Recently I read article that kids believe in Santa until the age of 7. Why is that so much people never grow up and continue to believe in imaginary things like god.
Recently I read article that kids believe in Santa until the age of 7. Why is that so much people never grow up and continue to believe in imaginary things like god.
It's quite easy to prove Santa isn't real. Just pull down the beard and find your father's face. With a religion it's not that simple. If you grow old and still believe in Santa people will laugh at you and think you are just telling a joke. If people will laugh at you for believing in a god depends very much on the culture and people around you.
Probably because the origin of Santa Claus is very recent, and can be verified within the history of our times. We know where Santa Claus (the man, the idea, the belief, the character) comes from. The premise of God is that he was there before us, that he created us. God has no physical form, nobody knows what he looks like. Santa, on the other hand, is almost tangible. That's probably why it's easy to dismiss Mr Claus, and not so much God.
The other factor could be that as a society and a people in general, we are told by our parents that Santa doesn't exist, but when you spend your entire youth, growing up, with the idea that God exists, to be told later that God doesn't exist is like challenging the very basic fact of life you took for granted.
And finally, no one's proven that God doesn't exist. (Of course, no one's proven that he does, either )
Actually yeah, it's interesting what we think of as god, there might be some beings who have created simulation and we are just part of it (but I am already sliding close to the rabbit hole)
It would be funny or not if we would discover that we are just part of some more or less significant experiment of some nerd of higher civilization
Round One: Fight!
*Santa belly-dives the floor, crushing God's omnipresent form*
*God thrusts his palms forward and fires a burst of let-there-be-light*
*Santa chugs a tankard of frothy milk to recover health*
*God turns Santa into a pillar of salt*
Round One: Fight!
*God says: "Let there be no Santa" and there was no Santa and God saw that it was good.
...Fighting against omnipotent beings doesn't work well.
Santa would make a great Gpd,whereas God would make a rubbish Santa.
Gameplay and Story Segregation ^_^
Part of the difference is that there are real-world, tangible obligations involved with the Santa belief, whereas the god belief requires nothing more than a willingness to believe. Santa requires someone to put forth an effort and hide the fact that they're doing it, there are physical aspect in the gifts, etc.; they don't appear, and Santa's in trouble. God, on the other hand, offers rewards that do not, cannot manifest until after death... there are no obligations other than stories and occasional assurances.
It all comes down to suspension of disbelief. It's harder to maintain suspension when there are clear actions to uncover... and those who are deceiving get tired of the deception.
I think God and Santa are both real -- as real as the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, Peter Pan, etc., etc., etc. You can believe in something, but believing in something doesn't make it real.
Nice link Nameless
Santa = Satan. Isn't that obvious?
Now continue with the imMortal Kombat... Except Santa uses Animality to transform into a fierce Red Dragon.
So what makes it real then? Physical existence? Are feelings real, then? Or thoughts*?
*Actually, I think I remember reading somewhere that they're conducting research into trying to find out whether thoughts have mass, so maybe the last one doesn't count.
Anyway, thread getting side-tracked here, methinks?
Good question - how do we really know what is "real"? Perhaps we don't. Perhaps we only have what we believe. That sounds like a discussion for the metaphysicians, of which I'm not one.
I used this exact example in my argumentative writing class final paper. I talked about how all kids go through a phase where they believe in Santa Claus and then grow out of it. I then went further to ask "Why don't people outgrow their beliefs of God? The stories in the Bible and of religion as a whole are far more bizarre than those of Santa Claus."
One can only wonder, but in my paper I attributed the cause to "brainwashing" as a child and just plain stupidity and lack of reason.
The reasons why I think people believe in god include:
1. Not wanting to be different from the mainstream population. If hundreds of millions of people believe in gods then it can be hard being different, not fitting in, being seen as an outcast or being shunned for having opposing beliefs. The easiest option for many people is just to go along with what is considered to be generally accepted in society. With Santa I think that most of the mainstream population don't truly believe in Santa once they hit puberty, so by not believing in Santa you're not holding yourself out to be different from the mainstream population.
2. From an early age people are taught by their parents or teachers that gods exist. What we learn first has a very powerful influence that stays with us for many years. In the case of Santa, we may initially be taught by our parents that he is real, even though our parents themselves don't truly believe in his authenticity. As we age and become smarter we see signs that he may not be real and challenge the beliefs of our parents who eventually admit that Santa is a myth. With god, their is no such admission forthcoming from our parents who may truly believe that god exists. Further, any challenges we raise to the existence of god as a result of our experiences (let's say a young child dies a horrendous death), are met with rationalizations used to justify such experiences (it was god's will; bad things happen to make us stronger, etc.)
3. People like to be able to explain why things are the way they are. There are many things that may be beyond our comprehension (how exactly was the universe created). Belief in god provides a convenient explanation for everything we don't understand. Believing in Santa may initially provide us with an explanation of where our presents come from, but eventually we find a more rational explanation. Once we realize that presents come from our parents we no longer need to believe that Santa has been the source of our gifts.
4. People are scared of the unknown, particularly what will happen to us after we die. Belief in god may provide some meaning to people's lives and give them comfort that after death they or their spirits will live on in some form. I don't see how Santa can provide any such consolation.
@Belltown. That's a theory. Agreed, there are a large number of people who act like sheep and some of them are non-religious too. I.e. I've seen friends of mine attending dinners and completely dazzled by Dawkins, next thing they discover they've been atheists all of their lives, and are now SOMETHING. Tomorrow something different may happen that is more fashionable and they may just become plain cynics. Ditto the religious. There could be a fancy church opening up, say God of Love Church, and everyone following like sheep. People seem to need their gurus. Either God or another human being who catches people's fancy. I'd say the bottomline is that we have X number of years to live. We all have X amount of brain washing and education in our lives, X amount of experiences and X abilities and opportunities and come to X end result. Viva the differences I say and each to their own.
There's an excruciatingly obvious distinction between the supposed creator of the universe and life and its singularly humanly plausible and palatable, both logically and rationally, definitive meaning itself... Vs the anonymous bearer of Connect Four. I could sit here and outline the finer details of cause and effect for those capable of firing a neuron but I think from skim reading, and past experience, I think I can safely cross "laborious waste of time" off my Christmas List. But in case you're still struggling with this one... The reason that there is no "A-santaists" is because Santa Claus is not real.
As well as god! But there are a lot of Christians. =P
I will respond to each of your points in order:
Why would people have to "come out into the open" with their beliefs if their beliefs are cooler and more popular? Coming out into the open implies (to me at least) that your viewpoint is in the minority.
Also, I don't agree that it's more popular to not believe in god. For example, in a list of the top 50 countries in the world with the highest proportion of atheists/agnostics, only the top 9 countries have more that 50% of the population who do not believe in god. (http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_atheist.html). Also, in a recent Gallup poll only 7% of Americans said they do not believe in god (http://www.gallup.com/poll/147887/Americans-Continue-Believe-God.aspx). So while your statement, "It is, in fact, far more popular to not believe in God" may be true in a handful of countries, I don't believe it to be true worldwide.
Santa Claus really pays a visit to children and brings them gifts. A child is wise to believe in this guy.
God is a sign of a conscious mind. Understanding is the gift. Most people believe in God for other reasons.
Looks like Santa's gonna have much less work on Christmass, after he reads this thread=)
But seriously, we have as much proof of God's existence, as of Santa's. The fact that we don't see a magical bearded man creeping down our chimneys once a year, doesn't mean there's no Santa Claus. All the info we have about the guy may be just our ancestors' free interpretation, just like the God's story - there are tons of different religions, and all of them depict God differently. So maybe our good old Santa is actually a celestial being, who uses his powers to make people wanna buy presents for their familys, friends and neighbors, kinda like cupid makes us fall in love with each-other by shooting us with his bow. Or are you gonna say that cupid doesn't exist as well??
Oh, you misspelled a word you wanted to say unconscious mind.
Here's quite good description: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconscious_mind
LOL, Ah, thanks, now I understand that big crab, who's guarding my door, together with cupid are also real. Pffft, and I thought I am starting to get crazy and my unconscious mind is making me to see hallucinations. Now, when everything is alright, I shall return to my tea party with Zeus and Thor!
Just keep in mind that Thor is allergic to strawberry jam
We've certainly come a long way since the 19th Century.
Again, I suppose it depends on where you live.
It would also be vastly different from Boulder Colorado, where there are an inordinate number of "New Age" religious believers, and stating that you don't believe in god can get you in as much trouble as in the deep south of the US. So it does depend on where you live.
It is a popular intellectual pursuit to disbelieve in god, and to debate it's existence, or at least that is my opinion on the matter. Popular not with a large number of people, but popular within educated groups to question and disbelieve in the idea of a god.
I personally do not believe in god, or at least not the idea presented about god by religions.
I think that mankind is evolving, and the idea of a deity that requires worship, and gives punishment to those that are bad, and rewards those that are good is archaic, and psychologically damaging. The simple concept of good and bad, starts to weigh in on any conscious person that is paying attention, and realizes that corrupt, ugly people are usually promoted to positions of power, and rewarded monetarily for their selfish, destructive, and sometimes - murderous behavior. It also causes any alert mind to question rewards for good behavior when some of the best people seem to endure nothing but hardship. So when this simple sort of belief system fails, rather than abandon those beliefs and look for a more accurate definition of god, or possibly adopting an understanding that god doesn't exist. People tend to hang on to their beliefs and make excuses - It's gods will, I'm being tested, and so on.
Fear of the unknown, and fear of leaving a system of beliefs that is comfortable is what I see as the driving force behind these things. Which is OK, the belief in god provides a comfort for many people in this world, and they need those beliefs.
Getting back on topic, children believe in Santa because he represents magic, and rewards, for good people. I think that the same holds true for god, that people want to believe in good, and right, they want to know that there is meaning in life, and that justice will prevail, and belief in god provides them this same sort of comfort.
Eventually belief in Santa and magic fade with the realization of the adult world. At some point the belief in god will evolve too!
Just my 2 cents anyway.
As far as thoughts and reality, one of the things that amazes me, is that when they preform a cat scan on a person, and provide a stimulation, pain, pleasure, visual, or auditory. Certain regions light up in the brain. When a person merely thinks about the same stimulation, the same regions light up in the brain. In other words, our brains do not know the difference between a thought and reality, they treat them the same. So what part of us knows that the stimulation of our brain is due to a thought rather than a real situation? Could that be our consciousness?
But what does that have to do with Santa....the Reindeer, Mrs. Clause, the Elves, and the toy factory at the north pole?
If you believe it, that makes it real? Well maybe just to our brains
that argument is inherentelly flawed because of the very story of santa claus, Saint Nicholas which is the base of santa claus did exist , so by using that argument you're just going against you own atheism and stating that although god as is believed don't exist , there is the possibility that god is based on something real therefore the "pre-god" exists and atheism woud be invalid.
There are most certainly many countries where theists get killed, tortured, shunned, exiled and/or imprisoned for their faith (you live in one, for example) - but that would be by other religiously inspired people/systems.
But it doesn't seem to me, from reading the general text, that this is what you mean, so I'm presuming you mean this happens in secular societies, as well as in all religious ones (ie in social-democracies as well as every single theocracy)?
If so then I rather strongly disagree.
Secularist societies don't tend to submit religious faith to a huge amount of belittling and ridicule. Sure, they (religions/religious) get some, usually pretty mild, mockery. This is, however, much less than other (often much more rationally based) beliefs get mocked - beliefs such as which football team you support, which political party you support .. and so on.
If the complaint is that religious beliefs aren't treated with respect generally in secular societies, then once again I take issue. I see most TV and printed media going out of its way (sometimes in a cravan manner) to AVOID giving offence to the religious.
It is my sincere, deeply held belief that a 30 yr old Rasta, named Nelson Mandeville-Brompton-Sellasy, whose existence is actually questionable*, was nonetheless a 'facet'** of an omnipotent deity who was sent here by his father, who is also himself (more of which later), in order that he (the Rasta, that is) can be painfully tortured and hideously crucified, which is required so that his (the Rasta God) chosen people (including all the ones not yet born) are forgiven en-mass (by Rasta-God) for a sin which a remote ancestor apparently committed against this same (Rasta-God) deity....
Can anyone seriously suggest that I (or anyone else) claiming this as my most important and cherished belief, would be taken seriously, let alone accorded respect ? Would I, in fact, be allowed to remain free, or would I be treated as a potential mental patient? I rather think the latter, but in any event, whether you think I would or not be sectioned for such a belief, it must surely be conceded by any fair-minded uninterested party that this belief (and obviously by close analogy the basic Christian belief) is...well.....is....to put it rather kindly and mildly....well it is pretty damn unbelievable.
Furthermore, to hold that this unlikely belief is not just fact, but is unquestionable fact, and anyone saying differently is damned - well this is not just fair game for a bit of leg-pulling, it is behaviour which, outside religious faith, would be probable grounds for committment to a mental institution. ***
Furthermore....the notion that these poor believers are being subjected to regular unusual ridicule - ie being singled-out in some way - is clearly deeply at odds with the unargued fact that these (religious) people account for well over 80% of US society (using conservative figures) and probably over 36% of the UK population (using similarly conservative figures). I mean, really, dude, are you seriously suggesting that a minority of atheists/secularists are somehow bullying the great majority of the population, and treating members of that majority in an unfair manner? It is actually quite ridiculous.
Nonono....let's get real here....
What, in fact, we see is religious believers screaming when THEIR particular faith hits the spotlight in an uncomplimentary manner for, what is nearly always, a short period, usually coinciding with some book, play or TV documentary which dares to call it into question. Then we see some real nastiness.
We see death threats issued, and carried out, against people whose only offence is daring to write, support, or even read a book which discusses part of a scriptural account, and which book is deemed by particular religious believers to heretical.
We see death threats issued and carried out against people who's only offence is to have been involved with a set of cartoons which poke fun at a conventional Islamic stereotype.
And before Christians start mumbling about 'only Islam.....not us guv.......'
What we see are Christians screaming heresy and calling for the imprisonment, or at the very least financial and personal ruin, of people who dare to make a film which they THINK ridicules their God (and which 'thought' is quite breathtakingly stupid, arrogant and incorrect, as illustrated wonderfully below by a pair of religious idiots, presented as 'authorities', who complain bitterly about a film which they haven't seen, and the plot of which film they have no clue).
I'll grant that ignorance, idiocy and bigotry often hang-out together, but to see a superb example of all three, which is at the same time expressed in such sententious and pretentious terms, with such pomposity and self-importance, and so breathtakingly wrongly founded, well, it is quite rare and rather amusing - classic religious moronity.
What I think we see certainly is NOT secular intolerance of religion or the religious - and absolutely and positively not in any country I know or have ever visited.
What we see in those countries I know, or that I know of, is in fact the polar opposite. We see religion generally discriminated FOR, not discriminated against. We see politicians being forced to appear religious to get elected. We see religious festivals given pride of place in the secular calander****. We see national broadcast news (this is the damn NEWS mind you) which routinely mocks (and worse) atheism and atheists. We see a President who questions (and does it publically mind you - not in some ill-considered blurt which was later regretted) whether an atheist can actually be a true American. We see a country which has, as part of its unwritten 'constitution', explicit discrimination against non-Anglican Christians (that, unfortunately, is my own country). We see......(I could go on for a very long time, but I trust the point is made).....
In fact we often see secular members of such societies who put themselves in harm's way to defend the rights of religious people to not only believe, but even to try and spread, their irrational belief systems, despite the fact that it often goes against those same secular views - often being actively condemnatory and hostile to those views.
If religion were really under threat then we would surely see calls for some minority religions to be banned, or at least discouraged. Obviously these anti-religious secularists would concentrate on easy to pick-off religions first - chose a religion which is unpopular to start with and slag it off until it dies out. But we don't see that at all.***** We see even the most loony belief system not only tolerated, but given tax-breaks and generally accorded the sort of 'hands-off' treatment normally reserved for race, colour, gender and other genuine focusses for bigotry.
You say it would be 'taboo' to mock religion in the UAE? Really? You think 'taboo' is a reasonable description of what would be involved? OK, but personally I think that 'taboo' is rather euphamistic isn't it? Rather an understatement perhaps? Certainly it could be called 'taboo', if one defines taboo in terms of possibly fatal, certainly illegal and probably involving prison and physical abuse, and deportation if lucky. I tend to think that most people thing of 'taboo' more in terms of 'not the done thing' or 'so last year' myself.....
So, in conclusion, not only do I think the lady protesteth too much, I think she got it entirely about-face, back to front, or 'kak-handed thread' as a local colloqualism would have it.
In fact I find the mention of any such perceived suffering in the same paragraph as, and in a clearly comparatory manner to, the sort of ill-treatment handed out to atheists in some parts of the US, to be not only rather ridiculous pious nonsense, I actually find it quite offensive nonsense, given the documented and not uncommon cases of atheists in such places being physically attacked, socially ostracised and shunned, sometimes even tortured and killed for their particular lack of belief. To talk about the 'ridicule' of religious belief in the same context is actually quite breathtaking, and almost (but thankfully not quite) left me lost for words.
* This due to the fact that the only ones who remember him were some Rasta dudes who were, at the time, indulging very heavily in religious meditation - by smoking a humungous amount of the 'erb - and who also testified under oath to the presence of a rhinocerous named Bert, a talking horse named Cyril, and an alien named CRXXYRT from Pluto, all at the same gig; these same Rasta witnesses who were themselves too African-cool to write in English, and too Rasta-stoned to write in any other language, and who therefore passed-on the story to a bunch of young wide-eyed rasta-wannabees, whilst smoking some particularly pious and reverential doobies and generally chillin'
** This 'facet' is actually the same as the whole, whilst most certainly not, being a distinct entity of it's own and definitely not, repeat NOT, part of a polytheistic pantheon, but which is most definitely human and is, most definitely, divine and is, most definitely, the son of God and is, most definitely, God, and who speaks quite often to his father (God/himself), and sometimes to a third-entity called a holy spirit which is, most definitely, not a separate and distinct 'God' and is, most definitely, part of a Triune but not like the greeks meant, more sort-of like that but we call it a TRINITY because then we can say it definitely NOT polytheistic.
*** I'm perfectly serious, by the way. Anyone talking to a non-material 'friend' (which friend is judge, jury and executioner for the wicked, rewarder of the good, and is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, loves people who believe in him and also loves those who don't - though he has to punish those people for eternity, presumably for their own good), who routinely spoke to their 'friend' to ask for the physically impossible, and who regularly believed that they saw the work/effect of their friend around them, who believed that this friend would bring them back to life in some ill-defined and even more poorly understood manner on some future date.....
Such a person would, quite rightly, almost certainly be diagnosed with major pyschosis or psychoses - and most probably would be diagnosed as 'paranoid schizophrenic', one of the most serious and dangerous of mental illnesses.
**** These same religious believers then often go on to moan and whine, usually at mind-numbingly tedious length, that it is absolutely shameful, to be bitterly regretted, and the fault of materialism 'gone mad', that not everyone behaves the way that they (the whiner, not the whinee) think people should behave during the festival in question.
The unutterable, hypocritical, brass-necked, barefaced and unashamed CHEEK needed to pontificate and lecture other people about the TRUE meaning of a festival (which festival these self-same whiners once theived from earlier pagan religion) takes some tolerating, let me tell you.
It might be slightly less unbearable if the whinging sods had at least a rudimentary knowledge of their own belief system and just enough sense of irony to enable them to see the joke inherent in their pompous, pious, prattle - unfortunately they seem to have neither.
***** In fact we DO see such calls for abolition or restriction of such minority beliefs. And it ALWAYS comes from other religions.
++ Always being aware that, and this can't be repeated too often, this facet is definitely NOT some polytheistic notion which we half-inched from the pagans, and which we tried to pass-off as our-own - despite the practical and logical contradictions inherent. In fact any resemblence between Jesus and other deities, no matter how striking, accurate or well attested is certainly entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Moreover any such similarity most certainly should not be taken to mean that the existence of any other deity, no matter how accidentally strikingly similar, is anything other than a laughable, potentially dangerous, delusion.
Hooray Chris is back... *waves*
I've been very busy recently and had no time to even logon to my computer at home, let alone contribute to discussions..but now is Christmas break and I have some more time
Provide some facts to back it up please. Provide examples of secular discrimination against religion in general society please. I'll settle for just a few examples, but I'm betting you won't even find that small number. Why would I bet? Because it is illegal to discriminate on religious grounds in Europe, under Article 13 of the European Treaty (incorporating the 1998 Human Rights Act), except in some very narrow and specific cases. I don't know US law well enough to comment but I would be very surprised if similar protection does not exist.
In fact quite a few Christians have been spoiling for a fight on this matter of discrimination for some time. There have been several attempts by Christians to claim religious discrimination in the courts over the past few years - none of them (in my opinion, and the opinions of the Judges concerned, the firms concerned, and leading experts in human rights legislation) had ANY merit whatsoever, and at least a couple demonstrated breathtaking arrogance coupled to outrageous bigotry and presented with pathetic 'victim mentality' argument that would not convince anyone - at least if they were capable of reasoning at or above the level of the average 16 yr old kid, and they didn't have a joint logic-lobotomy/bigotry-bypass (sometimes called a 'religious perspective').
Two notable recent cases include:
An attempt to show that a staff policy of no symbolic jewlery discriminated against Christians by forbidding crucifixes from being worn on the outside of clothing - there was no objection to it being worn inside the blouse/shirt/jacket. A poor woman found herself unable to wear a large crucifix in full view and had no choice but to walk out and sue for constructive dismissal. This was quite rightly kicked-out promptly at the time, and it was again kicked-out on appeal (though how it ever got to appeal beats me).
The Judge ruled, in my opinion incompletely, that a crucifix is not an essential item of Christian identity and is not required to be worn for practicing Christians - therefore it cannot be religious discrimination. I think the Judge slightly chickened-out. What if the crucifix WAS required for some Christians? Would it then be OK? Not in my opinion - which is why I believe the Judge should have gone further. Nevertheless, this was clearly a trivial objection to corporate dress-code by a Christian who simply wanted to be able to advertise their Christian faith to all and sundry and was presuaded, probably by her religious peers and associates, that anything stopping this evangelism must be religious discrimination - utter tosh.
An attempt by the Catholic Church to argue that Christian Fostering/adoption agencies should be exempt from dealing with same sex couples, on grounds that expecting the church to treat homosexual couples as 'normal' would be against Catholic doctrine, therefore discriminating against Catholics.
Highly offensive, breathtakingly bigoted, and utter garbage - of course - which is why it was promptly and correctly thrown out by the Judges. In fact, any other body or organisation, even framing the objection in similar terms, would have been guilty of sexual discrimination and could have been severely fined - the Churches get away with routine bigotry - another example of discrimination working the OTHER way.
Unfortunately the Judges concerned were obviously too careful/diplomatic to call this out for the hypocritical, double-standard, bigotted filth that it was (even Tony Blair - the ex-pm turned Catholic convert, who made it possible for rich creationists to run UK schools and teach crap in science, couldn't bring himself to defend this particular attempt to enshrine bigotry in law).
So - you made the assertion, now please support it with some evidence. Please explain to me how the atheist/secular minority of Americans cause trouble for the 80-85% of the population who are religious? What terror do they inflict? What routine ridicule do they dish-out? How are Christians treated any worse than a non-Christian or an atheist?
The answer is, obviously, that they are NOT treated worse, just the opposite. The real complaint is that atheists are daring to express THEIR opinions - that is it. No atheist witch-hunts, no atheists in white hats terrorising theists, no real challenge to theism in 99% of the public media....but a few atheists put THEIR point of view across in debate and suddenly the Christians are being treated badly? Puleese....
Take the following clip. This shows part of a speech in which Obama mentions atheists. This produced an uproar with Fox News wondering if it was 'offensive' to mention atheists.
And you seriously compare the treatment of the theist with that of the atheist? I wish they WERE treated the same, but they most certainly are not in many parts of the US and some parts of Europe.
I suspect that what you are doing is conflating the fact that you feel hard-done to here by atheists and turning that, somehow, into:
And one presumes your last comment is meant to refer to me specifically - which is fine, but it would be easier if you just said so...
So we get this last sentence - presumably as an example of this 'discrimination' which is fashionable?:
Now, a few things.
a) Sarcasm is not discrimination - totally different animal. Discrimination is treating people differently because of some perceived 'difference'. Frankly you are not much different to many theists I have talked to, and any sarcastic comments from me are usually in response to entirely non-theistic comments. Theism doesn't particularly wind me up. Most of my family are theists and we will spend a jolly day tomorrow, eating, drinking and perhaps even having an argument later on. A good time will be had by all.
Nah...theism doesn't particularly irritate my sarcasm gland at all - unless it is bonkers loony-tunes stuff about dinosaurs sailing in boats and radiometric dating being a conspiracy by 'scientists'. Such madness is surely worth at least a little sarcasm, so I do my best.
Actually, what really gets my sarcky-gland going are things such as attempts to mislead, attempts to distract discussions, derail threads, hijack topics, post idiotic sidetracks - repeatedly, even when dealt with....that sort of thing. I know, I know, I'm just a nasty old Grinch, but that sort of behaviour really....well....it twists my melons man! * However, any such outbursts from me are usually factually correct, backed by references, on-topic and relevant. Not always, I admit, but, hey, sometimes they are just responses to halfwits who wouldn't appreciate my sense of humour because they have trouble with multi-syllabic words, can't hold a consistent chain of thought in their noggin for more than 2 minutes, and don't really know much about science, philosophy, or even religion in any case. I don't think they merit too much time and trouble, do you? They can, however, act as a nice excuse for a minor therapeutic rant, a sarcastic steam-release; a pointed but humerous allegory; a joke at the expense of the twit....all these are reasonable methinks....
b) This is a board for debate and ALL views are debated robustly, as I have said many times. I treat some theist prattle with exactly the same amount of patience and 'respect' as I do Alien Abductees, Spiritualists, faith healers and other such dealers in, pureyors of, or cheerleaders for, woo-woo. They normally stick to the shadows - preying on the credulous, ignorant, desperate, vulnerable and young who have not developed sufficient skill at critical thinking to spot a charlatan yet. They are usually wary of people who are capable of critical thinking and who don't automatically believe their self-advertising stories. There is no discrimination, simply an expectation of some basic ability to communicate, something worth communicating, and a basic grasp of English (which does discriminate against some, I know, but I see no easy work-around for that). I certainly don't discriminate against theists, and it isn't my fault if a few of the theists who post are idiots, trolls, or space cadets....that's just statistics in action, not some conspiracy.
c) People who post here cannot complain when other people do the same - even if such posters take strong issue with what they post.In fact the sensible person would welcome such input if they were really interested in getting to the truth, rather than pushing a personal opinion, since criticism is crucial to the enterprise and is normally expensive. Here it is given entirely freely and often at pretty high standard....bargain. If some people don't like it, they have been told what they can do.
Now, of course, NOBODY should experience serious personal abuse, or other nastiness here on FRIH. Despite numerous wailings about it - mostly from you - no evidence has been provided to show that any theist poster, including me, has been guilty of such abuse/discrimination. On the other hand, I have read quite a few theist postings which certainly ARE abusive/discriminatory).
In short - the notion that theists, particularly Christians, are being discriminated against - either here or in wider society, is utter utter tosh, and is based on hurt-feelings, elaborate conspiracy theory and a conviction that all religious views should be 'respected, and certainly not laughed at - no matter how funny or silly they are. I see it differently. I always have, and I have always been quite clear, pretty consistent and largely unambiguous about my own position. If you, or other people, don't like that then that is not my problem, it is yours; so to conflate and twist it up as some charge of 'discrimination' is...well...it's a bit crap really....pretty pathetic.