neverendingepilogue asked: 

So I’m attending a little 4th of July get-together with my (former?) youth group, and decided to do a little atheist/American research in case the topic came up.  Upon learning about the Treaty of Tripoli’s quote on the matter, I googled it and found a wonderfully insightful 5 year old article on the treaty by none other than (wait for it) Chuck Norris.

The article’s argument is to excuse the legal wording of the Treaty by stating the purpose of keeping peace with the Muslims, which confuses me, because if the new Americans truly believed in the providence and power of their god, especially after winning the Revolutionary War, wouldn’t they have the faith to go against a ‘false, heathen, hateful religion’ like Islam?  The writers of the Treaty had every right and opportunity to make America a legally Christian nation, but instead chose to essentially abandon God in order to keep peace and save bloodshed.

The article goes on to try and, “argue,” the legality of the Treaty by citing several letters written by Christian people after the fact. The thing is, I have no intention of relinquishing my rights as a citizen because people older than me were religious in spite of the documentation stating that the nation itself wasn’t. Anyway, the point of this rant was for your insight, seeing as you might have more knowledge on the matter than I. Thanks. 8-)

Well, my first comment is an irrelevant one, and that is to say that Chuck Norris is an asshole that would and did get his ass beaten by atheist Bruce Lee.  This means nothing as far as his arguments go, but I just felt the need to say it.

Second, this argument might be a useful one if the person who presented the Treaty was a Christian (President John Adams was a Unitarian, a religion that accepts Jesus as a prophet but not as the son of God), if the writers of the Constitution were Christian (it was based on a blueprint by James Madison, a deist), or even if the Constitution had in some way acknowledged Christianity (it does not).

So, one can’t argue that the Treaty of Tripoli was only written the way it was as an appeasement to the Muslims because there is no reason to believe that Christianity was the basis for the government in the first place.

There is, in all honesty, no reasonable arguments to say that the United States WAS in any sense founded on the Christian religion.

~ Steve

neverendingepilogue asked:

Once you point out the false reduction and allow the possibility of all gods to be real, you also can expand the number of gods to believe in. It's not even just 2xP(# of gods + 1). It's a PxP box, where you can believe in any god as well.

The existence of a deity is strictly binary, though. Either it exists or it doesn’t. Those are the only two options. With the infinite number of conceivable deities, however, it really doesn’t matter. There’s also the issue of selfish deities who purport to insist on being worshiped at the exclusion of all others, which makes the whole issue even muddier. Then, of course, once you decide on a deity to worship, you have to make sure you worship it the right way. 

Ultimately, it’s a facile argument with no merit.

neverendingepilogue asked:

It's actually funny that your conversation has delved into the "Why doesn't God...?" territory, because Kirk Cameron is actually releasing a movie about him just thinking about that. Well, him thinking, plus all the traditional Christian emotional cinematography. It's called "Unstoppable".

I actually think I might live without seeing that. :)

BUT I’m tempted to watch it, anyway.  It’s been my experience that apologists really don’t have anything new to say, although they do come up with ways of saying the old stuff differently sometimes.  I might be interested in hearing if some of my “Why doesn’t God…?”’s are addressed at all.

To me, the biggest “Why doesn’t God…?” is why doesn’t he make his existence even slightly apparent, when (in Cameron’s world) in not doing so he condemns literally billions of people to eternal torture?  I find it hard to imagine any reason that could possibly justify that.

neverendingepilogue asked:

What do you then say to the argument that the religious identity has little to do with the crime unless the crime was invoked by doctrine and/or religious philosophy of the criminal. This is sort of the "Christianity accounts for believers still having a sin nature" argument. Of course you could argue that doctrine of some religions has both subtle and blatant effects on the valuing and treatment of certain demographics. I just wanted to hear your thoughts.

Hard to say.  I’ve never really studied religion as it relates to crime.  Thinking out loud?  Many people act out because of what they believe that their “god” is telling them.  Does this god bear any real resplendence to the god in their holy book?  Had they NOT been raised in a certain religion, would they just manifest a different being speaking to them, say an alien, or perhaps invent an entirely new god?  Could ardent belief in a god, disregarding the specific doctrines, still encourage delusional and dangerous behavior?

I can’t answer these questions, nor am I entirely certain that the answers are relevant.  There are people with mental illnesses.  Whether encouraged by religion or not, it is clear that most people who believe in religion are not mentally ill.  Let us then treat the illness and leave religion out of it.  There is enough to blame religion (bigotry) for without laying something this nebulous on their doorstep as well.

neverendingepilogue asked:

After giving it some brief thought, I could only think of a few reasons why someone would want such power. #1 being utilization of said power. #2 being the authority one can draw out by flaunting power. And finally, #3, which is the simple act of holding such power and the satisfaction it gives to the narcissistic and lustful needs of the owner. Your thoughts?

Okay, okay.  Yeah.  All that.  But you know what?  What’s wrong with bunnies?

Yes.  You heard me.  Bunnies.  If you want to accomplish all of that with a pencil, what’s wrong with turning people into nice, fluffy, lovable bunnies that will bring joy to people and eat carrots and stuff.

I mean, if you’re going to have a magical pencil, why the heck does it have to kill people?  Bunnies?  Sure.

Maybe penguins.  Penguins are cool.

Just…you know…killing with a pencil.  Uggh.

neverendingepilogue asked:

Ha. That reminded me of when I came out as agnostic over my facebook. I made a hell of a note and tagged a bunch of people. School was kind of funny that next day, but not really that different.

Well, I guess that’s good.  In some communities you would not have had nearly as positive a response, apparently.  :/