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Unchurched: Tickling Evangelical Ears for 25+ Years | Roll to Disbelieve: Reaching Outside the Bubble – Patheos

Posted: June 20, 2020 at 11:07 am

Hi and welcome back! Today, we return to Lee Strobels 1993 bookInside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary. In this book, Lee Strobel seeks to show evangelicals what people outside their insular bubble are like so they can better sell them membership in evangelical churches. Today, I want to show you the context of Unchurcheds earliest years what Christians then were like, and why they continue to read and love this book today.

(Previous Lee Strobel listicle posts: This Books Endorsements Reveal A Story;The Many Lies Lee Strobel Tells About Unchurched Harry and Mary;A Portrait of the Captain as a Young Hell-Bound Pagan (1-4);Indoctrinating Evangelicals More (5-8);Seeker-Sensitive Churches Ahoy (9-12);Martyrbation Ahoy (13-15);The Original Listicle and Comments.)

Lee Strobel is a stone-cold authoritarian. However, hes one who managed to scrabble himself to a position of relative power within his tribe. Thus, evangelical flocks look to him for information about their out-groups and to teach them how to sell their product (active membership in their groups) to these strange, alien, unknowable, unguessable, inscrutable Others.

And in 1993, yall, they werereallyOthers.

Something to remember about 1993 is that very few evangelicals probably actually knew anyunchurchedpeople going by the classic definition of people whove checked completely out of church culture or never joined it. At most, theyd likely have known people who missed church sometimes (or even often), or actively attended otherchurches. Obviously, evangelicals considered that latter groupthe wrong flavor of Christian. But those arent reallyunchurched people.

When I was evangelical myself, I sure didnt know any unchurched people until entering college at a state-funded university. Most of my friends attended various evangelical indoctrination-station colleges, so they wouldnt even have had that benefit. As well, the consumer internet wasnt anywhere near what it is now. Even as a very early adopter, I myself was barely online in the modern sense.

So in 1993, it was alotharder to find people who vocally rejected evangelicals product.

So in 1993, Lee Strobels book might actually have had a use if it hadnt been written by a schmoozer looking to pander to his eager audience.

Just as a start to explaining why its useless, his claims of having totally-been-an-atheist-yall were a lot harder to bust back then. After all, nobody outside the bubble would likely ever hear those claims, and nobody inside it had any idea that whatever Strobels version of atheism was, it sure doesnt look remotely like actual atheism from actual atheists. But his made-up fake testimony fed into what he teaches about unchurched people, and its definitely something he leans on hard to help his ideas sound more credible.

Second, evangelicals might as well be as isolated and alienated from their outgroup today as they were in the 1990s, or for that matter the Victorian era.

Nothing ever changes in their world. It cant.

As you can see from the above advertisement on his official Instagram, the huckster shilling this book still insists to this day that his work is valid and helpful. And the flocks always believe their hucksters. And really, gosh, yall, why would a Christian leader lie about anything so important?

Nowadays, evangelicals couldaskus what were like. Were not hard to find, and from all appearances we talk quite readily about our experiences and reasoningwhen its safe to do so. Weve filled entire websites multiple! with clearly-stated reasons for rejecting evangelicals product. Heres just one such site, and its got thousands of posts in it.

But evangelicals avoidinvestigating what we have to say about ourselves.

For one, their tribal leaders are busy slamming extimonies and deconstruction stories into the dirt, spinning them through the evangelical hatred machine, and trying their hardest to negate everything their newly-revealed enemies say.

Plus, theyre sure wed lie to their faces. After all, they do it all the time with Jesus own blessing apparently, and so they assume everyone else also lies constantly.

Perhaps worst of all, we heathens never, ever properly follow along with all the sales scripts their apologists have fed them over the past century or so.

(That was a problem for me in the 1990s. I didnt read apologetics books, but we got fed various scripts to use insoulwinning. These scripts used the same techniques, though, and they gave the same results.)

The sheer, misplaced trust that evangelicals consistently place in their apologists always blows my mind, even now. If they ever realized how much of the apologetics industry is pure cash-grabbing lies specifically engineered to divest them of their hard-earned cash and time and to keep them embedded in Christianity a little while longer, I mean like really realized it and saw that industry at last for what it is

I wonder what theyd do?

Over on Amazon, 70% of respondents bestowed 5 stars upon this book. Another 21% gave it 4 stars. The very few people rating it lower generally simply disagreed with Strobels doctrinal stances. None disagreed with his presentation of unchurched people generally.

Over on GoodReads, I see similar high praise. The few critics of the book noted that it felt dated, but I only saw one reviewer who noted that Strobels version of atheism doesnt look remotely like actual atheism.

A great many reviewers on both sites felt that Strobels own self-described conversion lent him more authority and credence in describing unchurched people. Because he describes himself as totally-once-an-atheist-you-guize, they trust him to accurately relay what atheism involves.

Every time I saw Christians gush with praise for the book, giving all this credit to Strobel for totally teaching them about the mindset of atheists, I died a little more inside.

They have no idea just how wrong he is. And they dont want to know, either.

However, I did find one review that made me laugh. Mostly, this person objected to Strobels crassly-commercialized view of church culture:

Strobel doesnt seem like so much an out-and-out con man as much as he seems like a shallow-minded, ambitious pragmatist.

And hey.

Hey.

Be reasonable here.

He could beboth.

As I skim through the beginning of Strobels book, it becomes readily apparent that he doesnt think anybody comes to atheism or disaffiliates from church for any reason hed consider valid. Nor does he want his readers to think theres any valid reason to reject their product.

Instead, in Strobel-Land unchurched people find themselves too busy for religion, or theyve had bad experiences that poisoned [their] attitude about Christianity. He accepts no other reasons for rejection.

Evangelicals have a consistent habit of expecting the rest of us to set ourselves on fire so they can keep warm. This approach works only in an atmosphere of Christian dominance. However, that dominance has eroded beyond repair. Maybe thats why so many Christians still eat up Lee Strobel books with a spoon.They yearn to feel dominant still, to be given permission to judge others and unilaterally decide to fix them.

Consistently in his book, Strobel spins stories about misunderstandings, lack of discernment, pique over mistreatment, and selfishness(as evangelicals weaponize the word) in unchurched people. In doing so, he teaches his readers techniques geared almost entirely toward ensuring their own retention. However, I can tell you right now that whatever his action plan involves, it doesnt work to persuade others.

Evangelicals dont care. Strobel tells them all the lies they ache to hear, and hes made huge bank with his pandering.

For years, evangelicals have loved what Lee Strobel tells them about their potential marks.

They love thinking that people dont reject them for valid reasons. In fact, Lee Strobel teaches them to judge those reasons and decide if theyre valid (pro-tip: those reasons never will be).

They love thinking that they can love people and yet treat them as human fix-it projects and more than that, like projects that they can adopt without permission and consent. Lee Strobel teaches them that their projects wont resent that at all.

Most of all, Lee Strobel teaches his readers evangelism tactics that he calls an action plan. He promises these gullible flocks that they can use his action plan to evangelize people who have either rejected their product or have spent a lifetime without it and thus dont need it.

As I said, I know already that whatever his plan is,it does not do what its seller claims it can do. If it did, Lee Strobels religion wouldnt be in terminal decline.

In fact, I bet it resembled in many ways how my own church taught us to evangelize in 1993. So thats where were setting sail for tomorrow, friends.

NEXT UP: Lets check out Lee Strobels action plan and compare it to Yr. Loyal &tc Captains experience as a Pentecostal in 1993. See you there!

Come join us onFacebook,Tumblr,Pinterest,Twitter, and our forum atrolltodisbelieve.com! (AlsoInstagram, where I mostly post cat pictures. About 99% of my insta consists of Bother being adorable.)

Also please check outour Graceful Atheist podcast interview!

Ifyou like what you see, I gratefully welcome your support. Please consider becoming one of my monthly patrons viaPatreon with Roll to Disbelievefor as little as $1/month! MyPayPal is captain_cassidy@yahoo.com(thats an underscore in there) for one-time tips. You can also support this blog throughmy Amazon Affiliate linkand, of course, by liking and sharing my posts on social media! This blog exists because of readers support, and I appreciate every single bit of it.

BTW: a future Lee Strobel post will involve his firm claim that some of his very best friends are atheists and apparently they are totes cool with him considering them his DIY projects for life.

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Unchurched: Tickling Evangelical Ears for 25+ Years | Roll to Disbelieve: Reaching Outside the Bubble - Patheos

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Atheist A Logo Found Near Graffiti at Site of Burned Down Mississippi Church – Patheos

Posted: May 24, 2020 at 3:37 pm

We posted yesterday about how the First Pentecostal Church in Holly Springs, Mississippi had burned to the ground shortly after the church sued the city over its stay-at-home orders, which were stricter than those for the state as a whole. (That lawsuit was prompted by police going into the church during a Bible study and Easter service after members refused to respect social distancing requirements.)

The alleged arsonist was said to have left graffiti on the parking lot reading Bet you stay home now you hypokrits [sic].

Theres no indication about who did this. Ive heard conspiracy theories abound about how a church member may have done this tobolster the claims of persecution, but theres no evidence of that.

But heres a disturbing new wrinkle in the story:

A photograph of the graffiti also appears to show an atomic symbol with an A in the center, which is sometimes used as a logo for atheist groups.

Part of me is eagerly coming up with defenses against the suggestion that an atheist did this:

Thats not really the same design thats popular with some online atheists.

Atheists dont even use that symbol. (We dont have a symbol.)

Why would an atheist burn the church down and leave a calling card?

What atheist would misspell hypocrite like that?

Who would be so idiotic to burn down a church over COVID concerns when plenty of other churches are doing the same thing, when there could have been people inside this building, and when this wont resolve anything since church members will just meet somewhere else?

Thats not to go all conspiracy in the other direction. Only that Im not quite ready to take this symbol as slam-dunk evidence that an atheist did it.

Still, without any leads, what else should people think? All we know publicly is that a church has been destroyed and theres a symbol associated with atheism at the scene of the crime.

American Atheists is the group that uses the atomic logo thats also the URL the New York Times uses in their article andthe groups president Nick Fish issued a statement this afternoon:

Words cannot capture how strongly we condemn this heinous act of destruction. I hope that the perpetrator of this crime is swiftly brought to justice and held to account for their actions. No one should face violence of any kind because of their religion or lack thereof. No matter what our disagreements may be, violence is never the appropriate response.

Im disgusted that anyone would associate a symbol of our community with something so incompatible with our values as atheists. Pluralism, open dialogue, finding common ground, and protecting equality under the law have never been more important than they are today.

My thoughts are with the members of the First Pentecostal Church during this difficult time.

Theres a fundraiser for the rebuilding of the church here.

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What is atheism? – Atheist Alliance International

Posted: May 21, 2020 at 6:47 am

Atheism is very simple, yet widely misunderstood. The word atheism comprises the word theism with the prefix a. So lets break it down. Theism is the belief in a god or gods. The prefix a means; without or lack of. Therefore, atheism means without a belief in a god or gods or the lack of a belief in a god or gods.

We often hear theists say, If you dont believe in God, you must believe God does not exist! but this is simply wrong. Lacking a belief in a god does not entail believing that no gods exist. A person could reasonably say she doesnt know if any gods exist, and there are none that she currently believes in.

This issue is the single biggest misunderstanding about atheism. Fortunately, there is a neat way to show why its wrong. A god either exists, or it doesnt. There are only two possibilities.

Now, imagine Im holding a bag of coins and I claim theres an even number of coins in the bag. A bag of coins either has an even number of coins or an odd number. Like a gods existence, there are only two possibilities. If you are not able to check my claim by counting the coins, you wont know if my claim is true so you should not believe me. But that does not mean that you must believe there is an odd number of coins in the bag. You dont have the evidence to take a view on it, so you shouldnt believe either possibility.

It is not necessary for an atheist to claim that no gods exist, nevertheless, some do. People often call this position hard atheism. Hard atheism is atheism with the additional conviction that there are no gods anywhere either inside, or outside, of the universe.

Sometimes theists are thoroughly perplexed by atheism. The way they see the world, not believing in a god is bizarrebordering on madness. So lets look at why people are atheists. There are several reasons people lack a belief in gods; we will discuss just two.

Some people are atheists simply because they have never been taught to be theists. People raised by an atheist family in an atheistic society may never be exposed to the idea of gods (except in history books), so they grow up with no belief in them. Remember, people do not suddenly become Christians, Muslims, Hindus or whatever. Children raised in religious families in religious societies are trained to be Christians, Muslims or Hindus.

A significant proportion of atheists in the world today are atheists because they were not taught to be anything else.

Other atheists were taught to believe in a god or gods but decided it didnt make sense so they abandoned their belief.

Lets look at one scenario. Arif was born a Muslim but he knows there are around 5 billion people in the world who believe in different religions and, often, in different gods. He wonders if there is a good reason to be a Muslim rather than something else, but cannot find anything compelling.

He worries that the arguments Muslims use to prove their god exists are the exact same arguments others use to prove their god exists. He knows there are some big questions that science cannot answer, such as Where did the universe come from? and God is used to answer those questions. But he realizes there is a possibility that science may answer those questions one day. And even if it never does, an unanswered question does not mean the particular god Abraham dreamed about 3,500 years ago must be real. Arif knows thousands of people have dreamed of thousands of gods and created thousands of religions. He knows men invent gods and religions. What is special about Abrahams god?

After much thought, Arif sees that his belief is really based on faith, and not on incontrovertible evidence. And he sees that the Christians belief and the Hindus belief is also founded on faith. With a little more thought he concludes that faith is not a way to distinguish what is true from what is falseit is a way to justify whatever you happen to believe. Different people believe completely contradictory things on faith, so it has no value as a way to decide what is true.

At this point Arif has no reasons left to believe in his god, so he becomes an atheist.

This journey of discovery, or something rather like it, is the journey millions of people have taken to become atheists. If you ask any of these people why they are atheists, you would get a similar answer, Because there are no good reasons to believe in gods; and I wont believe in them for bad reasons.

There is nothing you have to believe to be an atheist. Not believing in any god, is the only qualification required. Beyond that, an atheist can believe in anything at all.

So being an atheist, says nothing about a persons politics, attitude towards LGBT rights or views on gun control, abortion, church/state separation or anything else. In principle, an atheist could believe in fairies, although the thinking that leads to unbelief in gods, in most cases leads to unbelief in other things that cannot be shown to be real. Consequently, atheists most likely will not believe in Satan, demons, angels, karma, heaven, hell or anything else that relies on the supernatural but, in principle, they could.

Theism and atheism tell us about a persons belief in gods. Agnosticism and Gnosticism tell us what a person claims to know, not what they believe. Because atheism and agnosticism are different things, it is possible to be both an atheist and an agnostic. An agnostic atheist does not believe in any gods but does not claim to know that no gods exist.

It works the same with theism. It is possible to be an agnostic theista person who believes in God but does not claim to know God exists. In practice though, most believers are gnostic theiststhey believe in God and claim to know God exists. Interestingly, most atheists are agnostic atheists.

Some people self-describe as agnostic when they cannot decide what to believe. Thats fine, but if they do not actually believe in a god, they are not theists, so they must be atheists.

Over centuries, theists have denigrated atheists. Stories have circulated that atheists are immoral, dishonest and untrustworthy, that atheists hate God and love Satan and that atheists ignore God so they can behave however they like. If we look at countries where most people are atheists, we can see such allegations are not true.

Atheists are humans and you will find good and bad, but if you compare atheistic countries with very religious ones, you are likely to see atheistic countries have lower crimes rates and less dysfunctional behavior. For example, Figure 1 shows the relationship between religiosity (the percentage of people who say religion is important in their lives) and intentional homicide rates. All of the high homicide rate countries are very religious but none of the low homicide rate countries are. (Note that the Y axis Homicide Rate is drawn on a logarithmic scale!)

These baseless allegations against atheists have been made for so long that the word atheism is now seen as tarnished and many people avoid it, even though they have no belief in gods. Consequently, some atheists self-identify as freethinkers, skeptics, secularists, agnostics, non-believers and more. That is a pity. Atheism has a long history and it describes an intellectually honorable viewpoint simply and precisely. We vote to use it with pride.

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What is atheism? | CARM.org

Posted: at 6:47 am

by Matt Slick

The word atheism comes from the negative a which means no, and theos which means god. Hence, atheism in the most basic terms means no god. Atheism is the lack of belief in a god and/or the belief that there is no god. By contrast, theism is the belief that there is a God and that he is knowable and that he is involved in the world. Most atheists do not consider themselves anti-theists but merely non-theists.

I've encountered many atheists who claim that atheism is not a belief system while others say it is. Since there is no official atheist organization, nailing down which description of atheism to use can be difficult. Nevertheless, the following are some definitions offered by atheists. Whichever definition you accept, atheism denies God.

There are two main categories of atheists: strong and weak with variations in between. Strong atheists actively believe and state that no God exists. They expressly denounce the Christian God along with any other god. Strong atheists are usually more aggressive in their conversations with theists and try to shoot holes in theistic beliefs. They like to use logic and anti-biblical evidence to denounce God's existence. They are active, often aggressive, and openly believe that there is no God.

Agnostic Atheists, as I call them, are those who deny God's existence based on an examination of evidence. Agnosticism means 'not knowing' or 'no knowledge.' I call them agnostic because they state they have looked at the evidence and have concluded there is no God, but they say they are open to further evidence for God's existence.

Weak atheists simply exercise no faith in God. The weak atheist might be better explained as a person who lacks belief in God the way a person might lack belief that there is a green lizard in a rocking chair on the moon; it isn't an issue. He doesn't believe it or not believe it.

Finally, there is a group of atheists that I call militant atheists. They are, fortunately, few in number. They are usually highly insulting and profoundly terse in their comments to theists and particularly Christians. Ive encountered a few of them; and they are vile, rude, and highly condescending. Their language is full of insults, profanity, and blasphemies. Basically, no meaningful conversation can be held with them.

Atheist positions seem to fall into two main categories. The first is the lack-of-evidence category where the atheist asserts that the supporting evidence isn't good enough for him to affirm God's existence. The second is the category where the atheistbelieves that the idea of God's existence is illogical and contrary to the evidence at hand. To simplify, one position says there isn't enough evidence to conclude that God exists, and the other position says the evidence is contrary to God's existence. For those atheists who simply lack belief and exercise no energy in the discussion, neither category applies because they are not involved in the debate. But, some of those who claim to lack belief in God are often involved in discussions where they are arguing against God's existence.

A typical argument posed by an atheist to show why God does not exist is as follows: God is supposed to be all good and all-powerful. Evil and suffering exist in the world. If God is all good, he would not want evil and suffering to exist. If He is all-powerful, then He is able to remove all evil and suffering.Since evil and suffering exist, God is either not all good (which means he is not perfect and not God), or he is not all powerful (and limited in abilities and scope). Since either case shows God is not all good and powerful, then He does not exist. Of course, the problem is that the criticism is a false dichotomy. In other words, there are more than two possibilities; namely, God might have a reason for allowing evil and suffering; man's freedom might require the allowance of evil and suffering, etc.

Presuppositions are important to us all. We look at the world through them. The atheist has a set of presuppositions, too. As I said, there is no definitive atheist organization that defines the absolutes of atheism, but there are basic principles that atheists, as a whole, tend to adopt. I've tried to list some of them below. Please note, however, that not all atheists accept all of these tenets. The only absolute common one to which they hold is that they do not believe in a God or gods.

For the Christian, atheism clashes with many aspects of our faith. Some atheists openly attack Christianity--citing apparent contradictions in the Bible, perceived philosophical difficulties related to God, and what they consider as logical evidences against God's existence. But the atheists' criticisms are not without very good answers as you will see in the coming papers.

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Atheism – AllAboutPhilosophy.org

Posted: at 6:47 am

Atheism - Defining the TermsThere are two basic forms of atheism: "strong" atheism and "weak" atheism. Strong atheism is the doctrine that there is no God or gods. Weak atheism is the disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.Weak atheism is often confused with agnosticism, the lack of belief or disbelief in God or gods, and skepticism, the doctrine that the absolute knowledge of God's existence is unobtainable by mere man. Many agnostics and skeptics are "practical atheists" in that they actively pursue an atheistic lifestyle. The exclusion of God necessitates moral relativism.

Atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) declared, and philosophers generally agree, without God there is no absolute truth and thus no universal moral standard of conduct. Humanist John Dewey (1859-1952), co-author and signer of the Humanist Manifesto I (1933), declared, "There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes."

Atheism - Strong AtheismDoes "strong" atheism correspond with or contradict objective reality? Let's look at this question objectively. Suppose someone asks you, "Does God exist?" You could answer in one of three ways: "I know for certain that God exists" (assured theism), "I don't know whether or not God exists" (insecure theism, agnosticism, "weak" atheism and/or skepticism), or "I know for certain that God doesn't exist" ("strong" atheism).

To know for certain that God exists, you don't have to know everything but you do have to know something - you must either know God personally or you must be aware of some evidence establishing His existence. To be unsure whether or not God exists, you don't have to know everything. In fact, by your own admission you don't know everything. However, to claim to know for certain that God doesn't exist - to positively assert a universal negative - you would have to know everything. To be absolutely certain that God doesn't exist outside the limits of your knowledge, you would have to possess all knowledge.

Let's make this practical. Do you know everything? Do you know half of everything? Do you know 1% of everything? Let's be incredibly gracious and suppose that you know 1% of everything there is to know. Thomas Edison confidently declared, "We do not know a millionth of one percent about anything." Nevertheless, given the supposition that you know 1% of everything, is it possible that evidence proving God's existence exists in the 99% of everything you don't know? If you're honest, you'll have to admit that it's a real possibility. The fact is, since you don't possess all knowledge, you don't know if such evidence exists or not. Thus, you cannot be a "strong" atheist - you don't know that God doesn't exist.

Atheism vs. TheismStrong atheism is a logically flawed position. Weak atheism, agnosticism and skepticism are all "I don't know" theological positions, with weak atheists subscribing to atheistic presuppositions, true agnostics "sitting on the fence," and skeptics capitulating to ignorance. Assured theists are the only ones who claim to know anything. What do they know? In the end it doesn't matter what you believe. What matters is what's actually true. You might not believe in gravity. Nevertheless, if you step off a tall building you are going to splat on the ground below. The existence of God has enormous implications for you and me, and prudence would have us make a full investigation of all the available data before putting our eternity in the care of any one belief-system. Ask yourself these types of questions: "How do I know something's true?" "What is the source of my information?" "Is my source absolutely reliable?" "What if I'm wrong?"

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BBC – Religions – Atheism: At a glance

Posted: at 6:47 am

Atheism is the absence of belief in any Gods or spiritual beings. The word Atheism comes from a, meaning without, and theism meaning belief in god or gods.

People are atheist for many reasons, among them:

Many atheists are also secularist, and are hostile to any special treatment given to organised religion.

It is possible to be both atheist and religious. Virtually all Buddhists manage it, as do some adherents of other religions,such as Judaism and Christianity.

Atheists are as moral (or immoral) as religious people.

In practical terms atheists often follow the same moral code as religious people, but they arrive at the decision of what is good or bad without any help from the idea of God.

Atheists find their own answers to the question of what it means to be human. This discussion looks at the question from both theological and ethical viewpoints.

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Atheism | Age of Empires Series Wiki | Fandom

Posted: at 6:47 am

AtheismWonder and Relic victories take +100 years-50% Spies/Treason cost

"[Player name] mocks your puny achievements. Relic and Wonder victories will take longer."

Message when an enemy has researched Atheism

The effect regarding Wonders and Relics affects all civilizations, not just the player who researches it.

Choosing to research Atheism is entirely based on the situation of the game, and is less effective in games where players are opting to win through conquest. In games where players are attempting a Wonder or Relic victory or in the Defend the Wonder game mode, the extra hundred years combined with their special ability to quickly raze enemy structures makes it considerably easier for the Huns to spoil their opponents' attempts for a Wonder or Relic victory.

Secondly, the significant cost reduction for Spies greatly benefits the Huns in their ability to scan enemy bases and observe their activity, especially since most players from other civilizations would likely avoid researching Spies due to its profoundly steep cost (200 gold per enemy Villager).

"The paganism or outright lack of faith of the Huns offended the Romans who came to think of them as truly sub-human. The Huns, in turn, were unencumbered by the laws of structured religions. Laws of social and religious order were too restrictive for a civilization that was constantly on the move. The Huns put little faith in monuments and artifacts, therefore, focusing mainly on the here and now."

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25 Important Bible Verses About Atheism (Powerful Truths)

Posted: at 6:47 am

Atheists are some of the most religious and faithful people ever. It takes an incredible amount of faith to be an atheist. Sun, moon, stars, oceans, the Earth, animals, babies, male, female, the human heart, emotions, our conscience, love, intelligence, the human mind, bone structure, the human reproductive system, biblical prophecies coming true all before our eyes, eyewitness accounts of Jesus, and more and still there are some people who deny Gods existence.

Just stop and think about it. Its impossible for something to come from nothing. To say nothingness caused nothing and created everything is absurd! Nothing will always remain nothing.

J. S. Mill who was a non-Christian philosopher said, It is self-evident that only mind can create mind. For nature to make itself is a scientific impossibility.

Atheism cant explain existence. Atheists live by science, but science (always) changes. God and the Bible (always) remain the same. They know there is a God.

He is revealed in creation, through His Word, and through Jesus Christ. Everybody knows that God is real, people just hate Him so much they suppress the truth.

Behind every creation there is always a creator. You might not know the person who built your house, but you know it didnt just get there on its own.

Atheists are going to say, well who created God? God is not in the same category as created things. God is not created. God is the uncaused cause. He is eternal. He simply exists. It is God who brought matter, time, and space into existence.

If Atheists believe there is no God why are they always so obsessed with Him? Why are they worried about Christians? Why do they view things about Christianity just to mock? Why are there atheist conventions? Why have atheist churches?

If God is not real why does it matter? Its because they hate God! Why does life matter? Without God nothing makes sense. There is no reality at all. Atheists cant account for morality. Why is right right and why is wrong wrong? Atheists cant account for rationality, logic, and intelligence because their worldview will not allow them to. The only way they can is to take upon the Christian theistic worldview.

Quotes

What does the Bible say?

1. Colossians 2:8 Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

2. 1 Corinthians 3:19-20 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, since it is written: He catches the wise in their craftiness; and again, The Lord knows that the reasonings of the wise are meaningless.

3. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 and every type of evil to deceive those who are dying, those who refused to love the truth that would save them. For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie. Then all who have not believed the truth but have taken pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned.

Atheists say, there is no God.

4. Psalm 14:1For the choir director. Davidic. The fool says in his heart, God does not exist. They are corrupt; they do vile deeds. There is no one who does good.

5. Psalm 53:1 For the music director; according to the machalath style; a well-written song by David. Fools say to themselves, There is no God. They sin and commit evil deeds; none of them does what is right.

6. Psalm 10:4-7With haughty arrogance, the wicked God will not seek justice.He always presumes There is no God.Their ways always seem prosperous.Your judgments are on high,far away from them.They scoff at all their enemies.They say to themselves,We will not be moved throughout all time,and we will not experience adversity.Their mouth is full of curses, lies, and oppression,their tongues spread trouble and iniquity.

They know God is real, but they hate God so they suppress the truth by their own unrighteousness.

7. Romans 1:18-19 For Gods wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of those who in their wickedness suppress the truth.For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God himself has made it plain to them.

8. Romans 1:28-30 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done.They are filled with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips,slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents,senseless, covenant-breakers, heartless, ruthless.Although they fully know Gods righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them.

They cant understand the things of God.

9. 1 Corinthians 2:14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

10. Ephesians 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart.

Theyare scoffers.

11. 2 Peter 3:3-5 First of all you must understand this: In the last days mockers will come and, following their own desires, will ridicule us by saying, What happened to the Messiahs promise to return? Ever since our ancestors died, everything continues as it did from the beginning of creation. But they deliberately ignore the fact that long ago the heavens existed and the earth was formed by Gods word out of water and with water.

12. Psalm 74:18 Remember this: The enemy scorns the Lordand a foolish people despises your name.

13. Psalm 74:22 Arise, O God, defend your cause; remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day!

14. Jeremiah 17:15 Behold, they say to me, Where is the word of the LORD? Let it come!

Are atheists going to Heaven?

15. Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

How do I know theres a God?

16. Psalm 92:5-6 How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep! The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this.

17. Romans 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

18. Psalm 19:1-4 The heavens are declaring the glory of God,and their expanse shows the work of his hands.Day after day they pour forth speech,night after night they reveal knowledge.There is no speech nor are there words,their voice is not heardyet their message goes out into all the world,and their words to the ends of the earth.He has set up a tent for the sun in the heavens.

19. Ecclesiastes 3:11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of Gods work from beginning to end.

God is revealed in Jesus.

20. John 14:9 Jesus answered: Dont you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father?

21. John 17:25-26 Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.

Finding God

22. Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Reminders

23. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

24. John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

25. Psalm 14:2 The Lord looks down from heavenon the entire human race;he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,if anyone seeks God.

Bonus

Psalm 90:2Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

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Atheism to orthodoxy: Russia’s convoluted relationship with God – The Aggie

Posted: at 6:47 am

Seventy years of atheistic rule later, God finds its way into the Russian constitution

Following decades of atheism in the Soviet Union, the resurgence of the Russian Orthodox Church signals a new nation. Today, television stations broadcast live sermons, citizens line up for holy water and Christmas trees light up Moscows Darwin museum. President Vladimir Putin even vowed to rebuild Christian churches in war-torn Syria back in 2017.

With plans to instate Gods will into the Russian constitution, the necessary separation between church and state diminishes.

Currently, the constitution defines Russia as a secular state, stating, no religion may be established as a state or obligatory one. Including God in the document would be a major amendment, especially given Russias complicated history with religion.

The amendment would also rule out gay marriage in Russia by officially defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

We can and should address the fact that family and marriage are relations between a man and a woman, said Duma lawmaker Pyotr Tolstoi. If it is fixed at the constitutional level, this will remove a number of questions that they are trying to ask us in the European Union.

Additionally, the amendment would notably exclude members of other religious groups, such as Muslims, who already face marginalization from the government. Russias Supreme Court even previously declared Jehovahs Witnesses, a Christian denomination known for their outspoken beliefs, as an extremist organization.

Ironically, just 30 years ago, two-thirds of Russians claimed no religious affiliation.

During Vladimir Lenins reign of the early 20th century, atheism had a simple definition. Instead of disbelief in God, it implied the absence of religion entirely, a seemingly natural symptom of the Soviet Unions development into a modern society.

Although churches and monasteries were still legal, officials found ways of shutting them down, like in the 1931 demolition of Moscows Christ the Savior Cathedral. In a time of social instability and reconstruction, the Orthodox Church was a political threat.

After successful attempts to demote the church, Stalin welcomed religion back into public life during World War II, seeing it as a way to promote patriotism and win the good will of allies. Once Nikita Khrushchev entered office in 1953, his anti-religious campaign transformed atheism from the absence of religion to the commitment to science and rationalism a vision that aligned most with communist ideals.

Just before the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev brought the Orthodox Church back one last time before it became state-sanctioned. At the time, religion seemed to be the solution for the nations growing moral crisis. Indifference became the dominant principle.

In the post-Soviet era, Putin continues to invoke God in his public speeches, which gives the church a more prominent place in Russian political life. He presents himself as a defender of traditional morality by supporting conservative ideas. Despite his efforts, the truth remains as such most Russians dont abide by Orthodox morals.

Although the majority of Russians identify as Orthodox Christians, just 6% attend church weekly and only 17% pray daily. In 1920, the Soviet Union was the first country to legalize abortion. Today, the rate of abortions is more than double that of the U.S., even with strong objections from the Orthodox Church. Premarital sex and divorce are also less stigmatized in Russia than in other countries.

Russia seems like it would be the last country to put God into its constitution, especially with a former KGB member as president. Although some view it as a tactic to get Russians out to vote for the other proposed amendments, Putins trivial intentions have irreversible consequences.

Enshrining God into the constitution doesnt make the government any more righteous than before especially when many political decisions are free of moral substance. If the Orthodox church does not speak for everyone, then when the decisions of the people are concerned, it should not speak at all.

Written by: Julietta Bisharyan jsbisharyan@ucdavis.edu

Disclaimer:The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie

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Atheism to orthodoxy: Russia's convoluted relationship with God - The Aggie

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We Are All Atheists – News Intervention

Posted: at 6:47 am

By Leo Igwe

It is now over two weeks since police detectives arrested Nigerian atheist, Mubarak Bala in Kaduna in Northern Nigeria. His arrest was in connection with posts that he made on Facebook. The petitioners said that the posts insulted the prophet of Islam, Muhammad. Mr. Bala was transferred to Kano the following day but since then his whereabouts are unknown. He has been held incommunicado without access to a lawyer and family members. The police have not charged him in court.

Meanwhile, there have been reports that a list of atheists, to be arrested and arraigned alongside Mr. Bala, is being compiled. There is an ongoing witch hunt for atheists, especially in Northern Nigeria. One source said that these were atheists who had allegedly made comments that insulted Muhammad or posted comments that annoyed Muslims.

Some atheists have received calls from strange numbers or from unknown individuals who tried to confirm their identities. Most atheists in Nigeria are in the closet due to fear of being persecuted or killed by extremists. The situation is worse and more dangerous in Northern Nigeria where sharia law is in force in most states. Until recently, the atheist movement in the region has been underground. However, there has been growing visibility of atheism in Northern Nigeria since Mubarak came out as an atheist in 2014.

The emergence of atheism in the region has worried Muslim leaders. And last year an Islamic institute organized a seminar to discuss the disturbing trend of Atheism and Social Media.

Following the arrest of Mubarak Bala, there have been numerous threats to expose and deal with other atheists. But those Muslims who are trying to clamp down on the atheist movement have not thought it through. It may not have occurred to them that they too are atheists. n this piece, I argue that we are all atheists because atheism entails a lack of belief in a god or gods. And everybody is an atheist in relation to one god or another. My submission is that if we are all atheists, why are some Muslims in Northern Nigeria persecuting fellow atheists? Why do they want to deny other atheists their rights to life, freedom of conscience, expression, and association?

First, lets establish how Muslims are atheists or unbelievers. Muslims believe in Allah and in that sense, they are theists. They are believers. There is no doubt about it. However Muslim relationship to the god idea does not end with the belief in Allah. In Islam, there is this saying: There is no other god but Allah. Take note, no other god. This statement is an affirmation of belief in god as well as a declaration of disbelief in other gods. So concerning other gods, Muslims are atheists. Muslims are unbelievers. They are infidels. Like atheists, Muslims do not believe in the Christian god. They do not have faith in Zeus, Vishnu, Osiris, Amadioha, Sango, Ogun, Urim, Tsumburburra, Haptu, and thousands of other gods that human beings have worshipped throughout history.The difference between Muslims and other atheists is that other atheists go one god further in their disbelief. They do not believe in the Allah-god. So all Muslims are atheists, even though all atheists are not Muslims. And to make a clearer distinction between Muslims and other atheists, Believers in the Allah-god will be described as Muslim atheists. n Nigeria, Muslim atheists exercise their rights to freedom of belief and unbelief- their freedom to believe in Allah/prophet Muhammad and to unbelieve in Urim and Ogun. Muslims exercise their right to freedom of expression including their right to express their belief in Allah and their unbelief in other gods such as Odin and Krishna. In declaring their unbelief in other gods, Muslims atheists make and could make statements that others could consider to be insulting, provoking and annoying. n seeking to penalize Mubarak and other atheists for statements and sentiments, posts, and comments that they made on Facebook, Muslim atheists are trying to deny other atheists the same rights that they enjoy. That is not fair. Is it? This inequity has been central to the entrenched Islamic privilege in Nigeria. This injustice has escaped the minds of those who are persecuting Mubarak Bala and other atheists in the region. Blinded by their theism, and forgetful of their atheism, Muslims who are threatening to kill and deal with atheists need to realize that atheists are human beings and the rights of atheists are human rights. More importantly, Muslims in Nigeria need to know that they are atheists too; that they belong to the family of unbelievers and infidels.

Yes, we are all atheists!

Photo by Marcos Paulo PradoonUnsplash

Assistant Editor, News Intervention,Human Rights Activist.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He focuses on North America for News Intervention. Jacobsen works for science and human rights, especially womens and childrens rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere. You can contact Scott via email, his website, or Twitter.

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