-14 votes

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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Downvoters question, what did

Downvoters question, what did he say that was not true?

Like the video said, if you read and understand what you read in the bible you will probably be on your way to not believing anymore.

The Ten Commandments?

Doesn't morality require a choice between good and bad that must be freely made? To force someone to do a certain thing because of punishment is not moral.

Thanks for posting the videos, man.

And try not to take the downvoters personally. As best I can tell, they run a very simple algorithm that goes something like this:
1. lightly skim material.
2. Ask "did it make me think?"
3. If "yes", downvote.

The most downvoted comments in these threads are almost always the ones full of reasonable analysis and insight.

Your posted videos, BTW, were freakin hilarious, so thanks for posting. I spent a good amount of time watching his stand-up last night, after watching these videos. Anyone who could not appreciate his humor (regardless of their faith) doesn't deserve much concern from me.


"It was a huge pumpkin, what, was I gonna not say anything?"

HAHAHA. Picking myself up off the floor.

Be logical.

When are atheists going to realize that God does not "exist"; God Is...

Atheists sure spend a lot of time pi$$ed off...

....about the God they believe does not exist!


We aren't pissed off at gods.

We aren't pissed off at gods. We're pissed off at stupid. Especially because its the kind of stupid that takes political power and @#$%s the world up.



One point I'd never thought about...

Atheists have done a poor job of using the tool of "community".

Religious people often form community groups centered around religion (church) to engage in social activities, charity activities, children's groups, discussion groups, and just a general sense of supporting each other. There's no reason such groups couldn't also center around atheism, and having groups like that (atheist alternatives to religious churches) would probably help more atheists come out of the closet and help atheists live a more communal and satisfying life.

In general, why is it that "religion" has a monopoly on "church"?

This is an easy one actually.

Do you have any friends or associates who are atheists? Do you spend any time with atheists?

I KNOW THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO ALL ATHEISTS. It's a fallacy to blame every christian for faults people perceive about Christianity, same as my statement does NOT apply to all athiests.

However, seriously, have you? Do so and you'll quickly learn why there is no atheist "community". Find out for yourself why!


Well, my wife is an atheist. My best friend is too. Does that count?

Personally I like to call myself agnostic, as I do not "believe there is no God", as an atheist might.

Being that I have therefore spent time with atheists, and have not "quickly learned why there is no atheist community"...you might need to clarify your comment.

Are you suggesting that atheists are not communal beings...that they do not bond with one another, support one another, socialize with one another, or desire or benefit from any sense of community? Is this your opinion?


Jesus Chrysler! If this doesn't stir the pot, what does? Talk about parting of the Red Sea this just screams divide and conquer.

Ron Paul brought his kids up Christian,

so he is a child abuser.

You know what kills me?

People saying that teaching your kids religion is child abuse/indoctrination.

No, no it isn't. I saw one guy down in the comments saying that it's basically wrong for parents to say that their view is right and others are wrong.

Well guess what? That's how the WORLD WORKS. No matter what perspective you come from, in the end SOMEONE is right, and EVERYONE ELSE is wrong. That's just how it is. Even relativist goofballs, by saying that everyone is right, are actually saying that everyone except relativists are wrong. Funny how that works, ain't it? Even you atheists believe that you're right and everyone else is wrong. There's no in-between.

So the end solution is that parents... shouldn't teach their kids anything, otherwise INDOCTRINATION. Teaching your kids that good and evil are real? INDOCTRINATION. Teaching your kids that liberty is good? INDOCTRINATION. Teaching your kids the non-aggression principle? INDOCTRINATION. Teaching your kids anything at all? INDOCTRINATION. Literally, by taking a stance on anything at all, you're telling your kid that your view is right and the others are wrong.

And there's nothing wrong with that, at all. Because there is right and wrong. Indoctrination is when a kid is discouraged harshly from even finding out about new ideas - that's what public schools do, and it's wrong. Indoctrination is when out-of-the-box thinking is actively punished - again, that's what public schools do.

Fun fact - I was homeschooled since fourth grade. Brought up religious. Still am religious, very much so. Extra fun fact - was told that Christianity is right... and that I also need to understand others' arguments instead of just dismissing them. I had to take a couple of logic courses. I had to debate in favor of things I disagreed with. When I wrote papers, I was required to have either unbiased sources or - preferably - sources from both sides of the issue.

And now that I'm in college? I'm the guy who asks the awkward questions. I'm the guy who gets reactions when I speak up. I'm the one guy who actually impressed the (progressive liberal) political science professor when I articulated my libertarian, moral absolutist views.


Because, since the fourth grade, I have been repeatedly forced to send my views through the fire. I have been made to test them against those of others. I have had to understand my opponents' arguments so well that I could argue for them.

And I'm still doing it, even here on the DP. There aren't that many stupid libertarians - which means that no matter the issue in dispute, it's usually a challenge to go up against a fellow libertarian. Yet here I am, doing it anyway.

Now let me make something very, VERY clear. This goes far beyond "You've offended me." You, OP, and those in the video you posted, are actively insulting and slandering a tremendous number of very intelligent and caring religious parents for the -sole- purpose of making your own view look better.

That goes beyond childish. That's pathetic.

SteveMT's picture

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

You say "no, no it isn't."

The Muslims, the Jews, the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. all agree with you. That is the problem.

That is why we are in this perpetual cycle of polarized hate. That is the eternal status quo we find ourselves in, the unchanging vulcanized belief that individual religions are correct and that all others are wrong.

I know that.

That's the reason I said religion, not just Christianity. They genuinely believe their religions, and as such raise their children in an attempt to follow it. There is -nothing- wrong with that, provided that they don't isolate the kid and literally teach him or her to hate others who disagree.

Okay, let me explain this one more time. If a religion is correct, then it is the only correct one. They are mutually incompatible. If Islam is right, all the others are wrong. If Christianity is right, all the others are wrong. If atheism is right, all religions are wrong.

The unchanging belief that an individual belief system is correct and all others are wrong is still here because, by logical necessity, it is TRUE.

And believe it or not, most religions don't actually promote hatred. That's the choice of the individual - and before you go and get all high and mighty, I've seen plenty of hate from atheists, too.


You are taking what I posted out of context. I said it IS INDOCTRINATION IF...You espouse that ONLY YOUR beliefs are factual and the "truth".

Sounds to me like you had intelligent parents that made you analytically assess the merits of both sides of the argument which is EXACTLY what I am advocating. You came to the conclusion after a lifetime of assessment, that whatever YOUR religion teaches is correct; and I have zero problem with that.

As I alluded to, I take issue with parents that ONLY teach THEIR side of the argument and immediately dismiss opposing views as false or "against god's will." For example; to have a solid argument against other social/political philosophies, and to be a staunch advocate for the principles of Libertarianism/Minarchism/Anarchism you have to study Communism, Socialism, Feudalism, Totalitarianism, Fascism, Imperialism, etc.

That is what I am advocating and it sounds to me like you are advocating the same course of action for unbiased intellectual development.

I appreciate your view point and the fact that you could expound on it eloquently. I understand where the disdain for some atheists comes from, many of them are crass, arrogant and dismissive of other peoples beliefs...I am not one of them. I too grew up in a very religious household (church 2x a week, bible study, missions, etc.)and I came to a different conclusion than you. I am open to the idea that anything is possible in our universe, and that your religion or any of the other religions could be correct, I personally have never said that MY belief (or in this case disbelief) is absolutely correct. My belief, after a lifetime of research; I found that in my studies I could not find empirical evidence to substantiate the claims of religion.

Please live your life the way you deem best, and I will do the same, above good or bad, above right or wrong we have CHOICE! That is what I have taken away from my studies of religion.

and with all sincerity may your god bless you and yours!
peace, love and liberty for all!

I appreciate

the clarification.

I want to be clear as well - I believe that guys like the ones in this video and the OP are the types that make atheists look bad. I have had a good many intelligent debates with very pleasant atheists.

Fantastic comments, i agree

Fantastic comments, i agree completely. Thanks for writing that!

Italian priest fined for exposing himself to two girls

published by Tom Sullivan on Thu, 2014-01-23 13:47

A priest in the northern Italian city of Savona has been hit with a €7,500 fine after exposing himself on a street to two young girls, allegedly while drunk.

Father Giuseppe Canavese, aged 50, was wearing civilian clothes when he pulled down his trousers on a busy street in the seaport city and flashed at two young girls, La Repubblica reported.

Local newspaper, Savona News, said that he was drunk at the time of the incident, and allegedly told police he “needed to urinate”.


SteveMT's picture

On same day: Pope Francis calls the internet a 'gift from God'

What a coincidence!
Thursday 23 January 2014

Boosting his credentials as a moderniser, Pope Francis has called the internet a “gift from God” in a statement released on Thursday.

In a message on Catholic Church communications, the pontiff wrote of the pros and cons of the digital age, and its implications for Catholics when interacting with people from different faiths and backgrounds.

An atheists perspective.

I see many religious parents who tell their kids that god is 100% real, that their particular religious teachings are 100% correct and infallible. I see many religious parents tell their kids that only what THEIR religion teaches is correct.

Telling children that YOUR BELIEFS are the only CORRECT ones and that those beliefs constitute the ONLY CORRECT way to view the universe is pretty much the definition of indoctrination.

When I eventually have children I would encourage them to study all religions and all material opposed to religion. I would want my children to formulate their own opinion and beliefs based on a rational, logical and empirical assessment of the information.

I would be heartbroken if my child said they believed something because I told them to believe it; instead of arriving at their conclusion for themselves.

Open minds people, any number of things could be "the truth" about our existence. We should be respectful of peoples beliefs and as long as those beliefs do not violate the non-aggression principle or affect/infringe on the rights of the individual, I will be happy to defend your beliefs. However when YOUR religious beliefs violate the NAP I can not defend your beliefs, because your beliefs become morally invalid in my opinion.



Someone is right and someone is wrong. There are wrong beliefs and right beliefs, and frankly it's bad parenting and an abortion of logic and common sense to tell your kids, "I don't know the truth, nobody knows the truth, so go and pick which truth you like best."

Do you know what happens then? People with no foundation go with what's easiest to believe. Do you know what's easy to believe? Shallow, empty ideas like progressivism and state-worship.

You would not believe how many times, as a kid, I fell for liberal nonsense and my parents had to spell out why it was nonsense. Went through a phase, even, where I thought manmade global warming was real (thankfully that ended quickly).

"frankly it's bad parenting

"frankly it's bad parenting and an abortion of logic and common sense to tell your kids, "I don't know the truth, nobody knows the truth, so go and pick which truth you like best."

so objectively and empirically tell me who is "right" and who is "wrong" as it pertains to religious belief or disbelief. The premise of this argument, which this entire conversation is based upon is exactly what your quote is nobody really knows the "truth" as it pertains to this conversation.

State worship? as opposed to fundamental church/religion worship? Both require the submission of your will and desire to the self-described "authorities." but one is supernatural so that is ok, that is really what you are saying.


...the best teachers guide others to self-discovery. But if you are convinced that a child acting in non-Love is an immediate danger to their development, you don't just ignore that, anymore than you would ignore the toddler reaching out to the wood stove for a moment of 'self-discovery'.

I'm not advocating

allowing children to harm themselves or others for the sake of "self-discovery" or learning. Your rebuttal is a Straw Man!

It wasn't...

...a rebuttal, just musing on the flip side of 'self-discovery'. If a child was acting selfish, it would be more damaging if the parent, as the teacher, remained totally neutral and just left them to discover the full downside of that path on their own. And the parent's philosophy of life, or faith then does play a big role, especially when the child learns to come back at them with a challenge to back their warnings up, with more than them just being their own arbitrary whims.


...your child that Love is greatest, and raising them to participate in Love is not abuse.

Teaching a child that there are dangers to ignoring the law of gravity is not abuse.

Teaching a child that there are dangers to ignoring the highest natural laws--Love God, Love neighbor--is not abuse.

Neither is teaching a child that there is nothing but death and darkness waiting to extinguish their short life for eternity after their brief struggle as an animal -- if the person teaching it is really convinced of that.

Christianity and my conscience lead me to the same conclusion

Treat others as you would like to be treated.Treat others with goodwill,kindness,compassion,forgiveness and mercy.Admit and repent of your mistakes and the wrong things you have done ,said, and thought.Swallow your pride and let your conscience be your guide to truth and to what is right or wrong.That is what being a Christian and following Christ means to me.To me,it has nothing to do with religious denominations.With all due respect,if you consider yourself a follower of Christ(Christian)I cannot see any good in putting yourself in religious categories such as catholic,protestant,mormon,Jehovah's witness etc.
If you are atheist and reading this,please hear me out..While I can see many wrongs in myself,others,organized religions and political power structures,I honestly cannot see any wrong in Christ and making the effort to follow His example which rings true to my conscience.Even if you don't believe in God,does it not make sense to live by these principles anyway?(See above)Can we at least agree to unite behind and promote those principles,including liberty and non-aggression,whether we believe in God or not?We know our conscience is real,whether we believe in God or not.Conscience being defined as our inner sense of right and wrong,good and evil,better or worse,fair or unfair and just or unjust.

I don't know for sure how old the earth is and exactly how it was created as it is beyond my comprehension.I only know that I am here now and will try to live by the principles mentioned above.For now, that is the best I can do.

SteveMT's picture

"That is what being a Christian & following Christ means to me."

The most important thing that you said is "to me." Many others, by their actions would disagree with you.

"I cannot see any good in putting yourself in religious categories such as catholic,protestant,mormon,Jehovah's witness etc."

I agree with you, but many others would disagree with us.

Do you know what this is? It's known as the "Peace Wall" in Belfast. It is "scheduled" to be torn down in 2023 perhaps. Intra-denominational Christian hate is just as bad as any other kind.