(a)theistic ignorance

ZuS
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(a)theistic ignorance

During the past months the leader of the Catholic Church has been very eloquently dismissing the obsessive focus on sexual morality within the Church, calling out the moral entrepreneurs hiding behind the guise of faith and step by step framing the Catholic narrative in terms of issues much more central to the Bible teachings: economy, poverty and social justice. 
 
I wasn't surprised. The Church has been around long enough to notice that its moral depravity is catching up with it's influence in the world and beginning to cost souls, real estate and money. I expected them know when to try to nip the next Francis of Assisi in the bud by offering their own top-down alternative - a Francis light - someone to repair the damages a bit and continue business as usual. Largely my expectations were met in Pope Francis. He made some concessions, came out in a plain white robe, people noticed and I expected it to be that. This week, however, Pope Francis came out with a speech. 
 
The details of the Pope's writing is not particularly interesting. If you want the details, here are some: 
 
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/11/27/the_pope_slams_tyranny_of_capitalism 
 
Suffice it to say that his pronouncement of this week is a strong attack on the economics of exploitation, laissez-faire capitalism and the psychopathic scum that find their excuses for destruction of our species in writings of philosophical amputees like Ayn Rand. The Pope doesn't hold back either. The language so vivid and accurate, that I can't find the equivalent in the top echelons of any globally significant leadership of today - the Catholic Church is alone here. 
 
By this point you, dear reader, may be thinking that I am surprised by how progressive the Pope is. I don't know if he's progressive. Frankly I don't care. I don't believe that change comes from the top of an archaic power-hungry hierarchy, no matter what pretty speeches they give us. I am not even surprised by the fact that the Church knows that the ideas of social justice, fairness and combating poverty are the key to the hearts of the modern Catholic and the more broad faithful community. This isn't a surprise any more than it was a surprise 2000 years ago, when a different power-hungry hierarchical bunch of assholes killed one of us on a cross. 
 
What surprises me is that we, the supposedly rational actors, the atheistic cool observers and thinkers, the product of the scientific age, can't quite seem to be able to pull our heads out of our asses, stop debating technical feasibility of claims in an ancient book, recognize our allies when we see them and realize the potential we have in front of us. One of these days we'll either have to move out of our own navel, or just accept the reality that our frame of mind is just as arrested as the people we mistakenly think represent the faithful community.

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


Antipatris
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Okay.So what kind of new

Okay.

So what kind of new potential do you see here ?

Cuz if you think most of us here aren't already "allied" with christian groups (even if it's just our own family) out of some misguided sense of moral or intellectual superiority, then you don't really think very highly of us, I'm guessing.


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Antipatris wrote:Okay.So

Antipatris wrote:

Okay.

So what kind of new potential do you see here ?

Cuz if you think most of us here aren't already "allied" with christian groups (even if it's just our own family) out of some misguided sense of moral or intellectual superiority, then you don't really think very highly of us, I'm guessing.

I would like to ask that same question.

I don't think that I have ever advocated that there is a "we" to atheism anyway other than the lack of belief in a god.

There are plenty of religious people that I get along with in both friends family and I do not think that simply not believing in god makes anyone more enlightened or more aware or more altruistic or more anything. Nor do I ally up with so called "actors" "cool observers" or anything else.

I do not give a flying fuck what actors and "cool observers" do or think for that matter. They do not speak for me, represent me nor anything else. My identity of who and what I am has absolutely nothing to do with them whatsoever. And what is it exactly that you are wanting "we" to do exactly ?

Zus wrote:

One of these days we'll either have to move out of our own navel, or just accept the reality that our frame of mind is just as arrested as the people we mistakenly think represent the faithful community.


Well again, there is no "we" and I do not belong to any pro-atheist movement nor have I ever seen really anything on any side that is all that impressive to me in the way of political movements or whatnot.

Sure, I think the pope has made some wise statements and actions, but by default, are we now going to lump everyone who is an atheist into an anti-pope category and call them close-minded or of "arrested development". Because to me, that smacks of someone being just as guilty of lumping everyone into broad categories as the one who is professing an intolerance (or seems to be anyway) for those who do.

 

“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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quite frankly, i came to

quite frankly, i came to this site, and remain on this site, because it offers the best intellectual discussion i've been able to get since i graduated college, and that on a daily basis (well, almost).  this is especially important to me since i live in a country whose language i have not mastered to the point of being able to have abstract discussions (and probably never will), and my english-speaking friends don't share this particular interest of mine.  i did not come here to find any "safe haven" or out of any sense of "atheist solidarity" (i'm not knocking those who did); i have always been my own safe haven.

i say that to emphasize that there is nothing i hate more than the "us" and "them" mentality, as i have stressed time and again, because "us" and "them" are mere abstractions.  i take individuals one at a time, and i have found that an individual's personality tends to affect the practise or nonpractise of his or her religion (or lack thereof), not the other way round.

i have nothing against any person who shows a predisposition toward critical thinking, moderation, courage, and gentleness.  a person's behavior from moment to moment is of far more interest to me than his or her principles or presuppositions (and, rest assured, we all carry presuppositions in life).

if i am hesitant to endorse pope francis wholeheartedly, it's because i have a natural distrust of public figures, and that counts as much for someone like richard dawkins as it does for any pope.  however, as i said shortly after francis's election, i will not malign this pope until he has clearly demonstrated to me that he deserves to be maligned.  based on some of the posts that were made on this site right around that time, i think many in the "atheist community" were looking desperately for some reason to discredit him, just because he happened to be pope.  i am not terribly impressed by his frugality, however, since some people are just naturally more comfortable living frugally.  for such people it is not a sacrifice--quite the opposite.  i happen to be such a person, and i suspect francis is too.  nonetheless, i do respect the fact that he also wishes to make his lifestyle public for exemplary purposes.  if he is anything like me, that truly is a sacrifice.

in my opinion, one of the most admirable personalities of the 20th century was pope john xxiii.  i have nothing against the papacy in theory.  in praxis, a great deal.

"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: i say that to

iwbiek wrote:

 

i say that to emphasize that there is nothing i hate more than the "us" and "them" mentality, as i have stressed time and again, because "us" and "them" are mere abstractions.  i take individuals one at a time, and i have found that an individual's personality tends to affect the practise or nonpractise of his or her religion (or lack thereof), not the other way round.

That would be my opinion as well. I find it rather ironic that someone wants to post something pro-pope and then take the defensive haughty position that generalizes everyone that is atheist and starts using terms like "we" and lumping everyone into the same category.......so that they can preach about not lumping other people into categories. Of course, it seems that these same types of people love to climb on their fucking high horses about telling everyone what they need to do, and not applying a goddamn bit of it to their own personalities. If "we" want to--- is a sentence guaranteed to piss me off. Because there is no "we" and I may not want to do a goddamn thing.

iwbiek wrote:

if i am hesitant to endorse pope francis wholeheartedly, it's because i have a natural distrust of public figures, .  i am not terribly impressed by his frugality, however, since some people are just naturally more comfortable living frugally.  for such people it is not a sacrifice--quite the opposite. 

I am not terribly impressed with him one way or the other too much. I like some of his stances and moves, but I am not going to reach out and wholeheartedly take up the banner of "OH MAN THIS POPE IS AWESOME ALL THESE ATHEISTS NEED TO MOVE INTO SUPPORTING HIM".

But then again, I damn near will not blindly support or defend any public figure too much.

“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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Harleysportster wrote:I

Harleysportster wrote:
I don't think that I have ever advocated that there is a "we" to atheism anyway other than the lack of belief in a god.

You wouldn't know that from some of my critics. Apparently there is an atheist manifesto somewhere.

But the same can be said for theism, there is no "right way" to be a Catholic or Muslim or Jew or Hindu.

And that is what kills me about humanity in general, we get so focused on labels that we cant see that we are NOT different.

 

The only thing humans have in common is that we have everything in common, but we are too stupid to see it.

 

Evolution doesn't care who wins and if it is done through compassion or cruelty, Compassion is local and our superstitions and myths and religions and political labels we use to justify our superiority. We as a species don't want to face that it is simply about survival and resources. The more we face that common ground, the more peace we can have.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Brian37

Brian37 wrote:

 

 ....humanity... labels... Evolution ... political labels ... a species...

 

 

                           Recycle much ?

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

 

 ....humanity... labels... Evolution ... political labels ... a species...

 

 

                           Recycle much ?

 

Ok so I am wrong in stating the fact that evolution doesn't give a fuck what works? That both compassion and cruelty can lead to reproduction?

If labels mattered then why can a Jew fuck a Muslim and make a baby? If labels mattered than why can an atheist fuck a Christian and make a baby? If labels mattered then why can a Buddhist fuck a Christian and make a baby? Are you going to claim that labels biologically and magically prevent intermixing?

 

Evolution allowed for slavery too and unfortunately for those who were slaves it DID work. Evolution also produced Hitler and Stalin and Kim Jung Un still has a nation he controls.

 

Yes I will keep repeating that we ARE the same species.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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                      Way to miss the point  ...I REPEAT...way to miss the point.   Moron.

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


ZuS
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Antipatris wrote:Okay.So

Antipatris wrote:

Okay.

So what kind of new potential do you see here ?

Cuz if you think most of us here aren't already "allied" with christian groups (even if it's just our own family) out of some misguided sense of moral or intellectual superiority, then you don't really think very highly of us, I'm guessing.

I think our disposition towards the faithful community (NOT the institutions, but the actual people) can be drastically improved. Very often we agree on 80% of the policies and disagree on details. The 20% difference is important to discuss vigorously, but we have to keep in mind that on almost everything else we can stand shoulder to shoulder against the institutions that seek to divide and conquer us.

First, we must reconsider the idea that believing in God is irrational. Why? Martin Luther King got things done, not least because of his deep connection to the faithful community. MLK was a strongly rational actor, not despite, but because of his upbringing. If this isn't enough, consider that atheists believe crazy shit at every turn - free market & trickle down economics being the prime example. The question becomes whether a nutty belief that puts you on the right side of socio-economic issues can be called irrational at all - I don't think so. It is a case of aiming-for-the-moon-and-hitting-the-stars. We should look at the process and where it leads, NOT the naive accuracy of every technical detail in the manual.

Second, we should stop wearing our atheism as a chip on our shoulder, because it prevents us from acting on the 80% of issues we agree on. I am not saying that we should not bitch-slap people who think that it is more important to stop same-sex marriage from happening than stopping the corporate stranglehold on our political system. What I am saying is that these people belong together on the side with the atheists who think Ayn Rand is a role model. Just because our enemy happens to anchor his fascist personality in a different ideology, it doesn't change what he is. By the same token, the followers of MLK are our best allies against assholes of this type.

What does this mean in practice? If you join an Occupy group that is doing something somewhere, don't mind that the local priest is in the group with you. Judge him on his own merits, not the ancient manual. Speak out in favor of the Nuns on the Bus and recognize their work and value for the poor, or at least don't trash them for getting there by following the "wrong" manual.

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


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Quote:First, we must

Quote:
First, we must reconsider the idea that believing in God is irrational.
.

 

You lost me right there. Accepting that people make up and belief false things does not make them rational. In addition Martin Luther King (one of my heros) getting things done, did not and does not make his god real by proxy of standing up to bullies, it just means he did the right thing.

 

Making allies with groups we don't have everything in common with is something our species has always done. But that should not limit our ability to challenge even the claims our allies make.

Quote:
Second, we should stop wearing our atheism as a chip on our shoulder, because it prevents us from acting on the 80% of issues we agree on.

 If we are individuals, and we are, do not assume for other atheists what we do as individuals. Judge the individual. I think it is a very good thing that theists see even our infighting because they can see that we are not monochromatic.

Quote:
What does this mean in practice? If you join an Occupy group that is doing something somewhere, don't mind that the local priest is in the group with you. Judge him on his own merits, not the ancient manual.

More like seeing the good in them in spite of the superstition they swallow. But yea, I agree.

 

Even with politicians, I'd vote for any believer who has a "Nuns on the bus" help the least among us, rather than a Paul Ryan Catholic who quotes Ayn Rand,.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Brian37 wrote:Quote:First,

Brian37 wrote:

Quote:
First, we must reconsider the idea that believing in God is irrational.
.

and belief false things does not make them rational.

you cannot categorically say god is false.  at best, you can say god is unlikely, but only from the discursive point of view.

and don't start prating about "virgin births" and "people surviving rigor mortis," because belief in god per se is the only principle the OP is talking about, not any religious dogma or religious narrative.

"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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ZuS wrote:]I think our

ZuS wrote:
]

I think our disposition towards the faithful community (NOT the institutions, but the actual people) can be drastically improved. Very often we agree on 80% of the policies and disagree on details. The 20% difference is important to discuss vigorously, but we have to keep in mind that on almost everything else we can stand shoulder to shoulder against the institutions that seek to divide and conquer us.

Again there is no "we" or "our". Considering the fact that such a broad spectrum of beliefs encompasses those who are Atheists, this point is moot.

Zus wrote:

First, we must reconsider the idea that believing in God is irrational.

Again there is no "we" and many psychologists and anthropologists have studied in depth the reasons in human psychology for why believe in a god or gods. Right along with all sorts of other beliefs that can not be proven. There is a ton of books on the subject and I for one have never declared a proclamation that anyone's belief is "irrational" I simply state that belief in god is not true. Nowhere have I ever made the assertion that non-believers are capable of being more rational.

ZuS wrote:

Second, we should stop wearing our atheism as a chip on our shoulder, because it prevents us from acting on the 80% of issues we agree on. I am not saying that we should not bitch-slap people who think that it is more important to stop same-sex marriage from happening than stopping the corporate stranglehold on our political system. What I am saying is that these people belong together on the side with the atheists who think Ayn Rand is a role model. Just because our enemy happens to anchor his fascist personality in a different ideology, it doesn't change what he is. By the same token, the followers of MLK are our best allies against assholes of this type.

Your assuming that I am wearing atheism as a chip and assuming that all atheists and theists are united in the same set of values.

ZuS wrote:

 If you join an Occupy group that is doing something somewhere, don't mind that the local priest is in the group with you. Judge him on his own merits, not the ancient manual. Speak out in favor of the Nuns on the Bus and recognize their work and value for the poor, or at least don't trash them for getting there by following the "wrong" manual.

I have seen no evidence of atheists advocating any sort of injustices to religious people nor not sticking up for the right to participate in it. I could care less what the people around me believe and would defend any of them from seeing their rights violated.

“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


Beyond Saving
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As one of those evil

As one of those evil atheists who believes in "nutty" things like freedom, I have found myself frequently allied with theists who oppose statist tyrants. A person's religious beliefs are not important to me until they want laws that impose them on me.

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


Antipatris
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ZuS wrote:Antipatris

ZuS wrote:

Antipatris wrote:

Okay.

So what kind of new potential do you see here ?

Cuz if you think most of us here aren't already "allied" with christian groups (even if it's just our own family) out of some misguided sense of moral or intellectual superiority, then you don't really think very highly of us, I'm guessing.

I think our disposition towards the faithful community (NOT the institutions, but the actual people) can be drastically improved. Very often we agree on 80% of the policies and disagree on details. The 20% difference is important to discuss vigorously, but we have to keep in mind that on almost everything else we can stand shoulder to shoulder against the institutions that seek to divide and conquer us.

First, we must reconsider the idea that believing in God is irrational. Why? Martin Luther King got things done, not least because of his deep connection to the faithful community. MLK was a strongly rational actor, not despite, but because of his upbringing. If this isn't enough, consider that atheists believe crazy shit at every turn - free market & trickle down economics being the prime example. The question becomes whether a nutty belief that puts you on the right side of socio-economic issues can be called irrational at all - I don't think so. It is a case of aiming-for-the-moon-and-hitting-the-stars. We should look at the process and where it leads, NOT the naive accuracy of every technical detail in the manual.

Second, we should stop wearing our atheism as a chip on our shoulder, because it prevents us from acting on the 80% of issues we agree on. I am not saying that we should not bitch-slap people who think that it is more important to stop same-sex marriage from happening than stopping the corporate stranglehold on our political system. What I am saying is that these people belong together on the side with the atheists who think Ayn Rand is a role model. Just because our enemy happens to anchor his fascist personality in a different ideology, it doesn't change what he is. By the same token, the followers of MLK are our best allies against assholes of this type.

What does this mean in practice? If you join an Occupy group that is doing something somewhere, don't mind that the local priest is in the group with you. Judge him on his own merits, not the ancient manual. Speak out in favor of the Nuns on the Bus and recognize their work and value for the poor, or at least don't trash them for getting there by following the "wrong" manual.

With all due respect, but this kinda sounds as if you've started believing in the "angry atheist' stereotype. You really are preaching to the converted here.

I mean, what you're saying is true, but I don't really understand why you think we didn't know this already.

I already stand shoulder to shoulder with those people. The only reason this doesn't show up on anyone's radar is because I tend to shut up about my atheism in situations like that.

 


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Beyond Saving wrote:As one

Beyond Saving wrote:

As one of those evil atheists who believes in "nutty" things like freedom, I have found myself frequently allied with theists who oppose statist tyrants. A person's religious beliefs are not important to me until they want laws that impose them on me.

Yeah, didn't you mention once you helped out Bachmann with her campaign or something ?


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Antipatris wrote:Beyond

Antipatris wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

As one of those evil atheists who believes in "nutty" things like freedom, I have found myself frequently allied with theists who oppose statist tyrants. A person's religious beliefs are not important to me until they want laws that impose them on me.

Yeah, didn't you mention once you helped out Bachmann with her campaign or something ?

Yeah, I used to do a lot of fundraising for all kinds of scumbags back when I was a republican.

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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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

Antipatris wrote:

Yeah, didn't you mention once you helped out Bachmann with her campaign or something ?

Yeah, I used to do a lot of fundraising for all kinds of scumbags back when I was a republican.

You grew up with the wall-to-wall pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps bullshit propaganda, so it's not surprising you would be succeptible to that. People that tell you that you should go at it by yourself really just don't want to face us as a united front. The guys we're facing are sticking together in fucking us over, because sticking together works. We should do more of that.

All of us are educated against our own interest; that's how they structured our educational system. Just have to watch out for each our own weakness a little extra. And yea, there definitely is "us" and "them" here. If you aren't a billionaire who owns his own senators, you're us.

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


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Beyond Saving

double post

 


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triple post

 


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Antipatris wrote:I tend to

Antipatris wrote:

I tend to shut up about my atheism in situations like that.

You are right. I do believe in the "angry atheist" stereotype, because many "atheists" blame the insidious effects of the prevailing economic models, the corruption of our political system and the desperate state of our education on the "irrational religious" actors. I still hear how Bush was a Christian zealot from atheists and that that's why he did x-y-z. Nonsense of this sort is fairly standard and we all do it to some extent. The truth about the "invisible hand", trickle down economics, the workings of our cock-eyed democracy and our magical ahistoric idea of science is just too hard to swallow, so we look for someone to be angry with.

This doesn't make us atheists. It just makes us followers of even shittier manuals resulting in much shittier results. Some religious people think that their shitty manual says that love should be the guiding principle. I think that this meta-strategy is profoundly rational and much better than the objectivist crap about the imorality of altruism and morality of self-interest born out of some retarded idea about the "free market". In this context, our objections to the possibility of virgin birth and resurrection are ludicrous and completely beside the point.

I know; it's less of an issue for some of us due to, well, common sense. As the veil falls from our eyes in face of ever growing hardship, more of us will accept the faithful as equal and just look at the merits of their contribution. I still think it's worth saying and repeating, because we're nowhere near out of the woods with our own delusions and maybe there are answers to larger questions to be found in beating this dead horse some more.

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


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ZuS wrote:Beyond Saving

ZuS wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

 

Yeah, I used to do a lot of fundraising for all kinds of scumbags back when I was a republican.

You grew up with the wall-to-wall pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps bullshit propaganda, so it's not surprising you would be succeptible to that. People that tell you that you should go at it by yourself really just don't want to face us as a united front. The guys we're facing are sticking together in fucking us over, because sticking together works. We should do more of that.

Funny how the person that wants to bitch and whine about lumping people into general categories is doing the same exact thing to someone they do not even know. As well as making bold assertions about Beyond.

ZuS wrote:

All of us are educated against our own interest; that's how they structured our educational system. Just have to watch out for each our own weakness a little extra. And yea, there definitely is "us" and "them" here. If you aren't a billionaire who owns his own senators, you're us.

If you really are deluded enough to believe that there will be a united "us" against a goddamn thing, then this discussion is pointless. Even if you could do away with religion all together or take it out of the equation, people are never going to unite.

“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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ZuS wrote:You are right. I

ZuS wrote:

You are right. I do believe in the "angry atheist" stereotype, because many "atheists" blame the insidious effects of the prevailing economic models, the corruption of our political system and the desperate state of our education on the "irrational religious" actors. I still hear how Bush was a Christian zealot from atheists and that that's why he did x-y-z. Nonsense of this sort is fairly standard and we all do it to some extent. The truth about the "invisible hand", trickle down economics, the workings of our cock-eyed democracy and our magical ahistoric idea of science is just too hard to swallow, so we look for someone to be angry with.

More sweeping generalizations which you have no solid evidence to make.

Zus wrote:

I know; it's less of an issue for some of us due to, well, common sense. As the veil falls from our eyes in face of ever growing hardship, more of us will accept the faithful as equal and just look at the merits of their contribution. I still think it's worth saying and repeating, because we're nowhere near out of the woods with our own delusions and maybe there are answers to larger questions to be found in beating this dead horse some more.

Oh you have just got it all figured out don't you ? Bully for you

“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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ZuS wrote:You grew up with

ZuS wrote:

You grew up with the wall-to-wall pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps bullshit propaganda, so it's not surprising you would be succeptible to that. People that tell you that you should go at it by yourself really just don't want to face us as a united front. The guys we're facing are sticking together in fucking us over, because sticking together works. We should do more of that.

Which guys exactly are so united? The Koch bros hanging with Soros now?

 

ZuS wrote:

All of us are educated against our own interest; that's how they structured our educational system.

Good thing I wasn't educated by the system then.

 

ZuS wrote:

Just have to watch out for each our own weakness a little extra. And yea, there definitely is "us" and "them" here. If you aren't a billionaire who owns his own senators, you're us.

No, I am not "us". I don't trust you with political power any more than I trust anyone else- perhaps less because you seem to be motivated by anger and hatred which is far more dangerous than greed. I will oppose your brand of tyranny as much as I oppose those in power now. The problem isn't who controls the power of government, it is that the power exists to be controlled. To the extent you try to eliminate or limit that power you have an ally in me, but when you try to seize it and use it to control others I am opposed.

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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Beyond Saving wrote:  No,

Beyond Saving wrote:

 

 

No, I am not "us". I don't trust you with political power any more than I trust anyone else- perhaps less because you seem to be motivated by anger and hatred which is far more dangerous than greed. I will oppose your brand of tyranny as much as I oppose those in power now. The problem isn't who controls the power of government, it is that the power exists to be controlled. To the extent you try to eliminate or limit that power you have an ally in me, but when you try to seize it and use it to control others I am opposed.

 

  Yes, I have no inclination to walk lock-step with atheists simply because they're atheists.  That distinction means very little to me if that atheist is supporting a system of government that is oppressive.   I believe Sapient posted a thread that was all starry-eyed because Barney Frank admitted to being an atheist.  With all due respect to Sapient I say fuck Barney Frank.   I will oppose him regardless.

 

   Being that I am a politically conservative atheist that makes me a minority within a minority.   Most atheists in my experience are die hard progressives and I am opposed to Left-wing politics and ultimately I don't give a shit whether that agenda is being peddled by an atheist  or a Bible freak.

 

  I have recently joined a Pro-Second amendment political group that is headed up by an extremely conservative Christian named Larry Pratt.  Not only is he a Christian he is a Christian Reconstructionist.    I don't care.   Politics in the real world matter more to me than religious convictions do.   "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"  and that's a fact.

 

 Fuck atheism for the sake of atheism, my desire for personal freedom is my most important belief system.

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.


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Beyond Saving wrote:  No,

Beyond Saving wrote:

 

 

No, I am not "us". I don't trust you with political power any more than I trust anyone else- perhaps less because you seem to be motivated by anger and hatred which is far more dangerous than greed. I will oppose your brand of tyranny as much as I oppose those in power now. The problem isn't who controls the power of government, it is that the power exists to be controlled.

It is rather amazing that someone can roll in here with an authoritarian tone of dictatorship, operating from a vehemently angry and hostile position DEMANDING that everyone else follow their orders to the T has the nerve to lecture about people wearing chips on their shoulders and uniting "us" Totally fucked up and delusional in the head from my standpoint. Not to mention hypocrisy.

“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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ProzacDeathWish wrote:   I

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

  I have recently joined a Pro-Second amendment political group that is headed up by an extremely conservative Christian named Larry Pratt.  Not only is he a Christian he is a Christian Reconstructionist.    I don't care.   Politics in the real world matter more to me than religious convictions do.   "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"  and that's a fact.

 

Judging by the moronic comment of the OP at Beyond, I would say that working with a Christian for the help of the Second Amendment does not fit in with their bold proclamation for "us". Smiling

But I am totally in agreement with you. Again, I do find it comical that the one who is vehemently angry that "we" do not set aside our differences to oppose "them" is pissing and moaning like a little cunt because "we" can not get rid of the chip on our shoulders.

“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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if we're really serious

if we're really serious about getting "out of the woods" with our "delusions," we're gonna have to deal with a much more basic level than the standard marxist critique can take us to.

says the marxist.

"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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Beyond Saving wrote:No, I am

Beyond Saving wrote:

No, I am not "us". I don't trust you with political power any more than I trust anyone else- perhaps less because you seem to be motivated by anger and hatred which is far more dangerous than greed. I will oppose your brand of tyranny as much as I oppose those in power now. The problem isn't who controls the power of government, it is that the power exists to be controlled. To the extent you try to eliminate or limit that power you have an ally in me, but when you try to seize it and use it to control others I am opposed.

The "us" club isn't ZuS' playground. I don't get to decide shit in the 99% movement and I wouldn't trust me with that kind of power either. Bottom-up is exactly the opposite of what you suggest I am talking about - it is emergent action generated by many cooperating independent actors.

By the way, think about the "private" sector in the US for a moment. In reality the largest international corporations operating in the US are secretive bueraucratic governmental institutions. They write our laws, they give themselves bailouts and they pick our legislators, yet we have no right to look through their books and apparently no criminal laws apply to them. If you want to fight the fascist government, you will have to add the word corporate to that entity. You're "us" whether you want it or not.

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


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ZuS wrote:The "us" club

ZuS wrote:

The "us" club isn't ZuS' playground. I don't get to decide shit in the 99% movement and I wouldn't trust me with that kind of power either. Bottom-up is exactly the opposite of what you suggest I am talking about - it is emergent action generated by many cooperating independent actors.

By the way, think about the "private" sector in the US for a moment. In reality the largest international corporations operating in the US are secretive bueraucratic governmental institutions. They write our laws, they give themselves bailouts and they pick our legislators, yet we have no right to look through their books and apparently no criminal laws apply to them. If you want to fight the fascist government, you will have to add the word corporate to that entity. You're "us" whether you want it or not.

And a bunch of dumb fucks calling themselves "us" is not going to do a goddamn thing but bitch and complain and put up Facebook quotes and pride themselves on their Guy Fawkes masks thinking that they really are making some sort of major difference in the world.

What a load of bullshit.

“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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 Who are you referring to

 Who are you referring to as "we"? 

Even more than in the past, there are so many things which can result in a person abandoning a belief in a God, or perhaps never acquiring such a belief, that it is foolish to characterise us by any broad brush.

It is quite reasonable to argue with someone who holds a different set of beliefs from yourself; this is an important mechanism for sorting out the different beliefs and ideas we all may hold. It is imperfect, of course, but without it an individual's ideas are less likely to be tested and possibly refined.

This no way precludes someone else with a different outlook doing whatever it is you are referring to, or even that same person at a different time.

Many, many people still embrace the claims of those ancient books, and apply them to their everyday life, and feel justified in using them to define how they should deal with other people and so on, and so it is still appropriate to debate them as more than mere 'technicalities'.

What aspect of 'our frame of mind' do you see as just as 'arrested' as holding to a 2000 year old supernatural ideology?

 

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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harleysportster wrote:pride

harleysportster wrote:
pride themselves on their Guy Fawkes masks

a catholic fanatic, ironically. had he been alive during the second world war, he'd have been right there with the fascists, like most of the rest of them.

"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:harleysportster

iwbiek wrote:
harleysportster wrote:
pride themselves on their Guy Fawkes masks
a catholic fanatic, ironically. had he been alive during the second world war, he'd have been right there with the fascists, like most of the rest of them.

Haha.

I know this is going to be very arrogant assertion on my part, but I would be willing to bet that most of these so called protesters with these masks on have not a clue who the hell Guy Fawkes really is if truth were to be told.

Most of them probably have the Special Edition DVD of V for Vendetta and the "comic book" yes, I used the dreaded word that causes riots among fans of "graphic novels".

Call me very cynical (and you would be right) but while I was watching V for Vendetta, and watching ALL of these people that have been living under this oppressive regime for years, suddenly totally united and marching against tyranny at the end, I could not help but turn to someone sitting next to me and say : "What a crock of absolute shit."

While I am no expert on people like many on here, it has been my experience that V would have been publicly executed on television and the public watching it would have said : "Fucking government, I hate them" and then would have flipped the channel to the latest soap opera.

“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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harleysportster wrote:iwbiek

harleysportster wrote:

iwbiek wrote:
harleysportster wrote:
pride themselves on their Guy Fawkes masks
a catholic fanatic, ironically. had he been alive during the second world war, he'd have been right there with the fascists, like most of the rest of them.

Haha.

I know this is going to be very arrogant assertion on my part, but I would be willing to bet that most of these so called protesters with these masks on have not a clue who the hell Guy Fawkes really is if truth were to be told.

Most of them probably have the Special Edition DVD of V for Vendetta and the "comic book" yes, I used the dreaded word that causes riots among fans of "graphic novels".

Call me very cynical (and you would be right) but while I was watching V for Vendetta, and watching ALL of these people that have been living under this oppressive regime for years, suddenly totally united and marching against tyranny at the end, I could not help but turn to someone sitting next to me and say : "What a crock of absolute shit."

While I am no expert on people like many on here, it has been my experience that V would have been publicly executed on television and the public watching it would have said : "Fucking government, I hate them" and then would have flipped the channel to the latest soap opera.

i haven't watched it or read it, but if wearers of guy masks are anything like wearers of che shirts, you're absolutely right.

btw, i actually have owned a few che shirts over the years, but i started wearing them precisely because of jon lee anderson's enormous biography.

"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: btw, i

iwbiek wrote:
btw, i actually have owned a few che shirts over the years, but i started wearing them precisely because of jon lee anderson's enormous biography.

I actually know very little to nothing about Che if truth were to be told. Of course, I am just now beginning to gain some semblance of insight  on the Soviet Union itself. Problem is, as I was delving into it, I came to my own realization (or maybe it was just an idea on my part and thought it would be worth pursuing) that to gain a better understanding of Russia and the Revolution, for me it was to know a little bit more about the Russia PRIOR to the revolution or even before such a thing as the Bolsheviks were thought of. Now, while I am rather infantile on the history of Russia, I have been spending more time with books about the Decembrists, The Nihilists and the Narodniks more than the Soviet stuff. I feel that I have gained a better understanding of WHY the revolution finally took place. 

I have a couple of books by Marx, but they keep sitting at my desk and accusing me of ignoring them.

“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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ZuS wrote:The "us" club

ZuS wrote:

The "us" club isn't ZuS' playground. I don't get to decide shit in the 99% movement and I wouldn't trust me with that kind of power either. Bottom-up is exactly the opposite of what you suggest I am talking about - it is emergent action generated by many cooperating independent actors.

"many cooperating independent actors" is the definition of people forming a corporation. All a corporation consists of is a group of people "independent actors" forming a legal agreement to pursue some cooperative goal- often profit but often not.

 

ZuS wrote:

By the way, think about the "private" sector in the US for a moment. In reality the largest international corporations operating in the US are secretive bueraucratic governmental institutions. They write our laws, they give themselves bailouts and they pick our legislators, yet we have no right to look through their books and apparently no criminal laws apply to them.

There is nothing secretive about it. Laws are published every step of the process. You can see who wrote it, who amended it, who voted for it and which lobbyists donated how much money to those politicians. All that info is easily available. When fundraising, political campaigns maintain lists of PACS, politicians and major donors and which issues they donate money for. Everyone knows the bailouts were passed and apparently support them as the politicians involved have been mostly reelected (many of whom were supported by the OWS crowd).

And yes, you do have a right to look through the books of any publicly traded corporation and there are many criminal laws against fudging the books, ask Enron. Again, looking through the books is as easy as visiting the corporate website and clicking "investor information". You don't even need to get dressed. None of this is secret. You will probably be bored since political spending is a raindrop in the ocean as corporations tend to have the single minded goal of profit, not world domination.

 

ZuS wrote:

If you want to fight the fascist government, you will have to add the word corporate to that entity. You're "us" whether you want it or not.

Corporations are just groups of people. Eliminating them is as rational as eliminating all humans. And no, I am not you. I am part of several corporations and generally consider the private corporation the greatest concept mankind has come up with since the wheel. I consider people like you to be naive idealogues who I wouldn't invest in to run a lemonade stand, let alone a government.

Quite frankly, I am not even sure what you hope to achieve. You say we should work together, but to what end? From what I remember from previous threads you are not an anarchist, you oppose liberty, and have sympathies with OWS which supports a strong state. So what will there be and who is going to run it?

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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Beyond Saving wrote:So what

Beyond Saving wrote:
So what will there be and who is going to run it?

i'm quite interested in that myself.

"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:

Brian37 wrote:

Quote:
First, we must reconsider the idea that believing in God is irrational.
.

and belief false things does not make them rational.

you cannot categorically say god is false.  at best, you can say god is unlikely, but only from the discursive point of view.

and don't start prating about "virgin births" and "people surviving rigor mortis," because belief in god per se is the only principle the OP is talking about, not any religious dogma or religious narrative.

Excuse me for butting in here, but while it is true that we cannot validly assert that God does not exist in an absolute sense, that is not a useful assertion in investigating reality, since that would apply to a virtually infinite number of assertions about entities that are not defined within the bounds of what we understand to be the natural universe. Or even objects that could be perfectly 'normal', non-supernatural, such as the Russell's proverbial teapot orbiting Mars. So in the absence of any unambiguous evidence of its existence, it is quite rational to treat it as very unlikely.

We have no absolute proof of the truth of any proposition that is not strictly logically deduced from the foundations of Logic. So we are ok with Mathematics, but nothing in the domain of  Science, which can only be assigned a likelihood based on assessment of empirical research and evidence.

We have nowhere near sufficiently complete understanding of the ultimate laws and nature of the Universe to establish a firm figure for the probability of 'Life, the Universe, and Everything' arising without Supernatural intervention, but a broad Bayesian figure may be possible in the not too distant future, if not now. That would still say nothing about the kind of 'God' or 'Gods' or their intentions.

We can state that current Science suggests that the natural emergence of Life is not impossible, altho maybe extremely unlikely on any one planet, but given the probable total number of planets in our Universe, maybe almost inevitable at least once. It is becoming increasingly irrational to deny even the possibility, so the 'need' for a sentient creator continues to fade. 

So until God steps in to present undeniable evidence of his existence, it is quite rational to not take his existence seriously, although arguably also rational to act as though he does, but that position seems to require far more naked assumptions than the atheist position, so can be seriously questioned via Occam's Razor.

I would thus assert that questions involving God or Gods and such-like things can only be discussed 'from a discursive  point of view', with the actual existence of a god or gods considered a remote possibility, at least until they deign to present us with incontrovertible proof of their existence.

In fact, if an all-powerful being did exist, we would have no case for certain knowledge of the Universe, since such a being could change everything at any point.

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:I would thus

BobSpence wrote:
I would thus assert that questions involving God or Gods and such-like things can only be discussed 'from a discursive  point of view'

you can assert that but only if you take it for granted that the existence of god is an empirical matter and that god must, by virtue of his existence, have something to do with influencing empirical reality.

that is why, to cite a particular example, one of the biggest controversies in hinduism has always been whether or not the existence of some kind of personal god (ishvara) is necessary or even possible. the classical sankhya tradition holds it is neither, and it arrives at that position through logical exercises. furthermore, sankhya does not even take the premise of the impersonal, transcendent, omnipresent "god" (brahman) seriously. even those traditions, like vedanta and yoga, which assert there is an ishvara, do not require practitioners to actually believe in it (though most do).

i give this example only to show that there are plenty of theologies where god cannot be discussed discursively at all. hinduism, buddhism, jainism, taoism, gnosticism, etc., wherever they admit of a "god" at all (and buddhism and jainism are explicitly atheistic, and, i would argue, taoism as well), do not admit of god as any sort of creator or maintainer, nor as "present" in the empirical universe in any perceptible way. many hindu and buddhist traditions (e.g., yoga and zen) posit that the only way to any sort of experience of the divine, or, in the case of buddhism, any apprehension of reality as such, can only come precisely when discursive thought is overcome.

honestly, the only religions i can think of that posit a god as "real" in the world and "really present," and declare anathema any who disagree, and furthermore maintain that realization of god can be achieved rationally or discursively, are the "abrahamic" religions and those subsequent religions outside of their tradition which were influenced by them (sikhism, bahai'ism, etc.).

now, that point being made, if you wish to contend that for science questions of god can only be discussed discursively, i would agree, but i would go further and say questions of god do not concern science at all, because god as conceived of by any religion is a nonfalsifiable principle (nor do questions of science concern religion, but that for a different reason). this is not a question of ideology nor of capability (i am not accusing science of any fundamental deficiency)--it is simply a question of function. if god is to be apprehended rationally at all (i'm using the term "rationally" in its broadest sense), as thomas aquinas maintains, it can only be through deductive logic, which is also inadmissable in science.

to this degree, you can say, in a discursive sense, that the god of the christians or the muslims is unlikely, but you cannot say the same for the god of the yogins or vedantins--and that god is no "less" a god in terms than the abrahamic one--because you cannot say anything discursive about that god at all and maintain any real meaning.

"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:a firm

BobSpence wrote:
a firm figure for the probability of 'Life, the Universe, and Everything' arising without Supernatural intervention

i would like to emphasize that the non-abrahamic conception of god i outlined above never says that life "arose" with supernatural intervention. in fact, the indian traditions are emphatic in stating that life and the universe do not "arise" at all. one of the most basic presuppositions of indian thought is that "something cannot come from nothing." this, of course, is in direct contradiction to the abrahamic notion of creatio ex nihilo.

BobSpence wrote:
In fact, if an all-powerful being did exist, we would have no case for certain knowledge of the Universe, since such a being could change everything at any point.

we don't need an "all-powerful being" to accept the premise that everything could change at any point.

"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: that is why,

iwbiek wrote:
that is why, to cite a particular example, one of the biggest controversies in hinduism has always been whether or not the existence of some kind of personal god (ishvara) is necessary or even possible. the classical sankhya tradition holds it is neither, and it arrives at that position through logical exercises. furthermore, sankhya does not even take the premise of the impersonal, transcendent, omnipresent "god" (brahman) seriously. even those traditions, like vedanta and yoga, which assert there is an ishvara, do not require practitioners to actually believe in it (though most do).

Off topic of the thread itself (which was pointless drivel and fucktarded preaching by a moron anyway) how does the notion of a personal god or an omniscient one work within the Hindus if it seems that some traditions except neither the notion of a personal one or an omnipresent one. Of course, I would probably need an easy answer (which probably does not exist) since I know next to nothing about it.

For instance, it seems in these matters that there is no simple answer. I had a friend give me a gift that involved a book on Taoism for my birthday. Now, I have not read that far through it, but a lot of it seems to be of the same mindset as Zen (which my knowledge is also limited). So I tried googling that question and got pages and pages on Taoism Philosophy, Taoism in spiritual practice and Taoism in another type of tradition. So while I asked the question about the Hindus and am hoping for a simple answer, one may not exist. I could no more explain to someone exactly what Taoism is as of searching through the Internet about it than I could before I got it.

Personally, most of the people that I have encountered seem to only say that they are "into" Tao because it is trendy and I doubt they have a clue either. Most say that it is ancestor worship, yet I have not seen anything in the Tao writings that mention that at all.

“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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harleysportster wrote:how

harleysportster wrote:
how does the notion of a personal god or an omniscient one work within the Hindus if it seems that some traditions except neither the notion of a personal one or an omnipresent one.

well, i've always contended, along with philosophers of religion like agehananda bharati, that religion at base is a form of therapy, a method, a means to a metaphysical end, and that is what separates it from other disciplines or forms of thought like political science, philosophy, and science. the indian religions are the ones in which this is most evident. they are centered on moksha (liberation, to use the common but woefully insufficient english translation), not on "god." they are practitioner-centric religions. if they argue for the existence of any type of god, it's because he (or she or it) forms, in their view, either the end result of moksha, an aid on the path to moksha, or both. if a particular tradition feels this type of "god" is not necessary for moksha, it does away with it.

i'll give sankhya, particularly as it is set forth by kapila, as an example yet again. sankhya, in case you don't know, is one of the six traditional vedic darshanas or systems of thought: they are sankhya, yoga, vaisheshika, nyaya, mimamsa, and vedanta. many writers refer to these as branches of indian (or hindu--in the end both words are synonyms) "philosophy," but i take issue with this, as the goal of all six systems is moksha, and philosophy has no concrete goal.

sankhya perceives the universe as dualistic, an amalgam of purushas (individual souls) and prakriti (matter). please realize these translations are extremely rough; in reality there are no sufficient english equivalents of "purusha" or "prakriti." moksha is attained when a person's purusha ceases to identify itself with the prakriti and thus is released from the prison of prakriti. you can see from this extremely rough summary that sankhya has no need either of a personal or impersonal god, nor does it teach the existence of an eternal monad that forms the ground of everything (like the vedantic concept of brahman).

harleysportster wrote:
I had a friend give me a gift that involved a book on Taoism for my birthday. Now, I have not read that far through it, but a lot of it seems to be of the same mindset as Zen (which my knowledge is also limited).

the similarity in mindset between taoism and zen is due to the fact that zen originate in china. when buddhism was first exported to china, taoism was in its ascendency as the imperial religion, and thus the two competed considerably. as often happens with competition, however, considerable synthesis was the result. this synthesis went two ways: according to taoism scholar livia kohn, and probably others (my interest in taoism is superficial), both meditation and monasticism were unknown in taoism until its contact with buddhism. zen's laconic nature and scorn of systemization and discursive thought definitely bear the stamp of taoism, and, ironically, after its contact with buddhism, considerable systemization of taoism started to occur.

compare this with the other main country to which mahayana buddhism was exported, tibet, and you'll see the difference. prior to buddhism, tibet had no "high religion" like taoism or confucianism. therefore, tibetans took the scholastic tradition of buddhism that had already been flourishing in india and augmented it. tibetan buddhism is a labyrinth of highly sophisticated logic and complex, organized systems of practice. tibetan buddhism is centered not on the sutras but on their voluminous commentaries, whereas chinese and japanese buddhism have always been sutra-centric.

add to all this the fact that chinese thought, and the thought of cultures on which it's had a direct influence, is overall terribly pragmatic. no chinese religion (at least before the advent of buddhism) has ever been given to flights of metaphysical fancy or complex systemization or scholastic exercise. you will find no tedious lists of types of meditation, ignorance, enlightenment, etc., in the classic texts of the chinese religions, nor exhaustively detailed descriptions of heavens, hells, buddha fields, etc., that stretch on for scores of pages. this is an indian phenomenon, pure and simple. what this results in is the frustrating impossibility to say anything definite about chinese religions or their relation to other religions. they are a mish-mash, because the operative principle was always "whatever works."

"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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 If a given religion's

 If a given religion's version of a god is 'non-falsifiable', I would suggest it is also non-verifiable, so is only an idea, which still may have much value in formulating one's personal world-view.

In my most recent comments I was not bringing in 'science' as such, just rational discussion in the broadest sense. 

If something can only be 'apprehended' thru deductive logic, then you have no basis for conclusions about its nature, since you are restricted to basing your argument on 'axioms', which are essentially naked assumptions. Deductive logic is indeed used in Science - it is the basis of Math, which is fundamental to Science. The key point is that such assumptions should be kept to an absolute minimum, such as the "Laws of Logic".

The 'empirical' universe is the only one that we interact with - if a posited realm does not impinge on us in any way, it can be safely ignored, otherwise if it does affect us, it can be discussed empirically. I detest this common religious attempt to sidestep rational and Naturalistic arguments by assigning their ideas to some other 'realm' which is not bound by such constraints.

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: If a given

BobSpence wrote:

 If a given religion's version of a god is 'non-falsifiable', I would suggest it is also non-verifiable, so is only an idea, which still may have much value in formulating one's personal world-view.

precisely.

BobSpence wrote:
If something can only be 'apprehended' thru deductive logic, then you have no basis for conclusions about its nature, since you are restricted to basing your argument on 'axioms', which are essentially naked assumptions.

exactly. religion is purely axiomatic. either you accept it or you don't. religion is essentially therapeutic: it solves or treats some fundamental metaphysical and/or existential problem. one axiom we see right away is that there is such a problem. i am not religious precisely because i don't accept this primary axiom; for me it has nothing to do with the likelihood or unlikelihood of the existence of god.

i'm not defending or condemning religion, i'm merely stating what it is. furthermore, i think most of the condemnatory and laudatory statements about religion have been based on a faulty understanding of what it is, or taking its secondary elements to be its primary elements, etc.

BobSpence wrote:
Deductive logic is indeed used in Science - it is the basis of Math, which is fundamental to Science.

certainly, but my point was, in science (at least as it should be), one cannot verify a hypothesis about the natural world based on deductive logic alone, though it can be used as a tool in the process (as math is). there has to be some sort of verifiable, perceivable data or observation.

the only thing that can perhaps be falsified in religion is its practice, particularly in the mystical or sacrificial sphere, but that means falsified against the outcomes predicted in the religion's axiomatic principles, not against any sort of "natural" knowledge. in other words, does the method work as it's supposed to work? does one see god? does one find equilibrium? is one's compassion enhanced? has one obtained omniscience (the definition of enlightenment in jainism)? if not, the yoga or the ceremony or the mantra is "bad." this, for example, is the only reason why it is sometimes asserted of the vedas that they are "scientific" (and in fact the term "veda" comes from the same IE root that forms the word for "science" in many languages--in slovak, for example, science is "vedec" and knowledge is "veda").

now, if someone wants to argue that "god exists" is a scientific claim by definition, i.e. falsifiable, then they're just plain wrong. if someone wants to argue that the biblical flood is a scientific claim, then yes, if we take the story as claiming historical veracity, it is--it can be falsified and it pretty much has.

BobSpence wrote:
if a posited realm does not impinge on us in any way, it can be safely ignored

believe it or not, there are quite a few religions that say just that.

BobSpence wrote:
I detest this common religious attempt to sidestep rational and Naturalistic arguments by assigning their ideas to some other 'realm' which is not bound by such constraints

the religious reality is subjective reality. subjective is no less valid to the individual than objective, but it is different, and i "detest" when the religious refuse to recognize this. that is why i respect the mystic, though i do not necessarily accept his conclusions, but i abhor the prophet. a prophet is nothing more than someone who tries to give his subjective spiritual and/or mystical experiences objective status.

on the flipside, i also "detest" when the scientist says that mystical experiences are not valid or are somehow distorted because they are not to be pinpointed in his or her discipline. and i say this despite whatever neuroscience can teach us, because even if we are someday able to isolate precisely which neurons are firing or which biochemicals are at work during, say, a spiritual vision (and i firmly believe someday we will be able to do just that), that knowledge still does not negate the validity of that experience as being something spiritual or metaphysical. being able to explain, in however much detail, the objective phenomenon has no effect whatsoever on the subjective phenomenon. on the contrary, the application of that knowledge might lead to greater and greater depth in religious (particularly mystical) practice.

that is why, even though science will undoubtedly continue to explain away the crude cosmologies and cosmographies of our ancestors (and rightly so), as well as the unfounded historical claims made by religious texts, it will never be able to explain away religion in general, and its mystical dimension in particular. and that is why it is my firm belief that science per se and religion per se ultimately have nothing to say to each other, however much they might influence each other incidentally.

"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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If I understand you

If I understand you correctly, you said that faith is

BobSpence wrote:

an idea, which still may have much value in formulating one's personal world-view.

Good. We may be getting somewhere Smiling

BobSpence wrote:

In my most recent comments I was not bringing in 'science' as such, just rational discussion in the broadest sense.

I may have missed the comments. Will get back to them if they change something important for this post.

BobSpence wrote:

The 'empirical' universe is the only one that we interact with - if a posited realm does not impinge on us in any way, it can be safely ignored, otherwise if it does affect us, it can be discussed empirically. I detest this common religious attempt to sidestep rational and Naturalistic arguments by assigning their ideas to some other 'realm' which is not bound by such constraints.

Yea, I am not too happy about dismissing common sense based on shitty theories myself. There are some qualifiers to your argument here:

1) It is in our nature to buy into bullshit of all kinds, not only because we're good at being lied to, but also because we want to be deceived. Reasons are many. Here's a rapid fire list of a few for illustration purposes:

  • avoiding the pain of some truth about ourselves or the world around us. Typical gay-basher in the closet, or an under-achiever elevating himself through <insert group> supremacy movements, or a family member hoping that their loved ones are in a better place or that their loved ones "didn't suffer". I told the latter to atheists in my family a few times. They knew I lied; they still wanted to hear it, have since repeated it countless times and I think began believing it - quite amazing.
  • success by proxy - being the natural follower. Bertrand Russell talks about natural followers at some length in Power.
  • in order to endure what we otherwise would be unable to or achieve what seems out of reach. US prisons are the prime generator of religious followers. Bank CEOs, health insurance workers and politicians are extremely adept at believing they do everything in their power to do good, while engaging in staggeringly cynical systemically amoral activity. As the sharade becomes more and more obvious, the no longer adequate guise of do-gooder takes back seat to more visceral ideologies, like objectivism. Ordinary people working in the corporate sector "benefit" from coaching - bulshitting yourself to guiltless conformity. There's this thing called "going beast" in the weight lifting circles - probably the most illustrative example of what bullshitting ourselves can do for us even in extreme short term. Finally, walking into a squad of rifles pointed at your chest for whatever reason requires serious peace of mind based on some more or less bullshit story.

2) Each reason for delusion has the complementary reason for deception.

We can disagree on 1) and 2), we can discuss the details, whatever. The bottom line is: sidestepping rational and Naturalistic arguments is done by everyone alive using many different ideologies and for different reasons. I think that we should consider the possibility that we are working against our utilitarian interest when we single out religion from this complex system. We may be delusional when we try to be clinical about this.

I use "we" loosely in this post to denote the human species, us atheists, or just the folks who will be effected the most by the next economic collapse, world war, famine, hurricane, earthquake etc. Please, no more questions of the who-is-'we' sort, unless it's central to your point. Also I am not attempting to start a revolution with the religious people; just introduce a bit more nuance in our approach to bullshit stories in general.

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


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Supposedly the pope believes

Supposedly the pope believes that God can take care of the poor through miracles. But then again, God's not doing a very good job of it, so we need men with guns(aka government) to step in and force the rich to take care of them.

A man that talks out of both sides of his mouth should be ignored, but instead he's a media darling. Why not listen to scientists that are atheist and apolitical in their approach to poverty?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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iwbiek wrote:BobSpence

iwbiek wrote:
BobSpence wrote:
a firm figure for the probability of 'Life, the Universe, and Everything' arising without Supernatural intervention
i would like to emphasize that the non-abrahamic conception of god i outlined above never says that life "arose" with supernatural intervention. in fact, the indian traditions are emphatic in stating that life and the universe do not "arise" at all. one of the most basic presuppositions of indian thought is that "something cannot come from nothing." this, of course, is in direct contradiction to the abrahamic notion of creatio ex nihilo.
BobSpence wrote:
In fact, if an all-powerful being did exist, we would have no case for certain knowledge of the Universe, since such a being could change everything at any point.

 

we don't need an "all-powerful being" to accept the premise that everything could change at any point.

Re the first point, Science does not have a fundamental problem with "something from nothing" - see Laurence Kraus.

Abrahamic religions not only have a problem with 'creatio ex nihilo', at least without divine intervention, but also with conscious beings arising from non-living matter. The idea of 'souls' is also arguably an unnecessary proposition, but very understandable as a fundamental 'truth' for people who cannot grasp the scientific understanding of complex processes and how evolutionary processes can plausibly give rise to such things.

We need to learn to be not so much slaves to our intuition and instincts as a pointer to truth. They are useful at times in coming up with new ideas and possible explanations, and indeed essential in going about our daily affairs, so we don't have to think our way through every action or reaction, great or small. However they can be fundamentally misguided, as Galileo famously demonstrated with falling objects, as well as with planetary motion.

====

The idea that everything could change at any instant is much more relevant  in the context of a conscious, all-powerful being overseeing reality than in a naturalistic context, where such an event would be expected to have some observable 'trigger', altho not necessarily. Quantum Mechanics would allow it, but with a very low probability. 

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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EXC wrote:Supposedly the

EXC wrote:

Supposedly the pope believes that God can take care of the poor through miracles. But then again, God's not doing a very good job of it, so we need men with guns(aka government) to step in and force the rich to take care of them.

I don't think he mentioned anything about miracles feeding the poor in his speech. Also, the rich are the ones being taken care of by the government, which forces the rest of us to turn our productivity over to them for the past 40+ years. It's like a nanny state for the top 0.1% and a boot on the throat of the rest of us.

EXC wrote:

A man that talks out of both sides of his mouth should be ignored, but instead he's a media darling. Why not listen to scientists that are atheist and apolitical in their approach to poverty?

Vatican is desperately trying to fix their rotten child-abusing image and they thought that this is the best way to go about it. The only lesson we should take from the Church is that the common person of faith is on our side when it comes to the most important socio-economic issues.

Also don't get me wrong; when I say "us", I certainly don't mean you. You're either in the 0.1% richest, or a troll. I mean, the most die hard neo-liberals in the working class have to admit that something is seriously wrong with the playing field and that too much governmental support for the poor simply isn't the issue here.

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BobSpence wrote:Re the first

BobSpence wrote:
Re the first point, Science does not have a fundamental problem with "something from nothing" - see Laurence Kraus.

i'm not sure what science has to say about it. i wasn't making any comparison to science at all. how would science even detect "nothing"? i mean, we can't even say the vacuum is "nothing" in any absolute sense.

BobSpence wrote:
Abrahamic religions not only have a problem with 'creatio ex nihilo', at least without divine intervention, but also with conscious beings arising from non-living matter.

i'm don't get what you mean by "have a problem with." creatio ex nihilo is a fundamental principle of the cosmogonies of all three abrahamic religions. so is conscious beings arising from non-living matter (particularly adamn from dust, a motif found in both the bible and the quran). i don't see why you think they "have a problem" with those principles. one of the thing that makes god "god" is his role as creator. that is why i have always said that, in a fundamental sense, hinduism has no "god" any more than buddhism or jainism.

now if you mean those religions have a problem with those two actions being executed by anyone other than god, well, of course. that's a given.

BobSpence wrote:
The idea of 'souls' is also arguably an unnecessary proposition, but very understandable as a fundamental 'truth' for people who cannot grasp the scientific understanding of complex processes and how evolutionary processes can plausibly give rise to such things.

it is unnecessary as an explanation for natural processes (like consciousness, for example). however, it need not serve that purpose. some indian religions preserve the idea of the soul (jiva or atman) because it fits in with their logical processes, not because they are interested in resorting to any "god of the gaps." how one's "soul" can fit in with or affect the natural world is at best a matter of secondary curiosity in these traditions. that is why, for all the problems india has had, to my knowledge there has never in its history been any massive, concerted attempt to combat scientific advances, unlike in europe. catholic scholasticism makes god's immanence and day-to-day intervention in the natural world essential: i'm not saying the indian religions have no faults, but that sort of philosophical baggage certainly isn't one of them.

BobSpence wrote:
We need to learn to be not so much slaves to our intuition and instincts as a pointer to truth.

there are religions that make that point as well, though regarding a realm other than the natural world (or any possible supernatural world, at that).

"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:Who are you

BobSpence wrote:

Who are you referring to as "we"?

Ah, I think I found the aforementioned comments Smiling

BobSpence wrote:

Even more than in the past, there are so many things which can result in a person abandoning a belief in a God, or perhaps never acquiring such a belief, that it is foolish to characterise us by any broad brush.

We aren't experiencing a fall in bullshit followers; we're just witnessing a shift to other and likely much more dangerous bullshit ideologies. 'We' are the ones that buy into other-than-God bullshit - how's that?

BobSpence wrote:

It is quite reasonable to argue with someone who holds a different set of beliefs from yourself; this is an important mechanism for sorting out the different beliefs and ideas we all may hold. It is imperfect, of course, but without it an individual's ideas are less likely to be tested and possibly refined.

This no way precludes someone else with a different outlook doing whatever it is you are referring to, or even that same person at a different time.

Ya, ok. I don't think I wrote anything that opposes this view.

BobSpence wrote:

Many, many people still embrace the claims of those ancient books, and apply them to their everyday life, and feel justified in using them to define how they should deal with other people and so on, and so it is still appropriate to debate them as more than mere 'technicalities'.

I don't think this is correct, at least not in cases that matter to me. I think that many people treat other people the way they want to and they find excuses in a holy book for it. Or in Greenspan's bullshit theory of free markets. Or in Ayn Rand's novels. They want to have their abusive cake and eat the glory of a stoic moral being too. I think that ideology is just a tool; the problem is in the opposing interests. What I'd like to see is bigger awareness of these interests and less bickering about the ideologies. We do have them, the common interests. We're not as diverse as the 0.1% richest would like us to think.

BobSpence wrote:

What aspect of 'our frame of mind' do you see as just as 'arrested' as holding to a 2000 year old supernatural ideology?

Assuming that the bullshit we buy into is less dangerous, better or even different in-kind to that of a given theist. I think that this is a huge mistake. Personally, I think the only real difference is temporal - today some of the "secular" ideologies are far more dangerous to the survival of the species than anything a theist cooked up, because we imagine our future in terms of crap like "necessary destruction", golden shower economics, pay-per-healthcare and drone skies.

What I am trying to do with this thread is draw new lines to define ourselves. I think we should try to be a-bullshit first, a-theist second.

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


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harleysportster wrote:And a

harleysportster wrote:

And a bunch of dumb fucks calling themselves "us" is not going to do a goddamn thing but bitch and complain

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/5/we_cant_survive_on_725_fast

Don't say I never taught you nothin' Smiling

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