I'm Baffaloed

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I'm Baffaloed

I got a note tuther day asking if I ever listened to Hitchens or Dawkins, an if not do so.

I've been at it off and on since and am amazed. There's been several items so far that I came upon that we also found

 Todays was the talk at a Womens Collage in Virginia US of A where in he stated that intelligence came in to being only after the forming of materail. We found it only logical that that would be the case as a brain would be needed for intelligence to form with in. There's been four thing so far that we've come to the same conclusions.

One was on the forming of the eye. Originally a receptor for detecting heat, and then modifying to detect light and shadow, and eventually images. It's also gratifying to know that we're not dummies.

I'm also gratified that we didn't ever have to deal with clergymen. Great guns God almigty land sakes o goshen. I know I wouldn't have the patience they have to deal with such nonsense. I would be giving  Pastor What's His Face the Gunny Hartman treatment in a hurry.

Outstanding presentations.

 

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iwbiek
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dawkins is an evolutionary

dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, so i take him as such and nothing else. his comments on religion are generally poorly informed, oversimplified, and dilettantish, but he has a doctorate (even though it's totally unrelated to religion), a BBC accent, and he speaks with the conviction of the autodidact, so people believe him. as for hitchens, he was a journalist and nothing more. being as he was an old disillusioned, alcoholic trotskyist, i'm sympathetic, and find him entertaining to read and listen to, but in terms of serious discourse on religion he obviously shouldn't be anyone's first choice. it would be sort of like taking ernest hemingway as your authority on religion, except hitchens wasn't nearly as good a writer.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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99% of everything Hitchens

99% of everything Hitchens said was mind bogglingly stupid. The guy was a complete asshole who got almost everything wrong. The only thing he got right was atheism. But I can't stomach his stupidity enough to read anything he wrote on atheism. The fool STILL supported the Iraq war even after it was clear it was an unmitigated disaster, for one example. He actually had to be tortured before he ended up being against torture, despite the plethora of evidence it is ineffective. He liked Bush and hated Clinton, which goes to show just how dumb he was.
That said, he had the balls to give being tortured a try, at risk his own life; and it did prove he was capable of changing his mind. Something most theists, like Brian37, are incapable of. So he wasn't a complete waste of oxygen like they are.

Dawkins is very much the opposite, but he still has the problem of making a lot of assumptions, even inside his field. Like the assumption there must be matter to have intelligence. We can't even properly define intelligence, so saying anything about its necessary prerequisites in absolute terms is an assumption. It's an educated assumption, with a little evidence to suggest it is true and none to suggest it isn't, but still an assumption. Like dark matter, dark energy, the accelerating expansion of the universe, and a few other things (mostly in medicine).

Frankly, as atheist spokesmen go, Neil Tyson and Bill Nye are better than either of them, especially Hitchens. Those two want nothing more than to educate people, which is exactly what needs to happen.
Bill Maher and Ricky Gervais are better atheist spokesmen as well, and they're just comedians with no science degrees. But they have a better grasp on what the real problems with religion are, and they do a better job communicating those problems.

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I'm not familiar

with the ups and down of all these guys but I'm amazed at how we came to conclusions the same as they. Another one is - Dawkins refers to todays religion as originating in the bronze age. We determined close to the same. We put it in the dark ages and middle age beliefs originating from the druids. The religions of Europe are mostly decended ideas from those times. The world as is and from that time interprets life from a phisical and material perspective with what we call the superficial mind. The book however has the writer seeing things from the inner eye, or, the minds eye. The Dark Age religions merely interpreted the book according to thier beliefs. The Euro types are materialistic, but the biblical writers were spiritualistic. That makes for a drasticly different interpretation. The way creation ties its similarities to the flood of Noah show clearly that we have it correct. We came to the correct concludion after a while that they are useing the Hebrew neumaric alphabet. We had a sample copy of a very old version. It's the key to understanding many things of the book. Well, back to looking and listening.

The only possible thing the world needs saving from are those running it.

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Lies are nothing more then falsehoods searching for the truth


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You do realise the bronze

You do realise the bronze age predates the middle/dark age by a good 4 thousand years, yes?

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I didn't

take that into account. The emphasis is on religion started at an ancient time which can (does) go back quite aways. I didn't have in mind an exact time.

I think it was you who posted at one time that religions started (oh lets say) about 20,000 years ago. I think the evidence given was the burial proceedures of that time show process and arrangements according belief systems. I agree with that assesment. I'm looking at it this way. If a burial is found that the body was merely buried it may mean it was done so outside of religious beliefs. When one is found with special considerations that may mean about that time is when emotions can be determined which can mean the start of religious conditions. When a body is discovered with artifacts "and" symbols or an artifact that has no specific tool use but just a symbol I would say that would be a religious burial. Our interest in this is mainly when the Europeans acquired the bible. It's obvious to us that they attached their religion to it. What the biblical writer had in mind and the Euros had in mind are two different things. The Euros religion is based on material and physical application while the biblical writers are based on what they refer to as the spiritual. 

If we are correct, which we say we are, then we are also correct that what is considered in the world today as Christianity is deffinetly not so. Christianity is of the spiritual applications and determined via the mental sciences not the material. That means (and in accordance with what the apostles say) biblical creation is a spiritual (mental) happening not a material one. And if so that leaves western religions and Judaism to be absolutely bogus. If biblical creation is spiritual then their God should have told them that. If not, the clergy cannot claim to be what and who they say they are, and a super human creating and controling the universe also cannot be so.

The only possible thing the world needs saving from are those running it.

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Lies are nothing more then falsehoods searching for the truth


iwbiek
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ancient religions ceased

ancient religions ceased interesting me long ago and it's time people stopped placing so much importance on them. they're worse than useless as analogues for trying to understand religions today. the whole field of religious studies is steadily moving from a textual approach to an ethnographic approach, thank god.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Correction

Dawkins didn't say todays religions originate in the bronze age, but rather refered to religion "out" of the bronze age, or "from" the bronze age. As I see it he ment it as  some thing from a time of people being  ignorant of science with superstious beliefs. I hope I have that right.

The only possible thing the world needs saving from are those running it.

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Lies are nothing more then falsehoods searching for the truth


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that's just another example

that's just another example of dawkins' irresponsibility when talking about religion. he says "bronze age" quite frankly because it sounds good and because it connotes "ancient" in a pejorative sense, i.e. ridiculously obsolete. IOW, "bronze age" sounds more negative than "ancient times." it's the same as when new atheist polemicists use the term "goat-herders" when talking about the ancient israelites. from what we can judge from the hebrew bible and related texts, israelite pastoral work centered mainly around sheep, not goats. but "goat-herder" sounds more pejorative than "shepherd" to the modern reader, perhaps because "goat-herder" has a primitive connotation and "shepherd" or even "sheep-herder" a more noble one. you may also notice it's never "goatherd," but always "goat-herder." it's a subtle polemic of tone, and totally disingenuous at that.


the fact of the matter is, we have no bloody idea when "religion" started, especially since the debate on what religion is has hardly been settled, and virtually all religion scholars agree that how we conceive of religion today is completely different from how out ancient (or "bronze-age," if you insist) ancestors conceived of it.


come to think of it, i wonder if any halfway prominent member of the new atheist movement is a bona fide religion scholar, with at least a doctorate in the social sciences (religious studies, anthropology, ethnology, etc.). i haven't found one yet. they're all natural scientists who are as clumsy in my field as i would be in theirs.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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In addition, there is much

In addition, there is much evidence that even some of the most popular religions of today are incredibly different from what they were even 100 years ago. It would have been much more difficult to find biblical literalists a few decades ago than it is today, for example. A thousand years ago the vast majority of christians didn't even have access to the bible, and they couldn't have read it even if they had access. Going further, the christianity of today bears absolutely no resemblance at all to the beliefs of the first christians more than 2000 years ago. Every generation has put its mark on religion just as they have on politics, economics, and society in general.

The basic mumbo jumbo principal behind the majority of religions has remained relatively the same, so far as I'm aware. But the ways it is perceived by those who believe it, they ways in which it is adhered to, and the ways it has influenced people and events changes by the day.

The actual origins of belief in gods or spirits or what-have-you has little bearing on what came later. I am quite confident that 'religion' predates communication and the use of tools, which predates our entire species; never mind the bronze age.

With only one living species to observe such beliefs in, and with such an empty history of both those beliefs and their effect on the evolution of our species; it is quite impossible to say anything for certain. But I think it is quite likely that we could never have become what we are today without the various irrational beliefs that some idiotic people are so quick to dismiss as bad or poisonous.

Any fool who wants to force their religion on others must be confronted, we can not afford to allow such people to wrest control in this day and age. But to actively disregard all religion as stupid or ineffective or as a flaw in our species is to ignore the fact that beliefs in things that cannot be proved has been with us through all recorded history and beyond. It makes the literally stupid assumption that we would be better off without.

Yet the very evolution that brought us to today never selected it out of the species, which is inarguable proof that it is an asset in some form.

Of all people, Dawkins should have come to this conclusion decades ago. That he hasn't says he isn't even an expert in his own field.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.