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Aug 28 2009

Some people need religion

Yesterday was the activities bonanza, an outdoor event where student organizations try to get the attention of random passers-by. Overall, it went very well for the Non-theists. We had 35 people sign up for our mailing list, many more people who were interested, and some religious people who talked to us and reacted very positively.

There was one exception, though, and of course the person came when I was in class. Though this is the basic conversation I was told happened:

Old guy: Why don’t you believe in god?
Student: Well, we don’t have enough proof.
Old guy: I have proof. He healed my peg leg.
Student: …
Old guy: How can you be moral without religion?
Student: Would you rape and murder if you found out there is no god?
Old guy: No, but I’m a molester in my heart
Student: …

Needless to say, that was kind of a conversation stopper. What do you say to a guy like that? The people who openly admit that they need religion in order to not do horrible things? I’m all for rational thought and atheism – but buddy, you go right ahead and keep believing in Jesus.

42 comments

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  1. 1
    Veritas

    I would say that those of us with terrible thoughts and urges can control them without needing God.

  2. 2
    Veritas

    I would say that those of us with terrible thoughts and urges can control them without needing God.

  3. 3
    Veritas

    Also, Jen, we need to have a talk. You need to stop calling it an iTouch. It's an iPod Touch. It really does make a difference. iTouch is so….wrong.

  4. 4
    Veritas

    Also, Jen, we need to have a talk. You need to stop calling it an iTouch. It’s an iPod Touch. It really does make a difference. iTouch is so….wrong.

  5. 5
    Kris Maglione

    passers-by

    I actually like the name iTouch… at least in part because it's so wrong.

  6. 6
    Kris Maglione

    <pedantry>passers-by</pedantry>I actually like the name iTouch… at least in part because it’s so wrong.

  7. 7
    BeamStalk

    What Kris said.

  8. 8
    BeamStalk

    What Kris said.

  9. 9
    madatheist

    You should have then asked why all those priests couldn't control them then.

    It's quite simple, those who can control their urges can control them with or without god, in fact, god is fairly immaterial to how people act. If you try to predict a religious behaviour in a religious person, it's only a 14% chance that they will actually do it.

  10. 10
    madatheist

    You should have then asked why all those priests couldn’t control them then.It’s quite simple, those who can control their urges can control them with or without god, in fact, god is fairly immaterial to how people act. If you try to predict a religious behaviour in a religious person, it’s only a 14% chance that they will actually do it.

  11. 11
    Veritas

    I can't find a way to phrase what I actually want to say here without getting fired.

  12. 12
    Veritas

    I can’t find a way to phrase what I actually want to say here without getting fired.

  13. 13
    Jen

    I call it an iTouch precisely because it sounds so dirty. And because it's shorter to type :P

  14. 14
    Jen

    I call it an iTouch precisely because it sounds so dirty. And because it’s shorter to type :P

  15. 15
    Joé McKen

    // What do you say to a guy like that? \\

    You don't. You stare blankly for a moment, then run away.

  16. 16
    Joé McKen

    // What do you say to a guy like that? \\You don’t. You stare blankly for a moment, then run away.

  17. 17
    Rev. Ouabache

    "I'm a molester in my heart"

    WTF does that even mean? Wait… no, I'd rather not know.

  18. 18
    Rev. Ouabache

    “I’m a molester in my heart”WTF does that even mean? Wait… no, I’d rather not know.

  19. 19
    Veritas

    Jen's a dirty girl. Now we have written proof.

    Rev: considering that pedophilia is a hardwire in a lot of cases, just like homo or heterosexuality, he could have been telling the truth.

  20. 20
    Veritas

    Jen’s a dirty girl. Now we have written proof.Rev: considering that pedophilia is a hardwire in a lot of cases, just like homo or heterosexuality, he could have been telling the truth.

  21. 21
    Jen

    I think me describing myself as "perverted" in "About Me" was proof enough

  22. 22
    Jen

    I think me describing myself as “perverted” in “About Me” was proof enough

  23. 23
    Jaki

    So was his peg leg splintered and god gave him some sand paper?

  24. 24
    Jaki

    So was his peg leg splintered and god gave him some sand paper?

  25. 25
    Michel

    For his leg, god made glue.For his heart god made little boys but told him not to touch them.Then god set him free.

  26. 26
    MichelP

    For his leg, god made glue.For his heart god made little boys but told him not to touch them.Then god set him free.

  27. 27
    jeffreywithaj

    I think perverted is being overused here. I think the word most of you are looking for is 'normal'.

    Real perverts say they are molesters at heart.

  28. 28
    jeffreywithaj

    I think perverted is being overused here. I think the word most of you are looking for is ‘normal’.Real perverts say they are molesters at heart.

  29. 29
    Rich

    If you have not seen this yet, have a look.

    281 tricks to irritate an atheist

    http://onclepsycho.canalblog.com/archives/2004/06/05/35086.html#comments

    I had the thought that we could put these up on Twitter one at a time and invite people to think up the snarkiest replies they could.

  30. 30
    Rich

    If you have not seen this yet, have a look.281 tricks to irritate an atheisthttp://onclepsycho.canalblog.c… I had the thought that we could put these up on Twitter one at a time and invite people to think up the snarkiest replies they could.

  31. 31
    mcbender

    I've always wondered if these people are really serious, as I find it utterly ridiculous that they could actually think that way. I'm afraid that I'm beginning to think they are, though.

    The real question is, how do you get through to these people? I'm tempted to say that I think they have some degree of antisocial personality disorder… but I'm not qualified to make such a diagnosis and regardless it'd be premature to do so in any case.

    Of course, then there's also the problem of whether or not one should try to get through to them. Self-avowedly, if they lost their belief they'd immediately become criminals… perhaps we need a sort of medically prescribed religion for this sort of person only?

    Even that seems unethical to me. What do we do?

  32. 32
    mcbender

    I’ve always wondered if these people are really serious, as I find it utterly ridiculous that they could actually think that way. I’m afraid that I’m beginning to think they are, though.The real question is, how do you get through to these people? I’m tempted to say that I think they have some degree of antisocial personality disorder… but I’m not qualified to make such a diagnosis and regardless it’d be premature to do so in any case.Of course, then there’s also the problem of whether or not one should try to get through to them. Self-avowedly, if they lost their belief they’d immediately become criminals… perhaps we need a sort of medically prescribed religion for this sort of person only?Even that seems unethical to me. What do we do?

  33. 33
    Rich

    For my part I have concluded that many of them are lost to us. That is why I put my efforts into an international initiative to end forcing faith on children. We could make a serious dent in the problem if we could prevent as few as 10 percent of children destined to be victims of a mind control regime from being swallowed up. This is because the finances of churches are sensitive to even small negative cash flows. Most are heavily leveraged. Cut off the flow of children and you cut off their major revenue source, families. Institutions will either reform or go bankrupt.

    The reform we seek is a policy of not accepting anyone except adults as members.

  34. 34
    Rich

    For my part I have concluded that many of them are lost to us. That is why I put my efforts into an international initiative to end forcing faith on children. We could make a serious dent in the problem if we could prevent as few as 10 percent of children destined to be victims of a mind control regime from being swallowed up. This is because the finances of churches are sensitive to even small negative cash flows. Most are heavily leveraged. Cut off the flow of children and you cut off their major revenue source, families. Institutions will either reform or go bankrupt. The reform we seek is a policy of not accepting anyone except adults as members.

  35. 35
    ~Chris

    You err by looking at the institutions. Even the bible strongly criticizes the very church Christianity establishes… they're made up of people right ? Fallible is all of our middle names. See the whole picture. There is plenty of proof there is a God, but you need to see what you see and believe what is clear. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." So… there is evidence… look for it and you will be satisfied. You can easily crush the churches, but you dare not destroy the innocent faith of a child, do you ? They are fresh from God, and you do that at your own peril.

  36. 36
    ~Chris

    You err by looking at the institutions. Even the bible strongly criticizes the very church Christianity establishes… they’re made up of people right ? Fallible is all of our middle names. See the whole picture. There is plenty of proof there is a God, but you need to see what you see and believe what is clear. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” So… there is evidence… look for it and you will be satisfied. You can easily crush the churches, but you dare not destroy the innocent faith of a child, do you ? They are fresh from God, and you do that at your own peril.

  37. 37
    Anonymous

    That guy is such a bad Christian. According to Jeebus, he should have cut out his heart!"It is better for you to lose a part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." (Matthew 5:29)

    Most men ARE molesters in their hearts. It's not God that stops us from molesting people left and right – it is our evolved sense of right and wrong, and our concern for the psychological well-being of others (knowing that a woman is a person – something more than an object). If anything, religion undermines human sensibility with that very objectification of others (women/slaves/etc) which leads to inappropriate conduct. Many religulous people would say that their religion doesn't seek to oppress women, but they obviously haven't read the bible/Koran/etc… it seems these days only the religious wakkos actually do read and believe every word of their sacred text. Most Christians allow their sensibilities to trump biblical literalism, turning the bible into a metaphor from which they randomly choose some things to take as literal. This confuses the bajeezus out of the poor young children (like I used to be).

  38. 38
    Anonymous

    That guy is such a bad Christian. According to Jeebus, he should have cut out his heart!”It is better for you to lose a part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:29)Most men ARE molesters in their hearts. It’s not God that stops us from molesting people left and right – it is our evolved sense of right and wrong, and our concern for the psychological well-being of others (knowing that a woman is a person – something more than an object). If anything, religion undermines human sensibility with that very objectification of others (women/slaves/etc) which leads to inappropriate conduct. Many religulous people would say that their religion doesn’t seek to oppress women, but they obviously haven’t read the bible/Koran/etc… it seems these days only the religious wakkos actually do read and believe every word of their sacred text. Most Christians allow their sensibilities to trump biblical literalism, turning the bible into a metaphor from which they randomly choose some things to take as literal. This confuses the bajeezus out of the poor young children (like I used to be).

  39. 39
    bananavan64

    Thank you, Veritas! I thought I was the only one who thought calling an iPod touch an iTouch was wrong.

  40. 40
    bananavan64

    Thank you, Veritas! I thought I was the only one who thought calling an iPod touch an iTouch was wrong.

  41. 41
    Joel Klinepeter

    I think I prefer iTouch too… it does sound more… interesting…

    On topic though… If I meet someone who says their belief in eternal punishment is the only thing that keeps them from molesting children, raping women, or killing with wonton glee then I say quite plainly to the persons face "Then you're a horiffically immoral person and for the sake of society I hope you never give up your dilusions."

  42. 42
    Joel Klinepeter

    I think I prefer iTouch too… it does sound more… interesting…On topic though… If I meet someone who says their belief in eternal punishment is the only thing that keeps them from molesting children, raping women, or killing with wonton glee then I say quite plainly to the persons face “Then you’re a horiffically immoral person and for the sake of society I hope you never give up your dilusions.”

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