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Björn from ABBA: There's probably no God

The Local · 25 Jun 2009, 11:04

Published: 25 Jun 2009 11:04 GMT+02:00

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Without thinking too much about it at the time, when I wrote the lyrics for ABBA's songs the message I wished to convey tallies well with campaigns launched recently by humanist organisations in the UK, US and Australia:

"There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

Earlier this month the Swedish Humanist Association (Humanisterna) launched a similar campaign. And in light of the growing influence of religious schools in Sweden, the campaign could hardly be more timely.

Unfortunately the European Convention on Human Rights doesn't permit the banning of independent religious schools. Under current Swedish law, independent schools may adopt a "confessional direction" as long as they stick to the official national curriculum and adhere to the education system's "general goals and values".

A lot of independently managed schools (friskolor) negotiate this balancing act well, but there are also a lot of schools that don't.

If it wished, Sweden could choose to refrain from using tax money to fund these independent schools. There is nothing in the European Convention on Human Rights that prevents such a course of action. But Sweden has chosen to go the other way.

So do the legal guidelines outlined above ensure that pupils at religious schools are educated in an environment that does not favour any one ideology or religion above all others? No, of course they don't.

And are not curious, questioning citizens one of society's most valuable assets? "Of course they are", is the ringing response you will receive from the majority of Swedes, of this I am convinced. And these are the sort of citizens we want our children to become.

In a recent debate with principals from two religious schools I was accused of being driven by emotions masquerading as reason. But if we hypothesise for a moment that they are right, then surely the same is true of them. And if that's the case, who should we listen to?

It is precisely to avoid such conflicts that schools should provide a safe haven from all ideologies, with the obvious codicil that children should learn as much about as many of them as possible from an objective point of view.

It's hardly controversial to opine that people in favour of religious schools are themselves believers. Religion has a natural place in their homes and their children grow up with it.

And that's fine. But does this not make it all the more important for schools to be free of religious influence? Children need to be able to meet and get to know their peers on neutral ground. Religions by their nature always run the risk of creating an "us against them" scenario. However tolerant we believe ourselves to be, there is always a reason people consider their own religion superior to all others.

One of the school system's most important functions is to create a feeling of community, where all are treated on equal terms regardless of race, class or creed. Society's way of treating children with the respect they deserve is to combat by all available means any sense of an "us against them" divide.

In my debate with the school principals, they said that societies which had not encompassed different ideologies and beliefs had never been successful. And they're absolutely right, which is why we have a secular and democratic system of government.

It is important to guarantee people the right to believe whatever they wish. But people should be free to choose their own ideology or belief system when they have become old enough to think for themselves.

Story continues below…

Nobody should have to form an opinion on matters of such weight before they are ready to size up the arguments. Above all, children should be kept away from anything that bears even the slightest whiff of indoctrination. In fact, freedom from indoctrination ought to be a basic human right for all children.

A religious education makes it more difficult for children to form their own views on the world. It puts obstacles in their way that not all are capable of overcoming.

The headmasters also put it to me that there were plenty of famous free-thinking, prominent figures who had gone to Christian schools. But really this just annihilates their own argument. These people learned to be free thinkers despite, not because of, their Christian schooling.

One of them is particularly topical this year, 150 years after the publication of 'On the Origin of Species'. Charles Darwin may have gone to a very Christian school but it didn't prevent him from coming up with the "best idea in the world". Nor did it prevent him from abandoning his faith. Because, faced with the facts at his disposal, Darwin reached the same conclusion as the Swedish Humanist Association: There's probably no God.

Björn Ulvaeus is best known as one of the four members of Swedish pop sensation ABBA and co-producer of the smash hit musical and movie, Mamma Mia! He is also a member of the Swedish Humanist Association.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:56 June 25, 2009 by iamanaccount
There's no reason to give religion state legitimacy by placing it in the same school setting as science and math. This only serves to confuse children who, free from their parents' influence, probably wouldn't even both to consider if a god exists or not and even if they did would certainly not choose today's most popular gods.
16:26 June 25, 2009 by Jeanette
Who would have thought that Björn Ulvaeus was the Richard Dawkins of the pop world?
16:35 June 25, 2009 by sthlm111
"But people should be free to choose their own ideology or belief system when they have become old enough to think for themselves." Is this even possible? Aren't we all influenced directly or indirectly in all areas of life, at all times, and even in the school systems? ABBA guy needs to be fair and admit that he would rather take the right of raising children from parents and give it solely to the state. Because religious indoctrination from a religious school is far worse than political indoctrination from a so called nonpolitical school. Right??? In addition, his great assumptions and slanderous conclusions on religious schools are grossly exaggerated.
18:50 June 25, 2009 by Harding00
I come from the US where though we have a lot more conservative Christians we also have a firm separation of Church and State, and I was surprised to learn that in Sweden there is no separation of Church and State. Personally, I see no reason for ANY public money to go towards anything with even a little bit of religious agenda, especially schools. And I agree with Björn saying "It is important to guarantee people the right to believe whatever they wish. But people should be free to choose their own ideology or belief system when they have become old enough to think for themselves." Religious schools, by there very definition, do not allow children to choose what they want to believe.
22:23 June 25, 2009 by cilcsster
Religion today is usually part of the problem and not part of the solution. All religions have their own agendas, and they all believe THEY are the truth.

Please Sweden...WAKE UP!!
22:37 June 25, 2009 by justanotherexpat
It's simple - legislate against ANY AND EVERY educational establishment that falls under Swedish (even better, European Union) legal control. Full stop. Total secularism. If parents insist on indoctrinating their poor kids, at the very least they should not have the indignity of being forced through an educational system that allows brainwashing based on doctrine.

I'm not discriminatory against any one religion - I despise them all completely and totally on equal terms.

Offended? Then forgive me. And move on :)
23:59 June 25, 2009 by spy
Forgive him father for he knows not what he hath said.
00:56 June 26, 2009 by 7
you might be then equally surprised to learn that there is indeed a separation of church and state in sweden. seems you learned two new things today.
02:36 June 26, 2009 by eurowanderer
Irrespective of whether there is a God or not, the law of 'Karma' applies at all times.

One gets exactly what one deserves: the fruit of one's past actions.

Past actions can be from this life - we do see cases where one got what one deserved.

But mostly, in this life one enjoys or suffers the fruit of actions in past lives.

'Karma' applies to every living thing, every moment, until 'Nirvana'. One can suddenly taste the fruit of a past action at any moment without any warning.

There is therefore perfect justice - one always gets what one has 'earned' and one never gets what one has not 'earned'. No one to blame or credit except one's own past actions.

Keeping the above in mind, look at the situation of the world's living things (not just humans). Think what they might have done to be in this situation. And then lead a life that will not lead you into such a situation in your next birth.

Thinking intelligently and logically, it surely cannot be possible that one is born, lives and dies and that is it. It surely has to be more complicated than that.

Very few criminals get caught. In such a complex universe can it simply be possible that once they die that will be it?

So more important than the question whether there is a God or not, are the questions:

What is the aim of life? And am I achieving the aim of life? What will be the consequences (to myself) of the life I am leading?
03:24 June 26, 2009 by dtes
karma is a nice idea but it too in just a stuporstition!
03:40 June 26, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
Old meme: "My dogma ate my karma" or "my karma run of your dogma"
03:51 June 26, 2009 by Gustav- Fælbönnran
eurowanderer: I used to become upset with myself when I treated other people badly, until I learned about Karma.

Now I know that my treating them badly is just their bad karma, so it is on them, and therefore unavoidable.

So fjuck you, you tedious fjuck.
04:07 June 26, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
I love lamp.
04:32 June 26, 2009 by Gustav- Fælbönnran
04:55 June 26, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
:laughs so hard tears stream down face:
09:05 June 26, 2009 by tranel
"There probably is no God."

Erm, no, there's probably isn't. If there is, he/she/it stopped caring about us a loooooong time ago (if he ever did, why should he care about us in particular, when he's got all of cosmos to look after? Because we were created in his image? Oh, please...).

It's all up to US to make this world a decent place to live, work and grow. Let me say that again: It's all up to us, it's OUR responsibility to make our world better by working together, trusting each other and putting our minds to good use. "God" is not going to help us out, if he ever did. Bjorn is right, any form of religious indoctrination in schools should just stop-kids can make up their own mind.

As long as we keep believing that a fictional creation will somehow magically guide us and relieve us of the responsibility for sorting out our problems, welll.... we're not really going to make any progress are we?
09:30 June 26, 2009 by anv
There's most definitely a God.
09:37 June 26, 2009 by AnimalFarm
There is still hope for tranel. Anv is right.
09:45 June 26, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
There isn't a god. There is only the search for meaning by people who cannot accept their own insignificance.

Still, whatever gets you through the day. For me, it's cigarettes, and that's more harmful than believing in god.
09:58 June 26, 2009 by Y A Max
I think you guys lost mind, and no one can doubt with you to make you understand that there is God. I wish God impose his mercy up on you and give you the understanding.
10:04 June 26, 2009 by Sameth
"In the USA...we also have a firm separation of Church and State". Well, maybe officially but I don't know many "Western countries" where religion has such a strong (or at least obvious) impact on State decisions (e.g. see link) and where every speeches end-up with a "God bless America".

10:06 June 26, 2009 by Eric Cantona
A rather small man from Stockholm who learnt the piano and became famous in the 70's (the part being far less significant than the sum), and who has since spent a significant proportion of his energy in avoid paying tax to the state - now presumes to dictate what the state should allocate it's resources on.

What a tosser.

He hast spoken - now enjoy your lives and don't worry if it's deemed right or wrong by a possible gassy substance that may or may not have created the universe.

Just enjoy it! Woo- hoo!! Eat those apples... take a cha cha chance
10:21 June 26, 2009 by Paulo +fab muscular than Jonnhy
and what would look like in reality a secular America?
10:30 June 26, 2009 by Dag Uhrskov
Just because there is no ABBA doesn't mean that there is no God. Björn it is a shame that you can't see that your talent comes from God. You are blinded by your riches. Money money money in a rich mans world! You have your God!

Only a fool would say that there is no God!
12:19 June 26, 2009 by Hauhr
How do you know that God exists? Well there's a book about him. So he must exist.

What about the eye? The eye is too complicated and beautiful to have been made by nature, so it must have been God.

The arguments for the existence of God always make me pee my pants with laughter.
12:25 June 26, 2009 by Paulo +fab muscular than Jonnhy
Only a fool would believe that the earth was created 6,000 years ago.
12:44 June 26, 2009 by Johno
Funny that few are addressing the first line of the item - namely .

Who can not say that their introduction to religion was from their parents and family and schools, all working from the standpoint that their own beliefs were the true ones. And even that to doubt that belief was a crime in itself. Hence the overwhelming majority have some belief/faith imposed on them from an early age. Who has ever brought up their children under a regime that this is what we believe in, but you make your own mind up when you are grown up enough to do so.

Now some honesty, please. Its a separate issue to the agnosticism also expressed.

ps And the headline here makes the fuller statement more provocative - otherwise he certainly has a right to be agnostic, though whether others need to know is another matter.
12:52 June 26, 2009 by uwabami
> Freedom from indoctrination ought to be a basic human right for all children

What about human rights for parents, for the whole family? Should their opinion has any influence on their children's education, or there is a place only for mr. Björn's opinion? For me it looks like an attempt to produce unified citizens with unified beliefs in schools. Kind of brainwashing.
12:55 June 26, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
Like religion?

- how many of these damn threads do we have to have?
12:56 June 26, 2009 by Johno
Is to be without belief or to be allowed to make your own mind up brainwashing ? I dont think so. But parents are always going to want to impose their views on their children to a lesser or greater extent - its human nature. So nobody is going to win this argument.

Dont remember it being argued quite this way before. Anyway, you can always ignore it.
13:01 June 26, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
This issue has been argued in every conceivable way for years on this forum.

Like you did with my comment? Go, go cyberwarrior!
13:22 June 26, 2009 by 7
damn björn for going off and making a comment on the campaign so way after it came out. couldn't we ask him to merge his comments with the news of the day? cluttering up the news like that, sheesh
13:24 June 26, 2009 by Johno
Like you did with my comment? Go, go cyberwarrior!

Well, to make everyone happy, if nobody else cares, I dont really care that much either, so on this topic bye, farväl, hyvästi
13:27 June 26, 2009 by uwabami
> Is to be without belief or to be allowed to make your own mind up brainwashing ? I dont think so.

If we're talking about mature person - I'm agree with you. If we talking about kids - I don't :) Just because of immaturity of children minds. I think it's very hard to build up own beliefs when parents are telling that God exists and schoolteacher is telling that he doesn't. Only conclusion in this situation - adults are telling a lot of bullshit, how they could be right about anything, if they can't agreed on such basic thing?!
13:36 June 26, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
13:44 June 26, 2009 by Mrkjbr
I am a firm believer that God does indeed exist; there is no question in my mind about that. I believe the Bible is a source of Gods instructions on how we should live and govern ourselves. It is Gods system that does not yet exist in out world, the proof being the turmoil the world is in. Man is incapable of doing so because the human heart is corrupt.

The religions of the world are all man made. Not one of them has what God intended for the world. Mankind has taken the Bible and twisted its intents to fit what he/she wants to justify their behaviors. That is one reason they have all become troublesome, there is no truth or the truth has been obscured.

I respect Bjorn's viewpoint that there is no God. I do not agree with it, but I do respect it. Many may ask why?

Simple, God gave each man/woman the right and freedom to choose. If I am following God, who am I to take that freedom away? That is between each individual and God.

Thank you and God Bless !!
13:46 June 26, 2009 by Kaethar

The freedom to indoctrinate your children is not a right. You can teach your children your values, no problem - you should not be able to "teach" your children there is a God and force them to go to religious services.
13:52 June 26, 2009 by Kaethar
Many humanists believe God exists. What humanists do not believe in is organised religion and that values are dictated by holy books. Humanism believes there is a common morality in all mankind. According to humanism values can also change over time or place as we gain more knowledge. According to humanist ideas Mohammed marrying a 9 year old is not seen as wrong, since back then the area of psychology was not as developed as it was today. Although a 9 year old may be physically mature we know today that she would not have been mentally mature. According to religious people though (in this case muslims) time stands still and what was accepted thousands of years ago is still accepted today. And any practicing muslim should accept then that marrying a 9 year old is acceptable (although most muslims appear to be in denial). But hey, that's religious people for you.
13:53 June 26, 2009 by Streja
I was "forced" to go to religious services, well not really because I used to believe in God. It was a way for me to live through every day of being bullied at school and genereally being miserable and depressed. If it had not been for my religion and my love of music, literature and my good grades in school I would probably not be here right now.

I do not believe in God anymore. Growing up does that, so I don't think that parents telling you anything will always mean that you continue in their footsteps. My dad did not believe in God though so I don't know how much indoctrination I had. I was always able to take what I liked about the religion and discard what I thought was silly.
13:55 June 26, 2009 by Streja
Yes, and some people think that Spanish people are too different from Belgians, but that's just weird innit.
14:01 June 26, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
For what it's worth, I really enjoyed going to services. I'm also very grateful that my step-father took charge and provided me with the opportunity to explore my spiritual side. I do not believe that he was attempting to brainwash me. Furthermore, when I told him I no longer wanted to go to religious school, he supported that decision and I stopped going.

That said, being married to a self ascribed, "Evangelical Agnostic" I can see where people think religion is brainwashing since children don't necessarily have a say in the matter - typically following their parents into faith.

All of that is an aside, however.

Discussions like this always revert to someone saying, "If you don't believe in G-d, you're wrong." And another genius retorts with, "If you believe in G-d, you're an idiot." It's circular, without end and in all the years where I have either participated in or observed such a debate, nary the tween shall meet and neither side will walk away respecting the other.

It's the eternal dead horse of the internet.
14:10 June 26, 2009 by 7
really what?
14:12 June 26, 2009 by uwabami
> The freedom to indoctrinate your children is not a right.

Who has decided that?

> You can teach your children your values, no problem - you should not be able to "teach" your children there is a God

Of cause, there are many Gods! But anyway, how can anyone tell me what I should or shouldn't tell to my children? Can I tell them that Tooth fairy exists?!

> force them to go to religious services.

Can I force them to go to brush teeth? Can I? Or may be I should ask somebody as wise as Björn from ABBA first?
14:12 June 26, 2009 by Streja
Yep Kang I never felt indoctrinated. I have gone on trips and to camps and seen placs I probably would not have had the chance to. All those experiences have influenced me.
14:12 June 26, 2009 by justanotherexpat
"you might be then equally surprised to learn that there is indeed a separation of church and state in sweden"......

Yes. In theory. But these wily biblebashers have ways and means of influencing the kommun, the schools, the law.makers, the judges............it's almost insidious.

Don't even start me on privately-run schools.........
14:13 June 26, 2009 by Streja
I don't think there should be religious schools though.
14:18 June 26, 2009 by Eric Cantona
If you abolish even the acknowledgement of religion in schools, how do explain to kids what's happening in the world's problem spots?

Why do people blow themselves up in market places or on trains?

Or let's reduce it; WTF are Santa Claus or Santa Lucia all about, Teacher?
14:19 June 26, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
007 - you said, "cluttering up the news..."

You do realize that it is conceivably possible to find a story, on a daily basis, about religion and the existence of a higher being. Swedish or not. Law or not. There is *always* a current story about religion.

This topic was recently debated approximately two weeks ago when the news of a specific advertisement was reported by The Local. I'm sorry you cannot recognize the tedium of this argument or the fact that some people are sick to death of reading the judgmental bile from the vehement supporters of either side of the debate but there is absolutely nothing new, ground breaking or earth shattering in this thread. Nothing. All this does is breed contempt between two groups of thought that will never, ever, ever agree - let alone respect one another.
14:23 June 26, 2009 by 7
sorry, poor attempt at humor when trying to link news to a forum of threads.

grade for the day=fail
14:26 June 26, 2009 by 7
eh...you talking sweden here or the US? last time i checked no schools in sweden were forbidden from teaching evolution or sex education.
14:29 June 26, 2009 by Streja
Uhm, there is something in school called religion, but it's a subject not a faith based education.So they will learn about it all.
15:17 June 26, 2009 by Nicole?Pappa?
God and religion is only for those who need the security of it as they are so frightened of death.

Believe me folks, there is no heaven and no hell and no God.
15:20 June 26, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
:points to above:

See what I mean, 007.
16:03 June 26, 2009 by k1a2k1
Although I was raised in a Christian faith, and went to church on a regular basis, I went through a rebellious phase and put religion and church on the back burner, mostly because it was the people who were so-called religious leaders, were very much as two-faced, and hypocritcs that drew me away from God and religion. Now as an adult, I have similar views like Bjorn, but I can make up my own mind and decide. Some things I like about religion, and some of the faiths I agree with and some I do not. Like why can't a Catholic priest get married; and so many of them get into trouble with abuse. In the Baptist faith, no drinking, no dancing, no celebrations. At my church I belong to UMC (The united methodist church), a little more laid-back, not too strict and not too invasive. In other words, I don't feel guilty or bad if I don't go to church all the time.
16:29 June 26, 2009 by askin
There are two seperate issues being discussed here:

1- Is there God?

2- Should schools give education in religion(s)?

1- The super order in nature is proof enough that this order is not the result of a series of haphazard co-incidents, in no matter how long time it has evolved, but

is the design of a super power we call "God". Various prophets have carried God's messages to people. Miracles have occured and still do occur now pointing to a super power. Its rules we do not know, as we are only human beings, but we are trying to find out about them with our modest sciences.

2- Schools should offer education in the God's religions, on a free-choice basis. If the students choose to take a course in religions, there should be no marks or examinations in them.

The State should be free from religion. If Governments have religions, people are obliged to believe, which is against the religions.

Askin Ozcan


ISBN 1598001000 ((Outskirts Press)
16:52 June 26, 2009 by Kaethar
Ah, so you'd disagree with me, whatever I say, to make a point.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Article 13

1. The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice.

Article 14

1. States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Yeah, that's the same.
17:34 June 26, 2009 by Princess P
As far as I can see this has nothing to do with whether there is a god or not. It's about who gets to decide what is best for a child, the parents, the state or Björn from ABBA. I nearly always side with the parents. Apart from mine who tried, and are still trying, to indoctrinate me into their faith by forcing me to watch Manchester City play.
17:39 June 26, 2009 by BUY-N-LARGE
Atheism is not an indoctrination?
17:58 June 26, 2009 by Gustav- Fælbönnran
Hah! This does raise an interesting question, but I think what our friend from ABBA was saying is that children should not be conditioned to accept a specific ideology or theology. They should be prompted to ask questions about the natural and societal worlds and form their own thoughts as a result of examining these questions.

All belief systems lead to sorrow.
18:24 June 26, 2009 by Brugge
That man looks like an athiest.

how is this news?
19:04 June 26, 2009 by 7
i believe in love. but i thought it was:

love stinks

yeah yeah
19:52 June 26, 2009 by Gustav- Fælbönnran
You can take the gurl out of Beantown, but ...

Did you know that they were originally called Snoopy and the Sopwith Camels? Their harmonica player was known as "Magic Dick".
19:54 June 26, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
Only a truly gifted genius can play the drums with fish.
19:55 June 26, 2009 by sojourner
I've never met Michael Jackson. I've never seen him. I've only heard of him...

I don't think he exists or ever did exist. It's all a big lie. Nobody will ever sucker me and cause me to believe otherwise.
20:37 June 26, 2009 by Marc11
If God exists and is perfect, why are humans not perfect? A perfect being cannot produce something with flaws.
20:48 June 26, 2009 by sojourner
The first created humans, the Man and the Woman, were perfect in all ways with a free will to choose. It was their own pleasures that led to a place where their relationship with God was interrupted. The Man began to make up rules to keep from eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil - he told the Woman "Don't touch it."

God never said don't touch it, only that they couldn't eat it. It's religion that gets us in trouble. Religion is about RULES. God desires RELATIONSHIP.

Don't confuse the two or you've fallen into the lie about eating from the KNOWLEDGE of good AND evil.
21:33 June 26, 2009 by Gustav- Fælbönnran
Wow, you must be some kind of an expert on Islam. Are you from the Middle East?


This, of course, being Sweden, we can appreciate all of these foreign folk tales without believing a word of it. It amuses us when you attempt to present the traditional folk tales of the Middle East as literal fact that would somehow impact us. It is as if we were trying to convince you that Little Red Riding Hood really did have a run-in with the Wolf.
23:09 June 26, 2009 by sojourner
Who said anything about Islam? There is only one true God. He sits in the highest place above all gods, all peoples, all religions & all athiests.

Religion comes from the word to re-ligate or "return to the law". It can also be expressed as return to rules, regulations & bondage. I put athiests in the "religious" camp also. They have their own set of rules and restrictions in their thinking and lifestyle just like Christians, Muslims, Hindus, or "fill in the blank" do.

A relationship with a caring and loving God is not religious at all. Once you get past all the crap that Christians make it out to be, or NOT to be, it is the most joyous, peaceful, fulfilling life. God looks at the heart of a man or woman who knows and does what is right in His sight. Jesus was very angry at the religious leaders of that day for manipulating and perverting the relationship. I hate to wonder what he thinks of the religious leaders today.
23:23 June 26, 2009 by Mzungu
Here endith the first lesson...

*nostalgic reminder of Eric Paul Adelgren*
00:01 June 27, 2009 by Marc11
Sojourner, you assert that the first humans were perfect. Does that mean that latter humans were not? If this is the case then God displayed imperfection when he created latter humans to be imperfect. And why did he not make latter humans perfect? Is it because the first humans chose to follow their free will? Why did God decide to punish me because of what Adam and Eve did? This smells like collective punishment. I was not around when the first couple disobeyed God. Why do I have to pay the price?
00:34 June 27, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
:cues circus music:
00:44 June 27, 2009 by 7
i so didn't. i think freezeframe was the first [cassette] album i ever bought for myself.
00:58 June 27, 2009 by sojourner
You and I were made perfect like the Man and the Woman in the garden. But, with an errant sin nature passed down from Adam, we had bent toward sin–that sucks. Even our parent's past choices affect us today–that sucks too.

Jesus, who was not born of the offspring of a man, but by the Holy Spirit through a virgin, did live the perfect life. He was a spotless lamb - the perfect sacrifice for us all. I'm not perfect, but I have an advocate to the Father who sees me as His Son Jesus. It doesn't mean that I use that liberty to be an a-hole or a religious elitist. It means that I'm grateful and must be willing to lay down my life for others, just as Jesus did for me.

Many "Christians" I see in the U.S., especially here in Texas are in name only. They are some of the most miserable, frustrated people I know. But, when I stripped myself from all the religious crap and truly, whole-heartedly followed Jesus – there is no other joy or peace imaginable that could ever replace it.
01:10 June 27, 2009 by 7
kind of a big fail on the part of a creator that the prototypes suck so bad that they screw up forever for all humankind.

so what's the big need for a virgin anyway? and if he's perfect and divine, why not just show up at 18?

so what again was the sacrifice? checking out of the theme hotel?

opiate high?
02:38 June 27, 2009 by eurowanderer
Gustav- Fælbönnran, you are right.

The other people you treat badly are suffering their 'karma'.

Have you ever been unable to treat someone badly despite trying? Thats because they didn't have the 'karma' to suffer your bad treatment.
03:20 June 27, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
Please step away from the bong.
06:15 June 27, 2009 by ihmar
Nature doesn't explain anything (about the universe). It itself is in need of explanation.

Q: But why do universal forces always produce the same result?

How r things regulated so that birds fly in the air, fish live in water and man lives in this world with all his amazing potentials and capabilities?

Scientist: My science only tells me about what happens, it does not answer the question about why it happens.

Huxley said: "Any talk of this nature is utter nonsense. None of our branches of science--untill the present day--know what type of accident could produce such a great reality with all its wonder and beauty".

The idea that life happend as the result of an accident is like saying that you could get a dictionary as the result of an accidental explosiion in a printing press.
09:08 June 27, 2009 by Mrkjbr
BRAVO !!!!!!!!!!!

The true definintion of science seems to be Mortal mans attemps to discover what God already knows about His entire creation.
10:47 June 27, 2009 by abbafan78
If there was no god there would be no ABBA the pop group. Well I agree with Björn here.
12:16 June 27, 2009 by Gustav- Fælbönnran
It is bad enough that every knucklehead with a keyboard has to lecture us on how we should be living our lives, but to compound the misery, they all have a different "one way" that we should be doing it.

Notice to posters: you can discuss this news story without telling other people how to live their lives.

Also, eurowander- get a grip. Your treatise on the meaning of karma was only your second posting at the Local. You don't get to take that didactic tone with us. You must have been a highly annoying person in a past life.
12:39 June 27, 2009 by CTIDinÅrsta
Maybe "Pop" is "God the father", and the end of the world is nigh!

That's why they're not revealing the gender Because a divine eternal being doesn't have a gender. Doesn't need one -who's it going to shag?

Wonder how long it takes for an eternity in heaven with religious nutters to turn into hell. Or maybe I'm wanted for a sunbeam, glad I took physics at school.
19:44 June 27, 2009 by Amerikat
Spoken like a true, insignificant Swede. Liked your music. Hate your thought process. For those of you "intellectuals" who need proof, good luck. That's why the term "faith" is in the English language. Look up the definition. Your lack of "faith" is why your society is crumbling before your blue eyes. Blue as in naive, much like the teary children's paintings hanging in your apartments. Wake up, Sweden. Your Godlessness is catching up to you. Or maybe I should say your Allahlessness.
19:51 June 27, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
I guess the Japanese should also take heed and start to worship your perceived god?

Afterall, everyone knows the land of the rising sun has obviously consistently suffered over the past 50 yrs for not doing so.
01:38 June 28, 2009 by eurowanderer
Gustav- Fælbönnran, you are expressing your views and I am expressing mine, not imposing them. You replied to my post and I replied to yours. Unlike you, I am not insulting others. You don't have a monopoly on this site. You are using brute force as you don't seem to have any valid counter point. As you say, it was only my second posting so who is the knucklehead with a keyboard?

And by your own logic, if you have been annoyed, it is just your bad karma, so it is on you, and therefore unavoidable. Get a grip yourself.
03:11 June 28, 2009 by Gustav- Fælbönnran
You are just another pedantic windbag with a pet philosophy. Just like the Jesus freaks who post their nonsense from their trailerparks in Florida about how Sweden needs to "wake up". There is a world of difference between those of you who enter dialogues, and those of you that make sweeping declarations as if you are talking to children.

You can all go pound sand.

What's that? Hold on, sorry, God was talking to me just then- He says that you should worry about yourselves and keep your traps shut. Lead by example, and all that, and- wait a minute- He says that he is sending a plague of - of- what's that word? My Hebrew is so rusty- I think He says that you are all getting a plague of sand lice in your crotches, but I might be off on the translation.

Good luck with the sand lice. Or maybe it was sand mice, but would that make sense? Sigh. The Big Guy can be pretty inscrutable at times.
07:51 June 28, 2009 by MikeSar
"There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

Yes, by all means, enjoy your life. But, what if you get old, what if someone you love dies, what if a community you care suffers due to something beyond your control?

In short, what if there is need for help to survive some misfortune? Could some noble or religious ideas help you in your moment of need? Or, must you toughen up and simply survive, regardless how miserable you are!

I believe Religion helps me keep my sanity, when things go bad. When everything is OK, then everything is OK. It is only when things are not OK, that faith on something, anything, more important than I am, helps me thru the many cases when this happens.

But, what if you find no solace, no peace and no help in believing in something higher than yourself?

Well, if you have NO need to explain anything in the world by a faith on something bigger than yourself, then, of course, you need no God -you ARE God.
08:52 June 28, 2009 by 7
or, you have a sense of rationale and deductive reasoning and inner strength.

mike, you say that religion works for you. isn't that enough? why is there are need to condemn others who don't share your faith?
09:17 June 28, 2009 by arnuxii
I'm an atheist but I have tried religion and found you definitely feel better if you believe.

All atheists should try being Christian or Muslim for a week to see how it feels, you will be surprised.
09:23 June 28, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
I comprehend what you say, yet would argue a person is quite able to feel any perceived "security" or "wholeness" any religion affords them if they are able and willing.
09:53 June 28, 2009 by shpongle
Just goes to show how dishonest the idea of religion is.
14:42 June 28, 2009 by Rebel
Well, secular nations die out pretty fast due to the lack of purpose coupled with a materialistic outlook that sends the birth rate below replacement. Irony is, the groups that maintain religion will reproduce faster and will overcome the selfish hedonists. Fair or not that is just the way it is.
15:32 June 28, 2009 by Kaethar
ROFL. This post made my day.
15:42 June 28, 2009 by shpongle
Still that is no proof of god nor a reason to live the lie. Hedonsists... you speak as if it is something wrong to seek pleasure in the only life you really really know that you get to live. Those poor saints you speak of are pretty good at seeking pleasure themselves too, why else you think they have so many babies.
15:48 June 28, 2009 by Kaethar
Lol. Give me an example of a "secular nation that has died out" due to lack of religion?

I know plenty of nations that have nearly been wiped out because of religion though (not their own nation of course, religious nations tend to attack and kill other nations instead).
16:25 June 28, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
Yeah, cos all good Christians fjuck for Jessica Christ.

Personally I can't help but notice it's the more insecure and primitive cultures that tend to clutter up our rather small, resource limited planet planet with their superstitious, cave ready, greedy mouthed progeny...

To invoke your own dogma, I find something quite Satanic about any organisation that wishes to breed to the max, strip mine the planet and expect everyone else to be ok with this.

And, you call non-believers selfish?
17:32 June 29, 2009 by theKingRich
Thank you Björn... Thank you for showing you have been indoctrinated with stupidity. I'll keep my current Abba albums, but I won't support you any more...
20:02 June 29, 2009 by eurowanderer
Consider this situation. Identical twin brothers. On the same day one kills 10 innocent people and the other kills 100 innocent people. Both are caught and hanged at the same time, didn't repent.

Atheists, no consequences after death, so do what you want. Logical? Rational? Scientific? Fair?

God believers, SAME eternal hell for both, kill 1 or kill a million. God's justice? Fair?
00:15 July 30, 2009 by AJNJ
But, does God believe in Bjorn. Is this Bjorn's way of saying "Take A Chance On Me?" I don't know. If in the name of God, men have killed their thousand's, in the name of no god, men have killed their millions. 12 million killed for Naziism, 25 million killed for Soviet communism, 5 million killed for Maoism, 1 million killed by the followers of Pol Pot. Need I go on? Man, with his free will, can be quite stupid and selfish. That is not God's fault. My little litany above is proof that everyone believes in something or someone. It is, in a sense, all religion.
01:54 July 30, 2009 by Kaethar
Wrong. These people have not been killed in the name of atheism whilst plenty of people have been killed in the name of religion. You'll find very few examples of people being killed "in the name of no-religion." The muslims killed by police in China during riots is the only event I can think of.
09:19 July 30, 2009 by 7/1
You all need a miracle to happen to you or to have experiences with God to believe that there is God!.

Who will say that there is no God is the man or woman who did not have that experiences by observing his or her life and see how God is in it in each details.So the problem is in believing in Him or to not believe in Him , from this believing or not begin the solution for all your problems or the problems will continue.

God said : who will believe in me can move this montain ( his problems) from its place.

It is just a believing or not believing.So believe and you will see God`S work in your life or be blind forever and in the end you will get punished because you did not believe and that is God`S words not mine.
10:23 July 30, 2009 by mfh4
Actually you are right and wrong, right in saying that religion has killed plenty of people, wrong in saying that atheism hasn't killed anyone. Atheism in the forms of the former (and present) communist regimes in Russia and China has killed plenty of people for their religious beliefs, mainly because they belonged or belong to organizations that threatened the dominance of the ruling Communist Party. While these people were not killed 'purely' in the name of atheism, they were still killed, if not for their beliefs then for their membership of various faith organisations. Just for the record I have no really firm opinion on this discussion. To quote Mercutio "A plague on both your houses" ;-)
13:42 July 30, 2009 by Paddy
Come on, if there is a God, the man's a c*nt!

Are these comments by Bjorn going to spark mass Abba album burnings, like in the 60's with John Lennon? It's the proportionate and rational reaction to any criticism that amuses me about these bible-bashers. Although maybe they'd be right to burn the Abba albums...
16:37 July 30, 2009 by Nomark
I assume that you don't see the irony of referring to someone who rejects beliefs based on nothing more than faith and legends as being "indoctrinated" ?
17:52 July 30, 2009 by Torontonian
I am quite amused to see how much people care about what some washed out singer has to say about...frankly, anything.

However, I am befuddled (always wanted to use this word in a sentence) at how many times the same topic with the same arguments appear again and again. (That, and the Middle East / Islam / Jews / Nazis /Conspiracies)
18:23 July 30, 2009 by Nomark
He's a smart individual who is one of the most successful songwriters of the 20th century (and he didn't do a great deal of singing). I'd rather read his opinions than those of many of the posters on this forum. The man who wrote the lyrics to Du måste finnas undoubtedly has intelligent remarks to make concerning faith and good for him that he's using his celebrity to bring up this issue for wider public discussion.

As regards your befuddlement, it may well be self-induced since you seem to be arguing about the same topics time and again.
19:09 July 30, 2009 by Torontonian
1. Yes, he is a major thinker philosopher of the 20th century. He might consider to be an elected official in the 21st.

2. Thanks for helping me with my befuddlement.
19:22 July 30, 2009 by Nomark
He's as smart, if not more so, than most who make public pronouncements regarding matters of faith.

Here's one of his best pieces on religion:


It certainly beats low grade sarcasm about clapped out singers and philosophers.
19:30 July 30, 2009 by Paddy
It's odd because he doesn't believe in God but does believe in angels!
19:32 July 30, 2009 by Nomark
There's something good in everything he sees.
19:55 July 30, 2009 by Torontonian
Great piece about religion!!! Wow. Here is another one of the same type:


I think the definition is Schmaltz (rendered pig, chicken, or goose fat used for frying or as a spread on bread, especially in German and Polish cuisine.) Also - excessively sentimental or florid music or art.

It certainly beats a good verbal and respectable argument about God, religion (or atheism) and the good and bad effects of religion (or no religion).
20:05 July 30, 2009 by Nomark
Do you have anything interesting or insightful to say at all ? Any point you want to make, other than whinging bitterly about someone saying something you don't like ?
20:20 July 30, 2009 by Torontonian
I will be more literal Gov'ner:

Arguments re religion and atheism should be used and not some schmaltz music piece. It seems that any atheism or religion discussion here is more of an idiotic "religion = bad, wars, prehistoric mentality" or "Atheism = communism/nazi, devoid of ethics and vicious".

It seems that NO ONE is capable of finding good aspects and destructive aspects in either at the same time. It is more like a football match. That includes you. If Bjorn would like to join the discussion on the local he can (hey, it might be you for all I know). However, he chose to come out with silly statements and a musical piece. It is more interesting to find some critical thinking and self reflection than demagogic statements.
06:43 September 28, 2009 by vickieolson
Maybe Sweden will will end up being converted or forced into Islam...serves you right.

Who cares about ABBA, is that a religion?
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