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Stefan Molyneux and Seth Andrews, host of The Thinking Atheist, discuss breaking free from religion.

Stefan Molyneux and Seth Andrews, host of The Thinking Atheist, discuss breaking free from religion, the social costs of accepting atheism, the predatory targeting of the young, religion as child abuse, the worship of ignorance, the benefits of religion and advice to religious parents.


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It's not my definition you

It's not my definition you dummy, it's THE definition of the word!! Also you seem to not understand the meaning of the word "or" which is a more fundamental problem than I have the patience to help you with.

Although I find it incredibly obtuse and unnecessary for you to question definitions of words when you know full damn well what people mean, I will clarify beyond any doubt. It is not a term that is almost ever used to describe violence, it is a term used to describe dickishness and extreme intolerance.

I'm sure your fantastic morals and ethics...

That you learn from religion are what lead to you calling me names like we are in junior high. Calling me a dick and a dummy. Is this what I can learn from your religion? I'm sorry, are these "militant" questions?

So your use of slanders and name calling are cool, but the atheists that put forth facts, straightforward arguments, and valid and necessary skepticism.. are... "militant?"

If that is what religion has to offer in ethics and thinking skills, I'll pass.

I'm not religious, you are.

I'm not religious at all, what a foolhardy assumption. You are the one so desperate for a religion that you joined a religion for non-religious people so you can sit around bashing people who believe things you don't.

And all you've been trying to do this whole time is misdirect from the plain and simple fact that you didn't know what militant meant so you put completely false words into the OP's mouth. Now you throw around words like slander? Good fucking god, you are on an insane nutjob witch hunt.

Have I bashed you?

Good fucking god, you are on an insane nutjob witch hunt.

This is the religious quote of a lifetime. Thank you for a good laugh.

Too embarrassed to say

Too embarrassed to say anything of substance? You stuck your foot in your mouth. That's what happens when you stereotype people.

Your first mistake was taking offense to the mere mention of militant atheists. In doing so you admitted to being one, and proved their existence.

Yes I am wildly embarrassed...

Good fucking god, you are on an insane nutjob witch hunt.

Yes I am embarrassed that you call yourself a Christian.

And I am embarrassed for other Christians that must claim you as part of their group, and call this type of activity "virtuous, holy, or ethical."

You still don't get it???!

I do not call myself a christian. I do not identify with christian beliefs. I am vehemently opposed to them, but I am not violently opposed to them.

Jesus christ you are a dense motherfucker... I never said ANYTHING to suggest I was christian. Much like democrats and republicans, I disagreed with you, so you just assumed I was part of the opposite group, with absolutely nothing to back it up. You weren't reading anything I said. You were reading what a crazy christian would say, in your mind. But I'm not even christian. Which is why you should be embarassed.

Yeah embarrassing.

"Jesus christ you are a dense motherfucker..."

I took the RED pill...not the pink one.

The only way primitive religion exists today is through the child abuse of forcing it into minds of very, very young children. However, thanks to the internet, better education and growing intellects, many people are discovering that the bible is just another book and that organized religion has always worked behind the scenes with rulers and kings to manipulate the masses.


have you seen the Jesus Camp documentary?

If that's not child abuse, I don't know what is.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

You use that example

to say people of ALL faiths do that? Really?

I could point out several atheistic scientists and political leaders who did monstrous things, and give a similar broad judgement of all agnostics and atheists--But I won't, because that would be a logical fallacy.

Conscience does not exist if not exercised

"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up!
---Lily Tomlin

don't put words into my mouth

I never said people of all faiths do that. I merely used that as an example that extreme religious indoctrination, just like any type of extreme indoctrination of children, could be considered child abuse.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

Then you are ignorant

Of spiritual experimenting to converse with the divine.

My testimony of God is based on my personal experience putting to test Christ's challenge that "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speake of my self"--John 7:17

So I took the challenge, and through reading, applying the principles, meditating, and prayer I have received a personal experience outside of my physical senses that God does live and is interested in our welfare.

So to arbitrary dismiss religion mere indoctrination via "child abuse"is a unsupported statement you cannot prove. If that happened to you or people you know, I offer my condolences. But you cannot paint with such a broad brush that everyone has suffered that or been otherwise brainwashed. Such a statement does not demonstrate rational logic. It is emotional, which should be beneath someone like you who is arguing from the position that rational beings cannot believe in a divine God.

And while people have misused religion for personal gain and exploitation, doing many bad things in God's name, so have those without faith equally misused science and secular thinking to create modern states such as the Third Reich, The USSR, and Red China that murdered and enslaved hundreds of millions.

So just because there are charlatans who have hijacked God and Church, I don't dismiss the inherent good in either any more than I would become a Luddite just because supposedly rational-thinking, brilliant but amoral scientists invent A-Bombs, bio-weapons, and attack drones--Just because they can.

Conscience does not exist if not exercised

"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up!
---Lily Tomlin

Same here.

I know God is real because of personal experiences, if anyone wants to say I am crazy, fine. I used to wonder why some people have such strong belief in God. I simply could not understand Him until I felt his power.

Because humans overwhelmingly

Because humans overwhelmingly confuse lucid dreaming with reality.

Lucid dreams look, smell, sound and taste every bit as real as reality. People who hallucinate are lucid dreaming while awake. Most religeous experiances are people lucid dreaming while awake.

You know that from personal research?

You just committed a logical fallacy. What observation or research have you read to support that conclusion?

Just like you cannot prove a negative, that God is not real, without physical evidence, neither can you use such an opinion to claim all religious experiences are lucid dreams that are confused with reality.

It would be like saying that because you have never actually been or seen Samoa, then anyone who claims that have must be deluded, and are perpetuating a mass conspiracy that Samoa exists base on all of them somehow having the SAME lucid dreaming experience. You'd get better odds at Vegas using that as a theory.

Conscience does not exist if not exercised

"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up!
---Lily Tomlin

Well, let me break my

Well, let me break my reasoning down for you:

I lucid dream all the time. When I was young, I thought I was having out of body experiances and KNEW that I wasn't dreaming. Far too real to be a dream. The shit I was seeing was real... As time went on and I became experianced and mastered lucid dreaming, I came to see it for what it was. Dreams.

I hear religious people describe their "experiances" all the time, and I know lucid dreaming when I hear it. I also know that it can be triggered in times of censory overload and stress, such as during life-threatening events. You're brain can place figments in front of your eyes that are indistinguisable from waking-life. People seem to forget that all we see/dream/sense is data put on view in our minds. The very same mind produces our deams. The only differance is what parts of our brains are "usually" turned on while we dream. Sometimes, those sleepy parts of our brain are on when dreams are displayed, and we have literally no way to know that what we are seeing in front of our awake and aware minds are only figments outside of extensive experiance. Exactly like the Matrix.

So with that in mind:

There are two posibitlies here; 1) People really are communicating with ghosts/aliens/dieties/fairies. 2) People are mistaking explainable naturally occuring phenomena with magical communications with powerful supernatural entites.

My belief is that the answer is number 2 because I don't believe in ghosts/aliens/deities/fairies, and have never seen one shred of credable evidence to support any of them.

Because I choose #2, there are 2 more sub-possiblities.

1) They have truly seen something they believe was a miracle/encounter with the supernatural or extra-terrestrial.

2) They are dishonest and are lying to help fit-in better/con people in their circles.

Of the two possiblities, I believe #1 is the more common occurance. People, in general are pretty well meaning and want to be honest. Having encountered lucid dreaming, I know for a fact that without enough experiance, most people would have no way to dicern a lucid dream from waking-life. I know that even the most brilliant people could easily mistake a hallucination for reality.

Conclusion: Most (geniune) religious experiances are born of lucid dreaming. Those that remain are the product of either strange coincidences, ambugious mysteries that people can't explain and therefore jump to the wrong conclusions about, or in some cases, fraud.

When one's mind is accustomed to accepting things on "faith" rather than demanding reason, its easy to fall for "religious experiances" which other people would not be fooled by.

SteveMT's picture

I am happy that you have such a relationship with God.

The challenge for believers in all faiths is to not feel threatened by others who believe just as strongly as they do, but in something different, or others who believe just as strongly in nothing at all. Historically, many religions cannot tolerate those differences, so they seek to make wars to annihilate anyone who doesn't believe exactly as they do.

Don't forget that secular modern states

have committed their equal horrors as well, eliminating political and ideological undesirables to create the perfect social utopia.

I get the impression that somehow agnostics, atheists and scientists never disagree and argue among themselves. Never subject to pride,envy or selfish motives. That one rational scientist theory is foolish to some other so-called rational scientist theory.

Show me any atheistic secular state or society that did not have the same human flaws at those of faith. Because so far the former USSR, China, North Korea, and other nations like them have not impressed me with making 'rational" man their god.

Conscience does not exist if not exercised

"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up!
---Lily Tomlin

were you raised in a religious household?

just wondering...

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus


Time for our species to evolve out of and cure our mysticism disease, before the anit-civilization takes us down with it.

The creation, production and fair exchange of values is the business of evolving consciousness, love and life.--Craig Johnson

why do you consider it child

why do you consider it child abuse? do you think have children eat broccoli is child abuse as well? parents have the right to teach their kids anything they want, including their BELIEFS. I find it funny how you're on a liberty forum but you consider a parent passing knowledge and their way of life onto their children as child abuse. i believe in God, ive heard all the arguments from atheists and i still have chosen to have faith. and i will pass it on to my children when I have them. if people think that is child abuse then they can kindly go phuck themselves :) God Bless

Broccoli is good for your

Broccoli is good for your child. Religion is a scurge on humanity. A disease of the mind that teaches us to praise ignorance, be hostile to reason and to accept arbitrary authority and abuse of power on pain of torture.

It is a virus holding humanity to collectivism.

SteveMT's picture

All religions believe as you do. That is the problem.

They pass their beliefs on to their children in a dogmatic and rigid way from one generation to the next. Why does hatred continue from one century to the next? "I will pass it on to my children when I have them." That kind of thinking is why. With dogmatic beliefs come entitlement. Every religion believes that their way in the right way to eternity; that the other religions are wrong, that they are in error. Children are a captive audience. They have no choice if you say eat your broccoli .... or else! Or believe as your parents do....or else! If that technique is used, then yes it is a form of coercion and abuse. The children don't believe freely. They have been indoctrinated, and the Stockholm Syndrome is manifest. Thomas Paine said it best.
"...you were educated to believe the Bible; and as the Turks give the same reason for believing the Koran, it is evident that education makes all the difference, and that reason and truth have nothing to do in the case. You believe in the Bible from the accident of birth, and the Turks believe in the Koran from the same accident, and each calls the other infidel."
- Letter to a friend regarding "The Age of Reason" Paris, May 12, 1797 from Thomas Paine

Atheists can't tolerate criticism.

"You just don't understand." is their response to you. And they have no desire to understand you. In the end, the militant atheist is a meddler, typically, and, as you say, hypocritical in terms of libertarianism.

Myth: Militant Atheists

There seems to be an increasing number of people responding to atheist critiques of religion or theism by labeling the person a "fundamentalist" (or militant) atheist. The label is problematic because there are no essential or "fundamental" beliefs for an atheist to be "fundamentalist" about. So why do people use the label? Why do so many people feel that the label is appropriate? This seems to be mostly due to misunderstandings about and prejudice against fundamentalism.

Far too often, the word "fundamentalism" is used as short-hand for unreflective, unquestioning dogmatism. People are considered "fundamentalists" if they are rude, uncompromising, and committed to absolutist positions. This is not an accurate or fair understanding of fundamentalism: it misrepresents fundamentalism as an attitude or personality type rather than a type of doctrine and it is unfair to fundamentalists, not all of whom are described by this sort of attitude.

The term "fundamentalism" originated in American Christianity when The Fundamentals: A Testimony of the Truth was published between 1910 and 1912. This 12-volume set of books outlines the "fundamental" beliefs which were supposed to be required of all Christians:
•The infallibility and inspiration of Scripture.
•The virgin birth of Christ and the Deity of Christ.
•The substitutionary death of Jesus Christ for sinners and the blood atonement.
•The bodily resurrection of Christ and His visible return to earth.
•A judgment of the saved and lost followed by a literal heaven and a literal hell.

If fundamentalism is primarily about the promotion of "fundamental" beliefs, it's not possible for this to be applied to atheism because atheism has no beliefs, much less "fundamental" beliefs. Atheism is the absence of belief in gods, nothing more and nothing less, so there is nothing "fundamental" for atheists to "get back to" in order to achieve a more pure or original atheism.

So let's get specific.

On this very thread, there are atheists who are stating that teaching children one's heritage is "child abuse".

You do not believe that is a "militant" statement from the atheists who state it?

No there aren't. What there

No there aren't. What there are are christians who can't read.

What absolute nonsense. The

What absolute nonsense. The non-aggression principal is the child of human reason. It is the height of social structure we as a species has been able to come up with. It requies 0 deities.

Hypocriticle!? Are you out of your mind? Your religion is a MONARCHY with a cosmic king who has a perfect survailance state in place, watches your every move, gives you no rights, no trial, demands utter obediance on pain of eternal torture and demands you obey his commands without even telling you why, or even showing his face in public... and yet "you" want to say it resembles libertarianism? The only reason the chrisitan religeon is even loosly associated with libertarianism is because of the mythical concept of "free will." The trouble with that lie, is that as soon as you understand that the bible says that God knows all thing, past, present & future, the idea of free will is gone in an instant. He KNOWS who will pass and fail his test, and lets the loosers burn anyway. An atheist libertarian who understands we own our selves and that no one has a right to deprive others of their natural rights are somehow hypocritical? In a long line of stupid crap ive heard christians say, this is by far king.

A Christian can no more offer criticism to an athiestic view of the world than a primitive head hunter who worships a rock in the jungle could. You believe in ridiculous, cartoonish and impossible things that it seems only dark ages peasants should be silly enough to believe, and yet here we are. What possible critisim of a world view that DEMANDS reason and evidence before acceptance could a person who believes in floating heavenly realms, magic spell casting deities and winged bird people possibly offer?

You are the one who said....

....teaching your kids religion is "child abuse."

If that's really the case, then don't you believe in action to stop child abuse?

AHA - Yep, you are a meddler!

Perfect illustration of my point. YOU believe something is child abuse, thereby in YOUR belief, authorizing and empowering YOU to interfere in others' lives.

And you call that rational and logical? It's worse than religionism. It's the philosophical basis of Stalinism.