Metaphor: Religion is like smoking

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Metaphor: Religion is like smoking

There's a lame-ass critique of so-called 'new atheism' by some right-wing blogger (link: http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2008/10/preaching_to_the_choir.php).

It is not the article itself, but the thoughtful comments below it that I found interesting. I highly recommend reading them (reading the article itself is optional, if only for the context it provides). Check them out.

Here's one comment in particular that sparked my imagination:

Quote:

My view of religion is like my view of smoking: if you must do it, do it in the privacy of your own home and not in public places, keep it out of my face, don’t do it in front of my kids and don’t try to get the government to further your habit or buy your cigarettes. (Now if we could only get the balls up to tax churches like cigarettes, what a happy day that will be.)

I don’t see why any theist can be rightly unhappy with that solution.

What struck me is that only 20 years ago, smoking was very common and pretty much everyone had to put up with it in silence, whether they were smokers or not.

Slowly, surely, the tide changed. People started to become aware of the risks of smoking. They made smoking sections in restaurants. Put up no smoking signs everywhere.

Over time, it became less socially acceptable to smoke. Now, in many locales, smoking is banned in restaurants, even bars, etc.

What's more, there's a social stigma against second hand smoking. This is what sparked my imagination and inspired this post.

Not only is smoking bad for YOU, it's also bad for the people you expose to it. It's bad for mothers to smoke around young children, even. Looked down upon. Shameful.

This is a good metaphor to explain how we find religion harmful. Not only is it harmful to YOU, whether you like your addiction or not, but it is also harmful to the people you expose to it. "Okay, enough of that preaching. I don't like your second-hand religion. It's harmful to my mental health. If you need religion, do it in the privacy of your own home or church."

We should have No Religion signs with a cross through a Cross (it can even have rosary beads attached, making it look like a cigarette with smoke coming out of it), etc.

We can make Surgeon General's stickers to put on holy books. "WARNING: Reading the Bible can cause serious long-term delusions and be harmful to your mental health!" "WARNING: Second-hand religion is harmful to children!"

What do you all think?

(Again, I highly recommend reading the comments to the article I linked to. They contains some pretty good condensations of why so-called 'new atheism' is important, and I think these comments represent a shift in consciousness. More people are speaking out against religion. Thanks Bill Maher!)

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Quote:Not only is it harmful

Quote:

Not only is it harmful to YOU,  whether you like your addiction or not, but it is also harmful to the people you expose to it.

 

Ya know people on this board keep saying that, yet I have yet to think of a single instance in which my belief was harmful to me or anyone else.

 

 


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Errrrrrrrr. DUH!!!You can't

Errrrrrrrr. DUH!!!

You can't make laws against religion, but you can against smoking.

METAPHORICAL EPIC FAIL!!!

 

Where does metaphor cross the line into false analogy?

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Just as you say natural.Cpt

Just as you say natural.

Cpt , what is your belief?

 Yeah the article is a mess. I'm most always speaking to all choirs. Thomas Jefferson was no moderate. He was a realist.

Warning, ME GOD smokes and BEWARE of BBQ's and camp fires.

Atheistic buddha Jesus said go home and pray alone you public blind hypocrites. Atheist Buddha Jesus meditated, they did not pray. Pauline Jesus followers, idol worshipers pray. I wish the paulines would stay on their knees at home until they figure out they are god, and this is heaven and hell NOW.

 

 


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darth_josh wrote:Errrrrrrrr.

darth_josh wrote:

Errrrrrrrr. DUH!!!

You can't make laws against religion, but you can against smoking.

Errr, duh. That's not the point. The point is about the new social stigma against smoking, not about smoking bylaws. And I'm proposing we help instigate a similar stigma against religious proselytizing and unsupported religious claims, not passing laws against religion. All metaphors are inappropriate if you don't take them in context. That's why they're called metaphors, and not facts.

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Separation of church and

Separation of church and state is law. Beliefs are free .... You are both right. 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Quote:

Not only is it harmful to YOU,  whether you like your addiction or not, but it is also harmful to the people you expose to it.

 

Ya know people on this board keep saying that, yet I have yet to think of a single instance in which my belief was harmful to me or anyone else.

 

 

 

Taking an absolute stance and refraining from critical thought is usually pretty unhealthy, Cap'n.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Quote:

Not only is it harmful to YOU,  whether you like your addiction or not, but it is also harmful to the people you expose to it.

Ya know people on this board keep saying that, yet I have yet to think of a single instance in which my belief was harmful to me or anyone else.

Your particular belief may not be inevitably harmful to yourself or others, but there most certainly is harm caused by various religious beliefs, to the believer and/or those they come in contact with.

In the extremes, refused medical treatment based on religious belief can and does lead to death, for example.

Attitudes to homosexuals and women based on religious doctrine certainly is harmful.

Even in your own case, you are not necessarily in a position to know whether your ideas have encouraged others to make irrational decisions which may have been caused them unnecessary difficulties, or even if you yourself may have had an improved life experience if you had adopted a more rational world view.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Quote:

Not only is it harmful to YOU,  whether you like your addiction or not, but it is also harmful to the people you expose to it.

 

Ya know people on this board keep saying that, yet I have yet to think of a single instance in which my belief was harmful to me or anyone else.

 

 

 

Taking an absolute stance and refraining from critical thought is usually pretty unhealthy, Cap'n.

 

Coming from a baptized Catholic, turned atheist, turned agnostic - I just wanted to say that my personal belief in god (or spirituality) has been the result of much critical thought, and that many atheists seem to be sitting on a pretty high horse.


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BobSpence1

BobSpence1 wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Quote:

Not only is it harmful to YOU,  whether you like your addiction or not, but it is also harmful to the people you expose to it.

Ya know people on this board keep saying that, yet I have yet to think of a single instance in which my belief was harmful to me or anyone else.

Your particular belief may not be inevitably harmful to yourself or others, but there most certainly is harm caused by various religious beliefs, to the believer and/or those they come in contact with.

In the extremes, refused medical treatment based on religious belief can and does lead to death, for example.

Attitudes to homosexuals and women based on religious doctrine certainly is harmful.

Even in your own case, you are not necessarily in a position to know whether your ideas have encouraged others to make irrational decisions which may have been caused them unnecessary difficulties, or even if you yourself may have had an improved life experience if you had adopted a more rational world view.

 

 

I can guarantee you that my personal belief in god has done more good for me and the people around me than bad.  I agree with you that certain religious sects have caused a lot of harm due to their irrational beliefs, but to be a truly rational atheist you need to understand that there are still positive sides to spirituality and/or theism.


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Let's Focus Kids

Smith wrote:
I can guarantee you that my personal belief in god has done more good for me and the people around me than bad.  I agree with you that certain religious sects have caused a lot of harm due to their irrational beliefs, but to be a truly rational atheist you need to understand that there are still positive sides to spirituality and/or theism.

If we really look we can find a positive side of any situation. Does that mean the situation is good or healthy? Does that mean that someone would be out of line in pointing out the negative results of the situation? Nope. I'm sure we can all agree that there are some empty benefits to ignorance and delusion, be it self imposed or otherwise. It is bliss afterall.

There are limitless versions of religious/spiritualist ideology. To say that "my particular very specific niche of belief doesn't harm anyone so far as you can prove" doesn't really get us anywhere. I imagine the original poster is talking about the general perception of religion, same as every other conversation about "religion". There are many discussions about specific religious/spiritualist ideas, those discussions are attacking a particular belief system or piece of one. We can usually tell those apart from the rest.

So, unless you intend on laying out the exact tenants of your particular ideology (not in this thread) and having an open conversation about each and every aspect of it... maybe we could be a tad more constructive and actually address the topic of the thread.

OP:

Fricking awesome! I usually make a heroine analogy but the smoking one is much better. I heartily approve.


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BobSpence1 wrote:Even in

BobSpence1 wrote:

Even in your own case, you are not necessarily in a position to know whether your ideas have encouraged others to make irrational decisions which may have been caused them unnecessary difficulties, or even if you yourself may have had an improved life experience if you had adopted a more rational world view.

 

 

Really now? How could it possibly caused somebody difficulties or how can I possible improve if I was atheist?

 

 


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Cpt, because to be anything

Cpt, because to be anything other than atheist leaves wiggle room for self god separatism of traditional theism theology. Get off the agnostic fence of indecision. Do you really believe there might be a master as described in theology? I know you don't, so why the appeasement? Come on Cpt, you are god, and you know it, so quit pussy footing around and attack "God of Abe" separatism kind of crap .... Be an atheist, the only sensible clear label linguistic scientific conclusion .... Thermodynamics / Atheist


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Even in your own case, you are not necessarily in a position to know whether your ideas have encouraged others to make irrational decisions which may have been caused them unnecessary difficulties, or even if you yourself may have had an improved life experience if you had adopted a more rational world view.

Really now? How could it possibly caused somebody difficulties or how can I possible improve if I was atheist?

People have expressed thanks to people like Richard Dawkins and RRS have helped them 'de-convert', but obviously they wouldn't have anticipated they would feel like that before they changed their beiiefs, otherwise they would have changed their views without needing help.

Your particular belief set may well be relatively innocuous, but almost by definition you will not see how your beliefs may be a problem for you in any way.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Oh goody, another one I hear

Oh goody, another one I hear on the boards that IAGAY is saying I'm lying/deceiving myself by holding a belief.  This just keeps getting better and better.

 

Quote:

People have expressed thanks to people like Richard Dawkins and RRS have helped them 'de-convert', but obviously they wouldn't have anticipated they would feel like that before they changed their beiiefs, otherwise they would have changed their views without needing help.

Your particular belief set may well be relatively innocuous, but almost by definition you will not see how your beliefs may be a problem for you in any way.

 

Funny, I could say the same to people who convert.


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The thing is, Pineapple,

The thing is, Pineapple, there's objective reality.  Some beliefs line up with them.  Others don't.  In the case of patently obvious falsehood, it's easy to run with the label of delusional.  If you believed that you were Elvis, it wouldn't be hard to prove you wrong.  If you continued to believe in spite of evidence that you're not Elvis, everyone would agree that you're delusional.

With something like god, it's not as obvious because the objective reality in question is an unknown.  That is, you believe in something for which there is no direct evidence, no indirect evidence, and only speculative vagueries with regard to any attempt at a definition.

It's possible that your belief doesn't have a major impact on your life, as Bob said.  However, there's a really big way in which it does affect you, and by extension, everyone else who values your opinion or observes your life.  You have set a precedent that it's correct and defensible to accept as true that for which there is no evidence, and furthermore, to defend the right of others to do the same thing.

As I've said many times before, by not refuting the validity of believing things despite a total lack of evidence, you are validating anyone and everyone's God beliefs.  The fact that your god is innocuous hardly matters.  Most gods are not nearly so harmless, and you validate others beliefs, even with your fuzzy logic information deity.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Honestly, I think religion

Honestly, I think religion is a whole lot more like douching than smoking.  I know I've said this before, but dawdle for a moment, considering the premise.

Think about it, here you sit with a nice clean vagina, where your normal flora are just percolating along, keeping the fluids mildly acidic, keeping all the bad stuff like Candida and Trichomonas and Gardnerella from propagating to dangerous levels...and then you fuck it up with a blast of vinegary water that isn't properly isotonically formulated and the good and bad microorganisms all either get plasmolyzed or turgid or even die, and suddenly the balance is upset.  By the next morning, your Lactobacillus are trying to keep up all they can, but they're getting crowded out by yeast or protozoans.  Well, Damn.

That's kind of like when you're a little kid, maybe two or three years old, and your mom and dad teach you to share, how to ask for things by saying "please", to say "thank you" when you receive things you ask for, and generally to be a good little citizen.  They do this naturally, just like those vaginal flora produce a low pH environment.  See, we evolved in social situations, and protocol is something we teach easily and usually something we learn easily, too.  But then your parents see that you're growing up and come to think that they need to teach you about artificial concepts, which are completely unnecessary for the living of a moral life, but are advertised to shore up potential problem areas, like disobedience to authority (read: that not-so-fresh feeling ).  And out comes the bag full of vinegary water.  To further the analogy, I think that what many people call "spirituality" is comparable to the perfume they occasionally mix in there.  

It comes down to this--always wear a condom when you have sex with religious people and don't go down on a girl unless you've confirmed that there's some yogurt in the fridge.

 

Jesus Christ, I'm a disgusting excuse for a person.

 

 

"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell


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I validate the

I validate the fundementals?

 

Let's take a look at Bobby's examples:

 

Quote:
Attitudes to homosexuals and women based on religious doctrine certainly is harmful.

 

 

The whole "God hates fags" movement is based on the premises that you choose to be homosexual. This is most clearly false, as there is massive evidence to the contrary.

 

Same with them thinking women are inferior, there is contrary evidence to suggest so. Smiling

 

 

So you see, you would have to show how I operate despite evidence to the contrary in order to make that argument.

 

 

 


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If you are inclined to a

If you are inclined to a belief that is held much more strongly than the 'real-world' evidence justifies, then it is highly likely that you will be blind to any evidence that that belief may be harmful in some way. So other people not sharing that belief, or preferably not into accepting ideas which lack solid demonstrable evidence, are in a better position to judge whether that belief is potentially harmful or not than the believer.

In this way, religion is not quite like smoking, because many smokers readily acknowledge that the habit is harmful, but still cannot overcome the addictive effects.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I validate the fundementals?

Let's take a look at Bobby's examples: 

Quote:
Attitudes to homosexuals and women based on religious doctrine certainly is harmful.

The whole "God hates fags" movement is based on the premises that you choose to be homosexual. This is most clearly false, as there is massive evidence to the contrary.

Same with them thinking women are inferior, there is contrary evidence to suggest so. Smiling

So you see, you would have to show how I operate despite evidence to the contrary in order to make that argument. 

The "God Hates fags" is NOT based only on the idea that homosexuality is a choice. That is silly because there are many other life-styles that  really are a matter of choice and don't attract such attacks. It is based on a disgust of homosexuality, massively reinforced by Leviticus, which in turn was inspired by an ancient culture which shared and approved of that same attitude. It is because it is not based on evidence in the first place that the haters are not going to be swayed by evidence about choice.  Which actually is consistent with my point, if you hold to a belief on irrational grounds, you unlikely to accept counter-evidence.

You are right that we would have to show you evidence that your particular belief was harmful. That is still consistent with my point that you yourself would be less likely to notice such evidence, which is why you would need us to point it out to you.

That is a major reason why RRS opposes beliefs held with little or rational argument or evidence - it encourages people to ignore or deny evidence in other areas as well. It allows them to call for legislation despite evidence that the effects are likely to be negative.

So your response in no way invalidates my argument

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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BobSpence1 wrote:The "God

BobSpence1 wrote:

The "God Hates fags" is NOT based only on the idea that homosexuality is a choice. That is silly because there are many other life-styles that  really are a matter of choice and don't attract such attacks. It is based on a disgust of homosexuality, massively reinforced by Leviticus, which in turn was inspired by an ancient culture which shared and approved of that same attitude. It is because it is not based on evidence in the first place that the haters are not going to be swayed by evidence about choice.  Which actually is consistent with my point, if you hold to a belief on irrational grounds, you unlikely to accept counter-evidence.

You are right that we would have to show you evidence that your particular belief was harmful. That is still consistent with my point that you yourself would be less likely to notice such evidence, which is why you would need us to point it out to you.

So your response in no way invalidates my argument

 

IIRC Leviticus says that homosexuality is a sin. (ergo a choice..) They think it is a sin and that the person chooses to sleep with another man/woman and sin.

 

So yes, it is based on the assumption that homsexuality is a choice.

 

 


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You stll don;t get it, Cpt,

You stll don;t get it, Cpt, it is called a sin primarily because it disgusts them, and of course it is assumed to be a choice. But if there was not that primary reaction of disgust, there would be no reason to call it a sin.

Making choices is not considered a sin!

Making what is considered a very bad/harmful choice is what makes it a sin. It is the irrationality of the idea that homosexuality is intrinsically a bad thing that is the problem I am trying to point out.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Quote:Making choices is not

Quote:

Making choices is not considered a sin!

 

 

Has a fundie ever gave you the speech of how you chose to be an atheist and hence choose to reject God? Same with their view that homosexuality is a choice.

 

So yeah, that is precisley why they call it a sin, because they do think it's a choice.

 

Quote:

Making what is considered a very bad/harmful choice is what makes it a sin. It is the irrationality of the idea that homosexuality is intrinsically a bad thing that is the problem I am trying to point out.

 

Maybe if they knew that it wasn't indeed a choice, then they wouldn't hold that position.


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Quote:

Making choices is not considered a sin!

Has a fundie ever gave you the speech of how you chose to be an atheist and hence choose to reject God? Same with their view that homosexuality is a choice.

Ok maybe I should have made it clear that an act of choice in itself is not a sin. it is making a choice to do something considered against the will of God, or to not believe in him (as they see it), that makes it a sin.

Quote:

So yeah, that is precisley why they call it a sin, because they do think it's a choice.

But NOT the ONLY reason it is considered a sin.

Quote:
Quote:

Making what is considered a very bad/harmful choice is what makes it a sin. It is the irrationality of the idea that homosexuality is intrinsically a bad thing that is the problem I am trying to point out.

Maybe if they knew that it wasn't indeed a choice, then they wouldn't hold that position.

That is very unlikely, on the evidence. Creationists cling to their beliefs in the face of massive counter evidence, so we see strong irrational beliefs causing people to ignore evidence all the time.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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BobSpence1 wrote:In this

BobSpence1 wrote:
In this way, religion is not quite like smoking, because many smokers readily acknowledge that the habit is harmful, but still cannot overcome the addictive effects.

To detail the metaphor a bit, I think we're still in the early stages, like the 1960s and 70s, when smoking was considered 'cool'. The idea that it's addictive and harmful isn't quite yet in the mainstream awareness.

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Please, never smoke, it is

Please, never smoke, it is killing and robbing me ...  Nicotine addiction is not nice. I am an expert smoker fool.

And see a dentist every birthday, a real present to yourself ... keep your natural teeth ...


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BobSpence1 wrote:That is

BobSpence1 wrote:

That is very unlikely, on the evidence. Creationists cling to their beliefs in the face of massive counter evidence, so we see strong irrational beliefs causing people to ignore evidence all the time.

 

Which was my point.

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

That is very unlikely, on the evidence. Creationists cling to their beliefs in the face of massive counter evidence, so we see strong irrational beliefs causing people to ignore evidence all the time.

 

Which was my point.

 

Which was...?? Could you clarify? Just what was your objection to my original argument?

My point is that people who hold beliefs not based on evidence, or indeed contrary to evidence, are unlikely to be open to evidence not just about the substance of that belief but about any other problems associated with that belief, such as it having potentially harmful effects on society. You seem to disagree, and kept suggesting that, for example, if people who believed homosexuality was bad, which is an irrational belief, with no evidence to support it, also believe it is  'sin' because they believe people 'choose' to be be homosexuality, would not say that if they knew it wasn't a choice. But sinc

Since it is extremely unlikely that they could be convinced of this, such a comment is, at best, academic, and beside the point, at least irrelevant to my point.

I used Creationism as one of the extreme but not uncommon examples of how people with irrational beliefs are unlikely to be swayed by evidence which in any way threatens their world-view, and this includes evidence that their belief itself, and the actions affected by that belief, may have negative impacts on anyone.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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My point was a response to

My point was a response to the argument that my beliefs do cause harm to society since it encourages others to think likewise.

However, I have never operated in the presence of a massive amount of evidence to the contrary as the fundies do.

Ergo my line of thought (to not reject evidence..) does in no way support the fundies which others think it does.

 

 


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We are a bit alike wild Cpt

We are a bit alike wild Cpt in that we don't seem to understand each others g-o-d philosophy. Yeah yeah, a lot of folks don't understand "me god as you", as per my clumsy atheist preaching satire. Bad me.

 I think I understand cool Eloise's pane-theism pretty well. I don't call my self a pantheist because to much funny new age immaterial consciousness mumbo jumbo is attached to the label. Other wise I'm pretty okay with it, as it's basically "sexed up atheism", as Dawkins says.

 So Cpt, can you in a couple sentences summarize your g-o-d philosophy?

http://www.evanwiggs.com/articles/othergods.htm

There are Seven Major World Views.

  1. Atheism – There is no God
  2. Deism – God exists but is detached from the Universe.
  3. Pantheism – All is God
  4. Panetheism – God is developing along with the Universe.
  5. Finite Godism – God exists but is limited and finite
  6. Polytheism – There are many finite gods.
  7. Theism – Classical Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

 Umm, 1 and 2 both describe me. All is god, and I am an Anti-theist, a materialist

    Note: the article has interesting definitions, but falls on it's ass, in its summation.


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I AM GOD AS YOU

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:


  1. Panetheism – God is developing along with the Universe.

This is not particularly accurate, by the way. You can tell by the paragraphs that this author has written on panentheism that he finds the temporal implications of panenetheistic belief confusing and that confusion is quite apparent to me in his summary. He's stuck on an asymmetric causal time arrow being absolute and fundamental and is trying to build a god concept dependent on that background to describe a god concept which is not.

Theist badge qualifier : Gnostic/Philosophical Panentheist

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Yes yes god wise Eloise, as

Yes yes god wise Eloise, as I noted at the end of my post. All "separatist religious" g-o-d  thinking is really messed up. Science studies the g-o-d parts of the "eternal oneness" the best way. Science is like meditation, and does not pray.

  The point is "Word, Label" definitions are linguistically messy, as I say "immaterial is a broken concept", as science better describes as matter/antimatter, as to further say consciousness is material.

 Umm, "Gnosis" is realized, and not learned, only the path can be suggested.

    LOL great sharing teacher Eloise, my "down under" wise caring friend.   


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote: So

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

 So Cpt, can you in a couple sentences summarize your g-o-d philosophy?

 

Not yet, I still have more reading/evaluating to do before I can answer.


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LOL Cpt ... you are a blast.

LOL Cpt ... you are a blast. Stay honest. Do kick me when I fuck up, as I often do.


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Quote:I AM GOD AS YOU

Quote:

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

 So Cpt, can you in a couple sentences summarize your g-o-d philosophy?

 

Not yet, I still have more reading/evaluating to do before I can answer.

So instead of calling yourself a theist (since you don't believe in a defined god) why don't you call yourself what you are?  You lack belief in any defined deity.  That makes you an atheist.  You want to believe in one, but haven't figured out if there's one that makes enough sense to believe in.  That makes you an unhappy atheist, but you're an atheist, nonetheless.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Yeah Hamby, I say Cpt and

Yeah Hamby, I say Cpt and Eloise, as different they are individually, are atheists, of linguistic misunderstandings. For this reason I don't go out publicly wearing an atheist t-shirt, as the label means different things to people. Instead I would wear an "ALL IS ONE, ALL IS GOD" t-shirt.

   A "Thermodynamics is GOD" , t-shirt would also not be generally understood.


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Hambydammit wrote:So instead

Hambydammit wrote:

So instead of calling yourself a theist (since you don't believe in a defined god) why don't you call yourself what you are?  You lack belief in any defined deity.  That makes you an atheist.  You want to believe in one, but haven't figured out if there's one that makes enough sense to believe in.  That makes you an unhappy atheist, but you're an atheist, nonetheless.

 

 

But I still do believe in a God, I'm just trying to figure things out.

 

 


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Quote:But I still do believe

Quote:
But I still do believe in a God, I'm just trying to figure things out.

There's a problem here.  If you do genuinely believe in God, then you believe in something.  You must have some concept of god, or you couldn't recognize it as a concept.  No matter how hazy, you do have boundaries within which your concept of god exists.

The question is, do you believe in something that doesn't make sense, , or do you think there is a coherent epistemology and you don't know what it is?

If it's the former, then we have all the justification we need for lumping you in with Christians because your belief is just as irrational as theirs, regardless of the fact that your deity isn't as mean.  If it's the latter, then you're putting the cart before the horse.  Good critical thought requires that we refrain from belief until we have evidence.  The only logical position with regard to something that you think may be coherent is cautious optimism that it might exist.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:Quote:But

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
But I still do believe in a God, I'm just trying to figure things out.

There's a problem here.  If you do genuinely believe in God, then you believe in something.  You must have some concept of god, or you couldn't recognize it as a concept.  No matter how hazy, you do have boundaries within which your concept of god exists.

The question is, do you believe in something that doesn't make sense, , or do you think there is a coherent epistemology and you don't know what it is?

If it's the former, then we have all the justification we need for lumping you in with Christians because your belief is just as irrational as theirs, regardless of the fact that your deity isn't as mean.  If it's the latter, then you're putting the cart before the horse.  Good critical thought requires that we refrain from belief until we have evidence.  The only logical position with regard to something that you think may be coherent is cautious optimism that it might exist.

 

 

That's why I'm an agnostic, I just can't get over the thought of there's something out there. It's hard to explain.

 

 


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  We are all "g AWE d"

  We are all "g AWE d" ....      Why invent, imagine, assume a separate Master or immaterial anything? Heck, science has it best covered as thermodynamics and matter/antimatter etc .... no magic exists.


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Quote:That's why I'm an

Quote:
That's why I'm an agnostic, I just can't get over the thought of there's something out there. It's hard to explain.

So you're really emotionally drawn to the idea that there's a god, but you can't find any coherent gods to believe in.  That means you don't believe in any particular god.  You just really want to.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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 Hambydammit

 

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
That's why I'm an agnostic, I just can't get over the thought of there's something out there. It's hard to explain.

 So you're really emotionally drawn to the idea that there's a god, but you can't find any coherent gods to believe in.  That means you don't believe in any particular god.  You just really want to.


So what, religion is my wittle teddy bear? I've noticed most of your responses to me lately have been saying that I was too emotional about this or that.

 

Okay then bring back Lucy's cardboard box again, why don't you think I can't get over the thought of something? Why do you think I respond with emotion so much? How would I get over it?

 

I know you have some kind of anyalisis cooked up in your noodle and want to dominate me again.


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
That's why I'm an agnostic, I just can't get over the thought of there's something out there. It's hard to explain.

 So you're really emotionally drawn to the idea that there's a god, but you can't find any coherent gods to believe in.  That means you don't believe in any particular god.  You just really want to.

So what, religion is my wittle teddy bear? I've noticed most of your responses to me lately have been saying that I was too emotional about this or that.

Okay then bring back Lucy's cardboard box again, why don't you think I can't get over the thought of something? Why do you think I respond with emotion so much? How would I get over it?

I know you have some kind of anyalisis cooked up in your noodle and want to dominate me again.

Well, saying that you "just can't get over the thought of there's something out there" basically is conceding that you have no rational argument, just a feeling. This is pretty much the basic reason why most people can't get their head around the idea of "no God", and it can be related to an instinctive, evolutionary-derived, tendency to attribute any mysterious observation to some unseen purposeful entity. Probably the safe assumption on the savannah, when a unnatural movement of the grass possibly indicated a stalking lion.

As to how you "get over it", dunno, I never was in such a position. It seems just more study of the scientific explanations and hypotheses for the remaining mysteries, as well as studying the history of how many other things once attributed to Gods, like lightning, and major weather events came to be seen as natural phenomena.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Quote:I know you have some

Quote:
I know you have some kind of anyalisis cooked up in your noodle and want to dominate me again.

Woah, there, cowgirl!  You must be thinking of somebody else.  If you want to be dominated, that's your deal, and I have no issue with it.  I just say what I see.  You can do with it what you want.

Quote:
So what, religion is my wittle teddy bear? I've noticed most of your responses to me lately have been saying that I was too emotional about this or that.

Yeah... because your posts have contained no logical arguments, and... um... let's see... you admitted that one was totally emotional, and then admitted that your next response was just emotional so you didn't post it... and... let's see...

Because that's where all the evidence points.

Quote:
Okay then bring back Lucy's cardboard box again, why don't you think I can't get over the thought of something? Why do you think I respond with emotion so much? How would I get over it?

Emotions are nature's way of getting us to do things that we wouldn't ordinarily do if we used only reason.  I know virtually nothing about your upbringing other than what you've told me in confidence, and I'm not going to address that here because I said I wouldn't.  Outside of that, I have nothing on which to base a guess as to why you are having such a hard time contemplating a universe without a god.

If you're willing to play along, drop a nickel in the slot and tell me, in as much detail as you can, what a universe without any god would look like.  Maybe if you figure out what's so scary about a godless universe, you'll figure out why you desperately want there to be a god.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:If you're

Hambydammit wrote:

If you're willing to play along, drop a nickel in the slot and tell me, in as much detail as you can, what a universe without any god would look like.  Maybe if you figure out what's so scary about a godless universe, you'll figure out why you desperately want there to be a god.

 

I don't think things will change much.

 

I don't think it would be very satisfying that things are the way there are because that's how they are. I don't really think that's a good enough answer so I want to dig deeper. So I guess I just view such a universe bland.

 

 

 

 


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  g - AWE - d  ,  rules

  g - AWE - d  ,  rules , go science , zero magic.


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Yeah someone said it before

Yeah someone said it before me, they've made laws against smoking because people have quickly realized what it can do to you while they don't consider the consequences of believing in any type of God and or creed. It all boils down to their method of thinking, if it harms their bodies they'll consider it but when it comes to their "precious" they shut their minds off so they can't think; that or they use the whole "faith" back-door to run away before they're blinded with reason and logic.

"Truly, if there is evil in the world, it lurks within the hearts of mankind." -Edward D. Morrison


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Quote:I don't think it would

Quote:
I don't think it would be very satisfying that things are the way there are because that's how they are. I don't really think that's a good enough answer so I want to dig deeper. So I guess I just view such a universe bland.

...Is that all this is about, Cap'n?

 

If you prefer visual media, please: watch Carl Sagan's 13-part series, 'Cosmos'. It's old, but it still inspires as much awe today as it did while Carl was among us.

If you prefer reading material, see if your library carries copies of 'Pale Blue Dot', 'Dragons of Eden' and/or 'The Demon-Haunted World'. Sagan's work remains among the most well-written and imaginative among popularizers of science.

 

Our universe is far less bland with no magic that any of the ones concieved for containing it.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown wrote:Quote:I

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:
I don't think it would be very satisfying that things are the way there are because that's how they are. I don't really think that's a good enough answer so I want to dig deeper. So I guess I just view such a universe bland.

...Is that all this is about, Cap'n?

 

If you prefer visual media, please: [url=http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=71F336998AD6B7BA]watch Carl Sagan's 13-part series[/url], 'Cosmos'. It's old, but it still inspires as much awe today as it did while Carl was among us.

If you prefer reading material, see if your library carries copies of 'Pale Blue Dot', 'Dragons of Eden' and/or 'The Demon-Haunted World'. Sagan's work remains among the most well-written and imaginative among popularizers of science.

 

Our universe is far less bland with no magic that any of the ones concieved for containing it.

 

I haven't specifically read/watched Sagan, but those things usually tend for me to want to believe more.

 

 

 


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me too , go Sagan , we are

me too , go Sagan , we are god ....


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Quote:I don't think it would

Quote:
I don't think it would be very satisfying that things are the way there are because that's how they are. I don't really think that's a good enough answer so I want to dig deeper. So I guess I just view such a universe bland.

You realize this isn't even remotely connected to the question I asked, right?

Here's the first question again, and I have another question to add:

1. What is so scary about a universe without any god(s)?  Addendum:  If it's not fear, then what is it that makes it so difficult for you to contemplate?

2. Where did you get the idea that your satisfaction is a measure of truth in the universe.  This isn't a flippant question.  You seem to think you should judge reality based on your satisfaction with the answer.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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