This world seems exactly like the world I would expect to see if there were no
intervening God. Believers make excuses for God's failure to intervene and
attribute all kinds of random and natural occurrences to their God, but in the
end, existence testifies to the improbability of an intervening supernatural
being. My atheism is actually very merciful to God, because if God
did exist, He would deserve to be put on trail for neglect, abuse and
malfeasance of duty. What an incompetent oaf or cruel demon God would have to be
if He existed. And it only gets worse, because most religions say
God will dish out eternal punishment to some people because of their finite sins
or disbelief. How can you all call your Gods just if He is willing to punish
infinitely for finite actions? That makes no rational or moral sense.
Dropping the burden of guilt and anxiety that all religion brings into
everyone's lives is possibly the smartest thing this younger generation has
contributed to society. Well done in my book.Living under the
"fear" that religion creates is a felling worth living without.
Interesting article - thanks. While reading I wondered if the issue of church
drifting from God might be an influence. This paragraph was interesting:Dean agrees. "If churches are indistinguishable from the popular
culture, there is no reason to go to the churches. You can get what you need in
13 other venues - and probably in a better package."Perhaps
Churches are part of the problem. (and no, I'm not knocking religion - just
encouraging some introspection)
I agree that many churches don't give people an opportunity to have real
conversations about the real issues they have with faith and God. If you bring
up those issues often times you're looked down on or your are judged. The first
reaction is to remove yourself from that environment because you can't get the
answers you need. Heaven forbid your doubt were contagious. Try having a real
conversation about evolution sometime. Any belief worth having must survive
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with
sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. Galileo
As the focus at many churches has drifted away from the teachings of Christ and
has focused on singling out sectors of society and reviling and berating them as
path to some mythical puritan City On A Hill , and as they have become more
aggressive, I think you'll find that many young people are turning away from
aggressive petty obsessive churches, not God.
Interesting article. And some well thought out, reasonable discussion on the
posts, as well.
God said: "I Think I will Bring Religion to the people"Devil said: "Great! I'll organize it."As an young
Atheist, in the demographic that is discussed in the article, it's not God I
have a problem with, its his fan club.
It seems that people are becoming exactly like Paul prophesied 2000 years ago in
Timothy chapter 3."1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the
last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful,
proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love,
unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,
4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with
them."Some of the comments on this story prove this.
This is encouraging news. It's getting easier and easier for young
"no-religion" types to be out of the closet with it. Good for them,
and good for all of us.
Our society in general is growing up, evolving spiritually into a more
independent relationship with the divine; not needing or hungering for the
strictures of dogmatic religious tenents, but preferring to be free to think for
themselves and not be controlled by their ecclesiastical leaders.
There is no connection between morality, God and church. ANY
"Church", as an organization, is merely a corporate function that
taxes its consumers and lives as a nonprofit entity. Churches are
therefore supported by the taxpayers, whether we believe in them, or not.No wonder the young people are leaving in droves.And it's not just
the young people.I left a Protestant religion as an adult, after 19 years
of hearing the same pap every Sunday and during the week.That came
after years of our family being denigrated as even and as "gentiles"
by a neighbor-relative of the President of the LDS Church. After years of
seeing as much conflict WITHIN our own church, as outside. It was obvious that
the church wasn't improving anyone's life.If you want to support and
attend church, fine.If it gives you the answers to things that scare you,
fine.But I don't think we taxpayers should be supporting you and your
Craig - Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then
shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.Clearly you have honed your ability to judge others. I would argue that
society today is many times more moral than it was at the time of Paul.
Thank God that the Infinite has not given up on them. The finite condemning the
Infinite as some posts here in do, shows the why- He is infinite and they so
I am a baby boomer Mormon and raised my child in the LDS church. And of course
I am first and foremost a Christian. My child choose to leave the LDS church at
the age of 20, I encouraged her to at least attend some religion, she instead
opted to become and atheist. Of course I would love her to believe as I do, and
she knows that, but she also knows that I love her and we have learned to find
those ways that we agree. The other day there was something that I
called to tell her, and I started out and said, I am going to tell you your
right about this as long as when you die and find out that there is a life after
death I can say I told you so then.So if I as a mother can love my
daughter just the same, even though she stopped accepting God, then I know
without a doubt that a perfect loving Father in Heaven will love her more then I
possibly can, and He will too say, "I told you so".
It seems to me that young adults drift away believing that they will find
answers to their concerns/desires and wants (and acceptability)from "the
world". Some continue to float from one approach to another, and then
another. Some return -- some do not. Much of this is due (in my opinion) to
the expectantcy of quicker/immediate answers. They are seldom found.Our minds want certainty, the gospel wants and operates by faith.Bro. Maxwell stated (I'm paraphrasing here) that knowing the true nature of
God keeps us pretty close to the gospel. But there are many that have such a
pre-conceived notions of who God is, and what His plan is that they are easily
deceived, discouraged, then doubt -- and finally are led away.Doubt
is natural. It is OK. Shelve the concern for awhile. Then return to
investigate it some more at another time.One of the lesser known
truths is that of freedom to choose -- and that God will NEVER force his will on
The biggest factor driving youth and older people away from organized religion
is the kind attitude displayed by Craig above.When you are raised in
a Church to believe that God "is no respecter of persons"; that God
"sends his rain on the just and on the unjust", then you see such
judgmentalism, arrogance, condemnation, and irrationality as Craig displays...
well, you just figure it makes no sense to associate with such people as
that.Craig says we are "lovers of ourselves, lovers of money,
boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers
of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers
of God having a form of godliness but denying its power." Therefore, Craig
and his religionists conclude that God has told them: "Have nothing to do
with them."So we are just going along with Craig's God! You
want us horrible, evil people out of your lives, we will happily oblige!
Very interesting article. Some of the posts are equally insightful. I hear a "60's" type rebellion in the voices of those who have
posted their anti-God and anti-religion opinions on this thread. They, the youth
of this article, can more acurately be described as anti-anything authoratative
that may require them to act or perform other than what they WANT to do at the
moment. Just like the drug lost 60's.The issue is less about God and
religion, and more about a general attitude of "I'll do as I please".
These same youth bemoan professors who actually expect assignments to be turned
in and give poor grades for poor work. They complain about employers who
actually expect them to work the whole 8 hours for which they are being paid and
to turn off their cell phones during those hours. They rant about the unfairness
of having to live in a dingy apartment in a less than perfect neighborhood
because they feel entitled to a starter castle funding by the public through
sub-prime mortgages and their associated bail out.Abondoning God /
Church? Not really. Abondoning responsibility and accountability? Likely. A
whimp genration? Absolutely...
@CraigOne thing that turns people off of religion is when people use
religion to attack them. That's why hellfire preachers are mocked and scorned
rather than taken seriously at college campuses. People don't like their
churches attacking others since those other churches are places where they
probably know someone that goes there. Denominations seem to like
competing for membership claiming they have the whole truth and nothing but the
truth but the problem with that is if any single thing doesn't add up right to a
person it can make them quesiton the whole "100% truth" thing. My
personal beliefs don't really match up with any denomination very well at all (I
believe in eternal marriage, don't believe the trinity doctrine, believe Joseph
Smith wasn't a prophet). If you start building up my list of beliefs pretty much
everything is systematically eliminated which for me leaves church activity to
the question "Does it matter or do they care if I'm not 100% following
exactly what they teach?"
runwasatch gives us the same nonsense.Believers tell me there is a
God.I am intrigued. I sincerely want to know if there is such a
being.But so many people for so long have told about so many
different Gods and different stories, how can I know?You tell me
"Read the BOM and pray about it. The Spirit will give you the answer."
(Moroni's challenge).I read the BOM. I pray.Nothing.You tell me: "You didn't pray right. You didn't have a 'sincere
heart'."I try again. I do the best "sincere" I can
muster.'Nothing.You say "You didn't have 'real
intent'".I really get intent. I write out a plan. I read and
pray.Nothing.You say, "You didn't have 'faith in
Christ'".I am puzzled, because this seems to presuppose the
very thing I am asking about. In other words, I have to believe there is a God
in order to ask that God if there is a God.Gotcha.I try
(somehow).Nothing.You say "you are just 'anti-' and
unworthy. Repent and try again."What?This is why
people are leaving religion. It is irrational.
Actually runwasatch, I've found just the opposite out of people who aren't
religious. In my general observation I find that Christians seem the most
entitled to things and lacking responsibility, not all, but if that attitude
seems prevalent to you then look around at those who have it. Most probably
consider themselves Christian. To me the fact that you can say "I'll be
saved" gives people a false sense of well being and license to do as they
please, because in the end they believe that some guy 2000 years ago died for
their sins, and it's all good in the end. Whereas those who don't believe that
might have other reasons for having a moral compass. The religious person might
have you believe that morals come from got, yet studies have shown that many of
these things are indeed inherent, and the absence of moral behavior has more to
do with environment and upbringing more than anything else. Don't take my word
for it, look around. Maybe that's what people are doing, perhaps they are
considering more than just what they are taught in church as being an absolute
MoJules, The patronizing tone of your post was astounding! You
basically act like your daughter is some simpleton and you are patting her on
the head until she learns the lesson the hard way. As much as you
love your daughter you apparently love, being right" more. I mean, you are
pretty much salivating at the chance of telling her, "I told you
"They, the youth of this article, can more acurately be described as
anti-anything authoratative that may require them to act or perform other than
what they WANT to do at the moment."Or maybe they just don't
believe in whatever doctrine that religion adheres to. Contrary to popular
belief, a lot of people leave the LDS church (I use it as an example only
because it's the most common one here) because they just don't believe Joseph
Smith was a prophet, not because "they just want to drink booze".
runwasatch - how can you make a correlation between respect for authority and
responsibility/accountability. While I will question the authority of anyone
who tells me how to live my life under the pretense that they have a divine
connection that I lack, that makes me in no way someone whimpy or lazy or
having any less value to society. In fact some may argue that those who simply
go along without questioning authority have very little value to the community
and are lazy. I've worked hard. I served a mission. I am educated. I believe
in morality that builds and doesn't destroy. I also believe that God gave me a
brain and a voice and requires that I use both and will not condemn me for using
those most precious gifts. You're more than welcome to show how tough your
generation is by doing us all a favor and sending your social security check
A more accurate headline would have been "Checking out of Church: Are young
people no longer falling for it?"
I do not just think that it is the LDS Church it is Church in General and that
includes TV Church, Internet Church. I do not think that they have
given up on God, many have Great Faith in God. What they have given up on is
Organized Religion.How many times can you be rejected as an LDS
Single and get back up with out going and finding a Non Member that loves you
and accepts you.We could Start having Nursery for Kids. Some Faith
groups have Kiddie Church which does a Sermon on their level while the Adults
have theirs.Sometimes in the Church things jut get to much and you
have to say No. To do that you feel you have to step out.People are
always watching you judgeing you and reporting on you. Evan after you become
less active and leave.So it comes down to your watching me, okay
then "Watch This."My Dad always told me to stop crying or
he would give me somthing to cry about.Not forgiving you for things
God has forgiven you for long ago.Welcome Back are you just like US
This article presented evidence that some young people are giving up on
organized religion. It presented no evidence that any young people are giving
up on God.
From those I know who now reject organized religion, most have left not because
they don't believe in a higher force than them selves - more so they don't think
that higher force is the person sitting next to them on the pew. You read so many self inflating comments here by those who hold themselves to
be "saints", all the while they spew judgemental comments toward their
fellow followers. The piousness of the comments by those who think they are
without sin or fault make many feel unwelcome within the doors of "the
Church". If someone smokes, drinks, has same sex attraction, doesn't have
the request church outfit... they are treated as unwanted.My son had
a friend in high school who came from a very mixed up family. His step dad was
only a handful of years older than him, and drank heavily. He loved coming to
our house for what he felt was normal family life. He slowly started attending
church with us as well, until a "well meaning" member told him he
needed to get nicer clothes to come to church in. He never
returned.Its not God they are rejecting.
This is nothing new - this same conversation has been going on for +/- 6000
years and has occurred in every culture. The old god(s) weaken and die and new
ones are born that more closely reflect the values of the changing society.The King is dead! Long live the King!
Valid points.*Its not giving up on God, but more of giving up on
having their spiritual life micro-managed by a church or leader. *Developing a relationship with God with the middle-man removed.*Choosing one of many different ways to worship instead of a set curriculum
dictated by a church.*Receiving the same spiritual nourishing at
home by viewing spiritual related material on the internet, TV, books, etc.*We all graduate from grade school and/or college at a certain point but
what about church? *Seeing church as more of a social club and would
rather worship at home with friends and family.*Agreeing with many
of the core beliefs but not all. But feeling pushed and pressured to believe and
live it all. *Content with attending church occasionally but get
pressured to attend more. *Being very spiritually active in their
own way but are labeled inactive by church due to not meeting their curriculum
The irony of many of the posts here, reflect common trendy slams against
"organized religion".Since when is religion supposed to be
disorganized, since that's the inference.Actually, Christ organized a
church with a prophet, (Peter, two counselors, James and John, and of course,
the 12 Apostles).Give me a break. If the devil gets involved, he will try
his hardest to disorganize it. Thereby, a wide door is opened to the religion of
"whatever". Ultimately, apostasy would again resume. Just like
our country, united we stand, divided we fall. This applies to the church, as
well.Kudos to organized religion!
From the article:1. Postmodern leaversPostmodern leavers
have a worldview that is suspicious of moral absolutes. Although they are open
to the supernatural, they are allergic to any claim of larger truth that
excludes other beliefs.=============That describes my
feelings exactly. But I'd rather be called a postmodern thinker.
I'm not young, and don't speak for the young. But if I was, I might grow to feel
abused, tired or browbeaten by any system putting forth a constant drumbeat of
I think young people are rebelling against religion to find out for themselves
what THEY want to believe through educating themselves. They see that a god is
not needed as an explanation for anything in the natural world. Yes...more and
more of our youth are leaving religion, but that doesn't always mean they are
still believing in God or have faith. More people as a whole are becoming
atheists, and fewer trust religion to be able to solve their problems, provide
explanations, and answer questions. It's not a lack of trust in religious
institutions in general, but the simple recognition that religion's factual
claims and dogmas are unsupported and its moral beliefs are often cruel,
arbitrary, and irrational - relics of a less moral and more superstitious past.
Why should people donate their time and money to churches which have repeatedly
failed to offer proof for their claims of authority, much less use that
authority wisely to advance good?Although many youths may still have
a sense of the divine or spirituality...the definition of that sense does not
include the God of religion, but rather the God of the natural Universe....the
Universe as God.
If people are attending church less, then maybe churches need to reexamine their
message. If I feel the need to hear people being vilified, I can turn on the TV
any time and get whatever message I want vilifying those who "aren't like
me". Are you a preacher? Get yourself a Red-Letter Edition New
Testament and stick to preaching the parts printed in red, and just maybe a few
more people will feel that church has something to offer.
I agree with Abe.If there is a god, and that god really does love us
and has revealed him or herself to mankind in order to save us, then we want
more than anything to know it.The fact that there is no support for
such claims is not a reflection on us, it is a reflection on you who make the
claims.We who do not believe are not failed human beings; you are
failed evangelists, missionaries, and spokesman for god.Attacking us
and deriding us for our unbelief amounts to excuse-making and a red-herring to
cover your incompetence and failure as self-proclaimed messengers of god.We are eager to believe, if you will just give us good reason. But you
fail to give us anything worthy of our belief.Your god destroys
innocent people for no reason. He gives commandments then orders his most
faithful servants to break them. He is no respecter of persons, but plays
favorites with Mormons: the only Church he is pleased with!Instead
of trying to convince me I am unworthy to know god, convince me your god is
worthy of being known.
"'How is this?' said the Emperor to himself. 'I can see nothing! Am I a
simpleton, or unfit? 'Oh! the cloth is charming,' said he, aloud. And he smiled
most graciously, for on no account would he say he could not see what the
officers of his court had praised so much."All his retinue
strained their eyes, hoping to discover something on the looms, but they could
see nothing; nevertheless, they all exclaimed, 'Oh, how beautiful! Magnificent!
Excellent!'"The lords of the bedchamber, who were to carry his
Majesty's train felt about on the ground, as if they were lifting up the ends of
the mantle; and pretended to be carrying something; for they would by no means
betray anything like simplicity, or unfitness for their office."The Emperor walked under his high canopy in the midst of the procession,
through the streets of his capital; and all the people cried out, 'Oh! How
beautiful are our Emperor's new clothes! No one would allow that he could not
see these much-admired clothes; because, in doing so, he would have declared
himself either a simpleton or unfit for his office."So spreads
Honestly, and I am a very active member, but how many years can you go to sunday
school class and hear the same thing over and over again with the same pat
answers, Joseph Smith ( how often do we talk about peter, james, or john - not
very often), Family Home Evening, Family Prayer, Pay your Tithing, the standard
list goes on. On occasion you will get someone who dares to stray from the
prescribed manual script and bring in additional detail, context, and overall
history to what is being discussed.... but not very often.How many
times have the youth been told that if they aren't 100% perfect, well, they just
aren't temple and mission worthy (soiled goods). Since many aren't perfect,
many just give up hope and try to find happiness and acceptance in other
ways.Something I noticed after moving to the "Bible Belt"
is that other denominations members accept that they are not perfect, and attend
church to become better. They acknowledge their imperfections. We in the LDS
faith wear this mask of sainthood, pretending to do no wrong.It is a
high bar to try live to.
I get why people would be turned off by religion. But I don't understand how
anyone could believe that there is not a supreme creator. Seriously. Go google
pictures of the universe as taken by the Hubble telescope. It all had to start
somewhere.At any rate, I've always thought it was a terrible gamble
to be an atheist. I mean, if an atheist is right, he just fades into the
darkness. What happens if he is wrong? That's an awkward situation.Religion, for the most part, takes imperfect human beings and helps them to
live a meaningful life. Imagine (as John Lennon did) if we were all atheists.
It would get UGLY quick.
There is some good research about it outlined in a book by Christian Smith
called "Soul Searching." It's a good read.For the ADD crowd, M.
Scott Peck had a good explanation called The Four Stages of Spiritual
Development.Narcissists have a tough time developing spiritually.
Boy... there sure are a lot of anti religion comments on here.I live by a
university and at the university there are two LDS building close to each other
and three wards of single young adults that meet there.. This university is NOT
in Utah!There may be many youth leaving religion.. but there are those
that also are joining.Interesting the comment I found was that they were
putting religion down and complaing about this and that while passing judgement
on those who attend and one of their main complaints was how judgement was past
on them.I am not perfect by any means - but I know in my heart that
there is a God, and I know that he loves us. I know Christ died for me and for
you. I know that I shall see dead loved ones again. I can't prove it to you,
because it is my personal testimony gained through hardships,pain, fear, love
and through the witness of the Holy Ghost. Yours words may be true for
you.. this is true for me. When I compare your words to what God has done for
me.. Your not even close.
I don't necessarily believe that young people are giving up on God, but on
religion, and as one of those young people I understand at least my own reasons.
I don't know that God is real, but I truly, truly hope he is. I am a member of
the LDS church, but the older I get and the more wonderful people who I meet who
aren't LDS, the more I'm unsure that it is the true church. Many of the
non-members I know are more kind, more compassionate, more accepting, and more
forgiving of others than the majority of members I know. Is there a problem
with a religion, any religion, that turns out masses of intolerant, judgmental
people? If that is the case, then isn't it better for individuals to find their
own reasons for being moral, caring, compassionate people? And if you are a
good person because you wish to be, rather than because you're afraid of
judgement, doesn't it seem like God would prefer that anyway?
"I live by a university and at the university there are two LDS building
close to each other and three wards of single young adults that meet there..
This university is NOT in Utah!"You're in Idaho, it's close
enough to being Utah. I went to Penn State as an undergraduate, our building
three miles off campus had two wards and a branch (one of the wards was for the
townspeople of state college). A student ward was for married with children and
a branch was married without kids and singles which shows that it was largely
graduate student Utah transplants that went to church at Penn State.
Undergraduates like me were pretty rare despite the school having 40k students
(probably 30+k of whom were undergrads) and activity rates among them were low.
@atl134 | 12:51 p.m. Feb. 19, 2011 Salt Lake City, UTI hope
you see this.Please, think upon this one idea. . . that after ALL
is said and done (and actually even before that), there is truth. I mean THE
truth. What actually IS. "oh, I believe this and that. . . why? If you
do believe there is God, then as he is my witness. . . there is truth, and
there is non-truth. There isn't anything in between. There is fact and
fiction.You say you believe in "part" of what Joseph Smith
taught. So some of the revelation and "truths" he espoused are OK but
some not? I have heard others espouse this same idea. I will not laugh at you.
. . but I am totally puzzled by the idea. If Joseph Smith had that interview
with God, then EVERYTHING he has espoused and promoted is true. If not, it's a
crock. Simply that!It's not arrogance to say 100% truth, it's fact
or not; simply that.By the way. . . the gospel he restored is 100%
true. It's perfect. Not the people (that's why the non-beleivers have
problems), just the gospel.
A related DN article suggests that young people are increasingly uncomfortable
with religions that encourage conservative, right wing rhetoric-- specifically
rhetoric against homosexuals. The article goes on to suggest that young people
are not necessarily giving up on God, as much as they are giving up on
conservative religion, whether that religion is LDS, Baptist, Catholic, etc.
"You say you believe in "part" of what Joseph Smith taught. So
some of the revelation and "truths" he espoused are OK but some
not?"Not exactly. My lack of belief in the trinity doctrine and
my belief in eternal marriage predate my even knowing Joseph Smith taught either
of those things. "I have heard others espouse this same idea.
I will not laugh at you. . . but I am totally puzzled by the idea."You don't believe everything Catholics believe is correct but probably
believe some of it. It's kinda like that. Yes I know you're going to say
"but the things I believe that they teach are part of both faiths".
That is true. However, I'm effectively non-denominational even though
technically I'm LDS, so I don't feel personally limited into a "they're
right if it matches up with my denomination" requirement. "By the way. . . the gospel he restored is 100% true. It's
perfect."I feel that God doesn't care if we're 100% accurate
anyway, he cares more about if we're good people (I also believed truth is
learned before final judgment before knowing mormons teach that).
I want to be "spiritual but not religious." That way I won't have to
sacrifice anything, God will never interfere with my lifestyle choices, and I
can be comforted by a vague hope in the afterlife.
Dave in Taylorsville:What was restored????Do some reading.Absolutely nothing!
All one has to do is read this mornings Fox News Headlines......all you
non-believers in God will be begging for mercy one day....and then HE will say,
"I told you so".
So what group rallied a bunch of non-believers to attack this comment thread?
Seriously...Every knee shall bend and every tongue confess. It's
coming folks but it might get ugly before it happens.
Not mine. The Faith of our Fathers is well in tact.Maybe the parents of
those who are checking out are responsible for dropping the ball. The sorting
out of the sheep and goats is underway. Earth life is a testing ground...we are
not robots un der a divine thumb. Follow the prophet.
It's always been easier to stand for nothing than to stand for something. The
youth are learning how much easier it is...
I'm a 25 year old male member of the LDS faith and I know God lives. Every
man/woman is free to choose for themself. In the end I'm not perfect, but I can
always strive to better myself with the help of God and His Son. Just wanted to
share my convictions as young person.
I am a somewhat young person and I have given up on religion and God. The human
species has finally evolved beyond religion. The recent rise of fundamentalism
is a direct response to the growing secularization of society at large. I am
excited we are finally shedding our myths and delusions and starting to focus on
reason and science. Human progress!
I guess I will become unpopulare here and agree with runwasatch except I see the
60's philosophy permeating more than just religious intentions of the young
people. The young people of today are children of those infected by the 60's.
That generation has not changed anything about what they think and believe
except their clothing and hair styles. A nice suit and tie and short hair will
get you further than rags and long stringy hair. Many of those so influenced,
now teach in our liberal universities and govern at the highest levels. They
abhorred God and all things requiring personal responsibility 40 years ago and
still do. The problem is that they have influenced succeeding generations
to participate in the same drug induced stupor that existed in then. A book
intitled "The Death of Right and Wrong" by Tammi Bruce, should be
required reading in our schools. (Not a religious book at all) A return to God,
any God, would be a natural byproduct of a turning away from narcissism and the
self serving attitudes that have permeated our society.Now let the
proof of my words be proven by the responses that are sure to follow
"I am puzzled, because this seems to presuppose the very thing I am asking
about. In other words, I have to believe there is a God in order to ask that God
if there is a God."I can understand why you are puzzled, but
the answer is actually very simple. Yes, you have to take that leap and believe
there is a God. It may go against all reason, but you have to take that leap.
That is called being humble. Despite the fact that you have no concrete proof,
you are humble enough to acknowledge that you don't know everything, and you
will just take it on blind faith that there is a God. Once you do that, you will
begin to see and feel the evidence in your heart and in your mind. You don't
receive the answer until after the trial of your faith. You have to take that
leap before you get an answer. I understand you have put forth great effort. You
have read. You have prayed. You have honestly tried, but you've held something
back. You have held on to your own intellect, just in case.
Interesting article. Is it possible that one reason young people leave faith is
because they expect things to come easy to them with little effort. I see a
difference with young people today (not all but some examples) feel things
should be easily given to them rather than seeking answers even if it takes some
enormous effort on their part. This applies to both religion and non. Just a
When I see comments like "all you non-believers in God will be begging for
mercy one day"...."I know in my heart that there is a
God"...." I don't understand how anyone could believe that there is
not a supreme creator"...."Narcissists have a tough time developing
spiritually"...."Atheism is such an easy way out. Wouldn't it be nice
not to be held accountable for anything and to do whatever you please"? OBVIOUSLY, many of you don't understand atheism, have never studied it,
judge it and the people without really knowing their well-thought out reasons,
and most of all you perpetuate common myths and lies about it. It is
wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any
proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that
certainty. The statements above are NOT evidence and can easily be refuted. Atheists are no less moral than any other individual. In general,
atheists do not lack belief because of ignorance or denial, but are
non-believing through choice based on reason, observation, evidence, and logic.
Atheists are actually distinctly better informed about religion than people who
consider themselves religious.
Sutton, you so don't understand what I am saying, of course I believe in God and
my daughter doesn't and we discuss this openly. I am not hiding from my
daughter or she from me what our feelings are, but we also share that we can not
agree, yet still have a deep profound love for each other. I didn't tell the
full story, she rails on me all the time, cause I am not in shape and I sought
medical attention for lower back pain. My daughter is big into pilates and has
tried to get me to do that, I don't and I did ask the Dr is my pain could be
because of poor core muscles and she said yes. So I told my daughter she can
tell me she told me so as long as when she dies and I see her I can tell her I
told her so. She laughed, thank heavens she is my daughter and doesn't get her
all uptight for us having warm and humorous conversations. But I guess someone
has to take any believers response and spin in into being close minded.
@USAloverSeriously....there is NO group of non-believes rallied to
attack this comment thread. Do you actually expect everybody to agree? There is
NO attack. There is just opinion! Since when is an opposing opinion an attack?
We can't help that you don't like opposing opinions. We certainly don't always
like opinions like yours either, but unlike you we realize people simply have
opposing opinions! I have news for you though! There are plenty of opposing
opinions out there and some of them even come from within religion.Life is often ugly....that is a fact of life....so your typical religious
scare tactics and paranoia are the same tactics that have been used for ages
such as the Dark Ages when there were periods of intellectual darkness.
Doomsayers have been predicting the end of mankind practically forever and still
the world continues on in all its glory and ugliness!Times of
ignorance and superstition have been replaced by times of reason, but
unfortunately many are locked in the world of religion and can't seem to step
outside into light of reason.I fully support your choice though, but
I certainly don't agree with_it!
IS THERE A SCORE HERE? Would someone go through and count all the comments that
are attacking believers, all the comments that attack non-believers. Then count
all the comments where believers are being civil in explaining themselves and
where non-believers are being civil in explaining themselves. I personally do
not appreciate when either believers or non believers have to be rude. And as a
believer myself, I believe the famous words that are written "judge not,
that ye be not judged" And this quote is from a google search. "If
you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own
judgment of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgment
now."-- Marcus Aurelius (121-180 A.D.) Roman Emperor and philosopher
I am bewildered by those who get so defensive of others not believing in the way
they do. If you are confident it how you believe, then someone else's opinion
will not impact your testimony one bit. There is no need to be offensive, nor
defensive.But I must say, the whole concept of Joseph's perfection,
that his interpretation Gods commandments was perfect, and therefor no wiggle
room in how one interprets the gospel is a rather bold and provocative
statement. Thinking so only shows that one has a very selective knowledge of
church history. One of the first lessons we learn as primary kids is how Joseph
was told not to share the documents with anyone, which he disobeyed, and hence
those text were lost. Those parts of its 100% completeness are missing.The scriptures are replete with stories of the lord's Prophets making
mistakes. Adam did. Moses did... this list goes on, and I am sure that
continues into todays leaders. They are no more perfect than the leaders of
old. The gospel may indeed be perfect - but it is funneled through men who are
anything but.There is no perfection here.
Independent,You see? The same old tune. If I didn't get "the
right answer", then there is something wrong with me.Did you
read the rest of my comment? I have asked. I have prayed. I have done everything
the believers say you are supposed to do. Still nothing.Do you
understand that? Nothing. Zilch. Nada. But what is your response to
me? More accusations that I have not been humble enough. More personal attacks
that there is something wrong with me. It is my fault, you say. Humble yourself
and try again. Abandon your "intellect" and try again.I
have abandoned everything. I have humbled myself beneath the dust of the earth,
just to make King Benjamin happy.Still, nothing. For years. For
decades. Nothing.How long shall a person continue to play this game?
10 years? 20 years? How about 30 years? And what about the same game as applied
to other religions? Shall a person spend 30 years studying and praying about
Scientology? Jehovah's Witnesses?Is that what you did?Or, you can accept the possibility that good, intelligent, honest people have
tried "Moroni's Challenge" and gotten an answer: Nothing. No God.
"Abandon your intellect" and then mormonism works? I agree.
@MoJulesWe all judge to one extent or another! It's human nature!
Those who criticise people who seek to judge by the standards given in God's
Word seem oblivious to the fact that in their criticism they too are judging
those they oppose by labelling them 'judgemental'! However, is this critical
judgment being based upon God's word, or upon those things by which we are
forbidden to judge: traditions of men, party spirit, autonomous human opinion,
reason or experience, etc.?? Or is it only--Do not judge the faithful, lest you
be judged! Who gets to decide? The greatest sin (if there is such thing) is
"intolerance" and it seems this is also increasingly the case in many
churches. Anyone who wants to critique something is instantly dismissed as
'judgemental' (so much for tolerance then!).The question of our
knowledge of our own emotions is especially problematic, as it seems they are
both the object of our most immediate awareness and the most powerful source of
our capacity for self-deception. What is often perceived as true is false. Nobody is keeping score though, but everybody does have an opinion to
If the well meaning member had wanted wanted the boy to have nicer clothes to go
to Church in then he/she could have bought them.When my kids where
little we dared not bring them to church with a rip or hole or anything like
unto it. If we did the same day or next day at least one box of clothing would
be on my door step.I have bought more then 1 white shirt for a new
member child or adult.Iwould be shamed if someone said somthing like
that here.Thats jugement that you are not good enough to be with us
if you do not dress a certain way.Priest in the Performence Duties
if at all possible need to follow guide lines. General Attendence , Not so
much.In Hawaii we are Happy You Are Here With Us, we just assume you
are doing the best you can.Some would Reject Jesus because of the
way he was dresses. Tell Josepth Fielding Smith to Shave his Beard.However the offended must be partly accountable.I walked into the
Church and a kindly lady told be what time the Spanish Ward met. I thank her.
"If the well meaning member had wanted wanted the boy to have nicer clothes
to go to Church in then he/she could have bought them."Leaving
a pile of *BETTER* clothes on a doorstep is being just as hateful, rude and
judgmental as telling someone to their face that their clothes are disgusting,
and they are not "welcome" with their less than perfect clothes. If God is real, I would like to think he wouldnt care if we came to
church in dirty t-shirts and jeans with holes in them...If he does
care, is he really the kind of God we should worship????
@Elcapitan "Maybe the parents of those who are checking out are
responsible for dropping the ball."Or maybe their parents
taught them well the idea of agency and then let them govern themselves. By
your last comment of following the prophet, I perceive you are LDS and the idea
of agency is central to the teachings and what God did with His children. And with regard to the prophet to follow which prophet would that be,
Monson, Mohammed, Jeffs, etc. Several religions beleive in following prophets
although they may be different than what you believe.
What a wonderful exchange of ideas! Many people have expressed feelings I feel
my own: " Young People are not giving up in God but in religion". I
think the question should be Why organized religion is not able to satisfy the
spiritual needs of so many people, young and not so young? We will see that
while society is evolving to be more tolerant and loving, religions(many of
them) remain holding to the principles of Paul and Not Christ. Therefore, it is
easy to explain why they don't feel spiritualy satisfied.Young people are
not afraid of God and no one should be. As the founder of the Hari Krishna
movement in the U.S. declared once:"Christians by the most part are
Christians because of fear or interest, Fear of going to hell. Or interest in
going to heaven". As a Christian I love to see young people loving the
world, humanity and God for the sake of pure love and not for selfish reasons. I
certainly have hope in the future, our youth gets better with each generation.
Religion is important and should become more consistent with their own preaching
to become more relevant in society.
A former LDS friend of mine once told me:"Personally, I find
atheists just as annoying as fundamentalists and evangelicals. But the important
thing is that I find a way to feel superior to all of them. That is what my
Testimony is for."So I told her:"For
millennia, members of the human race have groped for comfort in the darkness of
the abyss, and in the face of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and I
begrudge nobody their sources of solace, no matter how ridiculous."But secularism, humanism, and science provide tools: $100 Billion a year
in scientific studies and medical R&D have bought us some pretty powerful
slings and arrows of our own."This world is amazing, and Im
going to live to experience more of it thanks to people who refused to
gracefully swallow the blue pill and blithely accept the ineffability of
existence."I find my courage where I can, but I take my weapons
from science, my direction from humanistic ethics, and my hope from secular
democratic societies and the undying spirit of mankind."She
hasnt spoken to me since.
Almost nothing theists believe about atheists is true. Just because we
don't believe in any gods, including yours, does not mean we have no
obligations, morals or standards. In fact, atheist are among the most educated,
law-abiding, healthy and happy in our society. Many of you need to be more open
to understanding and stop dehumanizing atheists.
Well I haven't yet. Nor will I.
I find this thread disappointing. People on both sides are judging each other,
then complaining about being judged, and judging yet again. People on both sides
are making broad generalizations based on their worst experience with the other
side. Most disheartening I see people trying to find truth, yet attacking people
who are trying to do the same thing. Instead I think we should focus on the
things we agree on.I think that we can all agree we should
"love our neighbor" and strive to not cause injury or offense. I think we can all agree that personal responsibility is a good
thing.I think that we can all agree that it is better to forgive and
forget than hold a grudge.I think we can all agree what defines a
'good person' is not their belief system, but how they treat their fellow men
and women. These principles are all good. They are all key to have a
thriving society. They are not unique to a single religion or belief system and
should be celebrated wherever they are found. How about instead of throwing
insults, we recognize the good in each other and our beliefs.
To: Fairenough4U | 3:30 a.m. Feb. 19, 2011 Draper, Utah - I believe you
have missed the part of the story of "Why you are here". If there was
not test, there would be no reward. Are you sure you want to take the bet that
there is no God or would you rather hedge that bet?To: Dennis | 6:14 a.m.
Feb. 19, 2011 Harwich, MA - believing in something that inspires one to be
better is hardly a burden.To: Sterling Allan | 10:02 a.m. Feb. 19, 2011
Mt. Pleasant, UT - our society is anything but "growing up". We
continue to make the same mistakes and look for the easy way out way too much. I
see a weaker and less compasionate society going forward with a loss of vision
and moral compass.To: The Vanka | 12:54 p.m. Feb. 19, 2011 Provo, UT
- If you have tried your best and still no answer, then go your way. No one can
blame you our critize you. To: diddy | 2:36 p.m. Feb. 19, 2011 Salt
Lake City, Utah - be careful the generation you dismiss as you could not
sacrifice as they have.
I disagree. More and more young people do not believe in God. This is not just
about not being willing to fall for organized religion. It is also about not
believing in God. Being an atheist is not a bad thing. Atheists are among the
most educated, intelligent, responsible, happy and healthy people in society.
Why do people leave anything? Because they are not getting what they need from
that group. I stay in my religion because I believe it is the right religion for
me. All of our children have stayed in the same religion and are more committed
than their parents. All of us are in this life together. When we die we will
either continue to live as spirits until our resurrection or become nothing more
than a decaying corpse slowly returning to mother earth. There are several other
beliefs about what happens to us after death but I'll not recount any of
those.Regardless of your beliefs, try to obey the laws of our land. I
respect your rights to be a non-believer or a different belief system. I'll
probably die within the next 20 years and be at rest from my mortal trials. I'll
have enjoyed this wonderful life. I'll try not to harm my fellow creatures here
on this beautiful planet. Life here has been awesome. Cut the youth some
slack, we were young and some of us remember the 50's and sixties. Rock on and
hold to the rock.
Read 2 Timothy 3 and you will see why these things are happening.Nobody is forced to believe in God, but that does not mean he does not exist.
Obviously, reasons for not believing in God vary, from person to
person. I would say that many youth not following God are too consumed in the
world. For many, it's easier to believe what you want than to
believe in God. Others have sinned and reject God because of their pride. There
are also issues of those who have been offended. Others simply choose not to.
(I'm thankful for agency)The saddest, of each of those reasons - and
there are many more, is that of somebody choosing not to believe in God because
they have been offended. Christ was the only perfect person to walk the earth.
The church is put forth as a tool for the imperfect to reach God. Imperfect
people say and do offensive things. Too many people are so self-consumed that
they do not give the sinner a chance. This doesn't just mean the person who says
something offensive, but the person who is offended. Being offended is an easy
When people claim that God doesn't care or that He should be punished for not
helping make me feel sorry for them. That sounds like a child who wants
something that isn't right for them crying that thier parents hate them and
don't love them. When in actuality, at some time they will understand that the
parents love more than you know and are acting very responsibly. I remember
feeling that way towards my parents, but now that I have children of my own, I
have apologized and realized how wrong I was. The day will come
that you'll feel sorry for feeling that way about God. You'll realize that He
had more love for you than you understood, and that He actually had something
bigger going on for you.
This is news? I think everyone knew this already.
ADN, If God existed, his failure to intervene would be the least of
his sins. Your parental analogy is only a further indictment. The
most immoral parent imaginable would never punish its offspring eternally for
some finite action, much less a belief or lack of a belief in himself. That is
immoral and psychotic. This is especially true because the belief in a
supernatural being is totally nonsensical. Infinite punishments for finite
actions and beliefs cannot be reconciled with some weak-sauce speculative
theology and parental metaphor.My atheism is a compliment to your
God. I simply describe him as not existing; you describe him as unimaginably
immoral and cruel. If I were God, I'd be angry with God groupies who are so
willing to excuse horrible injustices in my name. God ordered the tribe of
Israel to murder every man, woman, child, newborn infant, fetus and animal from
an enemy tribe? Your okay with that? I am not a moral relativist, so I won't
give your God a break on that one. With groupies like you all defending God, he
will welcome atheists with a cold beer and a slap on the back.
Clear123,"The saddest, of each of those reasons - and there are
many more, is that of somebody choosing not to believe in God because they have
been offended."As Fairenough4U so eloquently put it, it is not
the religious people who offend me, it is your god.I have no problem
with imperfect people. It is the monster of a god in which you all believe that
offends me.But you are correct about one thing. It IS easier to not
believe in god, just as it is much easier to not believe myself to be a turnip,
hallucinating on exotic mushrooms that I am a child of a god who harms his
children in order to test their faith as I play existential hide and seek with
them!Reason is so much easier. You should try it sometime.
In 1940 I was born into a family where my parents had very strong religious
beliefs. By age 14 I came to the conclusion that religion is based on
unverifiable magic. By age 17 I totally quit attending. I had become an
atheist and I could no longer believe in a magical sky god.Now at
age 69 I consider that becoming an atheist was the best decision I ever made.
Since the time I quit attending church there have been over 2700 Sundays. I
spent the majority of those days doing outdoors activities such as skiing,
hiking, camping, fishing, bicycling, mountain climbing, sailing, motorcycling
and golfing. Now as I am reaching the sunset years of my life I
have many fond memories of the hundreds of Sundays that I spent doing great
outdoors activities with friends. If instead I had spent those Sundays sitting
in church meetings I seriously doubt that I would have any good memories of
those days. I thought that church meetings were terminally boring and a total
waste of my time. Giving up religion was the most intelligent thing that I ever
I don't have a with people who claim to believe in God...I have even
less of a problem with people who actually do.
Vanka... so your are trying to say you are a better person than all these other
by the fact that you use reason to drive your life. So my question
back to you is what part of "reason" dictates that bashing others for
not believing as you do is logical or moral. In every breath you utter, you
defy what you claim to be true. If you truly have found "reason" to
be your guiding principle, they you would understand that degrading others is
completely counter productive.Rather, you continue to prove that you
are unsecure in your own belief system. There is no other reason to attack
others unless you feel the need to defend that which you are unsure of. If you
truly held to your beliefs, you would happily go along with the other 4% of
Americans that have uniquely found truth. But rather, you spew that others are
"a turnip, hallucinating on exotic mushrooms that I am a child of a god who
harms his children in order to test their faith"By the way, God
doesn't hurt people... people do that themselves. If you want to blame someone,
blame who did the act.
Fairenough4UI do not understand how you can possibly describe God as
immoral and cruel. Your statement completely ignores the Christian belief that
God sent Christ to take upon everyone's sins, sorrows, and pains. In that
respect any cruelty a person felt is also felt by God. Furthermore, Christ's
Atonement makes it so a person's finite actions can be forgiven and as a result
have no effect on their eternal wellbeing. But God will not stop someone from
refusing forgiveness. As CS Lewis said, "All that are in Hell choose
UtahBlueDevil,I have never claimed to be "a better person"
than anyone else. What would that even mean? Betterfor what?"what part of 'reason' dictates that bashing others for not believing as
you do is logical or moral".I have not "bashed"
anyone who does not "believe" as I do." In case you missed it, I
do NOT believe. That is the point of atheism. Pointing out that believers have
failed to evangelize effectively, have failed to offer good reason for belief,
is not "bashing" them."In every breath you utter, you
defy what you claim to be true."What exactly have I claimed to
be "TRUE"? I have asserted no positive belief whatsoever. What have I
written that "degrades others"?BTW, "unsecure"
is not a word, and I defy anyone to explain what this means: "to defend
that which you are unsure of." Huh?"God doesn't hurt
people... people do that themselves."So who do we blame for the
earthquake in NZ? The diseases that kills millions? The tsunami that killed
300,000? Let us know so we can blame them, and we will let god off the hook (if
he has a good alibi).
Darn kids, always growing up and getting their own opinions of stuff.
A former student of mine told me she was tired of hearing the "my God can
beat up your God" rhetoric. That's why she stays away from organized
religion. Out of the mouth of babes...
Vanka,Of course your a good person. I didn't mean to
accuse you of not being humble. I'm just saying that God sometimes requires us
to accept things on faith. We don't get earth shattering confirmations of truth
all the time. If we did, no faith would be required. I'm saying you
have to make a conscious decision to go forward and accept things on faith even
though you haven't satisfied your intellect with proof. Eventually, bit by bit,
you do get the proof. I don't know for certain that every point of LDS doctrine
is true, but I believe it is, and as I live it, I see evidence of its truth in
my life, and I come to understand what it actually means, and I have experiences
that have little explanation beyond the ones offered by my faith, so that I
would actually have to set aside my intellect to deny them. I'm just saying that
if you require proof that a principle is true before you practice it, the proof
will never come.
"'Abandon your intellect' and then mormonism works? I agree."What makes you think your intellect is so infallible?I'm saying
you have to accept that you don't know everything and accept some things on
faith. Begin to practice it, and the proof you seek will come, so that you would
actually have to abandon your intellect to deny it. But, I guess if
you know everything, you're set, and I'm talking to the wrong person. Carry on.
"Joseph Smith ( how often do we talk about peter, james, or john - not very
often), Family Home Evening, Family Prayer, Pay your Tithing, the standard list
goes on."And how often do we actually practice these things -
all of them?We keep talking about these things, because they work.
It doesn't work if you talk about them on Sunday and then go home and give them
no further thought or effort. But if you actually get out of your comfort zone
and do these things better than you ever have before, your life changes. You get
very happy, and everything seems to fall into place. It really does. If it
didn't, I would have given up on it a long time ago.It's not about
being perfect. It's about being happy. If you can't see that living LDS Doctrine
makes you happy, you're missing the point. Unfortunately there are a great many
Mormons who are missing the point. They are the ones who come to church with
scouls on their faces and then go home and yell at their kids and treat their
neighbors like garbage because they aren't LDS.
@IndependentLet me explain. Making a conscious decision to go
forward and accept things on faith even though you haven't satisfied your
intellect with proof FOR MANY would be FORCING oneself to believe something
their mind cannot accept. Atheists, agnostics etc. are justified in regarding
faith as little more than a cop-out because faith isn't really any kind of
standard that can be tested for reliability. Even if religious theists don't
intend it in this manner, it seems that in practice "faith" is simply
pulled out whenever attempted arguments based on reason and evidence fail. In
order to arrive at her/his beliefs I'm sure Vanka has studied many beliefs and
her own reality before coming to his/her conclusions. It seems from reading
Vanka's posts that she probably finds faith brings no reliable truth and no
amount of self-convincing will bring the proof you speak of. Truth
of religion or the existence of some god cannot be defended to a skeptical
nonbeliever on the basis of faith. It means that faith is not an adequate or
reasonable defense of any belief system despite our incomplete knowledge or the
infallibility of ALL OUR_intellects.
Actually atheists and agnostics have faith since faith is simply believing in
something you can't see but is true or factual so the belief that there is no
god would in itself actually require faith no matter what. Its simply a
different definition of the term.
Often believers will try to place atheism and theism on the same plane. If the
only reason for going with one over the other is faith...then, presumably, the
theist will argue that their faith is somehow better than the atheists faith.
This claim relies upon the erroneous assumption that all propositions are
created equal. Disproving a god requires an adequate description of what it is
and what characteristics it has in order to determine either if there is logical
contradictions or if any testable implications hold true. When a god is defined
adequately, it may be possible to construct empirical or logical tests to see if
it exists. Claiming that atheists cannot prove that God does not exist often
relies upon the misunderstanding that atheists claim God does not exist and
should prove this. In reality, atheists merely fail to accept the theists' claim
God exists and, hence, the initial burden of proof lies with the believer. If
the believer is unable to provide good reason to accept the existence of their
god, it is unreasonable to expect the atheist to construct a disproof of it...or
even care about the claim in the first place!
Deism states "God gave us reason not religion"Religion is
regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as
useful.- attributed to Seneca the Younger