your slaves severe or light beatings (Luke.12:42-8)
  • OK to beat slaves only if they don´t die within 2 days (Exod.21:20-1)
  • How to mark your slave: drive an awl through its ear (Deut.15:17)

Marriage

  • It´s best if all people remain unmarried. Marriage is a lesser-of-two-evils compromise for Christians too weak to resist their sexual urges, for it is better to marry than to burn. (Paul - 1Cor.7:1-2, 8-9, 25-6, 38)
  • The rapist of an unwed woman must buy her and make her his wife (apparently a far more 'holy' union than a genuine, loving same-sex relationship) - Deut.22:28-9

Justice

  • If a man suspects his wife of cheating he can serve her a cursed drink; if she becomes deformed, then that proves her guilt (Num.5:12-31)
  • 42 children killed by bears for calling a prophet baldy (2King.2:23-4)
  • OK to beat your children with a rod - it won't kill them (Prov.23:13-4)
  • God commits, orders, or endorses every form of atrocity known to man (pretty much pick a page of the Old Testament at random)

Do the Old Testament laws still apply?

  • Every jot and tittle (Christ Matt.5:17-9)


Lies and Logical Fallacies

A "logical fallacy" is a way of using words to mislead people.

Strawman

"Description of Straw Man"

"The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. This sort of "reasoning" has the following pattern:

  1. Person A has position X.
  2. Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
  3. Person B attacks position Y.
  4. Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself. One might as well expect an attack on a poor drawing of a person to hurt the person."

See: http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Straw_Man


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