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blacklight915
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Hello all!

Hello to everyone! My name is Scott, and I've been a regular visitor to this site for about 5 months. I had meant to join two weeks ago, but after reading and listening to things posted Frank Walton, Ray Comfort, Dennis Markuze, Jean Chauvin, and others like them, I became very discouraged. However, I soon realized that giving up would, obviously, do nothing to solve the problem. It frightens me that people can so passionately hate an entire group of people merely because of their shared non-belief. It greatly disturbs me that someone can actually take pleasure in the thought of others suffering for eternity.

Now, I know (and am very glad) that the majority of theists are not like this. However, I am somewhat puzzled as to why this is. It seems to me that the reason most believers are not fundamentalists is because they don't question or investigate their beliefs. After all, the major tenets of moderate/liberal Christianity (the Golden Rule, being a good person, helping others, etc.) are only briefly mentioned in the Bible. Also, none of them are actually original to Christianity.

I was thinking that: if not many people would take an action they don't believe is justified; does it follow that even the most horrible actions were done by people who thought (at that moment, at least) that taking that specific action was justified? Sorry for the badly worded sentence.


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Welcome.I think most people,

Welcome.

I think most people, at least in the west, buy what society sells them, find their clicks and muddle through life without questioning much.

The good thing about communication is that questioning IS on the rise because the clicks and stereotypes and gang mentality cannot hide as well as it used to. We see uprisings even in the Middle East in countries which just a couple of decades ago were tightly controlled.

The internet and cell phones have made the world much smaller and harder for myth to hide and harder for abuse to be hidden,

But as far as 'the golden rule", it depends.

I always try to deal with people as individuals and I also, in debate especially, let the person know that I can like them without liking everything they claim. If people learn to separate the claim from the person, it allows people to be honest with each other about that claim without fear and false claims of bigotry.

Anyway, grab your barbecue kitten, and be sure to record the NFL without their permission.

Welcome.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Glad you decided to start

Glad you decided to start posting. Smiling

I think the real crazy religious people became emotionally attached to their religion during their formative years. Their desperation to defend it is born of that attachment, and reflects the emotions that captured them in the first place.

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blacklight915 wrote:I had

blacklight915 wrote:

I had meant to join two weeks ago, but after reading and listening to things posted Frank Walton, Ray Comfort, Dennis Markuze, Jean Chauvin, and others like them, I became very discouraged. 

Why do you let insane people discourage you?  

- Brian Sapient


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Welcome

 

 

 

                     Join up and jump in and don't be shy about it. One thing to remember because of organized atheists , Dennis Markuze is now confined to a psychiatric facility,  proving there is safety in numbers and commen sense.

 

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

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Sapient wrote:Why do you let

Sapient wrote:

Why do you let insane people discourage you?  

Hmm, well, the mere fact that such people exist is discouraging to me. But, I suppose the big reason is that it makes me wonder if it's even possible to triumph over irrationality.

However, I suppose most people aren't actually that unreasonable.

After watching a number of videos on Ray Comfort, I realized that he literally *never* changes his argument. I think his banana argument was the only exception. I mean, he actually accuses people of accepting things on faith and of failing to investigate their beliefs, while willfully ignoring the mountains of information and evidence people give and tell him that show how his beliefs are flawed. He's probably been given a complete introductory biology education several times now, and he still doesn't understand even the basics of evolution. I mean, most people would be honored to have Dr. Richard Dawkins personally educate them on evolutionary biology...

Of course, you guys are probably already aware of all this...


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blacklight915 wrote:Sapient

blacklight915 wrote:

Sapient wrote:

Why do you let insane people discourage you?  

Hmm, well, the mere fact that such people exist is discouraging to me. But, I suppose the big reason is that it makes me wonder if it's even possible to triumph over irrationality.

However, I suppose most people aren't actually that unreasonable.

After watching a number of videos on Ray Comfort, I realized that he literally *never* changes his argument. I think his banana argument was the only exception. I mean, he actually accuses people of accepting things on faith and of failing to investigate their beliefs, while willfully ignoring the mountains of information and evidence people give and tell him that show how his beliefs are flawed. He's probably been given a complete introductory biology education several times now, and he still doesn't understand even the basics of evolution. I mean, most people would be honored to have Dr. Richard Dawkins personally educate them on evolutionary biology...

Of course, you guys are probably already aware of all this...

I am both an optimist and pessimist when it comes to our species. There are 7 billion of us. That is a reality we cannot escape. And considering our species has always had a history of myth making, that too is a reality we have to accept.

NOW I am an optimist in that we have constantly shown that we can ALSO move forward. It can be painful and most of the time is slow, but it does happen.

I am pessimistic in that like all other life we may do ourselves in because of our emotions and lack of pragmatism.

But no matter what, I am optimistic that no mater what happens in the future, as long as I breath I can do my part to keep skepticism in the spotlight and keep absurd claims at bay. There is no such thing as a utopia, and the most positive thing you can empower or species with is the ability to question.

Simply put, I cannot change the world other than to offer something for others to consider.

I am excited not only for atheists, but for humanity in that media is making it much harder for abuse to hide behind, be it abuse of money monopolizing politics, or abuse of religion. If anything it is increasingly showing the common humanity our species has.

I was appalled at the murder of Neda in Iran. At that moment I was not just an atheist, I was an Iranian. When Gadaffi was caught I was a Libyan. And I would love to be in Egypt right now with the mass reaction to the military abuse, I am an Egyptian as well.

We are all humans first and foremost. We all want food, shelter, a means to survive and love. And we all want to live without the fear of others. The labels will exist, but we can work to put those labels on the back burner and focus on what we DO have in common.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Hello

Welcome to the site. I'm also new here. Nice to meet you. Smiling


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Welcome

First off welcome.

 

blacklight915 wrote:

Sapient wrote:

Why do you let insane people discourage you?  

Hmm, well, the mere fact that such people exist is discouraging to me. But, I suppose the big reason is that it makes me wonder if it's even possible to triumph over irrationality.

That irrational people exist is something you need to accept. That they manage to cross streets without getting hit by a car is just statistics.

Eventually their insanity has a price.

One should never let these people have their way without a fight.

Welcome and post often. Have fun.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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Milgard redux...

I recently watched a TV show in which they reprodueced the infamous Milgard Experiment of the 60's.
The research was done with the attrocities of Nazi Germany in mind, to understand how anyone could blindly follow orders that went against common decency and morality.

The original experiment was set up as a 'trick'. There would be 3 participants, a Doctor in a lab coat representing an authority figure and two test subjects. In reality, all the participants except one of the subjects were actors.

They made a show of 'randomly' choosing who would go into the other room and who would be outside, sitting in front of an electrical panel with various dials and buttons and flashing lights. The person left outside was the REAL test subject.

The subject was told that this was a test of learning under stress, to see if someone could be prompted to improve their memory functions if they were 'punished' for failing. The punishment was in the form of an electrical shock, that got progressively more intense as the 'experiment' went on. Of course, the other subject/actor was NOT hooked up to a current. The Subject was to recite a list of words to the 'victim' and if they got it right, no shock, if wrong, then he would press a button that zapped the other guy.

The shocks got progressively more intense up to the point of being dangerous.

The test was to see if normal people would obey an authority figure to the point of endangering the life of another person.

80% went through with it to the point of the other subject begging to stop. 60% went past the point clearly labeled as dangerous.

Almost 50 years later, the test was reproduced. The results were the same...

 

LC >;-}>

 

Christianity: A disgusting middle eastern blood cult, based in human sacrifice, with sacraments of cannibalism and vampirism, whose highest icon is of a near naked man hanging in torment from a device of torture.


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Louis_Cypher wrote:I

Louis_Cypher wrote:

I recently watched a TV show in which they reprodueced the infamous Milgard Experiment of the 60's.
The research was done with the attrocities of Nazi Germany in mind, to understand how anyone could blindly follow orders that went against common decency and morality.

The original experiment was set up as a 'trick'. There would be 3 participants, a Doctor in a lab coat representing an authority figure and two test subjects. In reality, all the participants except one of the subjects were actors.

They made a show of 'randomly' choosing who would go into the other room and who would be outside, sitting in front of an electrical panel with various dials and buttons and flashing lights. The person left outside was the REAL test subject.

The subject was told that this was a test of learning under stress, to see if someone could be prompted to improve their memory functions if they were 'punished' for failing. The punishment was in the form of an electrical shock, that got progressively more intense as the 'experiment' went on. Of course, the other subject/actor was NOT hooked up to a current. The Subject was to recite a list of words to the 'victim' and if they got it right, no shock, if wrong, then he would press a button that zapped the other guy.

The shocks got progressively more intense up to the point of being dangerous.

The test was to see if normal people would obey an authority figure to the point of endangering the life of another person.

80% went through with it to the point of the other subject begging to stop. 60% went past the point clearly labeled as dangerous.

Almost 50 years later, the test was reproduced. The results were the same...

 

LC >;-}>

 

 

Additionally, the people who "shocked" the other people often were in therapy for psychological trauma years after their participation.  I'm surprised the test was reproduced without some changes as my understanding is it violated most current research protocols.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Redux Too

Quote:
Additionally, the people who "shocked" the other people often were in therapy for psychological trauma years after their participation.  I'm surprised the test was reproduced without some changes as my understanding is it violated most current research protocols.

 

Yes indeed. The new tests were done for a televised documentary on the nature of evil. Some of the participants were in tears, some adamantly refused to go beyond the 'begging' point... but still, the majority 'just followed orders'...

Scares me.

 

LC >;-}>

 

Christianity: A disgusting middle eastern blood cult, based in human sacrifice, with sacraments of cannibalism and vampirism, whose highest icon is of a near naked man hanging in torment from a device of torture.


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Louis_Cypher

Louis_Cypher wrote:

Quote:
Additionally, the people who "shocked" the other people often were in therapy for psychological trauma years after their participation.  I'm surprised the test was reproduced without some changes as my understanding is it violated most current research protocols.

 

Yes indeed. The new tests were done for a televised documentary on the nature of evil. Some of the participants were in tears, some adamantly refused to go beyond the 'begging' point... but still, the majority 'just followed orders'...

Scares me.

 

LC >;-}>

 

 

That is some relief.  At least it wasn't an accredited university.  Stupid TV will do almost anything for viewers.  Didn't just one person on that show refuse to play the game?  Ah, they probably would have cut those people.  "Hey, I read about this experiment in college.  Isn't that an actor and this just a dummy button?"  Would have ruined their entire setup.

People self justify.  If they are easily intimidated by authority, then they are okay with saying - 'but the guy in the white coat told me so'.  Just exactly the same as 'but god/s/dess told me so'.  Same brain mechanism.

I would like to figure out a way to make everyone a skeptic.  And independent in thought.  "Shove it, buddy.  Fake or not, I don't shock other people."  At least, I'm pretty sure I would say that.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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Louis_Cypher wrote:The new

Louis_Cypher wrote:

The new tests were done for a televised documentary on the nature of evil.

I think I saw that documentary, actually. It was called "The science of evil" and it talked about the Stanford prison experiment, the Milgram experiments, the events at Abu Ghraid prison, and a couple others I hadn't heard of. It was really rather disturbing. However, I think that the knowledge obtained from these experiments and incidents is very valuable: if we understand what causes evil, we are much better equipped to stop it.

 


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An excellent book on this

An excellent book on this aspect of human nature is 'Ordinary People and Extraordinary Evil: A Report on the Beguilings of Evil'.

http://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-People-Extraordinary-Evil-Beguilings/dp/0791414426

It has occupied a place on my bookshelf for over a decade.  The author is a holocaust survivor.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Welcome to Rational

Welcome to Rational Responders.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Welcome, Scott.I've been a

Welcome, Scott.

I've been a little less active on the site in recent weeks, with a lot going on personally.

I have just been going through a few recent, active threads, and noticed your posts, and am quite impressed.

I hope you stick around for a good while longer and find time and motivation to keep contributing to our discussions.

 

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

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Watcher wrote:An excellent

Watcher wrote:

An excellent book on this aspect of human nature is 'Ordinary People and Extraordinary Evil: A Report on the Beguilings of Evil'.

http://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-People-Extraordinary-Evil-Beguilings/dp/0791414426

It has occupied a place on my bookshelf for over a decade.  The author is a holocaust survivor.

 

Thanks, I have an interlibrary loan request out for this book.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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cj wrote: Thanks, I have an

cj wrote:
 

Thanks, I have an interlibrary loan request out for this book.

I'm glad you found the book interesting.  The only problem is that after you read it, if you try and discuss any of it's points with anyone, especially in relation to the holocaust, they often become offended.  I tried to discuss it with my wife and she got pissed with me.

It seems if you don't just accept the conventional accepted view that all Nazis were born evil baby killers you are in the wrong.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Watcher wrote:It seems if

Watcher wrote:

It seems if you don't just accept the conventional accepted view that all Nazis were born evil baby killers you are in the wrong.

 

Have you seen Das Boot?  Best war movie ever - and I don't usually care for war movies.  And there was a similar problem some people had with that movie - it showed the Germans as people who were proud of their country.  I have also read about some studies done on how much the German people knew about the holocaust.  And - not much.  Especially if they were in western Germany or the Roman Catholic areas.

So I expect to be interested in what the author says - though I am holding off on predicting enjoyment.

My dad was in Germany during WWII.  He sometimes passed as a German - blond, blue eyes, learned the language.  He laid radio lines and his team would be behind the Allied line in the morning and in front of it a couple of hours later.  Switching uniforms was a survival skill.  And so he spoke with German soldiers and people - he always said they were just people.  Too bad their leaders were jerks.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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cj wrote:My dad was in

cj wrote:

My dad was in Germany during WWII.  He sometimes passed as a German - blond, blue eyes, learned the language.  He laid radio lines and his team would be behind the Allied line in the morning and in front of it a couple of hours later.  Switching uniforms was a survival skill.  And so he spoke with German soldiers and people - he always said they were just people.  Too bad their leaders were jerks.

My Grandad was there too.  He stayed in Germany after the war as part of the occupying force.  He spoke very highly of the German people.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci