"APHORISM XXV. He who begins by loving Christianity better than Truth, will proceed by loving his own sect or Church better than Christianity, and end loving himself better than all."

~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Aids to Reflection (1825), Aphorism 25.

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/44795/44795-h/44795-h.htm#Page_22

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I've posted this before, but it's one of my favorites, and (to what passes for my mind anyway) pretty much undeniable.

Bertold, thank you for this powerful quote!

"Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking.  It's nothing to brag about.  And those who preach faith and enable and elevate it are intellectual slave holders, keeping mankind in a bondage to fantasy and nonsense that has spawned and justified so much lunacy and destruction."

--Bill Maher

Alan, I am happy to see your post; it has been a while since I read your comments. Thanks for this powerful quote. 

Thanks, Joan, for your kind words.  "Truth" is one of the most persuasive words in the language -- see http://www.language-expert.net/persuasive-words-language/ . Both believers and skeptics lay claim to it.

Unfortunately it's becoming a highly endangered species.

Alan, I had no idea you had such excellent credentials, and now I know why I was so impressed by your comments generally and responses to mine specifically. 

I hope you don't mind my tooting your horn, but take a look at this, fellow atheists: http://www.language-expert.net/persuasive-words-language/

I am interested in and reading your comments on the creation and use of new pronouns to replace he/she, him/her?  The one illustrated in the video was awful. I certainly hope those words and letters do not replace the old. I hope to find some other options. 

I will be looking for and reading the other articles you have listed on your blog. 

Thanks again.  Here's the post on pronouns: http://www.language-expert.net/category-political_correctness-3/ 

Best,

Alan

This is a repeated pattern, and not just applicable to Christianity.  Any dogma or doctrine which someone wishes to elevate to the status of absolute or unchangeable and themselves as the High Priest of that dogma is also looking to set themselves up as a pocket deity, an unimpeachable authority that anyone (to them) would ignore at their peril.  Such naysayers will of course be labeled as heretics and/or blasphemers and may indeed be threatened with physical harm because of their contravention of supposed "holy writ."

The way to deal with such, at least as I see it, is to make sure alternative opinions are out there, voiced without hesitation.  This doesn't necessarily mean debate, particularly since debate with the lead personalities themselves is likely useless.  This is more aimed at followers and onlookers, who may be open to the marketplace of ideas and/or to plain and simple DOUBT.  Contest their assertions, back up your arguments with facts and evidence, put them on the defensive, and the battle may be said to be well and fully joined.

Hear! Hear! I agree with everything you wrote Loren!

✔︎Actively listen to what the other person says.

✔︎Mirror back to the other so that he or she knows you understand his, hers, or their opinion, 

✔︎Understand the importance of hearing alternative voices.

✔︎ Stand up, Speak out!

✔︎There may be no one else who will speak in your behalf.

✔︎ Voice your opinions in writing, speaking, thinking, and acting. It doesn't matter if the other persons object to your voice; some may emotionally attack you, and some will be more physically resistant. It doesn't matter, speak and write. Your voice needs to be heard! 

✔︎ Stand with your head high, shoulders back, spine strong, feet planted firmly on the ground or sit straight in your chair!

✔︎ Speak without hesitation!

✔︎ Speak in the active voice, without ummms, or ahhhhs, buts, ya knows! 

✔︎ Require evidence from those who disagree with you! 

✔︎ Challenge bullying behaviors!

✔︎ Be confident, competent in yourself,

✔︎

✔︎

✔︎ 

Alan, here is a chance to use alternative personal pronouns.

Joan, Not sure what you're referring to.  Pronouns are a very complicated and fundamental aspect of a language that tell a lot about you; see http://www.secretlifeofpronouns.com/book.php .  Some languages have both formal and familiar versions of you. Others have different forms of we/us/our, depending on whether the we includes the addressee or not ('I and other people, but not you').  These pronoun liberals have too much time on their hands and no idea what they're talking about. 

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