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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SearchAndDestroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2007 at 17:21
lol Chilbudios, you just got my brain juices going, and in my thoughts I got myself into a corner which I could not come out of, or atleast you put me there. I think I'm finding myself agreeing with you now.
I've been saying Secularism is a definition, but with this line here,
Quote Those ideologies who have secularism among their core claims, who regard religion irrelevant to the approach or the topic they address.
Made me realize that it's a definition that describes the type of ideology. So, Religion fits that bill to...
 
Secularism-Ideology= Communism(example you gave before, right?)
Religion-Ideology=Christianity
Would this sound right?
 
Quote Really? Even with pasta? LOL 
No, pasta goes with everything before Secularism.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bilal_ali_2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2007 at 20:37
Its interesting that so many people here think that i am a religous fanatic of some sort and looking at my name they must have figured out that i am a muslim especially Aelfqifu. Well they are wrong because i am not. I was born a muslim but do not believe in Islam anymore. The reason i started this thread is because i wanted to open the eyes of Ahtiesists, who have quite a high opinion of their "broadmindedness" and "enlightenment", to show them the other side of the coin just like many other here have advised me to do. I consider myself a humanist not an athiest, and about Social Darwanism i just told you my impression of it which i had gotten by reading on it and it is that it is a very amoral philosophy and for them a human is nothing but just a beetle lacking any intellegence and complexity and making decisions only dictated by his concern for survival.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2007 at 21:29
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Red Clay, darwains theory of evolution was that the animals who adapted the most quickly would survive. That is a scientific theory.Darwinism was a Victorian era politcal philosphy which was used to explain/justify colonialism.

 
 
From Wiki-
 
 

The term Darwinism is often used by promotors of creationism to describe evolution, notably by leading members of the intelligent design movement.[1] In this usage, the term has connotations of atheism. For example, in Charles Hodge's book What Is Darwinism?, Hodge answers the question posed in the book's title by concluding: "It is Atheism."[2][3][4] Creationists use the term Darwinism, often pejoratively, to imply that the theory has been held as true only by Darwin and a core group of his followers, which they cast as dogmatic and inflexible in their belief.[5] Casting evolution as a doctrine or belief bolsters religiously motivated political arguments to mandate equal time for the teaching of creationism in public schools.

However, Darwinism is also used neutrally within the scientific community to distinguish modern evolutionary theories from those first proposed by Darwin, as well as by historians to differentiate it from other evolutionary theories from around the same period. For example, Darwinism may be used to refer to Darwin's proposed mechanism of natural selection, in comparison to more recent theories such as genetic drift and gene flow. It may also refer specifically to the role of Charles Darwin as opposed to others in the history of evolutionary thought particularly contrasting Darwin's results with those of earlier theories such as Lamarckism or later ones such as the modern synthesis. A notable example of a scientist who uses the term in a positive sense is Richard Dawkins.

[edit] Classical Darwinism

In the 19th century context in which Darwin's Origin of Species was first received, "Darwinism" came to stand for an entire range of evolutionary (and often revolutionary) philosophies about both biology and society. One of the more prominent approaches was that summed in the phrase "survival of the fittest" by the philosopher Herbert Spencer, which was later taken to be emblematic of Darwinism even though Spencer's own understanding of evolution was more Lamarckian than Darwinian, and predated the publication of Darwin's theory.

Sparten, I'm well aware of the various forms and distortions of Darwinist thinking and my usage was indeed appropriate to his post. 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2007 at 22:02
 and about Social Darwanism i just told you my impression of it which i had gotten by reading on it and it is that it is a very amoral philosophy and for them a human is nothing but just a beetle lacking any intellegence and complexity and making decisions only dictated by his concern for survival.
 
 
 
Then I would suggest that you do a whole lot more reading and not just creationist criticisms.  Darwinist philosophies have been used and distorted much over the last century.  Darwin, not Spencer or the others that cashed in on his writings, actually believed that natural selection strengthened societies by making them more moralistic and responsive to the human condition.
 
 
 
 


Edited by red clay - 16-Sep-2007 at 22:04
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2007 at 22:20
Yes, Darwin is also guilty of some "Darwininsm". You can read his racist remarks in books like "the Ascent of Man". However, the main promoter of "Social Darwinism" it was Spencer and not Darwin himself.
 
The problem with Social Darwininsm is that lead people in believing there are better and worst human beings. Therefore, there are people that "contribute" to society and others that are just "parasits". Then start the debate of who is smart and who is dumb; who is pretty and who is ugly; who is good and who is evil.
 
The step from there to start a campain to killed the "unfited" there is just a single step. That's why social darwinism is liked to the worst crimes of the twentieth century: the eutanasia in an industrial scale as practised by Nazis among others.
 
In short, we could lost our religion but we better never forget our humanistic values in the name of ideologies.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mamikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Sep-2007 at 22:33
Originally posted by Mughaal Mughaal wrote:

Originally posted by mamikon

People do not use atheism to go to war, while people have been killing each other in the name of Christianity and Islam for centuries...Tyrants dont kill in the name of "Atheism" (at least I dont know of any who did)
 
Nah, they look for oil, natural gas, resources, etc.


They dont kill in the name of Atheism...

PS: Bush isnt an Atheist
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ulrich von hutten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2007 at 01:40
For those who want o show me the other side of the coin:
 
The first condition for that is , having money in your wallet.
 
And here we are the main point. Islam or Christianity, or any other belief, are not the true reason for all those killing and oppression.
 
Economical ambitions, the increase of influence ,the accession to the resources are the reason for wars.
The religious justification is used very often and is favoured among those people who wants to smash their neighbor's face.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2007 at 01:55
Originally posted by Mughaal Mughaal wrote:

Constantine, your totally off track - or im not making myself clear.


The latter.

Originally posted by Mughaal Mughaal wrote:

Perhaps others who understand can help you. I dont know if you dont want to understand or you genuinely cant. Im busy now, maybe tonight.
Its almost like your nearsighted.


No, I just choose not to engage my imagination in place of logic when finding excuses to justify wishful thinking - which is what you are doing.

Let's take a look at that quasi-logic of yours shall we.

According to you, absence of religion in government causes people to build buildings in a cluttered downtown (you don't demonstrate how, you just assume cause and effect, while ignoring that in non-secular nations the same thing happens). You then link that to lack of energy to run things (rather than reaching the far more logical conclusion that lack of energy is actually a problem caused by overconsumption and failure to exploit renewable energy resources). You then link that desire for energy to a war in the Middle East.

So here is your logic once again, a series of unfounded assumptions, wrong attributions, biased omissions and baseless conclusions which are so indefensible that when called to account for the weakness of that logic, the best you can do is accuse people of "not getting you". Enough said.

It is not the challenges a people face which define who they are, but rather the way in which they respond to those challenges.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2007 at 02:22
Just wanted to make a comment.
 
I have noticed, on this forum, a disturbing tendency to employ a double standard when it comes to analyzing the crimes against humanity committed by atheist regimes and comparing them with those committed by the theistic counterparts of these regimes. The case that bothers me most is that of Soviet Russia, where atheistic ideology was undeniably causally associated with the deaths, disappearances, and destruction of the persecution, and where there was an organized government propaganda campaign against theism.
 
It is often asserted, however, that atheism was not the "cause" of the persecution. This assertion is justified either by definining atheism so narrowly as to dissassociate it from its practical ramifications, or by stating that the motives behind the persecution were primarily political/economic. Ok, fine; if that is the standard we are going to employ, then let us do so. By this standard, we can hardly attribute the Crusades, anti-Jewish pogroms, Jihads, and other crimes committed by Christians, Muslims, or any other theistic group to those groups' ideologies. The Crusades and pogroms, being irreconcilable with the fundamentally pacifistic nature of Christian theology, could not possibly be caused by Christian ideology, even though Christianity was used as a justification. After all, the Crusades were merely the result of commercial interests engendered by overpopulation in Europe, the anti-Jewish pogroms in Europe were simply attempts to suppress a potentially subversive ethnic group, and the Jihads of early-Islamic history were attempts to realize Arab hegemony over the known world.
 
Perhaps the reason we find ourselves unable to employ consistent standards and discuss this reasonably is that the dialogue is always presented in childish "which was worse?" terms. Still, this is no excuse for us to ignore the faculties of reason we would employ in any other arena. "A militantly atheistic ideology wasn't a causal factor in the Soviet persecutions"? Tell it to the new-martyrs of Russia.
 
-Akolouthos


Edited by Akolouthos - 17-Sep-2007 at 02:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wang yun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2007 at 03:08
Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

Perhaps the reason we find ourselves unable to employ consistent standards and discuss this reasonably is that the dialogue is always presented in childish "which was worse?" terms. Still, this is no excuse for us to ignore the faculties of reason we would employ in any other arena. "A militantly atheistic ideology wasn't a causal factor in the Soviet persecutions"? Tell it to the new-martyrs of Russia.
 
-Akolouthos
No, the reason is because the title of this thread tends towards broad and ultimately meaningless generalization. Notice that when trying to account for the historical atrocities attributed to "atheism", you have to actually discern which specific regime, ideology, etc. was responsible and in what manner. Because there are no real codes or institutions of "atheism" per se.
 
The same broad and ultimately meaningless generalization applies when trying to account for the historical atrocities attributed to "religion",  you have to actually discern which specific religion, sect, regime, ideology, etc. was responsible and in what manner.
 
The OP, in trying to refute the fallacious meme that "religion's" track record is worse than "atheism", got trapped by the illogic that made the meme fallacious in the first place-- that the cause-and-effect of historical atrocities can be easily and directly attributed to a singular idea or concept, even when such ideas or concepts are amorphous as "atheism" or as complicated as "religion".
 
Unless, of course, the OP was being sarcastic or facetious by pointing out that blaming "religion" for historical atrocities is just as meaningless as blaming "atheism"?
 
Since this is a history forum, I think other posters will understand my approach: broad and ultimately meaningless generalizations which gloss over the historical details are well, broad and ultimately meaningless-- except they are used as political spin.... Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2007 at 03:40
I can sympathise with Akolouthos' concerns to an extent, but as pointed out above the reason this thread has followed the path it has is because of how the original poster approached the question. Atheism and secularism refer to the absence of something in belief and in government. In themselves, they have proven to be the cause of far less harm than religion.

If, however, the question of how much good had been done by the two paradigms were posed, then religion clearly has the better record. Most religions encourage virtuous principles such as forgiveness, charity etc. In the Medieval (when religion was more dominant than ever) era this proved very important as a form of social welfare - there was no Department of Human Services back then.

Atheism, by contrast, does not encourage "virtuous" acts of welfare or the like. This does not mean atheists are lacking in those virtues (I would argue that discovery of such virtues requires no religious instruction whatsoever). It just means that atheists tend to find paths aside from dogma to guide their morality and principles, e.g. common morality indigenous to all humans, life experience, the legal system.

What must also be questioned is how relevant certain ideologies are for a specific time and context. Each major religion appears to be configured for the people living in the time it was created. How relevant these custom designed ideologies remain in different times and contexts requires analysis. And from that the "goodness of fit" for contemporary people can be determined.
It is not the challenges a people face which define who they are, but rather the way in which they respond to those challenges.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2007 at 05:28
Quote
Secularism-Ideology= Communism(example you gave before, right?)
Religion-Ideology=Christianity
Would this sound right?
Perhaps, but this was not really the essence of my position. My revolt was against words like "ideology" which are usually used in a negative way (i.e. Religion is an ideology and both are bad, oppresive and trigger violence) or words like "secularism" which are usually used in a positive way (i.e. Secularism allows us Freedom and thus we are a better and happier society), though they obviously are much more general, much more of a definition (as you have said) and they are much more neutral (that's why I remarked that both US and USSR governments are secular or that any assessment of secularism transforms it in a value and consequently in an ideology).
 
But as you can see, even the current evolution of this thread started to notice that.
 
ConstantineXI, I like the last two paragraphs you have written. On the first two, I'm not sure how would one estabilish in the titanomahia between Atheism and Religion who has a better record in crime or good deeds.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wang yun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2007 at 06:25
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

I can sympathise with Akolouthos' concerns to an extent, but as pointed out above the reason this thread has followed the path it has is because of how the original poster approached the question. Atheism and secularism refer to the absence of something in belief and in government. In themselves, they have proven to be the cause of far less harm than religion.
Precisely why there is no real titanomachia between atheism (even with the captial "A") and religion. Faced with an atheist person, regime, etc. , you will be forced to ASK exactly what are values being adhered to or promoted-- such as when you go on to say...
 
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Atheism, by contrast, does not encourage "virtuous" acts of welfare or the like. This does not mean atheists are lacking in those virtues (I would argue that discovery of such virtues requires no religious instruction whatsoever). It just means that atheists tend to find paths aside from dogma to guide their morality and principles, e.g. common morality indigenous to all humans, life experience, the legal system.

... but since you are unable identify which "path" (each and every) atheist follow, how did you arrive at the conclusion that "Atheism, by contrast, does not encourage "virtuous" acts of welfare or the like"? Good points-- but in trying to follow the logic of the title question, it's like you are trying to answer the question: which is a better color, white or transparent? Confused
 
P.S. you don't have to argue that atheists have other paths, lots of people have already done it: modern humanitarianism, Confucian ethics, etc., all argue for charity, virtue, etc. based on the "first principles" of human nature, social order, etc.-- in an essentially atheist manner. Wink


Edited by wang yun - 17-Sep-2007 at 06:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2007 at 06:45
wang_yun, atheism refers to the belief that there is no god. That is it, nothing more and nothing less. So while atheism doesn't actively promote virtuous action, it doesn't in any way inhibit or discourage it.

Atheism is not apathy, as it does not claim to provide answers for just about everything the way religion does. Atheism is not an ideology, as ideologies seek to explain everything of importance and provide a framework for how to live. Atheism does not do this, it is simply one belief. As to the other beliefs in life besides the question of the divine, an atheist must look elsewhere to find answers.

Religion does encourage virtuous action, on the other hand. But as I mentioned religion is grounded in a specific time and place. While charity is seen as virtuous traditionally and still today, other actions once considered virtuous in the past may today not be considered virtuous (e.g. killing apostates).

So with that final paragraph, I wish to rephrase what I said earlier. Religion does not promote virtue, it promotes principles and beliefs regarding both divine and temporal  subjects. These principles' morality is open to interpretation based on the time and place which they apply to. From an historical perspective, the more successful religious movements tended to be those whose values were perceived as being virtuous and practical by the standards of the people in whose time the religion was conceived.
It is not the challenges a people face which define who they are, but rather the way in which they respond to those challenges.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2007 at 06:49
Quote Precisely why there is no real titanomachia between atheism (even with the captial "A") and religion. Faced with an atheist person, regime, etc. , you will be forced to ASK exactly what are values being adhered to or promoted
There are both theists and atheists who constantly bash the other side for eviler deeds. The atheists, as you have exemplified, have other values, but for the ones engaged in such debates, some of their values are transparent from their intransigent discourse against religion (theism I think this is a much better term, much of the criticism is against Christianity and Islam anyway). For instance, one such flavour of atheism (though not orientated explicitely against religion, but I think many of the fierce critics of religion hold it as a philosophy) is the Secular humanism and many of those who hold it claim that humanist principles can be coherently expressed only in the absence of supernatural beings. And talking of conflictual ideologies, many secular humanists claim their values are universal for all human beings.
 


Edited by Chilbudios - 17-Sep-2007 at 06:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2007 at 07:04
Originally posted by Mughaal Mughaal wrote:

 
Ok, absent religion. Suddenly you have a vacum to fill. What do you fill it with? In the USA, you have democracy and here is an example how:
 

I'm not religious; yet I do not feel I have a vacuum to fill.


---

Everyone is talking pass each other. A religious man can start a war for non-religious reasons, so can a non-religious man. The point is, you don't have atheist people running around shouting "death to any person who believes", though there do exist religious people who advocate "death to people who believes in other gods than mine". Neither is it very common that there are atheists trying to convince religious people to give up their religion, though religious missionaries you see everywhere. In my opinion, therein lies the biggest difference between religion and atheism.



Of course, the religious people who actually kill in the name of their religion is a small minority compared to the religious people who kill for other reasons.




Edited by Styrbiorn - 17-Sep-2007 at 07:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Sep-2007 at 13:53
Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

Neither is it very common that there are atheists trying to convince religious people to give up their religion, though religious missionaries you see everywhere.
 
On the whole, I think your post concisely outlined the essential problems with the discussion we are having. I definitely agree with you; too often we talk straight past each other. Still, I did think the above comment a bit anachronistic. Perhaps it was true decades ago, but there are definitely loads of atheist "missionaries" in the modern Western world. To some degree this has been true ever since atheism became an ideology in its own right. Once atheism developed from a basic, non-theist position into an organized ideological system that held to its own set of positivist assertions, it began to encounter the same issues that confront any ideology.
 
-Akolouthos
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2007 at 14:18
This thread has been reopened after many off-topic posts were removed.
 
I also changed the name of it to simply- 'Atheism'. Unfortunately we have members that intentionally discrminate by seeking leverage when wording a thread's title. This bias places many individuals on the defensive and it is not appreciated. Surely I could go around the forum and instantly close at least five threads for discrminatory titles. Instead I am asking our membership to be mindful of intentions and respect fellow forumers.
 
Two members who have been active in this thread have recently opened complaint threads in this forum. They will be reprimanded for that by official or unofficial warnings yet to be decided. From now on normal complaint procedures will either be respected or the consequences will be strict and instant.  
 
Lastly, this thread will be closely watched.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Praetor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Sep-2007 at 05:13
Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:


The point is, you don't have atheist people running around shouting "death to any person who believes", though there do exist religious people who advocate "death to people who believes in other gods than mine".


The Albanian Communist government outlawed Religion (any religion other then the state sponsored Communist cult) declaring the state officially Atheist, though those who believed in a god weren't typically killed, individuals faced long prison sentences for being found in possession of the Quran or bible for instance.

Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:


Neither is it very common that there are atheists trying to convince religious people to give up their religion, though religious missionaries you see everywhere. In my opinion, therein lies the biggest difference between religion and atheism.


In my opinion Atheism is a religious belief just like Theism though neither is a religion in and of itself and many religions or ideologies that are inherently Atheist do attempt to spread via convincing others that their beliefs are correct, including Atheism.

Furthermore I do not see what is wrong with attempting to convince others peacefully to believe in what you consider the truth, I mean if we weren't allowed to persuade, teach and question each other then this forum would have very little purpose.

Regards, Praetor.


Edited by Praetor - 20-Sep-2007 at 05:15
Common sense is not common.

I do not subscribe to a school of thought, I subscribe to thought.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Sep-2007 at 06:41
Originally posted by Praetor Praetor wrote:


The Albanian Communist government outlawed Religion (any religion other then the state sponsored Communist cult) declaring the state officially Atheist, though those who believed in a god weren't typically killed, individuals faced long prison sentences for being found in possession of the Quran or bible for instance.


How many atheist organizations using terror to pursuade people so give up their gods does it exist, akin to the Inquisition, al-Qaida, Aum Shinrikyo etc?
 

Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:


Neither is it very common that there are atheists trying to convince religious people to give up their religion, though religious missionaries you see everywhere. In my opinion, therein lies the biggest difference between religion and atheism.

Quote
In my opinion Atheism is a religious belief just like Theism though neither is a religion in and of itself and many religions or ideologies that are inherently Atheist do attempt to spread via convincing others that their beliefs are correct, including Atheism.


Furthermore I do not see what is wrong with attempting to convince others peacefully to believe in what you consider the truth, I mean if we weren't allowed to persuade, teach and question each other then this forum would have very little purpose.

Regards, Praetor.

Lack of belief is not belief.  We have a bunch of Islamic, Christian (a lion's part young Korean girls, of some reason) and fringe-groups like the Jehova's running around trying to convert people, but I have never heard someone knocking at people's doors trying to prove the non-existance of god. Neither have I ever heard of missonary stations working to make people give up their beliefs. However, I never said there was something inheritly wrong in missionaries, just outlining a major difference so no need to go defensive there.
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