The moral reason to reject all god claims.

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The moral reason to reject all god claims.

The core reason to reject all claims of the super natural and god claims is lack of evidence, no matter who is doing the claiming. But another reason to reject god claims is the cherry picking dodge pinning no accountability on such a god in the face of cruelty and suffering under their alleged watch.

While Harris is addressing Christianity, this also applies to Muslims and Jews as well because of the "all powerful" and "all loving" and "all seeing" attributes. So please try if you wish to justify a counter to Sam Harris's argument.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HthQ6a7FZeA

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iwbiek wrote:and DO NOT TELL

iwbiek wrote:
and DO NOT TELL ME that no religion would mean none of those things would exist.

if you TRULY BELIEVE, AS I DO, that religion comes from the human mind, then every irrational precept that religion prescribes must ALREADY BE PRESENT IN THE HUMAN MIND.

Clearly Brian will never understand. His brain completely stopped working a year or two ago.

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Brian37

Brian37 wrote:

harleysportster wrote:

 

Gramster, Old Seer were pains in the ass. Just like that Henson guy or whomever that asshole was with his Pathway Machine book. That was one that I totally could not stand and did not treat with any finesse.

Epistemologist I do not remember.

Furrycatherder was one that I never read enough of to really care about.

There was one guy that I had a hard fight against on here named Mr. Metaphysics, but then again, I think he was a troll that had been on here multiple times under multiple names.

There was that one dumbass that was talking about Math Phyz that really rubbed me the wrong way that I had an out and out confrontation with. but that is been my experience with most of them.

If these were the worst theists in the world we had to deal with, I wouldn't have started this thread at all. The problem isn't which label, the problem is our evolutionary history allows our delusions to distract our species from its common condition.  Religion IS a poison because it produces false perceptions to the point of divisive conflict.

You must really live in a bubble and never turn on your tv or read anything in social media about what people do in the name of religion.

 

Your argument of "not everyone does this" is again, still not my point. If you want less of this as a liberal and moderate you cant simply say "live and let live". You can use the island the volcano is on but you'd be stupid to assume that it will never blow it's top.

 

Where did I ever say that this was the only type of theists ?

Where did I ever say that not everyone does this or that I am not aware of what goes on in the news ?

A bit confusing to say the least ?

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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iwbiek wrote:as for defining

iwbiek wrote:

as for defining religion, it's been a couple weeks since we argued about that.  now, no matter what i say, i just get called PC and told my primary concern is not upsetting theists.  even though he's the ONLY atheist on this site who's ever gotten so much vitriol from me.  ok, well, there was EXC, but that had nothing to do with religion at all.  the other people i've railed against as much or more than brian have been: furrycatherder, jean chauvin, gramster, paisley, epistemologist, mind over matter, old seer, and i'm sure there were others--all theists.  i evn called luminon on his bullshit a couple times, even though i like him, and i often questioned eloise on why she felt the need to posit a deity of any sort (i admit i never pushed her too hard because i have the major hots for her, on both a physical and intellectual level).

I've never had any problem with your conduct on this site (towards either atheist or theists).  The reason I brought up your conversation was because I was hoping to get Brian to start forming coherent arguments instead of just ranting about things like RELIGION IS POISON and EVOLUTION.

Really I think that all of us would agree that willful ignorance is unethical when it causes harm.  I didn’t realize until after I posted that the way I worded things implied that some of us might not agree with that sentiment.  Sorry about that.  I don’t believe you are tolerant of willful ignorance when it causes harm. 


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RatDog wrote:I've never had

RatDog wrote:

I've never had any problem with your conduct on this site (towards either atheist or theists).  The reason I brought up your conversation was because I was hoping to get Brian to start forming coherent arguments instead of just ranting about things like RELIGION IS POISON and EVOLUTION.

Really I think that all of us would agree that willful ignorance is unethical when it causes harm.  I didn’t realize until after I posted that the way I worded things implied that some of us might not agree with that sentiment.  Sorry about that.  I don’t believe you are tolerant of willful ignorance when it causes harm. 

basically, all brian does is rant about how EVOLUTION causes us to do irrational shit, and apparently he thinks that by griping about it he will somehow help lessen it, even though history doesn't bear that out at all.  he has nothing more constructive to say than that.  oh, except maybe that guns should not be as available as candy.  which, of course, they're not.

i have a quote in huge, bold letters above my desk at work.  it's from one of my favorite contemporary russian authors, vladimir voinovich.  "the sum total of viciousness and stupidity in humanity neither increases nor decreases, but fortunately the times do not always deploy it in full."  that pretty much sums up my view of history.

"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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Yet another reason I stand

Yet another reason I stand with Hitchens in calling religion poison.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/israeli-woman-fined-140-day-refusing-circumcise-son

Now before the PC atheists here go blasting me again, this isn't just about Jewish circumcision, but all child genital mutilation done in the name of superstition, male or female.

 

No sane person would tattoo a baby or cut off a finger or toe for superstitious reasons. I'd suggest all my detractors read Ayaan Hersi Ali's "Infidel" and also read her view about what she thinks of treatment of women and child genital mutilation in general.

 

A baby cannot consent to such things and girls cant consent to it either. Unless you have a medical reason to cut into a child don't do it. Why should any religion be allowed to torture their babies/kids out of some stupid sense of "freedom of religion".

 

Now you can't wipe it out by force, but to say we shouldn't call them out is absurd. No adult would allow another adult to cut them without their consent. Would it be ok for me to go up to these adults and say "hey, I am going to tattoo you without your permission", guess what, someone DID DO THAT and had their ass handed to him.

 

 

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Brian37 wrote:Now before the

Brian37 wrote:

Now before the PC atheists here go blasting me again, this isn't just about Jewish circumcision, but all child genital mutilation done in the name of superstition, male or female.

 

 

 

 

 

  My parents weren't Jews and yet my two older brothers and I were all circumcised.  I'm glad they did, an uncircumcised wang is one of the ugliest fucking things that "evolution" ever produced.  Gross.

 

 

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Now before the PC atheists here go blasting me again, this isn't just about Jewish circumcision, but all child genital mutilation done in the name of superstition, male or female.

 

 

 

 

 

  My parents weren't Jews and yet my two older brothers and I were all circumcised.  I'm glad they did, an uncircumcised wang is one of the ugliest fucking things that "evolution" ever produced.  Gross.

 

 

Not the point and you know it. There is one reason and one reason only to do that and superstition or "looks" are not good reasons.

 

If I came up to you as an adult and said, "I am going force you to have a body piercing because my god said so and you have no choice" as an adult you would rightfully say "fuck you". You saying now, "it looks better" does not change the fact you had no say in it at the time it was done to you.

 

Even without a religious excuse and merely based on "looks" what if a parent said my baby looks better tan and decided take it to a tanning bed every day, because some people like tan skin means a baby can consent to it?

 

If it would not be ok to knock you out as an adult and force you to get a tattoo as an adult you don't want, please tell me how a baby can consent to a circumcision?

This isn't a clef pallet we are talking about. It is for the adults, not the kid. It is a barbaric blood ritual to placate the superstitions of adults.

 

If your parents had it done to you because they feared possible infection and a doctor agreed, that is different, but that is not why the practice was originally started.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Brian37 wrote:Not the point

Brian37 wrote:

Not the point and you know it. There is one reason and one reason only to do that and superstition or "looks" are not good reasons.

 

If I came up to you as an adult and said, "I am going force you to have a body piercing because my god said so and you have no choice" as an adult you would rightfully say "fuck you". You saying now, "it looks better" does not change the fact you had no say in it at the time it was done to you.

 

Even without a religious excuse and merely based on "looks" what if a parent said my baby looks better tan and decided take it to a tanning bed every day, because some people like tan skin means a baby can consent to it?

 

If it would not be ok to knock you out as an adult and force you to get a tattoo as an adult you don't want, please tell me how a baby can consent to a circumcision?

This isn't a clef pallet we are talking about. It is for the adults, not the kid. It is a barbaric blood ritual to placate the superstitions of adults.

 

If your parents had it done to you because they feared possible infection and a doctor agreed, that is different, but that is not why the practice was originally started.

 

 

 

  Brian I don't give a fuck what you think about my parents having me circumcised.  Even if my parents aborted me ( which you're okay with )  it's still none of your fucking business, you fucking atheist troll.  You're disgusting.

 I actually think I'm beginning to hate you.

 

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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Robert Ingersol wrote:

Robert Ingersol wrote:
Religion will never reform mankind because religion is slavery.

 

Care to ask what actress Butterfly McQueen said? Hint, along the same lines.

 

But they can say it because they were famous. I can't say the same thing because I am a dishwasher.

 

 

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Brian37 wrote:  But they

Brian37 wrote:

 

 

But they can say it because they were famous.

 

of course they can.  but that doesn't make them right.  in fact, politicians and actors are usually not terribly intelligent--cunning, perhaps, but not intelligent--which means they're generally wrong about most things.  celebrities are the last people i listen to about...well, anything, really.

and mankind can never be "reformed" by anything.  that notion is preposterous on multiple levels.

"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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http://www.huffingtonpost.com

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/18/african-children-denounce_n_324943.html

Yet another reason religion should be treated as a poison.

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^ Yet another reason Brian

^ Yet another reason Brian should be treated as poison.

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If no one had introduced

If no one had introduced these sick fucks to a god they would not be murdering other people.

I do not want to hear shit about "others don't do it", The following graphic video is PRECISELY WHY HARRIS CALLS OUT MODERATES AND LIBERALS. And precisely why Hitchens calls religion poison.

http://thetaleofbittertruth.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/suspected-witches-burned-alive-by-christians-in-kenya/

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Brian37 wrote:If no one had

Brian37 wrote:

If no one had introduced these sick fucks to a god they would not be murdering other people.




you have absolutely zero basis for that assertion.


as usual.



"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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Brian37 wrote:If no one had

Brian37 wrote:
If no one had introduced these sick fucks to a god they would not be murdering other people.

Prove it.

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to paraphrase wittgenstein,

to paraphrase wittgenstein, most of our controversies boil down to word games. i understand that brian is pissed off at some very real, concrete negativity in the world, as we ALL are.


but brian is also caught up in the rhetoric of his heroes in the atheist movement and thus is at war with terms like "religion" and "god." he is so invested in this war that he intentionally distorts the meanings of the terms he hates in order to ascribe as much negativity to them as possible, just as he intentionally distorts the arguments of those who disagree with his use of the terminology in order to try to make himself look better. unfortunately, his distortions are so over the top, it doesn't work.


the logical outcome of this is that anyone who tries to use the terms in a positive or even a neutral way gets lambasted (and there is no better word for brian's style of argument) for being an accomplice, however passive, in the real, concrete negativity he rightfully condemns.


ultimately, this process is blatantly dishonest.



"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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http://www.huffingtonpost.com

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Brian37

you're right. assholes are poison, religious or not.

"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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 Religion may not be the

 Religion may not be the source of many of these nasty or crazy ideas, but it does provides a framework to justify, 'rationalise', and spread many of them around, so it should NOT be given a pass. It is ultimately a major part of the problem.

An idea may not lead to harm in itself, but in combination with others, it may lead to or encourage others which do.

For example, belief in re-incarnation, and that a 'soul' is rewarded or punished according to their behaviour in a previous life is used in some societies, especially in some places in Africa, to justify persecution of a person a with congenital disability, or any other inherited characteristic that is perceived as bad, because they 'must have done something to deserve it'.

And because it is held within the framework of a religious belief system, it resists rational, empirical arguments.

And the other point I would make is that it is not just Abrahamic religions which can lead to or at least encourage harmful practices.

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

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

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

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BobSpence wrote: Religion

BobSpence wrote:

 Religion may not be the source of many of these nasty or crazy ideas, but it does provides a framework to justify, 'rationalise', and spread many of them around, so it should NOT be given a pass.




nobody is giving anything a pass here, bob, and i am confident even a cursory reading of most of my posts from the last..well, ever...will make that perfectly obvious.


what i and many other contributors to this site are sick of is the hysteria, the hyperbole, the intentional distortion of terminology, the intentional distortion or the simple ignoring of level-headed arguments made by multiple contributors, and the persistent and willful anti-intellectualism of some of our fellows.


to speak frankly, i am sick of demagoguery, deliberately muddy thinking, and an irrational war on certain terms masquerading as a call to sanity.


of course abrahamic religions are not the only ideologies culpable in humanity's irrationalities and atrocities. neither are religions in general. you have to admit, unless you want to fly in the face of all modern history, that at least half, and i would be willing to argue more, of the most violent instances of human behavior since the close of the eighteenth century have been caused by irreligious ideologies that have given just as effective a framework for irrational ideas and behavior as any religion, and are equally as resistant to empirical argument. i mean, the very notion that soviet party functionaries would hail the unparalleled efficacy of krushchev's agricultural reforms, even as the specter of a famine as bad as any seen in the 1940s and the 1910s was obviously scratching at the door, shows you no religious or supernatural ideology at all is necessary to close one's eyes to reality.


unless, of course, you want to make the totally asinine and unfortunately cliched argument that the irrationalities resulting from these ideologies somehow make them religions, even though they fulfill none of the basic requirements of such....but then you would be resorting to the irrational war on terminology i mentioned above, where a maligning of words like "religion" becomes essential to preserving the validity of a certain rhetoric, and i won't suspect you of that. if some people feel they can best serve the cause of rationality by an irrational and irresponsible use of language, then pardon me, but those people are imbeciles.



"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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iwbiek wrote:Brian37

iwbiek wrote:
you're right. assholes are poison, religious or not.

Bullshit. "Asshole" is what you label an individual, and I could give a shit less if you call me one. Poison is pretending your naked assertion should get a free pass and never be questioned. Ridicule of, as Jefferson put it "unintelligible propositions" is the only weapon to combat bullshit.

Sorry Iwbiek, but you are no one's hero. You fancy yourself as the kid in the schoolyard protecting the bullied. Stupidly thinking I am incapable of being sensitive or that I have never been bullied.

This is about FACTS, not your emotional bullshit reaction to people calling bullshit to absurd claims.

 

 

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iwbiek wrote:of course

iwbiek wrote:

of course abrahamic religions are not the only ideologies culpable in humanity's irrationalities and atrocities. neither are religions in general. you have to admit, unless you want to fly in the face of all modern history, that at least half, and i would be willing to argue more, of the most violent instances of human behavior since the close of the eighteenth century have been caused by irreligious ideologies that have given just as effective a framework for irrational ideas and behavior as any religion, and are equally as resistant to empirical argument.

Exactly. I would add that a good number of atrocities that were committed in the name of religion were actually motivated by other factors. People use a number of excuses to justify terrible actions, religion is just one of them. Politics, family, philosophy, justice and morality have all been used to rationalize terrible actions as well. If you are going to say that religion is poison because it is sometimes used to irrationally justify bad actions, how can you not say that government, family, philosophy, justice and morality are also poison?

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Brian37 wrote:This is about

Brian37 wrote:

This is about FACTS, not your emotional bullshit reaction to people calling bullshit to absurd claims.

Lol. Have you considered going on the road as a stand up comedian Brian?

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Brian37 wrote:iwbiek

Brian37 wrote:

iwbiek wrote:
you're right. assholes are poison, religious or not.

Bullshit. "Asshole" is what you label an individual, and I could give a shit less if you call me one. Poison is pretending your naked assertion should get a free pass and never be questioned. Ridicule of, as Jefferson put it "unintelligible propositions" is the only weapon to combat bullshit.

Sorry Iwbiek, but you are no one's hero. You fancy yourself as the kid in the schoolyard protecting the bullied. Stupidly thinking I am incapable of being sensitive or that I have never been bullied.

This is about FACTS, not your emotional bullshit reaction to people calling bullshit to absurd claims.

 

 




oh, but don't you want us to give a "free pass" to your naked assertion that moderates only aid fanatics? still waiting for the data on that...not the first time i'm asking you...


ridicule has to contain a grain of truth to be effective, and truth requires knowledge and discernment, neither of which you have, as far as i've been able to tell.


i'm not trying to be anybody's hero. and you know that. but you're a liar, so you're gonna say it anyway (or repeat it, i should say, as mindless repetition is your wont). regardless, out of the hundreds of students who have come through my classroom over the years, more than a few have told me, and would no doubt tell you, that i have affected their lives, particularly their thought lives, in a profoundly positive way. i doubt they would use the word "hero," however, because my students are smart enough not to have "heroes," and i myself have encouraged them ceaselessly never to become anyone's disciple, including my own.


anyway, don't worry. i'm not trying to knock you out of the running for the savior of the world position you so obviously covet.


oh, and brian, i have served you up more FACTS than you deserve about the religions you claim to have all figured out and the arguments you have stuffed your ears against, from me and several others. and you know that. but you're a liar, so you'll never acknowledge it publicly. i think it's obvious to everyone but you which one of us gets carried away by emotions.


oh, and buddha sucked cocks. hmmm, somehow i still feel ok... but you're a liar, so you'll still insist i get mad when religions are ridiculed, because addressing my real arguments might make your brain hurt.


fuck you very much, you dishonest sack of dogshit, and good night.



"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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Iwbiek, I would be curious

Iwbiek, I would be curious how you understand the ideas of British philosopher, Bertrand Russell, one of my long-time favorites, expressed in this extract from a web post by Samir Chopra, which can be found at http://samirchopra.com/2012/02/18/russell-on-marx-as-excessively-practical-messiah-and-schoolman/

Quote:

In a  chapter titled St. Augustine’s Philosophy and Theology, Russell, immediately after informing us that the eschatology of The City of God is “Jewish in origin, and came into Christianity mainly through the Book of Revelation” and that Augustine’s primary talent lay in bringing together the “sacred and profane history” of the Old Testament and relating it to the history of his time in “such a way that the fall of the Western Empire, and the subsequent period of confusion, could be assimilated by Christians without any unduly severe trial of their faith,” goes on to say:

 

The Jewish pattern of history, past and future, is such as to make a powerful appeal to the oppressed and unfortunate at all times. St. Augustine adapted this pattern to Christianity, Marx to Socialism. To understand Marx psychologically, one should use the following dictionary:

 

Yahweh = Dialectial Materialism

 

The Messiah = Marx

 

The Elect = The Proletariat

 

The Church = The Communist Party

 

The Second Coming = The Revolution

 

Hell = Punishment of the Capitalists

 

The Millennium = The Communist Commonwealth

 

I do not know if the analogizing of Marxism to a religion or the description of Marx as Messiah began with Russell–it certainly didn’t end with him–but I doubt if anyone has quite so deftly moved from a discussion of medieval philosophers to doing so.

[End Quote.]

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

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BobSpence wrote:Iwbiek, I

BobSpence wrote:

Iwbiek, I would be curious how you understand the ideas of British philosopher, Bertrand Russell, one of my long-time favorites, expressed in this extract from a web post by Samir Chopra, which can be found at http://samirchopra.com/2012/02/18/russell-on-marx-as-excessively-practical-messiah-and-schoolman/

Quote:

In a  chapter titled St. Augustine’s Philosophy and Theology, Russell, immediately after informing us that the eschatology of The City of God is “Jewish in origin, and came into Christianity mainly through the Book of Revelation” and that Augustine’s primary talent lay in bringing together the “sacred and profane history” of the Old Testament and relating it to the history of his time in “such a way that the fall of the Western Empire, and the subsequent period of confusion, could be assimilated by Christians without any unduly severe trial of their faith,” goes on to say:

 

The Jewish pattern of history, past and future, is such as to make a powerful appeal to the oppressed and unfortunate at all times. St. Augustine adapted this pattern to Christianity, Marx to Socialism. To understand Marx psychologically, one should use the following dictionary:

 

Yahweh = Dialectial Materialism

 

The Messiah = Marx

 

The Elect = The Proletariat

 

The Church = The Communist Party

 

The Second Coming = The Revolution

 

Hell = Punishment of the Capitalists

 

The Millennium = The Communist Commonwealth

 

I do not know if the analogizing of Marxism to a religion or the description of Marx as Messiah began with Russell–it certainly didn’t end with him–but I doubt if anyone has quite so deftly moved from a discussion of medieval philosophers to doing so.




i freely admit, my knowledge of russell's thinking is at this point superficial, due mostly to shortage of time and finances. english books are quite pricey where i live, whether they're bought here or shipped from abroad. there are several books by russell I've been purusing in the bookshop and they all cost around 20 euros; as for the libraries in slovakia, forget it.


however, if indeed the table you have furnished me with accurately portrays his thinking on the matter, i would say: it's pretty, it's organized, it's attractive to the insatiable human desire to draw analogies (of which i am as guilty as the next man), and it may be useful as a simple introduction to marxian thought for the uninitiated (with heavy qualifications and caveats, but, ultimately, with all due respect to prof. russell, it's grossly oversimplified.


frankly, i think the pitfalls associated with any such clean-cut presentation should be obvious to the intellectual reader, but if you'd like me to elaborate on any or all of the individual points, i will. just allow me plenty of time.


one of the points i'm always trying to make on this site is that it is quite simply impossible to speak authoritatively on any system of thought without long, in-depth study, comprising at least months, if not years. it took me six months of intensive reading, for example, before i dared make any assertions about indian thought. the knowledge i have now is the result of about three years, and i would still never dare to raise my hand in the classroom of, say, hans bechert or bina gupta.


now does that mean one should suspend judgment entirely in cases of insufficient knowledge? of course not. but one should not speak authoritatively, let alone dismiss the entire system out of hand as being wholly harmful or irrational.



"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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 I was not really seeking a

 I was not really seeking a detailed, point-by-point commentary, ibwiek, - your initial response is adequate, for now, at least. I think the post I quoted from is basically accurate, it seems to match my memory from long ago when I read the book after borrowing it from the library of the University where I was studying for my Engineering degree.

Part of my reason for bringing it up was to show that getting too hung up on the 'definition' of what counts as a 'religion' and what doesn't is to some extent 'missing the forest for the trees'.

Russell is pointing to significant parallels between some major religious traditions and Marxist ideology. So at the very least, it is not unreasonable to suggest that part of the reason for the following that it and related ideologies have gained is that they are appealing to the same human thought processes, and thus may be prone to the same or similar failings.

Ideas in their specific details do not already exist in the mind, only broad patterns of thought. So only a somewhat rough resonance with a newly-encountered idea is required for it to be seized upon. This is why ideas tend to be passed on very imprecisely, with details being filled in consciously or unconsciously by the receiving mind.

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

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BobSpence wrote:So at the

BobSpence wrote:
So at the very least, it is not unreasonable to suggest that part of the reason for the following that it and related ideologies have gained is that they are appealing to the same human thought processes, and thus may be prone to the same or similar failings.



it certainly is not unreasonable, and i have suggested that very thing multiple times on this site as the reason why it is not surprising that ideologies like marxism-leninism (i.e. "stalinism") are often mistaken for religions, or equated with religions in a cavalier manner. but my own academic training has convinced me that distinctions are important, perhaps precisely because they are so often disregarded. i have detailed at great length on this site what the standard definition of a religion is in contemporary scholarship and why political ideologies cannot fit that definition. i would recommend you to seek them out if you care to read them. if you care to question or dispute them, i would welcome a separate thread.


BobSpence wrote:
ideas in their specific details do not already exist in the mind, only broad patterns of thought.



i would never suggest otherwise.


BobSpence wrote:
So only a somewhat rough resonance with a newly-encountered idea is required for it to be seized upon.



"seized upon," certainly. but not dismissed in toto as invalid and not spoken of authoritatively. i truly believe a lot would be done for humanity's benefit if we would merely take the time and effort to gain a thorough understanding of something before we talk about it as an idea.


now of course any human can easily recognize individual injustices and has every right and obligation to call them out as such, but more caution and responsibility--and yes, even trust in intellectual authorities--is required once we try to rise above the level of the specific. one of the biggest flaws of systems like marxism-leninism is their refusal to take this level of care.



"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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BobSpence wrote:Religion may

BobSpence wrote:
Religion may not be the source of many of these nasty or crazy ideas, but it does provides a framework to justify, 'rationalise', and spread many of them around, so it should NOT be given a pass. It is ultimately a major part of the problem.

And yet in many cases, religion is completely irrelevant; thus the suggestion that religion is responsible for all the worlds ills and claiming all religion absolutely must be poison is literally ridiculous. If religion were as bad as Brian suggests, we wouldn't be here talking about it.
It should never be given a pass, but neither should the anti-idea idiocy that Brian clings to.

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 Quote:if you TRULY

 

Quote:

if you TRULY BELIEVE, AS I DO, that religion comes from the human mind, then every irrational precept that religion prescribes must ALREADY BE PRESENT IN THE HUMAN MIND.

While it is bleeding obvious that "religion comes from the human mind", it DOES NOT FOLLOW that "every irrational precept that religion prescribes must ALREADY BE PRESENT IN THE HUMAN MIND."

This is pretty damn close to what I thought you said but you denied it when I brought it up. Additional 'irrational precepts are easily derived by extending and combining existing ones, by analogy and other such common thought processes.

Religion provides a mechanism whereby many ideas arrived at separately can become incorporated in the doctrines, and so acquire the 'authority' and force of the Religion, and may even be elaborated and made worse.

If you look at strongly religious communities, I find that the religion touches and influences virtually every aspect of their daily life

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

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

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

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


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BobSpence wrote: Quote:if

BobSpence wrote:

 

Quote:

if you TRULY BELIEVE, AS I DO, that religion comes from the human mind, then every irrational precept that religion prescribes must ALREADY BE PRESENT IN THE HUMAN MIND.

While it is bleeding obvious that "religion comes from the human mind", it DOES NOT FOLLOW that "every irrational precept that religion prescribes must ALREADY BE PRESENT IN THE HUMAN MIND."

This is pretty damn close to what I thought you said but you denied it when I brought it up. {/quote]




ok, bob, first of all, it seemed to me that what you thought i said was that fully formed intellectual constructs are already present in the human mind in all their complexity and diversity. while what i said was ambiguous enough not to exclude this interpretation, neither does it necessitate it. if you want clarification on something i say, kindly request it before going off half-cocked. the context of everything else i've been saying on this thread and others clearly shows i'm talking about capability, not ideas as they are.


second of all, pardon my skepticism, but if all we're going to do is go looking for inconsistencies or contradictions in my thought, i'd at least like to know the reason why before continuing, especially when the context of those contradictions is me losing my patience. if ever you deal with constant imbecility, bob, i'm sure the clarity of your language will suffer as well.


it's just that it's a hell of a coincidence that, after a long period of relative silence on this site, you suddenly seem terribly interested in questioning me, so much so that you've been scrutinizing my arguments on at least two different threads. couple this with the fact that even when you've been active you've never said so much as boo to me, despite that i'm not saying anything i haven't said in the last two years. now, i don't fear scrutiny, but i also know you and brian are in regular contact. is it just possible that he maybe suggested you might want to pop in here and hand me my ass? because i'm not going to bother engaging in another bout of polemics, regardless of how intellectual it is.


and, as i've said before, if my point about the human mind's capability is so "bleeding obvious," why have many people told me they've never considered it before?


BobSpence wrote:
Religion provides a mechanism whereby many ideas arrived at separately can become incorporated in the doctrines, and so acquire the 'authority' and force of the Religion, and may even be elaborated and made worse.

If you look at strongly religious communities, I find that the religion touches and influences virtually every aspect of their daily life




and you can substitute any number of ideologies for "religion" in that paragraph: marxism-leninism, national socialism, fascism, nationalism, racism, patriotism, labor unionism, etc., etc. shall we just classify all these as "religions"? or does that only happen when they become irrational? how is such a classification helpful? how is it not engaging in polemics against a mere word, that, for one reason or another, we don't like? shall we honestly say all those irreligious ideologies are just imitating or learning from religion? or is it not more reasonable to say that religion, alongside those other ideologies, has a tendency to draw out the same destructive behavior in us? would eliminating religion (which is impossible anyway) really mitigate those tendencies? i tend to think not.


still, these are philosophical questions that can never be definitively answered. the reason i bother clarifying my thoughts for you is to ask if you truly believe i'm giving a "pass" to religion. does asking these questions really constitute giving a "pass"? does trying to look at something in a balanced way, rather than engaging in knee-jerk hysterics, really constitute giving it a "pass"? if so, then i guess i am giving it a "pass" after all. in that case, i give damn near everything a "pass."


you can search this site high and low, i have never once scolded anyone for criticizing a religion on its merits and i certainly have never scolded anyone for "blaspheming." even brian knows this. he's just being a dishonest prick.



"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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iwbiek wrote:BobSpence

iwbiek wrote:
BobSpence wrote:

 

Quote:

if you TRULY BELIEVE, AS I DO, that religion comes from the human mind, then every irrational precept that religion prescribes must ALREADY BE PRESENT IN THE HUMAN MIND.

While it is bleeding obvious that "religion comes from the human mind", it DOES NOT FOLLOW that "every irrational precept that religion prescribes must ALREADY BE PRESENT IN THE HUMAN MIND."

This is pretty damn close to what I thought you said but you denied it when I brought it up.

iwbiek wrote:

ok, bob, first of all, it seemed to me that what you thought i said was that fully formed intellectual constructs are already present in the human mind in all their complexity and diversity. while what i said was ambiguous enough not to exclude this interpretation, neither does it necessitate it.

When you use words like "every" and "must" without qualification, it makes my interoperation quite reasonable. I should mention that I still had in my mind a previous post in another thread, not from you AFACR, expressing a similar idea, so that would  have inclined me to that interpretation. 

I think it still unlikely that any specific concept, NOT necessarily "fully formed intellectual concepts" would already be there in recognisable form. All that would be there would be the capability for such thoughts, which I see you now say is all you were claiming. If so, you really should have included that qualification in the original statement.

iwbiek wrote:
if you want clarification on something i say, kindly request it before going off half-cocked. the context of everything else i've been saying on this thread and others clearly shows i'm talking about capability, not ideas as they are. 

So maybe I do need to familiarise myself more with your style, which based on these examples, verges on self-contradictory.

second of all, pardon my skepticism, but if all we're going to do is go looking for inconsistencies or contradictions in my thought, i'd at least like to know the reason why before continuing, especially when the context of those contradictions is me losing my patience. if ever you deal with constant imbecility, bob, i'm sure the clarity of your language will suffer as well.
it's just that it's a hell of a coincidence that, after a long period of relative silence on this site, you suddenly seem terribly interested in questioning me, so much so that you've been scrutinizing my arguments on at least two different threads. couple this with the fact that even when you've been active you've never said so much as boo to me, despite that i'm not saying anything i haven't said in the last two years. now, i don't fear scrutiny, but i also know you and brian are in regular contact. is it just possible that he maybe suggested you might want to pop in here and hand me my ass? because i'm not going to bother engaging in another bout of polemics, regardless of how intellectual it is.

I will admit that Brian first drew my attention to your recent comments, but once I read what you had written, I felt that it could not be left unchallenged.

iwbiek wrote:


and, as i've said before, if my point about the human mind's capability is so "bleeding obvious," why have many people told me they've never considered it before?

Because the only thing I was saying was 'bleeding obvious' was that religion comes from the human mind, IOW, not 'divine revelation'. The only 'capability' involved is our imagination. That would not be a matter of contention in Atheist circles.

iwbiek wrote:

BobSpence wrote:
Religion provides a mechanism whereby many ideas arrived at separately can become incorporated in the doctrines, and so acquire the 'authority' and force of the Religion, and may even be elaborated and made worse.

If you look at strongly religious communities, I find that the religion touches and influences virtually every aspect of their daily life

iwbiek wrote:

and you can substitute any number of ideologies for "religion" in that paragraph: marxism-leninism, national socialism, fascism, nationalism, racism, patriotism, labor unionism, etc., etc. shall we just classify all these as "religions"? or does that only happen when they become irrational? how is such a classification helpful? how is it not engaging in polemics against a mere word, that, for one reason or another, we don't like? shall we honestly say all those irreligious ideologies are just imitating or learning from religion? or is it not more reasonable to say that religion, alongside those other ideologies, has a tendency to draw out the same destructive behavior in us? would eliminating religion (which is impossible anyway) really mitigate those tendencies? i tend to think not.
still, these are philosophical questions that can never be definitively answered. the reason i bother clarifying my thoughts for you is to ask if you truly believe i'm giving a "pass" to religion. does asking these questions really constitute giving a "pass"? does trying to look at something in a balanced way, rather than engaging in knee-jerk hysterics, really constitute giving it a "pass"? if so, then i guess i am giving it a "pass" after all. in that case, i give damn near everything a "pass."
you can search this site high and low, i have never once scolded anyone for criticizing a religion on its merits and i certainly have never scolded anyone for "blaspheming." even brian knows this. he's just being a dishonest prick.

I think religions are intentionally more all-encompassing than most of those other things. There is also Greg Paul’s work documenting a pronounced (and statistically significant) negative correlation between the degree of religiosity of 17 Western nations (and Japan) and their “success” as measured by the SSS, his “Successful Societies Scale" which gives higher rating for higher levels of income inequality, child mortality, incarceration, and lower levels of health care. 

So while 'eliminating religion' is indeed not possible, doing what we can to minimize its spread and influence is a worthwhile aim.

Finally, I agree that there may not be much point extending this discussion, considering we are coming at this from such different viewpoints and styles of debate...

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

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

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

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


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BobSpence wrote:Finally, I

BobSpence wrote:
Finally, I agree that there may not be much point extending this discussion, considering we are coming at this from such different viewpoints and styles of debate...




i agree, and unlike many people in the world i find that a perfectly satisfying place to stop in many situations.


you've challenged my points, and i think it's sharpened both of our methods of thinking and explaining. interesting to me how we have both come to an ambiguous conclusion, or rather lack of a conclusion. one of my points has always been that this is precisely where most discussions will end up, if both parties are as honest as they can be. i have never found anything disconcerting about that. i look for "victories" only against ignorance.



"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