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What draws an athiest to answer questions about God?

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Depends on the atheist- we have nothing in common except lack of belief on gods.

This is an open forum, and atheism a valid position on religion and spirituality. In addition, many atheists like myself have studied religion extensively and thus know a good deal about it. Indeed, recent research shows we are more knowledgeable than any other group.
We are also affected by religion every day through the actions of its followers. This is particularly true in America where the religious so often push their beliefs onto others and attempt to get it inserted into our laws, schools, and government.
And since this is an open forum, one should expect that not only will claims he makes be challenged, but that not everyone present will agree with those claims.

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How is a position on no God a valid position to religion? Where is this recent research?How are you affected everyday by me and my belief in Jesus Christ? What do you consider the religious? What are they doing? How are your statements in any way challenging to a person of faith?
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Calling "bull" on your claims is a position on religion.

Both the Pew Forum and Gallup recently showed that atheists and agnostics scored highest on tests of religious knowledge, most likely due to the fact that most of us used to be religious and studied before deconversion.

You people affect me constantly- repeated conversion attempts. Harassment at a former job. The push to get religion inserted into schools through the nonsense that is creationism, our laws by denying equal civil rights, our government by providing tax dollars to religious displays and groups. The fact that atheists are the most hated and mistrusted minority in America due to recent research, and the fact we face a great deal of discrimination for it.

I am not, unlike so many Christians, attempting to "deconvert" people so I don't particularly care if your "faith" is challenged. I will, however, challenge incorrect claims (like those denying science), claims without evidence (claims for the existence of gods, miracles, etc), or fallacious claims("we don't understand x, therefore god must exist").
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Right on ! Skeptikitten !
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Are you angry? You sound angry. I'd offer you the solution to your problems, but you do not believe in Him.
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No. I'm just telling you the answer to your questions.

I have a wonderful life and don't need mythical figures, thanks.
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And since you quite rudely tried to originally post this question using my actual username and not "an atheist", I think I have a right to be somewhat irritated with you.
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See there is one of the problems right there renumbered. Skeptikitten presented her thoughts, without anger I might add, but since you are a believer, you feel that your faith is the solution to her problems, of which she does not have.

I think you have posted this question so that you can preach to others what you believe. That is one of the main things that atheist do not care for. You as a believer think that a non believer has no understanding. She has stated that she was religious at one point and has studied religion. She is not angry, nor are most atheist.
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Nice job answering the questions Skeptikitten. Pretty impressive. It would have been nicer if you'd refrain from insulting my beliefs throughout, but I get it, you have something to prove. I think you should take a vacation away from religion. It seems to stress you out and reveals a side of you that doesn't reflect that wonderful life you describe. You should just ignore stupid people like myself and all our stupid beliefs. It doesn't seem to do you good except keep you up late when you should be resting up for your teachings. Sorry if my beliefs make you doubt yours. Maybe we can talk again sometime. Have a good night Skeptikitten.
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Skeptikitten doesn't need "beliefs" she has evidence.
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Rave.....Yet, she needs "belief" in her interpretation of what constitutes evidence. She also believes her sense data represents what is real just like I do. And, she has yet to describe "how" and "why" we have sense data and have "consiousness" to even consider something we call evidence.
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Skeptikitten that was so beautifully said. I detected no anger from your comment at all.
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Run, I think you need to take a break from logical fallacies and from inventing motivations for our actions that simply aren't there.

I did not insult your beliefs in any way- disagreement is not an insult. And you make me doubt nothing- ypu've never made a single argument for the existence of god that held any water whatsoever. In fact, all you've done is pretend you know better than we do why we are on here.

Again, I'm neither stressed not angry. And I would gladly ignore you "stupid people" and your "stupid beliefs" (your words, not mine) if you would stop affecting my life with them. Keep your "stupid beliefs" to yourself and I wouldn't care what those beliefs are. It seems that since you have basically ignored every single thing I've written a d substituted your own beliefs instead that you posted this question merely to preach and not get an actual answer from the people you were asking about.
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Skeptikitten, I take it all back. You are not angry or stressed and you did not insult my beliefs in any way. I am just too sensitive and I should have known what I was going to open with that question. You athiests are too powerful too good with words to do battle with. I wave the white flag. Please show mercy on me.
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I really don't think you could be more of an insulting jerk if you tried.

You asked a question you clearly didn't want real answers to, but used it as an excuse to proselytize and belittle atheists. I'm done with you- you have nothing of value to discuss.
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Oh, boy!...lol
This is real "open and positive" discussion (not so much really). I think it does show how interpreting things being said (without body language and intonation) is not so easy. Emotions can fluctuate suddenly within ourselves as well, even in the middle of a comment! So it goes :)
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That was clear and obvious sarcasm.

And he never intended this as an open discussion of anything- the first version of this question initially said my name rather than "an atheist" but was removed by the moderators. He never had any interest in our answers or motivations from the start.
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You know why I posted this and at you. I see you always answering questions from people who struggle with their faith or have spiritual questions. You come out to seek and destroy. A bird from the sky to steal the seed. You could easily ignore these questions but you don't. You are obsessed with this kind of discussion. It empowers you for some reason. You do not respect a person's beliefs and before you say I don't respect your beliefs, Don't, beacuse you have none. You believe in something that you learned from a text book. You believe what you were taught. I know you will say the same at me. You state that you have everything figured out when you don't. None of us do. What is this life? I know, evolutuionists have an answer for everything. The original question I asked, was for an honest answer. True answers come from the heart. It would require you to look at your honest intentions. I wish you would understand what I mean. You do not believe in God but why do you attack religion the way you do. Do you understand, God, is what gives some people meaning? Why do you try and take that from people. Some do not find meaning in Evolution. Just like you do not find meaning in God. Let people be. Let people live. If someone wants to believe, leave them alone. Are you watching current events? You are winning. Christians are being defeated, just as you want. This nation is not a Christian nation anymore. Athiests are the minority? You will soon be the majority. We are going to be crushed by you. Didn't you get the memo? We do not put our hope in being on top of this world, but by being rescued from the world by our Saviour. Now everyone get a good laugh at that. Laugh at me. Laugh at my beliefs. It is written. I really do not want to fight with you. I truly mean that. I know in a different place unknown of eachother's views we would get along. I respect you and your beliefs. If it wasn't true, I wouldn't say it. But do you respect mine?
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Rant, rant, rant. This isn't a forum for that. You admit you posted a question that wasn't really a question with the motive of chastising me. And then you claim you respect people? Bull.

I don't give a crap what people believe. But this is an open forum, and if people make claims then they should have the evidence to back those claims up; otherwise, don't make them in public. If your beliefs can't stand up to scrutiny then perhaps you believe for the wrong reasons.

Don't give me that poor persecuted majority song and dance either. No one's buying it. This was never a Christian nation to begin with, and atheists wouldn't care what you believed if you people could keep it to yourselves. As I stated before, Christians in America seem incapable of that.
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Yikes! I'll save my rant. You are exactly who I suspected you were. Peace be with you.
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Take your rudeness and disrespect masquerading as concern elsewhere dear.
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Kitten, ahh I see. Well, the question is still interesting to me and can be answered regardless of the motive of the poster's motive. It can serve a good function for others to learn....just trying to point out a positive element. See ya around. Peace
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Do you ever run out of hypocrisy?
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last word
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Runumbered apparently not only takes a Bronze Age book literally, but also takes the expression "getting the last word in" that way as well.
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Probably the same reason I see so many Christians answer an atheist directed question. Its human nature for a human to want to argue with someone in which who has a different belief.

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What's an athiest directed question?
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@warrior: is not!
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wickedpissah
@rainnsurf: nuh-uhh!!!
lol
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TheHarem

Possibly just to let their voices, opinions and beliefs be heard and expressed......what we all want I believe.

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Hey harem that's a nice image you have for us, most like calling us angry out of self projection. You actually are helped by Christianity, go figure
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TheHarem
Hi Truth. I don't understand your comment. Can you please explain?
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There is a concept in psychology called self projection. Its when a person augments another person with there own emotions because they cannot understand another person. This is common in children to deal with insecurities. A child will say to another "your an idiot" when in fact what they are feeling is that they them selves feel stupid and because of the person they are calling an idiot. Atheist are often confronted with this dilemma by overzealous theist often saying "your angry" when it is more likely that its the other way around when they read comments about there deity from atheist they don't like to read. I was saying that if you are self projecting- it's obvious your reaction to atheist is much more pleasant for you than many.
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I like your answer :)
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TheHarem
DK......thankyou :)
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TheHarem
Truth......oh, I see what you're saying. I was misreading your comment. Lol
I just wanted to make sure that my answer did not offend you. It was not meant to be offensive in any way. Remember......we still have to meet in that dark alley! You haven't forgotten have you? Chuckle:)
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lmao- no i haven't forgot lol I ju8st haven't cleared the hobo's out of the one I'm thinking about and I'm trying to pick out the best flowers
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TheHarem
Aww.....flowers? You're so sweet:)
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I aim to be a perfect gentlemen no matter the circumstance :) Ty for noticing my sweetness but it is for your candor.
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TheHarem
Such thoughtful words, even my kitty cat is purring. :)
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Provocative. I'm a cat person but still looking for a the right kitty, too many great breeds to choose
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TheHarem
TeeHee.....I better duct tape my mouth closed before I get myself in trouble. :)
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Wow.. cloths.. tighter. If you can't behave then duct tape should do the trick
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TheHarem
Ok! Lol
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Lol
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I dont know ... But .. Welcome to this site .. So nice to see a believer that we can share with.

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Nice to meet you, my sister in Christ.
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I welcome you .. I have been bashed everytime I open my mouth ..
Im so glad I am not educated so much that I cannot see God ... Welcome !!
Stay !!!!
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You may feel that way, Betty, because of the arrogance of the athiests who like to put themselves above you because of their so called education. There are many, many educated, doctors and scientists who are christians and are great at debating with athiests. My husband is highly educated and many don't have answers to his questions. They are just good and putting people down if they simply don't have the answer. But, you can find books that can help you in this, too. :) Since ask..it's caused me to read up all I can. ;)
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Thanks lolo
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Do they not have answers? Or does he just ignore them when they do, because their evidence is ignored by your religion?
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Read Dozy's account of a flat earther in Sydney in his comments.
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Lolo- you can't be too upset at atheists if we've inspired you to educate your self ;)
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Maybe have them asking the questions not answering? For instance tell them something to really make them wonder. A man who believed heavily in Evolution and despised people who believed in God said he was going out to prove evolution was correct. He had been challenged by a man presenting creation and the discrepancies of evolution. The evolutionist sought and ended up turning to God because he was asking so many questions to find truth. The bible says "seek and ye shall find" give this atheist something to seek about

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Nice story, but did it really happen? What is the name of this "evolutionist"?
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Except evolution is a fact, not a belief system, and has nothing to do with religion. Most theists the world over accept evolution just fine.
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It takes a whole lot of faith to believe in evolution.
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No it doesn't, since it is supported by a mountain of evidence.

The only people who claim it takes faith are the people who don't even know or understand even the basics of science.
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I guess it's kind of a round about thing because in some circles evolution is fact and in some creation is. I guess the best way to find out is die haha but then it's too late. I really appreciate you asking because it helps me to know how better to answer people and their questions. If u want to know the name of the evolutionist look up "John Yates" he does series on creation vs. evolution and he tells about that man and others as well an points out many very interesting things. Hope that helps :) haha
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Maybe not a evolution person .... But also Josh McDowell was confirmed athiest to Jesus lover
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In no way is creationism a fact. It's basically on par with belief in flat earth. Evolution is supported by 150 years of solid science and contradicted by none. We've witnessed it in the lab and the wild. It really doesn't help your cause that you continue to deny reality.

FYI- you do know a story of a person being uninformed enough to reject all modern science does not make your claims true, right?
And that there's no such thing as an "evolutionist"? That's like calling a person a gravitationist because he or she accepts the theory of gravity. Nothing in science is a belief system.
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Betty- we have millions of examples of "Jesus lovers" turned atheists- including this one.
If conversions equalled truth, you'd have to accept every religion on earth as true and atheism at the same time. Validity is not determined by popularity.
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Never claimed flat earth
Isaiah 40
22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
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Skeptikitten, a christian admits we live by faith. What is the mountain of evidence that you put your faith in?
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I'm sorry if my comments offended anyone I wasn't commenting to do that.
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A circle is a flat figure, Betty. Your bible also claims the world has corners, is fixed in position, is the center of the solar system, and the entirety of it can be seen from a mountaintop.
Plus, if you read my response you'd know I said denial of evolution is just as silly as denial of a round earth.

Run-
I don't need faith since there is evidence. Faith is belief without evidence. And since the entire last 150 years of biology proves evolution, you'll have to be a bit more specific. I teach entire university level, semester long courses on just the basics of evolution.
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You teaching university level courses on the basics of evolution is not even a smidge of evidence. I want this mountain you are speaking of. Otherwise I will assume you have just been indoctrinated just as you assume I have been.
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Betty the word used in that scripture is for a flat round plate, not a globe.
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Don't provide links either,I want your words.
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Yay Skeptikitten
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Now faith is: the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen
Hebrews
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16yvette:
Dont worry about your answer ... You did not set off an argument .. They are just discussing .. Its fun to learn as I read all the answers .. I take my Bible at face value so I have no need for scientifuc or evolution facts. I just sail along a happy camper in love with Jesus. I just love ALL you guys !!!
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Let me tell another story haha this time I was told first hand and u can ask the man who experienced this.
Creation means God controls the weather system. A few years ago in Santa Maria Ca there was a terrible drought and this lasted for years each year all the pastors of every denomination came to pray except one pastor, in the entire. His name is Jerry Shiedbach. Each year they asked him to come but he said no. We fellowship and pray not simply under the name of Jesus but his word. Why? Because God lifted his word above his name. Anyway years went by finally some lady who worked for the city calle him up and asked him to come and he said no and she talked to him saying things like why won't u come and such and he agreed that him and the church he pastored would pray for rain and that church prayed and after all that time God sent rain. If u don't believe me talk to him his name is Jerry Shiedbach of Lighthouse Baptist Church of Santa Maria Ca
I hope that's sheds some light on why I say things like creation having evidence of something I'm just trying to state some things to help show why I say what I do.
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evolution isn't fact. it's a theory.
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16 Yvette : you are a blessing to God ...keep up the good works.
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Gravity is also a theory; germs are a theory; molecules are theory everything in science is understood under various models of theory.
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16yvette you're in my old stomping grounds in Santa Maria. I grew up in Arroyo Grande just north.
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Thank you:)
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Ravenevan, (I think that's right haha) did u like it there?:)
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Everyone believes in something and everyone has faith in that something. To make the distinction between belief in religious ideas or scientific theories is an artifical distinction. Every person has a an irreducable sense that something (of whatever kind) is believable or true or not. It's that simple.
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16yvette, yes I loved growing up there. My grandfather had the dune buggy repair shop in Oceano for many years, I spent my summers at the beach fishing, surfing, in the dunes and assuming being surrounded by beautiful girls in bikinis was the expected norm. I worked in the walnut and apricot orchards of Arroyo Grande until most of them were cut down for housing.
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I lived there off and on from 1964 through 1996.
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Ravenevan
That's really cool :)
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those who believe in evolution and that the universe came from nothing violate the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics. they violate this solid science.
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You realize even creationist organizations like ICR tell their readers not to use the old thermodynamics argument because it's so very wrong?

It only applies to closed systems. Otherwise you'd never be able to form ice.
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Wow! Parts of this argument are quite silly!
Evolution is both theory and fact. Parts of it are observable and have been proven. Some have not. Something being a theory does not discredit it so to point out that evolution is "only" a theory doesn't make it false. There are laws and theories in science. Gravity is a law. The theory of evolution doesn't say that man evolved from monkeys. It says we had a common ancestor.
Creationism is a theory and a belief. No part of it has been scientifically proven but to believe that the Earth was created doesn't necessitate the belief that the creator controls every aspect of the weather.
The fact that someone prayed for rain and then it rained doesn't prove that God made it rain.
Figures of speech are used in the Bible just as they are in other writing. The "corners" of the Earth does not mean it is flat and square nor does "the circle of the Earth" mean that it is globular or disc shaped just as to say "The rain was coming down in buckets" does not mean that actual buckets were falling from the sky and the person who said it, is not labeled a liar or a fool.
A lot of arguing and hostility comes from pride. Some people are more interested in being "right" than in finding the truth.
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Gravity is actually a theory. Laws are mathematical EXPrESSIONS of theories. So what you call the "laws" of gravity are really just the math attached to the theory of gravitation. There are laws involved in genetics and natural selection too. In fact, evolution actually has more evidence supporting it than gravitation does. We understand it better.
There is nothing above a theory in science- one piece of verified evidence against a theory would mean it would be discarded.
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Creationism is not a theory at all. It is not even a hypothesis- it is not science in any way as it is not natural, objective, verifiable, falsifiable, or testable. It is a religious belief only.
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Gravity is both a law and a theory. Anyway no sane person questions that there is such a thing as gravity and it is commonly referred to as the Law of Gravity. Yes there are laws of genetics such as Mendel's genetic laws. I am not an expert on the theory of evolution as you claim to be but I know some parts of it are proven.
Creationism fits the Merriam Webster definition of theory and of hypothesis. I've read some of the interaction between you and runumbered. I have come to the conclusion that he was picking a fight with you. It also appears to me that you have a great deal of animosity toward religion in general and Christianity in particular. Although I am not an atheist I do recognize that there is a lot of hypocrisy and tyranny in religion. I do believe in God but I don't consider myself religious. If someone asks a question I may try to answer it but when things start to get contentious I think reason begins to be lost and things just get silly. I don't have time for it today. I've already spent too much time on this. It's not profitable.
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Creationi doesn't fit any scientific definition of hypothesis or theory, which is what they claim. You realize scientific definitions are not the same as common language ones?

I have no animosity towards religion. I have an animosity towards science deniers and people who push their religion on others and into our laws, schools, and government.
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im athiest and i know the bible pretty well,so that's why i answer

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How does a person enter into the kingdom of heaven?
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dude i didn't say i wanted to be tested,but the answer,through Jesus,breaks the first commandment,put no god in front of me
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Cmon everyone likes a test. Give the question a try. It'll be fun. But I must admit any test you put before me I will fail. Because I know nothing of this life pretty well.
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wickedpissah
I'll take your test. Jesus gives the answer in John 3:3 and John 3:5 in response to a challenge from the Rabbi, Nicodemus.
"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdon og God." - John 3:3
"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." - John 3:5
The "water" in 3:5 is a reference to Genesis 1:2, "And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
Peter also gives an answer in his sermon in Acts 2:38 - "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
So.... does this atheist pass your test?
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TheHarem
I'm impressed. I'll give you an A+
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No that does not pass the test! You read from a book that means nothing to you. What does this mean? Googling how does a person get into heaven doesn't pass the test.
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wickedpissah
You asked a question.
I gave you a correct answer.
Whether or not I believe in the myth is irrelevent. The mechanics of the myth are well known.
If you ask me "Which planet did Darth Vader blow up with the Death Star?" I don't need to believe in "The Force" and I don't need to think the mythology of Star Wars is real to know that the answer is Alderran.
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Correct answer? You again choose to mock the question rather than answer it. If I were to ask you personally wickedpissah this question, face to face because I would, I am one of those evangelical Christians, how would someone like yourself who knows my holy book, answer it. Do not use the scriptures that were not meant for non believer's but use your own understanding to answer the question.
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Please.
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wickedpissah
How am I "mocking" anything? You asked a question. I gave you a correct answer.
Nothing compels me to believe in the myths that you believe in, and if your "faith" is so fragile that you consider the very existence of atheism to be a threat, then your faith is really no faith at all.
Live and let live.
You are free to believe whatever you want, and so am I.
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runumbered: It sounds to me like you are a little argumentative. Crow hit on something when he pointed out the contradiction that many people believe that Jesus Christ is God and that the first commandment says thou shalt have no other gods before me. If you believe that Jesus Christ is God yet stands between the believer and God then that is putting a god in front of the one true God. Jesus Christ didn't claim to be God. He came to set right that which had been ruined by Adam as promised in Genesis 3:15. In order to do this he had to be a man who lived a perfect life yet paid the price for sin. If he had been God, that would have been cheating. God cannot sin. It had to be a man, capable of sin but not sinning. If you are familiar with Passover you know that it had to be a lamb from the flock. Jesus Christ was the final Passover to be qualified he had to be a "lamb from the flock" he could not fulfill that requirement if he were God because God isn't a "lamb from the flock. The claim that Jesus Christ is God has been a stumbling block to many logically thinking people. I believe that this doctrine along with other apparent contradictions due to errors in translation or in our understanding have led many to question or abandon their belief in The Bible.
The reference in another comment about being born of water is a reference to the natural birth. When any child is born, water comes out. Being born of the spirit refers to becoming a child of God who is a spirit. This is what is meant by the word "saved" in Romans 10:9&10.
Adam was body, soul and spirit but he lost his spirit. When it says that God made man in his image it means that man was a spiritual being. That is what died when he disobeyed God. His spirit. Jesus Christ made it possible to be once again a being of body, soul and spirit.
This is getting very long and it would have to be much longer to properly explain. My point is that you are not likely to win anyone over by arguing with them or trying to put them in a position where they have to pass a test. That is a bit condescending and can be considered insulting.
I believe strongly that mainstream Religion has driven many people away with it's illogical and unyielding dogma. One reason many people become atheists is because they have studied religion and seen discrepancies. When they go to Religious leaders for answers they get unacceptable responses.
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Well, if you mean on Ask.com, the fact that it's a public discussion forum is probably a leading factor. We all want to share our opinions, and everyone has the right to do so, be they Christian or atheist, Hindu or Buddhist, Jew or any other of the myriad belief or unbelief systems.

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Good answer. ;) We are all the same except reading from a different book. :)
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Because if you want a one sided answer, then you should go to a christian website. This an open forum and is treated as such. I think every point of view should be able to be heard and judged accordingly.

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Who's judging?
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It's a personal judgement, not a miss america judgement, I'm just saying it's an open forum, judge on your own opinion, it's up to you.
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I enjoy talking with all people. I get my one sided answers at Bible study.
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What questions do you have renumberd?
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wickedpissah

I am an atheist.
I answer questions about religion because I have read and studied the written works of the religions.
I have read the books because, whether or not I agree with them or believe in them, those works have had a profound impact upon human history and it's important to understand the hows and the whys.
You don't have to believe in god to answer questions about god, any more than you have to believe in wookies or The Force to answer questions about Star Wars.

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nice, answer, you get a star LOL
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The sad truth is we atheists, on average, tend to know more about people's holy books then the followers that believe in them. Many of us were believers at one point and then began asking questions, so many in fact it often leads us to other belief systems and we research them. When it's all said and done we realize the complete absurdity of the faiths and become atheist, but we are left with extensive knowledge of the subject. Just because we don't give the interpretations that believers would wish, or agree with, doesn't mean we are ignorant to the issues. This knowledge and the interest in keeping extraordinary claims in check often bring us to faith based questions, some do so to combat the belief itself, others to assure its influence on more impressionable minds is limited, and still more to act as a counter balance to the extremism that faiths often foster.

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well put
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I truly am sorry that Christians are like that. I know I was but I really try to not be pushy or a hypocrite. I have often paused and considered my beliefs as well and I agree that the reason a lot of people move on from "holy book" beliefs is because, as u said, the people claiming to believe it don't know it or act it out. That has greatly blemished the Christian name and its sad. I think if u want someone to believe as u do u should show them thru your lifestyle you're belief is not vain. I guess I said all that to say what you said about knowing more than the people who claim it encourages me to make sure I claim it and live it as well. Thank you :)
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You are a wise person Yvette, lead by example, do not push it on those who do not want it, and will will find most atheists will leave you in peace :) Thank you btw Crow.
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Does the combatant athiest realize they are combating themselves? Are you fit to protect the impressionable mind and with what?
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Fact, Runumb. The fact that to hate someone based on the god they follow or the person they love or the life they lead is wrong.
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It's a late night Star, Nice answer, going to nite nite. LOL
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That makes me happy to hear you say that. Because I definately do not hate you. Christianity teaches love all people as Christ loves you. I find it unbelievable that an athiest wants to protect an impressionable mind from the concepts of Christianity. To offer them what?
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@Runum. It's good to know you are a believer that is accepting of gays and do not hate those that have abortions. Your comment makes me believe that you feel all morality comes from the belief in a god, that is far from the truth however. Our morality comes from the fact that we are a social species and our survival depends upon one another, no matter what that person believes or how they live their life. I would recommend you research the similarities between the different beliefs and the other successful social species, but as I mentioned in my answer, it may lead to a place you do not wish to go.
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Caluvox, you are right I do not hate gays or those who choose abortion. I do my best to love all people, even Dozy and Skeptikitten. Those two bring me enjoyment in life. I live as the Bible speaks. Hate the sin but have mercy on the sinner. As for similarities between beliefs, I did research this. I do not claim to know all but I do know enough. I ask you what makes Christianity different than all other religions and beliefs? This answer is why I love Christianity so much!
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Aside from the worship of its namesake, and the various technical differences among the multitude of Christian sects, what sets Christianity apart from the other main faiths of the world is the Trinity, and the self imposed struggle Christians have placed upon themselves due to it. By worshiping Jesus as the son of god/god himself Christians have placed a great deal of doubt on the logic of the story, and there by the idea of divine inspiration, ie god sent himself to sacrifice himself to change the laws made by himself and absolve the sins committed against himself. While on the other hand to claim Jesus is only the son of god, Christians must defy their 1st commandment by worshiping him. Now I've heard all the justifications around the trinity concept, but you asked what makes Christianity different, so there you go.
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That is an answer, but that is not the one. What other religions teach is that a person is able to earn their way into the kingdom. Being a good person and doing good things will somehow obligate God to let you in. We knock on the door of the kingdom of the God of all Creation, saying "you owe me God, didn't you see me down there?" We say this to the one who is complete holiness and righteousness. He says I don't owe you anything. It is not what you have done, but what I have done. This is why we give our life to Him and live to do his will. Now what is the will of God? That is a good question. I think I'll post it.
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I'm sorry but that is an argument/view-point you should not use, unless your strategy is to use fear as a motivator for conversion. Read your comment but this time replace the word "kingdom" with "merit badge" and "God" with "boy scouts" then ask yourself, would you want to be a boy scout.
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???????That makes absolutely no sense to me my friend. And why do you see my belief as an argument? And how is my belief a strategy. Anyways, I wish I had taken my boy scouts more serious. I only made it to Webelos. They know some cool stuff.
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Well the way you described it, the god you worship is a dictator, all one should have to do is lead a life with honor, empathy, and respect for all things, and carry love in your heart. Apparently to you that would be pointless, someone could be a terrible person, cheat, lie, etc. and all they'd have to to is praise Jesus to enter heaven. Do you actually believe this or is it a misunderstanding on my part?
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Yeah you misunderstood. But were you trying to understand? If you were to see your real position before the Father you would understand. If you saw you for what you are, you would understand. You ignored the part about the will of the Father. So I ask you again if there was a creator in your eyes, how do you think he would like you to live? What would his will be? Being a cheat? A terrible person? A liar? I don't think that would be his will do you? A person who sees himself for what he is and what the Father has done for him, will do nothing else but the will of the Father. And if it grows, it is because God makes it grow.
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Welcome to Ask, runumbered.

As Skeptikitten says, it depends on the atheist. For me it also depends on the question.

If, for instance, it's a genuine request for information or interpretation I answer the question as I would any other, supplying that information.

If it's a cheap shot at promoting religion (as most of the Ask religious questions are I'll either challenge it or turn it into a joke. Why? Because proselytisers mustn't be left unchallenged lest some innocent thinks that there is no alternative philosophy.

I had nine months away from Ask and in that time I didn't once discuss religion. In real life people don't try to shove their religion down your throat -- but put a born-again within reach of a keyboard and a web site and they just can't help themselves.

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This person is only here to proselytize. Did you read his response in Skep's & Caluvox's answers?
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I see what you mean, Yos. He has this rather nasty little habit of attacking the answerer to deflect their response. It's called ad hominem and is the ploy of politicians who get caught short of an answer and don't want to admit that they're wrong.
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That's why most of them are here and I totally agree with Dozy that I just try to make sure people are aware of an alternative.
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I think there's a certain amount of cowardice involved, Raven.

Most of the Christians on this site are comfortable with their religion and are happy to live and let live. If we don't agree with them they let us do our own thing, accepting that it's our choice.

But then we get the others who probably have an evangelical background and who have been told to go out and witness for the Lord. They'd be embarrassed to do it face to face so they get on line where they can be anonymous and rabbit away to their heart's content. Makes 'em feel strong when actually the opposite applies.

They're not all like that, of course, but it describes a significant number.

Then of course we have people who are incapable of understanding what's said to them and respond inappropriately. For some years during the 1980s we had a Flat Earther in Sydney who set up a stall each day at lunch time and displayed the deeds to two blocks of land. He offered to give those deeds to anybody who could prove to him that the world was not flat.

The deeds were never at risk for he answered every question with the same words: "I don't accept that argument."

A lot of the people who put up religious questions inviting materialistic responses resort to the same ploy. They simply refuse to accept what they're told. And that's a pity because there's much to be learned on this site.
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That flat earther in his stall is a pitifully hilarious example of the thought process that is sometimes encountered.
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Yet, there are leigitmate questions asked on here to athiests that have yet to be answered. They only response is a complete put down to the believer rather than simply saying they have no answer.
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That can be so, loloi, but perhaps not as often as yoiu think.

My own belief system (as opposed to those conclusions I've reached rationally) would probably surprise a few people. Like many other sceptics (I'm an agnostic rather than an atheist) I had a religious upbringing and was heavily committed to Bible study until about age 24. That gave me a good background in Christianity, but it also left a lifelong distaste for the way religion is used to exploit people whose only failing is to believe.

And so, on Ask, when I see amateur ayatollahs camouflaging their religious propaganda as questions, it's a little like sounding a bugle at the start of a battle.

As I said to RavenEvan, only a handful of Christians (compared to the great number who belong to this site, and who don't try to impose their beliefs on anybody else) behave like that, but I often rise to their challenge and my weapon of choice is humour.
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Okay LoLo I'll bite.
Answer to what ?
Why do humans have consciousness?
Might as well ask why gravity exists, then what, you say you don't like my answer and that proves I don't have an answer and god is real.
The bottom line is simple. There is no evidence that any god exists and on top of that there is a reasonable explanation for why the concept and feeling of god does exist as a misunderstood part of human nature.
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Dozy, thanks for the welcome. I can tell you meant it. After reading this i should just hide in the corner and let the adults talk. Who am I anyways? How can I compete with such wisdom and knowledge. They are all so well educated, I just don't stand a chance. And to top it off they are on to me and my games. I've been figured out. What is done in the dark must be brought into the light.
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Big smile, runumbered. Yep, I did mean the welcome. Your humility, contrived though it may be, does you credit. :0

Actually Dozy is about ready to shuffle off into the ether but he will be replaced by a a doppelganger, a virtual reincarnation.

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Dozy what does it mean to be agnostic?
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wickedpissah
lolo - what "legitimate questions" would you like to have answered by an atheist?
I'd be happy to help.
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wickedpissah
run - I have reported your comment as "Offensive", and you clearly are either unwilling or incapable of a serious discussion if you start your comment by calling me and my beliefs "stupid".
When you learn to conduct your debate wih respect, then maybe I'll be interested.
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wickedpissah
Also- contrary to your invalid assumption, I have no interest in "attacking" your belief or your "god."
My purpose is the search for truth. Nothing more.
Have a nice day.
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@runumbered: You know very well what it means. However, as I once quipped to a religious friend (yes, I do have them) an agnostic is a person who doesn't know what he believes. :)

And, since I'm just about to can Dozy and launch Dodgy (mods willing) that may wrap up my comments on this question. I'll be back in my other jacket but with the same two heads to continue in another guise.
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It was a joke. I was kidding. Can't an athiest take a joke?
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wickedpissah
run - your comments are juvenile and insulting. You are abviously not here for to engage in a reasoned debate, but rather simply to troll.
I have no interest in further wasting my time with someone who is either unable or unwilling to have a serious discussion of the merits of ideas.
Have a nice day.
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I do not know any agnostics and that was an honest question. I know little about that. I do appreciate your answer. Thanks.
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Wickedpissah I was honestly joking. Hoping we could see the stupidity of arguing. I was not trying to be insulting. Juvenile yes, but not to insult you. Have a nice day.
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Because God is just a
personification of human cultural ideals and concepts with, human, third person omniscient perspective; that gives people the feeling of a benevolent presence looking out for us ready to enforce social ideals. I think the mythological beliefs in the various gods and supernatural states of heaven and hell and especially the belief that people are born evil are of the most pernicious categories of beliefs that keeps humanity in a state of oppression and prevents the freethinking that could lead to greater achievements.

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Very appropriate word, pernicious. I responded to your comment under my answer but you probably won't get a prompt for it.
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Thanks Dozy I give high regard to your thoughts on words.
I thought later; I should have added at the end of my answer, "and a more humane society."
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Probably just as well you didn't. I've no argument with its accuracy but I'll bet it would have led the discussion off into another .. heated .. direction.
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I'm not an atheist but I feel drawn to answer this question about atheists. Atheists are individuals and what draws one to answer a particular question may be different that what draws another to answer the same question. One may have an axe to grind. Another may just feel he knows the answer and wants to give an honest answer to an honest question. Still another may feel that the questioner has an axe to grind and wants to confront them on it. There could be other reasons as well.

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Thoughtful answer, JD
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Thank you.
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I have thought about this often. I believe, that no matter how educated anyone is, or how much they fight His reality, deep down inside, they aren't fully sure. The question always reamains open. Otherwise, it would have been solved long ago.

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Even though there is a decline in organized religious affiliation, there is a rise in spiritual/other worldly belief. The father of modern sociology, Augusta Compe, in the 1800's predicted that the christian religion and churches would be defunked within 50 years of his time and be replaced by institutions of science. Though people can be gullible, if people are that stupid to still believe in God, then who gets to decide that they are the stupid ones, and the unblievers are the smarter ones?
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TheHarem
Lolo......I read your comment to Betty. So many times, I just don't have the answers either, and I try to go hunting for them. Like you, I have done alot of reading, but I still feel inadequate in trying to answer many of the questions. Can you tell me the names of any of the books you found helpful? I do understand what Betty is saying. Thankyou kindly:)
******
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Science doesn't permit absolutes but rather explanations and laws. Honest inquiry dictates the question remain open but then again pink unicorns must be considered for gods role as well under the same jurisdiction.
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yep..science give explanations. and, science is science. And, it doesn't have all the answers. But science does not need to equate to NO God. Rather...complete opposite!
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Harem..I'll get back to you. My computer hasn't been working on this site and I've been missing comments and responses from the past couple of days. You should call me....ha ha . Or, send me an email to funlolo77@live.com.
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Lolo- science needs to equate to there being a god no more than there being no god. Science is impartial- unlike you. The moment science says "there is a god" is the moment it becomes unscientific and all the people who swear by it find science again under a different name. As I said up there, scientifically, god is as likely as a pink unicorn creating the universe with rainbow beams. It's unintelligent to expect science to succumb to your whims. Such a red queen response like "science should equate to there being a god" is exactly the type of lack of mindfulness science is designed to discredit.
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Well though I've questioned wether or not God is real or not plenty of times, I've never been a self proclaimed atheist so I can only offer a perspective. I think it must have something to do with the implications of the possibility of God being real. There is perhaps nothing more at stake existentially then wether or not God is or isn't. Even though there are numerous expressed "versions" of God(s) ultimately does little to alleviate the angst of the question of God. Probably for some they feel their search for complete autonomy is infringed upon by the possibility of God...I imagine this is more bothersome then say "pushy" Christians since they can more or less remove themselves from such believers yet they can't really eliminate the question within themselves except to try their best to combat it in whatever manner that soothes their minds. I respect any honest atheist in and of themselves since I believe that God knows an loves them....I love them as well.

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awww...dk. so true!
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We have nothing if we don't have love.
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And a star from me, dk. It's the Ask equivalent of a kiss on the cheek. That's was nicely stated.
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Oh, Dozy you're making me blush! I will receive that kiss with appropriate tenderness. ;)
I will also assume that u are placing that kiss on one of my upper cheeks and not one of my lower one's! Lol
Seriously though, thanks!
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There is a problem with this question. Atheists cannot answer questions about God. Since they do not believe in Him, they would not attempt to communicate with Him, thus they have no personal experience with Him and cannot begin to even pretend to know Him. Atheists can answer questions about religious aspects that they have actually studied, such as the Bible and other religious writings, the viewable practices of various churches, and so forth. Therefore, atheists can answer questions about RELIGION, but not about GOD. :D

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...waits for an atheist to say they tried to communicate with God, He never answered, and thus they have "evidence" that He does not exist. But just because someone does not answer you or you cannot or will not hear the answer does not mean that person does not exist.
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And just because you've never seen a unicorn doesn't mean they don't exist. Why then, do you not believe in unicorns?
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Actually I've read all about your god and am as verifiably an authority on god as anyone else whose read the bible thoroughly.
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@Still: As a former believer--as are a number of other atheists on here--I believe we are exceptionally qualified to engage in matters concerning God. We offer facts regarding atheism (not the mythology about atheism proliferated by some believers), while at the same time being able to relate to where the believers are coming from. Any discussion regarding God assumes both a belief in God and disbelief in God. Both atheists and theists have a dog in that fight.
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When a question deals with belief in God, it inevitably turns to making claims about those who do not believe in God. As an atheist it often happens that believers will make rather wild and presumptuous claims about atheists which not only are not true, but the claimant would have no way of knowing what is in the heart of anyone they have not met. Many atheists come into to those discussions in order to set the record straight that not only are we not the spawn of the devil, but that we are actually as moral and ethical as anyone else. That is one reason you find us here. Caluvox's answer covered pretty much everything else I would otherwise have included.

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Exactly what all of my atheist friends have already said. I also answer questions that piqu? my interest on many topics. I don't feel that my lack of belief in your version of " god" should result in limiting my scope of answers.

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Perfectly my thoughts
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Pontes

"Don't atheists worry that they might suddenly be shown to be wrong?"

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Nope.
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Not at all.
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No more than to "suddenly be shown" pink unicorns and tree fairies are real, and lightning really is caused by Thors chariot wheels.
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No more than you're worried you might suddenly find out it's the Norse gods who are real and not yours.
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Negative.
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No, but I look forward to people trying to show me wrong haha
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Its strikes me as quite silly that anyone can show anyone who is wrong in the matter. The real point to me is "am I wrong?"....as asked by all the individuals here.
Kitten: yes it would be a shame if the Norse gods were the only real state of deity since they are all reducible (minus the actual Devine aspects they represent) and in their system of myth they indicated a future ultimate and final state that they had not much of an imaginative description for. In fact those that came accept the Christ as true, they saw God/Christ as a completion and end to what their myth pointed to.
Raven: (I like your new picture :)
If only your your pink unicorn laid any claim on humanity, then we could be concerned with weather or not it was real.
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I think you missed the point that we're no more worried about your particular god being real than you are of the thousands of others that man has worshiped over the years.
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Kitten,
Sure, and I believe many of you are generally not that concerned (or at least all the time) if any description of the Devine is real or not. It's just that many "versions" of God don't really lay any significant claim on us. If the God the bible reveals is real, then there is a significant claim (regardless of the interpretation of "hell" and who or what hell is for) on humanity and if you all aren't concerned about it, that certainly doesn't negate the question of God. It only means you don't care or have rejected it as worthy of concern, I assume that is safe to say. Sorry I didn't see your comment till now.
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dk... I think you may finally "get it", mostly, except for your ("or at least not all the time") caveat. Speaking for myself, anything; I mean anything, supernatural is rejected as worthy of consideration, unless there's way to come up with evidence. Until then everything supernatural in concept is easily explained and understood as a product of human nature, human empathy, human third person perspectives, human society and ideals, the human mind and the human imagination. Between human ears is the only place in the vast universe that gods can exist.
-If you want to know how I truly feel deep down inside when I contemplate the thought "am I wrong?" about the nonexistence of God, heaven and hell etc.
What do I feel, deep down inside when I wonder if god really does exist.
All I can feel is a chuckle of silliness.
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WOW, no offense to anyone, but skeptickitten's answer says it best, "we are more knowledgable than anyone." With such audacity and arrogance how can one stop them self from answering. Of course to make it official we get told, "studies show," this claim to be true. How can we learn from each other with that mind set. There have been, and are, many great minds who have accepted an afterlife, in some form or another; let alone their acceptance of God. It honestly reminds me of the emperor and his cloak. How sad. May God help us all. God bless.

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Can't deal with reality, huh?

If you actually read my response properly, you'd know that I said re e t research has shown that atheists and agnostics test with a higher level of knowledge on religion than any other group. That's true. Stating a fact isn't arrogance, and statinga group's aptitude for something does not preclude the abilities or knowledge of any particular individual. Some religious people have a great deal of knowledge, some don't. Some atheists do, some don't. But on average atheists know more about religion than the religious.
Do you not get how statistics work?
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@Wiserrt: I believe Skepti is referring to the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life at http://www.pewforum.org/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey-Who-Knows-What-About-Religion.aspx (perhaps there are others as well). The following is a link to a CNN interview regarding this poll: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAG46K3rnIc

So what Skepti is saying--and I agree based on the findings--is that atheists have been shown through objective research to know more about religious facts than the various groups of believers--not that atheists are more knowledgeable in general than theists.
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As for,"we are more knowledgeable than any other group." Without the specification of religion added to that, I took it as a general claim. I can admit when I am wrong, so I apologies, for misunderstood what was meant by that statement. I guess I deserve the hostile tone skeptic, as I kind of had one myself. As for the statistics.... ...this is disheartening. I will not lie, there were some questions I didn't know the answer to. But, this really surprises me. But, because I do understand statistics, I will research this more, rather than accepting this at face value (not to say you two did). Again my apologies skeptic kitten, and thank you cal for the link. Thank you both for the clarification. Again, God bless.
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Well in fairness it wasn't really qualified (I've been guilty of that myself), so I took it somewhat the same way. Particularly when I put it context with numerous other comment I have read of her's. Im not down on her...I have giver her stars and a "good answer" comment here and there. It's easy to over generalize anyone including atheists (or believers!). I find that some of the answers given by atheists don't really answer the direct question incidentally, but seem more to qualify there atheism. The latter of course is to expected and is fine, but I'm actually really interested in their actual answer to the question.
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As far as the stats that atheists have more knowledge about the religion(s) they reject goes, I think it's important to recognize that one's core "organic" belief in God or an eternal after life does not actually require any appreciable knowledge of religious dogma. I think it's deeper then one's "knowing about" it. It just becomes inevitable that many of us actually end up studying more and more as we collide with other world views...that's were I've come from anyways. :)
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Considering the sentence before I was talking about religion and religious beliefs, I assumed it was obvious what the study I cited was referring to.

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Thank you dk, It is comforting to have someone understand how I misunderstood where she was coming from. This is the reason why I try to suspend judgement, but failed to do so here. I may not have always commented, but I too have sided with here stance on occasion. As for the statistics, well I will just leave it, and suspend judgement until I get a chance to review it further. Thank you again dk. God bless.
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Unfortunately skeptic, this is a first I have heard of this study. This wouldn't be a first my ignorance has got the better of me. Again, thanks for your patience and understanding. God bless.
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It got a lot of press when it first came out because quite a few religious groups were loudly offended by it. The methodology was clear and simple though- answer a series of questions about religion. Identify what your religious beliefs are. Tabulate score and group by religion. If I recall correctly, Fox News was outraged.

They later posted the questions on the web so anyone could take the test. I found the selection of questions interesting and appropriate.
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Wiserrt,
No problem. :)
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Kitten,
I think I recall confirming an earlier comment u maid about christians basically not known about what they believe. I never knew of any stats on it, but have noticed it to often be the case just in my experience with friends and church goers. Though this is a problem (at least internally in the church) it doesn't have to mean that those individuals don't have an honest belief in God. In fact if God is real and has revealed "Himself" then it wouldn't necessarily hinge on a "linear" intellectual knowledge...certainly not on such knowledge alone. Just a thought. :)
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I stated earlier there are some questions I wouldn't know the answers to. Such as, I don't know much, to nothing at all, about Jonathan Edwards. As for the others, yes I was comfortable answering those, but I studied this in college (no degree in theology, just took some classes). So, I would find them appropriate to some regard. You asked about my knowledge of statistics, I also have studied them as well. I also work with them on a daily basis. So I know how we have to be careful with them. For example, did you realize that most questions concerning the Bible were from the Old Testament. Most Christians focus in the New Testament, as they believe this to be the law, and the Old Testament is more for historical purposes. Granted, these are question that I believe a Christian would be able to answer. Also, did you see how the religions outside of the Abrahamic religions, were limited to just few true questions. Most were more political, asking what religion do most individuals from India follow; versus more questions on Hinduism itself. Also, did you notice that other religions were left out. It asked nothing about the Wiccan religion, ancestral worship, and Animatism. These are to name just a few. I would think that atheism and agnostic questions would be asked, as they were part of the group being questioned; and there ideologies concerned God. We must also take into account the demographic. Exactly how many people were tested were from which group. A lopsided pool can have a direct effect on the outcome. As social economic factors have a direct effect on ones education, we must look at this as well for each group. We should also have an understanding of Andrew Kohut, as he was over the organization in 2010, when the questionnaire was issued. I know the organization is to be neutral, but one must always take into account any bias when regarding any study, as we all have them. Then we must ask ourselves, do we really expect a Hindu to fully understand Christianity. In an ideal world we would say yes. But there is a reason we have the old saying, "Jack of all trades, but master of none." I am not directing this at you specifically, so please don't take offense. This is what I meant for needing to suspend judgement until I have more info regarding the questionnaire. Concerns such as these are what I must address and research before I can accept the questionnaires value. Granted this may just be me not wanting to accept these findings because of my own biases. :) God bless.
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Wow, sorry for carrying on for so long. I have got to learn not to be so wordy. Again my apologies.
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Wiserrt,
It's scary how much our society relies on statistics without knowing the context of the stats. I know I've done it plenty of times. Stats can in that way can often be interpreted in opposing ways! Lol
God Bless :)
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Yes, and I have been guilty of it myself. "You can make stats say what ever you want," does hold some truth. I guess they are one if those, necessary evils." And God bless you too. :)
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What drew the abolitionists to argue about slavery? We need to help people become educated in actual fact and science and we are angered at proselytization and the spread of ignorance brought about by religion. We are usually better versed in religion than those who are obnoxious about it.

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Altruism. Christ has come to bring the sword- I have come to take his hand off.

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TheHarem
Truth.... Hi there. I just saw your comment on my answer. I don't understand it. My answer was not meant to be insulting to anyone, but it sounds like maybe it upsets you? Can you explain your comment please.
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No you didn't upset me but my words are coming out a little salad- e today. I explained it best I could up there haha
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Truth, I did as you said and I still did not get the answer, you could provide. Please won't you explain. Please!
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TheHarem
Truth......thanks for clarifying your comment on my answer. I left you a comment in reply, if you happen to see this.
PS....your brain is never salad-e. Lol
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lol harem thats sweet of you to say but sometimes I even confuse myself if I don't speak with clarity haha
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runumbered- what did I tell you to do again? lol
What is it you need me to explain? Some clarity makes things a lot easier for me.
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