I’m glad to see this is such a hot topic, and that most everyone agrees we shouldn’t mess with the Syria situation.
Unfortunately, thanks to the War Powers Act and the laziness of the Congress, complicity of the DoD secretary and the Joint Chiefs, the President does have the authority to order military action precisely because his butt-kissers in the cabinet will back his claim that it was necessary. If memory serves, he can commit acts of war for 60 days before needing congressional approval to continue.
The vast majority of base commanders would court martial members for refusing orders related to deploying to Syria. The “right” or “wrong” concern would be irrelevant: the members would be breaking their oath to obey orders. Technically, they could not argue the orders were illegal because of the legal provisions mentioned above.
So, these people are put into a position to ponder: do I harm myself, my family, my career and go to jail (all of your letter-writing, emailing and phone calls to support them won’t matter), or do I do something else I disagree with morally, and just suck it up? 99.9% of them will go if ordered. The remaining .1% will be made an example of to deter future insubordination.
I hope this causes everyone to reconsider how, where and when we should commit to military action. Perhaps our foreign policy would be more fruitful if we promoted free trade and friendship over bullying and force.
August 29, 2013 at 1:06pm
“But the confused look I got when I asked them….
“What FACT do you base your belief that other life exists elsewhere in the cosmos?”
…was very amusing to me.” – Sagain offered a mathematical probability of life existing on other planets. If memory serves, he said the rough probability was that 10 planets in each galaxy could potentially harbor life. So the ‘belief’ is based on a mathematical probabillity, and not claimed as FACT.
“energy is eternal.” – In order to state this factually, we would need proof that energy existed before the Big Bang. Multiverse theory offers a possible explanation, but cannot provide proof.
“If NOTHING existed before the big bang, then what actually exploded? Nothing?” – “Something From Nothing,” by physicist Lawrence Krauss. It’s quite intriguing.
“What is time?
Can you see time?
Can you touch time?” – We see the impact of the passage of time, but time as a concept is fascinating. It will get more fascinating as our understanding of quantum mechanics grows.
“By the atheists’ logic, I should go around professing that time is a figment of our imaginations,
However, we feel the effects of time and we surely know that the passage of time is a reality.” – I know of quantum physicists who make such claims, but they do not comprise the whole of the atheist community.
August 29, 2013 at 12:24pm
“Have you never been witness to a miracle? I have… If you ask what the miracle was I’ll be glad to tell you.”
According to dictionary.com, a miracle is, “an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.”
Oddly enough, miracles only pertain to “happy” things that occur without any immediate explanation. A miracle would be someone flying of their own power, a person breathing underwater without any apparatus, a person melting metal with a look, as some examples. But most people call things miracles without pondering this: which is more reasonable? That the laws of nature suspended/reversed themselves, and in your favor, or that we simply haven’t learned the precise cause of something “miraculous” just yet? Our threshhold for miracles has risen quite a bit, wouldn’t you say? Up until a few hundred years ago a plague was seen as a punishment from God instead of the spread of a deadly parasitical organism. Would a man from the year 1,600AD view a plane as miraculous? What about a man from 200AD? Sooner or later, the ‘miracles’ many site will have a scientific explanation. But never fear. Christianity will always find a way to turn that explanation into some exaltation for God.
August 29, 2013 at 12:14pm
“So why hasn’t anyone proposed the idea that Faith and Reason can actually coexists?” – Actually, Dr. William Lane Craig makes the case. He even has a website (if memory serves) called reasonable faith.
“Faith might be believing in things not seen, but how many people have seen a black hole?” – Not with our eyes, but we’ve seen their effects on intergalactic space. We can’t see air, but we breath it. This is how we understand it’s presence. That shouldn’t be confused with ‘faith’.
“Why is human nature seemingly based around segregation, and an elitist mentality?” – You believe in God and that He created us, right? Ask Him. The heathens promote that tribalism and the alpha male thing is due to a desire to ensure survival.
“Why is it so hard for science to consider the idea of some extra dimensional being that calls himself God?” – We allow for that possibility (deism), but deny any notion that He intervenes in our lives, answers prayers etc for lack of evidence.
“I understand that in science we are only beginning to grasp the nature of the universe, and maybe that’s why its hard for some to think outside of it. I think all faith does is help people do just that… We call it faith, but its the belief in things not from this universe.” – And there is, as of yet, no hard evidence of any existence outside the universe. Possible? Sure… but without evidence cannot be claimed as real or factual.
August 29, 2013 at 11:53am
“And the path to hell is paved with your every desire, material things and everything that makes you fill (sic) good.”
Odd… God created us in his image, according to Judeo-Christian dogma. He created us, meaning he also created our nature, yet declares that this nature is unfit for him…? Wouldn’t that be like breaking someone’s legs, and then punishing them because they couldn’t run?
Wait… I forgot. It’s Adam’s fault. After God put that tree in the middle of the garden with it’s ripe and delicious-looking fruit, warned Adam and Eve to not eat of it or they’d die (without really explaining death to them), and then allowed the great tempter to assume the form of a talking snake to beguile His naive creations into eating the fruit, God kicked them out and cursed all of humanity. Hmm… First, it seems to me that God stacked the deck against Adam and Eve. His reaction to their disobedience was also a lil much, dontcha think? I mean, they didn’t kill or rape anyone.
And what of proportional discipline? If your son disobeyed you, would you punish your grandson, or great grandson? Why? Why not? Your God has a jacked up sense of justice. Thank God (HA!) there’s no evidence to support his existence.
August 29, 2013 at 11:33am
“Ah yes…Believe in (fallen) MAN…Uhm, which one…
Liars…? – What, there are no Christian Liars? You can’t be serious…
Cheaters…? – Like there are no Christian cheaters?
Thieves…? – See above
Rapists…? – See above
Murderers…? – See above
Pedophiles…? – You can’t be serious… Catholic priests ring any bells?
Drug Users…? – Oh, NO Christian ever used drugs…
Alcoholics…? – They called Jesus a winebibber…
Prostitutes…? – Jesus hung out with whores
Pornographers…? – SERIOUSLY?
Weiner Texters…? – He’s in a class all his own…
“Seems the list is endless of the fine, upstanding citizens from which to choose…!!” – And yet, there are FAR more people in these vile categories that claim Christianity than there are those who claim atheism. Before you get your magic panties twisted, it’s a mathematical fact. There are FAR more religious people in America and across the world than there are atheists, so religionists take top spot in ALL the categories you mentioned.
“Pick Your Poison…So far they’ve done a bang up job, who needs God…?!” – Indeed. Your grand designer did a pretty sh*tty job, or would at least be to blame if he existed.
…turns sarcasm off…” – Turn on some rational thinking, mmmkay?
August 29, 2013 at 11:26am
“For people who claim that God is make believe they sure do spend a lot of time, money, lawsuits fighting against the mention, displays, etc.. about Him.” – That’s because the people who do believe in Him spend a lot more time, money and energy trying to force their way of life onto the rest of us through legislation.
“I don’t see them fighting the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Santa with billboards and lawsuits.” – I know of no lobby group trying to write Easter Bunnian legislation on all of us, nor Santa jockeying for tax exemptions, or his Elf Union vying for regulations favorable to their industry.
“They are rebellious and wicked.” – Have you even read the Bible? Tell me, were the Egyptian children, Amorite children or Amalekite children ‘rebellious and wicked’? Is that why Yahweh told his men to murder them?
You don’t know anything about the Bible outside of what you’ve been told, and/or have absolutely zero scholarship in your Biblical study.
August 21, 2013 at 1:05pm
“Religion is when you believe in something and feel strongly about it, despite a lack of evidence. Prove there is no God. Good luck, cultist.” – So wait… because we base our assertion on a lack of empirical evidence to suggest such a being exists, we’re cultists? Funny… I always thought a “Cultist’ would be more along the lines of people who believed in floating, burning bushes that talk, talking snakes, a horned, demon with a tail, ghosts and other non-verifiable stuff. The atheist bears no burden to disprove God. The religious bear the burden of proof because extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.
“Atheists seem to have great religious zeal toward their belief that the Christian God is EVIL, even though he doesn’t exist.” – This myth concerns the Judeo-Christian God. Jews get first dibs on YHWH, not Christians mmkay?
“Prove Jesus is evil and prove there is no God.” – Where did the idea of an eternal torture for disobeying and rejecting God begin? Dear, sweet little 8 pound, 6 ounce baby Jesus. Would you punish your child forever if they defied you? Why not? So the suggestion of eternal torture as punishment for not believing in something for which there is no evidence is asinine, and evil.
“Atheists can’t do either, but they sure have a lot of powerful emotions regarding those blind-faith beliefs.” – You have never read one cogent argument against your position, have you? Tsk, tsk, tsk…
August 21, 2013 at 12:41pm
“The far lefties are bunch of mindless cultists.” Funny, I thought the article was about atheists. I’m an atheist, and not a leftist.
“How much of their beliefs are group think, based on little or not evidence?” I assume now you’re finally talking about the atheists? Maybe you confuse atheists with leftists, or vice-versa. Leftists are religious. They believe in the supreme power of the state over all humanity. If you’re speaking of atheists, the claim is based on a lack of empirical evidence to support the claim of an all-powerful creator/deity. No such proof for one exists.
“Most of their core beliefs. Blind faith that far left politicians are good people and will govern in a way that will result in a utopia. Belief that a gay union has no relevant differences from a straight union. Blind faith that conservatives are all demons, even though they’ve never talked to them. Religious zeal toward the “messiah,” Obama. Global warming. The “evil” of fracking. The victim status of everyone that looks black. The list of religious beliefs goes on and on.” – You’re touting the tenets of the statism faith, which to varying degrees, most people have. Even you.
Not all atheists are leftists. Murray Rothbard was hardly a leftist. He was an anarchocapitalist, and an atheist. I am each of these as well. We see the state as evil. All of it. Despite your criticisms, you love the state as well. Chew on that…
August 13, 2013 at 3:02pm
“What are you doing about the evil in the world?” – Calling it out and teaching my children to NOT do those things, and avoid those who do at all costs. You? Praying? Good luck with that.
“…you want to blame God for your murders and atrocities and rapes and wars.” I’ve never raped, nor murdered nor started a war, but plenty of people have done so, and in God’s name.
“We all have free will,” – Not according to the bible.
“…and can choose to do good and choose to do evil.” Yes, but God kinda fixed the game. He put the tempting fruit within their grasp. He allowed the talking snake to tempt the ridiculously naive humans. Surely He didn’t intend…
“But as long as man wants independence to decide what is right and wrong, God will allow us to reap the consequences of our decisions.” – Right. We should just subject ourselves to what other men tell us God wants, since He won’t show his face.
God stopped all the bad things? How much violence is still being committed in the world in the name of God? And, in case you forgot, Allah is a God, too. How many pedophile priests are protected by their churches? How many evangelists lie and fleece their flocks? How does man cause the starvation of 40k kids each day? Paul said,”by one man did sin enter the world.” Well who punishes billions of people for the offense of one? How is that just? Moral? Holy? It’s none of these. It’s childish and homicidal.
August 12, 2013 at 12:19pm
If you attribute this fortune to God, then you affirm the criticisms of the irony of His goodness listed in the comment above yours.
August 12, 2013 at 12:02pm
As the Creator of all things, according to the Christian mythology, God is also responsible for the creation of evil and sin. If one argues that evil is necessary for good, then you have to acknowledge that God cannot be love without also being hate, or good without also being evil. Or, perhaps the only way to square that circle is to make Satan equally powerful to God with hate and evil. Oddly enough, that doesn’t jibe well with God’s assessment of self, or Christian’s assessment of Him.
Credit God for good things… you know, that really important stuff like getting that job, promotion, or that news that you don’t have cancer, and excuse him for the miserable starvation of 40,000 kids each day in the world, the child victims of pedophiles, the rape victims, the murder victims… many of whom are Christians who probably prayed with all their hearts for God to save them. I guess He was too busy finding your car keys, or getting Johnny that scholarship to college. Or maybe He was just being mysterious at that moment.
After reading all the excellent comments so far, this is what you want to say?
What are you doing about the evil in the world? It is your world made by you not by God and you want to blame God for your murders and atrocities and rapes and wars. We all have free will and can choose to do good and choose to do evil. Is My mother to blame if she raised me right but I chose to do evil?
God is not responsible for the evil that his free-willed creation chose to do. But as long as man wants independence to decide what is right and wrong, God will allow us to reap the consequences of our decisions.
Imagine if God stepped in to stop all atrocities and was and any decisions against his will. People would call God a dictator and they would pine for their freedom, even tho he has ended all bad things from happening. We must by choice recognize God's right as sovereign to tell us what is right and wrong. These ones he calls meek who will inherit the earth after those who refuse to submit are removed from the earth, bionically speaking.
"What are you doing about the evil in the world?" - Calling it out and teaching my children to NOT do those things, and avoid those who do at all costs. You? Praying? Good luck with that.
"...you want to blame God for your murders and atrocities and rapes and wars." I've never raped, nor murdered nor started a war, but plenty of people have done so, and in God's name.
"We all have free will," - Not according to the bible.
"...and can choose to do good and choose to do evil." Yes, but God kinda fixed the game. He put the tempting fruit within their grasp. He allowed the talking snake to tempt the ridiculously naive humans. Surely He didn't intend...
"But as long as man wants independence to decide what is right and wrong, God will allow us to reap the consequences of our decisions." - Right. We should just subject ourselves to what other men tell us God wants, since He won't show his face.
God stopped all the bad things? How much violence is still being committed in the world in the name of God? And, in case you forgot, Allah is a God, too. How many pedophile priests are protected by their churches? How many evangelists lie and fleece their flocks? How does man cause the starvation of 40k kids each day? Paul said,"by one man did sin enter the world." Well who punishes billions of people for the offense of one? How is that just? Moral? Holy? It's none of these. It's childish and homicidal.
August 12, 2013 at 11:34am
INDIGORAVEN is correct. Visits to a psychologist/psychiatrist go in the member’s medical record and the things discussed are not confidential. This puts the atheist at an immediate disadvantage regarding counseling services available to him or her compared to those available to those of faith.
Additionally, Federal Courts found that Atheism is a religion, and the SCOTUS found secular humanism to be a religion (Torcaso v. Watkins, 1961). So denying a “chaplain” of sorts to atheists in the military is discriminatory. The military goes out of it’s way to provide counselors with confidentiality privilege for Christians, Catholics, Wiccans, Pagans, Muslims etc, and no one tells the Muslim (for example) they MUST go to the Catholic chaplain… so why should it be “ok” to force the atheist to see a religious chaplain?
Christians are quick to cry out about persecution, but even quicker to persecute and deny others the provisions they themselves enjoy. Ah, irony.
August 12, 2013 at 11:01am
You should go on youtube and search for a video titled, “If Man Obeyed God” created by DarkMatter2525. After you watch that, I’d love for you to explain some of the things the video points out as obvious about God’s culpability in the fall of man, the entrance of sin into the world etc etc.
August 9, 2013 at 1:16pm
Well, unless you’re a child born into an area that God has forsaken (you know, those desserts and other places where upwards of 40,000 children across the world die every day from hunger, disease etc). But I think it’s great that God helps this guy win the Cross-fit challenge and turns a deaf ear and blind eye to those 40,000 kids. What a great God. Need help finding your car keys? Getting into that college? Getting that promotion? Getting the mortgage refinanced? God’s all about that kind of stuff. Starving kids? Pssh…
To paraphrase Sam Harris, a God like that is either inexcusably inept, or monstrously evil.
August 9, 2013 at 10:17am
From the liberal perspective, this couple created either 12 human beings who can contribute to the “greater good,” or some who will do that while their siblings become dependent on the largesse of the government dole. From the biblical perspective (at least in the Torah), the couple has obeyed Yahweh by being fruitful, and multiplying. Conservatives seem happy that a Godly family has grown to such a size, and see it as a blessing, or miracle.
But it isn’t a miracle. Child birth is a well-understood phenomenon now. Insert erect penis into lubricated vagina, move intently, ********* semen into said vagina. Once deposited, the sperm swim in the fight for their lives to merge with the ova, and when the best swimmer makes it… voila… conception. Having 12 straight boys is a statistical oddity, sure, but not evidence of a miracle.
I know most women would not dream of having 12 children, and thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for that. It’s a vagina… not a clown car.
Excuse me but people under 18 go on this website. We don't need to know how that works, thanks very much. :|
August 6, 2013 at 1:33pm
I still don’t get how Christians condemn a piece of vegetation they believe the Lord their God made, but line up in droves for man-made pharmaceuticals. They’re legal, after all. When did Christians start believing man-made was better than God-made?
 August 6, 2013 at 1:27pm
I only scanned the first half of the first page of comments (apparently, the oldest ones), but I only saw one mention of how these people could do good things for others. Of course the poster screwed it all up with seeing that as evidence of the power of God, but…
What is completely unsurprising is the scorn and ridicule this effort is being met with. Forget how it might help people, let’s bash them for their lack of belief in a sky daddy. You should be ashamed of yourselves, but you won’t be.
The atheist who contributes to efforts like this does it because they genuinely want to help people. Their desire to help has nothing to do with obedience to God, or “good works,” for Heaven’s sake. So the atheist’s motive is much more pure than that of the Christian. Ask a Christian, “Why do you do the missions/feed the hungry/clothe the naked/help the infirmed/house the homeless and 99% of them will tell you, “That’s what Jesus commanded of us.” Ask an atheist, and they’ll likely tell you, “Because these are fellow human beings, and it’s the right thing to do.” So, at it’s core, one do-gooder is ultimately self-serving, and the other is not. *Hint* The Christian is self-serving.
August 6, 2013 at 12:52pm
“When a “Christian” … they are overruling God.” – Kinda kills the idea tat He’s all-powerful, eh? I mean, He stopped the builders of the Tower of Babel, but BC & abortion goes unchecked?
“As Christians we believe that no human being ever came to life without Gods will.” – And you also believe He knows everything we’re gonna do/say/think, right? He knows who’s going to heaven & hell. He created many to starve to death in agony as children, and many to go to hell. A loving God, huh?
“So using birth control is looking God in the face and saying MY will be done not Yours.” – Again, makes ol’ YHWH seem pretty weak in the face of humanity.
“In using birth control you are telling God that God needs YOU to regulate His creation of life.”- And how quickly would we run out of resources for all these humans w/o birth control? By the early 90s, the Chinese had aborted over 330 million babies. Possibly another 350 million since. How many pregnancies have been prevented by BC? Isn’t BC preferable to abortion? How many more would be starving if the global population was, say 9 billion?
“I am not judging …making yourself sterile so that you can have sex while ensuring that God cannot bring forth life is anything but “Christian” – And, as He did with Adam and Eve, we’ll all be punished for behaving exactly as He designed/intended us to, and KNEW we would before we ever breathed. Isn’t a game being ‘fixed’ kinda criminal?
August 6, 2013 at 12:34pm
A ton of Christian scholars even recognize that the creation story (Adam and Eve, the whole bit) is not a literal story. Why are people so hung up on the literal interpretation of the Bible? And if you’re going to take it literally, then how in the hell can you not see the YHWH was a homicidal, infanticidal, war-mongering, mean-spirited b@stard?!?