Monicks: Unleashed

Thinking Critically

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An Open Letter to religious people

93 Responses to An Open Letter to religious people

  1. This may be the greatest thing I’ve ever read. Have you forwarded it to PZ Myers yet?

  2. Monicks says:

    Thanks! Glad you liked it. No I haven’t forwarded it to PZ Myers. Didn’t you? :P

  3. jack says:

    HEY! bring the page up in Firefox.

    Whoa – nonsense. Get out the HTML manual.

  4. James says:

    Brilliant, i’ve been thinking that exact thing for a while now

  5. ajd says:

    Santa was a real person were do you think we get the name Saint Nick from. He was a real person who lived in what is now Turkey from 270 to 346ad look at Wikipedia for Saint Nicholas.

    As for Evil it resides in the hearts and minds of men and women who commit evil acts against others for their own gain. We can’t control the thoughts of other men, all we can hope to do is teach all people there are consequences of what happens to evil people.

    Now as far as God goes the presence of God as always been in the universe from even before what we think of as time there was a presence and with opening your mind to the idea you can feel the presence of God.

    And just so you know the attitude you all are showing with this poster is call arrogant. One of the things about arrogant people is that they think they are better then others when they are not.

  6. Torse says:

    “One of the things about arrogant people is that they think they are better then others when they are not.”
    lolirony

    Funny comic/poster, more on the offensive side, but it’s more well thought out than most. Intelligent arguments are nice for getting your specifics straight (while arguing for your beliefs etc), unlike plain old “YOU SUCK” arguments which are not even worth the effort. :>

  7. Brian says:

    Lol^

  8. TrenchMonkey says:

    “you all are showing with this poster is called* arrogance*.”
    Thank you for your insightful yet equally arrogant post.

  9. KD says:

    This poster is no different than the arrogance of indoctrinating children or sending missionaries to underdeveloped countries to take control of their lives and tell them not to use condoms.

  10. swamijie says:

    Correction: Santa Claus WAS a real person. I hope you don’t think Saint Nick still doesn’t bring all the good little boys and girl presents.

  11. John2 says:

    The “Random Thought…” on your side panel is:
    “The kindest word of all the words, is the unkind word, left unsaid.”
    Hmmm…this post is truly unkind. Would you consider removing it?

  12. ajd: you’re a moron. Allow me to explain:

    Yes, there was a Nicholas that the RCC indoctrinated and made him a saint. That doesn’t give him any magical powers, it’s certainly not him that gives me presents, and your defense of the indefensible should be an embarrassment for you, but you’re too god–excuse me, you’re too flying-spaghetti-monster-damn stupid.

    “the presence of God as always been in the universe from even before what we think of as time there was a presence and with opening your mind to the idea you can feel the presence of God.”

    Yeah, I was forced to open my mind to god, I was subjected to 12 years of catholic schooling; I was in all the AP (Advanced Placement) classes: AP geometry as a freshman, then AP algebra, then AP pre-calc/trigonometry, then AP calculus. In science, I took 2 years of AP biology and 2 years of AP Chemistry.

    I also played 3 years of tenor sax, and spent all 4 years on Stage Crew, culminating my senior year as the Stage Manager, the highest rank attainable as a student.

    Oh, and those stupid, retarded, required religion classes.

    Then I saw how much hatred and war and ignorance and more hatred that the Church created.

    No thanks, I’ll think for myself with cold hard facts instead of deluding myself with warm fuzzy lies.

  13. Jordan says:

    If your website would actually let me view the poster I may have heard some of your arguments. However your sidebar is in the way and I can only conclude that this is God saying that you are nitpicking what has been nitpicked for countless generations. Both sides have issues yet you decide that you should point out mine alone. What about the lack of evidence to support evolution (ie gaps in the fossil records, gaps in genetic code that do not allow for apes and humans to come from similar ancestor). Your side has yet to prove these points yet you think you can attack mine. What did we do to you. Did some priest or something “bother” you as a child? Well I am sorry that this happened but please stop the attacking. It makes you look stupid and better yet it makes me angry. When someone pushes their faith on you fine go ahead attack back. Bu I would urge you instead of acting like a 3 year old (which you apparently argue your standpoint from) act like an adult. You may be surprised and be impacted by something you never thought would impact you before.
    Jordan Foltz
    jmfoltz@liberty.edu

  14. The person Saint Nick was based on was someone, obviously wealthy, since he would go around at parties and drop coins in peoples’ shoes. BFD.

    By the way, the RCC stole the Winter Solstice celebration which was used around the entire planet in various different cultures to celebrate the end of days getting darker/colder and the start of days getting warmer/longer. (You spouted wiki as your source for St. Nick, now use it to read about the Winter Solstice.) The Roman Catholic Church hijacked it when they went around killing people or offering to convert them to Christianity.

    “My god has a bigger dick than your god!” -George Carlin

  15. bebop says:

    Carl Sagan had it right in this respect. Way back when, and I mean WAAAAY back, like early peoples back. Observing the trees, waterfalls and intricacies of the design of plants and animals led to the attractive and comfortable idea of a great designer, or God. It made sense, if there is such great detail in all of the world around us, who is anyone to say that there wasn’t one to create it? AHEM – Charles Darwin FTW – from there though, heaven and hell, stoning children, torturing egyptians for thinking differently, God got ugly. The idea of design though, even with the loss of religion and becoming, agnostic/atheist(?), I still love it. But God, at least Bible God, with all that has happened, he’s out of my life.

  16. Gauss Jordan says:

    Think about this, though. One of the nine field axioms for real numbers is that addition is associative:

    For real numbers a, b, & c, (a + b) + c = a + (b + c).

    That it is axiomatic means that it is an apparent observation; there is no proof other than its own occurrence. The spiritual and the religious, particularly Judeo-Christo-Islamic individuals as well as some sects of Buddhism, etc., give the World and Universe (i.e., “Creation” itself) as evidence of a Creator.

    The nine field axioms are taken as given. The field of Mathematics stems from these axioms, and the hard sciences (Physics in particular, but also e.g. Biology, Chemistry) rely strongly on Mathematical logic, if not actual functions and equations. Thus, the scientific basis upon which many people doubt the existence of “God,” as it were, is itself founded on, for lack of a better word, faith.

    I should note here that this “letter” has no more substance against religion than many arguments I’ve heard for it. Suffice it to say, your |L – f(x)| > ε for all δ > 0.

    No matter what stance you take, it will always come back to a super turtle.

  17. anon702 says:

    DOUBLE AWESOME FOR INCLUDING COMMANDER KEEN!

  18. JCM says:

    Poorly done and obnoxious.

    Way to ride the bandwagon.

  19. Barry says:

    This.
    Is.
    AWESOME!

  20. Interesting. I’ve forwarded it.

  21. JJ says:

    hmmm, science may not have “proven” beyond a shadow of a doubt that evolution occurs (yet), but the idea didn’t just come from nothing. There is so much evidence pointing towards evolution it would make your head spin, if you could pull it out of your ass. But, as it has been shown in the past, even if it was proven, most religions would call it false and claim an evil force is trying to test their faith.

    You call the author a 3 year old, that really makes you seem mature, what are you 13? The views shown in this strip are shared by people of all ages and ethnicities. We are the people who have looked past holy texts or needing the voice in our head to “guide” us though life. BTW, that voice you think is God you hear, is your conscience. I bet if you wanted it to, it could tell you to do all sorts of things.

    The “nitpicking” you refer to is called Science, REAL science, not the shit religion casts as Science. If science discovers something it is “nitpicking” to be off, or not true, science will change its view to match the facts. What has your religion changed in the last 2000 years; besides the people who tell you what to believe because they say they have it figured out better than everyone else? If none of science’s “nitpicking” produced any tangible results, everyone would believe in God. But as more and more people embrace questioning blind faith and religion, there will be less and less to “nitpick” because it will have all been proven false.

    Also, you may learn something useful if you would drop out of the brainwashing pseudo college that is Liberty U, and go learn at an institution that isn’t biased towards one particular world view, i.e. Christianity is right and everyone else is wrong.

  22. JJ says:

    Way to reply with an arrogant response, what bandwagon are you on? I will venture to say you either didn’t read the strip; or it confused you, or it made you start actually thinking about things out of your comfort zone.

  23. Vanessa says:

    Why is there evil?

    Because people have chosen to reject God. Good cannot exist without evil, or else what defines good?

    Who made God?

    This is not even a real question if someone had any understanding of the definition of God. And that’s okay. About 1/3rd of the way down the page philosopher and theologian St.Thomas Aquinas logically deduces reasons for God’s existence: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06608b.htm

    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?s=49ee81231c3c6118905750e990bef314&t=408955

    How much have you actually opened your mind to the possible existence of God? You hit a question if your mind about Him that you don’t know the answer to, and instead of doing legitimate research to see if somebody else knows.. you quickly dismiss your question as a proof in your mind that God could not possibly exist.
    I’m not claiming to know the answers. There’s a lot more that I don’t know than what I do know. But I haven’t closed my mind to it.

    Why should I trust you after this Santa Claus thing?
    LOLOL :)

  24. Vanessa says:

    A little hypocritical to reply to him in an arrogant way?

  25. I notice that article makes the claim:

    ‘”Natural selection”, “survival of the fittest”, and similar terms merely describe certain phases in the supposed process of evolution without helping the least to explain it; and as opposed to teleology they mean nothing more than blind chance.’

    To dispute evolution is one thing. Not to understand it at all is the wilful ignorance justly excoriated in the post.

  26. weezmgk says:

    Oh DAVE, you’re just so arrogant. Clearly, you’re right, but haven’t you got an obligation to mollycoddle the muddleheaded? Of course you do. Why? Because the knobs feel bad when they’re wrong and it’s your fault they’re blindingly stupid. It is incumbent upon you to make the moronic feel better about having the worldview of a hamster.

  27. KC says:

    Yet those who ‘follow God’ or are ‘believers’ seem to be the most evil of all people. Saying evil exists because people have chosen to reject god is completely nonsensical. If it were the case, only athiests would be evil.

    And who, exactly, says good cannot exist without evil? That’s a trite saying used when no true arguement exists. Evil exists because people do fucked up things – we’re imperfect beings, because we, ahm, evolved over time with no ‘grand design’. Evil and good are concepts created by man to describe states of being, nothing more. One state does not create the other.

    As for this: “About 1/3rd of the way down the page philosopher and theologian St.Thomas Aquinas logically deduces reasons for God’s existence: ”

    Surely you’re joking. If you’re taking those arguements as proof, you need a little more help with your logic skills – while that page has quite a lot of big words, it says essentially nothing, and provides even less in the form of actual proof. Bone up on your reasoning skills and give us something with at least a college try at reasonable proof.

    And Aquinas? Really? The guy that thought heretics should be “severed from the world by death”? The one who based his ‘reasonging’ on scripture and ‘tradition’? Where did he actually do anything in the realm of fact, rather than the fiction that plays out in most religious circles?

    What we’re railing against here is the absurdity that is religion – and what’s done in it’s name. This whole ‘God bless blahblahblah’ nonsense has to stop. Why is it so difficult to conceive of a universe sans god-like imaginings?

  28. Torse says:

    “Why is it so difficult to conceive of a universe sans god-like imaginings?”
    Dieties help explain the unexplainable and provide hope/faith. IMO those are nice to have in a society but it’d be nicer if the.. more strict followers were a bit more open minded. It’s possible to believe in a higher being while still keeping up to date on new scientific discoveries and such. And not feeling hateful things towards others who believe differently.

    I don’t think I saw anyone else comment on this yet but.. This doesn’t necessarily apply to Christians. I’d like to see someone of a different religion share their reaction. :b

  29. Gosha says:

    Dieties help explain the unexplainable and provide hope/faith

    The thing is; they Don’t help explain the unexplainable. It is the fact that people aren’t satisfied with deities as explanations that drives our world forward.

  30. Torse says:

    Well, I specifically had the ancient Egyptians in mind. How they explained the sun traveling across the sky with Ra carrying it in a chariot or something. Not many people of the faith question it. Your statement could work here, driving the world forward, but wouldn’t most religions prefer to stay the same than change? From what I’ve seen they usually react violently at changes.

  31. Gosha says:

    Exactly. And that falls on the pile with reasons as to why religion is horrible.

  32. Gosha says:

    Also “hurr durr I’m 15 and just read Richard Dawkins.”

  33. Monicks says:

    I don’t know what the problem might be at your end. I can see the image without any problems in firefox browser. Unless you’re talking about something else?

  34. Monicks says:

    This post is unkind, true. I am a very kind person, though. I removed the random thought.

    Thank you.

  35. Monicks says:

    Thank you so much!

  36. Monicks says:

    Awesome! Thanks.

  37. NewYorkComic says:

    JJ, don’t give this guy any credibility. I’m actually really disappointed in you. Evolution is a fact.

    A scientific theory is a hypothesis that can be tested over and over, yielding similar results. I.E. If I drop an apple ten times, it will fall ten times out of ten.

    Now, Evolution happens every day in our world. It’s really a waste of time to go over how and why here. Just Google “Evolution experiments” and try some on your own, or would that be too much work for you? I’m not sure what you’ve been reading regarding people and apes, but we are 98% genetically related to them and they continue to find links to previous versions of man all the time. “If I gave you a sandwich that was 98% shit, and 2% ham, would you call that a ham sandwich?” – Joe Rogan

  38. Mr. Pickles says:

    But… the man in the picture… he’s doing to religious people what… what they do to him. Why can… who do we… what the…

  39. purbrookian says:

    Jordan of Liberty, be honest: at some level you know you’re deluded. Mankind emerged from swamp and cave by the use of one faculty – that of reason. Had he/she only prayed to their primitive gods, they’d still be there.

    Primus in orbe deos fecit timor. The first gods were born of fear.

  40. If you’d payed much attention in your Catholic studies you’d have noticed that Catholicism doesn’t follow the bible, and instead the tradition of old men who used religion for their own benefit.

    As for the image.
    Well, who created God isn’t much of an argument.
    Considering God is supposed to have created everything including time, he’s outside of time and space, so no “beginning” or “end” required.

    As to why there’s evil. It was made that way. I mean, God created Satan to tempt, lie, betray.

    And as for a god not getting involved, why should a god get involved? I mean, the whole point of us being here is for him, (And why he’d choose that, I have no idea, but why not?), and the whole point is to believe, not have a giant hand come down and have it proven. And why should people get cars or money, when seeking things like that is “of the world”. The only thing God truly offers in the bible is the holy spirit, (and as a result an afterlife in heaven).

    Let me put forward and argument and see if you analyse logically or have a biased swing.
    Satan influenced the creation of other man mad religions to confuse man.
    Now I’m guessing the first response is “That’s retarded.. obviously it’s in the nature of man to create gods”. Even though you could acknowledge that Satan would do this if he were real, you instantly go for the “Nope, it’s in the mind of men” argument.
    You can’t prove either way, but I’m guessing you came down pretty heavily on one side.

    A similar argument is “The Earth cant’ be 6000 years old because we can see starswhich are far too far away for the light to have reached us and dinosaurs and stuff”

    But again, if God were real and wants belief rather than to prove himself, then why would he just have all the signs pointing to 6000 years ago? Why would he let us have these stars suddenly pop into view? It wouldn’t make sense for a god that wanted people to believe, to make it so easy to prove Himself. And you can say “that’s avoiding the argument” all you want, but the fact is that if such a God existed, that’s exactly what He’d do.

    And to attack a Dawkins argument that the origin of the universe must be more simple to follow trends. How can you apply the rules of the universe to something external to the universe? Logic, math, space, time are all internal. An external God doesn’t need to follow these physical trends.
    In fact it’s silly to assume that a being external to the universe would be governed by internal laws.

    There really is no proof either way. So either believe or don’t. But it’s hardly fair to call a Christian stupid, when many atheists are just as guilty of churning out other people’s words and using flawed biased arguments repeatedly.

    And since people usually love to give a life story, here’s mine :P
    Grew up catholic, pretty half assed, but saw the contradictions in church and with the bible.
    Became atheist about 13, became hardcore atheist at about 16.
    Spent 6 years arguing the case against athiesm.
    During the 5th year started to get annoyed at how much repetitive crap atheists were coming out with, how arrogant they’d become as an online community, and how so many turn anything about God into a flame war with Dawkins quotes blurted out at random.

    Converted to christianity 6 months ago, and i’m enjoying it :P

    Peace out yo

  41. schr8r says:

    Dear Monica,

    I somehow stumbled across your blog on the “Fastest Growing blogs” section of the WordPress dashboard, and because I’m interested in all things critical thinking, I checked you out.

    I applaud your attempt at “owning” the religious of the world; there is a lot to be said about the exploitations, abuses, and violence committed in the name of religion. However, I think your “open-letter” post does your blog and visitors a disservice. Most of your arguments are ad hominems. The name calling/character lambasting tactic is seldom an effective approach to enlightening the religiously enslaved. Finally, claiming to be a-theist means that you hold a position that you believe in something that is either true or false. To say that atheism is true is an exclusive truth claim. Perhaps this commonality can open up intellectually honest dialogue for the theist and atheist to engage in.

    Best,
    Chris
    *p.s.-be sure to distinguish which religion you are critiquing since there are disparate religions in the world, and contrary to belief, not all are the same. That’s like saying arsenic and aspirin are the same because they come in tablet form. This is fundamentally flawed.

  42. Dale701 says:

    If you’d payed much attention in your Catholic studies you’d have noticed that Catholicism doesn’t follow the bible, and instead the tradition of old men who used religion for their own benefit.

    It is a good thing they don’t, it is about as evil a book as there is.
    And Catholics do not have a lock on using religion to control people, they all do.
    They follow the book quite well when it comes to child molesting. Read how Lot got both his daughters with child!

  43. Dale701 says:

    “I’m not claiming to know the answers. There’s a lot more that I don’t know than what I do know. But I haven’t closed my mind to it.”

    You sure got that right.

  44. Dale701 says:

    “As to why there’s evil. It was made that way. I mean, God created Satan to tempt, lie, betray.”

    First of all use you own mind and quit repeating the bullshit some preacher told you!

    I cannot find one instance where Satan ever did anything bad, But I can find verse after verse where God did plenty of evil.

    2 Samuel 24:1
    And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
    1 Chronicles 21:1
    And Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to number Israel.

    I really do not see how you could get a bigger contradiction than this. Who done it God or Satan?

    This is the first time Satan is mentioned in the Bible.
    And was probably written about 100 years after 2 Samuel.
    Before this time God was given credit for all things good and evil.

  45. Dale701 says:

    Jordan,
    You would have much more success challenging the theory of gravity than evolution.
    Evolution is rock solid in comparison.

    The theory of gravity only works for our solar system.
    It does not work on the very small or very large scales.
    That is why they made up Dark energy and Dark Matter.
    And nothing for the quantum world.

    At least you guys give us something to write about.
    Hopefully you will not contribute to the fossil record.
    I just wish you Bible believers would live what you preach, and quit using the doctors and technologies that science and reason have discovered.
    And you should also do your praying in private like your evil book tells you to.

  46. Chris says:

    It would be better if you didn’t frame it as a demotivator; e.g., just let the comic speak for itself.

  47. Scott says:

    This is great! Well thought out too. Good to see another Atheist who isn’t an accommodationist and who is unapologetic in their disbelief. :)

  48. Tom says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. It’s so perfect in every way. I also enjoyed pretending I was shouting the panel texts at my former bible study leaders. LOVE IT!

  49. Monicks says:

    Thank you Scott and Tom, I’m glad you guys enjoyed this post.

    I have gotten a ridiculous amount of hate mail for this one so, I take it that it must be causing some effect, hopefully.

  50. Adam says:

    I love this, and I love it even more because it has Pokey in it.

  51. Jack says:

    Bravo! This cowardly nonsense that we must “respect the believer but not the belief” is just that: cowardly nonsense. The people who hold beliefs bear responsibility for the beliefs they choose to hold, and as such they deserve to be judged appropriately.
    If we meet a racist Nazi do we respect him? Of course not, we think he’s a nasty little bastard. He is, not just his beliefs. He is a nasty little bastard for choosing to hold nasty, bastardly beliefs. If we meet a person who believes that Elvis speaks to her daily, do we respect her? Of course not, we think she’s a loony. She is, not just her loony belief. We are all responsible for the ideas we choose to espouse, and those ideas say something about us, as individuals. We deserve, and must expect, to be judged according to what our ideas say about us.

  52. HappyWulf says:

    …. Awesome.
     
    Will you be my friend?  <3
     
    (this was just [re?]posted to Reddit)

  53. chuliomartinez says:

    Great read, really sums up my thoughts when talking to theists. Hope you don’t mind me sending a link to this to all my christian friends:)

  54. Josh says:

    The logic is sound here and yes, all of these points have been brought up and proven to be effective arguments against religion time and time again.
     
    I find it interesting that the way you choose to differentiate yourself in this comic, since all of these points have been regurgitated a million times, is by making it extremely derogatory.
     
    I am an atheist myself, but I find it kind of unnecessary to be so disrespectful and derogatory towards people who still hold firm to their beliefs.
    A lot of people say their main problem with religion is that some religious folks try to shove their beliefs down your throat and are very rude / disrespectful when it comes to their interactions with people who don’t believe the same things that they do.
    But when a fellow Atheist ends up being EXACTLY the same way with their beliefs: saying that they refuse to respect or acknowledge or interact with people who’s beliefs don’t coincide with their own, then it makes me wonder what exactly you think you’re fighting here?
    I understand that these are all very well known arguments for atheism and you had to sensationalize your article somehow to make it stand out, but I highly doubt you actually hold firm to any of this “refuse to respect” nonsense. 59-89% of americans believe in a god of some kind, and I bet you interact with these people on a regular basis with smiles and politeness, most of them you probably don’t even KNOW adhere to a religion.
     
    Refusing to respect 60% of Americans based on their beliefs is kind of racist, and you should probably present your atheism flag with more of a “freedom from religion is freedom from discrimination based on religion” air to it, and not “If you don’t believe what I do I hate you”, which sounds pretty Christian to me..
     

  55. PeeJ says:

    Kind of racist? Son, that word doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    All opinions are not equal. Opinions that are ill-informed are not to be respected. Y’know, kid, a whole helluva lot of Americans think blacks are inferior, that slavery “wasn’t so bad,” that blacks should not have the same rights as white people. Do you respect their opinion? Should we all respect it?

  56. PeeJ says:

    I like it.  Since I’m a pedantic asshole I must pick a nit: it’s not so much the shape of the earth that the church was obstinate about as the relative motion of the earth and sun and everything else.

  57. Monicks says:

    I know, right? I love Pokey! Thanks for your comment, glad you liked it.

  58. Monicks says:

    Of course I will be your friend, HappyWulf, gladly!
    Thank you for the comment and for sharing.

  59. Monicks says:

    Of course I don’t mind! On the contrary, I’m really glad that you liked it enough to want to share my link with your friends, that’s fantastic. Thank you!

  60. Monicks says:

    Everyone has to own up to the responsibilities that come with their religious affiliation.
    I think you just presented two great analogies here. I agree wholeheartedly, people choose to not listen to reason, and that is contemptible to say the least.
    On the other hand, I could not say this to anyone to their face, at least not so brutally, but it feels good to release one’s frustration now and then.
    Thanks for your comment.

  61. Refusing to respect 60% of Americans based on their beliefs is kind of racist.
    Err…wtf?
    You know, everyone has the right to their opinion. But if it’s not rational don’t expect some special status to not be critically analysed just because it’s a “religious” opinion.

  62. CJ says:

    Racist was a bad word choice, but the theme of his comment was that acting like a religious fanatic kinda makes the whole endeavor suffer. It’s like my brother who incessantly hates white people, for the crime of being racist. It makes him sound ridiculous, because of all people, Blacks should understand the harm of hating other people en masse. Similarly, one of the things that I abhor about religious folk is the constant need to try to convert me to their way of thinking instead of respecting me enough to let me choose for myself. I get attacked by friends and family and strangers all the time because I don’t believe in fairytales. If I act the same way towards them, do I not become a hypocrite? I’d rather just inform people of the facts as I know them, and encourage rational thought when possible, in the hopes that they at least think critcally about what they believe. That’s where I started, and where I think most of you started.

  63. notlobau says:

    Great stuff Monicks I’m a lifelong Atheist and I don’t hesitate to say so if someone asks. Hate mail is such a pathetic way of venting frustration. Many so called Christians had religious dogma pushed on them as children and now they struggle with their identity that’s what religion is all about “control”. Personally being told I’ll burn in hell or some such nonsense would be a compliment.
     
     

  64. Kyle M. says:

    And yet… that’s the key, isn’t it? Opinion.
    To be frank, I agree with just about the entirety of this letter. But I also completely agree with Josh. This letter is heartwarming, bold and unapologetic, as well as bang-on correct. But it’s also (with all due respect to its writer) alarmingly hypocritical.
    Setting the framework for my commentary here, I have a substantial bone to pick with fundamentalists and evangelicals of any faith. I believe that everyone has the right to express belief, as long as it meets the following conditions:
    a) It must not openly and irrationally discriminate against the beliefs or identities of others, and…
    b) It must not go into the arena with the intent of, well, shoving said belief down the throats of those others.
    Hence my problem with evangelicals and fundamentalists. And do I believe that those who subscribe to religion are ill-informed and blind? Largely, yes.
    But I will never make the mistake of believing that those people are consequently stupid, or otherwise bad people. The fact is, many aren’t. Many live their believing lives in peace and let others do the same, and that’s fine by me. Consequently, I count several of these people among my close friends. I am gay, and these friends either embrace that I am one of God’s so-called “children” or respect my identity in other ways that leave me, in turn, feeling respected as well – fully and unconditionally.
    This letter is wonderfully refreshing and accurate, but puts the writer at a level no better than the fundamentalists and evangelicals I dislike so much. What I’ve found is that for better or for worse, once you start just leaving religion and its symbiotic disagreements out of the picture, living, working and pursuing relationships with one another is incredibly easy. We have enough to worry about as a society, and beyond that as a species, without picking fights over pedantic bullshit like this.
     
    To the original writer: extremely well-put, and please take my criticisms as constructive. All my best wishes in whatever it is you plan to pursue along this track. :)

  65. Kyle M. says:

    Post-script: I’d also like to point out that yes, racism was a bad analogy. That kind of thing is better compared to homophobia. But the intent of the comment is still perfectly sound.

  66. Kyle M. says:

    Post-post-script (sorry): The classic video game references had me grinning ear-to-ear the whole time I was reading the letter. Kudos. :)

  67. Omar Khan says:

    Okay I read through the drawing…
     

    Why is there evil?
    Satan fell from his place so he wants us to fall and be miserable like him.


    Who made god?
    He is the First/Alpha (nothing is before Him) and the Last/Omega (nothing is after Him),
    He neither has a father nor does he have a son.
    There is no other God save him.
    Why should I trust you after that santa claus thing?
    Santa Claus is an open invention – everyone who’s mature enough knows it’s false.
    The same cannot be said about God.
     
    Is a Godless world too terrible to contemplate?
    Godless people are too terrible to contemplate.
    Look what happened in ancient time.
    How the first became the last and the last became the first.
    Serve God, you have no other God save him.
     
    God doesn’t even bring people presents.
    God gives you life, rain, sight, hearing, and even forgiveness.
    Thank God, you have no other God save him.
     
    After all, if a man can’t read greek, that doesn’t make him stupid.
    God sent messengers to people that spoke using their own language,
    so that it may be clear.
    Serve God, you have no other God save him.
     
    The idea that a being with immense powers exists, but never
    tampers with the world in a noticeable way is an absurdly childish
    hypothetical scenario.
    He is the Subtle, the Aware. You have no other God save him.

  68. David says:

    Well said Jack, this is exactly how I feel, its not just about a lack of beliefs, it’s about people seeing the dangers of religion and our world being destroyed by religion and it needs to be stopped.
    When your a kid you ask your mom how the soda machine knows which button you pushed and your mom says a little man in there watches you then gives you what you want. If you belief this after age 8 your not right in the head, you know that a sensor on the button triggers a release for that paticular choice. As an adult you know how things work without having to believe “God did it”.
    Then people who believe in this non sense become leaders or people in the media like Sarah Palin who turn the world into idiots.

  69. Francis says:

       Frankly, this was the most horrible thing I’ve ever read. Not because I believe in God, but because it was so horribly rude in every sense of the word. First off, you started by saying that the comic was made for the sole purpose of attacking the religious person. However, the only attack made on the religious person was small comments about their idiotic state. The rest of the comic was, in fact, about why religion is bad and wrong.
       Secondly, the block with the penguin…wouldn’t God’s existence be the most important consequence there is? If he does exist, you either go to Heaven or Hell. If he doesn’t, you rot in the ground. Whether or not his existence has much baring on day to day life has nothing to do with the overall effects or lack there of in the long run.
       Thirdly, to state that a religious mind is idiotic or disorganized for believing in something that can’t necessarily be proven or that someone might understand that what they believe is wrong but choose to continue believing it, anyway is a blind accusation that can only be made by someone who has never believed in anything that couldn’t be touched, seen, or smelled. It is also impossible to realize that something isn’t true but to continue to truly believe it.
       Though some religious people might be hypocritical and absolutely stubborn when it comes to their beliefs (not unlike many atheists, such as yourself), we are not all like that. Many religious people are accepting of other religions and cultures, no matter the beliefs. I, myself, would never have the audacity to disrespect someone simply for what they believe, because every person has the right to believe what they want to believe, and as an atheist, I would have had no less respect for you than any other person. However, as a disrespectful, ignorant, disgrace to the human race, I couldn’t sqeeze out a bit of respect for you if my life depended on it, and you disgust me.

    P.S. The fact that you spent any amount of time to make a comic for the sole purpose of making crude comments about a group of people different from yourself, makes me fearful for the lack of diversity to come in future generations.


    “END”

  70. David says:

    You are offended because it all comes to close to home, because its not Just about weather god exists or not, Its the fact that it points to believing and putting your faith into him makes you a follower of all the shit he does.
    Noahs ark… God can create a universe in 6 days but cant snap his fingers to kill everybody, he has to drown them, including little babies and children, and innocent people? Then Restart live out of incest? You support this?
     
    He basically raped a 14 year old girl to carry his son, weather she wanted to or not. You support this?
    How about the next time your child is unruly you take them to the edge of town then kill them since your god commands it.
    how about the next time you or someone else works on a Sunday you are put to death because your god commands it.
    Or how about prayer? A six year old girls is getting raped by a 35 year old man at the edge of the play ground,  and she cries out “Please God Help Me!!!” and though god can create the universe, he cant answer the girls prayer by giving him a heart attack or a branch fall on his head? Instead God does nothing. If I witnessed this and didnt try to help I would probably go to jail.
    The ultimate is if you dont worship him, though he hasnt been proven to exist, or given reason to be worshiped, because people never asked to be born in the first place,  he casts you into hell if you dont do this. Pretty fucked up if you ask me. So like I said earlier, if I was to find out today that God was real and everything in the bible is true, it makes it worse because I would kill myself just so I could die, meet him, tell him to fuck off, spit in his face, and do a back flip into hell and be proud to burn for not bowing down to such a horrible being.
    Now you know why you should just let us think hes not real and shut the hell up Francis
     

  71. Francis says:

       I’m start off by saying that was the dumbest thing I’ve ever read, and I laughed while reading it. I was in no way offended by someone saying that God isn’t real. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I thoroughly believe that. I was offended by the crude insults that didn’t need to be said to get a point across about this person’s beliefs.
       Also, I don’t believe that the stories in the Bible really happened so much as they are stories that all have morals, like Aesop’s Fables. So I don’t necessarily believe that there was a Noah and an ark and that everyone but two people died.
       To say that he basically raped a 14 year-old girl, is definitely on my list of the top 10 dumbest things I’ve ever heard, also. Seriously? I can’t even find the words to describe how stupid that statement is, so I’m just going to leave it at stupid.
       And to say that God is awful because he doesn’t stop all of the bad things in the world from happening when he is asked is ridiculous. The idea is that God gave people free will for a reason. And in theory, that person will get what they deserve sooner or later for the bad things they’ve done. To suggest that God is someone who sits and watches with no plans to stop just because he likes to watch is sick and twisted even for the dumbest of people.
       Also, you obviously don’t know anything about the Bible, because I know very little and still know that if you kill yourself, you don’t go to Heaven, you go straight to Hell. And it’s completely absurd to believe that if you did die, and by some unseen reason, went to Heaven that you would actually spit in God’s face. I’m pretty positive, at that moment, you’d have other thoughts on your mind.
       As for the last sentence. That I should just let you think he’s not real and shut the hell up? Nowhere in my previous post did I say anything about why you should believe in God. I’m not trying to convert anyone here. Like I said before, I don’t care what you believe or don’t believe in. I was stating that it was simply unnecessary to say the things she did about religious people. So maybe you should let me state MY opinion and not be such an asshole to someone who was simply saying, “Be nice.”

  72. David says:

    1 You never tried to come up with something to refute that God demands us to worship him in order to go to heaven, so we dont have a choice, just like we never had a choice to be born.
    2 I used to be a Sunday school teacher, and there were things my pastor said I was not allowed to mention because there were no right answers for.
    3 God said I am the same god today tomorrow and forever so you cant just pick and choose what suits you in  the bible.
    4 This a freethinker/atheist website which makes you a “troll” so most people on this website  don’t care what you think anyways.

  73. G.C. Arlt says:

    to ok-you are too stupid to contemplate.I hope someday you can throw off the shackles that the religitards have forged around your tiny mind but frankly, I would not give odds on it.

  74. G.C. Arlt says:

    Francis-you get all puffed up about someone calling a few well deserved names and your response is to do the same? You are an incredible hypocrite as well as stupid as well as a troll. How’s that for name calling, you mindless slave to an antique idea?

  75. Omar Khan says:

    Ok, my comment was somewhat stupid and I am stupid.  
    I only was born a couple years ago anyways – what do I know?

    But I can’t seem to fight the feeling that there exists a greater power.
    And this power must have sole authority.
    And that there exists an unknown far greater than the known.

  76. Phil E. Drifter says:

    it’s because mankind is seemingly alone in their foreknowledge of death. Its because you know one day you will die so you’d rather believe ridiculous fairy tales.
    And who knows? But certainly not a lone, sole authority.
    I believe ghosts and aliens are possible and aliens even probable, but absolutely no all-powerful creator. Where would he (/she/it) have come from?

  77. Omar Khan says:

     
    I believe ghosts and aliens are possible and aliens even probable
    I don’t feel anything rules out alien life form – or life on other planets.

    Where would he (/she/it) have come from?

    Well let’s look at artificial intelligence in computers.  Can a character in a computer game ever gain true knowledge of a human being?  Maybe they can be programmed to act like 99.9% human, but without an actual tongue, hand, brain, beating heart, stomach to feed, etc….it can never gain a true understanding.  So how shall we truly understand A Sole All Powerful Creator? We can only know what we are taught.  Moreoever, eventhough we humans act like a ruler on Earth – killing people and giving birth to people – there is still this underlying law that makes it possible.

  78. Amanda R says:

    Firstly, I’m an atheist. Secondly, I respect everyone because without it there would be no progress. Just because I believe these people are incorrect does not mean I think they are idiots, in fact most religious people I know are intelligent.
    To all religious people reading this, I am sorry you have to hear/read things like this. Not all atheist’s are like this. Some respect your thoughts and beliefs just as I’m sure some religious people respect our thoughts and beliefs.

    Perhaps one day we can sit down with mutual respect for each other and hold intelligent, thought provoking conversations.
     

  79. Kevin says:

    You wrote, “your failure to reject religion indicates you are colossally, irredeemably stupid”.   Wow….that is a harsh statement but also one that fails to acknowledge that many brilliant people over time have embraced theism.

    One contemporary example would be Dr. Francis Collins who is the current director of the National Institute of Health and who also headed up the Human Genome project. Dr. Collins wrote “The Language of God – A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief”.

    I think those who hold the position of Atheism should be more honest in admitting that their unbelief does not rest on a foundation of superior intellect and reason. If that were the case people like Dr. Francis Collins would not be believers.

    Dr. Collins makes the following statements in his book regarding Richard Dawkins which I think sums up why many are in the camp of the atheist,

    Dawkins is a master of setting up a straw man, and then dismantling it with great relish. In fact, it is hard to escape the conclusion that such repeated mischaracterizations of faith betray a vitriolic personal agenda, rather than a reliance on the rational arguments that Dawkins so cherishes in the scientific realm. (p.164)
    and,
    The caricature of faith that Dawkins presents is easy for him to attack, but it is not the real thing. (p.164)
    and also,

    The major and inescapable flaw of Dawkin’s claim that science demands atheism is that it goes beyond the evidence. If God is outside of nature, then science can neither prove nor disprove his existence. Atheism itself must therefore be considered a form of blind faith, in that it adopts a belief system that cannot be defended on the basis of pure reason. (p.165)

    There are many good reasons for belief in God. The issue I think is not that a person can’t believe because of a lack of external evidence but they won’t believe because of something that is going on inside the heart and mind of the individual.

    Thank you.

  80. Trent says:

    Yes, and we all know that feelings are never, ever wrong.

    That glaring bit of stupidity aside, consider your first response; that to why there is evil in the world.

    You clearly give your deity an out by assuming he’s perfectly fine with allowing “satan” to run rampant, throwing a cosmic temper tantrum on a global scale, inflicting untold harm to billions, including almost a billion dead children from small pox alone, and you want us to be okay with that level of moral irresponsibility? 

    Your god is a clever lie. Nothing more. And the silence you hear when your most earnest prayers go unanswered is that lie answering you back.

    Now, shave your beard, put down your stones, and join the rest of the civilized world… or feel free to fuck off. Either way, keep this vile filth of an unaccountable deity to yourself.

  81. Trent says:

    // To say that he basically raped a 14 year-old girl, is definitely on my list of the top 10 dumbest things I’ve ever heard, also. Seriously? I can’t even find the words to describe how stupid that statement is, so I’m just going to leave it at stupid. //

    You’re right Francis. Allow me to reword the original comment to something a tad more precise:

    Yahweh, who made no mention anywhere at any time of having a son to any of his previous followers, despite going into grave details of utter importance such as not having bowl-shaped haircuts, not wearing mixed fabrics, and how best to beat your slave, decided at some point in time before time began to set up a loop hole to the sin he was about to knowingly allow into the world, going so far as to help the process of “free will” along by placing a special tree and a talking snake into paradise. 

    Then, several thousand (or million?) years into the future, at a time in history when (a) nothing could be objectively verified due to illiteracy, (b) superstition running rampant, (c) and mass social distortion, Yahweh courts a young Jewish virgin, and asks her permission to … wait, that didn’t happen… Yahweh impregnates an underage girl (in our society) without consent — which of course is in NO WAY “raping a 14-year-old”, as rape is not sex without permission. Right. Got it. 

    And, the purpose for this pregnancy? To give birth to his son, who was (a) Yahweh, but not Yahweh; (b) already existed but didn’t exist; and (c) given the sole purpose of sacrificial lamb, which amounts to Yahweh sacrificing himself TO himself to appease himself for the presence of sin, which is a standard Yahweh created for himself in the first place as he alone creates all things, including his own standards.

    So, does that make your god more appealing?

    Nifty.

  82. Kevin says:

    A brief follow up to my previous post in regards Dr. Francis Collins. If any are tempted to conclude he was brainwashed as a child, that was not the case as he describes himself an atheist while doing his PHD. Work at Yale. (colossally, irredeemably stupid? Hmm..)
    In his book, “The Language of God”, He writes,
    “Faith was not a part of my childhood. I was vaguely aware of the concept of God.”  P.13
    “By a few months into my college career, I became convinced that while many religious faiths had inspired interesting traditions of art and culture, they had no foundational truth.” P. 15
    “And so I drifted gradually from agnosticism to atheism. I felt quite comfortable challenging the spiritual beliefs of anyone who mentioned them in my presence, and discounted such perspectives as sentimentality and outmoded superstition.” P. 16
    It sounds like Dr. Collins was in the same boat as many who share the opinions being espoused here and on other sites of like stripe. How could it be that Dr. Collins, a confirmed atheist with a brilliant mind, eventually embraced theism and Christianity? I suggest you read his book to find out.
    Thank You
     

  83. Trent says:

    Because Kevin, to quote Collins himself, he saw three waterfalls frozen during a hike, and it struck him that it was analogous to the Trinity.

    In short, he left ALL of his critical thinking at home during that hike, and has since been absolutely unable to give a rational explanation for his experience. This was experiential, nothing more, and every single religion on earth has converts attesting to the same exact thing for their specific deity or deities. It means a little here as it does there.

  84. Kevin says:

    I’m not sure I agree with your conclusion Trent. Here is what Dr. Collins wrote:

    From, “The Language of God: A Scientist presents evidence for belief” by Dr. Francis Collins
    “At first, I was confident that a full investigation of the rational basis for faith would deny the merits of belief, and reaffirm my atheism. But I determined to have a look at the facts no matter what the outcome.” P.21
    Collins goes on to explain a certain book that was given to him by a Methodist minister.
    “The book was Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. In the next few days, as I turned its pages, struggling to absorb the breadth and depth of the intellectual arguments laid down by this legendary Oxford scholar, I realized that all my own constructs against the plausibility of faith were those of a schoolboy” p.21

  85. Mike says:

    Hi Monica,
    I’m afraid I’m one of those apologists Jack despises so much. I understand that the amount of hate mail you see would push you that way. To me, though, changing minds is more important that establishing rightness in the face of relentless persecution. To “despise” a huge majority of the human race just for going along with the only life philosophy they’ve ever known won’t get anybody very far. (Those who send you hate mail don’t fit into that category.) More importantly hate punishes the hater – not the hateee. YOU carry that hate – not them.

    I’ve signed up for the ThinkAtheist contest this weekend. I hope I win The Believing Brain because I can’t afford to buy it. :-) Books like this on WHY people believe these ridiculous fairy tales are steps in the right direction. No matter how RIGHT you are, confrontation will change no one’s mind. It only fuels hatred. Trying to understand them and working with what they’ve got is the right direction.
    I have lots of friends who are still default theists. I’m very gradually and gently dispelling their beliefs. Most recently I answered a friend’s hesitant assertion that there would be social disorder without religion with an article I recently read on how (especially higher) species demonstrate selflessness. I have to say, as entertaining as this cartoon is to atheists, I would never send it to my (theist)  friends.

  86. Trent says:

    Hi David,
    My point was Dr. Collin’s reason for conversion – 100% experiential, and that is also in his own words. Let me know if you need me to  quote him.
    “After” his conversion, he sought evidence, and has thus landed on perhaps the weakest of all apologists, C.S. Lewis. Good writer, lousy apologist. Nonetheless, I remember when I was a young Christian how Lewis inspired my faith because, frankly, I didn’t know any better. Neither does Francis. While he could school me in a variety of fields, theology and apologetics are not among them (I am a former pastor and apologist.)
    Trent

  87. Trent says:

    // To “despise” a huge majority of the human race just for going along with the only life philosophy they’ve ever known won’t get anybody very far. //
    That’s an excellent point, Mike. I for one do ‘not’ despise any individual that I know. I despise intellectual laziness and ignorance in favor of fear, tradition, and (in this case) facts.
    Like “Men In Black” said, “A person is smart; people are stupid.” Or, something to that affect.

  88. Kevin says:

    Trent,

    I’m afaraid we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. The first chapter of Dr. Collins book “The Language of God” which he titled “From Atheism to Belief” explains his search for truth and his reading “Mere Christianity” before his conversion.

    I would suggest that anyone interested get the book and read Dr. Collins explanation of how he became a Christian for themselves.

    Kevin

  89. Shelby says:

    I’ve been atheist since I was told I was going to hell when I was six years old on a chairlift. I’m tired of having to respect those who disrespect everything that I am. I’m tired of not saying what is on my mind and what I believe because it pisses off the majority. I am so happy I stumbled upon your website because I have never found someone else who is as anti-religion as I am. This post was great and I look forward to reading more of your writings, rantings, and truths. 

    I’ve been called a terrorist because of my refusal to recite “Under God” in the pledge of allegiance. And I suppose I do cause terror to those who believe because I am one of many who have discovered through logic that this shit cannot be real.

    I don’t hate religious people, partly because it is religion that causes hate, but mostly because I pity them. A friend posted the statistic that “if all atheists left the USA, it would lose 93% of the National Academy of Sciences but less than 1% of the prison population.” I pity their lack of common sense and their lack of the desire to question before believing.

    I don’t write this to cause more discussion, or to argue with strangers, because I argue far too much with people I know. I write this because I found it to be inspiring to myself to remind myself that I am not alone, and I am proud to share my own experiences, and I am proud to be an atheist. I am proud to wear my shirt around my small, Christian, hometown that states “In the beginning man created god.”

    Don’t listen to the hate mail, Monica, because it is just because they are scared of people who question and want answers from the world.

  90. fgi says:

    I remember seeing this when it said “poorly thought out comix” up at the top left and “willful” was misspelled. Good times.

    Still one of the better summaries of my feelings towards theists out there.

  91. vince says:

    This is what I’ve always wanted to say when I’m confronted by bthibgs like accomdationism, and people who are like, “DUDE, let them be, live and let live”. Or “you just have to respect each others beliefs.”

    No no. they’re just stupid. They’re too stupid to even realise how stupid religions really are.

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