Nav_image
Nav_image Nav_image Nav_image Nav_image Nav_image Nav_image Nav_image Nav_image Nav_image
Nav_image Nav_image Nav_image Nav_image Nav_image Nav_image Nav_image Nav_image
Nav_image
Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 58

Thread: Is Religion Dangerous?

  1. #11
    Married to Suedehead Shangri-LIE's Avatar
    Join Date: 08.05.09
    Location: Subject
    Posts: 7,425
    Rank: Stigmartyr
    Follow Shangri-LIE On Twitter

    Default

    I'm not going to write an essay. But rather make some statements in the voices, to be read in, of popular figures and see where the discussion goes. I was baking some cookies the other day, no really I was, and was thinking about cosmic inflation. Watching the heat waves in my oven and the dough expanding. They weren't growing further AWAY from each other, but closer together. Towards the CENTER of the tray. Anyway.

    Religion CAN be dangerous. Drug use and drinking is dangerous. Driving a car is dangerous. Flying is dangerous. Sex can be dangerous. It's ALL who's "behind the wheel". And these are all things that we all do, for the most part, everyday. Religion is important. It is a DRIVER of economic growth and always has been. People originally developed the idea of “supernatural monitors” - a fear of being punished by an omniscient watcher - at a time when secular institutions either didn’t exist, or might as well not have. I won't even go into "War Profiteering" that is perhaps the most lucrative business that there is. And what is the cause of most wars? Religion! Moving on. However, a lot of people seem to want to move towards an autonomous, secular, anarchist Utopia devoid of God(s). Look how that worked out for The Republic of Minerva, The People of Forlandia, Drop City, Silkville and Soul City! LOL! Perhaps if we all unanimously strum "Imagine" on our guitars we can create a new acoustic waves to change the world for the better! But we're all just naturally occurring, lumbering oddities who have no real purpose in the universe, and matter has no memory......or does it? The fuck really going on here?

    *Eddie Griffin* - *Sniff - *Gives the ni-gger eye *Lights a cigarette and takes a sip out of my Gin n Juice. Aight. Now, they say that there is this fourth dimension. And we're some sort of motherfuckin' mirage or computer Matrix type of thing. Let me get this straight. So, our brains send out and receive signals like a black box "dweep dweep dweep" and we're getting ancient echoes back. You meaning to tell me that we aint receiving a motherfucking translation from a source, or our main power source? Maybe, just maybe something is trying to track us or clue us in or is playing hide and go seek at a subatomic level? Then again...you can't identify something that aint supposed to be there in the first fuckin place that's never been seen and you also meaning to tell me that we "naked apes" are smarter that a motherfuckin Cosmic Computer Programmer Hacker?!?!? *Check your limitations Materialists*

    *Michio Kaku* - We are a type 0 Civilization and we.literally.know.nothing. ...or very little. It was Lawrence M. Krauss who said. “If we wish to draw philosophical conclusions about our own existence, our significance, and the significance of the universe itself, our conclusions should be based on empirical knowledge. A truly open mind means forcing our imaginations to conform to the evidence of reality, and not vice versa, whether or not we like the implications.”. Of course we can't and shouldn't use Religion to disprove or deny Scientific fact nor should Science seek to prove a mysterious anthropomorphic God or Gods. But both sides have one thing in common. Imagination. It was also said by
    Archaeologist Steven Mithen “The critical step in the evolution of the modern mind was the switch from a mind designed like a Swiss army knife to one with cognitive fluidity, from a specialized to a generalized type of mentality. This enabled people to design complex tools, to create art and believe in religious ideologies. Moreover, the potential for other types of thought which are critical to the modern world can be laid at the door of cognitive fluidity.”. And now.we.want.to.copy.the personality traits of individual Humans at HUMAI to resurrect the dead and reanimate them as if they never died and never lost any "data". Therefore, as my Brother Eddie Griffin just said, yes. We are living in a very VAST` simulation that we don't have the tools yet to fully comprehend let alone control. Now. Most will say that "Consciousness being an emergent property or that it arises from brain". Well, the stars did die for us and not Jesus. But we are still nonetheless made out of stardust. Just as Christians say they are part of the body of Christ. Which brings up an interesting question. If we are composed of cosmic "debris" with no real idea where it came from, even though there are some very well educated guesses that change every decade or so, who is to say that our consciousness still doesn't resonate with the.....THE UNIVERSE! ...And not just thinking to ourselves. Two atoms 1 billion light years away have a binary correlation with one another. When one "wiggles" so does the other. And we are their brothers and sisters! We are their children! Yes, we are descendants of the 'Heavens"! All of this Matter from nothing yet it interacts with one another, it communicates, it remembers, it can escape into other multiverses! Imagine the consciousness as the same "metaphysical glue" as Quark-Gluon Plasma only we don't know what it is yet nor a way to detect it as, said, we really don't know what a soul is if we have them. But we do know what Quark Gluon Plasma is. And what is escapes from our bodies when we die? HEAT! ENERGY! All right back into the atmosphere. An atmosphere where we can only see/detect 10% of all that is there.

    *James Spader* - We've always existed. Just not in our current form. Hence we have no memories prior to our birth, and we shouldn't. It's too painful. But we know from what substances we are consisted of. A quote from one of my TV shows. "In Mexico, there are these fish that have colonized the freshwater caves along Sierra del Abra.They were lost. They found themselves living in complete darkness. But they didn't die. Instead, they thrived. They adapted. They lost their pigmentation, their sight, eventually even their eyes. With survival, they became hideous. I've rarely thought about what I once was. But I wonder if a ray of light were to make it into the cave, would I be able to see it? Or feel it? Would I gravitate to its warmth? And if I did, would I become less hideous?". Religion is just that darkness. That blindfold over the truth. And most sciences growing out of the Dark Ages are still young, developing, still partially adjusting to that "light" minds. We create the measurements and tools for laws, much like our superstitious ancestors did with drawing on tablets, caves and attributing human, physical traits to things they couldn't explain that became God(s)


    Religion IS and CAN be dangerous. So can some Sciences. It is a necessary evil as it, even though causes horrible amounts or persecution and casualties, holds societies together. Even in Secular countries. Repressive Governments always thrive better when their citizens, even though oppressed and deluded, are governed by the ....."Supernatural Monitors" that I've mentioned. On the other hand, all in all, we're all still Humans. And Humans, even with or without Deities....are going to self destruct somehow....at some point.

    OMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM


  2. #12

    Join Date: 06.21.09
    Location: Chicago, Illinois
    Posts: 717
    Rank: Crimson Soil

    Default

    I haven't read your epic post above this one yet, but I just wanted to make a quick comment about something you said in your last post on page 1. You said something along the lines of "...the naturalist people who hate philosophy, but the irony is that science wouldn't exist without philosophy". That's like saying science wouldn't have existed without religion. It's total b.s. It's easy to show that the roots of science began in religion. Priests and theologian's started doing science. Newton was religious. And Islam is actually responsible for the creation of Algebra and many early scientific endeavors. The fact is, pre-Darwin, religion provided the only (pseudo)answer to the cosmos for people. EVERYONE just about would have been religious. And the atheists of the time probably didn't have much reason to be atheists. Sure, they could see holes in belief without evidence, but they were still virtually clueless. I think it's a false argument. "If it wasn't for religion, science would never have come about" is similar if not the same to "If it wasn't for philosophy, science would never have come about". I think we would have gotten there..

    Also, I happen to enjoy some philosophy. I've read Nietzsche and some Hume. I used to be much more into philosophy until I discovered it is largely what Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson calls "scientists without a lab". Can you really GAIN knowledge from philosophy? I think not. Philosophy is important and it can teach you how to think more critically and sort through logical arguments, but it can't tell you whether something is true or not. It's speculation and relative. This should not be thought as a bad thing. Moral philosophy has shed much light on how we view the world. It doesn't necessarily mean there are concrete answers. The only absolute answers might come from mathematics. But science gives provisional truths that, in the words of Stephen Jay Gould, it is "enough evidence that you would be perverse to deny it". It is, in many cases, just as good as fact. Theory of germ disease, for example, that infectious pathogens cause disease, not mystical demons and "bad thinking".

    I'll respond to your new epic post later. Looking forward to it!

  3. #13

    Join Date: 06.21.09
    Location: Chicago, Illinois
    Posts: 717
    Rank: Crimson Soil

    Default

    Oh boy... Let's get started...

    How do you define danger? A surgical operation intended to save one's life is dangerous and could kill the individual. But doing nothing will almost certainly kill the person. "Danger" is a relative term in the spectrum of over all wellbeing. Drugs are dangerous...but only relatively. Most drugs will kill you if you take copious amounts. At the right dosage, they can save you and increase your lifespan. Driving a car is dangerous. Human error is always a possibility at any moment and you could wind up dead in an accident. But we collectively choose to drive because we feel the odds are in our favor and there are clear benefits to driving, like getting to your destination quickly. Worded in the way I've just written it, driving might sound kind of dumb. Isn't your life more important than getting somewhere fast? It certainly increases the happiness of the life we do have though. If you had to walk to every appointment and meeting, you really wouldn't have much time for any fun or luxury. You'd always be trying to get somewhere. So you have a lot of quasi-saved up time since you get to your destination rapidly. Many people think it's worth it. Cars are also not intended to be used for death unlike guns. So, I can see why guns should be outlawed, and it's a false argument to throw in cars in that mix. Guns have no other intention but to make something dead.


    I realize that religion is a driver of great profits and a factor for economic growth, but I challenge your statement that religion is important. Could we not replace something so odious as religion with something better? I fucking hate wars and the fact that most wars are religiously motivated is not a point in religion's favor. Please don't bring up the wars conducted by atheists like Stalin or Hitler (who was actually Catholic). It's a tired argument and does not reflect their atheism. Hitchens, Harris, Dennet, and Dawkins have all went over this argument numerous times and with great perspicuous insight. I understand that religion is an important issue in today's world and there is much discussion over it. But I strongly feel that religion is of no value or importance at the end of the day. No fairy tale matters, it only matters when people believe it, because then you have to worry about such people.


    You mention an "autonomous, secular, anarchistic Utopia". I don't think anarchy has anything to do with the type of world many of us atheists desire.


    My response to Eddie Griffin: I think I understand what you are trying to say. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in a nutshell you are saying that we don't "know" anything and who are we pompous, pretentious naked apes thinking we've figured something out. There are so many mysteries in the universe! We could be wrong about everything! Different dimensions, subatomic particles that seem to pop in and out of existence and also exist in over two places at once! What the FUCK is up with that crazy shiiit?! Maybe those particles on a subatomic level is trying to contact us and tell us something. Maybe they are God(s). If there is a "Cosmic Computer Hacker" i.e. "God", you mean to tell me that we dumb atheist materialists are smarter than he/she/it?


    I'll be the first to admit we don't even know a fraction of what is out there. But that certainly isn't a reason to make up answers. It's just a god of the gaps argument. And is it really plausible that these particles are trying to communicate with us? It's possible....you can't rule anything out to a 100%, but I find it enormously unlikely. We are bound by the laws of physics, our genes, our pre-determined behaviors. We truly are the "naked ape". If there is some God or force out there, they surely didn't create us. We know beyond reasonable doubt that we are evolved creatures, and that it happened naturally. Catholics try to superimpose "God" in the process, but it's a dubious claim. It's not how biologists see it. It truly is NATURAL selection. There could have been a god responsible for abiogenesis. I find that unlikely too, but even if it were true, it still doesn't change that evolution happened and that we are naked apes. If there is a God or brain or power out there at all that is personal and theistic, well, again, we are bound by the tools HE gave us in that case and to the best of our rationality and reasoning powers, it certainly looks like there is nothing out there. Take that issue up with God. The best we can do with the tools available make it look like there is Nothing.


    The first part of your Michio Kaku response seems to indicate something like "if we are evolved organisms never meant to understand the complexity of the universe, quantum physics, etc.. then why should we trust our materialist brains at all? After all, it's OUR imagination. What is reality, is it subjective to our individual existence, etc..." It's another specious argument because although we may in fact be living in some sort of Matrix alien computer program, and although our imaginations run wild and we can come up with all sorts of false information, the fact is, it works. Cars run, planes fly, this computer I'm typing on is operating. So we can say conclusively that there is something right about what we are doing. We're not just intellectually drifting into an abyss of imagination. We must have evolved with a degree of rationality that really is OBJECTIVELY true. Otherwise we wouldn't have gotten anywhere and no one would give a damn about science. We care about it because it does indeed work and we can (provisionally) *prove* things.


    Regarding the second part of the Machio Kaku response, yes all evidence suggests that our consciousness is indeed a product of the brain. You can even manipulate consciousness within the brain, which suggests that no, it does not exist in the vacuum of the cosmos. Our consciousness lives and dies with us. There is a slight stochastic factor with the firing of neurons in the brain. The best neuroscientists are now telling us that Determinism is indeed true, there is no freewill, and we can even manipulate the thoughts of test subjects and predict what they are going to do several seconds before they do it. Technology will only improve this ability and stretch it to far longer lengths, I predict.


    Also, you mention that science has some "...educated guesses that change every decade or so". Is this intended to denigrate the methodologies of science? It seems like a subtle jab at science for changing it's mind back and forth throughout the years. This is not a weakness of science. As better technology becomes available and more testing is done, we shape and sculpt our worldview. Science is a great tool for this. We cut the fat, and get closer and closer to the truth. Something that religion can never do. We don't know anything new about god now than we did 500 years ago. If I misunderstood your intention by that sentence, I apologize. But I want to make it clear for all readers that might think, "oh, we can't trust science. It's wishy washy and constantly changing". This is indeed the strength of science that it is willing to change it's mind given new facts and information--something religion will not do.


    James Spader misunderstands how evolution works. No, the individual fish would not see the light (although, I'm also aware you are making a metaphor) Evolution happens in populations over time, not in the individual. The fish who has vestigial eyes or no eyes, would never adapt or grow new parts in it's lifetime.


    Yes, science is still young, but you are doing a great injustice by comparing it to superstitious thinking of the ancient mythologies. I could not disagree with you more. It's a horrible misrepresentation of science. Science isn't random superstition and pulling "theories" out of their asses on a drunken night with buddies. There is an ABUNDANCE of evidence for a hypothesis to graduate to the level of theory or law. Again, the tools and measurements you seem to be insulting work! They work very well. We know that 2 + 2 = 4. This isn't random guessing or speculation. There are some extrapolation in the sciences but whatever you do, do not compare that to idiotic inventions of gods that didn't exist.


    Science is not evil nor good. People can do evil with science, like creating the hydrogen bomb. Science itself is just a highly successful process for accumulating knowledge. Science can inform us of better morality, but it cannot objectively be moral or immoral by nature. So, you'll say, "if science is neutral and it's the PEOPLE that can use it for good or corrupt it's methodologies, isn't religion the same? Isn't religion neutral and PEOPLE do good or bad with it?" No. Science makes absolutely no claims about how anyone should live or what to pray to. Religion does. Religion makes claims about the universe that are testable and most religions you can prove wrong. Religion makes claims about how to behave and about how God created the universe and what is true and false that are in fact falsifiable, and we've proved most religions wrong. The people that do "evil" with religion are generally not behaving out of the realm of what you could plausibly extrapolate from the context of the religious teachings. The Bible, for example makes all sorts of odious rules that Christians will say "you're taking it out of context, that's old testament, it was meant for the Canaanite's" It wasn't good for them, and it's not good for us. It's not outside the boundaries of what some interpretation of scripture could lead to


    No, religions do not hold societies together as some kind of social glue. It tears them apart. It promotes a plethora of bad behavior and only serves to further separate us as a species, not unlike the stupidity of sexism, racism, etc.. In fact, many religions condone such sexism and racism. Call me when there is a female Catholic pope.


    Humans don't have to self destruct. If we could all get along and be awakened by rationality instead of superstition and evidence instead of mindless faith, the world would be well on it's way to a much better place.

  4. Like 1 Member(s) liked this post
  5. #14

    Join Date: 06.21.09
    Location: Chicago, Illinois
    Posts: 717
    Rank: Crimson Soil

    Default

    Motherfucker! I took extra care in spacing out paragraphs. Why are they all together like that? Mods?

  6. Like 1 Member(s) liked this post
  7. #15
    Married to Suedehead Shangri-LIE's Avatar
    Join Date: 08.05.09
    Location: Subject
    Posts: 7,425
    Rank: Stigmartyr
    Follow Shangri-LIE On Twitter

    Default

    I couldn't agree with you more.
    OMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM


  8. #16

    Join Date: 06.21.09
    Location: Chicago, Illinois
    Posts: 717
    Rank: Crimson Soil

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shangri-LIE View Post
    I couldn't agree with you more.
    I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not... :/ But sorry if I went hard on you. I re-read what I wrote and it was intended as a dissection of what I believed your arguments to be, but it wasn't meant to sound hostile if that is how it came across. Also, if I misrepresented a point, I'd love for you to explain it with more clarity.


    Much of my family are 6000 yr old Earthers who deny the Big Bang, evolution, quantum physics, radiometric dating....basically all of the sciences. Biology, geology, cosmology, and others. It's frustrating. They are Biblical Literalists. They (even the women) submit to misogyny, are against female rights like abortion, stem cell research, etc. etc.. They aren't dangerous. But I don't think anything good can come from this sort of apocalyptic thinking. They are end times Christians, thinking that the end of the world is near and Jesus is returning and they are going to float up to Heaven. It's not far from the Ken Ham, Kent Hovind, and Frank Turek ilk. You can't discuss facts with them. They've allowed their brains to rot because of religion, and frankly, I don't see how that is very far from the chaos we see in the world today. Again, their totally innocuous (except if you count their votes to overturn Roe Vs Wade, etc) but it's just sad and I see it as a form of mental illness. I see similarities to Heavens Gate cult. I was raised in this and believed it when I was young. But, fortunately, I discovered science and it changed my life for the better. Philosophy, too. When I first read Thus Spake Zarathustra in high school, Nietzsche really changed my life (and gave me a greater appreciation for the concepts in Antichrist Superstar)

  9. #17
    Raspberry Syncope FeedYourHead's Avatar
    Join Date: 07.06.09
    Location: New York, NY
    Posts: 2,022
    Rank: 15 Gauge

    Default

    Delusions that get incorporated into public policy and that are used to justify mass murder are dangerous, yes.


  10. Like 2 Member(s) liked this post
  11. #18

    Join Date: 06.21.09
    Location: Chicago, Illinois
    Posts: 717
    Rank: Crimson Soil

    Default

    FeedYourHead, I agree. What you described is one of the worst possible outcomes when it's incorporated into public policy. But it doesn't make it much less dangerous even if it isn't embraced by government. Crazy idea's, though abandoned by the majority and by the government, can still do much damage and be very dangerous, as we've seen in recent word events.

  12. #19
    Married to Suedehead Shangri-LIE's Avatar
    Join Date: 08.05.09
    Location: Subject
    Posts: 7,425
    Rank: Stigmartyr
    Follow Shangri-LIE On Twitter

    Default

    No, I wasn't being sarcastic. I was just having fun in my "Celebrity Voice' ....whatever in the Hell it was. LOL - And FeedYourHead is absolutely right. I honestly thought that it would bring about more of a chuckle. This isn't a "Science Forum" it's a "Philosophy and Arts Forum". If I were to have made a video doing impressions of those three guys, it probably would have actually come across as more Comedic. I mean, who in the fuck does that anyway and expects to be taken seriously? Man, you have to be able to escape, either externally or introspectively, from reality sometimes.

    But if we want to go "There" we will.

    1.) Like I said, religion CAN be dangerous. But I don't care if someone prays for me, or prays for something, or prays for other people or gives an invocation before a ceremony or proceeding. Everyone has their own subjective experience on some level. No matter how rational they believe themselves to be. That and that Atheists claim that eradicating Religion will somehow bring about more peaceful societies. I refuse to label myself as anything other than a Pantheist. We may disagree on what it is, but I still encourage you to research it if you wish. That and "Everybody is Wrong about God". Don't let the title deceive you into thinking that it's making a case for "God". LOL - But back to the "An Atheist World would be more Peaceful". Only there is a fallacy to that claim. Estonia, Latvia, North Korea for example. Stalin and Mao's Regimes just to name a couple of examples. There is a long History of mass murder on both the Theistic and Atheistic sides. The belief in an Anthropomorphic God is VERY EASY to debunk and call irrational. What about the French Revolution and also the persecution, rape and murderers by Russian Communists in the Soviet Union as as well as other parts of Europe/Eurasia? Not to mention this new wave of "Superior" Scientifically Intolerant if not racist Generation of Atheists who are....as equally Scientifically Racist and intolerant and Theists are Theologically Racist and intolerant. I'm not condemning Atheism. I am just stating that the World will not be better with or without it. When it comes to it being incorporated into policies and law/codes of conduct, then yes, yes it can be very dangerous. Other than that....No.

    As far as "Putting God Behind" to evolve as Humans. Well, yes. It would be a good thing to see people stop either praising or cowering at the feet of Ancient Sky Wardens. At the same time. Science cannot study non physical or non empirical realities as they are outside its purview and the scientific method cannot be applied to "measuring" religion, morality and other realities which are not empirical. *Again - Check out "Everybody is Wrong about God" by James A. Lindsay. Again, it's not making a case for "God'. This is a debate that is both pointless and never going to fully go away, but as Nikola Tesla said "The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.". Back to subjective reality. As far as consciousness goes, in a Quantum Double Slit Experiment as published in "Physics Essays" which is a peer reviewed journal. Two things stand out. 1.) "Observation not only disturbs what has to be measured, they produce it. We compel the electron to assume a definite position. We ourselves produce the results of the measurement.” and 2.) “A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction.". Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.”. And "The Hard Problem" about Consciousness which has been struggled with for .........EVER will probably never be figured out even if some know it all comes in and says that "Consciousness is just emergent from the physical brain.". If people who have spent almost half of a century at the most trying to figure out/solve "The Hard Problem", then some random commentator surely isn't going to. LOL

    A caveman would think a radio makes music, versus just acting a conduit for sounds modulated into radio waves. A lot of these "Superior Minds" are, quite figuratively, just as much Cavemen as People who believe in Ancient Fairy Tales.
    Last edited by Shangri-LIE; 12-07-2015 at 06:05 PM.
    OMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM


  13. Like 2 Member(s) liked this post
  14. #20

    Join Date: 06.21.09
    Location: Chicago, Illinois
    Posts: 717
    Rank: Crimson Soil

    Default

    I knew there was a strong comedic level to what you were trying to say which is precisely why you invoked or wished for it to be read with certain celebrity voices and accents. But, I didn't think that meant that I should take it any less serious. Often times great educators use comedy to identify a common ground (especially on touchy subjects, such as religion) with the person they are communicating with. So, I figured you were trying to make light of a topic that easily causes arguments during family dinner. Duly noted, but I was still going to address it as if you weren't joking or using comedy at all.

    I realize that this topic is categorized within "Philosophy and Arts", which by the way, are both very broad terms and can apply to many things. But it would be very hard to try and disclude science from a topic dealing with religion. Philosophy and art both happen to be intrinsically tied with science. Science should not be thought of as the enemy to art, dulling the imagination with boring "facts". Also, science strongly influences the progression of philosophy. They are counterparts. Philosophers are forced to change their thinking based on advances in science. Philosophy also inspires science, but I don't think science can "learn" anything from philosophy. Philosophy on the other had can learn a great deal from science.

    Also, when you say you "...have to be able to escape, either externally or introspectively, from reality sometimes" (and I agree with you) but by your very logic, the exit door/delete button/escape possibility is always right at your finger tips if we all craft our own realities anyway. (Agree with that point too). So, in some sense, yes we are all living in an imaginary place, or at least an imaginary state of being. That doesn't stop objective "truths" from existing.

    I didn't intend on being THIS nitpicky, but you are fun to dialogue with, so I'll take my time. On whether we should care if someone prays for us or not. There are different ways to look at this question. On one hand, you can interpret it as a "nice" gesture. "Awww, she cares for me, and I'm in her thoughts...thank you for the prayers" even though it's too late to hide that I don't believe in prayer, we good view it as a positive thing. It also could be seen as an offense. "You clearly think something is WRONG with me to the point where I am in NEED of your prayers and interaction from your god". In some ways, it's kind of insulting. It's like a backhanded compliment. "You look really good in that dress, it makes you look much thinner than you really are". That sort of thing. But I'll digress that point. I'm not so crazy and narcissistic to give fucks whether someone mention prayer.

    Man..... I told you NOT to bring up Stalin, Mao, etc..!!!!! It's such a bogus argument. I would have thought you to be well versed in why they are bad examples. To paraphrase Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg, "Good people will do good things, and evil people will do evil things. But for GOOD people to do EVIL things, it takes religion". Stalin may very have been an atheist. But it wasn't ATHEISM that drove his actions. He was a cruel dictator hungry for power. Many of these dictators demand worship of their people in spite of them being in so-called "atheistic countries". They end up demanding the people to worship them and treat them as gods. They become the new religion. The thing about atheism is, anyone can be one. It's NOT a religion or lifestyle or philosophy, it's a LACK of one. Anyone, smart or dumb, good or evil, short or tall can decide for themselves that there isn't sufficient evidence to grant belief in a god(s). Most all of us, despite whatever religion we may be, are also atheists with respect to Osiris, Horus, Set, Mythras, Vishnu, Dionysus, etc... There is no "philosophy" that comes with atheism. If you happen to be an atheist and are looking for some moral insight, I'd suggest Humanism and Secular Moral Philosophy. Many people behave badly in the name of their religion, and they believe they are doing the RIGHT thing and that they are acting how their god(s) want them to act. For those that behave badly because they feel that there is no god up there judging them, so they might as well run a muck and commit horrid acts, well, they aren't a very bright atheist. No educated and sane atheist would WANT to live in a Darwinian type of world. Survival of the fittest is not a good moral philosophy. Even though it is how we are here today, we probably should intelligently design our morals based object insights in science -- such as, if we wish for an example, to live in a more auspicious society, and one conducive to success, we can rather quickly see benefits of laws against murder and theft for example. More on that later. A Darwinian world would be a closer to a Republican world. The rich get richer and fuck the poor. Every man for himself. Dog eat Dog world. I will argue in favor of an atheistic, humanistic world. And I point you no further than Denmark and Sweden. Largely atheistic and fall much higher on the "successful society chart" that sociologists have plotted based on things like infant mortality, high crime rates, availability to medical treatment, income equality, etc.. USA scored lowest of all first world countries. I'll give references and provide videos upon request.

    I think it's a fallacy to call this new "Generation of Atheists" racist, if you are referring to the Dawkins/Sam Harris camp. Criticizing a religion is NOT criticizing a race. If you can convert to it, it's not a race. Criticizing of a culture is also not racist. We can criticize Nazi Germany without saying we fucking hate Germans. It's a very different thing. If we say, "we fucking hate the oppression of women and the religion of Islam", that is not saying we hate brown people. We are talking about ideology here, not a people. So I see no comparison to theists in this regard. Theists will criticize other theists for having the wrong fantasy. Science is universal. Doesn't matter which part of the world you are in, like art and philosophy, it can bring people together. Religion only brings like-minded bigots together and segregates them from the rest of society, depending on their degree of extremity. I think it's only obvious that the world would indeed be a much better place if it was immune to irrational magical superstitious thinking that leads assholes to kill black cats around Halloween, that makes Catholics believe in Transubstantiation, that leads Muslims to think of women as second class citizens and that apostates should be killed. Or if you are certain branches of Christian, believe that you don't need cancer treatment, you can sprinkle Holy Water or have someone like Peter Popoff "bless" you and you can throw your pills away. Would the world be a better place if it were rid of all belief in fantasy? Absolutely. Without a doubt. No belief system should be enforced. Atheism is a lack of beliefs, and you can't FORCE someone not to believe in god either. But if they are a reasonable person and able of being persuaded by evidence, they should abandon their god willingly, not kicking and screaming.


    You keep coming back to esoteric physics that are not even yet properly understood. I'm not trying to be shitty here, but serious question: Are you trying to somehow show that EVERYTHING we've come to know is some sort of guess or speculation and that there is no evidence for anything or against anything? I mean, that could be the case, but I find it highly dubious. I don't think it's ever going to change that the consistency of water is two parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen. 2+2 will always = 4. The ONLY place that it doesn't equal 4 is again....strange, esoteric, waaay out there philosophy. But, as Christopher Hitchens often said, "extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence.....and that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence". I'm not going to comment on or speculate what strange phenomenon physicists discover. I'll leave it to them to explain to me. I'm not a physicist. And before you try and draw a comparison between that claim I've just made and the claims theists make about "FAITH" in their god, it is a very different meaning and vernacular of the word "faith". I don't have blind belief of which there is no evidence. I have faith my doctor generally knows what he is doing. He's a certified M.D. presumably he went to school for several years and learned a great deal about medicine and treatment. It's not senseless faith. That would be misconstruing the word. I also have "faith" that the lights will turn on when I flip the switch. But it's worked every other time, and if it doesn't, odds are it's a burnt out bulb or some electrical problem. I won't pray about it.


    I hope you aren't painting me as "some know it all" on the internet. But I think you are focusing on the wrong question regarding consciousness. Only those blinded by religion and spiritual thinking imagine that there is some supernatural aspect of consciousness. We may not know exactly how consciousness came about or how it evolved, but that's almost certainly the case... Different animals display higher or lower levels of consciousness, and we happened to evolve very big brains. Our cousins and possible Australopithecus ancestors were probably highly conscious too. And a bit more so was Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus. I see nothing "spiritual" about consciousness. Unless of course you are using the word "spiritual" in a very different sense, much like Einstein and Stephen Hawking referred to "God" in their writings, they were both atheists, and used "God" in a very loose way, kind of a metaphor for the universe itself.

    I was sure you made mention of morality again, though my second time reading through your comment, I couldn't seem to find it. I'll mention it only briefly in case. Morality too does not seem like anything that hard to explain. In fact, in only truly makes sense in light of evolution. We see primitive "moral" behavior in other species as well. There is a great video you can find on youtube, and Michael Shermer wrote in great detail about it, about an experiment with monkeys and they, like all of us apes have favorite treats. I think it was grapes that they liked. It's sweet to them. Their "chocolate" if you will. Well, when you give the one monkey a grape and the other gets some boring vegetation repeatedly after they witnessed each other perform the same task, the one that was denied the treat gets pissed! He starts behaving badly and throws stuff at the scientist conducting the experience. This can be interpreted as a comprehension of fair play. The monkey knew he was wronged. I could go on, but altruism has clearly also evolved. See a great video by Dawkins on The Prisoners Dilemma. These are fundamental steps in the direction of our advanced concept of morality. Sam Harris argued in is fabulous "The Moral Landscape" that there can indeed be an "objective morality" in spite of there being no god. Even if he is wrong, science can and has informed us further on what is or is not moral. Even if there is no objective morality, we can all reach and strive for the same "objective" in light of understanding and education.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

NEWS | TOUR | BIOGRAPHIES | DISCOGRAPHY | VIDEOGRAPHY | GALLERY | MEDIA & INTERVIEWS
MANSON'S JOURNAL | ESSAYS & ANALYSIS | TIMELINE | FORUM | THEATRE | INFORMATION & LINKS