Atheists don't hate your God, We don't hate Peter Pan, The Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus, You cannot hate what doesn't exist. We do however intensely dislike religions propensity for violence, deception and mostly for trying to force its mores and wants on those that don't want them.
When Christians stop insisting on prayers in public meetings, stop insisting on teaching my children their beliefs, stop trying to control the way others live then I will stop discussing your foolish beliefs.
When someone tells me that they have a pink unicorn in their garage, I want to see it before I believe it. I don't have to prove that the unicorn does not exist, They have to prove that it does. Those are the rules, You claim that God exists, You prove that and I will change my mind.
Moral standards come from society not a book, If we were to take them from a book we would all own other humans, stone our disobedient children, kill people working on Sundays ad nauseum. Morality has changed as society develops, The basics will always be there but now we have laws against rape, having sex with children, how to behave on the roads etc. None of these laws exist in your precious book.
The hardest thing anyone has to do in his lifetime is to change habits and ingrained belief. I know that someone that believes Money is the root of all evil will self sabotage their progress toward having a lot of it. People that believe that the only way to become rich is to cheat others, that have a strong moral compass will never become rich. The other side of the coin is those that believe that working smart will make them rich, even with a strong moral compass will achieve without harming others.
I was a TRUE CHRISTIAN. I was a member of a community, tithed, attended church twice on Sundays, attended prayer meetings, youth groups, hosted morning prayer groups, thought about becoming a missionary, Then I read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations, I got to thinking and thought I better to that again just to be sure.
The God of Love turned out to have feet of clay, He was a misogynistic, psychopath wit delusions of grandeur that made so many mistakes in his holy book that I decided to check out other religions and belief systems. I went through the gamut from Numerology and Kaballah to Budhism and Hinduism. I read voraciously. I won't claim to have studied but I read for more than a year. a book or 3 a week. Nothing made sense. I read about Josephus, I read Josephus, The history of the church and much more. Every book in the public libraries at the time about religion went on my reading list.
I became spiritual, belief in reincarnation, the seven planes, Karma, dogma and much other tripe. About 4 years later I ran into Cecil, All Cecil asked God for was someone to love, I found a broken husk of a man addicted to drugs and suddenly I started thinking about religion again. I looked and searched but could find no conclusive proof of any of the beliefs I had taken on, I found no proof of any deities, no proof of angels, karma, but plenty of dogma. All of it written by men. I realised that none of these men had died and returned so knew no more than I did.
In my life time I have searched for Ghosts. attended spiritualist churches, attended bible studies, pretended to talk in tongues so that I would not be the odd one out. I was instrumental in the "saving of many souls", cried tears of joy when my friends and family found Jesus, but Jesus never spoke to me, nor did Satan and trust me I tried to communicate with him, I was willing to sell my soul for knowledge.
At one point in my life I knew the things you hold to be the TRUTH. But always there was something amiss. I knew that I was pretending on some level because there was nothing real.
I don't respond much to people that refuse to see what is in front of them. The fact is that some people are too obtuse to realise that they are living in a dream world. Nothing I can say will change the mind of someone determined to believe. There was a time when I was like that.
The fact is that you know as much as I do. Maybe I know a little more because I have read more than you do, but every author was writing from a perspective of no real knowledge about the after life, No one has been there. I heard the fables about people dying and returning but have never actually found one to talk to. I have read the reports, read the scientific explanations and more.
The following information is not about Atheism, but as I always get questioned about these issues let me expound upon them.
Evolution is a fact. A scientific theory backed by many many tomes and volumes of research. It is visible in our life time, The various diseases, viruses and more are evolving as we speak, Many diseases that Penicillin could deal with are no longer treatable because they have developed an immunity to anti-biotics. Macro evolution has happened in man over the last 500 years, Man was shorter overall in the 14th century, Better hygiene, food and more has doubled the lifespan of man in that same period. Evolution is simply adaptation. The more we adapt to our environment, the better we survive. It is not survival of the strongest, or the fittest but the most adaptable.
Rats have become immune to Warfarin, the poison that was used to kill them. This adaptability ensures that these rats survive. This adaptability is evolution in action.
Gravity is also only a theory that we all know to be fact, It was substantiated by research that can be tested and recreated.
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