Monicks: Unleashed

Thinking Critically

By

Atheism – A Life Without Imaginary Friends

Dr. Darrel W. Ray is a writer (“The God Virus”), psychologist and business owner. He enjoys challenging people to think in different ways about their world. At the same time, he does not delight in others’ discomfort when challenged. He thinks that many major life changes can be achieved with minimal harm if people have the right cognitive and perceptual skills.

Is religion a virus that infects otherwise healthy individuals? That is a question raised by a provocative book entitled, “The God Virus”. It is by noted psychologist and student of religion, Dr. Darrel Ray.

In a cogent and highly readable analysis, Dr. Ray traces the contagion course of religion as it enters the lives of countless individuals, beginning in childhood and infecting their behavior, professions, sex lives, and virtually every aspect of living. And Dr. Ray knows whereof he speaks, for he is the child of fundamentalist, evangelical parents, who frequently took their young son to Bible thumping religious revival meetings.

At the time that my parents began taking me to hear ministers, I was just old enough to understand the words that they preached at us, said Dr. Ray. From those experiences, I learned who was good and who was bad: people of other religions or of no religions were sinners who would wind up in Hell. Such teachings infected my young mind and had a profound effect on my life, at least until I outgrew my impressionable teenage years and was sufficiently determined to think for myself.”

“The degrees that I earned in religion and psychology immeasurably helped me to see through prejudice, myth, and superstition. My situation is not uncommon, but my book is. And I believe that people who want to think intelligently and rationally about religion, whether they are believers or non-believers, will find my book a useful resource.

“The God Virus” carefully details the practical consequences of fundamentalist religious beliefs, infecting personalities, families, and cultures. It deals with the superstitions of religion propagated by clerics who, for example, told congregants that cancer and other diseases were the results of sinful living.

As science became more sophisticated and was able to explain the causes of past diseases, such as the Black Plague, religious figures had to back off their initial pronouncements. Such a paradigm continued as researchers discovered the non-divine causes of yellow fever, polio, small pox, pneumonia, tuberculosis, syphilis, gonorrhea, influenza, etc. Such discoveries, unfortunately, did not prevent religious leaders from condemning evolution, homosexuality, aspects of astronomy, anthropology, psychology, and even economics.

Blind belief in the righteousness of ones beliefs have caused fundamentalist Christian leaders to claim that that the attacks of 9/11 were caused by the sinful behavior of Americans. Such a pronouncement was not different in intent or origin from fundamentalist Muslim clerics who declared that Hurricane Katrina was sent by God as a punishment to America.

Dr. Ray, as a resident of Kansas, has seen first hand how fundamentalist religious beliefs have a negative effect on education, for it was in his state that members of the board of education wanted to ban the teaching of evolution and substitute the teaching of creationism, which propounded that the Earth is only a few thousand years old.

As Dr. Ray has written, Religion seems to inject itself into schools, courts, legislatures, presidential politics, and local school boards, detracting from rational conversation about real-world problems, such as science, education, economics, economic development, disaster relief, and war.

Share:Share on Facebook0Share on StumbleUpon0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Tumblr0Share on Google+0Digg thisPin on Pinterest0

By

Critical Thinking

Share:Share on Facebook0Share on StumbleUpon0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Tumblr0Share on Google+0Digg thisPin on Pinterest0

By

Christians Tips To Doing Battle With Evil Atheists

Originally Posted by a Christian

Some things to keep in mind:

1. Remember that they are people, just like you are. Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, they are not some lower life form we share this planet with.

2. More than likely, they are smarter than you are. This can be difficult to come to grips with, but it does appear to be true and is a claim that is actually supported by the Bible ( 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 )

3. Statistically, they are also as moral, if not more so than you are. While it is a good thing that they generally are highly moral, it is a shame that we, who often times claim the moral high ground, seem unable, or unwilling, to match our words with our lives.

4. They will probably thump you in debate. They are much more likely to have carefully thought through their position and understand why they believe what they do. We are more likely simply to present some argument that the person we heard it from guaranteed would destroy the enemy. The problem with that is that many of them have heard the same arguments many times and are easily able to counter them.

5. Don’t under-estimate their knowledge of the Bible. Many of them are more familiar with the Bible than the average Christian is. And they know all of the passages that will cause you a problem, and will not hesitate to challenge you with them.

So, as a Christian, what chance do we have when doing battle with the godless empire? Here are some suggestions that may make your stay here more rewarding.

1. Don’t feel like you have to win all of the battles. You are not going to. In fact, you may not win any of them. Be satisfied with being able to clearly and logically express what you believe and why. While you may never convince another person on this group, you will have helped yourself by taking the time to understand what you believe and why, and to verbally present it. 1 Peter 3:15 says in part “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” We are challenged to give an answer, not to win a fight.

2. Be respectful, open and truthful. The remainder of 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to make our defense “with gentleness and respect”. Realize that the people you are debating with really do have a lot to offer. Don’t throw away the opportunity to learn from them because they do not believe in the God we hold dear. Don’t make the mistake of believing that everything an atheist says is suspect.

3. Treat them the way you would like to be treated yourself. Remember what Jesus says in Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus tells us to initiate the desired treatment, not just respond to others in the way we are treated. Most atheists here will treat you with at least the same amount of respect that you show to them.

4. Be willing to admit that there are things you don’t know. Believe it or not, it will not hurt your position.

5. Remember that our walk is by faith and that we cannot prove that God exists or that the Bible is true. We might be able to make an argument to support those beliefs, but do not mistake that for proof.

6. Remember that while the Bible may be authoritative to you, like it is to me, to an atheist it is just an old book and has no more authority than the Iliad.

7. Enjoy your stay with us, learn and share, and don’t get too worked up about anything.

8. Don’t feed the trolls.

~
Share:Share on Facebook0Share on StumbleUpon0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Tumblr0Share on Google+0Digg thisPin on Pinterest0
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: