7th Jun 2016
Census 2016: push to dethrone Catholicism as top religion

With the 2016 Census approaching, there is a push for Australians to mark ‘no religion’ in order to change the way Government policy is created and how projects are funded in Australia.

The push is being led by the Mark No Religion movement, which has received $12,000 in crowd-funding from around 140 backers who believe that if Christianity was no longer the ‘most popular religion’, there would be dramatic improvements in how the Government spends on welfare and education.

“Census data is used by governments to make important funding decisions like assigning chaplains to hospitals, schools, prisons and armed services, for planning educational facilities, for aged care and other social services,” said Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) president Kylie Sturgess. “Many of those services are run by religious-based organisations. Since the government relies on Census data to decide on funding and policy for these things, it’s important the Census data is correct. Accurate Census data matters.”

“We are a secular country, and we would like to see whether or not people are actually reflecting upon what we think is a secular country and saying yes, it truly is, and demonstrating it in Census data,” Ms Sturgess added.

In the 2011 Australian Census, 5.4 million Australians selected ‘Catholic’ as their religion, with 13.1 million saying they followed some form of Christianity and 4.7 million choosing humanism, atheism, agnosticism or rationalism under “other, please specify”. In the last Census, the ‘no religion’ option appeared under the ‘other, please specify’ box.

In response to an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) call for submissions about 2016 Census content, this year the ‘no religion’ option will appear at the top of the list for the first time since the ‘no religion’ option was introduced in 1991. ‘Catholic’ will now be second on the list of options.

Of all the responses in the 2011 Census, only ‘Catholic’ (25 per cent) was higher than ‘no religion’ (22 per cent), with ‘Anglican’ coming in third at 17 per cent.

The number of Australians who selected ‘no religion’ in the last census was almost double the previous ballot. In the past 100 years, that number has risen from one in 250 people to one in five.

Read more at www.news.com.au

Opinion: Are we losing our religion?

Regardless of Census data, many Australians already view our country as a secular nation, so it should come as no surprise that the number of people choosing ‘no religion’ is on the rise.

Let’s face it. Catholicism, in particular, has lost its sheen. We don’t even need to go into the details on that one. There has already been a lot of press coverage of the reprehensible actions of many representatives of the Catholic Church. Islam has also been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons and, although we don’t hear too much about it, Hinduism, which is Australia’s fastest growing religion, is another major player in the faith stakes. Apart from other forms of Christianity, the ‘big three’ are followed by Judaism, Buddhism and folk religions.

Having faith in a particular religion is an individual’s right, and no one should want to take that away from them. And whatever the results of the Census, it shouldn’t be seen as a competition. 

If the aim of the Census is to assist in the formulation of future Government policy, then the Mark No Religion movement has merit. After all, why should one religion receive preference over another when it comes to Government funding, especially if we observe the ‘church to be separate from the state’ mantra.

By marking ‘no religion’ on the Census, we may actually help to create policy that recognises an individual as ‘human’ and not as ‘Catholic’, ‘Muslim’ or ‘Jew’.

I am a firm believer in ‘each to his own’. If you follow a particular faith and you feel strongly enough about it, all power to you. No one has the right to denounce another’s religious belief.

And as far as running the country goes, we are both a secular nation and a multicultural one consisting of many races and religions, but it stands to reason that religion should not influence how policy is created and funding is distributed.

Marking the ‘no religion’ box doesn’t make you an atheist. In this instance, it just means that you don’t wish to be labelled and that you are concerned about the way our country should be governed.

Personally, I feel that all religions have positive messages that should benefit humankind, however, it seems that many people only see the good in their own faith. A movement such as this could put the spotlight back on humanity rather than religion. And I think that’s something for which we should all strive.

The Census will be conducted on August 9. How will you mark your religion? How do you feel about the Mark No Religion movement? Do you think that religion has too much influence over the way our country is run, or, perhaps, too little?

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    COMMENTS

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    loraines
    7th Jun 2016
    10:09am
    I reserve the right to hold my strong Christian faith and hate being branded "religious". I don't force people to believe what I do, and I respect those who choose not to, so long as they respect my choice to believe.
    leonYLC
    7th Jun 2016
    10:15am
    Nice one loraines!
    Sen.Cit.89
    7th Jun 2016
    11:24am
    Anytime I'm asked for my religion, I answer 'Christian' I will fill my census form with that answer. Australian Christians should stand up and be counted.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    1:06pm
    Agreed. By all means everyone should be able to follow their own faith, and be free from persecution for following their chosen faith (or lack thereof).
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    4:21pm
    Good post.
    Anyone who is old enough and seen the significant changes to morals and behaviour in the past 3 decades may be forgiven for thinking that 'religion' is dead.
    Just like in the times of Christ God would be shaking His head at what is done in His name, but there are always pockets of people who obey the word of God. Salt of the earth!
    maxchugg
    10th Jun 2016
    12:46pm
    In programs like Q&A, endless messages showing intolerance of Christianity appear, are tolerated and appear to be well received.

    Yet a couple of days ago a woman badly affected by current floods in Tasmania was effusive in her praise of the help she had received from the local churches.

    A major cause of the hostility towards Christianity seems to be that churches are not required to pay tax. This is a legitimate grievance which should be rectified. Income from church owned business enterprises should be taxable, with deductions allowed for expenditure on charities etc. in exactly the same way as individuals.

    There is an old saying that "You never miss the water till the well runs dry" which might come back to haunt the general population if the churches are eventually lost through apathy and persecution.
    Bonny
    7th Jun 2016
    10:54am
    I always fill out the census form from the prospective of what I want my society to look like.

    So on the religion question I would ask myself do I want Christian churches or other types of churches in my area? I prefer Christian to others so I put my religion down as a Christian faith.

    I think about each question the same way.

    My Census is therefore nothing about me but about what I want to see in area. After all this is what this data is to be used for.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    4:22pm
    Having read many of your posts Bronny I would be out of here if you got your wish. God help us!
    Bonny
    7th Jun 2016
    4:59pm
    Good bye Mick.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    5:19pm
    He has been to date.
    Scrivener
    7th Jun 2016
    11:11am
    Would that create a void? What would fill the void? We should ask God, she'd know.
    Saalbach
    7th Jun 2016
    11:18am
    Why haven't we been asking for the last 2000 years? Seems we have really been in need of the answer for that long at least.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    4:24pm
    So God now has to conform with the Women's Liberation Movement? Better to let that one go Scrivener. Below you.
    Janran
    13th Jun 2016
    6:00pm
    No wonder you feel so smug here Mick. You even think you have God on your (male) side! You know, this is how wars start.

    All I can say is this - my God's better than your God (because she is gender-inclusive). Don't you know? God started the Women's Liberation Movement.

    And Bonny, Jesus was the Master of inclusiveness - children, women, peasants, prostitutes and even money-lenders. If you must preach, then practice what you preach.

    Organized religions have hijacked the true meaning of what it means to be Christian.
    The Bronze Anzac
    7th Jun 2016
    11:12am
    My only concern is if Islam is included as a religion, which it is not.
    Saalbach
    7th Jun 2016
    11:22am
    Dictionary.com defines religion as "a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects" By that definition, Islam is as much a religion as Roman Catholicism, etc. What's your problem? Seems to me the definition should include something about "tolerance of others" in it, but there again, this is missing from most main stream "religions" as we know and practice them.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    12:42pm
    Wrong - Islam is a religion.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    4:27pm
    So the dictionary is now the judge Saalbach? You have a point but perhaps you need to add that those who choose to alter the fundamental beliefs or interpret them in an evil way are not a part of that religion.
    I an sort of in agreement with The Bronze Anzac here. Islam is a political system and religions exist within a political system from what I understand.
    marls
    7th Jun 2016
    4:46pm
    islam is a idealogy
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    5:12pm
    Islam is definitely a religion. It follows one god (ie. monotheistic - like Christianity and Judaism) and (like Christianity and Judaism) it is Abrahamic. Whereas Judaism follows the teachings of the Torah (loosely, the first five books of the Old Testament), Christianity follows the writings in the New Testament and Islam follows the writings of the Q'uran.
    The Bronze Anzac
    7th Jun 2016
    7:47pm
    Islam is NOT a religion. It is a political ideology, or cult, not unlike Nazism & Communism in many ways.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    10:44am
    I suggest you do some real research on the matter. Your views of Islam seem to be swayed by what you see from the political extremists who use Islam as a means of getting people in.

    If you believe that Islam is a political ideology, then you MUST agree that Christianity and Judaism are also, because they have almost identical models for their religion, and indeed their primary texts have the same basic tenets, principles and moral codes.
    Crazy Horse
    9th Jun 2016
    11:02am
    News Flash: Christians, Jews and Muslims pray to the same God, recognise many of the same prophets and share some scriptures.

    All three religions are divided into various sects or denominations. All three have extremists sects that are in no way representative of the mainstream.

    All three religions have the same major prophets:

    Adam
    Idris (Enoch)
    Nuh (Noah)
    Hud (Heber)
    Salih (Methusaleh)
    Lut (Lot)
    Ibrahim (Abraham)
    Ismail (Ishmael)
    Ishaq (Isaac)
    Yaqub (Jacob)
    Yusuf (Joseph)
    Shu’aib (Jethro)
    Ayyub (Job)
    Dhulkifl (Ezekiel)
    Musa (Moses)
    Harun (Aaron)
    Dawud (David)
    Sulayman (Solomon)
    Ilias (Elias)
    Alyasa (Elisha)
    Yunus (Jonah)
    Zakariya (Zachariah)
    Yahya (John the Baptist)

    The only significant difference is the last two prophets:

    Jews do not accept Jesus was anything special.

    Christians believe he was the Son of God and as such the definitive prophet.

    Islam accepts Jesus (Isa) as one of the most important prophets but not the last.

    Muslims believe there was one more significant prophet and as the last one the defining one. That of course was Muhammad who as the most recent is therefore the most significant of the 25 major prophets.

    One God (the same God Christians and Jews worship).

    As you can see from the above, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are in reality just different branches of the same religion.

    Of course the majority of the world's population, including many Australians, does not follow any of these three religions.
    Paulodapotter
    9th Jun 2016
    1:28pm
    Good on you, Crazy Horse. It's about time people got the right information. You are absolutely correct! And it's all bunkum!
    Bigfoot
    7th Jun 2016
    11:21am
    I will certainly be stating my religion on the census paper as I am passionately Christian. Whatever we might like to think, this country of Australia was founded on Christian principles, our laws are based on the Ten Commandments and our moral Compass is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Society is all too quick to judge Christianity by a minority of people claiming to be Christian but in fact not adhering to the true Christian beliefs that Jesus taught here on earth. Instead of judging any Religion by any of its followers especially those who are only nominal (not true believers) we need to look to the founders of a Religion to see what they have intended and taught. Society is all too quick to judge Christianity, Islam, Catholicism, etc by the few radicals that have their own interests at heart rather than the founder's teachings and principles. If you are a committed follower of a Religion that is based on Love, Peace, Care and concern for your neighbour and well being of our Society then you should be proud to align yourself with it. When I look at the way our Society has degraded with the acceptance of violence, abuse, hate, self interest, love of money, love of possessions, greed and bribery, I believe there is a strong case for this Country of Australia to return to its Christian roots that should therefore have a greater influence on the way our Country is run. So I say it again look to the Founder of any Religion to see what their beliefs are before judging the many committed followers who are not highlighted in our biased media. Even Gandhi is known to have said I don't have much time for Christians but I cannot fault the life and teachings of Jesus Christ!
    Sen.Cit.89
    7th Jun 2016
    11:32am
    Hi Bigfoot,
    Well wrote, I agree with all your statements.
    HS
    7th Jun 2016
    12:21pm
    Very nicely stated Bigfoot. I always thought that a Census was an accumulation of data to analyse the demographics of the Australian population for statistical purpose and not for political policies decision making, although I can see that it could be used for that purpose. So, if the Census produces a report that the majority of religious people in Australia are Muslim, does that mean that the government will formulate policies in favour of Muslims?

    How will I mark my religion?
    -I will mark it in the box with a blue or black pen-
    How do I feel about the Mark No Religion movement?
    - No religion means that one is an Atheist, does it not? I never thought that 'no religion' is a 'movement'.-
    Do I think that religion has too much influence over the way our country is run, or, perhaps, too little?
    -One religion in particular loves being in "your face". But that's not surprising because that religion's loyalty is to its origin and not to Australia and its origin is both political and religious aspiration to dominate the world.-
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    1:19pm
    You do know that the ten commandments are from the Old Testament (the second book of the Jewish Torah) and not from the Christian New Testament? You do know that there were two sets of commandments (Exodus 20 and Exodus 34) which differ? You do know that the Ten Commandments followed by Hebrew, Protestant and Christian all differ?

    Our constitution expressly prohibits making laws based on religion, and indeed the constitution makes no mention of any religion. Our laws are not based on the moral compass of the teachings of Jesus Christ - they are based on secular moral guidelines (and these days are based on society's current views of what is moral).

    Christianity does not have exclusivity on a moral compass, and indeed the primary teachings of Christianity are based on Judaism (and have been used as the basis for a number of other religions, including Islam).

    Of course everyone should be free to follow whatever faith that they wish, free from fear of persecution. And if people choose to have a moral compass absent of religion, then they too should be free to state that.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    4:28pm
    Ditto.
    Hairy
    7th Jun 2016
    11:41am
    18 million people of 22 million people in Australia are registered as some form of Christianity.WHY?all the pandering and bowing to Muslims ,sharia ,halal ,and the ideoledgy,not a religion, called Islam.its nothing more than a money making cult being allowed to flourish in our fair land.GOverment collecting MONEY from the UN MONEY from Halal and flooding this country with violence and unrest.dividing the citizens with discriminating comments against pensions .now our kids think we are freeloaders.change the goal post on pensions super to suit themselves.never has there been a Time to get rid of all these Anoying self serving theiving excuses for humans who can't see any further than their fat pensions and expense accounts.bloody disgrace to humanity
    Rod63
    7th Jun 2016
    11:54am
    Boy, you sure got out of the wrong side of bed this morning!
    HS
    7th Jun 2016
    12:27pm
    Not only that, he makes Scientology look insignificant in comparison.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    1:29pm
    That's not correct at all. At the 2011 census, 4.9 million people (23%) stated they had no religion. A further 10% did not answer the question. 61% stated they are christian (that includes all flavours - Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, etc). The remainder (around 6%) stated a religious affiliation that was not christian.

    Not that these are not registered with a religion - these numbers are showing affiliation to a religion. That means they could either be devout (attend church every week), religious (believe in the teachings of that religion), or historically/culturally aligned (their parents/family were religious, but they may not be religious any more).

    Australia has managed to maintain its moral compass (better than a lot of other countries) even with a move away from organised religion. We are a strong country, made stronger by the diversity of our beliefs.
    marls
    7th Jun 2016
    4:45pm
    hairy
    so so true
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    5:14pm
    I'm guessing Hairy and marls believe we should revert to Canon law to get rid of the heathens.
    miss aisle
    7th Jun 2016
    5:38pm
    hairy - I agree wholeheartedly with your words.
    Wish the govt. had the courage to make a stand.
    Jannie
    9th Jun 2016
    6:58pm
    If you shop in areas in Melbourne where there are large numbers of muslims the only meat/chicken you can buy is halal including if you dare go to a mcdonalds for a hamburger is also halal, no choice for us non believers, now I ask you is this not discrimination against our beliefs. Sick and tired of this on going battle we are at war whether you believe it or not. Totally pissed off with what is happening in oz at present there is no respect for the law. Our pollies are gutless and scared I do not include Pauline she is on our side.
    Richied
    10th Jun 2016
    3:56pm
    Actually no.

    It isn't discrimination for someone to sell selected products (in this case, the shopkeepers choose to only sell halal products).

    What is discriminatory is if they won't sell what they have to you.
    Cautious
    7th Jun 2016
    11:44am
    Who writes this rubbish?
    What a false premise.
    Who says that there would be improvements in government policy and funding for welfare and education if you mark no religion.
    Open your eyes people.
    Most of the better welfare and education services are provided by religious organisations.
    If you want these services to continue then mark your religion on the senses form.
    Peanuts
    7th Jun 2016
    12:37pm
    Agree! I may not be a devout Christian, but I certainly espouse the values of Christianity!
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    1:57pm
    One example is whether it is better to put money to the school chaplaincy program (that requires the chaplains to be registered with a religion) or to put that money into a student support program (that has qualified welfare workers).
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    2:39pm
    Oh, forgot to add, public schools provide the best education services - across the board (in NSW in 2015, the only non-public school in the top ten high schools was number 10 - Sydney Grammar - and that's a secular school).
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    4:29pm
    Religions get tax free status. Perhaps this is at the heart of leon's deliberations.
    Vic
    7th Jun 2016
    4:49pm
    Christian! Most definitely !!
    Kaz
    7th Jun 2016
    11:46am
    I act in a 'Christian' way towards others (more so than I see many churchgoers do), but am not religious. Christened, but told to go to church and Sunday school then make up my own mind, I chose education and do not believe in creation. I too would like others not to question one's beliefs, including mine but it seems there are many who feel the need to 'save' me!
    Rod63
    7th Jun 2016
    11:55am
    I agree with all that, Kaz.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    1:33pm
    Agreed. A lot of people see this move as an attack on christianity, or that people who aren't christian don't have morals (or at least have weaker morals).

    Our morality seems to be intact, even given that more than 1/3 of people are not christian.

    And a lot of christian people are not religious, but align themselves to the church of their parents.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    4:36pm
    There are good folk around Kaz. Congratulations on being one of these.
    Being 'Christian' is about having a relationship with God, not about going to church. You'd have a lot of trouble telling most church goers that one....which is why many are simply not christians. Just playing out a part for social acceptance.
    I have 3 snapshots in my life when I felt the presence of God. These were unbelievable events which I normally keep close to my chest, but they did change my life.
    Cautious
    7th Jun 2016
    11:51am
    Census form
    SGW
    7th Jun 2016
    11:59am
    we shouldn't have to fill in a census paper. i answer all questions with a totally wrong answer. IE how far do you travel to work 2480kms what mode of transport, Push bike
    Rod63
    7th Jun 2016
    12:17pm
    Very irresponsible.
    HS
    7th Jun 2016
    12:31pm
    So how will you feel SGW when and if they catch you out. Plenty in the piggy bank to cover the penalty?
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    1:59pm
    That basically excludes you from any discussion then.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    4:38pm
    Clearly a rebel who still believes in privacy and the right to not disclose information. You are my hero SGW.
    particolor
    7th Jun 2016
    5:30pm
    SWG Probably Short Changed Themselves :-) No Lie there HS ! Add the each way each day on the pushy and all's Sweet :-) :-)
    And now with that 6% of other Religion, They're the ones that want You out of the way soon or later ! :-(
    the_Albert
    7th Jun 2016
    12:12pm
    "No one has the right to denounce another’s religious belief." I disagree. Religious belief requires resort to faith, which means belief in a set of doctrines or propositions concerning the natural world and historical events without rational grounds. How can this be justified? Faith can lead to extreme views about all sorts of things and, if associated with a God figure, fanaticism in their promulgation, which in turn can lead to anti-social behaviour. I condemn all religions and thus all subsidies and tax breaks for religious institutions. Some religions seem to be more benign than others and can be tolerated more readily, but none can be quarantined from denunciation merely because they assume the mantle of "religion".
    KSS
    7th Jun 2016
    12:22pm
    Not everyone would agree with either your thesis or proposition the_Albert, but you are, of course, granted the right to express both.
    HS
    7th Jun 2016
    12:37pm
    'Faith can lead to extreme views" the_Albert...and action...remember the Spanish Inquisition?...How fortunate for you that there are no human BBQs ordered by the self righteous today!
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    2:05pm
    There is a difference between a religious belief, and the actions one takes in asserting that belief on others.

    By all means, denounce the actions if they do not align with your morals, but persecuting or acting against someone's beliefs is not the way our society operates.
    LUVCO2
    7th Jun 2016
    2:44pm
    “The more I study science, the more I believe in God.” Albert Einstein
    (The Wall Street Journal, Dec 24, 1997, article by Jim Holt, “Science Resurrects God.”)

    “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts; the rest are details.” Albert Einstein
    (From E. Salaman, “A Talk With Einstein,” The Listener 54 (1955), pp. 370-371, quoted in Jammer, p. 123).

    “The question of whether there exists a Creator and Ruler of the Universe has been answered in the affirmative by some of the highest intellects that have ever existed.” Charles Darwin, the founder of evolutionary biology, as cited in his book Descent of Man.

    “This sense of wonder leads most scientists to a Superior Being – der Alte, the Old One, as Einstein affectionately called the Deity – a Superior Intelligence, the Lord of all Creation and Natural Law.” Abdus Salam, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in electroweak theory. He is here quoted in his article entitled Science and Religion

    “A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.” Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., who received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the first known binary pulsar, and for his work which supported the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe.

    “God [is] the author of the universe, and the free establisher of the laws of motion.” Physicist and chemist Robert Boyle, who is considered to be the founder of modern chemistry.

    “It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion.”
    “People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.” Physicist Paul Davies, the winner of the 2001 Kelvin Medal issued by the Institute of Physics and the winner of the 2002 Faraday Prize issued by the Royal Society (amongst other awards), as cited in his book God and the New Physics (first quote), and from his acceptance address of the 1995 Templeton Prize (second quote).

    “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover…. That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.” Astronomer, physicist and founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies Robert Jastrow. Please see Jastrow’s book God and the Astronomers for further reading.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    2:57pm
    Interesting quotes - which are only people's opinions.

    However they are still beliefs, not facts.

    A person's belief that there is no supreme being is just as relevant.

    The question in the census is about religion (or no religion, and how people align. It does not seek to push people to (or away) from religion.
    Janran
    7th Jun 2016
    3:56pm
    Historical events such as The Inquisition not only affected (murdered) lots of people who agreed and disagreed with the Catholic Church of those times. It also stopped people from even THINKING that there might be a different way to think.

    It's no wonder scientists often proclaimed they were religious because otherwise, they might have been accused of supplanting science with God. And when religion IS the State, people were rightly very cautious (and frightened) to express alternative views.

    Personally, I don't see why religion/science are mutually exclusive. Both require faith in trusting information from the past. I think it was Einstein who said he stood on the shoulders of giants to come up with his theory of Relativity.

    Both religion and science are right and wrong ALL THE TIME. Why? Because we don't ever know everything.
    Janran
    7th Jun 2016
    4:07pm
    I forgot ask, why do our Christian societies send innocent men to war, when the Commandment says "Thou shalt not kill"?

    Did the Catholic Church simply forget about this Commandment during the killing spree of The Inquisition?

    This is why organized religion sucks, because the people who run them think they are above others. Buddhism is probably the only exception to this, as Buddhists don't believe in the authority of a god.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    4:38pm
    Alas, Janran, so many of the world's problems have been made in the name of religion, and people's crazy interpretations of their chosen texts (just look at the mess in the Middle East at present).

    Almost no religious teaching encourages war, yet all western and middle eastern religions have catalysts for wars.

    Eastern religions (which generally don't believe in a single supreme being - if anything they believe in 'gods' being the spirit of those who came before) have a less violent history.

    There's a whole different discussion :-)
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    4:45pm
    Respectfully Albert society was cohesive under christianity for hundreds of years. That has all disappeared in the past 30 years and left an often meaningless vacuum.
    The human race has been here before and the Roman Empire broke apart with the decay in its society. We are following the same lead under the mantra of 'if it feels good do it'.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    5:21pm
    Mick: Which period of hundreds of years was society cohesive? It certainly wasn't the 20th century (two world wars, started between 'christian' countries; a number of 'east vs west' wars; the Middle East (arguably 'caused' by the slicing up of that area after WW1 by 'christian' countries). It wasn't the preceding 300-400 years, when the different 'christian' countries of Portugal, Spain, England and the regions of Italy and Greece warred almost continuously. It wasn't during the Inquisition when the 'christian' societies simply killed anyone who didn't follow the party line.
    particolor
    7th Jun 2016
    5:39pm
    :-) :-) You made that sound like our Federal Parliament !! :-) :-)
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    8:51pm
    I take your point Richied. Christianity has had its dark periods too. That is why christianity and a relationship with God are not necessarily the same thing. Maybe Islam is in the same boat.
    Theo1943
    7th Jun 2016
    9:41pm
    Mick, didn't the Roman Empire break up after they gave up their multiple Gods and became Christian.?
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    10:22pm
    I thought it was because they were decaying from the inside.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    11:56am
    Here's one reference (I like the over-reliance on slave labour - is that where we are heading now? :-) )

    http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/8-reasons-why-rome-fell
    KSS
    7th Jun 2016
    12:18pm
    It is a fundamental right for people to follow whichever religion they choose. And that right should NOT be besmirched by a SMALL mouthy mob attempting to redefine Australian society in their terms. Those who undermine it by claiming to be a follower of Jedi Knights or the Mickey Mouse Club should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

    Australia has a separated church and state and that is how it should be.
    Bonny
    7th Jun 2016
    12:30pm
    It just shows a lack of knowledge and respect in why we have a census. These people would be the first to complain if they didn't like something as well.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    4:40pm
    Isn't the first part of your post contradictory? You start by saying that people should be able to follow any religion they choose, but you wish to treat with contempt those who follow what you deem as trivial or meaningless?

    Oh, and I agree with your last statement.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    4:47pm
    Free choice exists within the christian faith and always has despite religious leaders trying to say otherwise at times.
    Cautious
    7th Jun 2016
    12:29pm
    The Albert it could be said you are the one who believes in things that are irrational.
    If you found a Swiss watch on the beach would you say "wow look what happened by accident"?
    The universe is far more in sync and complex than a Swiss watch yet you think it happened by accident.
    the_Albert
    7th Jun 2016
    1:10pm
    Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker disposes of that argument. But even so, that some divine intelligence created the world doesn't mean that it still exists or that we can ever know anything about it or that we ought to worship it or that institutions which issue edicts in its name deserve our unwavering respect. The childhood question "If God created the world, who made God?" must be a puzzle to creationists, but of course there's no need for the question; if God is eternal and thus beyond being "made" then so can the physical world and God is an unnecessary hypothesis. But of course I'm endeavouring to argue the matter rationally, whereas religionists will almost invariably rely on faith which is immune to rationality.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    4:54pm
    The bible says "in the beginning there was God....".
    You are trying to use conventional logic to run the chicken and egg riddle Albert. That assumes that the logic of mankind is correct and that is one very long bow to draw I might think.
    I might agree with you were it not for 3 events in my early life when I knew God was present. I can imagine the comments that revelation may draw but it was what it was.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    5:42pm
    The bible is a construct by man. And men stated that in the beginning there was God.

    In Aboriginal religion (or mythology), the rainbow serpent was the creator (or in some regions, participated in the creation). Again, that is a construct of man.

    Man's logic is the only tool we currently have for objectively testing the world around us, and it remains to be seen (definitely not in my lifetime) whether there is a better measure.

    Each may view events in their life in different ways and as a result of different things, and it is wrong for anyone to say that God, karma, fate, coincidence or any other unknown force was or wasn't the cause.

    I alas have not had such experience to provide me with the proof I would want of the existence (or otherwise) of any of these forces.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    8:54pm
    It saddens me that you do not have a relationship with God Richied. It happens if/when it happens.
    Theo1943
    7th Jun 2016
    9:45pm
    There are no Gods Mick.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    10:20pm
    There is A GOD.
    You are most welcome to your beliefs as this is your right. Have a happy life.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    10:55am
    Theo1943: I don't agree with you (although I am atheist).

    There is no 'scientific' objective proof that God exists, however that doesn't mean that there is no God. There is no 'scientific' objective proof that God (or Gods) does not exist, however that doesn't mean that there is a God.

    Additionally, the definition of God differs from religion to religion, and indeed from person to person within those religion, so a blanket statement that there are no Gods can only be true if each of those definitions of God(s) has been quantified and tested and proven false.

    I've been asked why I am atheist and not agnostic (given I hold the above position about proof or otherwise). Like religions, there are different 'churches' of atheism. I happen to reside in the church of implicit atheism - the lack of belief in a God. Explicit atheism is lack of belief in, and outright rejection of a God. I cannot bring myself to outright rejection because I have a scientific mind and using the scientific method one cannot reject an hypothesis unless it can be tested and proven false (and of course, I've not been able to find any proof that there is no God).
    the_Albert
    8th Jun 2016
    12:31pm
    I just came across this in today's New Yorker feed:

    "As wise thinkers, including Laplace, Hume, Sagan, and Hitchens, have often said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It’s hard to imagine a more extraordinary claim than that some hidden intelligence created a universe of more than a hundred billion galaxies, each containing more than a hundred billion stars, and then waited more than 13.7 billion years until a planet in a remote corner of a single galaxy evolved an atmosphere sufficiently oxygenated to support life, only to then reveal his existence to an assortment of violent tribal groups before disappearing again."

    That's by Laurence M Krauss, an American physicist who's appeared on QandA a couple of times.

    Any religionist here like to comment?
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    3:30pm
    This quotation ignores the possibility that there could be many billions of other planets supporting life, where said hidden intelligence revealed themselves to whatever groups were there at the time. It is a bit arrogant to assert (or believe) that this one planet is the only one a supreme being would visit (if such supreme being existed).

    It also tries to negate standard scientific process by saying extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. There is nothing in man's logical thinking that demands evidence for an hypothesis. In fact, scientific process demands that the hypothesis be clearly articulated and developed until it is at a level that can be tested objectively.

    We may simply be progressing our knowledge and understanding of the 'God hypothesis' and not yet ready to objectively test it.

    A more accurate statement would have been "extraordinary theories [using the scientific definition] require extraordinary evidence." It's interesting Dr Krauss made such an erroneous remark - he's usually fairly specific with his words.
    Theo1943
    8th Jun 2016
    11:19pm
    Richied, I don't belong to any "church"of atheism. I hold there are no gods, in the absence of evidence. Sure, you can hold the scientific view that there is a possibility of gods, but then you have to give equal weight to the Tooth Fairy and Santa and I'm not prepared to do that. Are you?
    LUVCO2
    9th Jun 2016
    1:07pm
    Hey albert,
    the book "The Blind Watchmaker" is about evolution NOT ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE!

    It does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to explain the universe's origin.

    You've thrown red herring here.

    Do you really think that evolutionary theory explains the origin of the universe!!!!
    Richied
    10th Jun 2016
    3:27pm
    Evolution and origin of the universe are related, but not necessarily (but could be) the same.

    Evolution is primarily about biology: the universe is primarily about physics.

    (and I hope you meant 'theory'in its scientific meaning :-)
    Richied
    10th Jun 2016
    3:33pm
    Understood Theo. Like most things, people try to categorise atheism. Unlike religions though, there aren't any formal definitions, so 'implicit' (I don't believe there is a god) and 'explicit' (there are no gods) is one way of slicing it. 'Passive' (I don't care) vs 'active' (why do people believe in gods) is another way. Richard Hawkins is an explicit and active atheist.

    There's no proof there isn't a tooth fairy, or santa, or spaghetti monster - all are stuff of legends and they may just exist (or did exist previously) - well maybe not spaghetti monster: he seems to be well and truly made up :-)
    Theo1943
    10th Jun 2016
    7:59pm
    Richied, I'm pretty certain that you and I and Mick all believe that the Spaghetti Monster, the tooth fairy and Santa don't really exist regardless of proof or disproof. One of us believes a deity commonly known as God exists because they had an epiphany. It's not me or you.
    Marty
    7th Jun 2016
    12:35pm
    Some of your comments in this article are rather simplistic.
    No religion is granted preference for Gov't grants. Each group or person applies and receives a grant based on past performance, merit, etc, nothing to do with what they believe.
    Also, there are extremists in every religion, on both ends of the bell curve - same in society generally. Nothing new there, so don't judge religions by the extremists. As with any group, the majority in the middle are reasonable and do have reasonable beliefs that do benefit society.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    2:11pm
    Not altogether correct.

    Two examples.

    1. A few years ago the government granted $20million to the Catholic church for the spires on St Mary's Cathedral, for no other purpose than to complete the church. I am not aware of a similar grant to a non-religious body to fund a decorative (ie. non-functional) improvement to a building.

    2. School chaplaincy program asserts that qualified welfare workers who are not registered with a church cannot be part of the program (even though the qualification bar for those welfare workers is way higher than that required for religious chaplains).

    In both cases, organised religions are given preference over non-religious services.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    4:56pm
    Do you not know Richied that catholics stick together like glue and catholics in positions of power look after their own. Not news.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    5:43pm
    Yep - not news. Which is why I guess I was a little surprised at Marty's assertion that no religion is granted preferences. :-)
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    8:55pm
    I have worked in a catholic system as a non catholic. Believe me when I say that they stick together. And when they need a scapegoat it is mostly not one of their own.
    SWOZ
    7th Jun 2016
    12:37pm
    If more Christians decide to declare themselves as Non-religious it will have the effect that government resources will increasingly go to assist other, fast growing religious groups such as Buthists, Hindus ad Muslims. Is that the outcome this movement is trying to achieve? Our country's institutions are based on western, Christian principles and should remain that way. To maintain it, all Christians, practicing or not, should declare their background and believes,
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    1:37pm
    Not correct. If people choose to state that they are non-religious, then governments would redirect funds from religious purposes to non-religious purposes. One area that comes to mind is chaplaincy program in schools (that requires chaplains to be aligned to a religion - any religion) vs non-religious support programs.

    By all means, everyone who is religious should state their religion on the census form (note that the no religion movement seems to encourage ALL people - not just those from christian backgrounds - to think about what they tick on the census form).
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    4:57pm
    No religions should gain benefits, especially tax exemptions.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    12:42pm
    If you are an active Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or other, by all means put that on the census.

    But if you haven't been to church/mosque (except perhaps for a wedding) or prayed for many years, perhaps you should consider putting 'no religion'.

    This doesn't mean you don't abide by certain principles (note that 'love thy neighbour' etc are not exclusively christian principles) - it just means you are not an actively religious person.

    Our society is built on a secular foundation - in fact the constitution expressly prohibits making laws based on religion. The moral principles applied in developing the constitution are the same for almost all secular countries, regardless the religious background of their founding fathers.
    Jan
    7th Jun 2016
    3:47pm
    Thanks Richied, one of the few rational voices on here. I will be marking "no religion" on the census form, and so will all my family. The younger generation tend not to be religious, and don't believe in god or gods, so what we say may be irrelevant to the future. Science and humanity is the future, not religion, which belongs in a past where the rising of the sun could not be explained.
    Paulodapotter
    7th Jun 2016
    12:47pm
    Without turning our backs on the religious, I think it would do us a lot of good to turn our backs on organised religion. Those that peddle their particular brand on others should most definitely be ignored, especially those who indoctrinate the young with bizarre ideas. To me it's simply mental child abuse.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    1:40pm
    The no religion movement doesn't seem to be encouraging people to turn their backs on religion. Reading their latest media release, they seem to be saying that people should tick the box that best represents their beliefs, and not their historical/cultural alignment (eg. if you no longer believe in a Allah but your parents were Muslim, think about whether ticking Islam aligns with your beliefs).
    particolor
    8th Jun 2016
    5:16pm
    Or Benefits ! :-)
    LUVCO2
    7th Jun 2016
    1:02pm
    I lean towards being agnostic but will put "Christian" on the census form since this organised religion comes closest to my viewpoint..
    It's a huge stretch of the imagination to believe that our universe just "happened" from entropy and disorder without some higher purpose.

    And science backs this view!

    Einstein seems to have a similar view ...
    “The scientists’ religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals AN INTELLIGENCE of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.” Albert Einstein

    ALSO from New Scientist:
    Existence: Why is the universe just right for us?
    Take a step back from the unlikeliness of your own personal existence and things get even more mind-boggling. Why does the universe exist at all?
    Why is it fine-tuned to human life?

    Many of the essential parameters of nature – the strengths of fundamental forces and the masses of fundamental particles – seem fixed at values that are “just right” for life to emerge.
    A whisker either way and we would not be here.
    It is as if the universe was made for us.
    Such instances of the fine-tuning of the laws of physics seem to abound.

    IT HAS been called the Goldilocks paradox.
    If the strong nuclear force which glues atomic nuclei together were only a few per cent stronger than it is, stars like the sun would exhaust their hydrogen fuel in less than a second.
    Our sun would have exploded long ago and there would be no life on Earth.
    If the weak nuclear force were a few per cent weaker, the heavy elements that make up most of our world wouldn’t be here, and neither would you.

    If gravity were a little weaker than it is, it would never have been able to crush the core of the sun sufficiently to ignite the nuclear reactions that create sunlight; a little stronger and, again, the sun would have burned all of its fuel billions of years ago.
    Once again, we could never have arisen.

    Such instances of the fine-tuning of the laws of physics seem to abound.

    Many of the essential parameters of nature – the strengths of fundamental forces and the masses of fundamental particles – seem fixed at values that are “just right” for life to emerge. A whisker either way and we would not be here. It is as if the universe was made for us.

    What are we to make of this?
    One possibility is that the universe was fine-tuned by a supreme being – God.
    Although many people like this explanation, scientists see no evidence that a supernatural entity is orchestrating the cosmos.
    New Scientist 20 July 2011
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128221-500-existence-why-is-the-universe-just-right-for-us/

    ALSO distinguished scientist Freeman Dyson:
    “The more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming.”
    Scientist Freeman Dyson, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle 1986 by John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, p. 318

    One final word:
    “When men have ceased to believe in Christianity, it is not that they will believe in nothing.
    They will believe in anything.” G.K. Chesterton
    the_Albert
    7th Jun 2016
    1:45pm
    See my response to Cautious above.

    Whatever resulted from the Big Bang - whatever the various forces were and how they achieved some sort of balance - would be the world we know, and evolution explains how humanity and every living form emerged. No need for a higher purpose. If science says otherwise, your quotes don't demonstrate it. Einstein did not have religious belief and the statement you cite is not evidence of belief in a higher being. There's no reason to suppose that the laws of the universe were fine-tuned to suit us - they exist, they're universal and eternal, and we evolved in accordance with them. The laws are just right for us, as you say. If they weren't, perhaps some other form of life would have emerged and its philosophers might be proclaiming that God made the world for them.

    I don't think Chesterton has anything useful to say on this question. I don't believe in Christianity; I don't therefore believe in "anything", but, with a healthy degree of scepticism, I will provisionally accept whatever science and rational argument convincingly proposes. This approach to the human dilemma seems to me far more sensible than faith in some unknowable creature and in some self-proclaimed institution's moral extrapolations from its supposed role.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    1:48pm
    That raises an interesting point.

    The question in the census is about what Religion a person aligns with. But it doesn't seem to differentiate between the spiritual and moral components.

    If one believes in the (say) christian god, that's spiritual and therefore would be more open to providing funding to the christian religions to (say) build churches to encourage more people to go to pray.

    However if one doesn't necessarily believe in a god, but does follow (loosely or strictly) the moral guidance in the particular religion's texts, funding of churches might not be palatable but funding (say) charities that support homeless people would be.

    Unfortunately, currently governments (current and previous) seem to be more aligned to the spiritual meaning (hence why 'advancement of religion' is treated as a charitable category).
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    5:01pm
    If you are not christian then why put that on the census form? Do you have something to hide?
    Polly Esther
    7th Jun 2016
    1:23pm
    To try to define religion is to invite an argument, how very true. Most good dictionaries however define religion as a belief, in something, and not necessarily being confined to belief in a 'supreme being'.
    I take it then, If a person admits to being of no religion they are in affect saying that they do not believe in anything. That would not only be sad but would be impossible. Everybody must and do have a belief in something, anything, (their religion) and I harken back to my first sentence.
    I therefore conclude by stating, it is in my opinion only, the question are you of "no religion" should not be asked, let alone be answered.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    1:52pm
    From a philosophical perspective, that is correct.

    However, the census tries to be objective, and therefore every question is based on an objective definition. Here is the way religion is classified by the ABS - http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/775012EF0058A77DCA25697E00184BDC?opendocument

    As you can see, the first measure is a belief in a higher being, thing or principle.
    the_Albert
    7th Jun 2016
    2:51pm
    I have no religion, meaning I do not subscribe to a set of propositions about the natural world and morality in accordance with faith. What I "believe" in depends on how we define belief. There are certain things I accept - based on evidence or compelling reasoning - but always with the proviso that new evidence or better reasoning might convince me to accept an alternative view. It is convenient to state that I "believe" in certain things, but this belief is of a different quality than religious belief: it's provisional, it's conditioned by scepticism and openness, it's not directed by faith and it's not tenaciously adhered to whatever the evidence for or sense of the thing. It's entirely reasonable for me to state that I am of no religion, and that's what the census authorities assume. Being of a religion requires some sort of organisation and specific doctrine, and belief in something - usually mythological non-human beings - distinguished from the beliefs of say a political party or a football club. If you don't subscribe to a religious faith - which might of course include Jedi or the Flying Spaghetti Monster - then you should of course tick the No Religion box.
    LUVCO2
    7th Jun 2016
    2:56pm
    “The more I study science, the more I believe in God.” Albert Einstein
    (The Wall Street Journal, Dec 24, 1997, article by Jim Holt, “Science Resurrects God.”)

    “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts; the rest are details.” Albert Einstein
    (From E. Salaman, “A Talk With Einstein,” The Listener 54 (1955), pp. 370-371, quoted in Jammer, p. 123).

    “The question of whether there exists a Creator and Ruler of the Universe has been answered in the affirmative by some of the highest intellects that have ever existed.” Charles Darwin, the founder of evolutionary biology, as cited in his book Descent of Man.

    “This sense of wonder leads most scientists to a Superior Being – der Alte, the Old One, as Einstein affectionately called the Deity – a Superior Intelligence, the Lord of all Creation and Natural Law.” Abdus Salam, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in electroweak theory. He is here quoted in his article entitled Science and Religion

    “A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.” Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., who received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the first known binary pulsar, and for his work which supported the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe.

    “God [is] the author of the universe, and the free establisher of the laws of motion.” Physicist and chemist Robert Boyle, who is considered to be the founder of modern chemistry.

    “It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion.”
    “People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.” Physicist Paul Davies, the winner of the 2001 Kelvin Medal issued by the Institute of Physics and the winner of the 2002 Faraday Prize issued by the Royal Society (amongst other awards), as cited in his book God and the New Physics (first quote), and from his acceptance address of the 1995 Templeton Prize (second quote).

    “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover…. That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.” Astronomer, physicist and founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies Robert Jastrow. Please see Jastrow’s book God and the Astronomers for further reading.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    5:05pm
    All the census seeks to do is collect like minded people in broad groups. The census has no interest in you proving whether you are a real christian or not.
    God gives us the right to believe anything we like. But to reject Him has a price and every one of us decides whether or not we are prepared to pay that price. Not too hard to understand I would have thought.
    john
    7th Jun 2016
    1:30pm
    do not fiil in and we will end up with a lot more mosques
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    1:52pm
    That's a pretty silly statement.
    freed1948
    7th Jun 2016
    1:36pm
    Whatever it is I'm an atheist.
    I live by the rule "Do unto others as they would do unto you" {I think that's it}
    I don't need any book, but the law book to live by.
    KSS
    7th Jun 2016
    1:53pm
    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" which is, of course a command based on words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

    And the various other suggested interpretations e.g. "treat others and you want them to treat you".
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    1:54pm
    And surprisingly, that's the primary moral compass of almost all religions (whether you believe in a god, multiple gods, the great spaghetti monster, or no supreme being). :-)
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    2:23pm
    Yes KSS, Jesus did say that.

    But the concept was very commonplace - the first known reference of doing to others as you'd have them do to you was from the ancient Egyptian goddess Ma'at (as recorded in The Eloquent Peasant around 2000 BC) - "Now this is the command: Do to the doer to make him do". It's also in Leviticus 19:18 - "Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD."

    Oh, and just about every other society and religion - here's a sample
    - Confucius said it in 500BC - "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."
    - in Sanskrit teachings from 800BC - "by self-control and by making dharma (right conduct) your main focus, treat others as you treat yourself."
    - Thales in Ancient Greece (540BC) - "Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing."
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    5:06pm
    Sure you are not a christian freed. Your quote comes straight out of the bible.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    5:46pm
    .... and just about every other religion Mick (most before Jesus Christ).
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    8:56pm
    To the best of my knowledge not the above one.
    Bakka
    7th Jun 2016
    1:43pm
    Why not have a category that simply states 'Christian " or ... whatever... I am not big into this subject at all, however I see a potential real danger in this issue in taking the artical's advise to tick "No Religion" as it could have some "unintended or intended"... consequences.
    JiiPeeTee
    7th Jun 2016
    2:00pm
    Other than the denial of the divine, there is little difference between Atheism and other worldviews typically labelled as religions.
    LUVCO2
    7th Jun 2016
    2:43pm
    “The more I study science, the more I believe in God.” Albert Einstein
    (The Wall Street Journal, Dec 24, 1997, article by Jim Holt, “Science Resurrects God.”)

    “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts; the rest are details.” Albert Einstein
    (From E. Salaman, “A Talk With Einstein,” The Listener 54 (1955), pp. 370-371, quoted in Jammer, p. 123).

    “The question of whether there exists a Creator and Ruler of the Universe has been answered in the affirmative by some of the highest intellects that have ever existed.” Charles Darwin, the founder of evolutionary biology, as cited in his book Descent of Man.

    “This sense of wonder leads most scientists to a Superior Being – der Alte, the Old One, as Einstein affectionately called the Deity – a Superior Intelligence, the Lord of all Creation and Natural Law.” Abdus Salam, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in electroweak theory. He is here quoted in his article entitled Science and Religion

    “A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.” Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., who received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the first known binary pulsar, and for his work which supported the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe.

    “God [is] the author of the universe, and the free establisher of the laws of motion.” Physicist and chemist Robert Boyle, who is considered to be the founder of modern chemistry.

    “It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion.”
    “People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.” Physicist Paul Davies, the winner of the 2001 Kelvin Medal issued by the Institute of Physics and the winner of the 2002 Faraday Prize issued by the Royal Society (amongst other awards), as cited in his book God and the New Physics (first quote), and from his acceptance address of the 1995 Templeton Prize (second quote).

    “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover…. That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.” Astronomer, physicist and founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies Robert Jastrow. Please see Jastrow’s book God and the Astronomers for further reading.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    3:14pm
    Alas, these quotes are all people's opinions, not facts.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    5:10pm
    I believe even Stephen Hawkins has arrived at a similar point as Albert Einstein.
    Of course Richied NOBODY can prove that God exists. That is the paradox. Some of us know that he does. Others couldn't give a tinkers. And then you get the homosexual guy who appeared on the media when Gillard was the PM with his malicious and nasty sneer "there is no God".
    To quote a well used phrase: it ain't over till the fat lady sings!
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    6:48pm
    I'm wondering how it could be a paradox to prove that God exists.

    That's a bit like Schrodinger's cat :-)
    the_Albert
    7th Jun 2016
    8:20pm
    Mick: God wanted to save us (enduring the death of his only son to try and do so) but apparently doesn't want to appear before us to prove his existence. Huh? I know he likes to work in mysterious ways, but this is ridiculous. He wants us to accept him on faith, with no evidence. What sort of idiots does he want us to be? That seems to me a sound reason to suppose that he doesn't in fact exist. That's not proof, of course, but when combined with his indifference to evil it strongly implies that he's either nowhere or he's not the kind of God figure the theologians have invented.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    8:59pm
    Pick up the New Testament Albert and read. Cover to cover.
    Your account is that of a man who has no God and that is sad. Having had 3 pertinent moments in life I know otherwise. No proof though.
    the_Albert
    8th Jun 2016
    10:58pm
    Mick, I've read the New Testament, I was brought up Christian, I went to a Christian school: I once thought I knew God, but now I don't see any particular reason to believe something for which I can find no evidence whatsoever. Your three pertinent moments - which you apparently but might falsely believe indicate the presence of the Almighty - have no counterpart in my own experience; if they had occurred to me, and I could find no explanation for them other than the existence of God, then I might well be a believer. Rationality doesn't do it, but some overwhelming experience might do so.

    It's not sad that I have no God - it's liberating. I don't have to accept the bible as the inerrant word of God, I don't have to pray to an entity who already knows the future, I don't have to do what I'm told by unelected church officials, I don't have to believe ten impossible things before breakfast every single day ...
    the_Albert
    8th Jun 2016
    10:58pm
    Mick, I've read the New Testament, I was brought up Christian, I went to a Christian school: I once thought I knew God, but now I don't see any particular reason to believe something for which I can find no evidence whatsoever. Your three pertinent moments - which you apparently but might falsely believe indicate the presence of the Almighty - have no counterpart in my own experience; if they had occurred to me, and I could find no explanation for them other than the existence of God, then I might well be a believer. Rationality doesn't do it, but some overwhelming experience might do so.

    It's not sad that I have no God - it's liberating. I don't have to accept the bible as the inerrant word of God, I don't have to pray to an entity who already knows the future, I don't have to do what I'm told by unelected church officials, I don't have to believe ten impossible things before breakfast every single day ...
    the_Albert
    8th Jun 2016
    10:58pm
    Mick, I've read the New Testament, I was brought up Christian, I went to a Christian school: I once thought I knew God, but now I don't see any particular reason to believe something for which I can find no evidence whatsoever. Your three pertinent moments - which you apparently but might falsely believe indicate the presence of the Almighty - have no counterpart in my own experience; if they had occurred to me, and I could find no explanation for them other than the existence of God, then I might well be a believer. Rationality doesn't do it, but some overwhelming experience might do so.

    It's not sad that I have no God - it's liberating. I don't have to accept the bible as the inerrant word of God, I don't have to pray to an entity who already knows the future, I don't have to do what I'm told by unelected church officials, I don't have to believe ten impossible things before breakfast every single day ...
    the_Albert
    8th Jun 2016
    10:58pm
    Mick, I've read the New Testament, I was brought up Christian, I went to a Christian school: I once thought I knew God, but now I don't see any particular reason to believe something for which I can find no evidence whatsoever. Your three pertinent moments - which you apparently but might falsely believe indicate the presence of the Almighty - have no counterpart in my own experience; if they had occurred to me, and I could find no explanation for them other than the existence of God, then I might well be a believer. Rationality doesn't do it, but some overwhelming experience might do so.

    It's not sad that I have no God - it's liberating. I don't have to accept the bible as the inerrant word of God, I don't have to pray to an entity who already knows the future, I don't have to do what I'm told by unelected church officials, I don't have to believe ten impossible things before breakfast every single day ...
    the_Albert
    8th Jun 2016
    10:58pm
    Mick, I've read the New Testament, I was brought up Christian, I went to a Christian school: I once thought I knew God, but now I don't see any particular reason to believe something for which I can find no evidence whatsoever. Your three pertinent moments - which you apparently but might falsely believe indicate the presence of the Almighty - have no counterpart in my own experience; if they had occurred to me, and I could find no explanation for them other than the existence of God, then I might well be a believer. Rationality doesn't do it, but some overwhelming experience might do so.

    It's not sad that I have no God - it's liberating. I don't have to accept the bible as the inerrant word of God, I don't have to pray to an entity who already knows the future, I don't have to do what I'm told by unelected church officials, I don't have to believe ten impossible things before breakfast every single day ...
    the_Albert
    8th Jun 2016
    10:58pm
    Mick, I've read the New Testament, I was brought up Christian, I went to a Christian school: I once thought I knew God, but now I don't see any particular reason to believe something for which I can find no evidence whatsoever. Your three pertinent moments - which you apparently but might falsely believe indicate the presence of the Almighty - have no counterpart in my own experience; if they had occurred to me, and I could find no explanation for them other than the existence of God, then I might well be a believer. Rationality doesn't do it, but some overwhelming experience might do so.

    It's not sad that I have no God - it's liberating. I don't have to accept the bible as the inerrant word of God, I don't have to pray to an entity who already knows the future, I don't have to do what I'm told by unelected church officials, I don't have to believe ten impossible things before breakfast every single day ...
    the_Albert
    8th Jun 2016
    10:58pm
    Mick, I've read the New Testament, I was brought up Christian, I went to a Christian school: I once thought I knew God, but now I don't see any particular reason to believe something for which I can find no evidence whatsoever. Your three pertinent moments - which you apparently but might falsely believe indicate the presence of the Almighty - have no counterpart in my own experience; if they had occurred to me, and I could find no explanation for them other than the existence of God, then I might well be a believer. Rationality doesn't do it, but some overwhelming experience might do so.

    It's not sad that I have no God - it's liberating. I don't have to accept the bible as the inerrant word of God, I don't have to pray to an entity who already knows the future, I don't have to do what I'm told by unelected church officials, I don't have to believe ten impossible things before breakfast every single day ...
    Richied
    10th Jun 2016
    4:17pm
    To extend on that Albert, I'm well versed in the bible, and the Q'uran, plus a few other religious texts, as a result of an interest I have in comparative religion. I don't discard those texts simply because I don't have a belief in the supreme being(s) those texts allude to. Indeed, there is a lot in all those texts which provide guidance to how people should manage their lives (and of course, like other reference books, some ideas that should be discarded, either because they have 'matured' or don't align with current thinking).

    The bible is fairly different from other texts though. It is almost exclusively written by people who have no direct connection to the prophet(s). The first book of the new testament was written at least 70 years after the death of Jesus most probably by an anonymous Jew, basing the gospel on a collection of sayings ascribed to Matthew (there is argument as to whether Matthew was written first, or Mark). All other books included in the bible (plus those rejected for inclusion, like the Gospel of Thomas) appear to be written at least after 100AD - well after everyone in Jesus' time had died. And indeed references to God actually doing anything (as opposed to people saying this is what God would like) are almost non-existent, implying that these are 'ideals' rather than God's mandates.

    Having said that though, the morals and 'ideals' shouldn't be dismissed due to lack of belief in a god

    So I agree that having no god does liberate one from blind acceptance of everything in the bible, and allows one to read these texts to form a basis for a personal moral compass.
    Katie
    7th Jun 2016
    2:54pm
    I also hate being labelled "Religious" though I have a very strong Christian faith. If it was not for the Christian faith that arrived in Australia with the first settlers, we would have had no schools for the children, no hospitals , no caring institutions of any kind. I also object to the Roman Catholic Church being abbreviated to 'Catholic'. The true meaning of "Catholic" is to encompass all Christians!
    the_Albert
    7th Jun 2016
    5:04pm
    "If it was not for the Christian faith that arrived in Australia with the first settlers, we would have had no schools for the children, no hospitals , no caring institutions of any kind." That's just silly. Religious people often claim that they are the sole repositories of morals and concern for the welfare of their fellow humans, but it's demonstrably untrue. And of course people have often gone to war to defend their religious beliefs - and they're still doing it, causing immense harm.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    5:12pm
    I think Katie is referring to work the catholic church used to do in setting up schools and helping society. not seen much of that in the past few decades. More about empire building. That is not God centred!
    If you want to talk about "harm" Albert then also start to look at what has happened to society over the past 30 years. Not pretty!
    Mike Butler
    7th Jun 2016
    2:56pm
    I was raised a Catholic and went to a Catholic school, but once I went to college at the age of 17, I read every book I could find on comparative religions and decided that they couldn't all be right --- and on the balance of probabilities --- none of them were!

    So, I have been an atheist for almost 54 years, and enjoyed every minute of it. I have read the Bible from cover to cover and have understood for many years what a mish mash of contradictory twaddle it really is. I doubt that many of the "Christians" who are posting on this thread have EVER read their holy book from beginning to end. If they actually read it, they would be asking some VERY serious questions of their church leaders!

    Most Christians are fed only the parts of their bible that church leaders find palatable and which support the view they are pushing. Shame about all the contradictory bits that are hidden from view.

    I will certainly be choosing No Religion in this year's census, as should all free-thinkers. Don't just put Catholic because once upon a time you went to a Catholic school! If you have never been near a church since then, be honest with yourself, not be an intellectual wimp. You have no religion, and deep down you do know it.

    It is time for the many, many millions of Australians who have no religion to "come out of the closet"!
    LUVCO2
    7th Jun 2016
    2:57pm
    “The more I study science, the more I believe in God.” Albert Einstein
    (The Wall Street Journal, Dec 24, 1997, article by Jim Holt, “Science Resurrects God.”)

    “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts; the rest are details.” Albert Einstein
    (From E. Salaman, “A Talk With Einstein,” The Listener 54 (1955), pp. 370-371, quoted in Jammer, p. 123).

    “The question of whether there exists a Creator and Ruler of the Universe has been answered in the affirmative by some of the highest intellects that have ever existed.” Charles Darwin, the founder of evolutionary biology, as cited in his book Descent of Man.

    “This sense of wonder leads most scientists to a Superior Being – der Alte, the Old One, as Einstein affectionately called the Deity – a Superior Intelligence, the Lord of all Creation and Natural Law.” Abdus Salam, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in electroweak theory. He is here quoted in his article entitled Science and Religion

    “A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.” Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., who received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the first known binary pulsar, and for his work which supported the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe.

    “God [is] the author of the universe, and the free establisher of the laws of motion.” Physicist and chemist Robert Boyle, who is considered to be the founder of modern chemistry.

    “It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion.”
    “People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.” Physicist Paul Davies, the winner of the 2001 Kelvin Medal issued by the Institute of Physics and the winner of the 2002 Faraday Prize issued by the Royal Society (amongst other awards), as cited in his book God and the New Physics (first quote), and from his acceptance address of the 1995 Templeton Prize (second quote).

    “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover…. That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.” Astronomer, physicist and founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies Robert Jastrow. Please see Jastrow’s book God and the Astronomers for further reading.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    3:27pm
    LUVCO2 - I'm wondering why you are posting those opinions so often. Do you believe that they make clear counter-points to the other posters?

    As I've mentioned above, each of those quotes is simply an opinion, not based on fact.

    Indeed, some have interesting contexts but are now being debunked (for example, the last quote states that astronomers have painted themselves into a corner because the world began abruptly in an act of creation - this is not correct at all, as the Law of Conservation of Matter will attest. At the time of the Big Bang all matter was in a point of singularity, which immediately dramatically expanded, based on current laws of physics. And as early as 2014, scientists have confirmed the existence of defaltons - particles [or perhaps more correctly, antiparticles - from before the Big Bang. We are still expanding our understanding of the universe, but we know now that everything didn't suddenly be created).
    Jan
    7th Jun 2016
    3:51pm
    Thanks Mike, a sensible approach!
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    5:15pm
    Mark: you may not be aware but catholic schools have religious education where all of the other religions are discussed. I would consider that to be a wonderful education. In the end we all choose what we want to be.
    Bigfoot
    7th Jun 2016
    3:14pm
    Hi Kaz, There are many people who would feel as you have stated and my heart goes out to you all. Have you wondered how you could act in a Christian way to other people if there was no Christian principles laid down in society and indeed in the early years of your life. Many such people believe wholeheartedly in a belief laid down by Darwin and exploited by Dawkins many years ago and stated by the latter that only the unintelligent believe in a Creator God. However, science has come a long way since then and it is now considered by a host of Scientists that the intelligent cannot possibly support evolutionary theories. Kaz, I would liken your lifestyle to that of a person floating down the river on a lilo toward the Niagara Falls and not being aware of what was ahead. In your Christian like manner you would be waving to a number of people on the river bank who are calling out a warning to you of the danger ahead but being oblivious to it you float on down to your peril because of unbelief. Again I say judge a Religion on its Founder not its followers. If we as Christians can see where you are headed, why would we not want to save you?
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    3:32pm
    An interesting viewpoint.

    I would suggest that perhaps your second sentence could be written like this: "have you wondered how you could act in a moral way to other people if there were no moral principles laid down in society and indeed the early years of your life."

    The sentence can now be applied to ANY religion, or any societal moral construct.

    Religion is (I think) about belief in a superior being AND following a set of moral principles defined by the founder(s) of that religion. But someone (and indeed, society) can have moral principles without having religion.

    By all means tell someone if they are headed for a moral cliff, but I don't think it's appropriate to tell a person they should follow a particular religion.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    3:58pm
    Oh, and I'll have to call you out on the point that intelligent people cannot possibly support evolutionary theories.

    Evolutionary theory is proven scientifically (remember, 'theory' means an explanation, developed and tested through scientific method - it doesn't mean an idea or belief that hasn't been tested). There are precious few scientists (and indeed, no reputable natural scientists) who disagree with evolutionary theory.

    An idea or theory that hasn't been developed and tested through scientific method is an hypothesis - from a scientific perspective, the existence of a supreme being is currently an hypothesis.
    Retired Knowall
    7th Jun 2016
    5:03pm
    Bigfoot. from understanding of history, All Religions are based of ETHICS, not the other way around. The problem with religious beliefs is that BELIEFS do no equate with the TRUTH, they are just BELIEFS.
    You can have your Beliefs and without proof you can call it Faith, but you should not for one moment tell me it's the TRUTH.
    Christina
    7th Jun 2016
    4:26pm
    Thanks for your contributions, Mike Butler and LUVCO2 (a couple of duplicates?). I enjoyed your point of view.
    And agree with your position: religion is man-made. Nothing to do with the 'life force', we call God. This force in in each of us, and we are responsible for his/her own actions. I think IF I must have a 'religious' label, it would have to be Agnostic?
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    5:17pm
    Sorry you fail to understand the point Christina. ALways hard to discuss 'religion' with non believers.
    There is religion and then there is a REAL relationship with God. They are not the same thing.
    Christina
    7th Jun 2016
    4:57pm
    Thanks, Richied, for your explanation. It is all about whoever is best at adapting, wins in the evolutionary race?
    Have you noticed that we seem to be pushed into ONE direction : ever better, going higher, increasing capacity. And as I see it: scientists are the main culprits. Constantly pushing limits without our consent. Where is it going to end? When will they come to a conclusion that enough is enough? Or can they?
    It is frightening NOT to believe that there is some force in control of it all.
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    5:49pm
    I don't think it's appropriate to blame scientists for the pushing 'without our consent'.

    It's scientists who provide vaccines (because we demand to not die from horrible diseases) and seat belts (because we demand not to be flung through the windscreen in a car accident) etc.

    I wonder why you'd be frightened that there may not be some force in control.
    Bonny
    7th Jun 2016
    5:09pm
    One needs to ask what are they going to do with answers to this question? Then you can answer this question. No good answering no religion to find out later that the majority put in another religion that is not what you want worshipped in your neighbourhood.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    5:18pm
    Blah, blah. blah........... Oh Bronny.
    bebby
    7th Jun 2016
    6:05pm
    Bonny, if No Religion is your answer, why lie?
    Richied
    7th Jun 2016
    6:52pm
    I think you can just not answer (which is not the same as answering No Religion). over 10% answered that way in the last census.
    Bonny
    7th Jun 2016
    6:54pm
    Because the truth may not be applicable to what I want in my community. If only people would realise what the census is used for and answer accordingly they would have more say in what happens in their community.

    Did you realise that your personal information is going to be stored with all your answers in this census? That to me creates a privacy issue so it will also determine how my census form is filled out.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    11:10am
    It is true that all census information is initially stored, including names and addresses. HOWEVER, they are not stored together, so once the forms are collected, an anonymised key is attached to the core data (ie. that excluding the names and addresses).

    For previous census collections, the names and addresses have been destroyed. For this and future census collections, the names and addresses will be kept separately until they are no longer required for data validation purposes, or four years, whichever is the longer. And then they will be destroyed.

    Census data is the most secure data you part with - it is probably as secure as your bank details; it is more secure than any of your medical information (which is available to almost any person in the health industry) and way more secure than any online account you have (Facebook, Google, Booktopia, etc). Most people don't realise that providing someone with an email address allows them to find almost everything about them (name, address, date of birth, phone numbers, bank accounts [but not access to those] etc).

    I'm happy to give my details to the census, given that anyone interested in my private details can get them other ways far more easily.
    socrates
    7th Jun 2016
    6:52pm
    Religions do not produce morals or ethics, they codify what previously existed. Morality and ethics should be taught as they stand not based on a particular religion. Jesus on the whole did a good job in pointing out how people should relate to each other but everything he is "quoted"(?) as saying was reflected in existing philosophical ideas. Perhaps you should ask if it is necessary to believe in God to follow such precepts. As a scientist I abhor the inaccurate second hand "quotes" that people dish up (LUVCO) that completely misrepresent what Einstein actually wrote. He was, if anything, a pantheist who saw a sense of religious wonder in the universe as a whole. He specifically rejected completely the concept of a personal God who cares about you. The "quotes" of LUVCO is the sort of lie that so many religious people trot out as a call to an authority figure. Don't you know what is right without some person or book telling you? Are you only good if there is a God to punish you? Are you so psychologically weak that you can't face that like any other living organism when your dead that is the end? What has killed religion above all else is the shear ignorance, wishfull thinking and inanity of so many believers.

    Kenl
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    9:05pm
    Interesting post.
    Of course there is one fundamental difference which those who accepted Christ as their saviour understand: eternal life. Nothing to do with being punished. Everything to do with being with God.
    And on the issue of 'punishment' I suggest that this term is perhaps more an analogy of being being excluded rather than tortured as many theologians have for centuries postulated.
    As I have said here before I'll put my trust in God as I know He is not simply a figment of my imagination.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    12:14pm
    Most fundamentalist religions use punishment as a means of compliance. However, more contemporary (and perhaps even classic) interpretations of texts prefer the 'live and let live' approach to non-believers. I like to think that (in Australia at least), most religious people take this second approach.
    Not a Bludger
    7th Jun 2016
    6:56pm
    I agree with Bonny.

    And further, whilst not a papist, why do we allow the leftie so- called "civil servants" to put a negative answer at the top of the list of a religious question - they are simply trying to influence the outcome - appalling

    Further, why is it that the non conformist Christian religions are not included in one block - then see which is the largest group in Australia.
    MICK
    7th Jun 2016
    9:07pm
    I'm sure if you are on the fence you could hand write in n/a or something similar. Sometimes answers do not fit the choices and we have to improvise.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    11:14am
    You can leave the question blank (over 10% did at the last census).

    It's pretty to imply that putting the 'negative' answer at the top is a leftie conspiracy to influence an outcome. Does that mean that the other questions with multiple choices (age, income etc) are also designed to skew results to younger people with lower incomes?
    LUVCO2
    8th Jun 2016
    10:57am
    The fanatical atheists are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who – in their grudge against traditional religion as the ‘opium of the masses’ – cannot hear the music of the spheres.” Albert Einstein

    “Both religion and science require a belief in God. For believers, God is in the beginning, and for physicists He is at the end of all considerations… To the former He is the foundation, to the latter, the crown of the edifice of every generalized world view.”
    “There can never be any real opposition between religion and science; for the one is the complement of the other. Every serious and reflective person realizes, I think, that the religious element in his nature must be recognized and cultivated if all the powers of the human soul are to act together in perfect balance and harmony. And indeed it was not by accident that the greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious souls.” Max Planck, the Nobel Prize winning physicist who made the crucial scientific contribution of founding quantum physics.
    Religion and Natural Science (Lecture Given 1937) Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, trans. F. Gaynor (New York, 1949), pp. 184

    “As we conquer peak after peak we see in front of us regions full of interest and beauty, but we do not see our goal, we do not see the horizon; in the distance tower still higher peaks, which will yield to those who ascend them still wider prospects, and deepen the feeling, the truth of which is emphasized by every advance in science, that ‘Great are the Works of the Lord’.” Sir Joseph J. Thomson, Nobel Prize winning physicist, discoverer of the electron, founder of atomic physics.

    “I have looked into most philosophical systems and I have seen that none will work without God.”
    “Science is incompetent to reason upon the creation of matter itself out of nothing. We have reached the utmost limit of our thinking faculties when we have admitted that because matter cannot be eternal and self-existent it must have been created.” Physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell, who is credited with formulating classical electromagnetic theory and whose contributions to science are considered to be of the same magnitude to those of Einstein and Newton.

    “Those who say that the study of science makes a man an atheist must be rather silly.”
    “Something which is against natural laws seems to me rather out of the question because it would be a depressive idea about God. It would make God smaller than he must be assumed. When he stated that these laws hold, then they hold, and he wouldn’t make exceptions. This is too human an idea. Humans do such things, but not God.” Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Born, who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics.

    “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”
    “In the history of science, ever since the famous trial of Galileo, it has repeatedly been claimed that scientific truth cannot be reconciled with the religious interpretation of the world. Although I am now convinced that scientific truth is unassailable in its own field, I have never found it possible to dismiss the content of religious thinking as simply part of an outmoded phase in the consciousness of mankind, a part we shall have to give up from now on. Thus in the course of my life I have repeatedly been compelled to ponder on the relationship of these two regions of thought, for I have never been able to doubt the reality of that to which they point.” Werner Heisenberg, who was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics for the creation of quantum mechanics (which is absolutely crucial to modern science).

    “I’m not an atheist, and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.” Albert Einstein, as cited in Antony Flew’s book, There Is A God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.

    “Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.” Charles Darwin, the founder of evolutionary biology, as quoted in his autobiography.

    “The best data we have (concerning the Big Bang) are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”
    “If there are a bunch of fruit trees, one can say that whoever created these fruit trees wanted some apples. In other words, by looking at the order in the world, we can infer purpose and from purpose we begin to get some knowledge of the Creator, the Planner of all this. This is, then, how I look at God. I look at God through the works of God’s hands and from those works imply intentions. From these intentions, I receive an impression of the Almighty.” Arno Penzias, the 1978 Nobel Prize recipient in physics as cited in New York Times on March 12, 1978 (first quote) and ‘The God I Believe in’, Joshua O. Haberman – editor, New York, Maxwell Macmillan International, 1994, 184. (second quote)

    “There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all. . . It seems as though somebody has fine tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe. . . The impression of design is overwhelming.” Physicist Paul Davies, mentioned above.

    “It is relatively unusual that a physical scientist is truly an atheist. Why is this true? Some point to the anthropic constraints, the remarkable fine tuning of the universe. For example, Freeman Dyson, a Princeton faculty member, has said, ‘Nature has been kinder to us that we had any right to expect.'” Quantum chemist Henry F. Schaefer III, five time nominee for the Nobel Prize, as quoted in his essay Stephen Hawking, the Big Bang, and God.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    11:19am
    Hmmm - one interesting thing has happened on this discussion forum. A number of posts have been reported and removed, even though they are not insulting or abusive, or in any way breach the posting guidelines.

    By all means report my posts if you believe they are insulting, abusive or breach the posting guidelines on this forum.

    However, reporting posts that do not breach the guidelines, simply because they question the content of other people's posts and provides reasons why I believe the posts are incorrect, is simply censorship. It is that form of forced compliance with a view that caused the Inquisition.
    Janran
    13th Jun 2016
    6:32pm
    Hmmm Richied - one of my posts has disappeared, too. The truth must have really hurt someone! Haha.

    Seriously though, who has the authority to do this kind of censorship? Is it up to Leon? If so, can you please explain how and why this has happened?

    I think that science just hasn't learned how to measure godness yet, but they'll get a shock when/if they do - it won't be anything like what religions have imagined it to be. Maybe they have already found it but they just didn't recognise it.
    LUVCO2
    8th Jun 2016
    11:15am
    “The significance and joy in my science comes in those occasional moments of discovering something new and saying to myself, ‘So that’s how God did it.’ My goal is to understand a little corner of God’s plan.”
    Henry “Fritz” Schaefer, five time Nobel Prize nominee, Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry, and director of the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry at the University of Georgia, as cited in What Your Atheist Professor Doesn’t Know (But Should) by Stephen Williams.

    “Nevertheless, just as I believe that the Book of Scripture illumines the pathway to God, so I believe that the Book of Nature, with its astonishing details–the blade of grass, the Conus cedonulli, or the resonance levels of the carbon atom–also suggest a God of purpose and a God of design. And I think my belief makes me no less a scientist.” Owen Gingerich, former Research Professor of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Harvard University. Gingerich is now the senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

    “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” Albert Einstein

    “When confronted with the order and beauty of the universe and the strange coincidences of nature, it’s very tempting to take the leap of faith from science into religion. I am sure many physicists want to. I only wish they would admit it.” Physicist Tony Rothman, former post-doctoral fellow at Oxford University

    “When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.”
    “From the perspective of the latest physical theories, Christianity is not a mere religion, but an experimentally testable science.” Professor of Mathematical Physics Frank Tippler, author of The Physics of Christianity and The Physics of Immortality. Tipler is one of the two founders of the famous anthropic principle regarding the fundamental physical constants necessary for the origin of life. He became a Christian as a result of his science.



    To the question, “Many prominent scientists – including Darwin, Einstein, and Planck – have considered the concept of God very seriously. What are your thoughts on the concept of God and on the existence of God?”
    Christian Anfinsen replied: “I think only an idiot can be an atheist. We must admit that there exists an incomprehensible power or force with limitless foresight and knowledge that started the whole universe going in the first place.” Christian Anfinsen, winner of the 1972 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on ribonuclease.

    “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.” Arno Penzias, winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics.

    “The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine.” MIT physicist Vera Kistiakowsky

    “Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God – the design argument of Paley – updated and refurbished. The fine tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence of deistic design. Take your choice: blind chance that requires multitudes of universes or design that requires only one…. Many scientists, when they admit their views, incline toward the teleological or design argument.” Cosmologist and astronomer Edward Robert Harrison

    “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.” Cambridge University astrophysicist and mathematician Fred Hoyle commenting on the incredible fine-tuning necessary for life to exist (as quoted in The Creator and the Cosmos by Hugh Ross).

    “Fred Hoyle and I differ on lots of questions, but on this we agree: a common sense and satisfying interpretation of our world suggests the designing hand of a superintelligence.” Former Harvard University Research Professor of Astronomy and the History of Science Owen Gingerich, who is now the senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Gingerich is here reflecting on Fred Hoyle’s above comment.

    “As to the cause of the Universe, in context of expansion, that is left for the reader to insert, but our picture is incomplete without Him [God].” Astrophysicist and mathametician Edward Milne (winner of the Royal Society’s Royal Medal, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and the Bruce Medal)

    Then, last week, American scientists announced the discovery of radiation patterns in space that may mark the beginning of time itself. Said astrophysicist George Smoot, leader of the research team: “If you’re religious, it’s like looking at God. The order is so beautiful and the symmetry so beautiful that you think there is some design behind it.”
    “Whatever caused the rapid expansion of the universe following the Big Bang–the same forces caused tiny ripples. Because if you try to do something too fast, you shake a little. God might be the designer. “ Maclean’s, May 4, 1992 (the two above quotes are by astrophysicist and cosmologist George Smoot).

    “Recently I have gone back to church regularly with a new focus to understand as best I can what it is that makes Christianity so vital and powerful in the lives of billions of people today, even though almost 2000 years have passed since the death and resurrection of Christ. Although I suspect I will never fully understand, I now think the answer is very simple: it’s true. God did create the universe about 13.7 billion years ago, and of necessity has involved Himself with His creation ever since. The purpose of this universe is something that only God knows for sure, but it is increasingly clear to modern science that the universe was exquisitely fine-tuned to enable human life. We are somehow critically involved in His purpose. Our job is to sense that purpose as best we can, love one another, and help Him get that job done.” (Smalley 2005) Richard Smalley, winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of a new form of carbon (buckminsterfullerene or “buckyballs”).

    “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe–a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”

    “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.” Albert Einstein Clark, Ronald W. (1971). Einstein: The Life and Times. New York: World Publishing Company

    “This much I can say with definiteness – namely, that there is no scientific basis for the denial of religion – nor is there in my judgment any excuse for a conflict between science and religion, for their fields are entirely different. Men who know very little of science and men who know very little of religion do indeed get to quarreling, and the onlookers imagine that there is a conflict between science and religion, whereas the conflict is only between two different species of ignorance.”
    “The first important quarrel of this sort arose over the advancing by Copernicus of his theory that the earth, instead of being a flat plane and the center of the universe, was actually only one of a number of little planets, rotating once a day upon its axis and circling once a year about the sun. Copernicus was a priest – the canon of a cathedral – and he was primarily a religious rather than a scientific man. He knew that the foundations of real religion are not laid where scientific discoveries of any kind can disturb them. He was persecuted, not because he went against the teachings of religion but because under his theory man was not the center of the universe and this was most displeasing news to a number of egoists.”
    “To me it is unthinkable that a real atheist could be a scientist.”
    “Religion and science, then, in my analysis are the two great sister forces which have pulled, and are still pulling, mankind onward and upward.”
    “The impossibility of real science and real religion ever conflicting becomes evident when one examines the purpose of science and the purpose of religion. The purpose of science is to develop – without prejudice or preconception of any kind – a knowledge of the facts, the laws and the processes of nature. The even more important task of religion, on the other hand, is to develop the consciences, the ideals and the aspirations of mankind.” Robert Andrews Millikan, who won the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the elementary charge of electricity and on the photoelectric effect.

    “To me it is unthinkable that a real atheist could be a scientist.” Robert Andrews Millikan, who won the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the elementary charge of electricity and on the photoelectric effect.

    “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.” Astronomer Allan Sandage, winner of the Crafoord Prize in astronomy (which is equivalent to the Nobel Prize). Sandage is considered to be one of the founders of modern astronomy and was widely regarded to be the world’s greatest cosmologist until his death in 2010. He came to belief in God as a result of his science, as he announced at a conference on the origin of the universe in 1985. He also became a Christian.

    “If we need an atheist for a debate, we go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use.” Robert Griffiths, winner of the Heinemann Prize in mathematical physics.

    “I build molecules for a living. I can’t begin to tell you how difficult that job is. I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. My faith has been increased through my research. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.” James Tour, one of the world’s leading nanoscientists
    LUVCO2
    8th Jun 2016
    11:30am
    “An equation for me has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God.” Srinivasa Ramanujam, who is widely regarded to be one of the greatest mathematicians of all time (on a similar plane with such greats as Archimedes and Newton).

    “The vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator. I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.”
    “They (evolutionists) challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun? They say they cannot visualize a Designer. Well, can a physicist visualize an electron? What strange rationale makes some physicists accept the inconceivable electron as real while refusing to accept the reality of a Designer on the grounds that they cannot conceive Him?”
    “God deliberately reduced Himself to the stature of humanity in order to visit the earth in person, because the cumulative effect over the centuries of millions of individuals choosing to please themselves rather than God had infected the whole planet. When God became a man Himself, the experience proved to be nothing short of pure agony. In man’s time-honored fashion, they would unleash the whole arsenal of weapons against Him: misrepresentation, slander, and accusation of treason. The stage was set for a situation without parallel in the history of the earth. God would visit creatures and they would nail Him to the cross!”
    “Although I know of no reference to Christ ever commenting on scientific work, I do know that He said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Thus I am certain that, were He among us today, Christ would encourage scientific research as modern man’s most noble striving to comprehend and admire His Father’s handiwork. The universe as revealed through scientific inquiry is the living witness that God has indeed been at work.” Werner von Braun, the father of space science and the most important rocket scientist involved in the development of the U.S. space program.

    “There is no ground for supposing that matter and energy existed before [the Big Bang] and were suddenly galvanized into action. For what could distinguish that moment from all other moments in eternity? It is simpler to postulate creation ex nihilo—Divine will constituting Nature from nothingness.” English mathematical physicist Edmund T. Whittaker, winner of the Copley Medal, which is the most prestigious award in British science.

    “If the universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.” Harvard educated NASA astrophysicist John A. O’Keefe.

    “This now tells how precise the Creator’s aim must have been, namely to an accuracy of one part in 10, to the power of 10, to the power of 123. This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full in the ordinary denary notation: it would be 1 followed by 10 to the power of 123 successive 0’s. Even if we were to write a 0 on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe- and we could throw in all the other particles for good measure- we should fall far short of writing down the figure needed.” Oxford University mathematical physicist, mathematician, and philosopher of science Roger Penrose, as cited in his book The Emperor’s New Mind. Penrose has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their contribution to our understanding of the universe.

    “God created the universe out of nothing in an act which also brought time into existence. Recent discoveries, such as observations supporting the Big Bang and similar astronomical phenomena, are wholly compatible with this view.” Henry Margenau, Yale University Professor of Physics and Natural Philosophy, as cited in Cosmos, Bios, Theos: Scientists Reflect on Science, God, and the Origins of the Universe, Life, and Homo Sapiens.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    11:53am
    I say again (as you have seen in the previous posts you've chosen to report), these quotes are opinions and not facts.

    As there is no proof that God does not exist, there is no proof that God exists. Therefore, from an objective scientific perspective, the existence of God remains an hypothesis.
    the_Albert
    8th Jun 2016
    12:58pm
    I posted this quote way up above; in case you missed it, here it is again:

    "As wise thinkers, including Laplace, Hume, Sagan, and Hitchens, have often said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It’s hard to imagine a more extraordinary claim than that some hidden intelligence created a universe of more than a hundred billion galaxies, each containing more than a hundred billion stars, and then waited more than 13.7 billion years until a planet in a remote corner of a single galaxy evolved an atmosphere sufficiently oxygenated to support life, only to then reveal his existence to an assortment of violent tribal groups before disappearing again."

    That's Laurence M Krauss talking, a renowned contemporary physicist. He's not purporting to prove that God doesn't exist, merely indicating that in his view it's unlikely that he does. Some of LUVCO2's quotes to the contrary are quite unconvincing. They merely illustrate that good, intelligent people can disagree on the matter.
    LUVCO2
    8th Jun 2016
    1:12pm
    Hey Albert what about the extraordinary claim that SOMETHING came out of NOTHING when the universe was formed?

    Now THAT REQUIRES EXTRAORDINARY EVIDENCE WHICH YOUR FRIEND KRAUSE DOESN'T HAVE AN ANSWER FOR!

    The only explanation, as many prominent physicists, astronomers believe is the existence of God!
    LUVCO2
    8th Jun 2016
    1:48pm
    Hey Albert, your last post describes a very narrow definition of "God", viz: the "God" described in the Bible.

    My definition of "God" is probably not that described in the Bible, but a more general one.

    After all the Bible was written by fallible humans and thus it has many flaws, but those flaws do not negate the existence of a "God" as you seem to suggest.

    After all, as evidenced by my quotes, many very clever and eminent people (obviously much cleverer than you) with highly advanced scientific backgrounds believe in a creator (derived from their scientific investigations) and I think one would have to be quite stupid to disagree with them.
    the_Albert
    8th Jun 2016
    2:55pm
    It's a common turn in these discussions to disclaim one's definition of God. LUVCO2 has a more general definition than the biblical one, but he doesn't say what it is, which of course makes it difficult to continue the argument (he or she is obviously cleverer than me). Is God some mysterious force, or set of physical laws, which brought the universe into existence? (That is probably what most scientists mean by the concept.) If so, we don't know anything about it and all the theology and anthropomorphic representations of it are probably bunkum. Is God an intelligent being who created the world but then retired from the fray (the Deist position)? If so, he's now irrelevant to current affairs, and all the paraphernalia of prayer and worship and heaven are superfluous. Some of LUVCO2's scientists are obviously Christians, who do accept the biblical version, but they can't find the eucharist or Christ or redemption in their atoms or cosmological forces. Being eminent doesn't necessarily mean getting these things straight, and being clever in one field of inquiry doesn't guarantee being clever in any other. And we can all discuss the logic of it all however stupid we may be; one person's assemblage of quotes doesn't win the argument. And so on.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    3:39pm
    Science has moved on from the 'something out of nothing' position around the Big Bang. Particles (or correctly, antiparticles) from prior to the Big Bang have been observed, indicating that there was indeed something before the Big Bang - just currently beyond our comprehension. The Law of Conservation of Matter states that matter cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated system, so all current matter existed before - just perhaps in a different structure.

    As I've posted before, quotations from anyone usually describe that person's opinion, and not scientific fact. Just because a scientist has chosen to now believe in (a) God doesn't confirm the existence of God (no matter how famous the scientist).
    LUVCO2
    9th Jun 2016
    12:46pm
    Hey Richied, that crusading atheist "scientist" Krause himself LITERALLY stated that "SOMETHING came from NOTHING" when the universe was formed, or didn't you watch that ABC Q&A episode?

    And he kept repeating that as a matter of FAITH throughout the program!

    He even wrote a book about "SOMETHING coming from NOTHING"!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbsGYRArH_w

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11337189-a-universe-from-nothing

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Universe_from_Nothing

    Yet he had no credible explanation for it.
    Is he in denial about the existence of God?

    ALSO I place much more weight on the opinions and investigations of numerous distinguished, highly intelligent, scientists about the existence of God than your arbitrary, ill thought-out opinion!

    Oh by the way, when you say "there is no God", I presume you have some evidence? Even a little bit .....?? No? [crickets]
    the_Albert
    9th Jun 2016
    12:59pm
    I know that this topic is now pretty well dead in the water (what a relief!), but I did want to add one thing. When LUVCO2 argues that "The only explanation, as many prominent physicists, astronomers believe is the existence of God!" he or she is guilty of a logical fallacy: because we don't know X, therefore Y. It's pretty unconvincing. "God" is simply a symbol of our ignorance. And we can infer nothing about the nature and character of this supposed being - yet religionists everywhere worship her and pray to her and conduct elaborate rituals for her and study her sacred texts and kill other people in her name. This is all seriously weird. Why can't we just admit that we don't know what happened at the beginning of the universe? The massive vested interests in the various churches don't encourage this kind of question, but they've always been in either retreat or denial as science advances. Most scientists, I suspect, have a sense of awe as they contemplate the universe, and sometimes they call it "God" for want of any other word. It doesn't mean they subscribe to conventional religion.
    LUVCO2
    9th Jun 2016
    12:59pm
    Hey Richied ...

    An interesting criticism of Krause's "SOMETHING from NOTHING" book ...

    Physicist George F. R. Ellis, when asked whether Krauss has "solved the mystery of why there is something rather than nothing", notes that the "belief that all of reality can be fully comprehended in terms of physics and the equations of physics is a fantasy … Krauss does not address why the laws of physics exist, why they have the form they have, or in what kind of manifestation they existed before the universe existed (which he must believe if he believes they brought the universe into existence)."
    LUVCO2
    9th Jun 2016
    1:26pm
    Hey Albert,

    Glad you finally admitted "Why can't we just admit that we don't know what happened at the beginning of the universe? "

    Now you can stop your DOGMA that it wasn't God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And some weasel words from you, so funny for they show how DOGMATIC you are about the existences of God.
    "I suspect, have a sense of awe as they contemplate the universe, and sometimes they call it "God" for want of any other word."

    You really have a strong FAITH that there is no God don't you, otherwise you would not be making such pronouncements?

    You have your faith and others have theirs!!!!!

    Here are some quotes that EXPLICITLY talk about GOD not something they call GOD for lack of another word!


    “To me it is unthinkable that a real atheist could be a scientist.” Robert Andrews Millikan, who won the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the elementary charge of electricity and on the photoelectric effect.

    “The more I study science, the more I believe in God.” Albert Einstein
    (The Wall Street Journal, Dec 24, 1997, article by Jim Holt, “Science Resurrects God.”)

    “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” Albert Einstein
    trood
    8th Jun 2016
    1:48pm
    Considering the way religions have resulted in endless wars and intolerance and deaths over the centuries it would be a good idea if they were all banned!
    LUVCO2
    8th Jun 2016
    1:51pm
    Huh?
    World war 1, world war 2, the Vietnam war, the Boer war, the US war of independence, the Spanish civil war, etc, etc, etc have resulted from religion??????

    What are you smoking?

    Or are you just another pig-headed atheist?
    the_Albert
    8th Jun 2016
    2:59pm
    LUVCO2: consider the current situation in the Middle East, with various Islamic sects proclaiming their theological superiority and killing believers who follow a slightly different interpretation. Is that not evidence of religion-based war and intolerance and deaths?
    LUVCO2
    8th Jun 2016
    3:08pm
    Huh??

    So tiny Middle East conflicts based on extreme interpretations of Islam outweigh TWO WORLD WARS, THE VIETNAM WAR, THE KOREAN WAR, THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR, THE US WAR OF INDEPENDENCE (NONE OF WHICH ARE "RELIGIOUS" WARS) etc, etc ???

    So from this you infer that ALL WARS ARE CAUSED BY RELIGION?????
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    3:53pm
    LUVCO2: Naming a few wars that were not based on religion does not negate the comment that religions have resulted in countless wars over the centuries. You also erroneously paraphrased a statement by the_Albert by saying ALL WARS (in capitals no less). Nowhere has anyone said all wars.

    There are many examples of religious wars through. In fact it would be difficult to find a period in history (well, the last 1-2 thousand) where there wasn't some religious war raging somewhere. And almost no western religion is innocent. As there are currently conflicts between different Islamic sects, so previously have there been different Christian sects (remember Northern Ireland for example?), and between Christians and Jews, Christians and Muslims, Muslims and Jews, etc.

    It's interesting you trivialise the Middle East conflicts by calling them tiny - I don't think the millions of refugees or the millions of deaths from those conflicts would consider them tiny.
    Richied
    8th Jun 2016
    4:13pm
    Oh, and because you named a few non-religious wars LUVCO2, I'll give you a list of horrendous wars caused by religion:

    Dutch 80 Years War - started because Spanish emperors implemented different religious rules across the Spanish dynasty.

    European Thirty Years Wars - 800,000 people killed as a result of religious conflicts in between the Holy Roman Empire, France, Sweden and Spain.

    French Wars of Religion between 1562 and 1598 - fought between the Protestants and the French Catholics.

    Nigerian Civil War - killed more than 1 million people over 2 1/2 years, and primarily a war between Muslims and Christians.

    The 1st and 2nd Sudanese Wars - killed more than 3 million people between 1955 and 2005 (with a twenty year gap between the two wars), and again primarily between Muslims and Christians.

    And of course, the Crusades - a series of wars between 1097 and 1303 between Muslims and Christians, killing over 1/2 million people.

    I've not included all the conflicts in the 20th and 21st century, mainly fought in the Middle East but using forces from around the world, which are between Muslims (different sects fighting each other and other religions), Christians, Jews, etc. These have killed millions of people.

    All of these are result of religious conflict (the wars you stated have generally been territorial or sociological).
    MD
    9th Jun 2016
    8:57am
    Good god (whether such exists or can be considered good is highly questionable), look at the shambolic mess a seemingly innocuous little question re Census has become. Is this clear indication of creative master stroke ?

    "Old and young shall dream, your young men shall see visions and your old men shall have dreams."

    What is fact, what is fiction; temporal vs pastoral, define truth - wisdom is analogous to a gob of spittle !

    Separation of power goes some small way toward limiting control of the strings that various puppet masters have attached to the (performing public) marionettes.

    After all is said and done , will it matter how anyone answers (or not ) the relevant question, Miracles are myth perpetuated by man and folly.
    Bigfoot
    9th Jun 2016
    12:10pm
    Again I will say , 'Look to the founders of any religion to see what they say before putting your blame on wars being started by Religion'. One thing is for sure a committed Christian cannot start a war as it is totally against the Christian way of life. Wars are started by people who are Greedy, Selfish and Immoral and if the founders of any religion is so inclined then you may point the finger at that religion, but don' t blame war on them all without just cause. In conclusion answer the census questions honestly as our future may depend on it!
    Also I would urge Christians and Atheists alike to read a book titled "A case for Creation' by Lee Strobels, a Legal Investigative Journalist and devout Atheist who unlike most of us was not prepared to just accept the views of a biased few but has interviewed many world-renowned Scientists of all spheres and realised how much new information has been discovered since many of those first theories were espoused.
    LUVCO2
    9th Jun 2016
    12:47pm
    Hey Richied, that crusading atheist "scientist" Krause himself LITERALLY stated that "SOMETHING came from NOTHING" when the universe was formed, or didn't you watch that ABC Q&A episode?

    And he kept repeating that as a matter of FAITH throughout the program!

    He even wrote a book about "SOMETHING coming from NOTHING"!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbsGYRArH_w

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11337189-a-universe-from-nothing

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Universe_from_Nothing

    Yet he had no credible explanation for it.
    Is he in denial about the existence of God?

    ALSO I place much more weight on the opinions and investigations of numerous distinguished, highly intelligent, scientists about the existence of God than your arbitrary, ill thought-out opinion!

    Oh by the way, when you say "there is no God", I presume you have some evidence? Even a little bit .....?? No? [crickets]
    LUVCO2
    9th Jun 2016
    12:58pm
    An interesting criticism of Krause's "SOMETHING from NOTHING" book ...

    Physicist George F. R. Ellis, when asked whether Krauss has "solved the mystery of why there is something rather than nothing", notes that the "belief that all of reality can be fully comprehended in terms of physics and the equations of physics is a fantasy … Krauss does not address why the laws of physics exist, why they have the form they have, or in what kind of manifestation they existed before the universe existed (which he must believe if he believes they brought the universe into existence)."
    LUVCO2
    9th Jun 2016
    1:08pm
    Hey albert,
    the book "The Blind Watchmaker" is about evolution NOT ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE!

    It does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to explain the universe's origin.

    You've thrown red herring here.

    Do you really think that evolutionary theory explains the origin of the universe!!!!
    the_Albert
    10th Jun 2016
    3:19pm
    I thought I'd answered this, but I can't find the relevant post, so I'll try again.

    You might have gotcha'd me! I'm aware that Dawkins' book is about evolution. The post to which I was responding included this: "If you found a Swiss watch on the beach would you say 'wow look what happened by accident'? The universe is far more in sync and complex than a Swiss watch yet you think it happened by accident." This is a common claim by creationists in the evolution context, but it's hard to see its relevance to the initial creation of the universe.

    A better response is simply that synchronisation and complexity do not necessarily indicate a designer. If something exists in a stable condition it is of course likely to exhibit those qualities, and there's no reason to suppose that existence is not eternal. God is eternal, we're assured, so why should the physical world not be eternal? If the existence of something necessarily implies a creator/God, why should the process stop there? The claim that God is necessary as the Creator appears to be a logical claim but there's no empirical evidence for God's existence: why not? And evolution explains why, once the universe and life began, the world reached its current state, so God is no longer a logical requirement - yet that's not what religionists claim. And so on.

    I am not dogmatic on the issue, but I'm not prepared to accept something merely on faith, or because one can assemble a large number of quotes which seem to indicate that eminent people espouse the same view as oneself. I said something elsewhere about the logical fallacy of theArgument from Ignorance: we don't know X, therefore Y. Whatever God is - and you keep keeping your version of it to yourself - is beyond our knowledge and is as much a metaphor or a hypothesis as a fully formed entity we can know and worship and pray to and fight for.
    the_Albert
    11th Jun 2016
    6:22am
    This is what I was responding to:

    "If you found a Swiss watch on the beach would you say "wow look what happened by accident"?
    The universe is far more in sync and complex than a Swiss watch yet you think it happened by accident."

    That is perfectly congruent with the argument against evolution, which is why I replied as I did. The universe was created according to physical laws - hah! Where did they come from? - which account for the qualities old Cautious claims for it. Everything is explicable by these laws. They are because they are. Saying that God decreed them tells us nothing. It's the argument from ignorance, a mere hypothesis, at best a metaphor, and a redundant step. Of course I could be proven wrong, but as has been said several times in this thread, God's existence cannot be proven. It can be known, somehow, mystically, and no doubt uncertainly, but that's a personal matter which I hope is occasionally subjected to reason and doubt, but it cannot be shown.
    the_Albert
    11th Jun 2016
    6:22am
    This is what I was responding to:

    "If you found a Swiss watch on the beach would you say "wow look what happened by accident"?
    The universe is far more in sync and complex than a Swiss watch yet you think it happened by accident."

    That is perfectly congruent with the argument against evolution, which is why I replied as I did. The universe was created according to physical laws - hah! Where did they come from? - which account for the qualities old Cautious claims for it. Everything is explicable by these laws. They are because they are. Saying that God decreed them tells us nothing. It's the argument from ignorance, a mere hypothesis, at best a metaphor, and a redundant step. Of course I could be proven wrong, but as has been said several times in this thread, God's existence cannot be proven. It can be known, somehow, mystically, and no doubt uncertainly, but that's a personal matter which I hope is occasionally subjected to reason and doubt, but it cannot be shown.
    LUVCO2
    11th Jun 2016
    12:52pm
    HEY Alfred YOU WROTE "God's existence cannot be proven"

    By the same token God's NON-existence cannot be proven either.

    So your views are ALSO A MATTER OF FAITH!

    As well you seem to be totally dogmatic with your views in common with many other aggressive, rabid atheists.
    (Why are you people so aggressive with your views, seeking to insult those who disagree??? Beats me.)

    You atheistic faith has no more validity than religious faith!

    BUT the many distinguished scientists I have quoted disagree with you as well, and I find that very interesting.
    Johnny
    11th Jun 2016
    11:59am
    I hope you don't use a Catholic based hospital, nursing home, school, etc and hope you never have to use Catholicare, St Vincents etc for assistance
    the_Albert
    11th Jun 2016
    12:46pm
    What does this mean? The fact that there are welfare facilities provided by the Catholic church doesn't mean that God created the universe, no more than the church's tolerance of priestly child abuse proves that God doesn't exist (though it suggests that God is pretty ineffectual). And surely Catholics provide for all, not just those who believe their doctrines.
    LUVCO2
    11th Jun 2016
    12:53pm
    HEY Alfred YOU WROTE "God's existence cannot be proven"

    By the same token God's NON-existence cannot be proven either.

    So your views are ALSO A MATTER OF FAITH!

    As well you seem to be totally dogmatic with your views in common with many other aggressive, rabid atheists.
    (Why are you people so aggressive with your views, seeking to insult those who disagree??? Beats me.)

    You atheistic faith has no more validity than religious faith!

    BUT the many distinguished scientists I have quoted disagree with you as well, and I find that very interesting.
    Retired Knowall
    11th Jun 2016
    6:39pm
    You forget that Faith and or Belief does not equal Truth.
    You can believe all you like, and the sad fact is you go through life as if it's the Truth.
    if it helps you lead a peaceful happy life...that's good, keep it up, but don't try to put you delusion onto others.
    LUVCO2
    11th Jun 2016
    12:58pm
    Hey Alfred you wrote " And evolution explains why, once the universe and life began"

    EXACTLY!
    Evolution does NOT EXPLAIN THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE!

    And the mechanism of the development of the eye you describe is pure speculation!
    Please re-read this ten times and it might sink in.
    LUVCO2
    11th Jun 2016
    1:31pm
    Hey Richied you wrote"I'll give you a list of horrendous wars caused by religion:"

    Youi conveniently omit the MANY, MANY MILLIONS HORRENDOUSLY KILLED BY RABID ATHEISTS!!!

    Adherents of Marx at some level must like the mass killings. Perhaps they make them feel powerful.

    you’d have to be a pretty lacking in moral sensitivity to defend a thinker whose work sent millions of people to an early grave.

    65 million murdered in China, 20 million in the USSR, 2million in Nth Korea, 1.7 million in Africa.

    The Left trying to rehabilitate Karl Marx. Let’s remind them of millions who died in his name.
    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/178595/

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100244023/the-left-is-trying-to-rehabilitate-karl-marx-lets-remind-them-of-the-millions-who-died-in-his-name/
    LUVCO2
    11th Jun 2016
    2:02pm
    Hey Richied, some food for thought ....

    Atheism and Mass Murder
    Joseph Stalin's atheistic regime killed tens of millions of people.
    Concerning atheism and mass murder, Christian apologist Gregory Koukl wrote that "the assertion is that religion has caused most of the killing and bloodshed in the world. There are people who make accusations and assertions that are empirically false. This is one of them."[1] Koukl details the number of people killed in various events involving theism and compares them to the much higher tens of millions of people killed under atheistic communist regimes, in which militant atheism served as the official doctrine of the state.[1] See also: Atheism and communism

    Communist regimes killed 60 million in the 20th century through genocide, according to Le Monde, more than 100 million people[2] according to The Black Book of Communism (Courtois, Stéphane, et al., 1997).[3] and according to Cleon Skousen[4] in his best-selling book The Naked Communist.[5]

    It is estimated that in the past 100 years, governments under the banner of atheistic communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 to 259,432,000 human lives.[6] Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987.[7]

    The Reign of Terror of the French Revolution established a state which was anti-Roman Catholicism/Christian in nature [8] (anti-clerical deism and anti-religious atheism and played a significant role in the French Revolution[9][10]), with the official ideology being the Cult of Reason; during this time thousands of believers were suppressed and executed by the guillotine.[11] Although Communism is one of the most well-known cases of atheism's ties to mass murder, the French Revolution and subsequent Reign of Terror, inspired by the works of Diderot, Voltaire, Sade, and Rousseau, managed to commit similar persecutions and exterminations of religious people and promote secularism and militant atheism. Official numbers indicate that 300,000 Frenchmen died during Robespierre's Reign of Terror, 297,000 of which were of middle-class or low-class.[12] Of the amount murdered via the guillotine, only 8% had been of the aristocratic class, with over 30% being from the peasant class.

    One of the most well known cases of mass murder during the French Revolution was the genocide at Vendée, which has yet to be officially recognized as genocide. Some estimates indicated that Robespierre and the Jacobins planned to massacre well over 15,000,000 Frenchmen,[12] and that he also intended to commit genocide against the Alsace region of France due to their German-speaking populace.[13] Besides the guillotine, the French Revolution also resulted in various other deaths, including trampling children with horses, burning people in ovens, "Republican Marriages" (which involved stripping people naked, tying them together to a log in a suggestive fashion, and then putting them into the water to drown. In the event that there wasn't enough people of both sexes, they also resorted to "tying the knot" in a homosexual manner), cutting recently-raped girls in half after tying them to a tree, crushing pregnant women under wine pressers, cutting up pregnant women and using bayonets to stab the fetus inside before leaving her to die, "catching" infants thrown from a balcony with their bayonets, and using shotguns to ensure people bled out to death.[13]

    The aforementioned actions during the French Revolution, especially the Reign of Terror in 1793, would also inspire Karl Marx with the Communist manifesto, specifically telling Frederick Engels in correspondences to each other: “There is only one way of shortening, simplifying, and concentrating the bloodthirsty death-throes of the old society and the bloody birth pangs of the new—revolutionary terror. . . . [...] Once we are at the helm, we shall be obliged to reenact the year 1793. [...] We are pitiless and we ask no pity from you. When our time comes, we shall not conceal terrorism with hypocritical phrases. . . The vengeance of the people will break forth with such ferocity that not even the year 1793 enables us to envisage it...”[14]

    Koukl summarized by stating:
    “ It is true that it's possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the detail it produces evil because the individual people are actually living in a rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it can produce it, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We're talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God. ”

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
    Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was asked to account for the great tragedies that occurred under the brutal communist regime he and fellow citizens suffered under.

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn offered the following explanation:
    “ Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.'
    Since then I have spend well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.'

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_Mass_Murder
    LUVCO2
    11th Jun 2016
    3:12pm
    Hey Alfred you wrote ...""If you found a Swiss watch on the beach would you say "wow look what happened by accident"?"

    If I found a Swiss watch on the beach I would say "what sort of genius created such a marvellous mechanism."
    LUVCO2
    12th Jun 2016
    1:55pm
    Hey Knowall you wrote "You forget that Faith and or Belief does not equal Truth"

    You seem to have forgotten what you just wrote when you DOGMATICALLY AND FAITHFULLY state your atheistic BELIEFS WITHOUT EVIDENCE TO BACK THEM UP.
    NONE SO BLIND...

    YOUR ATHEISTIC FAITH AND OR BELIEF DOES NOT EQUAL TRUTH!
    the_Albert
    3rd Aug 2016
    4:44pm
    Geez, LUVCO2, you're still at it! Atheists do not necessarily have faith and/or belief, they simply want evidence or other good reason to suppose that religionists' claims might be true. They do not necessarily assert the non-existence of God. At least, the following is my explanation of my own atheism: given the absence of evidence, I cannot say that there is no God, but if God exists it's likely that some evidence might have become available to me in my old age, and, since no evidence is apparent, I live my life on the assumption that she's non-existent. This is a very comfortable assumption, my life appears to be just as fulfilling as the lives of those who believe, I have not (yet) suffered plague or pestilence or any other divine punishment for my non-belief, and I see not the slightest reason to alter my principles or life-style. Strictly I am an agnostic, but I might as well be an atheist (though perhaps a provisional one). Like any good scientific sceptic I am willing to change my mind if anyone or anything can convince me that The Lord is looking over me. So I am not asserting any belief and I do not need evidence. My atheistic position is conditional, not absolute, and I do not claim it to be the truth. I am merely wishing to be presented with good reasons to believe an extraordinary claim about the state of the world. In their absence I have no choice but to live my life on the basis of reality as I see it.
    LUVCO2
    12th Jun 2016
    2:15pm
    “Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs.” John Davis, Editor Earth First Journal

    “The collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans.” Dr. Reed F. Noss, The Wildlands Project

    “Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.”
    Dave Forman, Founder, Earth First

    “We, in the green movement, aspire to a cultural model in which killing a forest will be considered more contemptible and more criminal than the sale of 6-year-old children to Asian brothels.” Carl Amery

    “The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing.”
    Christopher Manes, Earth First

    This is the sort of insane claptrap that logically follows from being an unquestioning ATHEIST!
    Janran
    13th Jun 2016
    6:34pm
    Hi Leon,
    Can you tell me why my post (and Richied's) have been removed?
    leonYLC
    14th Jun 2016
    3:28pm
    Hi Janran,
    Can you tell me which comments were removed? I'm not aware of your comments being deleted. If you let me know which ones they were I may be able to help. You can send me a private message if you like.
    Cheers,
    leonYLC
    Janran
    14th Jun 2016
    6:24pm
    Thanks for getting back to me, Leon.
    Unfortunately, I didn't keep a record of my posts. My comment was anti-religion and I didn't hold back, I'm afraid. The irony is, I'm not an atheist or agnostic, just against organized religions and their influence on public life.
    Thanks anyway.
    Tassie
    3rd Aug 2016
    2:35pm
    I am a Christian but unfortunately the census only ever ask what religion you are and because, what they really mean is what denomination you are... It makes it quite hard to tell what you really believe..they really should just have a ? which means what religion you are and accept that your a Christian but they never have as long as I've been filling them in....and doing so does not count if I just put Christian.....I am a PENTACOSTAL so thousands who are, have been advised to write Pentecostal, we all belong to the Australian Christian Churches known as the ACC known once as the AOG...They do not put the ACC and many other denominations down any more...the whole question is worded wrong ...they do put different religions but they also put some denominations down too..totally wrong....the pay really do need to fix it and take the confusion away..,so that Australia and the rest of the world will know what's really the truth here..
    JiiPeeTee
    3rd Aug 2016
    3:57pm
    What is the "NO RELIGION MOVEMENT" calling for?

    According to Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary RELIGION =
    - the belief in a god or in a group of gods
    - an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods
    - an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group

    AND (Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary) NONRELIGIOUS =
    - lacking religious emotions, principles, or practices
    - Synonyms godless, irreligious, religionless

    Looking at these definitions, it would appear that the NON RELIGION MOVEMENT can also be labeled in the "religion" category having " an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group!"


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