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40 Responses to john adams – the united states government is not in any way founded on the christian religion

  1. I agree. But isn’t Atheism a form of religion? An organized form of belief and worship such as science?


    • Don’t be stupid, you moron.


      • Actually, I don’t think he is that far off point. I believe Timmays statement is inaccurate, in that Atheism is not a form of worship, however, If you look up the definition of religion, you will see many definitions. Some include religious dogma, deities, god(s) and so on, and some don’t. However the common factor across all the definitions is that of a belief system. A common way or methodology of looking at and explaining life, the universe and everything, as it were.

        So the question then becomes, is Atheism a belief system? And I think the answer to that depends on whether you are a hard Atheist, who believes that there are no Gods, no higher powers, no intelligent design forces at work, etc., or a soft atheist, who simply believes there is not enough evidence to support the existence of the aforementioned entities. (There is a difference)

        A hard atheist does actually follow a belief system. They believe there is no god. They generally also believe in science, which, lo and behold, is also a belief system, a methodical system of interpreting and understanding Life, the Universe and Everything (yes, I just love saying that) that is based on methodical and empirical research, with the goal of trying to accumulate enough corroborating evidence to render the likelihood of any given hypothesis as close to 100% as possible.

        But while the the system is theoretically perfect, in practice it carries risks, and the flaws of those engaged in it. However for finding answers, it is the most accurate and reliable method we have today, and will generally yield the best answers to most questions. However it is also a belief system.

        As a side note, however, theistic religions, do not require any of the empirical testing, or experimentation required of science. That was never it’s purpose. So it is kind of a waste of time to try and reconcile theism with science. The two belief systems are really not sufficiently related in any meaningful way for there to be any useful point of convergence.


        • There is a difference between believing there is no god and knowing there is no god.

          Those who accept scientific principles know there is no god.


        • Oh yeah, nice, way to go on the formatting there PB..


        • Atheism is not a religion. It is a binary position on belief in god/s/ess/es. Being an a-fairy-ist is not a belief system either.

          Secular humanism is a belief system, but also not a religion, despite common claims to the contrary.

          Some forms of Buddhism are atheist, and are religions.

          Raelism is atheist and a religion, even if it is a completely ridiculous one.

          Science is a method, not a religion, nor a belief system.


          • I agree on Atheism not being a religion. At least by 50% of the definitions out there. But a “binary position on belief in gods” sounds like a fancy way of saying you either believe or do not believe there is a god, either way you believe one or the other.

            Everything you have said so far makes sense, except for what i’ll refer to non-religious belief systems. I think our definitions of a “belief system” do not jibe.

            When I talk about belief systems, I am talking just as much about what one believes, as much as how they go about verifying that belief, and how they use that system to interpret and understand the world around them. I don’t think it makes any sense to separate the two. Science seems, to me at least, to fall under that description.

            How do you define a “belief system”?


          • Well, you are either atheist or not, except for those who claim no knowledge whatsoever and try not to make a decision either way.

            Atheism/theism is a belief, but not a system that informs one’s directions and actions.


          • Yes, you are correct, I understand that part, however beliefs generally do not exist in a vacuum. They are usually supported by some paradigm, some system, or school of thought, something that provides a way of explaining the rationale of those beliefs.

            This is why I do not subscribe to the idea of belief as a purely binary position on something, as you have described it. There is always more to it than that. There is always a framework within which a person believes what they believe. And that framework is what I am referring to as a belief system.

            I love your post about Richard Dawkins. I really like that way of looking at things. He states what he believes to be true, based on the evidence provided, but also recognizes that we cannot know anything with 100% certainty, and is willing to accept any evidence that stands scrutiny.

            Now THAT is what I call rational, objective science. THAT is how science is supposed to operate. It is indeed the most objective, intellectually honest stance available, and I wish all scientists could be that clear and honest.

            Obviously we can’t say the same of religion, since religion is a belief system that is not based on objective science, empirical proof or corroborating evidence. But then again, religion was never meant to be scientific, so it would be an unreasonable expectation.

            But I also think that both ways of thinking fall within the framework of what I consider a belief system. IE, I believe “X” because of “Y” and “Z”. “Y” and “Z” do not necessarily have to make sense in all belief systems, only the one to which “X” belongs. And in that sense, both science and religion are belief systems. Diametrically opposed belief systems, yes, but belief systems just the same.


          • Well, atheism and theism as binary positions is a useful framework, but perhaps it would be better to describe it as a hockey puck. Atheism on one side, theism on the other, and a rim that you can set it on to avoid one or the other (agnostic neutral). You have to work to stay on that rim if you get knocked about, but some find it possible.

            For me, as a secular humanist, atheism is a supporting concept. If you follow something like a Calvinist predetermination, humanism is pointless, everything is due to god (please ignore the doctor who performed the appendectomy, let’s praise god!). But atheism alone, as I describe it, is only one of several supporting beliefs within the belief system.

            I know some deist secular humanists, several secular Jewish humanists who follow Jewish traditions, but are non theists, and quite a few christian humanists, so while I would consider secular humanism my operating belief system, I would not say that atheism is a necessary condition for it.

            Also, most so called “hard” atheists when asked, fall into an agnostic atheist stance, and take a position that the existence of a god is so improbable as to be functionally impossible, excepting completely disinterested deities. If compelling evidence were offered otherwise, they would change their opinion, but until that time, they (and I) consider the influence of religion to be a net negative on society and needlessly stagnant regarding progress of all kinds. Hence, it should be marginalized to the point that it is no more important than, say, knitting. Some people knit as a hobby, but it doesn’t direct our laws or impede science and education, or prevent people from gaining equal access to accepted liberties.


          • Well I see your point with everything else, except for most “hard atheists” falling into an “agnostic atheist” stance. That has not been by experience. Many of the ones I run into are the “I *Know* there is no God because of SCIENCE(tm)! And anyone who believes differently is mentally impaired!” type.

            I do agree with you that a great many disservices have been done to the human race in the name of religion. However it is also true that many great acts of good have also been performed for the same reason. Being unable to tally these in any objective fashion, since the bad would be vastly more public knowledge than the good, I do not think I can accurately ascertain the net result religion has actually had on humanity.

            But I would argue that the negative application of religion has been only one of many symptoms of human irrationality in general. I’ve observed that, regardless of theistic or religions position, humans are afraid of what they do not understand, greedy, selfish, irrational and oftentimes emotionally unstable. I think Religion is often used as an easily justifiable outlet for the negative expression of these traits.

            In fact I would go so far as to say that even if we had no religion, humans would still come up with any number of other trifling reasons to behave irrationally, emotionally and violently. So I honestly don’t think trivializing religion will have the desired effect.


          • Where are you definitions from?

            Give me definitions of “religion” and “beliefs system”.


    • Atheism is a religion the same way that being bald is a hair color.


      • Ok, I agree that Atheism is not intrinsically a religion. However this analogy makes no sense. It is unnecessarily narrow. It would be more appropriate to think of having no hair as a hair style not a hair color.

        This means that being an atheist does not preclude you from being a member of another belief system, though it may not necessarily be a religious one.


        • I differ. I think it’s a fine analogy.

          I can safely relegate religion to the dustbin with all the other irrelevant ideas that people waste time, money and energy on, and occasionally try to pass into law.

          It’s like being bald because, much like being bald my belief or disbelief reflects the non-existence of my opinion.

          It isn’t that I *don’t believe* in your religion, it’s that unless some evidence presents itself to the contrary it’s beneath my consideration unless someone is attempting litigate my behavior or freedoms because of these beliefs.


    • Depends. Is a rock a form of cake, or no cake at all?


  2. 😀 SHITSORTM!!!!1
    any time now.


  3. total BS, as to the ‘freedom of religion’….american money has ‘in god we trust’ on it..dont you have to swear on a bible in court?

    it may not be founded on christianity, but religion sure as hell plays a huge part in america, and the legal processes, and what not…


  4. “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    John Adams


  5. John Adams

    The second President (or tenth if you consider John Hanson the first) wrote to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813:

    The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were. . . . the general principles of Christianity. . . . I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature.
    However, Adams is often quoted as saying, “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!” However, here’s the complete quote in an April 19, 1817, letter to Thomas Jefferson:

    Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion at all!!!” But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell.
    As a Unitarian, Adams flatly denied the doctrine of eternal punishment believing all would eventually enter heaven. (Many Unitarians reject the Trinity and most accept all religions as valid expressions of faith.) But being a good Unitarian, he was certainly open to the teachings of Christ

    Jesus is benevolence personified, an example for all men. . . . The Christian religion, in its primitive purity and simplicity, I have entertained for more than sixty years. It is the religion of reason, equity, and love; it is the religion of the head and the heart (Letter to F.A. Van Der Kemp, December 27, 1816).
    During Adam’s administration the Senate ratified the 1797 Treaty of Peace and Friendship with Tripoli, which states in Article XI that “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.” Some view this as “a smoking gun” that America was not founded as a Christian nation, while others argue that it was simply a concession to the Muslim nation (when the treaty was renegotiated eight years later, Article XI was dropped).


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