Giving up on God - new figures show more are turning their back on religion

South Wales Argus: BUCKING THE TREND: The Rev Bob Buchanan says the congregation at his Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church is stable but many people in the area have ‘lost God’ BUCKING THE TREND: The Rev Bob Buchanan says the congregation at his Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church is stable but many people in the area have ‘lost God’

YESTERDAY statisticians from the Office for National Statistics revealed more results from the 2011 Census, showing fewer of us believe in God, own homes or speak Welsh. DAVID DEANS reports.

BLAENAU Gwent has the highest proportion of people who say they have no religion than any other part of Wales.

It also has the third-highest proportion across England and Wales.

That’s according to Census 2011 data published by Office for National Statistics yesterday, which said that 41.1 per cent of people in the county ticked the ‘no religion’ box.

Caerphilly county came second with 40.9 per cent of people saying they don’t believe in any kind of God.

Blaenau Gwent also had Wales’ lowest rate of people saying they were Christian, at 49.9 per cent, while in Caerphilly the rate was 50.7 per cent.

The two boroughs are not alone, and across Wales almost one-third of the country said it had no religion.

The figures are higher than for any English region.

Clergymen told the Argus that people are more honest now about their religious faith than in the past – while one minister said some churches find it difficult to keep up their membership.

The Rev Bob Buchanan, of Abertillery’s Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church, said: “In our church we have stayed pretty stable over the course of the 15 years.

“But I think at other churches in the area numbers are going down and down to where there are just five or six members.”

He added: “People have given up here, given up on God.”

But the Rev Geoff Waggett, rector of Ebbw Vale, said he has seen little change in numbers at the three churches he is responsible for.

“In the last couple of years... people are either coming for the first time or coming back to the church,” he said.

Father Mark Soady, vicar of Abergavenny, said he believed people were more honest about not being religious than they might have been in the past.

“There was a habit in the past of saying they were Church of England even it they weren’t,” he said.

In Torfaen 35.8 per cent of people said they had no religion, while 55.4 per cent said they were Christian.

Monmouthshire had the highest proportion of Christians in Gwent at 62.5 per cent, with only 28.5 per cent saying they had no faith, while 29.7 per cent of Newport people said they were not religious.

In the city 56.9 per cent of people said they were Christian. Newport had the second-highest rate of Muslims in Wales, with 4.7 per cent of people classing themselves as such.

I was made welcome here – Zimbabwean asylum-seeker

THE number of people born outside the UK living in Wales has risen between 2001 and 2011 – but the nation remains predominantly white.

There were 92,000 more people who were born outside the UK according to the results of the 2011 Census.

But 96 per cent of the resident population – 2.9 million – was white in 2011, more than any other English region.

Newport had the second-highest number of people who were born outside the European Union at 5.7 per cent of the population.

It has the second-lowest proportion of white people of any local authority area in Wales – 87 per cent.

Almost everyone in Blaenau Gwent – 90.3 per cent – was born in Wales, the highest rate in the country, followed by Caerphilly at 88.6 per cent.

Robert Muza, 42, of Newport’s Somerton area, came to the UK in 2002 from Zimbabwe.

Mr Muza came to the UK as an asylumseeker after he left his home country because he was a member of the then opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change.

He said when he first arrived in Newport people were more welcoming and friendly than they had been where he was living in north London, helping him get from the railway station to his friend’s home in Barrack Hill. A father of two, who is a student at the University of Newport, said: “I fell in love with Newport.”

More rent from private landlord

THE number of people living in privately rented accommodation in Wales has risen by five per cent since the 2001 Census.

A total of 165,000 people in Wales told the Census that they live in properties they rent from a private landlord, up from 90,000 in 2001.

At the same time the number of people living in homes they own with a mortgage or a loan has fallen from 37 per cent to 32 per cent.

Newport had the highest rate of people living in privately rented accommodation in Gwent and the seventh in Wales, at 12.9 per cent. Torfaen had the lowest at 7.5 per cent.

Estate agent Alan Darlow, director of Roberts estate agents, said there had been a cultural change.

“The culture has changed now with more and more people renting, a little bit like Europe.”

He said his agency had got into lettings a few years ago when it had seen “the writing on the wall”.

Meanwhile, Blaenau Gwent had the third-highest rate in Wales of people who suffer from a long-term health problem or disability that restricts their dayto- day activities “a lot”.

The ONS says that 15.7 per cent of the population describe themselves as such.

It also had the second-highest rate of people who said they had a bad state of health, at 8.2 per cent of the population.

Overall four out of five people in Wales said they were in good or very good health.

Just under a quarter of those living in Wales had a longterm limiting illness, higher than any English region.

Last ten years sees decline in Welsh-speakers

THE proportion of people speaking Welsh in Wales fell by 1.7 per cent between 2001 and 2011 – with three Gwent counties recording falling numbers of speakers.

However, the number of speakers increased in the border county of Monmouthshire and remained steady in Caerphilly.

In Gwent as a whole 54,958 people said they spoke Welsh. In Blaenau Gwent the number of speakers fell by 1.6 per cent to 5,284.

There were 8,641 Welsh-speakers in Torfaen, down by 1.3 per cent, while there were 13,002 Welsh-speakers in Newport, a drop of 0.7 per cent.

Figures rose by 0.6 per cent in Monmouthshire to 8,780.

However, the proportion of people who spoke Welsh remained steady in Caerphilly, where 19,251 people speak the language.

All authorities in Wales, apart from Monmouthshire, saw a decrease in the number of children able to speak Welsh.

Elin Maher, development officer of Menter Iaith Casnewydd, said she wasn’t disheartened by the figures, which she said painted a truer picture of the situation than the 2001 Census had.

Ms Maher, whose group helps set up Welsh-speaking events for speakers and learners in Newport, said: “We need to be looking more at investing more in the Welsh language in communities.”

Yesterday’s figures also revealed that nearly two-thirds of Wales, two million, told the 2011 Census their national identity was Welsh.

Only 218,000 people considered themselves to be British as well.

Blaenau Gwent had the third highest percentage of people in Wales giving their national identity as Welsh-only, at 72.4 per cent, while 8.2 per cent said they were Welsh and British.

Comments (67)

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10:32am Wed 12 Dec 12

nehpets snave says...

What's new... Nobody has give a monkeys for years... All that counts is the likes of x factor, come dancing, boozing, thieving, sect...
What's new... Nobody has give a monkeys for years... All that counts is the likes of x factor, come dancing, boozing, thieving, sect... nehpets snave

12:25pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Shillabeers nemesis says...

Headline not quite right, christians are on the wain, but islam is up by almost 2%, and given the lack of ability of that religion to handle any kind of criticism is more of a worry than a few less christians
Headline not quite right, christians are on the wain, but islam is up by almost 2%, and given the lack of ability of that religion to handle any kind of criticism is more of a worry than a few less christians Shillabeers nemesis

1:34pm Wed 12 Dec 12

arjwain says...

think its more a case . schools have given up . there not allowed to sing in the mornings . its all about other religions these days or not offending other religions . in our country Britain we use to go to class , then move on to the assembly were we would sing . now they don't bother , so is it not surprising we have a drop .happy holidays :)
think its more a case . schools have given up . there not allowed to sing in the mornings . its all about other religions these days or not offending other religions . in our country Britain we use to go to class , then move on to the assembly were we would sing . now they don't bother , so is it not surprising we have a drop .happy holidays :) arjwain

1:50pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Dai the Milk says...

We used to be the land of rugby, religion and writers. What went so wrong? I blame liberal comprehensive education. We used to have teachers giving up free time to coach rugby, religious assembly and R.E. was a fact of life and literacy used to be the norm. All gone. But we are so inclusive.....hundre
ds of sports, religions and gossip magazines to choose from. That's progress for you.
We used to be the land of rugby, religion and writers. What went so wrong? I blame liberal comprehensive education. We used to have teachers giving up free time to coach rugby, religious assembly and R.E. was a fact of life and literacy used to be the norm. All gone. But we are so inclusive.....hundre ds of sports, religions and gossip magazines to choose from. That's progress for you. Dai the Milk

2:05pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Owain Vaughan says...

What went wrong? People are finally wising up and casting off their mediæval mental crutches and you think it's a bad thing? No-one is "giving up on God" as there is no such thing to begin with.
What went wrong? People are finally wising up and casting off their mediæval mental crutches and you think it's a bad thing? No-one is "giving up on God" as there is no such thing to begin with. Owain Vaughan

2:25pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Dai the Milk says...

Be careful Owain. You said there is no such thing as Gwent too. I assure you there is.
Be careful Owain. You said there is no such thing as Gwent too. I assure you there is. Dai the Milk

2:50pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Gareth says...

Dai the Milk wrote:
Be careful Owain. You said there is no such thing as Gwent too. I assure you there is.
Now now Dai. Surely you know that God does not exist.

It was a failed local government experiment. Born 1974BC to universal emptiness. Died 2003 in the Da Vinci Code - NINE YEARS AGO
[quote][p][bold]Dai the Milk[/bold] wrote: Be careful Owain. You said there is no such thing as Gwent too. I assure you there is.[/p][/quote]Now now Dai. Surely you know that God does not exist. It was a failed local government experiment. Born 1974BC to universal emptiness. Died 2003 in the Da Vinci Code - NINE YEARS AGO Gareth

2:52pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Dai the Milk says...

Ha ha ha haaa. I'm on the floor like a tortoise in stitches.
Ha ha ha haaa. I'm on the floor like a tortoise in stitches. Dai the Milk

3:37pm Wed 12 Dec 12

username2 says...

Something to be proud of. A nation and region showing real independent, rational thought. Schools not forcing views on the impressionable should be seen as a positive thing.
Something to be proud of. A nation and region showing real independent, rational thought. Schools not forcing views on the impressionable should be seen as a positive thing. username2

3:40pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Gun her says...

Why are people giving up on God and Religion
It would be good to hear people's reasons
Why are people giving up on God and Religion It would be good to hear people's reasons Gun her

3:42pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Dai the Milk says...

They should at least give them the information to make their own choice though. That no longer happens.
They should at least give them the information to make their own choice though. That no longer happens. Dai the Milk

3:46pm Wed 12 Dec 12

jayne1981 says...

Sometimes its not becoz people lose faith. I know the pastor pictured and myself and my sister started going 2 his church it was ok at first but their was some parts of his teaching we didnt agree with, then suddenly we were made 2 feel unwelcome, we got ignored, the last straw was when we went 2 the church and had a cup of tea their, just as others was and the only thing pastor bob said 2 us was "what do u think this is...starbucks!!!! We never went back again.
Sometimes its not becoz people lose faith. I know the pastor pictured and myself and my sister started going 2 his church it was ok at first but their was some parts of his teaching we didnt agree with, then suddenly we were made 2 feel unwelcome, we got ignored, the last straw was when we went 2 the church and had a cup of tea their, just as others was and the only thing pastor bob said 2 us was "what do u think this is...starbucks!!!! We never went back again. jayne1981

3:53pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Gun her says...

Maybe people turn their backs on the church is because it sends out mixed messages
This may be due to so many denominations. Each have their own pet version of God
Maybe people turn their backs on the church is because it sends out mixed messages This may be due to so many denominations. Each have their own pet version of God Gun her

3:53pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Owain Vaughan says...

Dai, given the reduction in the number of Welsh speakers even if there was such a thing as "Gwent", no-one would know how to say it! ;)
Dai, given the reduction in the number of Welsh speakers even if there was such a thing as "Gwent", no-one would know how to say it! ;) Owain Vaughan

4:30pm Wed 12 Dec 12

newport city of dreams says...

i have not given up on the lord, its just its all a fairytail to begin with. how many wars ect has all this tosh caused , most i say.if you use common sense how can you believe any of it. water into wine i wish. its just for some reason people are looking for something to comfort them when it would me more usefull if they just got on with what they can see and hear. how many of these vicars and co have been caught abusing kids and they all try to cover it up amongst themselves. and the morons who go to church seem to accept it. shame on you all....
i have not given up on the lord, its just its all a fairytail to begin with. how many wars ect has all this tosh caused , most i say.if you use common sense how can you believe any of it. water into wine i wish. its just for some reason people are looking for something to comfort them when it would me more usefull if they just got on with what they can see and hear. how many of these vicars and co have been caught abusing kids and they all try to cover it up amongst themselves. and the morons who go to church seem to accept it. shame on you all.... newport city of dreams

4:30pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Gareth says...

The traditional congregation are pensioners, so I would actually suggest that a decline over 10 years may be more down their audience/market passing away more than anyone actually making a decision to turn their back on anything.

The younger generations have far less need for a church: we can access our own information; have other opportunities to meet other people; have other means to learn what is or isn't right; have other things to interest us and take up our time etc.

So I guess that the people of 2012 haven't so much "turned their back on religion", as never being interested in the first place.
The traditional congregation are pensioners, so I would actually suggest that a decline over 10 years may be more down their audience/market passing away more than anyone actually making a decision to turn their back on anything. The younger generations have far less need for a church: we can access our own information; have other opportunities to meet other people; have other means to learn what is or isn't right; have other things to interest us and take up our time etc. So I guess that the people of 2012 haven't so much "turned their back on religion", as never being interested in the first place. Gareth

4:31pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Dai the Milk says...

I hope there is such a thing as Gwent. Otherwise I have no home.
I hope there is such a thing as Gwent. Otherwise I have no home. Dai the Milk

4:43pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Owain Vaughan says...

Presumably you live in a residential building, in a hamlet/village/town/
city. Am I right?
Presumably you live in a residential building, in a hamlet/village/town/ city. Am I right? Owain Vaughan

5:06pm Wed 12 Dec 12

cath 872 says...

surely the onus is upon religious folk to prove that god exists. Until that happens I, and a lot of other people choose not to believe.
surely the onus is upon religious folk to prove that god exists. Until that happens I, and a lot of other people choose not to believe. cath 872

5:27pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Gun her says...

What proof would ou like
What proof would ou like Gun her

5:37pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Dai the Milk says...

The negative comments just mirror the state of our world which keeps our wonderful journalists working flat out. There is an alternative to all this nihilism which can bring you so much peace. Don't confuse religion with faith either. There is a massive difference.
The negative comments just mirror the state of our world which keeps our wonderful journalists working flat out. There is an alternative to all this nihilism which can bring you so much peace. Don't confuse religion with faith either. There is a massive difference. Dai the Milk

5:46pm Wed 12 Dec 12

newport city of dreams says...

i would like any proof of any kind, untill then the fairytail will run and run. untill then just keep fooling yourselves . its a money making fantasy...
i would like any proof of any kind, untill then the fairytail will run and run. untill then just keep fooling yourselves . its a money making fantasy... newport city of dreams

5:51pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Dee-Gee says...

Gun her wrote:
Why are people giving up on God and Religion
It would be good to hear people's reasons
Because congregations of every religion, from Islam to Neo-Pagan, seem to very quickly become a crushing force of conformity, with no tolerance of any deviation from the group-think.

That's been my experience, anyway. So, I gave up on the idea that my fellow humans knew sod-all about the Divine, and now just whisper the odd prayer to "Anybody Out there?" now and again when I feel the urge. Feels a bit silly, but at least it doesn't do any harm.
[quote][p][bold]Gun her[/bold] wrote: Why are people giving up on God and Religion It would be good to hear people's reasons[/p][/quote]Because congregations of every religion, from Islam to Neo-Pagan, seem to very quickly become a crushing force of conformity, with no tolerance of any deviation from the group-think. That's been my experience, anyway. So, I gave up on the idea that my fellow humans knew sod-all about the Divine, and now just whisper the odd prayer to "Anybody Out there?" now and again when I feel the urge. Feels a bit silly, but at least it doesn't do any harm. Dee-Gee

5:55pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Gun her says...

There is a big difference between religion and faith, I agree
I have a faith in God but I cannot prove that there is a God
There is a big difference between religion and faith, I agree I have a faith in God but I cannot prove that there is a God Gun her

6:39pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Mervyn James says...

Owain Vaughan wrote:
What went wrong? People are finally wising up and casting off their mediæval mental crutches and you think it's a bad thing? No-one is "giving up on God" as there is no such thing to begin with.
Owain is from Mon-Mouth-Shire, they gave up on Wales years ago lol.... If man had no God he would still invent one, hence why the modern alternatives of greed, nastiness, and gormless celebrity worship rules.... we HAVE to believe there is something greater than ourselves, else we get a big head and all that entails.....
[quote][p][bold]Owain Vaughan[/bold] wrote: What went wrong? People are finally wising up and casting off their mediæval mental crutches and you think it's a bad thing? No-one is "giving up on God" as there is no such thing to begin with.[/p][/quote]Owain is from Mon-Mouth-Shire, they gave up on Wales years ago lol.... If man had no God he would still invent one, hence why the modern alternatives of greed, nastiness, and gormless celebrity worship rules.... we HAVE to believe there is something greater than ourselves, else we get a big head and all that entails..... Mervyn James

6:58pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Dave on his Soapbox says...

....Gwent must exist....it's on Wikipedia....

http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Gwent
....Gwent must exist....it's on Wikipedia.... http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Gwent Dave on his Soapbox

7:00pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Gun her says...

Can you prove the existence of Gwent or is it a faith
Can you prove the existence of Gwent or is it a faith Gun her

8:13pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Dai the Milk says...

Dee-Gee wrote:
Gun her wrote:
Why are people giving up on God and Religion
It would be good to hear people's reasons
Because congregations of every religion, from Islam to Neo-Pagan, seem to very quickly become a crushing force of conformity, with no tolerance of any deviation from the group-think.

That's been my experience, anyway. So, I gave up on the idea that my fellow humans knew sod-all about the Divine, and now just whisper the odd prayer to "Anybody Out there?" now and again when I feel the urge. Feels a bit silly, but at least it doesn't do any harm.
I gather even Dragons supporters do that just before every game.
[quote][p][bold]Dee-Gee[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gun her[/bold] wrote: Why are people giving up on God and Religion It would be good to hear people's reasons[/p][/quote]Because congregations of every religion, from Islam to Neo-Pagan, seem to very quickly become a crushing force of conformity, with no tolerance of any deviation from the group-think. That's been my experience, anyway. So, I gave up on the idea that my fellow humans knew sod-all about the Divine, and now just whisper the odd prayer to "Anybody Out there?" now and again when I feel the urge. Feels a bit silly, but at least it doesn't do any harm.[/p][/quote]I gather even Dragons supporters do that just before every game. Dai the Milk

8:18pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Dai the Milk says...

Gun her wrote:
Can you prove the existence of Gwent or is it a faith
I think it was Descartes who said 'I think therefore I am'. I like to think 'I drink therefore I am'. I have every faith in Gwent and I can also prove it exists because I drive the length of it once a week.
[quote][p][bold]Gun her[/bold] wrote: Can you prove the existence of Gwent or is it a faith[/p][/quote]I think it was Descartes who said 'I think therefore I am'. I like to think 'I drink therefore I am'. I have every faith in Gwent and I can also prove it exists because I drive the length of it once a week. Dai the Milk

8:20pm Wed 12 Dec 12

chris2727 says...

no gwent is just a scruffy part of the uk
no gwent is just a scruffy part of the uk chris2727

8:29pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Gareth says...

(nothing to add, but need to leave comment in order to uncheck 'follow' box. It's clogging up my email!)
(nothing to add, but need to leave comment in order to uncheck 'follow' box. It's clogging up my email!) Gareth

8:33pm Wed 12 Dec 12

lowandhardandinthecorner says...

The best quote on the existence of gods was from a buddhist monk
" god is an invention of man, the real mystery therefore is not the nature of god but the nature of man "

Well done to those who have come to the obvious conclusion about the existence of fairytale sky monsters and getting some reward when they cease to exist (except as part of the nitrogen cycle,of course ) how likely is heaven? - laughable! It's good to be free of the guilt trip of religion and think for yourself.
The best quote on the existence of gods was from a buddhist monk " god is an invention of man, the real mystery therefore is not the nature of god but the nature of man " Well done to those who have come to the obvious conclusion about the existence of fairytale sky monsters and getting some reward when they cease to exist (except as part of the nitrogen cycle,of course ) how likely is heaven? - laughable! It's good to be free of the guilt trip of religion and think for yourself. lowandhardandinthecorner

10:06pm Wed 12 Dec 12

chris2727 says...

well i know it will take a absolute ,miracle to lift Wales out of its downward slide
well i know it will take a absolute ,miracle to lift Wales out of its downward slide chris2727

10:59pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Dai the Milk says...

The fool has said in his heart 'there is no God'.
The fool has said in his heart 'there is no God'. Dai the Milk

8:09am Thu 13 Dec 12

Mervyn James says...

Gun her wrote:
Can you prove the existence of Gwent or is it a faith
10,000 silures can't be wrong and they were here first....:) a lot of Cornwall belonged to Wales too...
[quote][p][bold]Gun her[/bold] wrote: Can you prove the existence of Gwent or is it a faith[/p][/quote]10,000 silures can't be wrong and they were here first....:) a lot of Cornwall belonged to Wales too... Mervyn James

12:51pm Thu 13 Dec 12

alongfortheride says...

This is the most progress the people of Gwent have made in a long time. Lets hope the trend continues religion is slowly abolished and we can all get on with the important things in life.
This is the most progress the people of Gwent have made in a long time. Lets hope the trend continues religion is slowly abolished and we can all get on with the important things in life. alongfortheride

1:21pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Katie Re-Registered says...

Maybe it's not so much that increasing numbers of people are giving up on God or belief in the supernatural, but that they're finally realising that religion itself is a man-made phenomenon - an attempt at political power through spiritual means - a massive con-trick all conducted in the very earthly interests of ruling heterosexist male elites?
Maybe it's not so much that increasing numbers of people are giving up on God or belief in the supernatural, but that they're finally realising that religion itself is a man-made phenomenon - an attempt at political power through spiritual means - a massive con-trick all conducted in the very earthly interests of ruling heterosexist male elites? Katie Re-Registered

4:44pm Thu 13 Dec 12

parcel says...

Yeh, that's rite, people are leaving the "church" full of its man made rules and regs,
With its smells, bells and incessant boredom, and men wearing funny hats and cloaks............

But the true church which gives freedom, and sets u free, is flourishing!
"He whom the Son sets free, is free indeed"!

Next Church for the "called out ones"!
Yeh, that's rite, people are leaving the "church" full of its man made rules and regs, With its smells, bells and incessant boredom, and men wearing funny hats and cloaks............ But the true church which gives freedom, and sets u free, is flourishing! "He whom the Son sets free, is free indeed"! Next Church for the "called out ones"! parcel

7:07pm Thu 13 Dec 12

tking says...

Well its clear the message coming from an unemployed carpenter living under occupation was Socialist however the ruling class elite,who he was clearly needling with his talent for agitation which could cause profound unrest sounds familiar? Birmingham six , Shrewsbury four etc.
The question of Divinity should be a matter of faith and not bandied around as fact, because nobody in truth knows!
And they also realised the effect of what Jesus was saying on people, why did they pick on an out of work, working class carpenter? simple, if it was a rich merchant the scam would have died at birth.
Notice how Mary his mother was slowly airbrushed out to eventually create the myth of the "emaculate consception",any 22 year old male living in those days would almost certainly have been married,Marx was never against what Jesus was supposed to have said but what he did point out was "all empires fail" and that "nations that enslave others enslave themselves" a reference to the Roman Empire collapsing via economic problems,no wonder they call the Church of England the Tory party at prayer! and the hirarchy in the church have been in collusion for centuries,Jesus was for, among many things,a roof over peoples heads, clothes on their back, and food in their bellies,so witness the Catholic church, one of the richest institutions in the world, yet millions who follow are living in unbelievable squalor around the world,I know they are profoundly decent people who follow and do great work, I have seen this when I was in Africa and the Middle East, but I believe this ordinary man was a fighter for the oppressed against the oppressor, wherever in the world.
Well its clear the message coming from an unemployed carpenter living under occupation was Socialist however the ruling class elite,who he was clearly needling with his talent for agitation which could cause profound unrest[endangering their own positions] sounds familiar? Birmingham six , Shrewsbury four etc. The question of Divinity should be a matter of faith and not bandied around as fact, because nobody in truth knows! And they also realised[the high preists] the effect of what Jesus was saying on people, why did they pick on an out of work, working class carpenter? simple, if it was a rich merchant the scam would have died at birth. Notice how Mary his mother was slowly airbrushed out to eventually create the myth of the "emaculate consception",any 22 year old male living in those days would almost certainly have been married,Marx was never against what Jesus was supposed to have said but what he did point out was "all empires fail" and that "nations that enslave others enslave themselves" a reference to the Roman Empire collapsing via economic problems,no wonder they call the Church of England the Tory party at prayer! and the hirarchy in the church have been in collusion for centuries,Jesus was for, among many things,a roof over peoples heads, clothes on their back, and food in their bellies,so witness the Catholic church, one of the richest institutions in the world, yet millions who follow are living in unbelievable squalor around the world,I know they are profoundly decent people who follow and do great work, I have seen this when I was in Africa and the Middle East, but I believe this ordinary man was a fighter for the oppressed against the oppressor, wherever in the world. tking

7:15pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Mervyn James says...

alongfortheride wrote:
This is the most progress the people of Gwent have made in a long time. Lets hope the trend continues religion is slowly abolished and we can all get on with the important things in life.
Do tell, what is more important than a real belief in something ? X-factor winners ? soap operas ? The fact we all seek something else, can still be construed as a desire to 'know'. Nothing quoted here is offering us insight or knowledge, just derision. So none of it of real value,anyone can knock something down, but building takes real effort.
[quote][p][bold]alongfortheride[/bold] wrote: This is the most progress the people of Gwent have made in a long time. Lets hope the trend continues religion is slowly abolished and we can all get on with the important things in life.[/p][/quote]Do tell, what is more important than a real belief in something ? X-factor winners ? soap operas ? The fact we all seek something else, can still be construed as a desire to 'know'. Nothing quoted here is offering us insight or knowledge, just derision. So none of it of real value,anyone can knock something down, but building takes real effort. Mervyn James

8:12pm Thu 13 Dec 12

alongfortheride says...

Mervyn James wrote:
alongfortheride wrote:
This is the most progress the people of Gwent have made in a long time. Lets hope the trend continues religion is slowly abolished and we can all get on with the important things in life.
Do tell, what is more important than a real belief in something ? X-factor winners ? soap operas ? The fact we all seek something else, can still be construed as a desire to 'know'. Nothing quoted here is offering us insight or knowledge, just derision. So none of it of real value,anyone can knock something down, but building takes real effort.
The amount of fail in your comment is too much for me to go into in great length. I am not going to sit here and debate with you the obvious problems religion (a device used to controls the masses) has caused over the last thousand or so years. However what I will comment on is the obvious reference that because I denounced religion you instantly decided that I was suggesting replacing it with demeaning pop culture.

Lets say replace it with science, replace it with proper social learning, replace it with dealing with the worlds problems. I'm sorry but a 'real belief in something' is a non sequitur. It is a real belief in nothing. And no I am not going to get into an argument of faith or belief or proof. The burden of proof is on the people who belief and they can't provide it.

Religion is the cause of so many problems we would now in this day and age be better off without it. Tax relief? Joke, the money the catholic, christian, muslim faiths have would solve alot of problems in the world. Instead they use it for the selfish reasons of helping a few in order to guarantee themselves a place in whatever afterlife they believe in, so in essence to serve themselves. Why not be selfless and give up the organisational church and donate the billions held to help? Will never happen.

I seek knowledge, truth and to be a good decent person and help those I can. No God or faith is required to give me my set of morals! Lets start building like you say, lets start building a world where old scripts and stories that are contradictory and left to interpretation are left behind and we move forward with a single goal to do things better.

An atheists world would be a far more peaceful place than any religious one!
[quote][p][bold]Mervyn James[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]alongfortheride[/bold] wrote: This is the most progress the people of Gwent have made in a long time. Lets hope the trend continues religion is slowly abolished and we can all get on with the important things in life.[/p][/quote]Do tell, what is more important than a real belief in something ? X-factor winners ? soap operas ? The fact we all seek something else, can still be construed as a desire to 'know'. Nothing quoted here is offering us insight or knowledge, just derision. So none of it of real value,anyone can knock something down, but building takes real effort.[/p][/quote]The amount of fail in your comment is too much for me to go into in great length. I am not going to sit here and debate with you the obvious problems religion (a device used to controls the masses) has caused over the last thousand or so years. However what I will comment on is the obvious reference that because I denounced religion you instantly decided that I was suggesting replacing it with demeaning pop culture. Lets say replace it with science, replace it with proper social learning, replace it with dealing with the worlds problems. I'm sorry but a 'real belief in something' is a non sequitur. It is a real belief in nothing. And no I am not going to get into an argument of faith or belief or proof. The burden of proof is on the people who belief and they can't provide it. Religion is the cause of so many problems we would now in this day and age be better off without it. Tax relief? Joke, the money the catholic, christian, muslim faiths have would solve alot of problems in the world. Instead they use it for the selfish reasons of helping a few in order to guarantee themselves a place in whatever afterlife they believe in, so in essence to serve themselves. Why not be selfless and give up the organisational church and donate the billions held to help? Will never happen. I seek knowledge, truth and to be a good decent person and help those I can. No God or faith is required to give me my set of morals! Lets start building like you say, lets start building a world where old scripts and stories that are contradictory and left to interpretation are left behind and we move forward with a single goal to do things better. An atheists world would be a far more peaceful place than any religious one! alongfortheride

11:03pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Dai the Milk says...

Humanism has no moral compass.
Humanism has no moral compass. Dai the Milk

11:08am Sat 15 Dec 12

Mervyn James says...

alongfortheride wrote:
Mervyn James wrote:
alongfortheride wrote:
This is the most progress the people of Gwent have made in a long time. Lets hope the trend continues religion is slowly abolished and we can all get on with the important things in life.
Do tell, what is more important than a real belief in something ? X-factor winners ? soap operas ? The fact we all seek something else, can still be construed as a desire to 'know'. Nothing quoted here is offering us insight or knowledge, just derision. So none of it of real value,anyone can knock something down, but building takes real effort.
The amount of fail in your comment is too much for me to go into in great length. I am not going to sit here and debate with you the obvious problems religion (a device used to controls the masses) has caused over the last thousand or so years. However what I will comment on is the obvious reference that because I denounced religion you instantly decided that I was suggesting replacing it with demeaning pop culture.

Lets say replace it with science, replace it with proper social learning, replace it with dealing with the worlds problems. I'm sorry but a 'real belief in something' is a non sequitur. It is a real belief in nothing. And no I am not going to get into an argument of faith or belief or proof. The burden of proof is on the people who belief and they can't provide it.

Religion is the cause of so many problems we would now in this day and age be better off without it. Tax relief? Joke, the money the catholic, christian, muslim faiths have would solve alot of problems in the world. Instead they use it for the selfish reasons of helping a few in order to guarantee themselves a place in whatever afterlife they believe in, so in essence to serve themselves. Why not be selfless and give up the organisational church and donate the billions held to help? Will never happen.

I seek knowledge, truth and to be a good decent person and help those I can. No God or faith is required to give me my set of morals! Lets start building like you say, lets start building a world where old scripts and stories that are contradictory and left to interpretation are left behind and we move forward with a single goal to do things better.

An atheists world would be a far more peaceful place than any religious one!
If we never had religion we would still be seeking answers to questions, maybe religion offers a simplistic/faith-riv
en answer, but scientists have religion too. I read every day comments deriding religion and blaming them for everything that ever went wrong, but given Wales is a Godless society the problems still continue.

I laugh at those who say "I don't need to be told about being good, or having morals..' Where did the idea originate ? erm... from Christianity... People are naturally barbaric and cruel, without 'rules' be they from a government or from a religion, barbarians are exactly what we would revert to.

Personally I feel safer with them.
[quote][p][bold]alongfortheride[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mervyn James[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]alongfortheride[/bold] wrote: This is the most progress the people of Gwent have made in a long time. Lets hope the trend continues religion is slowly abolished and we can all get on with the important things in life.[/p][/quote]Do tell, what is more important than a real belief in something ? X-factor winners ? soap operas ? The fact we all seek something else, can still be construed as a desire to 'know'. Nothing quoted here is offering us insight or knowledge, just derision. So none of it of real value,anyone can knock something down, but building takes real effort.[/p][/quote]The amount of fail in your comment is too much for me to go into in great length. I am not going to sit here and debate with you the obvious problems religion (a device used to controls the masses) has caused over the last thousand or so years. However what I will comment on is the obvious reference that because I denounced religion you instantly decided that I was suggesting replacing it with demeaning pop culture. Lets say replace it with science, replace it with proper social learning, replace it with dealing with the worlds problems. I'm sorry but a 'real belief in something' is a non sequitur. It is a real belief in nothing. And no I am not going to get into an argument of faith or belief or proof. The burden of proof is on the people who belief and they can't provide it. Religion is the cause of so many problems we would now in this day and age be better off without it. Tax relief? Joke, the money the catholic, christian, muslim faiths have would solve alot of problems in the world. Instead they use it for the selfish reasons of helping a few in order to guarantee themselves a place in whatever afterlife they believe in, so in essence to serve themselves. Why not be selfless and give up the organisational church and donate the billions held to help? Will never happen. I seek knowledge, truth and to be a good decent person and help those I can. No God or faith is required to give me my set of morals! Lets start building like you say, lets start building a world where old scripts and stories that are contradictory and left to interpretation are left behind and we move forward with a single goal to do things better. An atheists world would be a far more peaceful place than any religious one![/p][/quote]If we never had religion we would still be seeking answers to questions, maybe religion offers a simplistic/faith-riv en answer, but scientists have religion too. I read every day comments deriding religion and blaming them for everything that ever went wrong, but given Wales is a Godless society the problems still continue. I laugh at those who say "I don't need to be told about being good, or having morals..' Where did the idea originate ? erm... from Christianity... People are naturally barbaric and cruel, without 'rules' be they from a government or from a religion, barbarians are exactly what we would revert to. Personally I feel safer with them. Mervyn James

11:11am Sat 15 Dec 12

Mervyn James says...

Do I trust YOU to keep us all on the straight and narrow ? erm.. sorry no I don't, a person without belief is without direction and aimless, and I HATE cest la vie comments, they are mostly excuses for having no view and no values and leaving the result it to others.
Do I trust YOU to keep us all on the straight and narrow ? erm.. sorry no I don't, a person without belief is without direction and aimless, and I HATE cest la vie comments, they are mostly excuses for having no view and no values and leaving the result it to others. Mervyn James

12:00pm Sat 15 Dec 12

alongfortheride says...

Mervyn James wrote:
Do I trust YOU to keep us all on the straight and narrow ? erm.. sorry no I don't, a person without belief is without direction and aimless, and I HATE cest la vie comments, they are mostly excuses for having no view and no values and leaving the result it to others.
Mervyn, religion was a device created to control the masses in a time where control was a real issue, when the world was a much bigger place and an all seeing God was needed.


This is why all earlier texts relating to religion are a vengeful wrathful god. When people started seeing it being taken literally and needed change he became all forgiving. A concept made up by the people seeking control.

Scientists are not a religious people. Yes there are individuals who theists like to point out time and time again but the majority or the scientific community are athiests and base their findings on fact and not beliefs that cannot be quantified.

To say that religion is the reason people stay good, that religion is the reason for morals is a blinkered view and an apologist way of defending faith. Are you saying that because I am not religious that I have no morals, that I am not a good person. I am good because I feel we should be good to fellow man, not because I want to win a golden ticket into an afterlife that most likely does not exist and has no proof of existing.

There are no questions that religion answers in a straight way that does not contradict itself in some way later down the line. If you want answers you have to look at fact.

And losing religion would not solve all the worlds problems over night, but it would save alot of hardship and save alot of lives, those who die in the name of religion and holy wars.

And not withstanding your own lack of faith in people I am of the firm belief that religion is not what keeps people from barbarianism. From the dawn of time man has realised that working together is the way to move forward in life. If so we would never have left the caves form which we started. Even animals understand the mutual advantages of working together at times.

There are always individualistic differences that lead to problems but not on the scale of my God is right and your god is wrong. Take the church and all the good they do, remove the religion and BANG, they would all suddenly be working for the same goal rather than fighting amongst themselves.

Do not mistake me for someone with no views or values. I have both in abundance and am insulted you would presume otherwise because I do not put blind faith into something that cannot be quantified past the
anecdotal.

And please don't cite Christianity as being the milestone in good and morals, read up on religion and you will find that is really not the case. There was a time that islam was promoting peace and fellowship as your christian God was demanding the babies of non believers be smashed on the steps of their homes.

Until you know the history and origins and results of your religion better than me then it is an insult to comment.

This is the problem, most Atheists have researched religion with an objective mind and come to a logical conclusion only to have misunderstanding and faith comments made.

And to quote yourself I find it mostly excuses for those having no view of their own, no values of their own, no objectivity and leaving the real result to others.

There are Christian and Jewish schools who teach children! Children that the Earth is only 6000 years old and in intelligent design!

If we were hoping on religion to answer questions we would not have electricity and still be living in the past stoning infidels in the street for not doing GODS will.

Please
[quote][p][bold]Mervyn James[/bold] wrote: Do I trust YOU to keep us all on the straight and narrow ? erm.. sorry no I don't, a person without belief is without direction and aimless, and I HATE cest la vie comments, they are mostly excuses for having no view and no values and leaving the result it to others.[/p][/quote]Mervyn, religion was a device created to control the masses in a time where control was a real issue, when the world was a much bigger place and an all seeing God was needed. This is why all earlier texts relating to religion are a vengeful wrathful god. When people started seeing it being taken literally and needed change he became all forgiving. A concept made up by the people seeking control. Scientists are not a religious people. Yes there are individuals who theists like to point out time and time again but the majority or the scientific community are athiests and base their findings on fact and not beliefs that cannot be quantified. To say that religion is the reason people stay good, that religion is the reason for morals is a blinkered view and an apologist way of defending faith. Are you saying that because I am not religious that I have no morals, that I am not a good person. I am good because I feel we should be good to fellow man, not because I want to win a golden ticket into an afterlife that most likely does not exist and has no proof of existing. There are no questions that religion answers in a straight way that does not contradict itself in some way later down the line. If you want answers you have to look at fact. And losing religion would not solve all the worlds problems over night, but it would save alot of hardship and save alot of lives, those who die in the name of religion and holy wars. And not withstanding your own lack of faith in people I am of the firm belief that religion is not what keeps people from barbarianism. From the dawn of time man has realised that working together is the way to move forward in life. If so we would never have left the caves form which we started. Even animals understand the mutual advantages of working together at times. There are always individualistic differences that lead to problems but not on the scale of my God is right and your god is wrong. Take the church and all the good they do, remove the religion and BANG, they would all suddenly be working for the same goal rather than fighting amongst themselves. Do not mistake me for someone with no views or values. I have both in abundance and am insulted you would presume otherwise because I do not put blind faith into something that cannot be quantified past the anecdotal. And please don't cite Christianity as being the milestone in good and morals, read up on religion and you will find that is really not the case. There was a time that islam was promoting peace and fellowship as your christian God was demanding the babies of non believers be smashed on the steps of their homes. Until you know the history and origins and results of your religion better than me then it is an insult to comment. This is the problem, most Atheists have researched religion with an objective mind and come to a logical conclusion only to have misunderstanding and faith comments made. And to quote yourself I find it mostly excuses for those having no view of their own, no values of their own, no objectivity and leaving the real result to others. There are Christian and Jewish schools who teach children! Children that the Earth is only 6000 years old and in intelligent design! If we were hoping on religion to answer questions we would not have electricity and still be living in the past stoning infidels in the street for not doing GODS will. Please alongfortheride

2:10pm Sun 16 Dec 12

Mervyn James says...

Some sort od control unfortunately is required, the reason is we cannot control ourselves. I'd agree oppressive state or dubious religions are not entirely innocent themselves, but what we have arrived at over the years is an compromise of sorts. A free-for all would be a complete breakdown of society. We'd have perversions, rapes, murder all the things our society has rules against which is based on the 10 commandments even if we don't adhere to them. The idea I think is basically good, the implementation not so. What we see and read every day is attempted by man to break down to a form of barbarism again. Look at the tories.....
Some sort od control unfortunately is required, the reason is we cannot control ourselves. I'd agree oppressive state or dubious religions are not entirely innocent themselves, but what we have arrived at over the years is an compromise of sorts. A free-for all would be a complete breakdown of society. We'd have perversions, rapes, murder all the things our society has rules against which is based on the 10 commandments even if we don't adhere to them. The idea I think is basically good, the implementation not so. What we see and read every day is attempted by man to break down to a form of barbarism again. Look at the tories..... Mervyn James

2:13pm Sun 16 Dec 12

alongfortheride says...

Mervyn to think that we would have more murders, perversions and rapes is preposterous, my jaw has literally hit the floor!!

By your logic more crimes are committed by those who do not believe in God, and because of those ten commandments society operates with rules!?

Are you serious?

So all those entire swarves of people who never bought into Christianity and the ten commandments are a group of barbarians?

Heard of the Westero Baptist Church? They love the ten commandments! And the bible... literally.
Mervyn to think that we would have more murders, perversions and rapes is preposterous, my jaw has literally hit the floor!! By your logic more crimes are committed by those who do not believe in God, and because of those ten commandments society operates with rules!? Are you serious? So all those entire swarves of people who never bought into Christianity and the ten commandments are a group of barbarians? Heard of the Westero Baptist Church? They love the ten commandments! And the bible... literally. alongfortheride

12:36pm Mon 17 Dec 12

username2 says...

alongfortheride I'm not sure what else to say aside from - Bravo.
alongfortheride I'm not sure what else to say aside from - Bravo. username2

1:26pm Mon 17 Dec 12

lowandhardandinthecorner says...

Well done "alongfortheride" for so lucidly giving the point of view of many non-theists.
I too am insulted that someone would think I had no morals because I don't believe in gods of any kind.
I have always tried to behave in an honest, kind and caring way to my fellow man and chose a profession in the health service to help in some small way.
Like " alongfortheride ", I have studied quite a few religions and am totally unconvinced by them all.
If I told a christian that I believed in a purple dragon that lived behind Twm Barlwm then I suspect that he would require soom proof of it's existence. I expect no less from him.
Well done "alongfortheride" for so lucidly giving the point of view of many non-theists. I too am insulted that someone would think I had no morals because I don't believe in gods of any kind. I have always tried to behave in an honest, kind and caring way to my fellow man and chose a profession in the health service to help in some small way. Like " alongfortheride ", I have studied quite a few religions and am totally unconvinced by them all. If I told a christian that I believed in a purple dragon that lived behind Twm Barlwm then I suspect that he would require soom proof of it's existence. I expect no less from him. lowandhardandinthecorner

3:16pm Mon 17 Dec 12

alongfortheride says...

I like to tell people who question me that I can fly. When they tell me I can't or to prove it I reference their faith.

Just because lots of people believe something That doesn't make it truth. Once upon a time everyone believed the world was flat. One person said it wasn't!

Sorry but at the current state of evidence for faith I'm confident in saying there is no god. The difference between atheists and theists is Thayer if you showed me proof there was good I would accept it. If I "proved" their wasn't a god with evidential fact then they would discount it and spout the old and worn faith argument.
I like to tell people who question me that I can fly. When they tell me I can't or to prove it I reference their faith. Just because lots of people believe something That doesn't make it truth. Once upon a time everyone believed the world was flat. One person said it wasn't! Sorry but at the current state of evidence for faith I'm confident in saying there is no god. The difference between atheists and theists is Thayer if you showed me proof there was good I would accept it. If I "proved" their wasn't a god with evidential fact then they would discount it and spout the old and worn faith argument. alongfortheride

5:03pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Gun her says...

Christians are always asked to prove the existence of God
Can Atheists and Agnostics prove that God doesn't exist
Why are we here on earth, what is existence all about
Christians are always asked to prove the existence of God Can Atheists and Agnostics prove that God doesn't exist Why are we here on earth, what is existence all about Gun her

5:09pm Mon 17 Dec 12

alongfortheride says...

Gun be quiet unless you can add something constructive. The burden of proof is on the person making the claim.

Prove that I'm not the next saviour gun?? Prove that I am not.

If I make a claim its up to me to prove it not for you to disprove it
Gun be quiet unless you can add something constructive. The burden of proof is on the person making the claim. Prove that I'm not the next saviour gun?? Prove that I am not. If I make a claim its up to me to prove it not for you to disprove it alongfortheride

5:15pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Gun her says...

Bit confused with your answer
I have not made a claim
I find it a common occurrence for people to slag of a religious person, eg Muslim, Buddhist Christian
Yet offer nothing constructive in its place
Do you believe in something
Bit confused with your answer I have not made a claim I find it a common occurrence for people to slag of a religious person, eg Muslim, Buddhist Christian Yet offer nothing constructive in its place Do you believe in something Gun her

5:26pm Mon 17 Dec 12

alongfortheride says...

I have offered a lot of constructive talk already in what I have said? You challenged me to prove God doesn't exist and I told you the burden is on you.

You can offer no evidence there is a god.

I do not believe in any deity at all. I believe that people are inherently good.

I appreciate people in faith do good. I challenge their motives. They are good to get into heaven.

I am good because I want to be good.

I cannot make it any clearer than I already have.

Don't get me started on agnostics. Pick a side.

And they keep questioning it because logically the concept of a god and the basis of your beliefs are ridiculous.
I have offered a lot of constructive talk already in what I have said? You challenged me to prove God doesn't exist and I told you the burden is on you. You can offer no evidence there is a god. I do not believe in any deity at all. I believe that people are inherently good. I appreciate people in faith do good. I challenge their motives. They are good to get into heaven. I am good because I want to be good. I cannot make it any clearer than I already have. Don't get me started on agnostics. Pick a side. And they keep questioning it because logically the concept of a god and the basis of your beliefs are ridiculous. alongfortheride

5:34pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Gun her says...

No
I did not challenge you. I asked the question of anybody
If people of faith do good works why do you have to challenge their motives
Why not be glad that they are doing good
I am trying to look at the evidence for the existence/non existence of God.
No I did not challenge you. I asked the question of anybody If people of faith do good works why do you have to challenge their motives Why not be glad that they are doing good I am trying to look at the evidence for the existence/non existence of God. Gun her

5:46pm Mon 17 Dec 12

alongfortheride says...

You asked if atheists can disprove god. I told you the burden is on you.

For all the good that has been done there has been far more bad done in the name of god or gods.

As I said remove religion and god and the church organisations would be great.

Look at those who get stoned in the name of god. People who get molested and the offenders are hidden by the church. Look at every holy war

I can save you a lot of time my friend. There is NO real evidence of a god.

And if you want to see some of the good work done by deep Christians in the name of god following the bible literally google westero Baptist church
You asked if atheists can disprove god. I told you the burden is on you. For all the good that has been done there has been far more bad done in the name of god or gods. As I said remove religion and god and the church organisations would be great. Look at those who get stoned in the name of god. People who get molested and the offenders are hidden by the church. Look at every holy war I can save you a lot of time my friend. There is NO real evidence of a god. And if you want to see some of the good work done by deep Christians in the name of god following the bible literally google westero Baptist church alongfortheride

6:45pm Mon 17 Dec 12

alongfortheride says...

Right I can answer a bit better now as not typing on a tiny phone screen with pudgy fingers :)

Gun, atheists will not try and prove there is no god, they do not need to. There is some great reading about burden of proof and the concept behind it.

What frustrates me, and please folks don't take frustration as a personal attack on anyone with faith is that so many people say it is a power for good. Well I would challenge that I find the concept of religion a system of control. Yes it encourages good things but at the detriment of others, if one is not a member of the club then that person is damned to eternal condemnation after they die.

Now if a God was to exist then it is a pretty poor God who gives people the ability to make a choice then punishes them for making the wrong choice.

For all the good people of faith do, there are many more who in the name if god, be it extremists of people who follow the scriptures literally who do a lot of bad. People die in the name of god every day from all religions.

If the churches accepted that god did not exist yet continued their work then the interfaiths could stop squabbling and do so much more good.

The power of the church is frightening in today's day and age. We have learnt so much about this wonderful universe, this wonderful planet why add something that has no evidence into the mix? Why not concentrate on what we have in front of us?

Just because we don't have an answer to a question why say that it's down to a god. Thousands of years ago if you showed someone a fire they would have worshipped you and thought you a god, it's only through learning and understanding that we can now explain it. If we worked with a religious outlook then it would have just been accepted that it was divine and no further questions would have been asked.

We have one chance to make a mark on this world, we should not waste it in churches, we should step up and make a difference ourselves, not for an afterlife but just to help our fellow man.

Unfortunately in many countries if one is not a Prodestant or certain type of Muslim then that is a death sentance.

There are far more important things to think and worry about.

Google christopher hitchins and watch some of is work on the web.

Or Richard Dawkins and his documentaries challenging religion and the response he gets.

I hope this helps explain my own views on the subject.
Right I can answer a bit better now as not typing on a tiny phone screen with pudgy fingers :) Gun, atheists will not try and prove there is no god, they do not need to. There is some great reading about burden of proof and the concept behind it. What frustrates me, and please folks don't take frustration as a personal attack on anyone with faith is that so many people say it is a power for good. Well I would challenge that I find the concept of religion a system of control. Yes it encourages good things but at the detriment of others, if one is not a member of the club then that person is damned to eternal condemnation after they die. Now if a God was to exist then it is a pretty poor God who gives people the ability to make a choice then punishes them for making the wrong choice. For all the good people of faith do, there are many more who in the name if god, be it extremists of people who follow the scriptures literally who do a lot of bad. People die in the name of god every day from all religions. If the churches accepted that god did not exist yet continued their work then the interfaiths could stop squabbling and do so much more good. The power of the church is frightening in today's day and age. We have learnt so much about this wonderful universe, this wonderful planet why add something that has no evidence into the mix? Why not concentrate on what we have in front of us? Just because we don't have an answer to a question why say that it's down to a god. Thousands of years ago if you showed someone a fire they would have worshipped you and thought you a god, it's only through learning and understanding that we can now explain it. If we worked with a religious outlook then it would have just been accepted that it was divine and no further questions would have been asked. We have one chance to make a mark on this world, we should not waste it in churches, we should step up and make a difference ourselves, not for an afterlife but just to help our fellow man. Unfortunately in many countries if one is not a Prodestant or certain type of Muslim then that is a death sentance. There are far more important things to think and worry about. Google christopher hitchins and watch some of is work on the web. Or Richard Dawkins and his documentaries challenging religion and the response he gets. I hope this helps explain my own views on the subject. alongfortheride

8:08pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Mervyn James says...

The church of Wales is NOT bound to marry gays in their churches. The state accepting it has no right to change the definition of marriage, which is an RELIGIOUS definition, over which they have no jurisdiction.. Show over.
The church of Wales is NOT bound to marry gays in their churches. The state accepting it has no right to change the definition of marriage, which is an RELIGIOUS definition, over which they have no jurisdiction.. Show over. Mervyn James

8:15pm Mon 17 Dec 12

alongfortheride says...

I suggest you read up on the definition of marriage.

My understanding is that it has a varying number of definitions in different cultures and a form of it was around before Jesus Christ came along.

Seems to be the understanding of most educated people as well.

Just another group of people the church can alienate.

Yes Leviticus condemns it but in Samuel the outlook is quite different.

But hey who am I to complain, Christians have selected the parts of the bible they want to believe in over others for no reason other than bigotry for years.

Another uneducated and non researched statement from Melvyn. Also glad to see you decide when the debate is over.
I suggest you read up on the definition of marriage. My understanding is that it has a varying number of definitions in different cultures and a form of it was around before Jesus Christ came along. Seems to be the understanding of most educated people as well. Just another group of people the church can alienate. Yes Leviticus condemns it but in Samuel the outlook is quite different. But hey who am I to complain, Christians have selected the parts of the bible they want to believe in over others for no reason other than bigotry for years. Another uneducated and non researched statement from Melvyn. Also glad to see you decide when the debate is over. alongfortheride

10:51pm Mon 17 Dec 12

regescu72 says...

Thor was a pretty cool 'god'. Can I believe in him? If I have to choose one of the 39 'gods' I pick him! Or Zeus!
Thor was a pretty cool 'god'. Can I believe in him? If I have to choose one of the 39 'gods' I pick him! Or Zeus! regescu72

9:28am Tue 18 Dec 12

Mervyn James says...

alongfortheride wrote:
I suggest you read up on the definition of marriage.

My understanding is that it has a varying number of definitions in different cultures and a form of it was around before Jesus Christ came along.

Seems to be the understanding of most educated people as well.

Just another group of people the church can alienate.

Yes Leviticus condemns it but in Samuel the outlook is quite different.

But hey who am I to complain, Christians have selected the parts of the bible they want to believe in over others for no reason other than bigotry for years.

Another uneducated and non researched statement from Melvyn. Also glad to see you decide when the debate is over.
At least get the name right. I'm not interested in different cultures as we were talking about the UK which isn't even an multicultural society. You won't see many marrying via Sharia law in our Christian churches. Nor I venture to suggest many gays either !

It is up to Christians to decide themselves what they follow or not, not you nor I, as neither of us are obviously practising Christians via any church. I respect their right to choose, I do not respect your right to oppose that. I don't respect the Gay right to challenge either, if they prefer let them set up on their own a religion then they can do what they want, there is no need to attempt to destroy another religion to prove an point, that lets face it is not universally accepted by us but by a noisy,out-of-control lobby based in London.
[quote][p][bold]alongfortheride[/bold] wrote: I suggest you read up on the definition of marriage. My understanding is that it has a varying number of definitions in different cultures and a form of it was around before Jesus Christ came along. Seems to be the understanding of most educated people as well. Just another group of people the church can alienate. Yes Leviticus condemns it but in Samuel the outlook is quite different. But hey who am I to complain, Christians have selected the parts of the bible they want to believe in over others for no reason other than bigotry for years. Another uneducated and non researched statement from Melvyn. Also glad to see you decide when the debate is over.[/p][/quote]At least get the name right. I'm not interested in different cultures as we were talking about the UK which isn't even an multicultural society. You won't see many marrying via Sharia law in our Christian churches. Nor I venture to suggest many gays either ! It is up to Christians to decide themselves what they follow or not, not you nor I, as neither of us are obviously practising Christians via any church. I respect their right to choose, I do not respect your right to oppose that. I don't respect the Gay right to challenge either, if they prefer let them set up on their own a religion then they can do what they want, there is no need to attempt to destroy another religion to prove an point, that lets face it is not universally accepted by us but by a noisy,out-of-control lobby based in London. Mervyn James

10:02am Tue 18 Dec 12

alongfortheride says...

I hate to be the one to inform you but we do live in a multicultural society in the UK. I have a right to oppose it.

And removing a religion sorry would be a great thing.

Look at Ireland!
I hate to be the one to inform you but we do live in a multicultural society in the UK. I have a right to oppose it. And removing a religion sorry would be a great thing. Look at Ireland! alongfortheride

10:31am Tue 18 Dec 12

Mervyn James says...

facts say we don't. All we have is different cultures operating in isolation, that isn't multiculturalism but the exact opposite, it is enclaves. we have schools in Newport where hardly any white children attend, streets where few white people live, if you went to e.g. Leicestershire or Wolverhampton/London then whole areas are given over to non-white people and areas where little or no English is spoken at all. You can't have multiculturalism without mutual inclusions, a common language, and acceptances, it's a myth.

As you and i have no 'religion' what are we discussing ? others shouldn't have it ? we are back to people's rights again. one billion people are catholics, you tell them they can't have a belief....
facts say we don't. All we have is different cultures operating in isolation, that isn't multiculturalism but the exact opposite, it is enclaves. we have schools in Newport where hardly any white children attend, streets where few white people live, if you went to e.g. Leicestershire or Wolverhampton/London then whole areas are given over to non-white people and areas where little or no English is spoken at all. You can't have multiculturalism without mutual inclusions, a common language, and acceptances, it's a myth. As you and i have no 'religion' what are we discussing ? others shouldn't have it ? we are back to people's rights again. one billion people are catholics, you tell them they can't have a belief.... Mervyn James

11:02am Tue 18 Dec 12

alongfortheride says...

No I can tell them their beliefs are wrong and that the institution they support is morally bankrupt, corrupt and a detriment to society.

Your stats are anecdotal and read like the daily mail. We are multicultural and the majority live and work together in harmony. Stop believing the mail and red top papers and do some actual research
No I can tell them their beliefs are wrong and that the institution they support is morally bankrupt, corrupt and a detriment to society. Your stats are anecdotal and read like the daily mail. We are multicultural and the majority live and work together in harmony. Stop believing the mail and red top papers and do some actual research alongfortheride

1:10pm Tue 18 Dec 12

username2 says...

Merv, no one is telling them that they can't have belief. They are trying to tell them that their belief shouldn't impinge on the happiness of others.
Merv, no one is telling them that they can't have belief. They are trying to tell them that their belief shouldn't impinge on the happiness of others. username2

7:38pm Tue 18 Dec 12

lowandhardandinthecorner says...

I of course as you can see from earlier posts , am an atheist.

People who believe in a god would have to admit that the object of their worship should have been sacked years ago for incompetence.

What a shambles he makes of running the shop, with mass starvations,
epidemics and ethnic cleansings.

Worship him, what a laugh - he should be imprisoned if we ever get him to court.
I of course as you can see from earlier posts , am an atheist. People who believe in a god would have to admit that the object of their worship should have been sacked years ago for incompetence. What a shambles he makes of running the shop, with mass starvations, epidemics and ethnic cleansings. Worship him, what a laugh - he should be imprisoned if we ever get him to court. lowandhardandinthecorner

7:39pm Tue 18 Dec 12

lowandhardandinthecorner says...

I of course as you can see from earlier posts , am an atheist.

People who believe in a god would have to admit that the object of their worship should have been sacked years ago for incompetence.

What a shambles he makes of running the shop, with mass starvations,
epidemics and ethnic cleansings.

Worship him, what a laugh - he should be imprisoned if we ever get him to court.
I of course as you can see from earlier posts , am an atheist. People who believe in a god would have to admit that the object of their worship should have been sacked years ago for incompetence. What a shambles he makes of running the shop, with mass starvations, epidemics and ethnic cleansings. Worship him, what a laugh - he should be imprisoned if we ever get him to court. lowandhardandinthecorner

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