Atheist Ireland actively encourages people to read the Bible.
The Bible makes many assertions that are scientifically absurd, ethically unjust and it undermines two key cornerstones of the Christian faith: the Ten Commandments and the story of Jesus.
The ten commandments are not a guide for ethical conduct. They are laws for regulating the conduct of one Bronze Age tribe. When you read them in the context of the Bible stories from which they emanate, you find that they are not based on universal values of right and wrong, because they were never intended to apply to all people. They were designed to protect the stability and interests of one Bronze Age tribe, specifically because this tribe was set apart from all other people.
Imagine you have never heard of the Bible, and you are given the 27 books of the New Testament and asked to put them in order. You would probably come close to the order they appear in today: the four Gospels that tell the story of Jesus, then the Book of Acts that tells how the early church developed, then various letters by Paul and others, then the Book of Revelation that tells how the world will end.
If you did this, you would have created a continuous narrative, each book being a chapter, each building on the previous one, to create one grand story. You would also have created a false impression of how and why these books were written. And you would have obscured the sequence in which different writers gradually introduced the various elements of the Jesus legend.
If you read them chronologically, you will see how a human Jewish preacher gradually evolved into being part of a newly-invented Christian God, and how his relationship with this God gradually started earlier and earlier as time went on: from his resurrection in the letters of Paul, to his baptism in the Gospel called Mark, to his conception in the Gospels called Matthew and Luke, to the start of time in the Gospel called John.
I feel so sorry for deluded atheists. May God forgive you when your time comes and the hate you spread needs to be explained.
Can you point what hate is being spread by atheists by virtue of their atheism please? I cannot think of any but perhaps I am not looking hard enough. I can certainly think of lots and lots of hate spread by religious people by virtue of their religious beliefs.
I feel so sorry for you deluded Christians. I’ll ask the scientists to forgive you when you go on a fanatial rampage, killing all of the highly eduated people in the world and taking us back into the dark ages.
Im a born again christian 8yr now. And in that 8yrs god has not spoken to me i havnt seeing him heard him. Havnt seeing any miracle or anyone getting healed. If god does exist why does he make it so hard for people to believe he is real instead he is da invisible man hiding in da clouds waiting for you to sin so he can punish you. If you believe in god you go to heaven an if u dont belive he puts you in hell. I thought god was all knowing an all loving and a just god. Why didnt he make himself known to all man an there wodnt be thousands of belief systems in the world today. That is confusion..im loosing faith. The only thing left for me is hope. Hope there is a just loving god. Thank you
Why doesn’t anyone comment on my question above. Is there anyone that has any kind of answer
Jon, to say there is a god then god created evil. He created everything, right? And we must adore him 24/7, and once a week we celebrate him by cannibalizing his only son whom he sent to save us, right? Jon, think about it. How does anyone know that this god exists? The bible is the word of god; how do we know? because it says in the bible! Dermot Lynch
Hello Jon. Sorry to hear you are struggling with your faith. God is not human, he is of the spiritual world and that can be hard for us humans to understand. To be born again it means you have to repent. Repent means to change your ways and stop sinning. Anyone can say they believe in God but keep on sinning like a lot of lukewarm Christian’s. God loves you and he wants you to repent and continue to pray for those in purgatory and the lost souls on earth. God is love and he wants you to repent. It’s like going into a courtroom and the judge asks you are you guilty and you say you not. Then he turns around and looks at the evidence and he sees that I am an adulterer at heart, a lier, a blasphemer, a thief, a hater, an idolterer ( worship false idols including self). The list goes on, when provided with the evidence the judge will say your guilty. So God wants you to change your ways. He made himself knowing to all of mankind when he sent his only begotten son to die on the cross for our sins. That’s what the bible is, eye witness accounts. You see when people look at the bible they have to check in with themselves in a moral way, the written law and people don’t like that because of their sinful lives. So people disregard it and take pleasure out of sinning. The flesh loves sinning but the soul does not like it. Your soul belongs to God. This is what the bible says about unbelievers:
“They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart”.
2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV
Sorry, but that’s total nonsense. The only ONE thing you need to do is to believe (and repent, if necessary). Before that (even after that!), you can do what the hell you like, break the commandments, steal, murder, rape, lie etc etc.
That’s why so many Christians go to prisons and visit death row inhabitants. If they are just willing to believe, all their sins are forgiven and they go to heaven, while their innocent victims, who are not believers, will go to eternal torment.
What a great moral principal to live by!
Allan, Jon is struggling with his faith because it is flawed to the core. And you Jon, you’re struggling too. You find it impossible to believe…in the Hindu gods don’t you? You struggle to believe in the spirits of the Aborigine communities too. I could go to mention all the other religions out there. Do you honestly believe that an all-powerful deity would send his son to die on a cross so that our “sins” could be absolved? God could have clicked his godly fingers and it would have been all done. Allan, let us know if ever you cease to struggle with the Hindu gods. Jon, don’t just adopt the religion on your doorstep. There are others you can follow instead. Or you can just drop the whole religious things altogether and be free of it.
Hi John, you say “May God forgive…”, but you haven’t said which deity you are talking about (there are thousands to choose from according to whom you speak to in and around the world.
I didn’t not see much hate in this article, but I must not be reading in between the lines.
It’s not John, it’s just Facts backed up by science.
Hi there, I am seeking some advice fro the atheist community. I my self am an atheist but wanted to no if it were possible to be completley disconnected from the church? I was baptised into the catholic community and am wondering can this be undone? I have a son no whom i will not be baptising for obvious reasons and feel i would be letting him down if i still were. Can this be done?
Any help greatly appreciated.
Hi there, I am seeking some advice from the atheist community. I my self am an atheist but wanted to no if it were possible to be completley disconnected from the church? I was baptised into the catholic community and am wondering can this be undone? I have a son no whom i will not be baptising for obvious reasons and feel i would be letting him down if i still were. Can this be done?
Any help greatly appreciated.
A deluded man in fancy costume muttered some incantation and sprinkled water over you. Are you assuming that this actually meant something or gave the church some power over you. You can disconnect from the church by not attending -simple as that! Unfortunately we live in a religiously dominated society and at times have to attend baptisms, weddings funerals etc relating to family and friends. We all have to tread a path through the maze of supersticion and nonsence as part of our communities. If you feel the need for a non religious solution to the rites of passage problem you could contact your nearest humanist group who could advise on the services of a celebrant fer namings, weddings funerals etc,
Hi, isn’t the belief in Atheism a self defeating argument? I’m all for rational and reasoned debate but if Atheism or materialism to be more accurate, were actually true, then the thoughts we have and the conclusions we reach would simply be the product of mindless haphazard forces irrelevant to truth and void of reason?
Besides there can be no logical materialistic explanation for the existence of information given all information comes from intelligence!
Finally I don’t believe in the flying spaghetti monster but neither do I see the need to become or to join an Aflying Spaghetti monster sect?
“Hi, isn’t the belief in Atheism a self defeating argument?”
No. It may differ from your conclusion but there’s nothing inherently self-defeating about it.
“I’m all for rational and reasoned debate but if Atheism or materialism to be more accurate, were actually true, then the thoughts we have and the conclusions we reach would simply be the product of mindless haphazard forces irrelevant to truth and void of reason?”
That’s an odd assertion. The conclusions we reach are necessarily the products of our minds. If you wish to be reductionist, our minds are themselves made up of components that are not minds and could therefore be described as mindless, although that’s not a very useful way of looking at it. An analogy might be to consider the fact that solid objects are composed of atoms which are mostly empty space, and not solid at all. Nonetheless, solid objects really are solid just as minds really are minds, and are capable of reasoning. This is demonstrably and unarguably true whether or not you posit a particular invisible being with some sort of super mind.
“Besides there can be no logical materialistic explanation for the existence of information given all information comes from intelligence!”
Another odd assertion. Imagine a universe with no gods and no people, just rocks. There would be information in such a universe (e.g. the number of rocks) but no minds to use that information.
Our universe also has information and it has minds that can use that information. The only minds we know of have developed through a long process of evolution; their existence is not in itself proof of the existence of a completely different kind of mind.
“Finally I don’t believe in the flying spaghetti monster but neither do I see the need to become or to join an Aflying Spaghetti monster sect?”
“The conclusions we reach are necessarily the products of our minds”. Yes I agree. Then how, if your mind is the product of millions of years of a random, haphazard, evolutionary process, void of any intelligence or design can you possibly trust the conclusions your mind reaches?
Perhaps you a bit confused about what information is. Information requires a code ( a symbolic representation of something other than itself, and encoder and an decoder. Without all three an information system does not exist. A book contains two materialistic items, paper and ink, but it also contains information. Where does that information come from? All information only comes from a mind. There are no exceptions. The book cannot write itself. Yet if you are an Atheist then you must believe that the book can write itself in order to adhere to a materialistic world view since no intelligence or designer is allowed!
“how, if your mind is the product of millions of years of a random, haphazard, evolutionary process, void of any intelligence or design can you possibly trust the conclusions your mind reaches?”
There’s nothing haphazard about natural selection. On the contrary, it’s an incredibly powerful process that improves fitness over time, in dramatic and surprising ways. But let me turn your question back on you. How, if your mind, is a created artifact, can you possibly trust its conclusions? If, instead of being an example of emergent complexity honed to a peak by differential survival rates, your mind is instead just the toy of a much greater mind, how could you possibly have any confidence in its abilities?
“All information only comes from a mind. There are no exceptions.”
There are untold quintillions of exceptions. Most information exists and is processed without any minds whatsoever being involved. Information existed for billions of years before the first, primitive minds evolved.
Natural selection is nothing more than an educated statement of the obvious. Who survives, the fittest, why are they the fittest, because the survive. Its a logical fallacy or circular reasoning. Natural selection has nothing to do with evolution. How can it when by its very definition it can only “select” from whatever already exists?
“Most information exists and is processed without any minds whatsoever being involved”.
I’m sorry but that is utter nonsense. You obviously have no concept of what information is. Information, is a symbolically encoded message, conveying expected action and intended purpose. It requires an encoder, a code and a decoder.
If you imagine a book can write itself well that your prerogative but most, if not all rational people understand every book has a author and it is not possible for a book to write itself. How you imagine something infinitely more complex like the code within DNA of living creatures could write itself by some unknown materialistic process, is, to my mind anyway, beyond ridiculous.
Atheists do not have “a belief” in atheism. Atheism is absence of belief. Atheism is a belief in the same way that abstinence is a sex position!
How does anyone “believe” in a lack of belief?
Your thinking is obviously confined to concepts approved by your slavemasters. (Priests, pastors, imams….they’re all after your obeisance and your conformity).
Can we not just accept people for their beliefs being non-religious or religious instead of saying you feel sorry for them and that they’re deluded, love your neighbour is God’s word and that is to treat everyone as equals
Yes, as long as religion is kept out of public policy making. You mention “God”. Which deity were you referring to or were you meaning any old one?
Im sorry but your article above is full of so many misconceptions and half truths, I would find it hard to give it any credence. It is intellectually rather lazy and inherently flawed. Leaving all that aside, one’s world view must answer 4 basic questions..
Why is there something rather than nothing?
Where did it all go wrong?
Is there any hope?
Where will it all end?
How would you logically answer those questions?
Unfortunately you don’t say which parts were “misconceptions and half truths”. Some might say that such a broad and vague criticism is itself “intellectually rather lazy”. Perhaps if you have some specific concerns, you may like to share them.
But leaving that aside, let’s look at your “4 basic questions” which you have decided are crucial to any worldview:
“Why is there something rather than nothing?”
That’s a very deep question and it’s hard to come up with a wholly satisfactory answer. One answer is that if there was nothing, there wouldn’t be anyone to ask the question, so if there’s any possibility in any possible universe of there being something, then only beings that are in such a universe could be there to ask the question. It’s a bit like the question “Why am I alive?” but on a grander scale.
While it might be tempting to rush to the default answer of the ignorant: “God did it”, a moment’s thought is sufficient to realise that this just moves the question back to “Why is there a god rather than no god?” Any objections to scientific answers about the universe apply just as much and often more to the hypothesised deity.
“Where did it all go wrong?”
That’s a very different sort of question and one that assumes something that is not at all obviously true: namely, that it all went wrong. It’s not clear what you think went wrong, but if you mean something like “why is everything not wonderful all the time?” then the simple answer from a rational perspective is that there is no reason to expect everything to be wonderful. We are products of indifferent forces, and there are very good explanations as to why we suffer and die without having to invent a cosmic battle between invisible beings as many religious people are wont to do.
“Is there any hope?”
Again, rather an odd question. There’s loads of hope. Most humans and many non-human animals are capable of feeling hope. Will their hopes be realised? Well, it depends on what they hope for. If you mean: “is the lot of the average human likely to improve over time?” then I would say yes. It has improved greatly to this point, particularly in the last century or so, despite some massive setbacks. While there are huge challenges for the future, nobody is going to save us but ourselves. Ignoring reality and waiting for an invisible saviour to fix everything has always been foolhardy, but now is probably the first time in history that it is endangering the very survival of our species.
“Where will it all end?”
With the heat death of the universe. Don’t worry, that will be billions upon billions of years from now, and you and I will be long dead and forgotten by then.
I’m not sure they’re the four most fundamental questions that you could ask, or that you really gave them a lot of thought. But I hope my answers have helped.
OMF! I am so fucking thrilled to have discovered this side of Ireland!!!!!!! Growing up in Holland, and being only half Irish, I have never wanted to have much to do with Ireland or my Irish side due to… well, every single extremely backwards, stupidifying, offending, human rights violating, censoring, brainwashing, oppressing, intimidating, damaging, corrupting, raping, discriminating, and otherwise harmful/criminal/religious thing about the country, as described on your website as well as Amnesty International’s. I always felt incredibly lonely when visiting, as I had nothing in common with the people around me, even as a child and young teenager. And I felt sad and frustrated for not even being granted the answers to the questions that all of that gave rise to… as if I was the one doing something wrong by asking (a christian concept, as I learnt much later, as an adult). Anyways, Ireland to me has always been a total nightmare and embarrassment, something I just couldn’t relate to as an intelligent young woman from a religionless family in the most progressive country on Earth. BUT… thanks to you, I now have hope that I might one day feel comfortable visiting and no longer ashamed to be half Irish. Congratulations on your amazing and brave work!! Keep it up! Cheering you on from Amsterdam,
PS Two questions. One of them posed earlier, but not answered: Is there an official way of undoing one’s official christian status (baptism)? I myself was never baptised, nor were my father or my friends, as christianity in urban Holland is quite literally on the verge of extinction. But I have, for example, been in a relationship with a foreigner who was baptised and I have met a few Dutchies who were as well (usually to their own disliking). I have always wondered, in case I ever ended up with someone who were (only!) officially a christian again, if there was a way for them to not even officially be so anymore. A previous answer to this question amounted to something like “who cares”. But you have to understand that to some people, the notion of (a person) having the official christian status, is no different from them having the official neo-nazi status. Plan B being to completely ignore that ridiculous shit, but plan A certainly being to officially denounce it. So is there anything one can do to no longer be considered a christian by the christian community/authorities? Thank you!!!
Yes stop bull shitting an stop taking part
Its all a load of crap. There is no god.religion is a disease an it is spreading fast
Firstly, I hope you get an email alert to let you know that I’ve responded to you, as you posted your comments quite some time ago. I note with interest that you did so on Christmas Day. It’s funny how the day that honours the supposed birth of Jesus actually makes people like you and I go in search of others who share our lack of belief in him. Religion and immaculate conception aside, I’ve never been able to get a satisfactory answer as to whether a Jewish preacher named Jesus lived at all. If he did, then his mother Mary was obviously lying about being a virgin, but given the likely punishment for sex outside of wedlock in those days, I’m not inclined to judge her too harshly for doing so.
I can assure you that you’re not alone in being frustrated by and ashamed of the many injustices perpetrated by the Catholic Church in Ireland. I was baptised, received first holy communion and was confirmed in the Roman Catholic faith and though I wish I hadn’t been, they were a necessary part of attending a primary school that I was extremely happy in. Neither of the teachers who oversaw my communion and confirmation were bad people and the clergy involved were better representatives of the church than some of their peers who committed or turned a blind eye to child sexual abuse. That said, I very much support the campaign to completely remove all religious organisations from state-funded education in Ireland.
Ireland is a very different place today than it was even five years ago. The positive results of the referendums to permit same sex marriage, repeal the ban on abortion and remove the offence of blasphemy from the constitution have gone a long way to weakening the church’s grip on Irish society. There is a lot more to be done, but Ireland is now a much more tolerant and open society than the one you recall.
With regard to leaving the Catholic Church officially, the answer is that it used to be possible, but the church removed the option when it became too well-known. The following is copied from Atheist Ireland’s NotMe.ie website.
“In Ireland there was a way to formally record that you were no longer a Catholic and require the church to record that fact. Over 12,000 people started this ‘Declaration of Defection’ process. But in April 2011 the Catholic Church changed church law and removed the option to record formal defections. Cormac Flynn, Paul Dunbar and Grainne O’Sullivan were the pioneers of CountMeOut.ie who took on the church and we salute them. They closed CountMeOut.ie after church law was changed to frustrate people trying to record their defection.”
I assume that as canon law was changed to remove the option, that would apply to all countries in which the Roman Catholic Church operates, but I’m open to correction on that. The change amounted to a refusal by the Catholic Church to keep a register of defectors. My personal view is that while there was obviously a sense of satisfaction for those whose defection was officially recorded, ultimately it was just paperwork held in an archive by the church. As far as I know the church doesn’t publish an official figure for how many members it has, so there was no total for the 12,000 defections (or however many of those were completed before the law was changed) to be subtracted from. The figures for the number of Catholics, Protestants, etc. and the number of people who say that they have no religion are recorded by the census, but so many people just tick the Catholic box (or even worse, the head of the household ticks it for everyone without actually asking them) that those figures are not in any way reliable as a measure of practicing Catholics.
After CountMeOut.ie was shut down, Atheist Ireland set up NotMe.ie to record symbolic defections. As it is available online for anyone to sign, it’s rather like a petition. I actually think that it’s a better approach to defection, as the records are not hidden away in some dusty archive, they’re published online for anyone to inspect. Another point is that since I resent the church having my name on baptism, communion and confirmation records, I certainly don’t need my defection to be stamped and approved by some church functionary before it’s considered valid. I’m much happier that it’s facilitated by Atheist Ireland. To have publicly renounced my connection to the church is to me more satisfying than having gone through some bureaucratic process governed by canon law. I reckon that if the site was better advertised a lot more people would sign it. In fact I’m not even certain if all Atheist Ireland members have done so.
It’s a shame that Jon saw fit to give you such an ignorant and arrogant answer. Sadly some people are so bitter about these matters that they just insult people rather than helping to answer their question. The comments on this website evidently require much better moderation and this is something I will bring up with the management committee.
Your other question was whether there was a non-financial way to help. Of course there is. Have another look around this website and share the campaigns listed here far and wide! Perhaps you could also become a member? I’m not sure if membership is open to non-residents, but you can easily find out by getting in touch.
Anyway, I enjoyed reading your comments and even more so writing this reply.
With best wishes from Ireland (and goodness without god!),
Last question. As I am not rich, is there anything I can do from here (the Netherlands) beside donations, that may further your cause? I would love to help change Ireland for the better!
I all ready made a comment