Is Religion a Scam?

Last night on The Factor a noted atheist argued that religion is a scam, and many Christians know it in their hearts. They just haven’t got the courage to admit it. He invited Christians to join the atheist cause since atheism is a fact, whereas religion is governed by people who specialize in hawking wishful thinking.

Your thoughts?

My inital thought is; why have an “athiesm cause”? (impossible but hypothetically) If I were to be secretly informed and convinced that beyond a shadow of a doubt there was no such thing as a God in any fashion what-so-ever and we are all accidents on our way to becoming food for insects, why would I wish to push this knowledge as a “cause”?

I don’t see the rationale. Souunds to me like he/she is trying to convince themself.

I knew God before I knew religion so my thoughts are that he is taking an overly simplistic view of things.

Those who believe cannot be shaken and those who do not believe cannot be convinced.

Atheism is not a fact. Atheism is the decision not to believe in something that cannot be measured or seen. There are many things that exist without us being able to initially see them. Before we knew how to measure air we certainly were affected by it, despite being unable to see it. Before we knew that the universe existed it continued existing. The depths of the ocean teem with life that for many, many years man could not see.

My ability to perceive something does not make it real or unreal. Strangely the universe does not revolve around me. :slight_smile:

So, ultimately, my thoughts are that there may be false religions (scam religions if you will) but I truly believe the majority are born from a sincere desire to know the things we cannot see, and to know the Creator who brought all the unseen and seen things to life. Maybe they haven’t found Him properly but they’re sincerely trying. This idea that all religion has evil intent is kind of ridiculous to me.

:shrug: Sorry, I DO know how to ramble. Haha.

I don’t see how it can be a scam if it challenges us to be better people, and the people operating it sincerely believe in it and are subject to it as well.

I read once that over 98% of all the people who ever lived believed in some “version” of God. The existance of God was not denied as it is with the atheists. Could they all be that wrong???

Atheism is a scam

Very sad. I think this is because, in today’s questioning society, simple people with faith can be made to look stupid. “But why?” they are questioned. Truth is, we don’t always have all the answers (nor do we need them, frankly).

I am a questioner of the most vociferous breed and Catholicism is the wealthiest vault to pillage when it comes to who, what, why and how. I have pillaged other vaults, but find myself increasingly Catholic, and very proud of the absolute sense I find in the faith.

Many of these atheists are scared—scared that it will make sense to them and they will end up looking stupid, because that is what Catholicism is. It is the realisation that you are known and loved, that there is a reason and a purpose behind your existence and that you can be happy no matter what, in relationship with the Triune God.

Atheism: The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs. Of course. Makes perfect sense!

The movie “Expelled” is a great resource on this subject.

Also, before Blaise Pascal was PASCAL he was a logical (you know the type) mathematician, and as such he realized how er, …stupid being an atheist was.

pray for them … even the really irritating ones like Hitchens et al. :mad: grrr :blush: I have to remember God wants them to accept His grace…
pray for me too please, to remember that…

pax

I believe atheism is a scam. They appear to be so uncomfortable in their disbelief that they feel it necessary to try to destroy others beliefs.

Plus, isn’t it weird that no one goes on Fox and invites people to join forces against Buddhism or Scientology or, for that matter, Agnosticism?

It would be like the Society Against The Tooth Fairy. People only go after what’s real and what matters it seems, and because God made us, whether they like it or not, I think that being separated from Him is what’s driving them. Well that and the enemy.

Pax!

You missed tha part where Dinosaurs magically turned into birds!

=Charlemagne II;7428430]Last night on The Factor a noted atheist argued that religion is a scam, and many Christians know it in their hearts. They just haven’t got the courage to admit it. He invited Christians to join the atheist cause since atheism is a fact, whereas religion is governed by people who specialize in hawking wishful thinking.

Your thoughts?

Maybe he [she] is right? Let’s ponder a few points…

If the Universe “just happened” and was not Created out of nothing…maybe?

If the ONLY planet able to support life forms even after deep space investigation remains Planet Earth… maybe?

If on planet earth among the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF LIVING THINGS, only humanity has the ** Spiritual gifts of a mind, an intellect, and a FREEWILL and a soul **can be substantiated and proven as being products of evolution… maybe?

To deny Creation, and humanities UNIQUE ability to know, love, serve, and Obey and Thanks our Creator; whom we choose to call “Our God” is the calling and the very purpose of humanity… to deny common sense, true [factual] science, and truth, is at best a fantasy; but that alone does not prevent those who know claim more and know better without evidence; but full of “BUT MY Opinions!, “ from espousing there desire to deny God… “for I myself an god” New Age nonsense.

But friends that is the Ultimate proof of the Spiritual Gifts provided to all of humanity. To choose freely or to Deny God and His Creation. You too are free to choose; but choose wisely! Heaven and hell are real [as is sin… which they deny] and Eternity is a very long time.

God bless, Pat

Well, atheism is a fact, in that there are people who do not believe in God. Flat-earth-ism is also a fact, in that there are people who believe the earth is flat. In neither case do I feel the need to join them.

Presumably what he meant is that it is a fact that there is no God. I would invite him to prove it, but as it is notoriously difficult to prove any negative (much less one that is not true), I don’t expect he will have much luck with that.

In reality, all he is doing is saying, “I believe this (the absense of God) is true, and I believe that others who outwardly say it is false secretly believe it is true as well.” All he is talking about is stuff that is happening in his own mind. Not only is it not a convincing argument, it’s not even an argument at all.

There probably are some professed Christians who secretly believe Christianity is not true, but keep professing to be Christians for social or societal reasons. Since the belief is by definition secret, neither he nor I can have any evidence either way. The only evidence there could possibly be is “by their fruits shall ye know them” which is a strong admonition to those of us who believe in the Triune God that it should be apparent even to outsiders that we really believe. However, the fact is that we are sinful and do not necessarily behave in accordance with our own beliefs, so that evidence is a bit sketchy as well.

In fact the only thing he has said that has any meaning is that he is an atheist. That is something he knows, even if he can’t prove it. For all we know, he secretly believes that God is real but doesn’t have the courage to admit it.

All I can say with absolute certainly is that I know in the deepest part of my heart (and all the way up to the surface) that Christianity is not a scam.

–Jen

In their heart or hearts, or deeply in their souls, atheists must fear that if they make the “leap” and accept God’s invitation to faith, they would have to change their lives/lifestyles. Maybe they really would like to give up sin, selfishness, covetousness, pride, etc . . . , but they fear the unknown. How would it change them? At least with others like themselves they can continue in their fruitless ways. :frowning:

My :twocents:

While questioning my own faith for a long time before being where I am spiritually I never once thought that there wasn’t a God. The idea that there isn’t some supreme being out there isn’t a matter of ignorance, it’s a matter of stupidity.

They are extremists in a different way. There are people of every faith (including Christianity) who are equally as ignorant in their refusal to believe certain things but that’s a whole other topic.

Wishful thinking cuts both ways. It is just as easy to turn his point around and say “Many atheists know that God exists, they are just too afraid to admit it…insert reason why here.”

He is just giving his personal opinion, void of any argument. Notice his subtlety though. He wants others to “join” his way of thinking. His reason? Well, he hasn’t one, except that “atheism is a fact.” It would be interesting to hear what he has to say about the word “fact.” He ought not to throw the word around so lightly, seeing as how in the last 250 years, the brightest atheist philosophers have argued that “facts” do not even exist.

I’d not pay any mind to people who are not interested in honest searching and dialogue. They have an agenda, which is not the pursuit of truth.

Thanks for all your input.

Here is a video clip of the debate:

nation.foxnews.com/bill-oreilly/2011/01/05/must-watch-o-reilly-debates-atheist-you-re-loon

on this subject, i have much to offer, having grown up in a highly educated, one parent (brilliant mother), agnostic household, and having chosen for social and then later for political (as an adult) reasons to argue vociferously in favor of scientific atheism, all before my conversion to christianity, which came about through divine grace, personal choices to investigate and to read the new testament, and the help of many christians of various denominations, including many protestants and many catholics.

first of all, i can testify that most atheists these days adhere to these basic ideas: a) there is no evidence for god, b) there is no evidence for any miracles that science cannot rationalize or explain or at least hypothesize about, c) religion is assuredly a social phenomenon, which lends to arguments against its divine nature, d) humans behave in much the same ways as the other great apes of earth and so therefore it is natural to assume that humans enjoy no special spiritual status among the creatures of earth, e) evolution is established fact amongst all of the academics of earth, which predisposes against age-old arguments for creationism, which the christian and other churches of earth have propped up for centuries, f) cultural relativism, which is accepted in all of academia worldwide, holds that each culture’s beliefs are products of geography, environment, ethnicity, etc, and that therefore no one belief system could trump all of the others in its claims to absolute truths or to any sort of monopoly on spiritual truths, etc. these are just a few of the major, extraordinarily powerful arguments nearly all research university professors worldwide might bring to bear in favor of scientific atheism.

when young adults enter the university systems these days, outside of special universities, they are immediately indoctrinated into this set of beliefs which molds them into rational, skeptical, critical, scientifically-minded consumers of facts and ideas, rather than indoctrinated into any intellectual milieu which permits that god, faith, spirit, religion, miracle, heaven, etc are words that denote real things (generally speaking).

so how did i and how can others who have been immersed in the academic secularism and scientific atheism of today ever enjoy real conversion to the christian and catholic faiths? it isn’t easy! it takes an open mind, help from experts on the bible and on christian faith, a willingness to change one’s social and political identity even if if means losing touch with friends and family, almost always a willingness to change one’s behavior significantly in order to shed sinful habits and desires, an effort to establish communication with god and jesus, an effort to pray and to worship etc, and most assuredly constant effort and help when certain problems related to what i call “the convert problem” arise, such as when old habits creep back up or when some old or new doubts stemming from some idea or psychological problem rear their heads. in my opinion, it is a really serious challenge for a diehard, well-educated atheist, steeped in atheist dogma and all of the powerful arguments against faith and religion, to truly come full circle and to love and to serve the lord as a devout christian, without any intellectual problems related to the major ideas atheism draws on, few of which i have listed above.

a few of the things which really helped me a lot, and which i offer here to this forum in case any readers of this thread can ever use this information to help others like me take the first few baby steps towards faith, are as follows: a) have an atheist read just the words of christ, as revealed to us through the gospels, and then ask the soul whether she or he finds any logical flaws in them and ask the soul whether it seems to her or him as if christ was some sort of charlatan or rather an honorable spiritual leader and guide, b) introduce the atheist to some of the facts which prove that christian miracles have occurred on earth and still continue to this day (facts about our lady of lourdes, our lady of fatima, the saints’ bones, etc), c) help the atheist overcome her or his inclinations to fall back on arguments against faith and god, etc, by being prepared with intellectual and academic information (or at least being willing to try to help the atheist find experts who can satisfy her or his qualms, doubts, arguments, etc) to counter repeatedly and effectively all of the soul’s rational counterarguments, d) be sure to explain to the atheist that contemporary christians accept that evolutionary science is not all bunk (this is terribly important, because one of the hearts of scientific atheism these days is the fact that evolution and creationism do not jibe), e) try to help the atheist find love and friendship among fellow christians you know (this has a very important effect, too, because it reaches the soul outside of pure rationalizations and factchecking, etc), f) invite the atheist to give the matter some thought, ask you some and/or some christian experts some more questions, and then think about whether she or he would like to take a chance and pray, go to church, talk out loud alone with god, etc (this, in my lay opinion, is a good final step, because eventually the atheist soul must make an effort to not only leave atheism behind but also to reach out to god with her or his heart).

do all please note here, however, that all of the above represents only a bunch of words that just rattled off the top of my head. i am not an expert in proselytizing amongst atheists. however, having converted to christianity, slowly, from a deep and entrenched scientific atheism to a full-blown love of god and all of his heavenly hosts and creations and a medium-weight understanding of the holy bible (at least of the new testament), i hope i have offered here some personal degree of insight which may prove helpful.

whitecrayon

whitecraon

Thank you so much for sharing these views about your faith journey. I think it’s just amazing that you have come so close to the Lord with such a background that could have kept you far away.

Just curious; was there a special incident, idea, or person who helped you overcome scientific atheism other than the reading of the Gospels?

Thanks to whitecrayon. That was very informative.

I think that religion has been used to scam people, just like any other institution in society has been hijacked by unscrupulous people. However, I disagree that means we do not need religion both as individuals and a society. Just because I’m unhappy with a politician doesn’t mean I think we need to destroy the government, for example.

I’ve realized in my own journey that the Truth of the Church is revealed by a change of heart. Intellectual arguments only seem to foster resentment and pride. I could probably argue most atheists into the ground, but so what? Would they be kneeling next to me at Mass afterward? More likely they would be coming up with a better argument to prove they are right.

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