NZ by religion

December 11th, 2013 at 7:46 am by David Farrar

The top 10 religions in NZ from the are:

  1. Catholic 491,421 (11.6%)
  2. Anglican 459,771 (10.8%)
  3. Presbyterian 316,329 (7.5%)
  4. Christian  217,177 (5.1%)
  5. Methodist 97,320 (2.3%)
  6. Hindu 89,082 (2.1%)
  7. Buddhist 58,212 (1.4%)
  8. Baptist 53,496 (1.3%)
  9. Muslim 45,963 (1.1%)
  10. Pentecostal 45,777 (1.1%)

The mainstream Christian denominations represent around 40% of New Zealanders. Of those who have no stated they expressed it as:

  • No religion 1,635,348 (38.6%)
  • Not stated 301,608 (7.1%)
  • Object to answering 173,034 (4.1%)

 

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232 Responses to “NZ by religion”

  1. Reid (15,904 comments) says:

    Here’s the difference between people who don’t have an anchor, and those who do…

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  2. Mobile Michael (410 comments) says:

    And Catholicism takes over from Anglicans as NZs largest Church for the first time.

    However, I’m one of the 173k who refused to answer – I also refused to answer any questions relating my personal life as they are not relevant to Government planning, and would in fact be illegal to do so as it would be discriminatory and breach human rights legislation (and wrote that as the answer to those questions).

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  3. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    That’s the first time Catholics have outnumbered Anglicans – shrinking less fast?

    I’m in by far the biggest group which has increased by 26% since 2006. The numbers show a fairly wide spread of religious affiliations, with Christian followers down by 8% but still above ‘Noneists’ at 1.9 million.

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  4. Judith (7,442 comments) says:

    Many people state they are a certain religion, due to what their family has historically followed, however, when you speak to them, they actually never attend church, and some don’t even believe in God.

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  5. kowtow (7,579 comments) says:

    Catholics growing due to immigration from plces like the Phillipines.

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  6. tvb (4,192 comments) says:

    The drop in the Anglican church is quite significant. In time it will merge again with the catholics especially the “high” Anglicans who are catholic in all but name. The protestant wing of the church may soldier on and perhaps merge with the Presbyterians.

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  7. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    Reid – disappointing to see you lead with a holier than thou ‘them versus us’ approach.

    One of the strengths of New Zealand is our general ability and willingness to co-exist with varying beliefs and non-beliefs without ostracising from a pissy pedestal.

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  8. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Judith that might be true for older generations.

    However, I suspect that a large proportion of the people now declaring themselves to be of ‘no religion’ are those who in previous censuses chose a religious affiliation based on ‘tribal identity’ rather than belief.

    With the rapid decline in the respectability of Christianity, I would suggest that those who self-identify as belonging to a religion are less likely to do so nominally than ever before.

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  9. big bruv (13,198 comments) says:

    Fantastic news!

    We are winning the battle against the evil that is religion. Less than half the population now believe in a sky fairy.

    It will not happen in my lifetime but my future grandkids can look forward to a religion free NZ.

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  10. Wayne91 (143 comments) says:

    Reid 7.55am – Your generalising statement is sanctimonious and hypocritical

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  11. Judith (7,442 comments) says:

    Pete George (20,100 comments) says:
    December 11th, 2013 at 8:07 am
    Reid – disappointing to see you lead with a holier than thou ‘them versus us’ approach.

    One of the strengths of New Zealand is our general ability and willingness to co-exist with varying beliefs and non-beliefs without ostracising from a pissy pedestal.

    Sadly, that used to be the way, it is not any longer. One only has to read this blog to note that co-existing is not an option for many. Some clearly believe that all should follow their beliefs and anyone that doesn’t is inferior in some way. (I’m not pointing the finger at Reid – but rather many people in a whole heap of situations, not just religious belief). We are a very divided nation at present, which is disturbing, because we are not big enough to benefit from that.

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  12. mandk (815 comments) says:

    big bruv: “Less than half the population now believe in a sky fairy”

    Non sequituur. Not having a religion is not necessarily the same as not having a belief.

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  13. iMP (2,231 comments) says:

    A bit meaningless, as some are here by conviction, others it’s just a badge of heritage and culture. These distinctions mean little amongst Christians these days. Independent churches (the ones flourishing) are full of all denominations, and people of none.

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  14. Ed Snack (1,733 comments) says:

    From observation, I’d say that the nominal or professing Christians who post are far more likely to happily co-exist than the rather moire militant aetheists. Followers of religions other than Christianity, well the only one I can think off is Griff, and he’s totally intolerant, although I suppose one could include the Yoza’s and ITStrickys as followers of the socialista religion, and not much tolerance there either.

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  15. big bruv (13,198 comments) says:

    mandk

    “Non sequituur. Not having a religion is not necessarily the same as not having a belief.”

    Wow!…religion burying it’s head in the sand once again.

    Must I repeat it for you?, less than half the population now believe in the sky fairy. That is a statement of fact.

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  16. James Stephenson (2,004 comments) says:

    One only has to read this blog…

    I wouldn’t go basing any conclusions about people’s willingness to co-exist, on a place that functions more or less as a club for people who like to argue.

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  17. Steve Wrathall (237 comments) says:

    Great, so I now presume that in this confidently secular NZ, the media will feel free to publish a satirical cartoon of muhammed without fear? ….No?
    “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” – Voltaire

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  18. EAD (567 comments) says:

    The first thing Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot et. all did was ban religion to be be replaced by the religion of the almighty state. We’re just arriving at the same destination at a much slower pace.

    The reason behind emptying the churches is if you want to commit evil acts you must first remove all reference points of Christian morality which can be summed up as:
    - love thy neighbour
    – do unto others as you’d like to done to you

    We are marching into a cross between 1984 and Brave New World but don’t worry Big Bruv, keep attacking those “sky fairies” that keep you awake at night

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  19. kowtow (7,579 comments) says:

    How many who claim to have no religion will have a Christmas celebration this month? Or buy chocolate at Easter.

    No problem by me,I think it’s great that we acknowledge our history and traditions. Christianity is at the heart of our culture.

    Culturally we are a Christian and European nation. Long may that continue.

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  20. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Here’s the difference between people who don’t have an anchor, and those who do…

    Reid , you better hope people don’t check out your link, given the history of sadistic violence your ignorant cult is known for, especially against, gay, non virgins, kids, Jews, scientists etc.

    You do not have an “anchor” you have a morbid fear of your own mortality and an inflated sense of the importance of your existence. So you have created a fantasy world to help you cope.

    The bible is a disgusting book, which if written today, would be banned. If you see that vile filth as a source of morality, you should be locked up.

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  21. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t go basing any conclusions about people’s willingness to co-exist, on a place that functions more or less as a club for people who like to argue.

    Yep.

    Even I am respectful and tolerant of cultists in day to day life.

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  22. mandk (815 comments) says:

    big bruv:”That is a statement of fact’

    Actually, no.

    Even if you assume that all those who did not respond and all those who objected to responding had no religion, you still don’t get to 50%, based on the numbers presented by DFP.

    Even then you still have to equate no religion with no belief in God

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  23. eszett (2,329 comments) says:

    kowtow (5,857 comments) says:
    December 11th, 2013 at 8:32 am
    How many who claim to have no religion will have a Christmas celebration this month? Or buy chocolate at Easter.

    Because decorating a pine tree on the winter solstice and chocolate bunnies and eggs at easter are sooooo original christian celebrations.

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  24. Reid (15,904 comments) says:

    Your generalising statement is sanctimonious and hypocritical

    You could argue the entire Bible is sanctimonious Wayne and if you’re saying that I’m being hypocritical because you think Christians shouldn’t criticise people who do evil on the grounds of Jesus’ example, then the same point applies. Jesus called evil when He saw it and so do I.

    One of the strengths of New Zealand is our general ability and willingness to co-exist with varying beliefs and non-beliefs without ostracising from a pissy pedestal.

    Pete, same point applies. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Don’t forget the first part.

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  25. kowtow (7,579 comments) says:

    Talking of respect and tolerance …..
    Muslims in 2006 were 36072,today that stands at 45963……..

    A 27% increase!

    So the big bruv’s have very little to celebrate,far from sky fairies disappearing ,it’s our culture that will disappear as pollies,the media and the left increasingly suck up to them.

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  26. kowtow (7,579 comments) says:

    eggshells

    All part of our European roots and traditions….good things to acknowledge and celebrate.

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  27. jackinabox (547 comments) says:

    God, religion silly stuff. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exoplanet

    1 in 5 Sun-like[a] stars have an “Earth-sized”[b] planet in the habitable[c] zone,

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  28. Manolo (13,297 comments) says:

    NZ does not need more followers of the vile religion of peace. Period.

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  29. WineOh (537 comments) says:

    NZ has been a ‘secular state’ for a long time… this doesn’t mean anti-religious or even non-religious, it means that the government is non-partisan and separate from religious influence. It means the church is not involved in creating government policy, educational curriculum or scientific research.

    @ Reid- having a christian faith does not preclude being a good person. You don’t have to fear God in order to love your neighbour, be charitable or do the right thing. Thats called just being a decent human being. Our entirely civilisation has been created and thrived around mutual cooperation, as soon as our culture changed that when meeting a neighbouring clan or tribe our first instinct was to greet them and seek out opportunities for mutual benefit (instead of bash them with a rock). And that was well before any organised religion.

    Personally I was raised a Christian, though for me there are too many contradictions as a free thinking individual for me to believe in God and I still lead my way in a moral and ethical path and I still respect those who follow a faith regardless of which creed they align to. I will be celebrating Christmas, but not through a tie to the church but because it is a tradition to use it as a time to celebrate the important things in life- family, good friends, charity to others. Peace & goodwill to mankind.

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  30. Longknives (4,384 comments) says:

    Stating ‘No religion’ doesn’t necessarily make you an ‘Atheist’- Plenty of Agnostics out there or even people with their own personal set of beliefs..

    Amazing how few Muslims there actually are- considering they are always beating their chests and spouting off about everything under the sun ‘offending’ them..

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  31. Huevon (182 comments) says:

    How fitting for the Herald to have a photo of a butch priestess on an article about the decline of Christianity…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11170414

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  32. Alan (1,054 comments) says:

    49.8% don’t claim religious faith, doubtless we’ll kick over into the majority next time round.

    Time to end the nonsense of prayers at state occasions. The islamic numbers are a worry though.

    Jews don’t even make the top ten ?

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  33. WineOh (537 comments) says:

    But perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the survey is the virtual disappearance of the Jedi.

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  34. Longknives (4,384 comments) says:

    “Time to end the nonsense of prayers at state occasions”

    Alan- Good luck getting rid of Maori blessings…
    Christmas will be banned/renamed before that happens…

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  35. kowtow (7,579 comments) says:

    They’re doing their best to rid parliament of an important tradition,the Anglican prayer.

    As a Roman Catholic I’m more than happy to retain it.

    It’s part of our history,culture and tradition.

    Also a gentle reminder to our masters that they are not the ultimate power in the land and have a moral duty to serve,humbly and selflessly.

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  36. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    Hate the sin, love the sinner. Don’t forget the first part.

    Do you mean hate anything that challenges your beliefs? If you were confident in your beliefs you’d simply mind you own business believing what you want and not care about what others believe or don’t believe.

    “It’s actually from St. Augustine. His letter 211 (c. 424) contains the phrase *** dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which translates roughly as “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.”

    The phrase has become more famous expressed as “Love the sinner but hate the sin” or “Hate the sin and not the sinner” (the latter form appearing in Mohandas Gandhi’s 1929 autobiography).”

    To which I would add, “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is not biblical at all. When Gandhi said it, he was reminding people to focus their anger on what the person did and not on the person, which is actually good advice when dealing with having been wronged by someone. Since the person spouting the cliche has usually not been wronged by any gay person, the advice does not apply.

    The biblical advice, based on what Jesus said to a lot of people fairly often, would be more along the lines of “love the person and mind your own business about what you perceive as their sin.”

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090126160636AA97nVO

    Promoting religious ‘hate’ is common (and non-religious hate too as per some comments here) – seems quite un-Christian-like to me.

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  37. Nukuleka (197 comments) says:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2521212/Wikipedias-10-significant-people-EVER.html

    Sorry to rain on the anti Christians’ parade but Jesus Christ heads this list of the most significant historical figures ever, based upon internet stats.

    What is most astonishing about this sad little anti everything brigade is the level of sheer venom they carry in their bitter little hearts.

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  38. Changeiscoming (132 comments) says:

    The person(s) that made up this question should be embarrassed. It makes absolutely no sense and shows a total lack of understanding of the Christian faith. The question makes out that denominations are seperate religons in there own right, they are not and also lumps a style of Christiananity – Pentecostal into the first part as well. eg Baptists, Anglicans etc can also be Pentecostal.

    The first part of the question should ask the religion the person identifies with eg Christian, Hindu, Muslim, other etc. Then part B of the question should ask the demonination eg Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, New Life, AOG other etc

    I never know how to answer this totally misworded question.

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  39. kiwi in america (2,431 comments) says:

    Very interesting. No Religion + objectors makes up 44% of New Zealand’s population versus 20% who stated the same thing in a 2012 Pew Survey on religion in the US http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/09/nones-on-the-rise/. Of the 20% who state No Religion in the US, only 6% categorize themselves as atheists. It would be interesting to see what the percentage would be in NZ.

    One thing that I have noticed that is most profoundly different here in the US is the role belief in God plays in politics. In NZ to be a practicing church going Christian (of any flavor) not only encompasses a small minority of politicians but is considered a decided electoral liability – something to definitely leave under or unstated. In the US it is the exact opposite. Being an atheist is such political toxin that there are currently NO admitted atheists in Congress and apparently only 6 admitted atheists holding ANY public office in the US
    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/12/the-last-taboo-atheists-politicians-100901.html?hp=pm_1.
    To profess belief in God, to admit to being a regular church goer and to invoke God’s blessing on people are all considered electoral assets to be deployed as frequently as the religious tenor of the voters of the politician’s district will tolerate.

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  40. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    If you look down the full list of religions, you’ll find that there are 2 Sith just as there were at the last census. There should be a tick box to determine which is the master, and which is the apprentice.

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  41. jackinabox (547 comments) says:

    “Sorry to rain on the anti Christians’ parade but Jesus Christ heads this list of the most significant historical figures ever, based upon internet stats.”

    I wonder if in 2000 years there will be people claiming that Nelson Mandela was the son of god sent to earth to save mankind?

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  42. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    The first thing Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot et. all did was ban religion to be be replaced by the religion of the almighty state. We’re just arriving at the same destination at a much slower pace.

    The doctrine of the sovereignty of parliament is an aspect of the religion in which the state is “God”.

    The reason behind emptying the churches is if you want to commit evil acts you must first remove all reference points of Christian morality which can be summed up as:
    - love thy neighbour
    – do unto others as you’d like to done to you

    That is Pauline morality, gospel morality can be found in Mat 22:35-40

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  43. RRM (9,414 comments) says:

    Oh, for God’s sake…

    No Religion 1,635,348 (39%)

    Fuck off Christ stains, I don’t need to believe in your sky fairy in order to live a good life and do some good in the world.

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  44. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Idiot lying cultists constantly repeat the old Mao, Stalin, Hitler meme.

    Hitler was a Catholic. Mao and Stalin did those things because of socialism, not atheism.

    Do Catholic rape little boys because they are Catholic ?

    We do know that the holocaust in Croatia was due to a desire to establish a Catholic state and WAS supported by the Church right to the Vatican.

    What disgusting people Catholics are.

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  45. RRM (9,414 comments) says:

    davidp – reference for the 2 Siths? I couldn’t find them on the official spreadsheet.

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/data-tables/total-by-topic.aspx

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  46. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    9.Muslim 45,963 (1.1%)

    This will be the “invasion” we here so much about daily from the hate monger kowtow.

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  47. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    That’s a gross (disgusting) generalisation. Most of the people I know who are Catholics are decent ordinary New Zealanders.

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  48. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    As a Roman Catholic I’m more than happy to retain it.

    It’s part of our history,culture and tradition.

    Lies.

    Is is nothing to do with us. It was imposed on the PAGAN Brits by force from their Roman rulers.

    It belongs in the Middle East, a few thousand years ago.

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  49. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    49.8% don’t claim religious faith, doubtless we’ll kick over into the majority next time round.

    Not claiming any religious faith doesn’t mean that they don’t have any, it just means that they don’t want to be lumped in with a group that they don’t identify with.

    If nobody identified themselves as belonging to any religious group then people who start wars based on religion would have a major problem.

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  50. Andrei (2,498 comments) says:

    Oh the ironies of the times in which we live the West descends into Godless apostasy – meanwhile Muscovites are coming out in their tens of thousands to publicly recite the Creed together

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  51. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    PG, fuck you weirdo. I will not look to creeps like you for tips on morality. You make me sick you vile little social misfit.

    The Catholic church is dripping with blood, torture and oppression. Catholics are only “decent” when circumstances allow it. Even recently their absurd faith has motivated attrocities.

    [DPF: 20 demerits]

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  52. s.russell (1,558 comments) says:

    But perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the survey is the virtual disappearance of the Jedi.

    Jedi is just another name for Bhuddist I think – though most Jedi do not realise this.

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  53. Judith (7,442 comments) says:

    Personally I don’t have a problem with people believing in whatever they wish to, as long as it doesn’t impact on me negatively, or on society. Some regulation in society is good, especially those that support morality (to a certain degree).

    I don’t believe in the existence of God, I wish I did. Life and death certainly appears to be much easier for those that do, especially those that believe they will see their dead loved ones again.

    We celebrate Christmas because we love tradition and it is honoring the beliefs of our ancestors – my grandchildren are versed in the story of christmas, but mostly we celebrate the tradition of santa claus and all that goes with it. Just the same as we celebrate the tooth fairy when they lose a tooth, and we have easter egg hunts at easter. They are told of why we do such things and how our ancestors once believed those stories. Like all children they love it, and I believe it serves the purpose of providing them with creative imaginative minds.

    As far as I’m concerned, anything that makes family’s stop their busy lives and take the time to be together, have fun and enjoy some of the best things in life – is great. Those that abuse it, overspend and rely on alcohol and whatever, aren’t celebrating christmas, they are celebrating stupidity.

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  54. alloytoo (429 comments) says:

    Sadly there was no provision for FSM again……

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  55. KiwiGreg (3,169 comments) says:

    Why does the government even collect this data? It can’t possibly be relevant to the functions of government?

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  56. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    The Catholic church is dripping with blood, torture and oppression. Catholics are only “decent” when circumstances allow it. Even recently their absurd faith has motivated attrocities.

    Another gross generalisation that has little or no relevance to New Zealand.

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  57. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    PG, try standing for what is right for once you maggot. Instead of craven attempts to appeal to the popular with a contrived and painted on morality.

    The Catholic church has “has little or no relevance to New Zealand” though they are proven child rapists.

    [DPF: 20 demerits]

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  58. Longknives (4,384 comments) says:

    “I wonder if in 2000 years there will be people claiming that Nelson Mandela was the son of god sent to earth to save mankind?”

    I think Hone Harawira made a claim of this nature in the media yesterday…(By the way- did WE pay for his trip to South Africa?)

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  59. Longknives (4,384 comments) says:

    “What disgusting people Catholics are”

    No offence taken Kea!!

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  60. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    I’m standing up for what I think is right, and condemning what’s wrong which clearly is you when you blame all for the faults of a few. But that’s your standard daughter of Redbaiter (without the humour) abusive attention seeking behaviour.

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  61. RRM (9,414 comments) says:

    Trololololo…. ;-)

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  62. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    PG is living proof that if you stand for nothing you fall for anything.

    Creep.

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  63. nickb (3,658 comments) says:

    In the words of “Bumble” Lloyd “Oh boy, get ‘em a set of handbags!”

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  64. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Why can’t everybody just get along ? :)

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  65. mandk (815 comments) says:

    Kea,
    What’s with all the abuse?

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  66. Ashley Schaeffer (401 comments) says:

    Rabid atheist.

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  67. Steve Wrathall (237 comments) says:

    “Jesus Christ heads this list of the most significant historical figures …”
    If he was a historical figure…

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  68. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Kea,
    What’s with all the abuse?

    mandk, interesting you direct that comment towards me and rather revealing of your bias. My comments are pretty tepid by the standards of KB.

    But to answer your question… religion causes very real harm to real people. The world is wracked with religious inspired death, conflict and destruction. It is not OK and I will not dress it up and pretend to “respect” it to protect the egos of those responsible. This is NOT a philosophical debate. It is a pragmatic one that matters to billions of people.

    Get it ?

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  69. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    “Rabid atheist.”

    Atheism is not a belief system. It is the default setting you were born with. You were indoctrinated with religion.

    You are an atheist yourself, about all the thousands of other gods, except your own. I just believe in one less god than you.

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  70. Scott (1,693 comments) says:

    Hi Kea,
    just to let you know that it appears your attacks are getting more personal and just more vicious. I have highlighted your comments for DPF to have a look at as to whether he thinks they are acceptable.

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  71. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    But to answer your question… religion causes very real harm to real people.

    It’s not religion that does the harm, it is a minority of people who happen to have religious beliefs (or pretend to in order to power trip or oppress). But this thread is about religion in New Zealand.

    There’s scant if any evidence that religion “causes very real harm to real people” here. It’s known to be a significant benefit to many people, far outweighing any negatives.

    Many people are quite happy being non-religious as well, they gain nothing from religion but don’t feel any need in that respect.

    Abusive behaviour does far more harm in New Zealand than religious or non-religious views.

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  72. Ashley Schaeffer (401 comments) says:

    You are an atheist yourself, about all the thousands of other gods, except your own. I just believe in one less god than you.

    Please don’t make assumptions about my belief. Just because I find what you write on KB about religion and those who hold religious belief repugnant, doesn’t define me as Christian or even religious.

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  73. big bruv (13,198 comments) says:

    “Abusive behaviour does far more harm in New Zealand than religious or non-religious views.”

    Abusive behaviour and the Catholic church are one and the same.

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  74. Scott (1,693 comments) says:

    As for me I think the decline in Christianity is on one hand sad. Apparently in 1956 about 90% of New Zealanders identified themselves as Christian.

    Having said that on the other hand there is an opportunity for the church because there are a lot of unsaved souls out there. I know that the church at Christmas time gets a lot of people who normally don’t go to church. And of course events like Christmas in the park where Christmas carols are sung remain very popular.

    But remember that Jesus is the reason for the season! I do hope that all the Kiwi blog readers have a very Merry Christmas.

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  75. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Abusive behaviour does far more harm in New Zealand than religious or non-religious views.

    It is not the language of atheists that have resulted in millions dead. It is the actions of theists.

    You sanctimonious posturing creep.

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  76. mandk (815 comments) says:

    @ Kea,
    Yes, I get it, but I don’t think you do.
    Your response to my question was measured and temperate.
    My point is that you often depart from that standard.

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  77. kowtow (7,579 comments) says:

    mandk

    kea is a troll. No point engaging it.

    Look at the rot it posted at 838……even I am respectful and tolerant…..”

    Then followed by a tirade of hate and abuse.

    Looking for reactions, appealing to its mates, the other Christian haters here…..nasska ,davinci etc.

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  78. Don the Kiwi (1,576 comments) says:

    Kea.

    Go onto General Debate, and say things that make sense, as most of your comments there do – unless you get onto religion, and sink into an abusive mire as you have done here.

    On GD, I agree with most of what you have to say. I do prefer debating with reason and calm, rather than hate and spite.

    Just sayin’.

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  79. Fentex (854 comments) says:

    The top 10 religions in NZ from the census are:

    In the 2001 Census 1.5% of people reported Jedi (which would have been the third largest religion in that census – counting I presume all Christian denominations as one religion) and the census takers said “The Answer is understood but will not be counted”.

    I’ve always thought that brought the census into disrepute as it was statement that the reported results are filtered through editors prejudices and not an honest accounting of the answers.

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  80. Fletch (5,992 comments) says:

    We are winning the battle against the evil that is religion. Less than half the population now believe in a sky fairy.

    If you take the population of the world into account, though, most of the world is religious in some way, and just over 2% are Atheist.

    According to the CIA website, there are approx 7 billion people in the world -

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html
    (Click on the [+] People and Society link)

    According to the same site, 88.54% (6.2 billion) are religious in some way – Christian 33.35% (of which Roman Catholic 16.83%, Protestant 6.08%, Orthodox 4.03%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 22.43%, Hindu 13.78%, Buddhist 7.13%, Sikh 0.36%, Jewish 0.21%, Baha’i 0.11%, other religions 11.17%.

    Only 9.42% are non-religious and 2.04% are atheist.

    So, if the stats about New Zealand are true, they aren’t representative of worldwide figures.

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  81. RRM (9,414 comments) says:

    http://imgur.com/tCp90.gif

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  82. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    Here’s another good resource, Fletch: http://adherents.com/

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  83. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    So, if the stats about New Zealand are true, they aren’t representative of worldwide figures.

    We lead the 21st century world.

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  84. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    Atheism is a privilege of the wealthy.

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  85. RJL (142 comments) says:

    Fentex: In the 2001 Census 1.5% of people reported Jedi…the reported results are filtered through editors prejudices and not an honest accounting of the answers.

    Of course, the issue is that (despite being very foolish) Jedi is not actually a religion. That why it was not counted. It is not an “honest” answer to the question.

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  86. RJL (142 comments) says:

    Atheism is a privilege of the wealthy.

    And religion is the yoke of the poor.

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  87. RRM (9,414 comments) says:

    Jedi is not actually a religion.

    I once worked with a guy who one day announced that he’d changed his name to Luke.

    After Luke Skywalker, the Messiah who’d played a far more formative role in teaching him about good & evil, courage & virtue etc as a small boy growing up in Otara than anything in old books.

    Thank goodness we have the Gubermint here to inform us of what the “real” religions are! :-)

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  88. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    @ Kea,
    Yes, I get it, but I don’t think you do.
    Your response to my question was measured and temperate.
    My point is that you often depart from that standard.

    mandk, have you read what is actually in the bible ? Are you ok with that ? The problem is no what I am saying, the problem is what is in that vile book and the actions of its followers.

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  89. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    And religion is the yoke of the poor.

    How so?

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  90. RJL (142 comments) says:

    Kea: Hitler was a Catholic. Mao and Stalin did those things because of socialism, not atheism.

    The common problem with Hitler, Mao, and Stalin was that they were sociopathic lunatics. It is not a question of the philosophy/religion that they purported to follow.

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  91. RichardX (321 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull (6,098 comments) says:
    December 11th, 2013 at 12:16 pm
    Atheism is a privilege of the wealthy.

    Not sure I follow your point on this

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  92. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    The repugnant PG creep makes a big fuss about being the only man in NZ who opposes “rape culture”. I think he believes in nothing and is just appealing to a popular narrative.

    Evidence of this is him failing to attack Christians who follow a book that demands Christians do this:

    1. Rape victims are stoned to death if raped inside the city, because they did not call out.

    2. Rape is a property crime with the wronged party being the father or husband.

    3. Rape victims must marry their attackers and can never divorce.

    4. If raped (and not stoned to death as per [1] ) and are found not to be non-virgins on their wedding night, stoned to death on their fathers doorstep.

    5. Rape and sexual slavery of defeated enemies.

    6. Rape as a punishment.

    Would any decent person seriously defend a group who followed such vile teachings ? Of course not !

    So why do we make an exception for religion ?

    What is wrong with otherwise decent people that they would openly defend this cult ? It is obscene. The problem is not with my language or tone. It is the filth in that rotten evil book and its demented followers polluting the earth.

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  93. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    Not sure I follow your point on this

    RichardX,

    Atheism is a privilege of the wealthy, as is being convinced to change religions. It’s the privileged people of the world who have the time and education to sit back and pontificate about the worldview they’ve inherited, to have any understanding of scientific explanations for things as alternatives to supernatural explanations, etc.

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  94. RJL (142 comments) says:

    RRM: After Luke Skywalker, the Messiah who’d played a far more formative role in teaching him about good & evil, courage & virtue etc as a small boy growing up in Otara than anything in old books.

    You are confusing “role model” with “religion”. While one of the traditional functions of religion is to provide role models, that does not mean that every influential role model is a religious figure.

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  95. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    The common problem with Hitler, Mao, and Stalin was that they were sociopathic lunatics. It is not a question of the philosophy/religion that they purported to follow.

    RJL , that is correct. Though Hitler made frequent references to his Catholic faith, and believed he was doing gods work, I would not say that his actions were due to his Catholic faith.

    In Croatia it was due to Catholic nationalism. They were so brutal that Hitler implored them to use “more humane methods in achieving their goals” !

    They only finished their work in the 90′s and now have a Catholic state. Last year they outraged holocaust survivors by having services in Catholic Churches celebrating the holocaust leader Ante Pavelić .

    And if anyone has a problem with what I am saying they write to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. They love hearing from holocaust deniers.

    Contact Information:

    The International Headquarters are based in Los Angeles, California.
    1399 South Roxbury Drive
    Los Angeles, California 90035
    310 553.9036
    800 900.9036 (toll-free from within the U.S.)
    310 553.4521 (fax)
    information@wiesenthal.com

    [Nazi memorial in Croatia a disgrace to Europe]

    http://www.wiesenthal.com/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=lsKWLbPJLnF&b=7929811&ct=11577565#.UqepHdIW380

    http://www.spirituallysmart.com/croatia2.html

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  96. RJL (142 comments) says:

    And religion is the yoke of the poor.
    How so?

    The general idea that well-being in the material world can be sacrificed for imaginary spiritual benefit and/or other benefits in an imaginary next world.

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  97. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    The general idea that well-being in the material world can be sacrificed for imaginary spiritual benefit and/or other benefits in an imaginary next world.

    Oh, I see what you mean.

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  98. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Must I repeat it for you?, less than half the population now believe in the sky fairy. That is a statement of fact.

    big bruv, yes but we are now down to the hard core fanatical elements. The mentally weak or vicious, who crave the feeling of superiority and power in their meaningless empty lives.

    In the past people had no real exposure to the truth. (Anyone who told the truth was hideously tortured to death by Christians and still are in some places)

    Now people have no excuse for believing such garbage and are at best dishonest and at worst dangerous lunatics.

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  99. mandk (815 comments) says:

    @ Kea
    You still don’t get it, do you?
    The problem is not your views, but the offensive way you express them.

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  100. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    The first thing Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot et. all did was ban religion to be be replaced by the religion of the almighty state.

    Tito was more reasonable.

    In fact, any of the mindless screeds against communism sound funny when you apply them to the Yugoslavian case. Just shows that “communism” is as vague a term as “capitalism”.

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  101. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    What our resident moralising Christians believe. NOTE: This is GODS perfect word.

    Sex Slaves (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

    This is the source of Christian morality ! You fucking scum bags.

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  102. RRM (9,414 comments) says:

    The problem is not your views, but the offensive way you express them.

    He’s quite like a fundie christian in that way… ;-)

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  103. Rowan (1,778 comments) says:

    Kea
    Given that you hate religion so much, why are you quoting passages from the bible?

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  104. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson, Tito was way better and even though they do not wish to return to communism, I met no Croats who spoke badly of him.

    One thing he did do was come down hard on any religious nationalism. He did not allow it.

    When he died the country collapsed into religious war and genocide. The rest is history.

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  105. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    The problem with religion is pretty obvious. It’s that people believe that an intelligent entity created the universe, which for all we know might actually be true, but we have no way of telling.

    The problem is that religions ask us to believe with absolute certainty in a sequence of historical events for which there is little or no evidence. If compelling evidence surfaced tomorrow – say in the form of lost papyri – that the historical Jesus espoused beliefs at odds with contemporary Christian beliefs, the churches wouldn’t change their beliefs, they would just pretend that the evidence didn’t exist.

    That’s what’s wrong with religion: it consists of complete and fanatical immunity to not just evidence against religious belief, but the possibility of evidence against it. It is nothing more than fanaticism.

    Besides that, anyone studying the origins of Christianity immediately becomes aware of the massive gulf between what churches claim happened and what there is evidence for.

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  106. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Rowan, to show what those disgusting sub-humans follow.

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  107. Manolo (13,297 comments) says:

    Kea, why do you love Islam and its paedophile prophet so much? :-)

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  108. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson, Tito was way better and even though they do not wish to return to communism, I met no Croats who spoke badly of him.

    People still have pictures of him in their homes. My (staunch Thatcherite) grandparents used to take their holidays in Yugoslavia and loved the place to death.

    A mark of how nice it was is that anyone could leave, but most didn’t. It’s an appalling shame what happened in the end.

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  109. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    If you want to know whats wrong with religion, study Mormonism where the bullshit is fairly recent and fairly conspicuous.

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  110. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    @ Kea
    You still don’t get it, do you?
    The problem is not your views, but the offensive way you express them.

    mandk, No the problem is what religion does and the filth in the bible.

    If you were a decent person, (your clearly not), then that is what you would choose to comment on.

    Tells me all I need to know about your “morality”. You are an enabler. You try and assume the moral high ground and shame others into silence for attacking what is clearly wrong.

    Sort your priorities out and re-set your moral compass fuckwit.

    [DPF: The other two sets of demerits haven't worked so you obviously need a timeout. You've now made 100 and have a four week suspension]

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  111. dime (9,351 comments) says:

    Atheists are just painful.

    Hey Dime, when was the last time a religious person bought up religion with you in real life? answer – years ago
    Hey Dime, when was the last time a religious person kept ramming their ideology down your throat? – years ago

    Hey Dime, when was the last time an atheist person bought up religion with you in real life? answer – a few weeks ago. happens all the time.
    Hey Dime, when was the last time an atheist person kept ramming their ideology down your throat? – see above.

    Dime isnt religious. just sick of anti-religion people.

    YOU ARE WORSE THAN JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

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  112. kowtow (7,579 comments) says:

    Mormons?

    Good folk.

    I’d have one of them as a neighbour any day.

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  113. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Kea, why do you love Islam and its paedophile prophet so much?

    Manolo, I don’t. In fact I prefer Jews and even the bloody Christians. What you see me attacking is the double standards and special pleading invoked by the Christian cultists on KB.

    I do not hate any of the cultists personally, but I sure do hate religion and what its followers are doing to the world.

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  114. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    Hey Dime, when was the last time an atheist person kept ramming their ideology down your throat?

    Atheism isn’t an ideology.

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  115. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    Mormons?

    Good folk.

    I’d have one of them as a neighbour any day.

    I agree. But that doesn’t stop their beliefs from being crazy and false.

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  116. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    dime, So your feelings are more important than the millions who die and suffer due to religion ?

    You self absorbed little shit.

    What other wrongs would you like us not to address, in case it upsets you ?

    I bags rape and child abuse. Lets just not talk about it a ? (In fact that is exactly what did happen in the Catholic Church, thanks to people like you dime.)

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  117. dime (9,351 comments) says:

    “Atheism isn’t an ideology.” – i think its become one! like the green movement.

    “dime, So your feelings are more important than the millions who die and suffer due to religion ?” – i have to admit, the great crusade in whangarei was awful. all those poor people killed….

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  118. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    dime, I prefer to keep my religious views to myself and get along with everybody, so I can not engage with you ;)

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  119. dime (9,351 comments) says:

    kea – that would be great :) thanks!

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  120. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    “Atheism isn’t an ideology.” – i think its become one! like the green movement.

    It’s a lack of a belief in a deity. It’s the same as a lack of belief in elves. That’s not an ideology, it’s just a lack of a single belief.

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  121. thor42 (897 comments) says:

    @Kea –
    9.Muslim 45,963 (1.1%)
    This will be the “invasion” we here so much about daily from the hate monger kowtow.”

    Kowtow a “hate-monger”?

    Is there anything wrong with hating an ideology (and it *is* more of an ideology than a religion) that has over 500 verses in the Koran that are “intolerant” of non-believers, and over 100 that *urge Muslims to wage war against them*?

    Is there anything wrong with being against that?
    Kowtow seems to be against that and so am I. I make no apologies for it either.

    Whatever the big increase in Muslims here is called – “invasion” (in your words) or whatever – the fact remains that their ideology is an extremely negative influence on the world. Given that fact, their increasing presence here is reason for some concern.

    @Kea – “… if you stand for nothing you fall for anything.”
    Indeed, and I (and the many others who oppose Islam) are not falling for *it*.

    I can even show you two **outright LIES** about Islam by the Islamic association of New Zealand on their website (if you’d like me to).
    I won’t show them right now because they’ll detract and digress from my post.

    @Kea – “Why can’t everybody just get along ? :)
    *We* may want that, but Islam wants nothing of the sort, as the 500+ verses of intolerance and 100+ verses of warmongering in the Koran show.

    @Kea – “It (Catholicism) belongs in the Middle East, a few thousand years ago. ”
    The same can be said of Islam.

    @Kea – “religion causes very real harm to real people. The world is wracked with religious inspired death, conflict and destruction. It is not OK and I will not dress it up and pretend to “respect” it to protect the egos of those responsible. This is NOT a philosophical debate. It is a pragmatic one that matters to billions of people.”

    Yep, real harm to real people – I agree, it does indeed, and as you say, that is not OK.
    The main danger that Islam poses to NZ at the moment is the problem of concessions to Islam and the putting-in-place of Islam-supporting people in positions of influence (MPs and their advisors, teachers’ college staff, teachers… )

    @Kea – “What is wrong with otherwise decent people that they would openly defend this cult ? It is obscene. The problem is not with my language or tone. It is the filth in that rotten evil book and its demented followers polluting the earth.”
    I think you’re talking about the Bible (or Catholicism?). Anyway, your comments certainly apply to Islam.

    @Manolo – Kea, why do you love Islam and its paedophile prophet so much?

    @Kea – Manolo, I don’t.
    Ok – good to hear that, but that is not the impression you gave with your reply to Kowtow, calling him a hate-monger (presumably for opposing Islam).

    I myself will never ever apologise for opposing Islam – it is BY FAR the most evil, oppressive, hateful and warmongering ideology to have ever infested the earth.
    That is the truth about Islam, and those who oppose it are *not* hate-mongers. They are people who are *very knowledgeable* about Islam and who are warning of its dangers.

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  122. ChardonnayGuy (1,130 comments) says:

    I find it fascinating that such paranoia is whipped up about Islam when that is the *fourth* largest faith category, according to the census. It’s interesting that Hinduism has overtaken Buddhism as the second largest, which does raise some interesting questions about what would happen in the context of these imaginary scimitar-wielding ‘radical Islamists’ if they did materialise from the aether. They’d be outnumbered by Hindus, for one thing, nearly two to one.

    And the religious categories here are vestigial, making no distinction between nominal affiliation and not evaluating level of commitment. There are “Sunday” or “Easter” Christians, just as there are “Ramadan” Muslims. I’m not sure what the Buddhist or Hindu equivalents would be.

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  123. Manolo (13,297 comments) says:

    I myself will never ever apologise for opposing Islam – it is BY FAR the most evil, oppressive, hateful and warmongering ideology to have ever infested the earth.

    @thor42: Neither would I.
    You expressed the sentiment very well: Islam is the vilest!

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  124. mandk (815 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson: “Atheism isn’t an ideology”

    If it isn’t an ideology, it is certainly becoming religious.

    After all, it appears to have “holy” texts (e.g. The God Delusion), “saints” (e.g. Dawkins and Hitchens) and “services” (i.e. gatherings of its adherents).

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  125. ChardonnayGuy (1,130 comments) says:

    Wow, a monolithic “Islam!” Which makes no denominational, ethnic, national, historical or any other differentiation of the schisms, divisions and multiple nuances that have beset a one thousand four hundred year old global faith. Talk about bowdlerisation… :)

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  126. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    thor42, thanks for demonstrating the hate and intolerance I remarked on.

    Kill People Who Don’t Listen to Priests
    Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

    Kill Witches
    You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

    Kill Homosexuals
    “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

    Kill Fortunetellers
    A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death. (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

    Death for Hitting Dad
    Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

    Death for Cursing Parents
    1) If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness. (Proverbs 20:20 NAB)
    2) All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

    Death for Adultery
    If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

    Death for Fornication
    A priest’s daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)

    Death to Followers of Other Religions
    Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

    Kill Nonbelievers
    They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

    Kill False Prophets
    If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, “You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord.” When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)

    Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God
    Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

    Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night
    But if this charge is true (that she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)

    Kill Followers of Other Religions.
    1) If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

    2) Suppose a man or woman among you, in one of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, has done evil in the sight of the LORD your God and has violated the covenant by serving other gods or by worshiping the sun, the moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have strictly forbidden. When you hear about it, investigate the matter thoroughly. If it is true that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, then that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death. (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 NLT)

    Death for Blasphemy
    One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the LORD’s name. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother’s name was Shelomith. She was the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They put the man in custody until the LORD’s will in the matter should become clear. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard him to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who blaspheme God will suffer the consequences of their guilt and be punished. Anyone who blasphemes the LORD’s name must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the LORD’s name will surely die. (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)

    Kill False Prophets
    1) Suppose there are prophets among you, or those who have dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles take place. If the prophets then say, ‘Come, let us worship the gods of foreign nations,’ do not listen to them. The LORD your God is testing you to see if you love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. The false prophets or dreamers who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in the land of Egypt. Since they try to keep you from following the LORD your God, you must execute them to remove the evil from among you. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLT)

    2) But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die.’ You may wonder, ‘How will we know whether the prophecy is from the LORD or not?’ If the prophet predicts something in the LORD’s name and it does not happen, the LORD did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 NLT)

    Infidels and Gays Should Die
    So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. They are fully aware of God’s death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. (Romans 1:24-32 NLT)

    Kill Anyone who Approaches the Tabernacle
    For the LORD had said to Moses, ‘Exempt the tribe of Levi from the census; do not include them when you count the rest of the Israelites. You must put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and its equipment as you travel, and they must care for it and camp around it. Whenever the Tabernacle is moved, the Levites will take it down and set it up again. Anyone else who goes too near the Tabernacle will be executed.’ (Numbers 1:48-51 NLT)

    Kill People for Working on the Sabbath
    The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: ‘Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.’ (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

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  127. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    That is the truth about Islam Christianity, and those who oppose it are *not* hate-mongers. They are people who are *very knowledgeable* about Islam Christianity and who are warning of its dangers.

    There fixed it !

    I even provided biblical references to back it up.

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  128. SGA (797 comments) says:

    mandk at 2:08 pm

    If it isn’t an ideology, it is certainly becoming religious.
    After all, it appears to have “holy” texts (e.g. The God Delusion), “saints” (e.g. Dawkins and Hitchens) and “services” (i.e. gatherings of its adherents).

    There is nothing holy about the God Delusion, nothing saintly about Dawkins or Hitchens, and the vast, vast majority of those who call themselves non-religious, or even atheist, in NZ have never been to anything remotely like an atheist “service” (in fact, they’re more likely to have been to religious services at various times in their lives). You’re being silly.

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  129. kowtow (7,579 comments) says:

    “Paranoia” about Muslims?

    Plane hijacked….Somali refugee.
    Another Somali waving knives in street in Chch.
    SIS openly warning that there are “kiwi” jihadis in Syria and likely in other “hotspots”.
    They have connections with terrorists in Australia.
    One of the guys picked up i the north island terror raids is a Palestinian.
    Our newspapers refuse to run cartoons in fear of lost trade and causing offence.
    How many New Zealanders have been killed or injured in terrorist outrages perpetuated by the adherents of the religion of peace in Indonesia,the USA and Britain?
    Not to mention the deaths of our servicemen in Afghanistan.
    Ahmed Zaoui was by his own admission in touch with extremists,in addition to his numerous convictions ,yet the govt saw fit to grant him and his family residency.

    That’s for starters…….

    Paranoid? Nope.

    Concerned for the future? Definitly.

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  130. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Wow look at all those hate filled atheists voting down my post of scripture !

    So much hate from those atheists over GODS perfect and complete word LOL :)

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  131. thor42 (897 comments) says:

    @ChardonnayGuy – “Paranoia” about Islam?

    I am very knowledgeable about Islam, ChardonnayGuy. I make no apology for that either.

    If “paranoia” is knowledge about Islam, awareness of it and the awareness of the many negative impacts that it can have on a society, then I plead “guilty as charged”.

    @ChardonnayGuy – “Wow, a monolithic “Islam!” Which makes no denominational, ethnic, national, historical or any other differentiation of the schisms, divisions and multiple nuances that have beset a one thousand four hundred year old global faith. Talk about bowdlerisation”

    I am well aware of the “schisms and divisions” as you put it.
    I made no claim of a “monolithic Islam” – that is you twisting my words.

    The divisions and so on do not change the fact – the immutable fact – that ALL of Islam – whatever “school” of Islam it may be, or whether you talk about Sunni or Shi’a – is based on the trilogy of Islamic texts – the Koran, the hadiths and the Sira. All of them follow those three texts.

    Here – I will give you the 500+ verses of intolerance in the Koran and the 100+ verses of warmongering in it too.
    http://www.citizenwarrior.com/2010/08/what-about-good-verses-in-quran.html

    http://dttj.blogspot.co.nz/2010/08/intolerance-toward-non-muslims-in-quran.html

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/023-violence.htm

    As for Kea posting those verses – gee, lots of Biblical verses. Big deal.
    So I’m demonstrating “hate and intolerance”? Gee, I guess I must be.

    I have pointed out how nasty Islam is. If passing on that information is called “hateful” – guilty as charged.

    Intolerant? Why should anyone LIKE an ideology like Islam that has such hatred in it? Why should anyone “tolerate” it?

    You are obviously not familiar with Thomas Mann –
    “Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.”

    So, yeah – fire as many “hate” and “Intolerant” comments as you like at me.
    I’m not bothered. I’m surprised you didn’t call me “racist” – as if Islam is a race…..

    I’m not distracted by the “tu quoque”approach – “Oh, the Bible has asome bad stuff too….”. Maybe that’s because I’m an atheist, or because Islam is vastly *worse*.

    I will leave things at that – I’ve made my point.
    Have a nice afternoon, everyone…… :)

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  132. thor42 (897 comments) says:

    @Kea – That is the truth about Christianity, and those who oppose it are *not* hate-mongers. They are people who are *very knowledgeable* about Christianity and who are warning of its dangers.

    There fixed it !

    I even provided biblical references to back it up.”

    And *I* have provided references to the Koran.
    I’m sure everyone here would be most enlightened if you were able to prove that they are wrong.

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  133. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    I will leave things at that – I’ve made my point.

    Shouldn’t you be over at bunnies pissing and moaning about true patriots and matters constitutional and plotting second revolutions and insurrection and shit.

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  134. All_on_Red (1,330 comments) says:

    Shouldn’t The Greens have been included in this survey?
    They are a fact free religion as well.

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  135. Rowan (1,778 comments) says:

    Yay a break from the abusive hate troll Kea, he is turning into a Dotcom, what a self absorbed troll.

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  136. RJL (142 comments) says:

    Kea: In Croatia it was due to Catholic nationalism…They only finished their work in the 90′s and now have a Catholic state.

    I don’t think that the “Catholic” part played any more role than the fact that Croatia and Catholic begin with the letter “C”.

    Sure, selective (mis)quotes of bits and pieces of Catholic dogma might have been purported to justify some abhorent actions. But Catholic dogma (like pretty much anything Islam/Marxism/Capitalism, etc) is a big enough and complex enough that isolated bits can justify anything.

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  137. RichardX (321 comments) says:

    thor42 (578 comments) says:
    December 11th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I’m sure everyone here would be most enlightened if you were able to prove that they are wrong.

    That whooshing sound is Kea’s point going over your head

    Kea is not defending islam, he is critical of all religions

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  138. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    If it isn’t an ideology, it is certainly becoming religious.

    After all, it appears to have “holy” texts (e.g. The God Delusion), “saints” (e.g. Dawkins and Hitchens) and “services” (i.e. gatherings of its adherents).

    No. It’s not a religion either, because non-belief in God is not a matter of faith, nor does it involve any supernatural beliefs.

    Atheism is pretty simple – not believing in the existence of a deity or deities. There may be many reasons that people believe this, or it may be part of a larger belief system (such as communism), but by itself, it is pretty simple.

    Atheists aren’t that much of a group either. The only reason they organise and have meetings (and most don’t) is for political reasons connected to their beliefs (such as not being made to pray in schools, not being asked to swear oaths to entities they consider non-existent, etc.).

    Being an atheist doesn’t mean that you have any particular attitude towards religion, other than you think it is false. Dawkins and so one object to religious belief mainly because they object to people believing falsehoods, and there are a variety of reasons why that is not unreasonable, the virtue of honesty being one.

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  139. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    Ahmed Zaoui was by his own admission in touch with extremists,in addition to his numerous convictions ,yet the govt saw fit to grant him and his family residency.

    And now he runs an eeeeeeeeeevil kebab shop off K’ Road.

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  140. Longknives (4,384 comments) says:

    Are you denying that ‘flush my passport’ Zaoui was mixed up with some sinister people/goings on Ryan?
    Did the SIS just randomly pick on this humble Kebab shop owner for the mere hell of it??

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  141. nickb (3,658 comments) says:

    Whoops, looks like Kea’s spending summer in the naughty corner.

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  142. Manolo (13,297 comments) says:

    @Kea: I know you’re reading this while praying towards Mecca, mate. Just chill out and eat a good roast pork sandwich (yes, the paedophile Prophet himself will forgive you for eating such beastly meat).

    See you back in one month.

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  143. nickb (3,658 comments) says:

    Given his reaction after his week long ban, I wonder if PG is still on Kea’s Christmas card list with a month off?

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  144. Longknives (4,384 comments) says:

    What did Kea do this time?? (*I missed that crazy kid last time he was on holiday)

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  145. nickb (3,658 comments) says:

    See above LK

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  146. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    I don’t think I’d ever have been on Kea’s Christmas card list. Actually going by her hatred of anything related to Christ it’s unlikely she had one (a list, seems to have had some bad religious experience).

    I didn’t have anything to do with her Christmas holiday, apart from being one of the recipients of her crazing. This time it was the Christians versus the Lyin’.

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  147. RJL (142 comments) says:

    mandk: If [atheism] isn’t an ideology, it is certainly becoming religious.
    After all, it appears to have “holy” texts (e.g. The God Delusion), “saints” (e.g. Dawkins and Hitchens) and “services” (i.e. gatherings of its adherents).

    It only “looks like a religion” to you because you haven’t appeared to pay the slightest attention to what you are looking at.

    If you think that every human experience that involves “books”, “authors”, and “meetings” is a religion, then you clearly have no idea what a religion is (nor do you apparently know what a book club is, for that matter).

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  148. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    RJL – like these word worshipers?
    http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/3879-the-atheist-book-club

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  149. RJL (142 comments) says:

    PG, yes that indeed looks like a book club.

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  150. Manolo (13,297 comments) says:

    P.G., how do you know Kea is a she? Facts, please.

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  151. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    ‘There fixed it !

    I even provided biblical references to back it up.’

    your texts were all from Israel of the Old testament.

    I know it’s confusing when we’ve had the Nat/Lab paradigm since it feels like way back then

    But God has moved on. Christ has been cruciied for our sin and has risen. We are now in the New Testament age.

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  152. thor42 (897 comments) says:

    Hi again all –

    Just thought I’d pass on these excellent links for those wanting to learn more about Islam. ( It is – unfortunately – not possible to do so directly from a Muslim because *lying* is not only allowed but encouraged in Islam ).
    Anyway, these are worth checking out –

    Islam: cult or religion?
    http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/sina50218.htm

    Statistical Islam – very good site. Shows that Islam is much more of an ideology than a “religion” –
    http://themuslimissue.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/statistical-islam/

    Quote – “We have been taught that the Koran is the source of Islamic doctrine. However, the Koran is only 14% of the total sacred texts1. Actually, the Sira and the Hadith are 86% of the total textual doctrine2. Islam is ***14% Allah and 86% Mohammed.*** ”

    ( When you dig into the Mohammad part of it, you’ll see that there are many *cultish* aspects to Islam too – not the least of which is the fact that if you convert to Islam, you may not leave. )

    This aspect – “ideology” – can also be seen in that Islam covers a VAST number of areas, almost all of which would usually fall well outside the aegis of a “religion” . A look at the topic-headings here will suffice to show that –
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiqh#Fields_of_jurisprudence

    Testimonies from apostates – those who have left Islam –
    (So you don’t have to just take my word for what I say – take the word of *apostates* – they have been there and done that. They *support* what I say – see for yourself ) –

    http://www.wikiislam.net/wiki/People_Who_Left_Islam

    The main WikiIslam page –
    http://www.wikiislam.net/wiki/Main_Page

    Apostates of Islam – another apostates page –
    http://www.apostatesofislam.com/
    Quote – “But we committed the ultimate sin of thinking and questioned the belief that was imposed on us and we came to realize that far from being a religion of truth, Islam is a hoax, it is hallucination of a sick mind and nothing but lies and deceits. ”

    See what I mean? These people have BEEN there. They support what I say.

    “You must accept my religion” –
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/88323444/You-Must-Accept-My-Religion

    “Educate the public with leaflets” –
    http://www.citizenwarrior.com/2011/04/educate-public-with-leaflets.html

    “Some things you probably don’t know about Islam – ”
    http://www.citizenwarrior.com/2011/04/some-things-you-probably-dont-know.html

    “Suicidal assumptions about Islam” –
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/88321104/Suicidal-Assumptions-About-Islam

    - thor42

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  153. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    your texts were all from Israel of the Old testament.

    I know it’s confusing when we’ve had th eNat/Lab paradigm since it feels like way back then

    But God has moved on and we are now in the New Testament age.

    Do you not find it unsettling that the omnipotent creator of everything who has the power and inclination to sentence people to eternal suffering may just, at any given time, “move on” and change the game on you?

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  154. SGA (797 comments) says:

    wikiriwhis business at 4:29 pm

    But God has moved on. Christ has been cruciied for our sin and has risen. We are now in the New Testament age.

    Unless, of course, you are part of the 66% of people in the world who aren’t Christians.

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  155. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    It’s unusual for you to care about facts Manolo.

    I don’t know if Kea is male or female or trans or whatever because she/he/it avoids questions about it. Some presume male, some have said female, there’s never been any denial. So it will remain unknown until next year at least.

    To be avoid any confusion or doubt Manolo, are you female?

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  156. RJL (142 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull

    the omnipotent creator of everything … may just, at any given time, “move on” and change the game on you?

    God exists outside time and is omnipresent, so He does not in fact “move on” in either a spatial or temporal sense. He is unchanging and perfect, it is merely our understanding of Him that is imperfect and contingent. /sarcasm.

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  157. Manolo (13,297 comments) says:

    Of course, PG. Proud member of the female gender and a staunch feminist like yoursef.
    You can call me sister from now on.

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  158. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    As honest as ever Manolo – so you’re really Germaine Greer?

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  159. RichardX (321 comments) says:

    wikiriwhis business (2,606 comments) says:
    December 11th, 2013 at 4:29 pm
    your texts were all from Israel of the Old testament.
    I know it’s confusing when we’ve had the Nat/Lab paradigm since it feels like way back then
    But God has moved on. Christ has been cruciied for our sin and has risen. We are now in the New Testament age.

    And yet there are verses in the new testament that contradict your stance.

    I believe the 10 commandments are old testament. Are these no longer valid either?

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  160. thor42 (897 comments) says:

    Hi again –

    Just a couple more links to add to those I’ve already posted about Islam.
    Both of these are *really good* “intro to Islam” documents –

    http://www.rutherfordreader.com/newspages/pdfs/interfaith-dialogue-with-islam-for-non-muslims.pdf

    http://www.politicalislam.com/pdf/WebSitePDF/CanWeTalk.pdf

    - thor42

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  161. Gulag1917 (635 comments) says:

    Kea
    Have you read the New Testament?

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  162. eszett (2,329 comments) says:

    [DPF: The other two sets of demerits haven't worked so you obviously need a timeout. You've now made 100 and have a four week suspension]

    4 weeks? What is Kea going to do with all that time off?
    Anger Management Course?

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  163. mandk (815 comments) says:

    @eszett
    Play Angry Birds?

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  164. big bruv (13,198 comments) says:

    So it seems you now get demerits for telling the truth about the Catholic church.

    Are the religious fundies that insecure about their precious sky fairy beliefs?

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  165. mandk (815 comments) says:

    No, big bruv
    this is how you get demerits:
    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/demerits

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  166. MH (624 comments) says:

    A citizens initiated referendum to ban God ? Or organised religion or both.

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  167. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    Atheism is pretty simple – not believing in the existence of a deity or deities. There may be many reasons that people believe this, or it may be part of a larger belief system (such as communism), but by itself, it is pretty simple.

    The usual definition is that they deny the existence of deity, people who don’t believe are agnostic.
    Denying the existence of deity is not a logically tenable position because of the improbability that someone could have knowledge of all possible cases where evidence of deity could exist.

    The position that parliament is sovereign is inherently atheistic, but more than that it is contrary to law because the sources of law are unanimous in claiming that deity exists.

    Or put another way, saying that the rules made by parliament are law implies that parliament is sovereign (assuming that sovereignty is essential to lawmaking) which in turn implies that parliament is effectively “God”.

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  168. eszett (2,329 comments) says:

    The position that parliament is sovereign is inherently atheistic, but more than that it is contrary to law because the sources of law are unanimous in claiming that deity exists.

    Or put another way, saying that the rules made by parliament are law implies that parliament is sovereign (assuming that sovereignty is essential to lawmaking) which in turn implies that parliament is effectively “God”.

    It’s been pointed out to you previously that this is complete and utter BS.
    Pure fantasy.

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  169. eszett (2,329 comments) says:

    The usual definition is that they deny the existence of invisible pink unicorns, people who don’t believe are agnostic.
    Denying the existence of invisible pink unicorns is not a logically tenable position because of the improbability that someone could have knowledge of all possible cases where evidence of invisible pink unicorns could exist.

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  170. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    The usual definition is that they deny the existence of deity, people who don’t believe are agnostic.
    Denying the existence of deity is not a logically tenable position because of the improbability that someone could have knowledge of all possible cases where evidence of deity could exist.

    Depends on the definition of God whose existence is being denied. You don’t need to know any possible cases where evidence of a square circle exists, do you?

    But even with definitions of God that could exist, but you’d need evidence to believe, I think it’s fair enough to call yourself an atheist about them. I mean, when you say that you don’t believe there’s a spider dancing a jig on the surface of Mars, no one’s likely to say – “Well, hold on there… Don’t you mean you’re agnostic about that spider until you’ve taken a long detailed survey of Mars?”

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  171. RichardX (321 comments) says:

    UglyTruth (2,143 comments) says:
    December 11th, 2013 at 10:29 pm
    The usual definition is that they deny the existence of deity

    No it isn’t
    The usual definition is a lack of belief or more precisely those that claim the existence of god have not met their burden of proof

    I have the same lack of belief in any of your legal pronouncements

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  172. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    Denying the existence of deity is not a logically tenable position because of the improbability that someone could have knowledge of all possible cases where evidence of deity could exist.

    I’m not sure what you mean by that.

    Those who take the problem of evil seriously have a logical reason for believing that the traditional God cannot exist, because they hold the existence of such a God to be logically incompatible with the observed universe (and they don’t have to worry about what they can’t observe, since only one case of evil is logically sufficient).

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  173. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    Look, it’s reasonable to consider that the universe might be an artefact. If it’s conceivable that we could create a system which would appear to those inhabiting it to prevent any definite knowledge of anything that might go on outside the system (as is the case with us in our universe), then it’s conceivable that we inhabit such a universe. Similar arguments can be made for the idea that our lives are really played out in a virtual reality simulation.

    However, just because something is conceivable is no reason to believe it. Our evidence that this is the case in our universe is effectively nil.

    But even if it were true, there would be absolutely no reason to think that the maker of our universe was in any way like the gods described by the world religions. As Xenophanes pointed out, we make our gods to suit ourselves.

    Does anyone really think that the creator of the universe has specifically commanded that the male beings who live on a speck of dust in a minor galaxy in a minor cluster in a small part of the universe are forbidden from inserting their penises in each others’ bottoms? Or that God actually cares if you masturbate?

    It’s not so much the idea of a first cause that is offensive to the rational, but the petty gods that people actually believe in, who are so obviously mythical instruments invented to control people. The gods of the major religions are trivial and petty beings, precisely because they are made up by trivial and petty beings.

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  174. SPC (5,333 comments) says:

    Ugly Truth, you claim that laws come from a God that you cannot prove exists. When, in the absence of any God proven to exist, we make our own laws.

    That people of the past claimed they got their laws from the bible is not evidence that these laws came from any existent God.

    In past times kings claimed to be the agents of their gods on earth, but this is simply the myth behind the foundation of their royal power.

    Faith and law are in fact contradictory, faith is in God, whereas a ruling order on earth that makes and enforces laws is known to us.

    This is why some smaller new religious denominations (mostly American) believe in an end time when they come into power with Christ to establish and enforce their beliefs and behaviour codes through public law – just as larger groups such as Catholic and Anglican/Orthodox churches have done in the past.

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  175. Dean Papa (707 comments) says:

    here’s a toe tappingly bangin’ choon

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  176. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    Depends on the definition of God whose existence is being denied. You don’t need to know any possible cases where evidence of a square circle exists, do you?

    I didn’t say “God”, I said deity. A square circle is a contradiction in terms, a deity isn’t.

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  177. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    No it isn’t
    The usual definition is a lack of belief or more precisely those that claim the existence of god have not met their burden of proof

    No, a lack of belief means that you have no opinion, disbelief means that you have an opinion that something is not true.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism

    a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
    b : the doctrine that there is no deity

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disbelief

    a feeling that you do not or cannot believe or accept that something is true or real

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  178. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    Those who take the problem of evil seriously have a logical reason for believing that the traditional God cannot exist, because they hold the existence of such a God to be logically incompatible with the observed universe (and they don’t have to worry about what they can’t observe, since only one case of evil is logically sufficient).

    There isn’t any well defined meaning of the traditional “God”. Deity in general is not limited to being good or evil.

    Athiesm is a belief, it isn’t based on logic or reality. Athiesm is based on the fallacy that man has the ability to scientifically observe deity, or the fallacy that deity must conform to his notions about deity.

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  179. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    Ugly Truth, you claim that laws come from a God that you cannot prove exists. When, in the absence of any God proven to exist, we make our own laws.

    I claim no such thing. My argument is that the sources of law say that deity exists therefore rejection of that position (ie atheism) is inherently unlawful. In this sense atheism is technically a perversion and a form of corruption.

    You don’t have the ability to make arbitrary law becuse your so-called “law” takes the form of rules and not all rules are lawful.
    For example, you could conspire to make a rule that everyone over the age of fifty must be killed and say that it was law, but it wouldn’t change the fact that your rule was unlawful.

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  180. Scott (1,693 comments) says:

    Very interesting and revealing comments from Tom Jackson at 12:55 a.m. I would say to him that there is plenty of evidence that the universe is an artefact. I presume by this he means that someone made it.

    The universe appears to be designed, scientists now acknowledge that there are lots of variables that if they were not at a certain value then life would not be able to exist. For example if the earth was just a little further away from the sun then it would be too cold to sustain life. If it was just a little closer then it would be too hot. If the earth was just a little bigger then gravity would be too strong for life to exist. If the earth was smaller then its gravitational pull would be too weak to sustain an atmosphere. There are lots of variables like this including things like the speed of light apparently being important in the sustaining of life.

    So the idea of a deity that created the universe has a lot of evidence when you look at the specific variables that need to be in place for life to exist.

    But here is the good news. God is personal, God has made us and God does care for us. Therefore he cares about what we do. We know this because in 2 weeks we celebrate Christmas, where we remember the birth of a child, born of a virgin, foretold by multitudes of prophecies in the old Testament.Whose name is Jesus which means God saves, whose name is Immanuel, which means that God is with us.

    This Jesus was spoken of and foretold in Isaiah 7:14, 700 years before the fulfillment of the prophecy in Matthew 1:18 – 25.

    The prophecy is this – “the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and he will be called Immanuel”. This means that God is with us. This means that God is with you.

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  181. RichardX (321 comments) says:

    Scott (1,534 comments) says:
    December 12th, 2013 at 10:10 am
    The universe appears to be designed, scientists now acknowledge that there are lots of variables that if they were not at a certain value then life would not be able to exist. For example if the earth was just a little further away from the sun then it would be too cold to sustain life. If it was just a little closer then it would be too hot. If the earth was just a little bigger then gravity would be too strong for life to exist. If the earth was smaller then its gravitational pull would be too weak to sustain an atmosphere. There are lots of variables like this including things like the speed of light apparently being important in the sustaining of life.
    So the idea of a deity that created the universe has a lot of evidence when you look at the specific variables that need to be in place for life to exist.

    The Finely Tuned Universe or Goldilocks Theory does not necessitate a creator, nor does it provide evidence of one
    I suggest you research this further

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  182. SPC (5,333 comments) says:

    Ugly Truth, reference to a deity by those who made laws, does not require belief in that/a deity, nor make it illegal to declare any unbelief in that deity.

    And why did kings reference a deity, when making laws, – to infer that their royalty was established when they were anointed by some priest of that deity.

    The myth that Kings were the agents of God and their laws were the law of that God is based on the idea – make me King and your God will be my God, refuse and I will establish a new God and his priest will anoint me instead.

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  183. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    Very interesting and revealing comments from Tom Jackson at 12:55 a.m. I would say to him that there is plenty of evidence that the universe is an artefact. I presume by this he means that someone made it.

    The universe appears to be designed, scientists now acknowledge that there are lots of variables that if they were not at a certain value then life would not be able to exist. For example if the earth was just a little further away from the sun then it would be too cold to sustain life. If it was just a little closer then it would be too hot. If the earth was just a little bigger then gravity would be too strong for life to exist. If the earth was smaller then its gravitational pull would be too weak to sustain an atmosphere. There are lots of variables like this including things like the speed of light apparently being important in the sustaining of life.

    Scott,

    You’re saying that the universe “appears to be designed” because life on earth would not exist if conditions on earth were slightly different. The thing is, if conditions on any number of other planets in the universe were slightly different too, there would be life on them and not on earth. And some fellow on that planet would be declaring how obviously the universe is designed, because if things were slightly different, there would be no life on Speelok or whatever.

    So the idea of a deity that created the universe has a lot of evidence when you look at the specific variables that need to be in place for life to exist.

    Another thing you’re assuming is that life is a special kind of thing in the universe and demands an explanation.

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  184. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    I didn’t say “God”, I said deity. A square circle is a contradiction in terms, a deity isn’t.

    UglyTruth, that depends on how you define “deity”. Plenty of people’s definitions are contradictions in terms, upon examination.

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  185. SPC (5,333 comments) says:

    Ryan, the base point used is that those choosing to believe in a Creator’s existence, do so to explain why there is a universe with life in it. This debate has not changed since a Creator was posed as the reason for our human life on this planet alone.

    If it was shown that there was a source to this universe, then that source would be posed as either the God source or what the Creator God made to enable the emergence of the universe.

    Belief in a Creator is going to remain an issue of debate for a long time yet.

    However belief in the existing religions as means of knowledge about a God is more tenuous, as their knowledge about God is something that humans appear to have created. The irony is that book of Genesis sort of says that once man has a Creator God faith men will claim to have knowledge of this God. And that men will grow in knowledge of God and the created world, but the knowledge about God will not be knowledge of the Creator God but the gods that men will invent and take as their God in place of the Creator God, whom they do not have knowledge of.

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  186. Dazzaman (1,123 comments) says:

    1.1% muslim….that’ll do for them.

    Kea & the other Christophobes demerited themselves out yet?

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  187. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    The universe appears to be designed, scientists now acknowledge that there are lots of variables that if they were not at a certain value then life would not be able to exist.

    That isn’t an argument for intelligent design because if the variables didn’t support life then we wouldn’t be here to argue the point.

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  188. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    UglyTruth, that depends on how you define “deity”. Plenty of people’s definitions are contradictions in terms, upon examination.

    OK, since the context is of deity in relation to law I’ll use the description from the sources (Bracton, Coke, Blackstone et al), which is pretty minimal.

    Deity can be called “God”, and people are the creations of deity. Man has the ability to communicate with deity, and can appeal to deity eg to establish the truth of a contested claim. People gain some rights from deity (called natural rights), and correlative duties exist.

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  189. RJL (142 comments) says:

    I didn’t say “God”, I said deity. A square circle is a contradiction in terms, a deity isn’t.

    UglyTruth, the central point of atheism is precisely that the phrase “a deity that exists” is a contradiction in terms.

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  190. RJL (142 comments) says:

    Ugh, munted up the quote and reply in the above. Hopefully still clear.

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  191. ciaron (1,309 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull (6,106 comments) says:

    December 12th, 2013 at 11:17 am
    Scott,

    You’re saying that the universe “appears to be designed” because life on earth would not exist if conditions on earth were slightly different. The thing is, if conditions on any number of other planets in the universe were slightly different too, there would be life on them and not on earth. And some fellow on that planet would be declaring how obviously the universe is designed, because if things were slightly different, there would be no life on Speelok or whatever.

    I think this is incorrect. The argument for fine tuning claims (as far as I understand it) that if the variables were slightly different then life throughout the universe would not be possible.

    From Wiki:
    The fine-tuned Universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the Universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is presently understood.

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  192. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    OK, since the context is of deity in relation to law I’ll use the description from the sources (Bracton, Coke, Blackstone et al), which is pretty minimal.

    Deity can be called “God”, and people are the creations of deity. Man has the ability to communicate with deity, and can appeal to deity eg to establish the truth of a contested claim. People gain some rights from deity (called natural rights), and correlative duties exist.

    So, if an alien had genetically engineered people and still psychically conversed with people, that alien would fit your definition of “deity”?

    In that case, I agree with you that the existence of a “deity” can’t be ruled out a priori. We have to rely on our lack of evidence of such a deity for our assumption that it does not exist.

    The logical inconsistency stuff (the deity can’t exist) comes from logically contradictory descriptions. Like “Loving God who tortures people eternally”. If it’s just a being that caused life on earth, that’s at least logically possible, even if there’s no reason to believe it exists.

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  193. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    Ryan, the base point used is that those choosing to believe in a Creator’s existence, do so to explain why there is a universe with life in it. This debate has not changed since a Creator was posed as the reason for our human life on this planet alone.

    Then they’re starting with a mistaken assumption – that a universe with life in it requires more explanation than a universe without life in it.

    If it was shown that there was a source to this universe, then that source would be posed as either the God source or what the Creator God made to enable the emergence of the universe.

    I think there’s a lot more to the idea of “God” than just “what caused the universe if the universe had a cause”. No one worships Big Bangs.

    Belief in a Creator is going to remain an issue of debate for a long time yet.

    However belief in the existing religions as means of knowledge about a God is more tenuous, as their knowledge about God is something that humans appear to have created. The irony is that book of Genesis sort of says that once man has a Creator God faith men will claim to have knowledge of this God. And that men will grow in knowledge of God and the created world, but the knowledge about God will not be knowledge of the Creator God but the gods that men will invent and take as their God in place of the Creator God, whom they do not have knowledge of.

    Not entirely sure I followed all of that – are you saying that people’s ideas of God can never be actually God?

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  194. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    I think this is incorrect. The argument for fine tuning claims (as far as I understand it) that if the variables were slightly different then life throughout the universe would not be possible.

    From Wiki:
    The fine-tuned Universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the Universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is presently understood.

    Well, I was responding to Scott’s argument, rather than Wikipedia’s, but if I were to respond to Wikipedia’s…

    a) it assumes that other universal conditions are possible – they might be, but that’s still an unfounded assumption there
    b) it assumes that a universe with life somehow requires more explanation than a universe without life

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  195. SPC (5,333 comments) says:

    Ugly Truth, the attempt to connect law to deity was an affectation of a new covenant status for Christian kingdoms.

    The Americans subverted the royal throne aspect of it and ALSO the religious element when they implied that republics could have natural law under God (not the same thing as natural law received from God).

    The idea that man can communicate with a deity and can appeal to a deity to establish the truth of contested claim is a legal nonsense. There is only the shadow of this in swearing oaths on a bible (no matter that the bible instructs those of faith not to swear such oaths) and the prayer in legislatures that make law. It more accurately refers to appealing to a higher jurisdiction within the legal system and either the agency of the Crown on in making this available, or otherwise constitutional principles that the courts are bound by (thus appeals to the Supreme Court in the American context). It otherwise speaks to human fallibility and ultimate justice being infallible and thus the need for humility in the judgment process.

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  196. SPC (5,333 comments) says:

    Ryan, the context is of course existing belief amongst humans that the universe was created for human life to exist on one planet in one solar system in one galaxy, rather than life in more general terms across the universe.

    Until someone finds a universe without life (and without life at any point within the time that the universe exists), we have knowledge of only one universe and a universe with life in it.

    So in broader terms, the concept of the universe being created to enable life within it is likely to remain with us for a long time yet.

    That gives “legs” to the continuance of the notion of a Creator God.

    And I would think the distinction between any real existing Creator God and the God/gods declared by our religions is quite clear. (the term “ideas about God” is too broad to be useful in distinguishing this). The idea of a Creator God is known to the deist but the deist does not then pretend to have knowledge of this God whereas those of religions do.

    The onus is on those who claim to have knowledge of the Creator God to demonstrate how this could be so and whether human free will and/or human dominion on this planet can coincide with knowledge of God. The “bible” “word of God/logos” knowledge of the Jewish and Christian faiths says the planet was made to provide a place for a human dominion, one in which that cannot continue if knowledge of God means an obedience tick or disobedience cross with every decision or thought/belief and behaviour taken by a human being as to how they live their life.

    The distinction between a Creator God that provides the means for life and allows free will to that life and a God that judges life is one we ourselves have built with our so called knowledge of God. We began by calling natural disasters acts of a God to judge human life, and that was nothing more than base pagan fatalism – and the prototype for hell fire damnation.

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  197. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    UglyTruth, the central point of atheism is precisely that the phrase “a deity that exists” is a contradiction in terms.

    It’s not a point, it is a belief. Points can be substantiated, eg a square circle is a contradiction in terms because no square is circular. Atheism is as much a religion as any other, it’s just that the belief is that deity does not exist, rather than belief about the nature of deity.

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  198. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    So, if an alien had genetically engineered people and still psychically conversed with people, that alien would fit your definition of “deity”?

    Yeah, possibly, but it is a bit of a stretch because the sources point to divine beings rather than technologically advanced beings.

    In that case, I agree with you that the existence of a “deity” can’t be ruled out a priori. We have to rely on our lack of evidence of such a deity for our assumption that it does not exist.

    That’s a risky proposition, it assumes that you have the ability to determine what evidence would indicate that deity does exist. In other words, you run the risk of not looking in the right place.

    The logical inconsistency stuff (the deity can’t exist) comes from logically contradictory descriptions. Like “Loving God who tortures people eternally”.

    Sure, those are religious beliefs, and as such they don’t affect argument in law. This is part of the reason that I don’t refer to deity as “God”, there is so much religious baggage attached to the word that you get bogged down in arguments about irrelevant belief systems.

    If it’s just a being that caused life on earth, that’s at least logically possible, even if there’s no reason to believe it exists.

    The commentary that I’ve read says that the being (or beings) can interact with people, and that this interaction forms the basis of due process.

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  199. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    Ugly Truth, the attempt to connect law to deity was an affectation of a new covenant status for Christian kingdoms.

    No, the new covenant doesn’t fit into the universalist doctrine of Christianity. The new covenant was with the house of Israel, just as the gospel mission was for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. It’s related to the faith vs works issue, ie Pauline doctrine is in conflict with the way of the gospel.

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  200. SPC (5,333 comments) says:

    Ugly Truth, the old covenant involved claiming a nations laws came from God, when Christian kingdoms claim that their natural law comes from God it is just the same old same old.

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  201. SGA (797 comments) says:

    UglyTruth at 8:22 pm

    Atheism is as much a religion as any other, it’s just that the belief is that deity does not exist, rather than belief about the nature of deity.

    No. That’s like defining abstinence as a kind of sex position.

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  202. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    Ugly Truth, the old covenant involved claiming a nations laws came from God

    No, the old covenant was with the 12 tribes, it said nothing about other nations.

    when Christian kingdoms claim that their natural law comes from God it is just the same old same old

    It is different because the common law of King Alfred the Great mentioned the law as described by James the Just, not the law as described by Paul the Pharisee (i.e. the Christian position).

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  203. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    No. That’s like defining abstinence as a kind of sex position.

    Belief that something doesn’t exist is still a belief. Your analogy is a straw man because it doesn’t recognize the difference between atheists and agnostics.

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  204. SGA (797 comments) says:

    UglyTruth at 9:12 pm

    Belief that something doesn’t exist is still a belief.

    Yes, but just because it is a belief doesn’t make it a religious belief. An absence of religious beliefs isn’t a religion.

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  205. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    That’s a risky proposition, it assumes that you have the ability to determine what evidence would indicate that deity does exist. In other words, you run the risk of not looking in the right place.

    That’s a necessary assumption about all approaches to evidence. We assume that thinking rationally and clearly leads to accurate believes about reality because the kind of beliefs they’ve led to in the past give us replicable and predictable ways of dealing with the world.

    Also, a deity that hides is one that doesn’t want to be found.

    On the other hand, your definition of “deity” is much more flexible than most and is not subject to most arguments from hard atheism. The fact that you’d admit the possibility of advanced aliens filling the role of “deity” simultaneously distinguishes you from most theists and makes your view not impossible.

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  206. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    So in broader terms, the concept of the universe being created to enable life within it is likely to remain with us for a long time yet. That gives “legs” to the continuance of the notion of a Creator God.

    It really doesn’t. Part of the problem is that religious people aren’t really aware of how absolutely and finally Darwin destroyed the basis for religious belief.

    It’s perfectly possible, although we have no real idea how likely, that the universe is an artefact, even if the “universe” we experience turns out to be a virtual universe or a simulation rather than a real universe.

    But that doesn’t really matter, because the one thing that evolution tells us is that human life is contingent. In metaphysical terms, our species exists by accident. It’s perfectly possible for a universe with the exact same physical laws as ours to contain no human beings, or indeed no conscious creatures at all. When people say that a creator designed the universe to bring conscious species into existence, they fail to acknowledge that the mechanism by which conscious species actually came into existence in no way guarantees that they must have or would have eventually come into existence.

    But if it’s true that the existence of conscious beings is not necessary, then even if the universe is an artefact, it cannot realistically be the case that it was made to produce human beings or conscious beings, and, as such, even if the universe has a purpose, the satisfaction of our needs and wants cannot be part of that purpose, because the very existence of needs and wants is a mere accident.

    So basically, there can be a God, but the fact of evolution demonstrates that such a God would be indifferent to human welfare, and any purpose the universe possessed would not matter at all to us.

    What you need to show to back up traditional religions is not that the universe was designed to create life, but that it was designed to create conscious life or what we call personhood, but the mechanism by which species comes into being demonstrates that the existence of conscious life is a matter of chance. If an omnipotent creator had actually wanted to make conscious beings exist, it would necessarily have constructed physical reality to make it inevitable they would, but it isn’t.

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  207. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    Or to put it another way, let’s say I am the universe’s most excellent baker. I decide that I will make the perfect chocolate cake. So I mix up the ingredients and make the cake. However, it so happens that the materials from which the cake is made are capable at the micro level of combining in all sorts of ways, none of which will effect the overall consistency of the cake. Due to a vast series of random collisions these materials over time produce self replicating, conscious entities – the cake elves who live in the cake.

    But I am completely indifferent to them, because all I wanted to do was make a cake, and random stuff that doesn’t frustrate that purpose is irrelevant to me. If I’d wanted to create a cake full of cake elves, I would have made the cake in such a way that the cake elves must come into existence, not that they come into existence by accident. If I didn’t want the cake elves to exist, I would have made the cake differently. The way I in fact made it demonstrates I don’t care.

    If our universe is really an artefact, then it’s just like the cake, and we are just as dispensable and unwished for as the cake elves.

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  208. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    Tom,

    The cake elves are something that the cake does, not something separate doing things inside the cake.

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  209. SPC (5,333 comments) says:

    Tom, the existence of sentient beings with free will requires that life to develop as a contingency and have dependency on the circumstances within the universe that enable (mortal) life to exist. If that were a Creator’s purpose, the universe is one means to that end.

    Your statement that it is “perfectly possible for a universe with the exact same physical laws as ours to contain no human beings, or indeed no conscious creatures at all” is a belief, at best a theory, it is not proven. It is inappropriate to resort to dogmatic statements unsupported by evidence when arguing your position.

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  210. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    Yes, but just because it is a belief doesn’t make it a religious belief.

    Atheism is a religious belief because it is a belief about deity.

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  211. SPC (5,333 comments) says:

    No it is not, because it is possible to accept that there be a Creator (as deists do) without being part of any religion subsequently built by men on that same premise.

    That being the case, believing that there is no Creator is even less likely to lead one to join a religion based on the idea that men could have knowledge of a Creator and be obedient to it via a religion.

    That said there is another factor to religion, a group order of rule on common to those of a faith. Some Christians regard God as a construct created by man and engage in that faith on this basis – Lloyd Geering, Ian Harris, James Veitch etc. And Reform Judaism includes Jewish deists, atheists and agnostics who accept this as well.

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  212. SGA (797 comments) says:

    UglyTruth at 5:08 am

    Atheism is a religious belief because it is a belief about deity.

    No. Religious belief is the belief in the reality of the mythological, supernatural, or spiritual aspects of a religion. Different religions (e.g., Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism) have different religious beliefs; these may, or may not, involve gods. An absence of religious beliefs is not a religion.

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  213. Scott (1,693 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson – interesting arguments. I don’t accept your central premise though that Darwin’s theory of evolution destroys all premise for religious belief. Because I don’t accept the theory of evolution. I don’t believe that evolution has occurred.

    However it is intriguing to me that when you search for an example you talk about the universe as like a cake. However you postulate the existence of a universal Baker. Because everyone knows the existence of a cake requires the existence of a Baker. Is it not remotely possible that the existence of a finely tuned and ordered universe requires an intelligent mind to bring about that finely tuned, ordered universe?

    I would say it is essential in the same way that the existence of a cake requires a Baker.

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  214. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    The cake elves are something that the cake does, not something separate doing things inside the cake

    No, they are accidents. The material basis of the cake is capable of producing them, but need not. Similarly, the universe is capable of producing sentient life, but we have no reason to think this is inevitable.

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  215. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    Tom, the existence of sentient beings with free will requires that life to develop as a contingency

    No it doesn’t. Free will will allow for contingent events, but there’s no reason to think that the existence of sentient beings is one of these, and every reason to think the opposite if God’s purpose is to create them.

    Your statement that it is “perfectly possible for a universe with the exact same physical laws as ours to contain no human beings, or indeed no conscious creatures at all” is a belief, at best a theory, it is not proven.

    Not at all. Sentient beings evolved, and the mechanism by which sentient beings evolved need not ever produce sentient beings. We no more have to exist than oak trees. They just happened to win the evolutionary lottery and so did we. The truth is that based upon what we actually know about the development of sentient life, it might not have developed.

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  216. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    Scott. The argument admits the existence of a creator only to show that such a creator would be indifferent to us.

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  217. UglyTruth (3,898 comments) says:

    Religious belief is the belief in the reality of the mythological, supernatural, or spiritual aspects of a religion.

    You’re artificially limiting your definition to exclude atheism.

    A belief can be a belief that something does not exist, just as it can be a belief that something does exist.
    A religious belief is the same, except of course it is about deity/spirit/etc.

    Atheism is not an absence of religious belief, it is the belief that deity doesn’t exist, ie it is itself a religious belief.
    Absence of religious belief would more accurately be described as agnosticism, not atheism.

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  218. SGA (797 comments) says:

    UglyTruth at 10:54 am

    You’re artificially limiting your definition to exclude atheism.

    No. That’s a pretty mainstrean definition of “religious belief”. Check it out if you don’t believe me.

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  219. RichardX (321 comments) says:

    Interesting discussion but do get a response of “I don’t believe that evolution has occurred.” shows reasoned arguments and scientific evidence will not change religious beliefs

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  220. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    Atheism is a position that is referential to religious claims.

    If there was no religion, there would be no atheism.

    But that does not make it particularly accurate or useful to say “atheism is a religious belief”.

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  221. SGA (797 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull at 11:10 am

    If there was no religion, there would be no atheism.

    Or would it be that we’d just not have a word/distinction for that which everyone was doing? (Sorry, not trying to argue as much as piqued curiosity).

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  222. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    Or would it be that we’d just not have a word/distinction for that which everyone was doing? (Sorry, not trying to argue as much as piqued curiosity).

    I know what you mean. It’s interesting, and it depends on where you stand on some other things.

    It’s kind of like, if everything in existence was yellow, we wouldn’t have the word or concept “yellow”, but does that mean that everything’s “actually” yellow but we don’t have a word or concept for it, or does that mean that there is no such thing as yellowness?

    I tend towards the latter, myself.

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  223. big bruv (13,198 comments) says:

    Atheism is EVERYBODIES default position. We are all born atheists, it is only as we age that our minds are poisoned by religious lies.

    Religion was created by man, their ‘God’ was created to explain things that people had no way of understanding all those years ago. Today’s ten year olds are far wiser than the best scholars of that era, todays ten year olds don’t need religion to explain earthquakes, tidal waves, diseases, eclipses, volcanic eruptions and the like as they are well aware what causes these natural phenomenon’s.

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  224. SGA (797 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull at 11:31 am

    Or , to put it another way, if we discovered sentient life on Mars with no religious beliefs, were they atheists before we arrived?

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  225. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    Or , to put it another way, if we discovered sentient life on Mars with no religious beliefs, were they atheists before we arrived?

    Yes, and if that sentient life on Mars believes in the existence of something we previously had no concept of – let’s call it gloop – are we all agloopists at the moment?

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  226. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    Atheism is EVERYBODIES default position. We are all born atheists, it is only as we age that our minds are poisoned by religious lies.

    Religion was created by man, their ‘God’ was created to explain things that people had no way of understanding all those years ago. Today’s ten year olds are far wiser than the best scholars of that era, todays ten year olds don’t need religion to explain earthquakes, tidal waves, diseases, eclipses, volcanic eruptions and the like as they are well aware what causes these natural phenomenon’s.

    I don’t think atheism is everybody’s default position. There is no default position. Everyone is born a-positional.

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  227. ciaron (1,309 comments) says:

    Not So Fast: There is no Presumption of Atheism

    excerpt:

    This new definition of atheism as “non-theism,” or a mere “lack of belief in God” transforms atheism from an ontological claim to a mere epistemological claim. It reduces atheism to an autobiographical note, telling us only about the psychology of its adherent, but nothing about whether God, in fact, exists or not. As a result, this new definition ceases to be explanatorily meaningful. Indeed, it ceases to be a view at all. Babies, and even dogs would qualify as atheists according to this definition.3 That seems patently absurd. There is a cognitive element to atheism that this new definition does not take into consideration. If atheism it is to be understood as a meaningful position on the question of God’s existence, it must be about the object, not the subject; ontology, not epistemology. Otherwise, the presumption of atheism is more akin to agnosticism than atheism in any meaningful sense of the word. Indeed, it is difficult to see any meaningful distinction between the two. It appears to be a distinction without a difference. In the end, agnosticism collapses into agnosticism.

    I suspect the last line should be atheism collapses into agnosticsm.

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  228. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    This new definition of atheism as “non-theism,” or a mere “lack of belief in God” transforms atheism from an ontological claim to a mere epistemological claim. It reduces atheism to an autobiographical note, telling us only about the psychology of its adherent, but nothing about whether God, in fact, exists or not. As a result, this new definition ceases to be explanatorily meaningful. Indeed, it ceases to be a view at all. Babies, and even dogs would qualify as atheists according to this definition.3 That seems patently absurd. There is a cognitive element to atheism that this new definition does not take into consideration. If atheism it is to be understood as a meaningful position on the question of God’s existence, it must be about the object, not the subject; ontology, not epistemology. Otherwise, the presumption of atheism is more akin to agnosticism than atheism in any meaningful sense of the word. Indeed, it is difficult to see any meaningful distinction between the two. It appears to be a distinction without a difference. In the end, agnosticism collapses into agnosticism.

    Yes, the point is that because there is no reason to believe that God exists, it is reasonable to not believe that God exists.

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  229. ciaron (1,309 comments) says:

    Actually Ryan, there are reasons
    . You may simply find them not persuasive.

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  230. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    Actually Ryan, there are reasons
    . You may simply find them not persuasive.

    I’m not going to watch a 2-hour video, but I’m familiar with Craig’s arguments. I don’t just find them not persuasive, I judge them not persuasive.

    But you’re right. I shouldn’t have said “there is no reason to believe that God exists”. There are many reasons to believe that God exists. I should have said that there are no good reasons to believe that God exists.

    But it would depend on the definition of God. And I was more pointing out that almost all lack of belief is agnosticism by the “Not So Fast” article’s standards, including a lack of belief in fairies. Nothing wrong with that, but I don’t think it’s the attack on atheism the article thinks it is.

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  231. Ryan Sproull (7,023 comments) says:

    Bollocksed up that quoting, didn’t I.

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  232. Dean Papa (707 comments) says:

    this is a better debate,

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