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Atheists: Please be quiet

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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    MrMister wrote: »
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    Do you think I am wrong? Should I assume you think you are better than me now because of that?

    ding ding ding we have a winner.

    You have figured out that Evander's appeal to thin skin is essentially a ban on any and all disagreement, a position which in addition to its complete sillyness also exhibits inherent self-contradiction, given that it in fact manifests itself in Evander's very vocal proclivity towards disagreement.

    The idea is a stupidly common one when it comes to religion. It is almost completely specific to religion.

    I really don't see why people dislike religious proselytizers so much. Anybody with the same attitude when it came to arguing politics would be justly attacked as basically trying to kill important public discourse. Sure, there are plenty of jackasses, but that doesn't mean it isn't important despite the more retarded tea partiers and the like.

    Couscous on
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    kedinikkedinik Captain of Industry Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Agree w/the OP. Lot of overly militant atheists, and it's not really any better than religious-types being rude for similar reasons.

    kedinik on
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    surrealitychecksurrealitycheck lonely, but not unloved dreaming of faulty keys and latchesRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    You know, the sun doesn't actually set or rise either, right?

    I don't think you know the distinction between the observation and the theory that is in place to explain the observation. Evolution is the former, the theory of evolution is the latter.

    surrealitycheck on
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    The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Julius wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    How does one act flamboyantly atheist any way? Cos play as Darwin and speak with an English accent about how the universe does not require a creator to function?

    Well, many people feel that (just to use the two most prominent examples) Hitchens & Harris both go too far when they argue that the hijackers who flew the planes into the WTC complex & Pentagon (and wherever the 3rd plane's intended destination was before the passengers intervened) were motivated almost entirely by religion.

    THEY DID IT BECAUSE OF GEOPOLITICS!


    I think that's actually a very interesting point that Hitchens brought up, for some weird reason the agnostic/atheist defenders of religion always seem to doubt that people can sincerely BELIEF in their faith. It actually strikes me as far more condescending towards those of faith to claim that their actions are primarily motivated by factors other than faith (be they poverty or culture or whatever).

    I'm agnostic on the specific issue of what the primary motivations of the hijackers were; I have enormous respect for Christopher Hitchens, but I don't feel that he's put together a solid case indicting the Islamic faith (as Scott Atran has said, there are perhaps about a billion muslims in the world. If the culture of violent martyrdom is as endemic to the Islamic faith as Harris & Hitchens argue, why doesn't the data reflect this? Why isn't there a very clear positive correlation between suicide attacks/bombings and muslims?).

    I think it's just as likely that the hijackers had some negative personal convictions about westerners, the United States and the influence of things traditionally thought of in contemporary times as American/Western European (like pornography).


    What we really need is more information before anyone can lay claim to the conclusive answers about suicide bombings.

    The Ender on
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    Fallout2manFallout2man Vault Dweller Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    L|ama wrote: »
    Where in the Koran does it say 'strap some RDX to yourself and go blow up the americans?'

    I do think that religions and religious groups, just like any other, really need to be firmly judged not just on what they say but on the consistent rational application of what is said as well. After all, are we honestly going to say that someone who preaches that it is fundamentally an acceptable concept to commit genocide entirely for religious reasons, preaches group Y as their religious adversary, adds tons of fire and brimstone motivational remarks, but then at the end appends a "but it's not like we really advocate you go wage war and commit genocide guys, that'd be uncivilized!" is preaching in an intellectually honest and morally sound manner?

    It's just like Fox News and their invention of the Cavuto as a punctuation mark.

    Fallout2man on
    On Ignorance:
    Kana wrote:
    If the best you can come up with against someone who's patently ignorant is to yell back at him, "Yeah? Well there's BOOKS, and they say you're WRONG!"

    Then honestly you're not coming out of this looking great either.
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    L|ama wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    Religion is their motivating factor. [/B]It may not have been their motivating factor at the start but it sure as fuck is when they go out bombing.

    Where in the Koran does it say 'strap some RDX to yourself and go blow up the americans?'

    I could quote-mine for some angry "conquer the heathens" lines, of which there certainly are some, however, why should we even accept that something must "be in the Koran for real real!" before it can be part of someone's religious motivation? It doesn't matter whether the bible actually condemns gays any more or less than it condemns blended fabrics--a question which may, in the end, literally have no answer--my Catholic grandmother nonetheless thinks there is a serious religious prohibition on the one but not the other. This belief, in turn, motivates her to do things like vote for prop 8.

    You might claim that it is not really her religious belief which motivates her, or, perhaps more cautiously, that even if her religious belief were absent there would still be some other causal factor which would lead to the same result. But that is a substantial empirical claim for which I've seen no evidence adduced whatsoever. In general, we take people at their word when they explain why they do the things they do; we require some sort of reason to think that they are confused or lying about their own motivation. But here the only reason we take religious people to be confused about their motivation is wishful thinking--it certainly would be convenient if religion weren't actually responsible for any of the bad behavior, but rather, only for the good.

    MrMister on
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    mynameisguidomynameisguido Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I think that part of the problem is that most of the time, unless an atheist is confronted with religion it's something they don't think about, and thus many people who are prominent, normal and non-theistic rarely are portrayed as atheists because by its' very nature it's not a defining part of their personality.

    As such, groups of atheists probably don't make nearly as much sense when you're not surrounded by theists.

    mynameisguido on
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    LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    It doesn't mean they're "better", but you will find people all over the place arguing it just the same. "Black people aren't as smart as white people because they didn't have to evolve to be smart, because Africa is HOT!" I seriously doubt erasing religion from the mental landscape will make people any less horrible than they are. They'll simply find new reasons to be awful to someone.

    It's true that this idea of superiority/inferiority has nothing to do with actual evolution. A worm is not, scientifically speaking, a lesser being than an ape or a human. It's an amazingly complex creature that evolved to fill a niche, and filled it well. (Just ask Darwin, he fucking loved worms.)

    Nevertheless, most humans consider themselves "superior" to worms and have a mental sense that animals are ranked from "lower" (worms, slugs, flies) to "higher" (lions, wolves, apes) with, of course, humans on the tippy top. And with that mental hierarchy in place, it's not too surprising that some people take it a step farther and say, "This race of people is better than THAT race of people!"

    LadyM on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    YodaTuna wrote: »
    L|ama wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    TheOrange wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    How does one act flamboyantly atheist any way? Cos play as Darwin and speak with an English accent about how the universe does not require a creator to function?

    Well, many people feel that (just to use the two most prominent examples) Hitchens & Harris both go too far when they argue that the hijackers who flew the planes into the WTC complex & Pentagon (and wherever the 3rd plane's intended destination was before the passengers intervened) were motivated almost entirely by religion.

    Most grips the Islamic fundamentalists have with the US are political, of course.

    But Religion gave them courage, its easier to kill yourself when you know that you'd go to heaven afterward.

    Right, this is the silly shit I was talking about. Acting like "the real issue" is political and not the crazy fundies. While obviously the reason Islamic fundamentalism is popular is because of socio-economic factors it is utterly bizarre to claim that those who are in it are not fundamentalist wackjobs utterly convinced about their religion.

    Religion is their motivating factor.
    It may not have been their motivating factor at the start but it sure as fuck is when they go out bombing.

    Where in the Koran does it say 'strap some RDX to yourself and go blow up the americans?'

    Killing infidels and non-believers is in there.

    Edit: Oh and martyrdom is big when performing the above tasks, which is why suicide bombing is so prevelant.

    I can find the same things in the Bible. The Quarans rules of warfare are complex enough to allow to pick and choose parts of it.
    http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/pub588.pdf

    Couscous on
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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Julius wrote: »
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Fuck, you can believe everything that science has taught us about how the world works and still believe in God. We have figured out the history of this universe back to something like 1 billionth of a second after the Big Bang, but we're drawing a blank before that. Stick God in there and you've got religion and all of science in harmony.

    And everything would be great if people just did that, I would still giggle at it but whatever.


    However, obviously people fucking don't do that. They have to fill entire books with bullshit about their god and what is good behaviour and what is not and shit.

    Oh, no! Opinions about what constitutes moral and immoral behavior. We certainly can't have that kind of stuff floating around! Think of the children!

    Am I to understand that religious folk shouldn't get to write books about their beliefs or talk about them ever? Is that was you're saying? Or is it just people who think differently than you? I'm genuinely trying to understand what you're talking about here.

    They certainly are allowed to write up their books full of silly superstitions and magic, I'm just saying that it is bullshit.

    Julius on
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    Edith UpwardsEdith Upwards Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Evander wrote:
    Where in Judaism does it say anyone is superior?
    For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

    There's a lot more of that sort of thing scattered around, but pretty much every revealed religion preaches that it's native followers are intrinsically better than everyone else, because they're the only ones who accept The Truth™.
    Oh, no! Opinions about what constitutes moral and immoral behavior. We certainly can't have that kind of stuff floating around! Think of the children!

    Am I to understand that religious folk shouldn't get to write books about their beliefs or talk about them ever? Is that was you're saying? Or is it just people who think differently than you? I'm genuinely trying to understand what you're talking about here.

    So, slavery, kidnapping, polygamy, rape, genocide, pedophilia, and murdering disobediant children are moral acts? Is selling your daughter's hand in marriage at a fixed price(and on a first come first serve basis) a moral act? Or do these things become moral when some asshole thinks that God told him to do them?

    Let's not even get started on how fucked up Jesus was.

    Edith Upwards on
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    ChillyWillyChillyWilly Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    How does one act flamboyantly atheist any way? Cos play as Darwin and speak with an English accent about how the universe does not require a creator to function?
    Evolution is fully compatible with a creator, so I dunno about that.

    Not really.

    How is it not?

    ChillyWilly on
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    surrealitychecksurrealitycheck lonely, but not unloved dreaming of faulty keys and latchesRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    You might claim that it is not really her religious belief which motivates her, or, perhaps more cautiously, that even if her religious belief were absent there would still be some other causal factor which would lead to the same result. But that is a substantial empirical claim for which I've seen no evidence adduced whatsoever. In general, we take people at their word when they explain why they do the things they do; we require some sort of reason to think that they are confused or lying about their own motivation. But here the only reason we take religious people to be confused about their motivation is wishful thinking--it certainly would be convenient if religion weren't actually responsible for any of the bad behavior, but rather, only for the good.

    It's just part of the standard defence of any religious idea where people say "it's not the religion really, it's just the poverty", or "it's some other idea that uses the religion as a conduit". You can use this to rob any idea of its causative power just by moving further back in the causal chain and saying that's the real cause. It's kind of intellectually bankrupt, but you see it all the time.

    surrealitycheck on
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    mynameisguidomynameisguido Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    You might claim that it is not really her religious belief which motivates her, or, perhaps more cautiously, that even if her religious belief were absent there would still be some other causal factor which would lead to the same result. But that is a substantial empirical claim for which I've seen no evidence adduced whatsoever. In general, we take people at their word when they explain why they do the things they do; we require some sort of reason to think that they are confused or lying about their own motivation. But here the only reason we take religious people to be confused about their motivation is wishful thinking--it certainly would be convenient if religion weren't actually responsible for any of the bad behavior, but rather, only for the good.

    It's just part of the standard defence of any religious idea where people say "it's not the religion really, it's just the poverty", or "it's some other idea that uses the religion as a conduit". You can use this to rob any idea of its causative power just by moving further back in the causal chain and saying that's the real cause. It's kind of intellectually bankrupt, but you see it all the time.

    They want credit when something good happens in the name of religion but none of the blame when something bad happens in the name of religion.

    mynameisguido on
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    LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    You might claim that it is not really her religious belief which motivates her, or, perhaps more cautiously, that even if her religious belief were absent there would still be some other causal factor which would lead to the same result. But that is a substantial empirical claim for which I've seen no evidence adduced whatsoever. In general, we take people at their word when they explain why they do the things they do; we require some sort of reason to think that they are confused or lying about their own motivation. But here the only reason we take religious people to be confused about their motivation is wishful thinking--it certainly would be convenient if religion weren't actually responsible for any of the bad behavior, but rather, only for the good.

    It's just part of the standard defence of any religious idea where people say "it's not the religion really, it's just the poverty", or "it's some other idea that uses the religion as a conduit". You can use this to rob any idea of its causative power just by moving further back in the causal chain and saying that's the real cause. It's kind of intellectually bankrupt, but you see it all the time.

    That's not limited to defending theism, as some atheists can and do also move around the presumed causal chain or simply invent new ones in order to paint religious faith as the cause for all (or just most) bad things and not the cause for any positive things.

    Lawndart on
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    The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Distancing oneself from intellectual frauds like Christopher Hitchens would be one of the most positive things any "progressive" could possibly do.

    Fuck off.

    Christopher Hitchens is one of the only reasons anyone knows of the criminal debauchery of Henry Kissinger, and this fact by itself should be enough to earn him the respect of anyone who appreciates intellectual honesty during a time when the almost universal consensus in the west was that Kissinger was a saint burdened with an unsolvable problem.

    If you don't agree with his support of the Bush administration or his departure from Trotsky, fine - I don't agree with either of those things either. But decrying him as a 'fraud' and suddenly turning on him is proving the point that he has always made, and the reason he decided to break away from many of his colleagues on the left: that there is a status quo even among the progressives, and if you break this status quo you will be ostracized just as violently as you would be on the right side of the spectrum.

    The Ender on
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    surrealitychecksurrealitycheck lonely, but not unloved dreaming of faulty keys and latchesRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    That's not limited to defending theism, as atheists can also move around the presumed causal chain or simply invent new ones in order to paint religious faith as the cause for all (or just most) bad things and not the cause for any positive things.

    Oh definitely. Everybody does it because if you like an idea there's no way it made something bad happen. I just like poking people who do it until they come to the conclusion that no idea makes anybody do anything ever.

    surrealitycheck on
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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    YodaTuna wrote: »
    L|ama wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    TheOrange wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    How does one act flamboyantly atheist any way? Cos play as Darwin and speak with an English accent about how the universe does not require a creator to function?

    Well, many people feel that (just to use the two most prominent examples) Hitchens & Harris both go too far when they argue that the hijackers who flew the planes into the WTC complex & Pentagon (and wherever the 3rd plane's intended destination was before the passengers intervened) were motivated almost entirely by religion.

    Most grips the Islamic fundamentalists have with the US are political, of course.

    But Religion gave them courage, its easier to kill yourself when you know that you'd go to heaven afterward.

    Right, this is the silly shit I was talking about. Acting like "the real issue" is political and not the crazy fundies. While obviously the reason Islamic fundamentalism is popular is because of socio-economic factors it is utterly bizarre to claim that those who are in it are not fundamentalist wackjobs utterly convinced about their religion.

    Religion is their motivating factor.
    It may not have been their motivating factor at the start but it sure as fuck is when they go out bombing.

    Where in the Koran does it say 'strap some RDX to yourself and go blow up the americans?'

    Killing infidels and non-believers is in there.

    Edit: Oh and martyrdom is big when performing the above tasks, which is why suicide bombing is so prevelant.

    I can find the same things in the Bible. The Quarans rules of warfare are complex enough to allow to pick and choose parts of it.
    http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/pub588.pdf

    I don't think anyone is arguing that the bible isn't full of bullshit either.

    Julius on
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    LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    LadyM wrote: »
    It doesn't mean they're "better", but you will find people all over the place arguing it just the same. "Black people aren't as smart as white people because they didn't have to evolve to be smart, because Africa is HOT!" I seriously doubt erasing religion from the mental landscape will make people any less horrible than they are. They'll simply find new reasons to be awful to someone.

    So you would propose that we shouldn't get rid of racism, because well people will always be dicks?

    Leitner on
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    ChillyWillyChillyWilly Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Julius wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Fuck, you can believe everything that science has taught us about how the world works and still believe in God. We have figured out the history of this universe back to something like 1 billionth of a second after the Big Bang, but we're drawing a blank before that. Stick God in there and you've got religion and all of science in harmony.

    And everything would be great if people just did that, I would still giggle at it but whatever.


    However, obviously people fucking don't do that. They have to fill entire books with bullshit about their god and what is good behaviour and what is not and shit.

    Oh, no! Opinions about what constitutes moral and immoral behavior. We certainly can't have that kind of stuff floating around! Think of the children!

    Am I to understand that religious folk shouldn't get to write books about their beliefs or talk about them ever? Is that was you're saying? Or is it just people who think differently than you? I'm genuinely trying to understand what you're talking about here.

    They certainly are allowed to write up their books full of silly superstitions and magic, I'm just saying that it is bullshit.

    Cool. You just sounded so angry that religious folks would dare to write their beliefs in a book that I had to ask if you thought they actually had the right to do it in the first place.

    What's with all the anger, anyway? Why you mad?

    ChillyWilly on
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    Fallout2manFallout2man Vault Dweller Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Lawndart wrote: »
    That's not limited to defending theism, as some atheists can and do also move around the presumed causal chain or simply invent new ones in order to paint religious faith as the cause for all (or just most) bad things and not the cause for any positive things.

    Still I think that it can be argued that there's an inherent moral good in removing people's excuses for Bad Behavior until said Bad Behavior finally is dealt with completely.

    Fallout2man on
    On Ignorance:
    Kana wrote:
    If the best you can come up with against someone who's patently ignorant is to yell back at him, "Yeah? Well there's BOOKS, and they say you're WRONG!"

    Then honestly you're not coming out of this looking great either.
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    ProhassProhass Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I dont really get the whole "you shouldnt bring up religion." I mean yeah of course with people you dont know, but with my agnostic and theist friends it rarely ends in a fight unless we are drunk. And ive had worse fights over sillier and less relevant things.

    Also I agree with Sam Harris that atheism is an unnecessary and problematic word, because its really not even what defines most militant atheists, they are more motivated by anti-theism and specific actions of theologians and the ideas of various theologies.

    Also no intellectually honest atheist is against prothlytising, it is after all the voicing of ideas, what most militant atheists actually want is MORE discussion, not less, they dont want to shut the religious up, they just want to be able to talk back.

    Again what Sam Harris says about this is pretty much my view. We dont make laws to ban people who believe Elvis is alive from voicing their opinions, but we dont 'respect' them as a rule, and it is pretty much a non-issue to belittle such an opinion, and have them be offended by your belittling.

    I cant believe that people still ask me the "why are you so mad?" atheist question. Why arent you, even as a theist?? Theres a difference between being mad and being passionate.

    Any atheist that says he wants to destroy religion or that all religion is bad all the time and is pure evil, is still an atheist, but hes also a jerk. Im sure hes also fat, and bald. It has nothing to do with NOT accepting theistic arguments, which is what atheism is.

    Prohass on
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    YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Julius wrote: »
    You're making it sound like people can't really believe in religion.

    I'm going to go out on a crazy limb and say that there is an argument for this. At least to the point for most people where religion doesn't impact any of their life choices so actually being religious doesn't mean anything.

    I don't remember the exact example, I think it was in one of Dawkins books. An entire city's police force goes on strike and there is massive amounts of looting by huge portions of the population. The religious breakdown on those weighed heavily towards self proclaimed religious people. Earthly law enforcement was keeping them from looting originally, not godly law enforcement.

    You will see a similar thing in the prison system of the US. Less than half a percent is atheist, much smaller than the actual percentage that should be, while the percentage of religious inmates is much higher than the general population.

    These facts are usually brought up to support the idea that religion is not the basis of morality and I think it makes that point very well. But like I mentioned before, if religion isn't making an influence on the life choices of people, what's the point?

    YodaTuna on
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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    The Ender wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    How does one act flamboyantly atheist any way? Cos play as Darwin and speak with an English accent about how the universe does not require a creator to function?

    Well, many people feel that (just to use the two most prominent examples) Hitchens & Harris both go too far when they argue that the hijackers who flew the planes into the WTC complex & Pentagon (and wherever the 3rd plane's intended destination was before the passengers intervened) were motivated almost entirely by religion.

    THEY DID IT BECAUSE OF GEOPOLITICS!


    I think that's actually a very interesting point that Hitchens brought up, for some weird reason the agnostic/atheist defenders of religion always seem to doubt that people can sincerely BELIEF in their faith. It actually strikes me as far more condescending towards those of faith to claim that their actions are primarily motivated by factors other than faith (be they poverty or culture or whatever).

    I'm agnostic on the specific issue of what the primary motivations of the hijackers were; I have enormous respect for Christopher Hitchens, but I don't feel that he's put together a solid case indicting the Islamic faith (as Scott Atran has said, there are perhaps about a billion muslims in the world. If the culture of violent martyrdom is as endemic to the Islamic faith as Harris & Hitchens argue, why doesn't the data reflect this? Why isn't there a very clear positive correlation between suicide attacks/bombings and muslims?).

    I think it's just as likely that the hijackers had some negative personal convictions about westerners, the United States and the influence of things traditionally thought of in contemporary times as American/Western European (like pornography).


    What we really need is more information before anyone can lay claim to the conclusive answers about suicide bombings.

    Aside from the fact that all muslims (not just arabs) do love themselves some martyrdom I do see your point. Obviously those guys had a hate-on for the US but why wouldn't that be part of their religious indoctrination?

    More to the point, why do people insist on ascribing any reason but religion to them? Even when these guys have a video-testament where they talk about HOW MUCH THEIR RELIGION MATTERS TO THEM AND THEREFORE THEY ARE BOMBING!

    Julius on
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    ChillyWillyChillyWilly Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    YodaTuna wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Fuck, you can believe everything that science has taught us about how the world works and still believe in God. We have figured out the history of this universe back to something like 1 billionth of a second after the Big Bang, but we're drawing a blank before that. Stick God in there and you've got religion and all of science in harmony.

    And everything would be great if people just did that, I would still giggle at it but whatever.


    However, obviously people fucking don't do that. They have to fill entire books with bullshit about their god and what is good behaviour and what is not and shit.

    Oh, no! Opinions about what constitutes moral and immoral behavior. We certainly can't have that kind of stuff floating around! Think of the children!

    Do you honestly think that religious texts should be a primary source of moral behavior?

    I think religious texts have plenty of useful guidelines in them that most people would agree to (thou shalt not kill and love thy neighbor as thyself, for example). Personally, I think most of those guidelines are pretty good and even in a secular society would be pretty awesome.

    Do I think we should pull up Old Testament Jewish laws in Leviticus and apply them to every day life? Nope. But I do believe that religious texts (the Bible for me, specifically, as I'm a Christian) hold useful information for both religious and non-religious people, especially regarding moral behavior. I realize that I'm not going to agree on every little thing with someone who isn't Christian, but a lot of the basics are excellent standards of moral behavior.

    And no, I'm talking about perceived "gay bashing" or any of that other silliness that is supposedly in the Bible. I'm just talking about regular every day moral behavior.

    ChillyWilly on
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    TaxexemptionTaxexemption Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Its important for people to express their views whatever it may be, it is also important not to force your views onto others. Reality is inscrutable, the nature of all things cannot be comprehended by the human mind, for one to say that they know the nature of reality is to err. Reality is unknowable.


    In my personal opinion God is bigger than any one religion. Is God black or white, or is he both? Does he favor one race over another? Why? What is the purpose of all things? Even if you go into the details of a religion, there is always unanswered questions. So you die and Go to heaven, what happens six months later? What is the significance of that event happening? Couldn't God have made that to happen without you having ever existed?


    You want it to be one way, but it may very well be the other. God didn't mean for you to know with a certainty that he existed. He wanted there to be a great room for doubt, for man to go on through his life always wondering, and never knowing. Such is the nature of man in this life. Life is an experience, if you didn't go through this world, you would never appreciate another.


    Nothing ever really ends.

    Taxexemption on
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    mynameisguidomynameisguido Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    YodaTuna wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Fuck, you can believe everything that science has taught us about how the world works and still believe in God. We have figured out the history of this universe back to something like 1 billionth of a second after the Big Bang, but we're drawing a blank before that. Stick God in there and you've got religion and all of science in harmony.

    And everything would be great if people just did that, I would still giggle at it but whatever.


    However, obviously people fucking don't do that. They have to fill entire books with bullshit about their god and what is good behaviour and what is not and shit.

    Oh, no! Opinions about what constitutes moral and immoral behavior. We certainly can't have that kind of stuff floating around! Think of the children!

    Do you honestly think that religious texts should be a primary source of moral behavior?

    I think religious texts have plenty of useful guidelines in them that most people would agree to (thou shalt not kill and love thy neighbor as thyself, for example). Personally, I think most of those guidelines are pretty good and even in a secular society would be pretty awesome.

    Do I think we should pull up Old Testament Jewish laws in Leviticus and apply them to every day life? Nope. But I do believe that religious texts (the Bible for me, specifically, as I'm a Christian) hold useful information for both religious and non-religious people, especially regarding moral behavior. I realize that I'm not going to agree on every little thing with someone who isn't Christian, but a lot of the basics are excellent standards of moral behavior.

    And no, I'm talking about perceived "gay bashing" or any of that other silliness that is supposedly in the Bible. I'm just talking about regular every day moral behavior.

    So what you're saying is that religious texts are great for providing moral guidelines as long you ignore the stuff that isn't so great?

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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited December 2010
    The Ender wrote: »
    Distancing oneself from intellectual frauds like Christopher Hitchens would be one of the most positive things any "progressive" could possibly do.

    Fuck off.

    Here is a helpful example of how we don't conduct ourselves!

    If anyone finds this a tremendously difficult or challenging concept, they may excuse themselves from the thread with my blessing.

    Jacobkosh on
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    ProhassProhass Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Yes they do 'hold' useful information. But that information was held in other texts, and has been held by most societies that dont want to collapse into themselves since the dawn of societies.

    Prohass on
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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Julius wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Fuck, you can believe everything that science has taught us about how the world works and still believe in God. We have figured out the history of this universe back to something like 1 billionth of a second after the Big Bang, but we're drawing a blank before that. Stick God in there and you've got religion and all of science in harmony.

    And everything would be great if people just did that, I would still giggle at it but whatever.


    However, obviously people fucking don't do that. They have to fill entire books with bullshit about their god and what is good behaviour and what is not and shit.

    Oh, no! Opinions about what constitutes moral and immoral behavior. We certainly can't have that kind of stuff floating around! Think of the children!

    Am I to understand that religious folk shouldn't get to write books about their beliefs or talk about them ever? Is that was you're saying? Or is it just people who think differently than you? I'm genuinely trying to understand what you're talking about here.

    They certainly are allowed to write up their books full of silly superstitions and magic, I'm just saying that it is bullshit.

    Cool. You just sounded so angry that religious folks would dare to write their beliefs in a book that I had to ask if you thought they actually had the right to do it in the first place.

    What's with all the anger, anyway? Why you mad?

    I am way too much in love with our freedoms to ever stop someone from using them, even when I disagree with what they say.

    Also, I'm not angry. I live in the Netherlands, most of what religious parties here can do is complain about stores being open on sunday and how all or their precious morals are being destroyed or whatever.

    Julius on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited December 2010
    So what you're saying is that religious texts are great for providing moral guidelines as long you ignore the stuff that isn't so great?

    is this really that bizarre of a notion? I regularly consume and enjoy works of art that contain some ideas I find beautiful or illuminating and others I find reprehensible.

    Jacobkosh on
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    DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    YodaTuna wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Fuck, you can believe everything that science has taught us about how the world works and still believe in God. We have figured out the history of this universe back to something like 1 billionth of a second after the Big Bang, but we're drawing a blank before that. Stick God in there and you've got religion and all of science in harmony.

    And everything would be great if people just did that, I would still giggle at it but whatever.


    However, obviously people fucking don't do that. They have to fill entire books with bullshit about their god and what is good behaviour and what is not and shit.

    Oh, no! Opinions about what constitutes moral and immoral behavior. We certainly can't have that kind of stuff floating around! Think of the children!

    Do you honestly think that religious texts should be a primary source of moral behavior?

    I think religious texts have plenty of useful guidelines in them that most people would agree to (thou shalt not kill and love thy neighbor as thyself, for example). Personally, I think most of those guidelines are pretty good and even in a secular society would be pretty awesome.
    do you seriously think no one would have thought of those without Religion? These have to be the most obvious guidelines since the lyrics to The Gambler on playing poker.

    DanHibiki on
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    ProhassProhass Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    So what you're saying is that religious texts are great for providing moral guidelines as long you ignore the stuff that isn't so great?

    is this really that bizarre of a notion? I regularly consume and enjoy works of art that contain some ideas I find beautiful or illuminating and others I find reprehensible.

    Of course not, but its therefore the ideas themselves, not the book, which are of worth, and therefore worth defending.

    Again, no atheist has any reason to object to the Bible or the Koran or religious thought itself BECAUSE of their atheism. They object to the concepts of god for the same reason we object to every other concept which has no evidence and no observable proof.

    The bible, the koran, have great ideas in them, and are thoroughly boring and unremarkable books in their own right. As an Atheist im willing to incorporate their ideas if they are good ones, I am however not willing to therefore grant them sacrosanct status as works of supernatural origin which can never be surpassed. Which is what the books themselves argue for.

    So you either accept that the books are by humans and view them as any other book. Or they are divinely inspired, supernatural or god-made. Which is the more defensible position, and the position by which we should organise our lives and societies around?

    Prohass on
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    ChillyWillyChillyWilly Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Julius wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    How does one act flamboyantly atheist any way? Cos play as Darwin and speak with an English accent about how the universe does not require a creator to function?

    Well, many people feel that (just to use the two most prominent examples) Hitchens & Harris both go too far when they argue that the hijackers who flew the planes into the WTC complex & Pentagon (and wherever the 3rd plane's intended destination was before the passengers intervened) were motivated almost entirely by religion.

    THEY DID IT BECAUSE OF GEOPOLITICS!


    I think that's actually a very interesting point that Hitchens brought up, for some weird reason the agnostic/atheist defenders of religion always seem to doubt that people can sincerely BELIEF in their faith. It actually strikes me as far more condescending towards those of faith to claim that their actions are primarily motivated by factors other than faith (be they poverty or culture or whatever).

    I'm agnostic on the specific issue of what the primary motivations of the hijackers were; I have enormous respect for Christopher Hitchens, but I don't feel that he's put together a solid case indicting the Islamic faith (as Scott Atran has said, there are perhaps about a billion muslims in the world. If the culture of violent martyrdom is as endemic to the Islamic faith as Harris & Hitchens argue, why doesn't the data reflect this? Why isn't there a very clear positive correlation between suicide attacks/bombings and muslims?).

    I think it's just as likely that the hijackers had some negative personal convictions about westerners, the United States and the influence of things traditionally thought of in contemporary times as American/Western European (like pornography).


    What we really need is more information before anyone can lay claim to the conclusive answers about suicide bombings.

    Aside from the fact that all muslims (not just arabs) do love themselves some martyrdom I do see your point. Obviously those guys had a hate-on for the US but why wouldn't that be part of their religious indoctrination?

    More to the point, why do people insist on ascribing any reason but religion to them? Even when these guys have a video-testament where they talk about HOW MUCH THEIR RELIGION MATTERS TO THEM AND THEREFORE THEY ARE BOMBING!

    Religion in general does not = religion used to brainwash people.

    People can be swayed by monetary gain, politics, family ties, etc...things that have nothing to do with religion in the slightest. To say that, above all else, religion is most definitely the worst thing on the planet is a ridiculous statement. It can be used as a tool just like anything else, but that doesn't mean that religion itself is inherently bad or that all people who practice a religion are fucked up and brainwashed.

    ChillyWilly on
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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Distancing oneself from intellectual frauds like Christopher Hitchens would be one of the most positive things any "progressive" could possibly do.

    Fuck off.

    Here is a helpful example of how we don't conduct ourselves!

    If anyone finds this a tremendously difficult or challenging concept, they may excuse themselves from the thread with my blessing.

    Hey man he called Christopher Hitchens an intellectual fraud. Insulting Our Glorious Leader is uncalled for.

    Julius on
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    Edith UpwardsEdith Upwards Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    It's just part of the standard defence of any religious idea where people say "it's not the religion really, it's just the poverty", or "it's some other idea that uses the religion as a conduit". You can use this to rob any idea of its causative power just by moving further back in the causal chain and saying that's the real cause. It's kind of intellectually bankrupt, but you see it all the time.

    Wasn't this Jack Thompson's argument against vidya gaems?

    ALSO:Evolution is pretty damn compatible with the existence of a creator god, I mean, most of the Founding Fathers were mechanistic unitarians.

    Edith Upwards on
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    ChillyWillyChillyWilly Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Prohass wrote: »
    Yes they do 'hold' useful information. But that information was held in other texts, and has been held by most societies that dont want to collapse into themselves since the dawn of societies.

    Point being? Just because the information may have been somewhere else before doesn't suddenly decrease it's value.

    ChillyWilly on
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    ChillyWillyChillyWilly Registered User regular
    edited December 2010

    So what you're saying is that religious texts are great for providing moral guidelines as long you ignore the stuff that isn't so great?

    Define "stuff that isn't so great" and maybe I can give an answer.

    ChillyWilly on
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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    So what you're saying is that religious texts are great for providing moral guidelines as long you ignore the stuff that isn't so great?

    is this really that bizarre of a notion? I regularly consume and enjoy works of art that contain some ideas I find beautiful or illuminating and others I find reprehensible.

    It's a bizarre notion because that religious text is pretty clear that you shouldn't do that.

    Julius on
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    ProhassProhass Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Prohass wrote: »
    Yes they do 'hold' useful information. But that information was held in other texts, and has been held by most societies that dont want to collapse into themselves since the dawn of societies.

    Point being? Just because the information may have been somewhere else before doesn't suddenly decrease it's value.

    No of course not, who is arguing that?

    As Julius said. You may pick and choose, of course, thats what we do with every book. And thats what the bible is, a book.

    What does decrease the bible's 'value' is every other sentence outside the few niceties and notable metaphors. This does not mean we should dismiss it, or burn it, or not be able to dismiss, it or be prevented from burning it. But we also shouldnt give it credit for moral profundities which it claims to be the sole proprietor of, when it clearly isnt.

    The problem with arguments around religion and atheism is that often people are tackling too broad a topic, I talk on these points when specific subjects are raised. Having a "religion" talk is dumb, or an "atheism" talk, but discussing specific ideas, topics or bits of evidence like the moral usefulness of the bible or its divine-nature are perfectly reasonable discussions that everyone should have and should not shy away from. There is no reason to, other than simply not wanting to talk about it, which is fine, but also not an excuse to demand others NOT talk about it.

    Prohass on
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