I was brought up not to discuss religion or politics in public. That's good advice if you want to climb the corporate ladder without stepping on anybody's toes. The problem with remaining silent, however, is that you allow the vocal minority of fanatics to have their way and continue their corrosive influence on the world.
So I shall not politely remain silent while I see Bible-bangers spread their disease across cyberspace. It's time that, in the name of rationality, somebody actually called a spade a spade, bs for bs. Here goes...
1) The Bible is downright evil, supports evil actions that no decent person would condone.
For example, in the Bible, God kills unborn fetuses by inducing miscarriages in women, God encourages the killing of men, women, children and farm animals, God encourages rape and murder, incest, slavery and 'sacrifice', in the form of killing animals and children. God even takes time out of his busy schedule to make a donkey talk. Quite literally, God talks out of Balaam's Ass. Google "Balaam's Ass" or "Balaam's donkey" for more.
2) The Bible, and religion in general, perpetuate *irrationality*.
The real question is not whether the Bible conflicts with 'science' but the fact that Bible conflicts with ITSELF. Self-contradiction is the highest form of irrationality. You don't need to know anything about science to know that the Bible is utter garbage, you just need common decency (to recognize the atrocities mention in (1) above) and you need to be able to spot a flat-out contradiction when you see it. Fortunately, by googling 'Bible contradictions' you get this website which outlines some of the many contradictions you'll see in the Bible.
The fact is you can talk about science all day long. Fortunately, there are people who do this--they are called 'scientists'. there are good, bad, better and worse scientists. Science uses special methods for acquiring knowledge and making truth claims. "Faith" is not one of them. In any case, science has nothing to do with the stupidities found in the Bible or organized religion. You can do your job as a scientist while still being brainwashed to believe all kinds of crap. Don't be suckered into a conversation about The Bible and science. It's a red herring and distracts from the fact that if a book contradicts itself, then it cannot possibly be true. Another form of argument is to assume that everything in the Bible IS true, and then show how, if it's true, then God is an egomaniacal jerk who hates women, gays, children, farm animals and just about everything else. That is a reductio ad absurdum form of argument that should be employed against Christians and other religious fanatics. Of course, if you aren't a 'fanatic' then you probably have not followed your religious beliefs to their logical conclusion--ALL religious leaders were fanatics, they preached fanaticism, and you either believe the crap they said, or you don't. If you do believe it, and act on those beliefs, then you are a fanatic as well. If you fail to act on those beliefs, then you're a hypocrite. Pick your poison. Fanatic, or hypocrite. there is no in between. That is the logical structure of a *dilemma*, and all self-proclaimed 'believers' of any religion are stuck in that dilemma. fortunately, most of them are merely hypocrites, unlike the 9/11 bombers and fundamentalist christian abortion clinic bombers.
In addition to contradicting themselves, most religious groups employ the fallacy of circular logic. "P is true because of Q. Q is true because of R. R is true because of P." That's the logical structure of a circular argument. The problem with circularity is not that you can't prove what you want to prove, the problem is that you can prove ANYTHING is true with circular arguments, and so you haven't proven anything at all. It is an invalid logical structure.
3) By not speaking out against the irrationality of religion, you perpetuate it and its evil influence.
The worst thing that happened in human history was that the Romans didn't succeed at wiping out the early Christians. Unfortunately, Christianity appealed to the gigantic lower class masses since appealing to complete losers (ie, prostitutes, tax collectors, ex-cons) was part of Jesus Christ's marketing strategy. Not a bad strategy at all. There are a lot more poor, stupid and miserable people who would love to believe that they are GOOD and the rich and powerful are BAD, and that eternal joy and happiness was waiting for them in the afterlife. So sure, it's not surprising that this crap spread throughout the world, with the help of the Roman Catholic Church and its military might, ie, the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, and other acts of genocide and torture. So thanks to military actions that are only rivaled by Hitler and the Nazis, Christianity asserted itself as the dominant religion in the West.
Nowadays the Roman Catholic Church is too busy molesting children and covering it up that they don't have time to engage in genocide anymore. Children are easier victims. And it sure helps that non-Catholics still defend Christianity. "Sure, even if the Catholic Church is bad, that doesn't mean Christianity is bad". Uh-huh. Right. By creating a culture where you have to have respect for other people's 'faith', these Christian sympathizers open the door to even more irrationality and evil.
9/11 was not caused by Fundamentalist Muslims, it wasn't caused by Muslims, and it wasn't caused by Arabs. It was caused by the *irrationality of religion in general*, and that irrationality is spread by good ol'fashioned God-fearing Christians as much as anybody else. Fundamentalist Christians who bomb abortion clinics are just following the religious mumbo jumbo to its logical conclusion. All religion is breeding ground for irrationality. All religion, when followed to its logical conclusion, leads to fanaticism. All religious fanaticism makes the world a s--tty place to live. Just ask New Yorkers after 9/11.
So when you see Bible bangers here on chess.com, or elsewhere, preach their crap. Just throw it right back in their faces and say, "no thanks, I had enough of your crap on 9/11."
This has nothing to do with science, but common sense and common decency. The world needs less 'faith' and more rationality. "Faith" is believing something WITHOUT ANY GOOD REASON to believe it. If there WERE a good reason to believe it, it would NOT be faith, it would just be another belief grounded in empirical fact. But the LACK of evidence is what makes faith what it is. And that lack of evidence is what opens the door to belief in ANYTHING AT ALL. What restricts the beliefs of a rational person are two things: 1) the facts, 2) logic. Faith-based religions say you should believe what THEY tell you to believe, and if they try to give you REASONS for believing it, then they are hypocrites (because then it's NOT faith anymore) and if they don't give you reasons for it, then you have NO REASON TO BELIEVE IT.
"Faith" is not a virtue, it's a form of stupidity. *NEVER* praise 'faith'. The Nazis had a lot of 'faith' in Hitler. Roman Catholics have Faith in the infallibility of the Pope--and so they send their children to get raped by their priest. Al-Qaeda terrorist have 'faith' in Allah and Muhammed, his BS-ing schizophrenic prophet. Mormons have Faith that Joseph Smith wasn't a complete lunatic. "Faith" is a recipe for disaster.
Fortunately, the founding fathers of the United States of America were smart enough to recognize two things. 1) religion is total BS and should be separated from governance (unlike in England, where the King and Queen were appointed by God) and 2) you need to give people religious freedom because, like an angry pack of children, you can't force them to be rational and you cannot rationally persuade them to be rational (because that only works if they're already rational!). You should tolerate them as best you can and hope that one day they might grow up.
For more on the founding fathers and their hostility towards Christianity and organized religion, go here:
"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason"--Benjamin Franklin
"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches." --Benjamin Franklin
"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absenteed myself from Christian assemblies." --Benjamin Franklin
Bible-banging is not just stupid, it's un-American.
4) Religion makes you stupid.
Every cross-cultural scientific study done on the relation between religious belief and intelligence has shown that the more 'religious' you claim to be, the more stupid you are.
It's clear that religious people tend to be more stupid, but what's not so clear is whether there is causation and not merely correlation. Does religion make people more stupid, or is it just that stupid people are attracted to religion? I would say it could be a lot of both. You're certainly not going to get any smarter hanging around religious fruitcakes, and if you are attracting to them in the first place, you're probably a fruitcake yourself.
SPECIAL BONUS: Evil religious book quotations!
Yes, below I quote a revered religous book, and then your job is to guess which religious text it is! Christians love to cite all the evil passages in the Qu'ran, and that's a good thing to do. Unfortunately, they gloss over the evil passages in the Bible. That's not a good thing to do. It's hypocritical, in fact.
Ok here goes--evil religious text trivia! BIBLE or Qu'ran ? Take your pick!
"If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death."
"If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death."
"If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death"
"When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city."
"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." (ok, that's an easy one...but I want the Christians to get at least ONE right!)
"If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property"
"And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend"
"Women should listen and learn quietly and submissively. I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly. For God made Adam first, and afterward he made Eve. And it was the woman, not Adam, who was deceived by Satan, and sin was the result. But women will be saved through childbearing and by continuing to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty.”
"If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them."
all are from the Bible. Both "Old" and "New" Testaments.
The is not a book that is even remotely divinely inspired, unless God is an evil prick.
I would not want anything in this book a part of the governance of a nation.
I would not want my kids exposed to any of this crap.
So the next time you come across a Bible banger, here or in real life, do the world a favor and tell them to go take their crap elsewhere, that irrationality has done enough harm in the world.
All major Western religions are, essentially, organized HATE groups. Mormons hate blacks, gays, and Native Americans. Christians hate women, gays, science, children (ie, Roman Catholics), children's books (ie, Harry Potter) and non-believers. Muslims hate women, gays, infidels and especially Jews. Jews are peculiar in that the smart ones tend to be atheist (ie, Freud, Marx, Bobby Fischer, etc.)--I guess you could say they hate being Jewish, and hate Palestinians. In short, all major western religions are HATE GROUPS. Most of all, they hate RATIONALITY.
Their propensity for irrationality is what leads to *violence*, as was seen on 9/11. Rationality promotes scientific education, intelligence, compromise, ability to weigh risk and reward, ability to skeptically research the facts, always questioning one's assumptions, etc. Those are all traits scorned by religions that promote 'faith', which is diametrically opposed to rationality. Do not be afraid to publicly scorn organized religion, for they are nothing more than hate groups. They all preach 'love', but what they love most is hating infidels, hating their enemies and hating rationality. If you love rationality, it is your duty to stand up to these organized hate groups and call them out for what they are--international and domestic terrorists.