An Atheist's defense of the Bible

ZuS
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An Atheist's defense of the Bible

To clear the table of bullshit religious vs. atheist debate, I will first credit us, the atheists, with the creation of the Bible, as well as all the other holy and unholy books, religions, doctrines and ideologies (delusions for short from now on). If you're an atheist, you surely agree with this, unless you're the exceptional atheist that thinks God(s) did it. There is no such thing as a religious person; they are simply atheists sporting different delusions than ourselves. You may think they are qualitatively different delusions, but that is just because you are delusional. Wait for the argument.

If my argument is to make any sense at all, I must define what I mean by our own (atheistic) delusions. There are many. The biggest, most important and most damaging one in my opinion is that we ourselves think we are not delusional; it simply blinds us to our interests, positions, allies and the whole political scene becomes extremely blurred.

Finally, here's the meat of my argument: Some of our (atheistic) delusions today are worse and more damaging to society than those of most religious people. This may have been different in the middle ages, but today in the western world it is the "free market" and "competition" ideology of individual (divided-and-conquered) actors that blinds us to our own interests and enslaves us under the destructive will of the only socially cohesive group in the society: the socially cohesive super-rich. In our drunken stupor we think that none of the religious communities are our allies. This is extremely dangerous divided-and-conquered mentality that will bring us nothing but pain. I think we can learn a lot from a group of people who meet every Sunday for whatever reason and we should embrace with open arms the ones that have the same interests as we do. We should emulate their sense of community and "togetherness", because that is the second most important strength known to man. Faith gives the group strength through personal integrity, just as the personal integrity of a man makes him the strongest pillar of the group.

So how is this a defense of the Bible? Well, would the faithful be gathering around a book, if it made perfect sense in every detail? If it was a math text book with no need for interpretation and if it said 2+2=4, would they hover over it and discuss it and find meaning in the impossible situations in their lives from it? No, they wouldn't. It just makes sense and they can go back to their everyday life the next minute, reassured that 2+2=4. Disintegrating communities under extreme pressure cannot use math to achieve unity and fight for a better tomorrow. To avoid total destruction, they throw the ball of faith further down the road, because it is too long a road to walk with discipline and without faith for an entire community.  The Bible must not under any circumstance make sense in the detail and that is the only way it makes perfect sense in the big picture. The Bible is our atheistic tool to tackle the impossible as a community. It does not just "console the weak"; that is simply your delusion of individualism whispering to you. If you are alone in your mind, I don't care who you are: alone you are weaker. The Bible is this "magical" non-sensical thing they gather around and re-weave the torn fabric of a community according to already established pattern.

At the end I have a few disclaimers and implications belonging to separate threads:

1) this NOT a utilitarian perspective. I am not letting anyone off the hook, instead I ask you to point the guns in the right direction. If you have been wronged by a religious community, I understand you and I would probably be just as angry as you are at the non-sensical justification of their abuse. But remember: these people are atheists with interests and excuses (delusions) just like us. I don't give a shit what their excuses are and neither should you. Go find atheists with your interests and don't mind the excuses. I am only glad for Dr. Martin Luther King's religious excuses; they had a consolidating and cohesive effect on the entire nation and I as an atheist can say that I have no qualms in following the man.

2) I have not described the depth of our atheistic delusions adequately, but to do so would add confusion to the already too long post, so I will save those for an individual thread. I will however say that our real adversaries profit from the divide they cause in the population, no matter what lines are drawn at the table. Minority vs minority vs majority, color vs color, religion vs religion vs atheism, women vs men, young vs elderly, public vs private, even rich vs poor in some cases, although they try to avoid this one if at all possible, due to their own by-default adherence to this group. The closest we can get to the real frontline in my opinion is powerful vs powerless and this divide the powerful want to obscure as vehemently as they can. They know the strength of the group because they use it themselves and they fear it.

3) Am I implying that we atheists lack "group integrity" (disregarding here the atheists with faith-based excuses/delusions)? Not at all. Listening to some scientists and artists speak about, well almost everything, surpasses the imagination and wild expectations of the faithful and in the future we will be the driving force that will bring a society, for which access to healthcare is no different than access to tap water, beyond our solar system. But for the moment being we are more fragmented and vulnerable and therefore rely more on own personal integrity to get us through. I think that is costing all of us, faith or no faith, a great deal. We are the pillars divorced from the dynamic community we should be supporting by divide-and-conquer tactics of people who's only business in life is staying in power. We have to change that.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


A_Nony_Mouse
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You appear to be assuming the bible or a common religion is beneficial for social cohesion or some such. Yet there are no obvious correlation between any aspect of any society and the religion(s) or types of religions they host. All the talk about the civil rulers using religion may be true but all religions appear to be equally amenable to being so used.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

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Bonding over fiction is a

Bonding over fiction is a good idea ?

Okay. I'll attend some more comic-book conventions then. And I'll try not to miss any more meetings of our weekly anime club.

 

Is this about all that Alain de Botton stuff ? 


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Anonymouse wrote:Bonding

Anonymouse wrote:

Bonding over fiction is a good idea ?

Where do you think the life-long dreams of most future scientists come from? I assure you it isn't from watching someone write their thesis.

This goes for many other areas of life. Dr. King hasn't really been to any mountain top and no God has shown him anything real, but he had something special and real and he gave it to countless others: faith in a vision. This simple faith went on to create cohesive groups of civil rights activists, which in turn changed the face of US and made it a more civilised country. That is a fairly significant real effect of a piece of fiction, don't you think?

Looking at it rationally, fictional art is really a form of language we interpret using our rationale and emotions simultaneously. I personally think that rationale and emotions are inseparable, so I would could call fictional art for a superior language geared especially to humans. This is why no one quotes a math book when trying to connect to people.

Anonymouse wrote:

Okay. I'll attend some more comic-book conventions then. And I'll try not to miss any more meetings of our weekly anime club.

By all means go and bring your kids with you. Roleplay may enhance their ability to enter cohesive social groups later in life.

Anonymouse wrote:

Is this about all that Alain de Botton stuff ? 

I've never heard about the man before you mentioned him, but I went to TED and checked him out just now. He is not unique with his views and I disagree on some things, agree on others. I work on something much bigger than what he is dabbling with. The awareness of ideological influence on us is a much larger subject and a part of what he is talking about is really only a tiny grain of truth within that subject. The little bald man is therefore unable to formulate consistent solutions and answers to questions, as demonstrated at the end of this video sporting a super-bullshit title: http://www.ted.com/talks/alain_de_botton_a_kinder_gentler_philosophy_of_success.html

The entirety of TED is only a small part of a particular faith system that I will discuss with you, if you wish. But before that we must agree on some things that are much simpler in order to establish a common frame of reference. Wait 'til I finish the response to A_Nony for a much more comprehensive description of what I am proposing.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


Atheistextremist
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Yah

 

ZuS wrote:

I personally think that rationale and emotions are inseparable

 

Agree with this. Interesting thoughts. 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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ZuS wrote:

Anonymouse wrote:

Bonding over fiction is a good idea ?

Where do you think the life-long dreams of most future scientists come from? I assure you it isn't from watching someone write their thesis.

Galileo watched Star Trek? That journalism majors make a point of such things in interviews (and maybe invent from a casual mention of having liked) obviously did not apply before such fiction was invented. The invention of such fiction occurred long after science got off the ground and well into the industrial revolution. Although it is fun to try to find the oldest example Verne was the first to produce it as a genre. 

 

If you really want to run with bonding over fiction you still started with the bible. As such you have to differentiate it from other religions and gods and such. That ALL societies have such stories does not produce any discriminate in favor of religion. You can't get there from here.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


ZuS
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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Galileo

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Galileo watched Star Trek? That journalism majors make a point of such things in interviews (and maybe invent from a casual mention of having liked) obviously did not apply before such fiction was invented. The invention of such fiction occurred long after science got off the ground and well into the industrial revolution. Although it is fun to try to find the oldest example Verne was the first to produce it as a genre. 

Fiction goes a bit further back than Star Trek. I don't know if you noticed this thing called Bible that we talk about in this thread? Eye-wink

The only non-fiction motivated scientists are the ambition-driven ones. Those rarely enjoy their work and consequently move away from it or aren't very good at it. I cannot imagine a proper researcher without a seriously fucked up imagination motivated by all sorts of crazy stories and their curiosity about them. Journalism majors are probably right this time around.

As to Galilei himself:

"Ironically, it was a lecture on literature that would turn Galileo's fortunes. The Academy of Florence had been arguing over a 100-year-old controversy: What were the location, shape, and dimensions of Dante's Inferno? Galileo Galilei wanted to seriously answer the question from the point of view of a scientist. Extrapolating from Dante's line that "[the giant Nimrod's] face was about as long/And just as wide as St. Peter's cone in Rome," Galileo deduced that Lucifer himself was 2,000 arm-length long. The audience was impressed, and within the year, Galileo had received a three-year appointment to the University of Pisa, the same university that never granted him a degree!"

I rest on your face.

Quote:

If you really want to run with bonding over fiction you still started with the bible. As such you have to differentiate it from other religions and gods and such. That ALL societies have such stories does not produce any discriminate in favor of religion. You can't get there from here.

The post that elaborates on that is coming in a second. I do not start with the Bible; I defend the Bible in this forum because it says that the whole forum is about the Bible, so I obey the format. But I like that you say ALL societies, because that is exactly what the next post is about.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


ZuS
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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:You

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:


You appear to be assuming the bible or a common religion is beneficial for social cohesion or some such. Yet there are no obvious correlation between any aspect of any society and the religion(s) or types of religions they host. All the talk about the civil rulers using religion may be true but all religions appear to be equally amenable to being so used.



I am not sure what you mean by no correlation between aspects of a society and its religion, but I will elaborate on the point of influence of faith and faith systems ('religion' is not accurate) on society in my post, because you are right that I assume things here. I will also address the equality of religion susceptibility to influence by civil rulers, because I think it is an interesting topic and one atheists would be well advised to study intensively.

To start with I should define what I mean by faith and faith system:

1) Faith: a set of religious or philosophical beliefs that do not necessarily make logical sense purely technically, but practically provide a common reference and a platform for discussion and problem-solving for a group dealing with some aspect(s) of reality.

You may notice that this definition includes not only major religions we talk about all the time, but also everything from economic philosophies like free market economics and Marxist philosophies, over state philosophies like nationalism, socialism, technocratic beliefs etc, the loyalty and discipline doctrines of armies and organized crime, the notions of family as the core unit of a society, all the way down to the belief in power of the unions, Masonic rites and college fraternity handshakes. The major religions nominally differ from the others only in the extent of their applicability (they are ultimately general and claim validity in all aspects of life) and qualitatively only in the degree of specificity (it is harder to be specific, if you want few principles to guide many or all aspects of a society). So yes, belief in science as the proper guiding principle of our species is absolutely a form of faith.

2) Faith system: a set of institutions and/or a number of individuals that facilitate practical application of, are influenced by and with time alter some faith. The faith system ultimately fights for common interests of the faithful and facilitates punishment of those that step out of line.

Again, this is a very broad definition and again it works with a nominative and qualitative scale. To understand this definition fully, you have to be familiar with something I've been working with on the side that I like to call a System of Systems (SOS pun not intended, but appropriate), which is essentially application of complexity theory and compilation of principles presented by people smarter than me (Russell, Chomsky, Klein and others) in order to understand the math behind society. I am not about to present a dissertation here, but suffice it to say that we are ALL members of multiple Faith Systems to varying degrees. These degrees of membership decide the layout of our personal social cohesion map. You can see it like a web of connections between people that sometimes cause emergence of cohesive socialist groups. This doesn't happen magically, but I will have to owe you an explanation for that process to save space and your sanity. Memberships in cohesive socialist groups become almost physical manifestations of our private identities. Yes, we are our relations and yes, you will go what we call 'insane' if isolated from our cohesive socialism for an extended period of time.

Once we have these two definitions explained at least superficially, the influence of faith on community cohesion becomes a bit easier to see.


Some examples:
 

  • a) If your cohesive socialist group believes usery is a sin, you may easily mobilize the entire group to shut down anything that looks like Goldman Sachs in seconds, but this will only happen if the cohesion is strong enough. Your cohesive socialist group has to know how to recognize and deal with Usery, so they have to have an active faith system with institutions and individuals trained for exactly recognition and dealing with Usery. If this is not the case for whatever reason, every case of Usery that goes unpunished with will delude the cohesion in the socialist group and open it to disintegration and reactionism (related topic I will not spend time on here).
  • b) A cohesive socialist group that believes in free market ideology and competition will be unable to mobilize effectively against GS, because the common frame of reference is competition, not rules of engagement. There isn't even an institution or individual within the group charged with recognition of, let alone dealing with a Usery system. This is an interesting contrast to an effective group from (a), which I will mention and briefly discuss later.
  • c) A group that believes in equality of opportunity may much more easily mobilize to abolish rules that create inequality of opportunity than a (d) group that believes a woman is fundamentally less worth than a man.
  • e) A group with faith in power of a single cohesive socialist group and in pushing divide-and-conquer methods onto their opponents may develop a faith system efficient at mobilizing to expand dominance over others.


The simple first look at this may make you think that it's all a game of trade-offs: if your faith system is weak on one front, it's strong on another. But you may remark that reality is different in US:
 

  • f) We have a group that on the one side believes in equality of opportunity, while on the other side has the 'free market & competition' ideology faith system that US is sporting today. This starts making no sense in my framework, because the 'free market and competition' faith system is that in name only and it is certainly not supporting equal opportunity.


Crucial thing to remark here is that we are probably dealing with two different faiths, faith systems and very likely two different cohesive socialist groups with opposing interests. Insert a small group (e) into a large group (c), convince (c) that the way to equal opportunity is through a faith system designed by group (e) and you get a situation described in (f). Welcome to America, albeit massively simplified. In situation (f) group (e) is literally destroying the cohesion of (c), which is what is happening in the US today.

So what the hell does this mean? Well, for starters, you, my dear atheistic friend, are a person of many faiths living in a set of faith systems. None of these are static. In fact, I am trying to influence you into changing whatever faith cacophony is in your head, to one more aligned with my faith, which sports a belief that cohesive socialism is the only system in operation in the human society and that any other 'ism' out there is just a spin-off or a divide-and-conquer strategy masquerading as an 'ism'. But never mind that now. We can also conclude that it is not a simple matter to discern what faith is basis for which faith system. You are told that the current instance of 'free market & competition' faith system in US supports the faith in 'equal opportunity', but by late 2012 you have to be completely ignorant to believe that. So it's a complex system and if you run into contradictions of this sort, further analysis is required. Is any of this actionable information? Can you do anything about it, like, right this moment? YES! It's kindof awesome. I will tell you about it in the last few sentences of this post.


We can see from our simple examples that the common frame of reference provided by a faith system is not only influencing the cohesion of a community, but deciding the nature, direction, resilience to physical and ideological attack and many other aspects of that community. All of these are, in my opinion, qualitative measures of a faith system. I will not give you a precise scale, because frankly I haven't even begun looking for evaluation criteria, but I will make the important general point on faith system quality clear right now: if a faith system qualitatively has a more negative influence on the interests of the group that is using it, it is not a faith system of that group, but a part of some other group's faith system and a mere divide-and-conquer tactic and should be fought with extreme prejudice.


Now we get to your civil rulers Smiling It should be clear to you by now that the only way to govern is through one (or more likely a whole network of) faith systems. Which faith a faith system supports is almost never obvious. You mentioned religion. I am beginning to object to that word, because it is somewhere between faith and faith system and makes separating the two a real chore. Orwell in "1984" confirmed the main message of the labeling theory (sociology on deviance, look it up) and I am beginning to think that the 'religion' label is making us confuse stated goals with their implementation far too often. This makes us generalize our allies in churches, synagogues and mosques and put them in the same basket with our common adversaries.

 

Personal opinion on how the cohesive socialist groups are created and how to go about it

So what can you do? A lot. Start with realizing where you stand, which faith you adhere to and most importantly which faith is most aligned with your interests and moral values. If your conclusion is that competition and free market is what you want, you have understood nothing of what I wrote here. Alternatively, you understand that cohesion is the only method in existence. Yes, I do ask for a bit much, but I wouldn't if I had a shadow of doubt about it.

Ever notice how some people create large cohesive socialist groups around them almost without trying? Personal integrity and accountability of the members tends to be the #1 factor contributing to the cohesion of groups that do not have a strong faith system (institutions supporting common interest + consequence for stepping out of line). By always fulfilling your promises and supporting people around you, you will create a gravitational pull that is a first step towards either being invited to a cohesive socialist group or being a catalyst for a new one. You will be a pillar and that has its own rewards; do not buy into the divide-and-conquer bullshit about "slackers" that are taking what's yours - group (e) has their pillars and they share the wealth and support like you would not believe. They don't do it willy-nilly and most of the time they get their investment back plus interest. You might too, depending on the group you join or help create. Fox News was a business that lost 90 million a year for the first five years of its operation and News Corp lost 30 billion in value in 2008. Murdoch is a group player first, asshole second and businessman apparently tenth.

To those of you who may say that we fundamentally are selfish and take care of ourselves first - who are you kidding? What's the first thing you tell someone who lost a loved one in an accident? Anything I can do for you, just call... And you wish that they don't call, because you don't have the power to help. But you said it because it is what? Proper? No, it's built into you. You wish you could help because helping gets you a higher status: that of a strong individual in a society that in its core has the group. Your ambition may be to influence the faith or develop it further, leave your mark or just be loved. Whatever it is, you are group by design, my friend. Not even decades of individualistic propaganda can beat our Godfather instincts. So, say it only when you mean it, follow through and behave as if cooperation is an assumed quantity around you. Proper people will smell security and strength of a group in you and will follow the lead. I am a fantastic judge of character, but if you have difficulties, I like to use the tit-for-tat algorithm sometimes. Look it up.

You know what else is nice? If they follow a set of rules you think are ok-ish, like the Nuns on the Bus. Most people of (religious) faith are pretty awesome really Eye-wink

 

Appendix - more about the (e) group:

First, if you remember NOTHING of what I post here, remember this: group (e) is a cohesive socialist group, no matter what they say about 'free market & competition' and what individualist bullshit they spout. They have an extreme cohesive socialist faith system and they are a very tight group. They sport something I have not discussed yet and that is the second and last requirement for a strong cohesive socialist group: consequence for stepping out of line. This is one of the reasons why the theories of Marxist societal engineers (not Marx himself) fail, incidentally. Perfect example of consequence for stepping out of line in group (e) is the grilling of Hilary Rosen on CNN, check it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5hn_FafIWE

They stick together around their faith and they punish disobedience. They are strong because they are a cohesive socialist group, not because they are "Pioneers", as Bill Murray recently said, right after declaring that the poor US citizens are useful only as compost. Motherfucker. Anyway, last point on this - do not be fooled by their internal squabbles; the moment YOU, Mr. Middle Class, step into the ring, they will close ranks and make a wall of disdain and abuse tougher than granite. Remember, this is a complex system and there are always groups within groups. They may have internal differences, but none of them are on our side. Here's the current clear-cut example:

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/16/secret_debate_contract_reveals_obama_and

and it's nothing new; here's the same thing from 2008:

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/10/2/no_debate_how_the_republican_and

And it goes back a couple of decades.

Second, notice that group (e), much like cancer, does not include long-term balance in its frame of reference and will just continue trying to dominate, even if the next logical step in domination makes annihilation of the body, or in our case entire species, likely or even inevitable. So don't be divided-and-conquered by the bullshit Social-Darwinism faith and its proponents, who are more than likely themselves members of the cancerous (e) community.

Third, don't be fooled into believing that the cancerous group is the winner in this game. They are actually vulnerable. Guys like Bill Murray will take our side the moment they're faced with a prospect of their comments having consequences and you all know that Mitt Romney will be a raging progressive tomorrow, if that's what he has to do to get elected. They can be divided and conquered. Many of the peripheral members of the group have had their faith reduced from self-aggrandizing image of the hero-corporate-manager medio 2007 to the spiritual death of the corrupt asshole image in 2012. We need to follow that up with benefits for following the (c) faith and serious consequences for continuing with excuses for (e). It's doable.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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ZuS wrote:2) I have not

ZuS wrote:

2) I have not described the depth of our atheistic delusions adequately, but to do so would add confusion to the already too long post, so I will save those for an individual thread. I will however say that our real adversaries profit from the divide they cause in the population, no matter what lines are drawn at the table. Minority vs minority vs majority, color vs color, religion vs religion vs atheism, women vs men, young vs elderly, public vs private, even rich vs poor in some cases, although they try to avoid this one if at all possible, due to their own by-default adherence to this group. The closest we can get to the real frontline in my opinion is powerful vs powerless and this divide the powerful want to obscure as vehemently as they can. They know the strength of the group because they use it themselves and they fear it.

I agree with you totally, multiple times I've been trying to get a similar point across. That which we endorse, we tend to think it is the cure for all society's ills. For business owners it's free market, for liberalists it's liberty, for Communists it's the state, for racists it's racial homogenity. It's the "if everyone were like us, the world would be beautiful" idea, which is never going to happen. 

We have to realize that the discussion isn't only meant to convince the other side (that usually doesn't work) but to educate the other side about ourselves and vice versa, so that we have the know-how to get along with each other. And all groups can be useful in some way, instead of reproaching hardcore atheists how harsh they are, or moderate atheists how weak they are, one should invite them to specialize on fundies or religious moderates respectively, that is, to discuss and educate. Anything is better than separation, separation brings xenophobia.

ZuS wrote:
 3) Am I implying that we atheists lack "group integrity" (disregarding here the atheists with faith-based excuses/delusions)? Not at all. Listening to some scientists and artists speak about, well almost everything, surpasses the imagination and wild expectations of the faithful and in the future we will be the driving force that will bring a society, for which access to healthcare is no different than access to tap water, beyond our solar system. But for the moment being we are more fragmented and vulnerable and therefore rely more on own personal integrity to get us through. I think that is costing all of us, faith or no faith, a great deal. We are the pillars divorced from the dynamic community we should be supporting by divide-and-conquer tactics of people who's only business in life is staying in power. We have to change that.
Most of atheists who became atheists by their own effort are relatively intelligent, educated, individualistic people. Such people can't be united just by any stupid or simple idea. Atheism is a simple idea, that there's no God. Religious ideas unite people with low standards. 
This is why there must be a program of powerful, unifying ideas and facts on which all good people can agree, because they're essential. Things like universal human rights, not only freedom of expression and (non)religion, but also basic right to food, water, housing, healthcare and education. Which is a priority together with the environment, from which all these values originate. Human labor is almost an anachronism today, when almost all jobs can be automatized and performed 100 times better by machines. If human labor is not essential, what is? The environment, the natural resources and genetic diversity which nobody ever will be able to restore. These should be priorities of all governments, this is how you recognize a good person and a good government, by sticking with these basic needs and rights. And you have the right to demand this from your governments, to divert resources from non-essential areas to the essential.

This will inevitably divide people, but divide into two camps only, which is actually a great union. It is not a pleasant thought, but there will be atheists in both camps. So let's divide by something that really matters. Are you willing to unite even with the kooks and crazies if they're willing to work for basic rights?

Anonymouse wrote:

Bonding over fiction is a good idea ?

Okay. I'll attend some more comic-book conventions then. And I'll try not to miss any more meetings of our weekly anime club.

If it's a good fiction... For example, David Brin is a SF writer and also a scientist. His books teach hell a lot about ecology, sociology and planetology. 

As for comic books, all the typical "supeheroes" are just dumb, they never solve causes of crime, only mop up the victims of social injustice that were forced into crime. They never beat up the true evil guys, because their evil is not cool enough for immature readers, people like bankers, stock market gamblers, corporate lobbyists... They make profit, people choose to revolt against the disaster they're in, and there comes some masked guy in spandex and zaps them into oblivion. So this is an example of a blind belief that comic book fans have, that superheroes are any good at all. Only I must say the latest Dark Knight movies touched somewhat on the underlying causes of politics and capitalism, which is nice, in a depressing sort of way.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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Okay then, how about this

Okay then, how about this :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/26/alain-de-botton-temple-atheism

Is that the kinda thing you mean ? (it's not, is it ?)

 

(sorry, haven't read your other posts yet)

 


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Luminon wrote:As for comic

Luminon wrote:

As for comic books, all the typical "supeheroes" are just dumb, they never solve causes of crime, only mop up the victims of social injustice that were forced into crime. They never beat up the true evil guys, because their evil is not cool enough for immature readers, people like bankers, stock market gamblers, corporate lobbyists... They make profit, people choose to revolt against the disaster they're in, and there comes some masked guy in spandex and zaps them into oblivion. So this is an example of a blind belief that comic book fans have, that superheroes are any good at all. Only I must say the latest Dark Knight movies touched somewhat on the underlying causes of politics and capitalism, which is nice, in a depressing sort of way.

 

Bleh, fuck superhero comics. I'm from europe, remember ? I like the homegrown stuff. You like evil bankers ? You should read that French BD about the IRS. 

So let's meet up in Angoulême next year and bond !

http://www.bdangouleme.com/

 

Oh wait...you're a theist...Ah, who cares ? If you're there, let me know. 


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Luminon wrote:Most of

Luminon wrote:
Most of atheists who became atheists by their own effort are relatively intelligent, educated, individualistic people. Such people can't be united just by any stupid or simple idea. Atheism is a simple idea, that there's no God. Religious ideas unite people with low standards.



This is interesting. Of course, I think that atheists who become atheists by their own effort are really just atheists who change one set of delusions for another and then drop them for a third, but your observation still adds something. They are different in a way, I suppose anti-authoritarian, reactionary. This is very good if you want people willing to change things. On the bad side, they are also the most delusional when it comes to religion. Look at Christopher Hitchens - super intelligent, bit of an asshole, thought all his life that religion is the problem #1, never gave a second thought to his rabid support for war and took the cynic's mantle way too easily.

Luminon wrote:


This is why there must be a program of powerful, unifying ideas and facts on which all good people can agree, because they're essential. Things like universal human rights, not only freedom of expression and (non)religion, but also basic right to food, water, housing, healthcare and education. Which is a priority together with the environment, from which all these values originate. Human labor is almost an anachronism today, when almost all jobs can be automatized and performed 100 times better by machines. If human labor is not essential, what is? The environment, the natural resources and genetic diversity which nobody ever will be able to restore. These should be priorities of all governments, this is how you recognize a good person and a good government, by sticking with these basic needs and rights. And you have the right to demand this from your governments, to divert resources from non-essential areas to the essential.

This will inevitably divide people, but divide into two camps only, which is actually a great union. It is not a pleasant thought, but there will be atheists in both camps. So let's divide by something that really matters.



Now, here's the important part. I think you are essentially right about the powerful unifying ideas that zero in on things that matter today. To get there we have to beat the current consensus that has already reached an agreement on these ideas for us: we the 1% basically agree on the real issues of the 99%, so we will not debate them, especially because we, as the 1%, essentially penetrate the 99% in several orifices on those issues. We can instead debate stuff that Carl Rove and Grover Norquist disagree on (voucher program or total annihilation for medicare?) and call that the National Interest. Just to get some political capital every four years and avoid a bloodbath, one of us will dip his toe into the 99% pool, pick issues and frame them according to the needs of the 1%.

To break this consensus we need to realize we're all being fucked. The idea that these people made it up there on their own is ludicrous, which is really why I am trying to promote the idea of cohesive socialist groups - it's how they work, it's how we work, it's how the math of the society works, so we should get better at it. Thinking in these terms facilitates automatic decision-making on stuff we normally would spend years and lives on. Look for the common interests, not common delusions.

Luminon wrote:


Are you willing to unite even with the kooks and crazies if they're willing to work for basic rights?



I ask a similar question here: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/33160

I don't know about the kooks and crazies, that would have to be a per case decision. But with people with different delusions then yours, the answer should be 'of course' for anyone with an ounce of sense.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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ZuS wrote:I ask a similar

ZuS wrote:

I ask a similar question here: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/33160

 

Would that be the same group mentioned here ?

http://www.care2.com/causes/pope-says-american-nuns-too-focused-on-poor-not-enough-on-gay-bashing.html#13505640683111&action=colla...

Because I really wouldn't mind joining them in some way.


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Anonymouse wrote:Okay then,

Anonymouse wrote:

Okay then, how about this :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/26/alain-de-botton-temple-atheism

Is that the kinda thing you mean ? (it's not, is it ?)

(sorry, haven't read your other posts yet)

Ok, so I've read that and a few other things about him. I don't think he realises what we're up against here, who we are, what our interest are, nor do I think he necessarily has our interest at heart. I think he is a middle-aged fairly comfortable man living in UK and having a visceral reaction of to some of the insulting shit Christopher Hitchens use to throw out. His idea of emulating the excesses of the elite cohesive socialist group is going to backfire on us; even if his heart is in the right place, they will hijack everything he does easily and make humanists look like a bunch of children.

Our interest is not to appease, but to unmask. If he would be willing to lend a name and the £ to a group with a bit more fire in their belly and a serious cohesive group generating agenda, something like a debate house where we could host open cross-faith debates on the most important issues of the day for the ordinary British populace, with place for a couple of thousand people, not in the impossible-to-reach centre of London and with titles like "The cause of the economic crysis", "Austerity and the Riots", "Has the Multicultural society failed?", "UK sovereignity: what are we today?" and if he gets much more push-back from the establishment, then I would look at it again. As it stands now, it's a fucking disaster. I'd rather have RD piss me off and build a school than this guy build me a monument.

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ZuS wrote:Ok, so I've read

ZuS wrote:

Ok, so I've read that and a few other things about him. I don't think he realises what we're up against here, who we are, what our interest are, nor do I think he necessarily has our interest at heart. I think he is a middle-aged fairly comfortable man living in UK and having a visceral reaction of to some of the insulting shit Christopher Hitchens use to throw out. His idea of emulating the excesses of the elite cohesive socialist group is going to backfire on us; even if his heart is in the right place, they will hijack everything he does easily and make humanists look like a bunch of children.

Our interest is not to appease, but to unmask. If he would be willing to lend a name and the £ to a group with a bit more fire in their belly and a serious cohesive group generating agenda, something like a debate house where we could host open cross-faith debates on the most important issues of the day for the ordinary British populace, with place for a couple of thousand people, not in the impossible-to-reach centre of London and with titles like "The cause of the economic crysis", "Austerity and the Riots", "Has the Multicultural society failed?", "UK sovereignity: what are we today?" and if he gets much more push-back from the establishment, then I would look at it again. As it stands now, it's a fucking disaster. I'd rather have RD piss me off and build a school than this guy build me a monument.

Couldn't possibly agree more. 


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Anonymouse wrote:ZuS wrote:I

Anonymouse wrote:

ZuS wrote:

I ask a similar question here: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/33160

 

Would that be the same group mentioned here ?

http://www.care2.com/causes/pope-says-american-nuns-too-focused-on-poor-not-enough-on-gay-bashing.html#13505640683111&action=colla...

Because I really wouldn't mind joining them in some way.

Yea, I remember those ladies. I don't know whether we have a recourse here or whether we can help them, because we have no established contact with them and no ability to pressure the Catholic church because the Catholic populace largely shun us. 80% of the Catholic sisters in the US are left to fend for themselves, while they fight for our causes and we debate whether some line in the Bible makes perfect logical sense or not. Thank you, RC & CH.

By the way, notice the strategy the Catholic church uses to avoid pissing off the general population by threatening the nuns: blame the opponent for the stuff you do and muddy the water. The nuns said absolutely nothing about gay-bashing, but it is thrown in there to confuse the reader on the positions of the nuns and the Church, as if the American Bishops gave a fuck about the gay-bashing. For an uninformed reader focusing on the bombastic headline and a few lines about gay-bashing, the issue may look like a quarrel of two progressives, not a massively conservative child-rape-hiding HQ threatening 1500 American Catholic sisters.

Also, notice that whoever chose that headline is probably our opponent. The editor often changes the title of the article, so you can have wildly diverging headlines and content on the same page. This is a common method of confusing the casual reader who will just briefly skim the text.

This is 101 guerilla warfare in the world of information. We should get used to it and fight it wherever we see it by calling it out and setting the record straight. It is also encouraging, because it shows how afraid they really are of even small things coming out.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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ZuS wrote: This is

ZuS wrote:
This is interesting. Of course, I think that atheists who become atheists by their own effort are really just atheists who change one set of delusions for another and then drop them for a third, but your observation still adds something. They are different in a way, I suppose anti-authoritarian, reactionary. This is very good if you want people willing to change things. On the bad side, they are also the most delusional when it comes to religion. Look at Christopher Hitchens - super intelligent, bit of an asshole, thought all his life that religion is the problem #1, never gave a second thought to his rabid support for war and took the cynic's mantle way too easily.
Please, don't take these 'delusions' so absolutely Smiling Deconversion often means getting rid of a bunch of irrational faiths, not replacing them. I don't say there aren't opposite extremes like antitheists. But atheists don't go around acting religious.

I'd better wait for your sort-of kinda promised thread on the atheist delusions. I'm curious about these, to compare with my private writings and some other forum posts.
 

ZuS wrote:
 Now, here's the important part. I think you are essentially right about the powerful unifying ideas that zero in on things that matter today. To get there we have to beat the current consensus that has already reached an agreement on these ideas for us: we the 1% basically agree on the real issues of the 99%, so we will not debate them, especially because we, as the 1%, essentially penetrate the 99% in several orifices on those issues. We can instead debate stuff that Carl Rove and Grover Norquist disagree on (voucher program or total annihilation for medicare?) and call that the National Interest. Just to get some political capital every four years and avoid a bloodbath, one of us will dip his toe into the 99% pool, pick issues and frame them according to the needs of the 1%.

To break this consensus we need to realize we're all being fucked. The idea that these people made it up there on their own is ludicrous, which is really why I am trying to promote the idea of cohesive socialist groups - it's how they work, it's how we work, it's how the math of the society works, so we should get better at it. Thinking in these terms facilitates automatic decision-making on stuff we normally would spend years and lives on. Look for the common interests, not common delusions.
OK, so what are these common interests, the things that matter today, other than I said? Demanding basic needs met seems simple, but they both demand and bring quite a change in whole economy and society, which is not immediately apparent, but it becomes necessary and inevitable once any government subscribes to them. What can be better than that? Do you prefer single political steps without commitment, no A that would mean saying B next?

Btw, Albert Einstein said: “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Now I know what he meant.

 

Anonymouse wrote:
Bleh, fuck superhero comics. I'm from europe, remember ? I like the homegrown stuff. You like evil bankers ? You should read that French BD about the IRS. 

So let's meet up in Angoulême next year and bond !

http://www.bdangouleme.com/

 

Oh wait...you're a theist...Ah, who cares ? If you're there, let me know.  

Hey, a fellow European! There's no sign I'd ever get into France in foreseeable future, but if you ever find yourself in Prague, let me know. I'm not quite sure how the bonding works, but it should work fine if it's like being on a forum, just offline and drunk Smiling

Btw, the theist question doesn't make much sense to me. I'm not religious and I'm one of these people who have their own peculiar definitions and uses of God, people like politicians, philosophers, artists or occultists. Though when I'm swearing I mean the good old Yahweh, as an obscenity.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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The problem here is that

The problem here is that there are plenty of things to have faith in which are real or at least probable. Religion is not useful anymore. Its usefulness died with the invention of democracy and social services.

The ONLY inherent value of the bible is that it was the first mass printed novel, which was the beginning of mass communication within our species. Nothing more, nothing less.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Luminon wrote:Please, don't

Luminon wrote:
Please, don't take these 'delusions' so absolutely Smiling Deconversion often means getting rid of a bunch of irrational faiths, not replacing them. I don't say there aren't opposite extremes like antitheists. But atheists don't go around acting religious.

I'd better wait for your sort-of kinda promised thread on the atheist delusions. I'm curious about these, to compare with my private writings and some other forum posts.


I may open a thread on atheistic delusions, but let me remove any expectation of spectacular revelations right away: our delusions are really very mundane. I can tell you a bit about them by looking at a particular atheistic delusion and it's impact on a single person's world view: Christianity. Yes, Christianity is an atheistic delusion. Who's else would it be? God's? We don't buy that shit, so there is only one kind of delusion in this universe: the atheistic kind.

Christian beliefs constitute many atheistic faiths, each of which has the potential to spring countless faith systems (as defined before). Each combination of faith+faith system imposes its own hologram image on top of a billion other hologram images (delusions) in a person's mind. The only difference between a Christian and an atheist is that the Christian nurtures the delusion of a higher purpose through a higher power, while the atheist has the delusion of a higher purpose through choice or determinism or any number of variances on the same theme; just a slightly different color of a single one of the 1.000.000.000.001 holograms. It is an almost imperceptible difference, we're just stuck on it because we can't see the forest for the trees. If you become an atheist, you don't "deconvert". You just replace asterisks with reference numbers in the dictionary of delusions. The end result is just a different hue to same madness: we invade Iraq to bring democracy instead of saving their pagan souls; I assure you that the over million dead Iraqi civilians do not care which.

Luminon wrote:
OK, so what are these common interests, the things that matter today, other than I said? Demanding basic needs met seems simple, but they both demand and bring quite a change in whole economy and society, which is not immediately apparent, but it becomes necessary and inevitable once any government subscribes to them. What can be better than that? Do you prefer single political steps without commitment, no A that would mean saying B next?


I know it's a big pill to swallow, but there's really no way around it:  delusions are what constitutes our consciousness. We do not keep facts in our heads, but misconceptions that make living in this world feasible. It is fairly empowering once you accept it, because delusions kick "reality's" ass 10 out of 10 times.

Let me give you a simple example: kids. Tell a child that the drawing it just made is very good and you may have just created a future master cartoonist or illustrator or painter. Even if the drawing the kid just made looks like a piece of shit smeared on a donkeys testicles, the kid now has the beginnings of a faith that will remove inhibitions and make him/her able to enjoy failure, because he sees it as a part of the process of success. This faith can be changed by any number of factors, but in essence, if you keep a proper balance, talent will either not matter at all, or will simply be that thing everyone assumes you have.

Same goes for any human endeavor. Think about that for a second. This means that we need proper delusions to make working on achieving the common interests a matter-of-fact, rather than just a distant hope.

I have found the complex system that is the underlying mathematical structure of society and I call it cohesive socialist system of systems. Also, I have the proper set of delusions that makes creation of cohesive socialist groups a second nature to me. It is a very simple access point to a complex system: personal integrity (attracts cooperation) and a kind of a tit-for-tat cooperation model (selection of best cooperators, while teaching proper form to those who are repairable). These two personal traits loosely emulate (and stand in for, if necessary) the two crucial components in already formed cohesive socialist groups: common interest and consequence for stepping out. It's a page out of the book of St. Francis of Assisi, if the analogy will help you: you don't need theory; your being will be the rebuke of weakness.

The direction will not be decided by the technocratic dabbling invented to get me to believe it can be done, so this is only the beginning of a new faith. But it is there and it is stronger than anything you can find in a math book.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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ZuS wrote:I know it's a big

ZuS wrote:

I know it's a big pill to swallow, but there's really no way around it:  delusions are what constitutes our consciousness. We do not keep facts in our heads, but misconceptions that make living in this world feasible. It is fairly empowering once you accept it, because delusions kick "reality's" ass 10 out of 10 times.

I've already swallowed that pill. We are personalities, egos. Delusions, vices, or just imperfectly expressed character qualities are building blocks of the personality. They constitute us, they keep us together and keep us going in the daily life. It is said a man consists of his seven vices and that isn't so far from the truth. Through a lot of hard work we have the power to remove these features of character, replace them for better or transform them. Not only that is a demanding process, if we destroy too much of our ego, there's just not enough to keep us going and accomplishing things. I think I've overdone it on this part a little. I envy Satanists how big their egos are and therefore, how strong their will is. To see oneself as a god and to obey the god's command, this is actually a very admirable thing. I'd make me a completely different person. This is the one thing I dare not to do, order myself authoritatively and then obey the command reliably. 

It is generally good to grow a big ego, but this powerful ego must be refined, controlled and put to a good use. Otherwise it'll do whatever it wants, something non-constructive and self-serving. A lot can be forgiven if a man with big ego uses it to do good work in the world, a work that only strong ego can accomplish. And by this process of service the ego may be refined without struggle, slowly and imperceptibly. 


ZuS wrote:
 I have found the complex system that is the underlying mathematical structure of society and I call it cohesive socialist system of systems. Also, I have the proper set of delusions that makes creation of cohesive socialist groups a second nature to me. It is a very simple access point to a complex system: personal integrity (attracts cooperation) and a kind of a tit-for-tat cooperation model (selection of best cooperators, while teaching proper form to those who are repairable). These two personal traits loosely emulate (and stand in for, if necessary) the two crucial components in already formed cohesive socialist groups: common interest and consequence for stepping out. It's a page out of the book of St. Francis of Assisi, if the analogy will help you: you don't need theory; your being will be the rebuke of weakness.

The direction will not be decided by the technocratic dabbling invented to get me to believe it can be done, so this is only the beginning of a new faith. But it is there and it is stronger than anything you can find in a math book. 

Ah, well. Delusions are necessary, even if one can handle some pure truth, the masses of people can't and such a person is useless to them. It could be said that a civilization is a kind of a grand delusion, a world-myth, and people today are getting disillusioned of it. You know, all these notions from religions, isms and superiority of governmental authority. For example, there is the delusion of superiority and inferiority. People really may be superior and inferior in many parameters, the delusion is in basing our self-worth on our position or lack of thereof. There certainly were economic reasons for this. We're in a situation where the old myth stops working and the new one isn't invented yet. We need to invent a new one, a new conceptual framework of being. De facto a new set of answers of the questions who are we, where we come from and where are we going. 

Just like me, it seems to me you might be equipped for the task. I'm not sure though, you're so vague and technical that it only describes bare bones of the system. If you want to cover it with flesh, you need to work with some softcore concepts, known as virtues, ideals and archetypes. Concepts like good will, love, freedom, wisdom, justice, brotherhood and so on. If I see you use something like that correctly, I'll be able to tell for sure if your system isn't secretly some terrible inhumane ideology Smiling

Anyway, I currently look into economic principles that would make such a society possible. No society is worth much if it has to be kept going by its productive members wasting their potential 9 to 5, five days a week. 

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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Luminon wrote:Ah, well.

Luminon wrote:

Ah, well. Delusions are necessary, even if one can handle some pure truth, the masses of people can't and such a person is useless to them.

I don't think so. First of all, I think we've already agreed that there is no truth and that faith is literally stronger than reality, because it shapes it; both for us personally and out there in the real world. So, someone who says he knows the "truth" but isn't able to communicate it is just really inapt at communicating his faith to people. The particular faiths I think you are referring to with your word "truth" (correct me if I am wrong) is this hard-line everything-is-a-lie-and-your-politicians-are-using-you-and-war-is-horrible etc. This type of faith alone is for the incurably curious (that would be me) and the reactionary at best. Most people do not belong to these two groups in their optimal state. Most people seem to be faith-navigated machines and as such most of us like a faith that tells us what is the right thing to do, rather than what the world looks like out there. Therefore, approaching them without a vision for tomorrow usually provokes numbing passivity, apathy, cynicism etc. Even I, a guy who is eternally curious about every detail of the reality out there, ultimately think of these things in terms of what I am going to do about it.

Luminon wrote:
We need to invent a new one, a new conceptual framework of being. De facto a new set of answers of the questions who are we, where we come from and where are we going.

I think it may be much simpler than that. Not a grand new theory, but a method to make a personal step and perhaps a decision. Something you do yourself. Like I said, Francis of Assisi style answer: do not answer, be the answer. To get there you have to go through your own belief system.

Luminon wrote:
Just like me, it seems to me you might be equipped for the task.

That's what she said.

Luminon wrote:
I'm not sure though, you're so vague and technical that it only describes bare bones of the system. If you want to cover it with flesh, you need to work with some softcore concepts, known as virtues, ideals and archetypes. Concepts like good will, love, freedom, wisdom, justice, brotherhood and so on. If I see you use something like that correctly, I'll be able to tell for sure if your system isn't secretly some terrible inhumane ideology Smiling

I am explaining the complex system that is our society with a (re)fresh(ed) set of delusions. This explanation is a functional faith, because I can tell you what to do today, by yourself, completely independent of anything else happening on the planet. The faith may create any number of faith systems (implementations in the real world) and indeed I believe that it already has countless implementations reaching back to the beginning of time. I believe that system of cohesive socialist groups is the bottom-line mathematical representation of the society and that you are a part of it by default. Some of the faith systems that spring from it today are the reason we are on the brink of self-destruction, but this is precisely why the faith is true: it really works. It is not a guide to untieing the Gordian Knot, but it is a fairly sharp sword that will cut through it with ease - smart enough to be an approximate solution and dumb enough not to philosophise and fact-check into infinity and drown in diminishing returns.

I can tell you something about the influence the faith in the system of cohesive socialist groups will have on you and the reality around you, but I cannot predict the specific faith systems that will emerge from this. I can tell you that you will be strong, but at the moment I can say little about whether you will be "good", whatever that means. You are right that I could add pretty words to this, or as you call it "meat", but I started the search intent on removing my own apathy and complacency. In order to do this, I really have to believe. I have reached that stage now.

If you insist on the positive angle, and I agree that it is necessary if this is going to go anywhere beyond me alone, then I can tell you that I belive the system of cohesive groups is based on a set of in-built societal values homo sapiens sapiens posses, first of which is individuality in togetherness. I am not talking about equality, but the need for recognition of personal contribution to the group and the sense of investment. This is demonstrated again and again in the strongest cohesive socialist groups throughout history and today. The fragmented weakly cohesive poor and working class populations sattle for placebo-groups that the strong group of the powerful can't get rid of, or allow or in some instances even create: company you work at, home football team, college fraternity, family, one of the two major political parties that they themselves run, criminal gangs that keep the prisons stacked and minorities bogged down in a war against themselves, personal psychopatic world of lies that will sustain you only shortly within any group before you have to move on, etc. Breaking the stalemate is certainly possible and the only way I think we will survive as species. It requires that we start working within and across groups for our common interests. Pillars are essential here and the those of us who choose can become one today.

Luminon wrote:

Anyway, I currently look into economic principles that would make such a society possible. No society is worth much if it has to be kept going by its productive members wasting their potential 9 to 5, five days a week. 

My thesis includes a lenghty description of divide-and-conquer (DAC) strategies employed against us for centuries. The latest fad is "market economics", which, as an effective DAC strategy, has been imploding on the most powerful cohesive socialist group of today. This has caused a huge oppening for new ideas, most of which are just more DAC shit from the supply-side camp of our opponents (Peter Schiff and the Australian school of bullshit for example). A few, however, seem to be genuinely rethinking the field:

http://ineteconomics.org/about

This is an entirely new institute started by Soros and supported by, amongst others, Joseph Stiglitz. In time they will be completely subverted by the rich and powerful, if we allow it. There are many such centres of thought around the world and they are going to be pushing back against immense power of the top cohesive socialist group's propaganda and other less friendly forms of pressure. We must help them stay clean. Start with yourself.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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ZuS wrote: I don't think so.

ZuS wrote:
I don't think so. First of all, I think we've already agreed that there is no truth and that faith is literally stronger than reality, because it shapes it; both for us personally and out there in the real world. So, someone who says he knows the "truth" but isn't able to communicate it is just really inapt at communicating his faith to people. The particular faiths I think you are referring to with your word "truth" (correct me if I am wrong) is this hard-line everything-is-a-lie-and-your-politicians-are-using-you-and-war-is-horrible etc. This type of faith alone is for the incurably curious (that would be me) and the reactionary at best. Most people do not belong to these two groups in their optimal state. Most people seem to be faith-navigated machines and as such most of us like a faith that tells us what is the right thing to do, rather than what the world looks like out there. Therefore, approaching them without a vision for tomorrow usually provokes numbing passivity, apathy, cynicism etc. Even I, a guy who is eternally curious about every detail of the reality out there, ultimately think of these things in terms of what I am going to do about it.
I'm not sure what you exactly say, but if I quote Obi Wan Kenobi, only a Sith deals in absolutes Smiling (which includes black and white thinking) Yes, a vision for tomorrow is necessary, I'm glad you see it. Only... I wonder what makes you use such a formal yet vague language. Is this a requirement in your sect? Smiling

ZuS wrote:
I think it may be much simpler than that. Not a grand new theory, but a method to make a personal step and perhaps a decision. Something you do yourself. Like I said, Francis of Assisi style answer: do not answer, be the answer. To get there you have to go through your own belief system.

I am explaining the complex system that is our society with a (re)fresh(ed) set of delusions. This explanation is a functional faith, because I can tell you what to do today, by yourself, completely independent of anything else happening on the planet. The faith may create any number of faith systems (implementations in the real world) and indeed I believe that it already has countless implementations reaching back to the beginning of time. I believe that system of cohesive socialist groups is the bottom-line mathematical representation of the society and that you are a part of it by default. Some of the faith systems that spring from it today are the reason we are on the brink of self-destruction, but this is precisely why the faith is true: it really works. It is not a guide to untieing the Gordian Knot, but it is a fairly sharp sword that will cut through it with ease - smart enough to be an approximate solution and dumb enough not to philosophise and fact-check into infinity and drown in diminishing returns.

Ah, you probably mean something like egregores. However, I'm not sure whether your knowledge is real, specific and potentially misusable, or more like a safer, less practical theory. My sources avoid the danger by making the knowledge decidedly positive, ethically oriented, though far from feely goody. I should rather ask something specific, say what you know. What to do today by myself? How to become such a pillar? What are these group interests? What effect will the faith in the system will have on me and the reality around me?

ZuS wrote:
 My thesis includes a lenghty description of divide-and-conquer (DAC) strategies employed against us for centuries. The latest fad is "market economics", which, as an effective DAC strategy, has been imploding on the most powerful cohesive socialist group of today. This has caused a huge oppening for new ideas, most of which are just more DAC shit from the supply-side camp of our opponents (Peter Schiff and the Australian school of bullshit for example). A few, however, seem to be genuinely rethinking the field:

http://ineteconomics.org/about

This is an entirely new institute started by Soros and supported by, amongst others, Joseph Stiglitz. In time they will be completely subverted by the rich and powerful, if we allow it. There are many such centres of thought around the world and they are going to be pushing back against immense power of the top cohesive socialist group's propaganda and other less friendly forms of pressure. We must help them stay clean. Start with yourself.

Wow, nice. I wonder if I should apply for a grant (and what the hell does that involve). I also wonder if you didn't apply for a grant already, which would explain your vagueness Smiling Kudos to them for saying that not even Keynes would be published today. I'm disgusted by this pointless self-serving anti-economy that nobody has the guts to bring down. 

My model is mainly based on the natural order of human body. The body is incredibly intelligently evolved, to resemble an ideal case of state economy. What where and how happens in the body, tells me what where and how should happen in the state/world. Things like a strong presence of an immune system, whether an organ has a voluntary or involuntary control, in what quantities does it receive blood supply, if it works with blood directly or not, what is an economic difference between arteries and veins, and so on. All these countless physiologic details tell me what things should be financed and managed and how and what attention should they receive in an ideal state/global system.

So far we're putting so much misdirected attention into the lowest, menial areas, it is like we'd have a great trouble moving the shit all the length of our bowels and squeezing and releasing the heart manually. And it's like we'd really glorify and celebrate this kind of job, discuss it in media all the time and congratulate ourselves on how advanced we are. Not realizing how distant this is from a really healthy and functional human body that can think and be creative, go around and do all sorts of cool things, without bothering much about its internal... economy and politics of processing shit and piss. That's what I  think of all this contemporary economy, laws, sociology and politics, basically our feeble beginner attempts at what our organism does automatically and does not bother us with, because it just gets the job done Smiling

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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This gets into something I

This gets into something I tried to instill in my (atheist) son --

If everyone acts as though the moral commandments in the Jewish bible are actually divinely ordained, it simply doesn't matter whether or not G-d exists.  If we "pretend" that "feed the poor, clothe the naked, heal the sick, house the homeless" really were uttered by an imaginary being, and we act on those "make-believe" commands, the social outcome doesn't depend on the actual existence of a Hairy Thunderer.

If Atheists are able to create a "moral code" in which the undeniable truth that we are social creatures, and that might doesn't make right, good on them.  But I have yet to see any indication that Atheism excels as a religion when compared to anything just short of Radical Islam or the Radical Christian Right.  Atheism as a form of Secular Humanism seems incapable of defending itself against Might-Makes-Right, Win-At-All-Costs, Ayn-Rand-Is-My-Candidate-For-god secular inhumanity.  Sure, global Atheism might keep Muslims from killing Christians, and Christians from killing Jews, but its ability to move beyond killing in the name of ones own pet deity is non-existent.  Murder in the name of ones personal pet deity is simply replaced by murder and oppression in the name of ones own greed and selfishness.  This is NOT an improvement.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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Tiny Invitation directed at Furry :

 Re :: Tiny Invitation  Started late Oct --Early Nov. of 2012  http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/33222  Was Jesus the expected messiah or maschiach?  thread started by the christian user and polytheist (joking) named Jimenezj. When you can, stop on by. Please ? Have your eyes beheld the recent activity?
 


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Luminon wrote:I'm not sure

Luminon wrote:


I'm not sure what you exactly say, but if I quote Obi Wan Kenobi, only a Sith deals in absolutes Smiling (which includes black and white thinking) Yes, a vision for tomorrow is necessary, I'm glad you see it. Only... I wonder what makes you use such a formal yet vague language. Is this a requirement in your sect? Smiling



Formal language is to delimit what I am not talking about. There is no sect as it were, because everyone is a part of the system of cohesive socialist groups by default, except those unable to relate to other people at all.

The element of faith doesn't come in before you have a will to do something or gain a degree of control, security, dignity, fulfillment of whatever need or want we humans have. Then the theory can tell you how: it is really all about tight adaptable groups being stronger than loose rigid groups. It also tells you how to start being a strong thread in the rope: belief in your own dependability, personal integrity, community mind and productiveness.

Luminon wrote:


Ah, you probably mean something like egregores. However, I'm not sure whether your knowledge is real, specific and potentially misusable, or more like a safer, less practical theory. My sources avoid the danger by making the knowledge decidedly positive, ethically oriented, though far from feely goody. I should rather ask something specific, say what you know. What to do today by myself? How to become such a pillar? What are these group interests? What effect will the faith in the system will have on me and the reality around me?



Sure, egregores can be a backbone of a sword. Mine is just so near to earth, that I can actually believe it myself and it activates me personally, which makes it much better than a "social thing". Keep in mind that the system of cohesive groups (SoCG) is a (extra)logical framework that is meant to make me believe enough to pick up a sword, not something that is meant to be a global faith. I tell you what it can be used for, because that is what I use it for. Once I believe, I can see how to get where we want to be as a group. I understand the road, because I believe in the underlying framework.

Why is this important? Because the first question anyone wanting to do something has is: but what can I do? The sense of lack of direction(means) to our already understood purpose(interest) is really the only barrier between us and a fantastically bright future for the human species.

Luminon wrote:


Wow, nice. I wonder if I should apply for a grant (and what the hell does that involve). I also wonder if you didn't apply for a grant already, which would explain your vagueness Smiling Kudos to them for saying that not even Keynes would be published today. I'm disgusted by this pointless self-serving anti-economy that nobody has the guts to bring down.



My vagueness is only due to my inability to communicate. I assure you that the SoCG is as clear cut and straight forward as theories get. About the institute, well, they are a demo of a loosely cohesive, but highly adaptable group. Maybe it will bring forth a strongly cohesive adaptable group. Maybe that group will not fuck us in the ass. But that last part is up to us. The people that are fucking us in the ass at the moment are a strongly cohesive, adaptable group as well and it is up to us whether it continues.

Luminon wrote:


My model is mainly based on the natural order of human body. The body is incredibly intelligently evolved, to resemble an ideal case of state economy. What where and how happens in the body, tells me what where and how should happen in the state/world. Things like a strong presence of an immune system, whether an organ has a voluntary or involuntary control, in what quantities does it receive blood supply, if it works with blood directly or not, what is an economic difference between arteries and veins, and so on. All these countless physiologic details tell me what things should be financed and managed and how and what attention should they receive in an ideal state/global system.



The metaphor works for me, but only if we're talking strictly about the idea that every necessity should be taken care of, so that we can focus on research/exploration/experiencing the world/whatever gives life meaning. I do not like the human body as an analogy, because bodies grow more an more likely to die as time passes. We should strive to build a system of mechanisms that can function and regenerate themselves completely autonomously, while together seamlessly merging into a global versatile and adaptable system that DOES NOT introduce increased risk of global collapse over time. This is not a massive specialized system with fail-safes, but an organism specializing in being able to re-organize at a drop of a dime.

Luminon wrote:


So far we're putting so much misdirected attention into the lowest, menial areas, it is like we'd have a great trouble moving the shit all the length of our bowels and squeezing and releasing the heart manually. And it's like we'd really glorify and celebrate this kind of job, discuss it in media all the time and congratulate ourselves on how advanced we are. Not realizing how distant this is from a really healthy and functional human body that can think and be creative, go around and do all sorts of cool things, without bothering much about its internal... economy and politics of processing shit and piss. That's what I  think of all this contemporary economy, laws, sociology and politics, basically our feeble beginner attempts at what our organism does automatically and does not bother us with, because it just gets the job done Smiling



Exactly. However, to get to this point, we must gain control of our educational and political system and defeat the CG Privilege. Learning how SoCG works is step #1.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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FurryCatHerder wrote:This

FurryCatHerder wrote:

This gets into something I tried to instill in my (atheist) son --

If everyone acts as though the moral commandments in the Jewish bible are actually divinely ordained, it simply doesn't matter whether or not G-d exists.  If we "pretend" that "feed the poor, clothe the naked, heal the sick, house the homeless" really were uttered by an imaginary being, and we act on those "make-believe" commands, the social outcome doesn't depend on the actual existence of a Hairy Thunderer.

This makes sense.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

If Atheists are able to create a "moral code" in which the undeniable truth that we are social creatures, and that might doesn't make right, good on them.  But I have yet to see any indication that Atheism excels as a religion when compared to anything just short of Radical Islam or the Radical Christian Right.  Atheism as a form of Secular Humanism seems incapable of defending itself against Might-Makes-Right, Win-At-All-Costs, Ayn-Rand-Is-My-Candidate-For-god secular inhumanity.  Sure, global Atheism might keep Muslims from killing Christians, and Christians from killing Jews, but its ability to move beyond killing in the name of ones own pet deity is non-existent.  Murder in the name of ones personal pet deity is simply replaced by murder and oppression in the name of ones own greed and selfishness.  This is NOT an improvement.

Atheists invent moral codes all the time. All the religions in existence are atheistic inventions of moral codes. Same is the case with legal systems from the ancient tribal circles, over monarchic and feudal supreeme rule to the french origins of the modern practice in Code Civil.

If we are to have a moral code that makes sense, it has to capture a cross-section of the already existing moral codes, not simply create a competitor. We have to focus on issues, identify our interests, look across the moral codes we've already created, find our allies in them and simply help them in their struggle against our common adversaries. This means helping the Catholic nuns against their bishops when they fight for the poor for example; never mind their belief in the sky person.

This cross-section group has a huge potential and can be made stronger than anything we've seen before, if we obey a few simple rules; like understanding what "help them" means and implementing it as second nature. Needless to say, we should consider any division along moral-code lines alone as simply a divide-and-conquer strategy by someone with opposing interests to ours.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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Can we do without delusions?

I find this thread very refreshing in its recognition that we all have delusions which we use to protect us from truths which would impede our ability to cope confidently with day to day life. But what is the full price we pay for these delusions, and is there a way to fully reconcile ourselves to reality?

I believe that there is and I believe that this is actually what Jesus was trying to promote, through the use of symbols and parables which would not overly confront the delusional psychological structure of the people of his day. I believe that he talked the language of the Jewish religion while trying to subvert it and free the people from the delusion that there is a judgemental supernatural God. I believe he was a pantheist who was speaking of the integrative principle behind nature which expresses itself socially as love when he talked of God.

Here again we have the value of fiction. Much of the Gospels is clearly myth, i.e. fiction, but some of the quotes and events such as the crucifixion may have been real. Whether it is real or fiction is of no concern to me. And it doesn't matter to me if I'm misinterpreting the words of a man who really existed. What is of concern to me is that the symbols and quotes have encouraged thought processes in me which have had the effect of resolving many internal conflicts and enabling me to see a way forward from a world in which we are all caught up in our own individual delusions.

The key problem on earth is human selfishness. If we were not selfish we could easily cooperate on solving any problem facing us. So why are we selfish? Selfishness is the natural self-directedness of the suffering individual. Hit your thumb with a hammer and then try thinking about anything but your thumb.

Our psychological pain arises from doubts about our own worth. Some of us try to prove we are worthy by accumulating wealth. A worthless person wouldn't drive a Mercedes, would they? Others of us seek to prove our worth by being "good people". We pride ourselves on being "a good decent Christian" or a socialist or a vegan. Or we try to do something else to impress others. Even when we try to do something to improve the world, we are usually doing it so we can think of ourself as someone who is trying to improve the world.

This is our egotism, arising from our wounded ego. The ego is necessary. It is the conscious interface with which we interact with the world. But if it is not wounded it is able to manage this very efficiently and spontaneously, without being hampered by rigid stereotypical thinking (i.e. dogma) of any kind.

Two of the main forms of ego wound are fear and guilt. Jesus said quite a few things to try to encourage people to worry less or be less fearful, e.g. "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" Matthew 6:34 But more importantly he tried to stop people from feeling guilty by telling them that God forgives their "sins". This was not an ideal way to go about things, but I think it was the best option he had. If he went around saying that Yahweh was a delusion he would have been executed before he got a chance to talk to anyone. He had to be like "a snake in the grass" (to use his own term).

At the heart of his message, as I see it, was two things - honesty and love. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32 What is the truth? Reality is the truth. We live in delusion. We don't know the truth. We don't know reality. But when we learn to tell the truth about ourselves we will drop our illusions and discover reality - the truth that sets us free. Because, deep down, we know that we are deluded, and that is why we are insecure and that is why we are selfish and that is why all of the problems of the world continue. The one supposedly unforgivable blasphemy is to "blaspheme against the Holy Spirit". So what is "the Holy Spirit". If Jesus had simply said "You must tell the truth" it would have had little effect. He talked about something which sounded magical "the Holy Spirit" and so for two thousand years people who were not capable of understanding most of his message because they were too insecure and too much in need of belief in magic, passed down his message about this "Holy Spirit".  The word "holy" means whole or of the whole (as in holistic) and the word spirit means "essence" as in "the spirit of fair play". The essence of the whole is simply truth. Our delusions are legion and they divide us. If we can be honest we can find in the truth of the real world a place where we won't have to be at cross-purposes. Blasphemy agains the "Holy Spirit" then is abandonment of the way of honesty, which takes us from the Heaven which is possible living lovingly together in the real world and into a lonely world of insecurity, depression, guilt, etc., etc., which is the only Hell there is.

 Love is simply a word for open honest spontaneous and generous communication. If we are not in an insecure, inwardly-directed, deluded, egotistical state we can't help but communicate with our fellows in this way. And the bliss which comes from such communication makes all the compensatory pleasures with which we try to distract ourselves from our suffering fade by comparison.

 I view the Christian religion a bit like a time bomb. When Jesus realised he wouldn't be able to get many people to really understand his advice on how to find their way back to reality from delusion, he spread his message in a symbolic way which would be attractive to deluded people. He gave them a new delusion, but one with an expiry date. He knew that the insecurity-inspired selfishness problem and all that went with it would continue to grow worse until such a time that it would be unsustainable. Eventually society would collapse. He described this as "the end of days". But he passed on in the form of symbols and parables the insights which would be useful to us at this time. A selfishness-based society tends also to be hierarchical so the church was bound to stifle free interpretation of its symbols and parables by constituents. Christianity tended to be dictatorial. Gnosticism, which might have led to the kind of interpretation I've given here, was repressed. But today the church doesn't hold this kind of control over people's minds and many people have become atheists. But the Christian church carries the seeds of its own self-destruction, because the words are there in its own holy book to expose it's hypocrisy. This has always been the case of course, but what has been missing is two things - people who are actually free in the way Jesus wanted to encourage and a lessening of the need to believe for church-goers. We will put up with a lot of nonsense if we are addicted to something, but that ends pretty quickly when someone offers us a way out of that addiction.

Now all of this may be my own delusion, but it seems to be serving me pretty well.

So my own personal defence of the Bible is that, for me, parts of it have been a catalyst for a healing philosophy of life.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free