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What's the Harm?

Started by Unbeliever, May 18, 2009, 02:43:34 pm

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Unbeliever

Ever been asked by a believer, "What's the harm in...?"
Now you'll be able to tell them exactly what the harm is:

What's the Harm?

Mentioned by Dr. Dean Edell, on his radio program, and by Penn, in a video, here.
"Some say God is living there [in space]. I was looking around very attentively, but I did not see anyone there. I did not detect either angels or gods....I don't believe in God. I believe in man - his strength, his possibilities, his reason."
Gherman Titov, Soviet cosmonaut, in The Seattle Daily Ti

Joe Bloe

Theists often ask "Why Do Atheists Care?" If an atheist does not believe in god, why does he/she spend so much time on the subject? This site has the answer:

http://www.abarnett.demon.co.uk/atheism/harm.html

The list contains the following (and more)

    * The Crusades.
    * The Inquisition.
    * Witch trials in Europe and America.
    * Missionaries destroying/converting smaller, "heathen" religions and cultures. 
    * The demonization of other religions, e.g. Christianity demonizing Pagans ("They're devil-worshippers!")
    * Persecution of Heretics - e.g. Galileo for daring to suggest that the Earth orbits the Sun.
    * Children dying because their parents refused them medical treatment on religious grounds
    * Slavery, supposedly supported by scripture
    * Holy wars - followers of different faiths (or even the same faith) killing each other in the name of their gods.
    * The destruction of great works of art considered to be pornographic/blasphemous, and the persecution of the artists.
    * Persecution/punishment of blasphemers (Salman Rushdie still has a death sentence on him), and blasphemy laws in general.
    * Often-fatal exorcisms by priests believing they are destroying the work of Satan.
    * People suffering dreadful injury or death in the belief that their faith has made them invulnerable (e.g. people climbing into lion enclosures at zoos, with a Bible as protection).
    * Whole societies divided by minor differences in belief or doctrine, often resulting in violence.
    * Mass suicides of cult-members following a charismatic leader who believes the world is about to End
    * The attempted genocide of followers of a particular faith
    * The practice of "female circumcision" (more accurately termed genital mutilation).
    * The discouragement of rational, critical thought (resulting in young-earth creationists, for example).
    * Uncontrolled population growth caused (or at least helped) by churches prohibiting birth-control and abortion.
    * The spread of sexually transmitted diseases (e.g. AIDS) due to churches prohibiting the use of condoms.
    * Believers whipping, impaling, poisoning or crucifying themselves during religious festivals as a demonstration of their faith and piety.
    * Suicide bombers taught to believe that martyrs go straight to Paradise.
    * Women treated as second-class citizens or even slaves
    * Pentecostal snake-handlers
    * Persecution of homosexuals
    * Abuse of power, authority and trust by religious leaders (for financial gain or sexual abuse of followers and even children).
    * Minor religions ("cults") stockpiling weapons to defend themselves from the Armies Of Satan


Unbeliever

Thanks for the great link, Joe!

So much for Pascal's claim that we lose nothing by believing in God - it seems we can lose quite a lot.
"Some say God is living there [in space]. I was looking around very attentively, but I did not see anyone there. I did not detect either angels or gods....I don't believe in God. I believe in man - his strength, his possibilities, his reason."
Gherman Titov, Soviet cosmonaut, in The Seattle Daily Ti