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BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism

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Subject: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 11:49 AM

I remember that in 2007 there were threads with all kinds of things with President Obama and other figures. As I recall it was Amos' doing mostly.

Maybe we can do the same with this controversy.

We can start off with this, which is not my point of view, which is well written and encapsulates a specific point of view.

Opinion: Atheism is religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: frogprince
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 01:34 PM

Well written? It might be possible to paint all atheists with a broader brush, and define them with more reaction and less logic, but it wouldn't be easy. In a word, it's what is to be expected from Fox.
(And yes, Jack, I saw your note that it doesn't represent your stance).


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: frogprince
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 01:38 PM

And I'm already regretting posting to this, as I don't see how it will lead to anything except more of the usual suspects going around in the same circles.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 01:57 PM

Dunno about atheism. Music is my religion. This is my current book of hymns. Enjoy!

Piedra sobre piedra


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 02:00 PM

'Reflections on Religion and Atheism'? And what were all the other threads on this tired subject?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 02:30 PM

You can't win an argument who bases it on "faith". There is no logic involved.

Another report, not Fox News

He was handed a defeat by students who voted for the Archbishop. This could have been that the students were predisposed toward "faith" but it in no way invalidates what Dawkins is saying. It just means he wasn't popular, that's all.

If this thread is so tired, why does it keep popping up on Mudcat under various titles?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 02:56 PM

Jack, you appear to be obsessive and neurotic. You must be an absolute bastard to live with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 03:00 PM

Thank you Steve. A real compliment coming from you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Ed T
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 03:33 PM

Why not start a thread titled "only what has not been said before on Mudcat on religion and atheism", and see if there are any posts?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 04:46 PM

Well the point of this one like Amos' about candidate Obama is to put new developments on it. If I get 7-8 complaints per post, after a while it will be a very large thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 05:24 PM

Right.
We need another atheism thread.
Like hell we do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 07:05 PM

My religion's Atheism, not because Atheism's a Religion you understand, but it can be someone's religion in the same way that Religion can be someone's religion, even if they don't take it Religiously (I've known a few), unlike the Religious, who take their Religion very Religiously indeed. I'm not Religious about my religion because my religion isn't a Religious sort of religion, it's a very non-Religious sort of religion; in fact, it's the sort of religion that the Religious would have good reason not to find Religious at all, maybe a little sacrilegious, but sacrilege is cool because it doesn't take Religion Religiously but understands that it's going to be different for everyone anyway, and the trouble starts when people start take offence over other folks' religion be they Religious Religions or non-Religious religions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 07:45 PM

Atheism is such a stupid word. Like when you were a kid and kept repeating a particular word until it became utterly senseless. Maybe that's what Jacko's trying to do. Make us keep saying "atheist" until we think it's senseless.

Nah. He's not that clever.

It is a stupid word though. My one issue with Richard Dawkins is that he didn't ditch that word. I hate saying that I'm an atheist (though I am one, 99%, sort of). "A" means "not", or "without". "Theist" means something or other to do with someone's God. I'm not without someone's God though. I'm not involved. That's only what they think, because they have a God of some sort that they appear to have invented, and I don't agree (I can only be 99.9% certain that he's only invented, though. Grrr). But I wouldn't be an atheist had they not invented him. It's only because they invented him that I'm here. Had no-one ever thought to invent God, there would be no faith and no atheists. So I have to ask myself what I've done to be an atheist. The answer is, nothing. Tell me that you believe the moon is made of green cheese. Well, I don't believe that (though I can only be 99.9% certain that the moon isn't made of green cheese). You've made a ludicrous assertion that can't be backed up with evidence (a bit like your God) but which I can't actually decisively disprove. So I have to spend the rest of my days as an agreencheeseist. Had you not come up with your ridiculous notion (but which you were very careful to construct in such a way that it couldn't be disproved, as with your God), I wouldn't be an agreencheeseist. I'm an agreencheeseist only because greencheeseists invented me. I didn't do anything to be branded an agreencheeseist (except try to be rational), but I appear to be stuck with it. I hope you can see why I feel a bit cross when I'm branded "atheist" all the time before I can have a discussion about this stuff. My position is carved out for me by believers even before I open my mouth. I spend all my atheistic life trying to not allow myself to have to argue from believer territory, yet the word I have applied to me does that every time. Grrr. But I'm not bitter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 07:52 PM

I prefer 'humanist'...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 08:26 PM

>>Honestly – comically – some atheists must type the word "God" on the Internet five times more often than most Christians I know and they do it with the fury of a fire-and-brimstone zealot!<<

Honestly? Well, then, I assume the author has proof. Do you, as I, get the feeling he doesn't? As for the fury with which atheists write, I guess I'll take his word for it because I don't know what he's talking about. Do you, as I, get the feeling he doesn't either?

>>Instead of just ignoring God, or the idea of God, atheist preachers feel somehow compelled to rid the Earth of him; so they argue endlessly that theists can't prove God exists without confessing that they can't prove he doesn't either.<<

I suppose it bears endless repeatings that the atheist doesn't have the burden of proof. If I say there is a 50 ft long, invisible UFO floating over your head what follows you everywhere you go and can pass through solid walls, wouldn't it be my job to prove it BEFORE I expect you to believe it? I mean, really.

>>They worship a God that loses his car keys when they are in his hand, or that misplaces the glasses on his face – a God filled with flaws and inadequacies, and a God (themselves) whose probability of helping them supernaturally is absolutely zero.<<

The atheist worships himself? Hmm. So when a Christian or Islamic zealot presumes to tell everybody what his god wants and does not want, he's not actually making himself god in the process? But the atheist, who does nothing of the sort, does make himself god?? Interesting...uhhh...reasoning.

One of the nice things about the Christian God is that he seems to be as concerned about those that do not believe as those who do.


>>For C.S. Lewis, the iconic British scholar, was himself a convert from the religion of the atheism to the religion of Christianity because, as he later said: "atheism turns out to be too simple."<<

Well, he's right. You see, Lewis didn't become a Christian in any sense that most Christians today would recognize or accept as an atheist. He realized, as I have, that there is power in these old myths as long as you understand that a myth is neither a falsehood (atheist) nor history (Christian).

>>Oddly enough, atheists often accuse theists of being the simple ones. We are "anti-intellectual," they say, and in so doing they become exactly what they accuse us of being.<<

No, you theists ARE anti-intellectual. No doubt about it. My beef with a lot of atheists is, as Lewis says, that they have stripped things down too far. Christianity is a gem in the middle of gigantic pile of worthless stinking shit. Unable to find the gem, atheists have declared there isn't one. Christians otoh are offended for having their shit called shit. That's anti-intellectual to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: olddude
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 10:00 PM

naw i am done with the religion and atheism stuff. The well went dry.. it is like talking to a rock anyway. I must be the only one that misses some great catters like Jerry or Dwditty.

Anyway wanna talk about pocket watches. I got a great thread


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 02:10 AM

I love you olddude. But my only story about pocket watches is too sad to relate. Outside of that story, I have no interest in the subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 04:08 AM

Yeah Joe. Like we need another religion thread either. Sorry but the title includes putting religion in the same basket as lack of religion. Blame Sailor boy, it helps keep a perspective.

When I saw this thread I dismissed it as BOHICA.

Putting belief and lack of belief in the same sentence and asking for a view is like asking restaurant goers for their view on diesel versus petrol cars. Sure, you would get views but a restaurant isn't the obvious place to conduct the survey, a car showroom would be more appropriate.

Lack of religion is not a stance or a decision. Some have made a decision but the majority of people here in The UK only utter the word Jesus when trapping their finger in a door. Proof of heritage but not of conscious affirmation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 04:54 AM

The number of threads on atheism is now approaching the level of persecution that that Jack and his P.R. team are snivelling about, an indication of who is persecuting whom. If it was one of us non-believers that started this you might have a point and I'm sure you'd be the first one to say so.
I'm beginning to look forward to the next visit of the Jehovah's Witnesses as light relief; a little 'overkill' don't you think Jack - give us a copy of you magazine and go away.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 05:23 PM

i agree that jack has started a lot of related threads lately,but prior to this spate the only other thread that related to this topic and was kents on creationism,best i can recall.
so atheist talk of their being persecuted is a little far fetched IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 05:40 PM

Where has any atheist around here complained of any 'persecution', pete? I expect people to argue with me ~~ that's what a forum is for; but I don't feel in the least persecuted.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 06:14 PM

i was referring to jims directly above mine.i am glad that you dont feel persecuted.to be honest,neither do i despite the insults.there are christians in some countries that do know real persecution.

i also meant to add in last post that most posts on the subject were began by atheists.the exception being kents,prior to jack floating the current batch.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 06:26 PM

If you have a real interest in the topic, read this, then look it up and order a full copy. You will seldom find a better analysis.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 06:41 PM

Even better... read his other book online- "Faith of a Heretic"

Here is his summary of it.

Walter Kaufmann was a Protestant Christian who became a Jew... then an 'atheist' of sorts.... and a tenured philosopher at Princeton. His reasoned approach was my early introduction to the idea of knowing all sides of the question. I heard him speak in 1959.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 06:45 PM

link to the downloads page(several formats)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 06:49 PM

Is God a bully?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,ollaimh
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 07:49 PM

in my experience most atheists and agnostics are quite about it. it religious people who are constatntly trumpeting their rightness, and righteousness. it's only recently we have seen a few atheists go public and the extreme over reaction from fundamentalists shows how weak their beliefs and ideas are. the almost never address the arguments of atheists, but instead exagerate them out of all proportion and attack the silly versions they have made up. it's called a staw man argument.

i know of no atheists who have cost another a job or housing or even a social position because they were religious. religious people do that kind of discrimination all the time.

most atheists and agnostic don't bother to argue with believers because we know how intellectually challenged they are it they will only get angry, and often lash out in violence or discrimination.

i should include fundamentalist muslims and jews in this, as well as christians.

really get over your selves. atheists and agnostics do not try to force their beliefs on you, they don't try to edit science in the schools to meets their ideas, they don't discriminate against theists. theists on the other hand think any questions are a direct discrimination against them. i am tired of the fatuous article like the one sailor started with, they preach only to the converted.

of course i also think theists have caused much of the war, child abuse and pollution in our world.they forgibe thenselves anything, child rape, war and toture, while never forgiving anyone asking obvious questions


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 08:24 PM

I tend to agree with Guest/ollaimh in his post. In my experience, those who truly are convinced of the rightness of their beliefs tend to be peaceful about it- they don't need others' affirmation and acquiescence. They largely avoid confrontation and conflict.


* The person secure in their marriage does not feel threatened by the existence of homosexual marriage.
* The person secure in their sexuality is not threatened by others' sexuality.

I'll bet that's true of a number of other controversies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 08:26 PM

so atheist talk of their being persecuted is a little far fetched IMO.

Far from feeling persecuted, pete, every time we read one of your posts we feel incredibly amused. Please don't stop, as the duchess said to the vicar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 10:31 PM

FUTWICK Thank you reading the article. Like you I am not convinced that he has made his argument. But lets look at who he is.

Johnnie Moore is the author of a new book about Jesus called Dirty God (#DirtyGod). He is a Professor of Religion and Vice President of Liberty University

If anyone is going to be approached by fiery atheist zealots, I think it is he. It is almost certain that he is confronted online by people who have read the works of the New Atheists, have been inspired and want to try out their chops. But fire and brimstone preachers make a good living and Internet arguers have to make a living so comparing them one to one is hardly fair. It really seems to me that Johnnie Moore is exaggerating to push his point.

I think for me the problem with the New atheists is just this. Confronting people like Johnnie Moore and calling them names is not going to help the world move toward reason. In fact it moves society in the direction of chaos.


You said this.

"Well, he's right. You see, Lewis didn't become a Christian in any sense that most Christians today would recognize or accept as an atheist. He realized, as I have, that there is power in these old myths as long as you understand that a myth is neither a falsehood (atheist) nor history (Christian)."


I don't understand what you are saying. Where I am from C.S. Lewis is well respected in Christian Circles and was recommended reading in my fathers Church (United Church of Canada)for doubters and well respected among protestant ministers in my home town. I have no way of knowing how widespread this was in Canada but I don't think any Christian who reads his works sees him as an atheist.

I think that a lot of Christians do appreciate the Christian Lewis became and they regularly read his books about becoming Christian, staying Christian and avoiding temptation.

His "Screwtape Letters" seem to me be like just the type of pushing ideas on children that Mr. Dawkins decries.

Many of his works were written to bring children to the Faith and keep them in the Faith.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 10:40 PM

Is God a Bully?

A lot of atheists imply God being a bully in their eyes is one of the reasons they rejected the teachings of their childhood. This preacher has a fairly novel approach.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 11:02 PM

Well Jack ya know i can get ya a pocket watch, got lots of em, then you can join the thread. I use to like Jerry's sitting at the kitchen table thread. I think he had about 7 years of conversation on that puppy. But it is no more. He was bad mouthed to the point where he couldn't take it anymore I guess.   One hell of a legendary performer, songwriter and about the best friend one could ask for


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 11:42 PM

No, My pocket watch heart was broken. No more for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Amos
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 11:44 PM

God --Old TEetament notwithstanding -- cannot possibly be a bully, and the concept is self-contradictory. It would be like posing the philosophical question "Is Good really Bad?"; all it would serve to do is torture minds.

If bully ==> NOT God and If God==> NOT bully.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 12:46 AM

Trouble with C S Lewis, he was IMO a poor arguer ~ assertive and often illogical. As Gross said of Lewis's great critical adversary Leavis, he had often the "faintly comic air of having triumphantly demonstrated what had merely been strenuously asserted". I recall a somewhat hysterically Christian girlfriend I had in my undergraduate days who spent much time & energy trying to convert me. We were arguing about marital fidelity once, and she gave me the following to read ~~

"The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ's words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism – for that is what the words 'one flesh' would be in modern English. And the Christians believe that when He said this He was not expressing a sentiment but stating a fact – just as one is stating a fact when one says that a lock and its key are one mechanism, or that a violin and a bow are one musical instrument." (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

She got quite sulky & upset when I pointed out that you could play any violin with any bow and cut as many keys as you wanted for any lock.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Amos
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 12:51 AM

LOL, MgM. You intellectual freebooters are all the same!! :D



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 01:12 AM

'Intellectual freebooter' am I? Cor! Thanks, Amos. Shall remember that about myself, & cite it as a qualification, along with the description of me on another forum as one whose 'pedantry was legendary'!

~M~
[MA
FRSA
IF (Intellectual Freebooter)
OLP (Official Legendary Pedant)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 05:15 AM

I don't know any Christians who take C.S. Lewis quite s literally.   

Tell us something please,

If when you had said

"(Y)ou could play any violin with any bow and cut as many keys as you wanted for any lock."


She had said "Yes but, you can't play a violin with a violin and you can't open a lock with another lock."

Or more to the point, "Let's see if your key fits."

Would you still be together?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 05:39 AM

No, Jack ~~ tho I can't see where your apparent implication of homophobia on CSL's part comes from or in ~~ but we broke up for other reasons; tho not entirely disconnected, as I recall: I couldn't stomach her being taken in at a meeting of that old charlatan 'Dr' [which he wasn't!] Billy Graham & going up at the end to 'acknowledge her faith', or whatever it was the old fraud made people do.

Amos, out of interest, please nominate some other Intellectual Freebooters that I am 'all the same' as. I should just like to know who else is in this club you appear to have founded on my behalf.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 06:35 AM

Come on M~ be fair, I also made a hetero joke.

"I can't see where your apparent implication of homophobia on CSL's part comes from or in"

But you DO see him as having promoted promiscuity? LOL. Interesting.

I think all that he was saying was that man and woman make beautiful music together or some such. He was after all a fantasy writer and he did like allegory. I don't think he ever claimed to have actually read screwtape's letters or to have stepped through a wardrobe into another world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 08:17 AM

Don't put words in my mouth, please Jack. I didn't suggest he 'promoted' anything; simply that the analogies he chose to illustrate the point he was obviously intending to promote were counter-productively flawed and illogical and unconvincing ones.

And you do no favours to him or to yourself or to your argument by trying to equate his explicitly tendentiously discursive writings with his explicitly fictitious ones. Any child over the age of not-very knows the difference between 'a true book' and 'a story book'. Don't you think the same person should be allowed to write both? Just in case we might think that H G Wells, say, who wrote sociological essays and school science textbooks, had actually also invented a working time machine while he was invisible?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 08:32 AM

we might thunk that H G Wells ... had actually also invented a working time machine while he was invisible

Of course he did - we just couldn't see it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 09:04 AM

As I said, I don't know any Christians who take C.S. Lewis quite so literally as you appear to.


"Trouble with C S Lewis, he was IMO a poor arguer ~ assertive and often illogical."

I think your perception of that is tainted by a propensity on your part to look at this from and "arguer's" point of view. I think that Mr. Lewis was quite wise enough to know that arguments do not change minds.

I think that he was a story teller first and foremost and took "debates" as a chance to tell stories.

He realized that when confronted by argumentative people he is under no requirement to play by their rules or to be judged by their standards.

Jesus wasn't much of an arguer either. He just went about making his points through the noise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: olddude
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 09:11 AM

I can fix that jack ... can get you a great replacment


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: olddude
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 09:12 AM

how about a great American wrist watch then, none of those newfangled battery ones


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 09:24 AM

Dan, I've got my eye on a 1950s Gruen at the moment... Swiss movement but a lovely dial and in tip-top condition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 10:39 AM

C S Lewis actually became both a storyteller and a discursive religious writer late in life. He was primarily an Oxford (& later on, Cambridge) literary academic, especially a writer on the works of Milton ~~ his Preface To Paradise Lost was a helpful student guide which I made much use of in my Higher Schools course and my Cambridge entrance exam, in which I was fortunate enough to gain entry to Milton's own college, Christ's [though he had, admittedly, gone down some years {about 325} earlier!]. While there I heard Lewis lecture: whatever his faults, he was certainly a gifted and inspiring lecturer.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 11:03 AM

C.S. Lewis is very admired and revered as a wise and beloved role model by my father. My dad used to organize church events for children in my home town where Lewis based films were shown and attend Bible studies and reading his works were discussed. I think that you and Dad could have quite the warm conversation about his lectures.

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 11:41 AM

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.
C. S. Lewis


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 11:44 AM

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
C. S. Lewis


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 11:57 AM

All sort of inspirational sounding, Jack; but all a bit nebulous in actual intellectual content, it seems to me.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 01:56 PM

He wasn't trying to argue or to impress M~. He was trying to inspire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 02:22 PM

""of course i also think theists have caused much of the war, child abuse and pollution in our world.they forgibe thenselves anything, child rape, war and toture, while never forgiving anyone asking obvious questions""

I do wish that debaters would refrain from aligning "Theists" with the followers of religious organisation.

As one of those Theists, I can confirm that we are set apart from Christians, Muslims, Protestants and all the other groups whose stock in trade is telling their followers what to believe, by the simple fact that we know the difference between "Faith" and "Religion", and don't follow the latter.

It is precisely for this reason that I say I am more at home talking to Atheists, for they are almost sure that there is no God, while I am almost sure there is.

The certainties of the various religions permits of no fruitful discussion.

Don T.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 02:31 PM

I know he was trying to inspire, Jack. My point is that he failed, because his exposition and content were so woolly and imprecise. All part of that 'air of having triumphantly demonstrated what has merely been strenuously asserted' that John Gross described [writing of another critic] as 'faintly comic'. He was a noted academic, for heaven's sake. One should expect some intellectual, not merely vaguely 'inspirational', argument from him, surely?

A bit like an art critic saying, "ooh, aah, this is beautiful" over & over again. I should never bother to look at any art on such a one's recommendation or say-so.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Ed T
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 03:44 PM

Mrs.Brown's reflections to the Mormons


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 06:44 PM

But no mere mere Christian, he (C.S.Lewis) became arguably the leading popular Christian apologist of the 20th century, a defender and explainer of the faith who was hailed by popes, Protestant evangelists, politicians, and other world leaders for his brilliant yet accessible campaign against the rising tide of unbelief in the modern world.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/051212/12lewis.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 12:05 AM

Well, Jack; he might have inspired popes, Protestant evangelists, politicians, and other world leaders - and you.

But his woolly irrational assertiveness sure as hell didn't inspire me.

Sorry and all that...

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans reality check
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 03:54 AM

Here's a reflection on religion and atheism.

Which is least offensive to our self styled religious people, atheism or The Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster?

(Mind you, not The Reformed Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster. Chism inducing bastards. )

Is it any religion that is illogically defended here or just one particular flavour? I think some people are quicker to defend Christianity on these threads rather than religion. ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Dean of Rochester
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 11:12 AM

Good grief people, believe whatever you want to believe, just don't hurt anyone else. We're all on this planet together.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 11:44 AM

This, and the endlessly proliferating similar threads, seem to have got the 'religiosos' going in my part of the world (Manchester, UK). The other day I was approached by two Mormon "Elders" (they were both about 20!) in the city centre. These be-suited young men said that they were from Utah. I welcomed them to the city but, before they started preaching, told them that I wasn't religious and that if they hoped to convert me to their cause they would have to prove that God existed. They said that they couldn't offer such proof and after a further exchange of pleasantries they drifted off, presumably to attempt to convert other, more biddable, Mancunian 'heathens'.

On Saturday I noted an earnest looking bloke, in a local town centre, attempting to inform passing shoppers about "the-good-news-about-this-man-Jesus" ... or something. Passing shoppers ignored him (don't blame them!) and, apart from noting his presence, so did I.

Then, this morning, as I was proceeding towards the local supermarket, to do the weekly shop, I noted two "evangelists" with literature (presumably, telling "the good news etc, etc.")on a trestle table. They too were being ignored.

What is the matter with these people? They completely baffle me!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 12:49 PM

musket - just for myself,i dont feel obliged to defend religion in general.as a christian believing Jesus to be the only way to God , it is only the christian faith that i am at all qualified to testify to.the religions that do believe in God do however have something to go on imo.

shimrod - i agree that street evangelists often seem to be achieving nothing,but i do know that sometimes people do stop and chat to them and occasionally conversions follow in course of time.either way people have the opportunity to listen and discuss,and the christians responsibility and desire is to please God rather than people anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 01:34 PM

pete. Thank you for that observation. My note was that some people are saying religion when they mean their own religion. Your point that your religion is the only one you are using in debates is a point some others should listen to.

In the same way I cannot comment on behalf of atheists as I have no idea what people mean when they attest to being one. It could mean irreligious same as me or it could infer a positive stance with inferred structure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 03:09 PM

I have never claimed to speak on behalf of any religion. I don't evenbelong to one in any organized or group sense.

Musket I can't recall you having claimed to speak for or about atheists as group. You have been more about trying to poke holes in specific arguments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 04:14 PM

Dogmas of science.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sailor seaman
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 04:21 PM

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 06:53 PM

Dogmas of science? I got through 1 min 26sec of that before I concluded irrevocably that here was a demented man talking through his bottom. Shame on you, Jack. By the way, it's always been wacko, never whacko. You couldn't even get that right. Anyway, by posting that tripe you proved the soubriquet to be entirely appropriate. Cheers! Now get yourself back to the Very Silly column. pete's missing you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 07:01 PM

Did anyone bother to look at the links to Walter Kaufmann I posted up there ^? There's enough in the 2nd one to see some really important distinctions in this issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 08:03 PM

Good grief people, believe whatever you want to believe, just don't hurt anyone else. We're all on this planet together.

But you can hurt people with your religion. The world is full of 'em. We'll get the world you want when people of faith can be persuaded to keep it strictly to themselves. And away from the kids especially.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 08:07 PM

Bill there is a lot of reading in those links, none of it current. I had a look at The Faith of the Heretic. The comparison of Jesus to other religious figures to see which is the greatest is not interesting to me. I don't claim that Jesus is the greatest role model or speaker or whatever, just that he is the one for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 09:23 PM

"I got through 1 min 26sec of that before I concluded"

Yes your closed-mindedness is your best feature.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Musket
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 05:04 AM

"I don't claim that Jesus is the greatest role model or speaker or whatever, just that he is the one for me."

You're welcome to him. Although to be fair, (assuming even 1% of that attributed to him is accurate) he was about love, peace, tolerating etc. Just a pity none of that was ever done in his name. Turning people into Christians at any price seems to be the history of that founded using him as the big chief.

I wouldn't mind a role model who could turn water into wine, but as nobody in history has ever done that, other than by the traditional means which, lets face it, isn't worth recording, I'll have to keep looking for inspiration elsewhere. Might buy a mirror....

After all, if you want a hero in human guise, you need to look for humans. Heroes in the mind have a habit of being too easy to agree with, and that would never test you enough. I wonder if that is the draw of religion? Easy cop out?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 09:46 AM

If you see a police car in the mirror you might wish that the good Lord would turn your wine into water.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 12:51 PM

why would anyone follow a religion that hurts other people?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 12:55 PM

The Aztecs cut out peoples hearts but it seemed they thought that was for the greater good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Musket
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 01:01 PM

Aztecs weren't good travellers though, so they couldn't get in the same league as The Crusades, The Inquisition, genital mutilation, terrorism, dismissing contraception or child abuse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 01:06 PM

Again, Musket sans logic. You are saying that they could not travel far enough to engage in child abuse? Pray tell us, without children, how did they reproduce?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sin
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 02:30 PM

Zzzzzzzzzzzz


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 09:54 AM

belief-in-an-angry-god-associated-with-variety-of-mental-illnesses/

Interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 11:33 AM

I don't have a dog in this hunt but the ruling has some interesting implications about the idea of religious freedom.

IDF Rabbinate shows non-Jews the door in mezuzah book ruling

"The idea that views non-Jews as having equal rights in the state goes against the opinion of the Torah, and no representative of the state is authorized to act against the will of the Torah."




http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org/israelpalestineconflict/missingheadlines/item/2691-idf-rabbinate-shows-non-jews-the


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 05:15 PM

http://www.musicismyreligion.eu/


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 09:57 AM

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-24-2013/the-golden-rage


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 10:21 AM

Bassem Youssef on dogma


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 10:28 AM

Just like tumbleweed in a ghost town.... except in Seaman Stayns case... seaweed


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 10:55 AM

The Golden Rule


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 11:32 AM

the link on angry god/mental disorder was no where near as definite as the title of the article might suggest.i would suppose that a one sided view of God that ommitted his grace and forgiveness would be detrimental to mental health,especially for anyone already unstable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 11:42 AM

From the story pete refers to.

" a belief in a forgiving, loving God is associated with positive psychological traits, "almost protecting against psychopathology," she told Raw Story. "

Is that what you were talking about pete?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 01:25 PM

more or less jack.it might have been billy graham that suggested that many mental health problems might disappear if some could know forgiveness.such a conviction no doubt gave rise to newtons "amazing grace"


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sin
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 02:03 PM

Err.. and I ask this of pete or anybody with a knowledge and experience of interpreting religion;

In terms of mental health, what would you be asking to be forgiven for?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 02:32 PM

Health benefits of religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 05:22 PM

I am staggered!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 07:34 PM

Well, pete,the angry/callous/uncaring God, if there is a God, is an unassailable fact. All that death, disease, pain, fear, predation, starvation and waste of life in the struggle for existence condemn him immediately. After all, he's all-powerful so he didn't have to organise things that way. On the other hand, his grace and forgiveness can be no more than a speculation. When are we going to see it, and, when we do, will he be able to tell us why he's so partial in the way he doles it out?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 08:43 PM

i am uncertain as to whether musket misconstrues my post or is confirming that some atheists have no sense of wrong.
i suppose they have no final authority to determine what it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 08:59 PM

I think that is what he calls "taking the piss." I don't think it is meant to be taken seriously.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sailor seaman
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 01:15 AM

Read the post Jack. I asked for anybody with a knowledge to answer. . I don't recall lifting the sheet off your cage.

Pete. I genuinely accept the concept of requiring a sense of shame at being wrong and finding forgiveness from peers as the road to putting things right. My question was linking a mental health issue which is a medical condition with the need for feeling you need forgiving? Sure, if your irrational actions harm others it would be nice to acknowledge this in more lucid moments but I just want to know if there is any whiff of God's punishment in the medical diagnosis?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 02:54 AM

It seems quite clear to me that if you believe in a god, believing s/he's a nice deity who's looking out for you is going to have a much better impact on your mental health than believing s/he's angry, vengeful and out to get you. Also all that smiting can get a bit stressful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 03:23 AM

Well Done Musket..! yet another who is fed up of the arrogant posings and self opiniated tripe of old Barnacle balls. Yet when he is called to account he gets more abusive..and starts cutting and pasting the rules...What is that all about Jerk The Sailor?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 07:20 AM

Yes Spleen Cringe, True enough. Also, I think pathology might be drawn to the God that suits it or people with issues might project them onto their perception of God. I think someone with paranoia think that God is out to punish them. A person who has been abused might see the qualities of their abuser in God. etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 08:12 AM

What a load of psuedo intellectual claptrap!!! You have really excelled yerself in this mumbo jumbo semi digested claptrap.

Your grip on religion, philophesy and the real word is as flaky as you posing as a mariner.

People with paronoia think that EVERYONE is out to punish them.

Oh, and your latest gem "A person who has been abused might see the qualities of their abuser in God. etc."

Would six million jews see them qualities in the SS of their God?

Go way and play with your duck in the bath, you maritime fraud, everyone is finding you out for the buffoon you are


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Musket
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 10:05 AM

It occurs to me that to some people, as shown on this and similar threads lately, equate either all actions as explained by their religion, or others as saying all actions have nothing to do with religion.

So... is this Christianity or something called christianity which isn't? And who gets to decide?

How to spot the Anti Christ American style


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Musket
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 10:12 AM

And 100


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 10:24 AM

I guess you get to decide. Good luck finding someone to bicker with you about definitions. I'll tell you some nut job in South America killing his own baby has nothing to do with my faith.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sailor seaman
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 11:52 AM

My point being.. then why are you and other obnoxious idiots insisting that atheism is something to do with worshipping at the altar of Dawkins?

You say you are a Christian and that if you aren't like you, you must be a follower of Dawkins. Stand by your conviction man. Either you condone the appalling actions in South America or stop reading about Dawkins and saying atheists must be all like him.

All well and good posting about how people with no superstition are persecuting and gaining influence in order to consign religion to the dustbin but then refusing to carry on the debate when you over step the mark makes my piss taking look reasonable.

Am I still taking the piss? Well? Am I punk?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jeri
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 12:06 PM

A bit of an aside here, but "Musket sans sailor seaman": I don't know what bars they hang out in where you live, but you don't have to be without one for long.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 12:06 PM

"then why are you and other obnoxious idiots insisting that atheism is something to do with worshipping at the altar of Dawkins? "



No one has said that. I have said that I have not been talking about atheism or atheists in general about 50 times. We have been saying that Ian Mathers (as well as unnamed others) is a follower of Dawkins because you repeat and defend his Dogma, because you say you have read his works and agree with them. And I have said this ONLY in the context of you throwing his arguments at me.

Is kind of like calling someone who tries to win arguments by quoting L. Ron Hubbard and quoting Dianetics a Scientologist.

Perhaps the obnoxious idiot is the one who does not pay attention to what the people he is heckling are saying. Get over yourself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 01:04 PM

musket - my point is that people afflicted by emotional,pychological or even physical maladies as a result of guilt/shame,may be cured if they believe there is forgiveness for them.
this may be from other people or/and God.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sailor seaman
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 01:15 PM

You repeat and defend Christianity. So... are you with the criminals if I am with Dawkins?

That's the problem when assertive people feel they are threatened by lack of belief. The arguments they are advised to use by, in Jack's case Betty Swollocks, rely on seeing atheism as a threat so you have to find someone who has a high public profile and say anybody who is irreligious is a follower of them.

Pathetic.

First, if Christianity is worth a jot, cultists wouldn't need to attack lack of faith as being a rival cult. Here in The UK we have people going to court to ask for legal support for their bigotry and then claiming persecution when the courts refuse to acknowledge that law breaking is okay if the Bible allows it.

Second, most decent Christian people I know would feel embarrassed by people like you who use their Bible as a weapon. You claim, I suppose, to have been a sailor? Well did you open your eyes on your travels? The rest of the Western world isn't based on Dumbfuckistan principles. I thought you may have found that in Canada but maybe not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sailor seaman
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 01:33 PM

Fine as far as it goes pete. But the assumption would be that there is something to be forgiven for?

I am convinced of the value of, say, chaplaincy in hospitals as the comfort for those who find comfort in their faith can aid recovery or alleviate anxiety in palliative care. Much better than medicines and in some ways is related to feeling better once you see a doctor rather than once the tablets actually start working.

That is not the same as seeking forgiveness for something not your fault. That is what I don't understand.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 01:54 PM

"
You repeat and defend Christianity. So... are you with the criminals if I am with Dawkins? "

I can't believe that you are that stupid.

You are with Dawkins, because you place yourself with Dawkins. You repeat his memes, and defend them. You defend Dawkins and try to explain what he means.

I have said again and again that there have been bad things done in the name of religion. I have renounced those things.

I hereby renounce crazy people who form their own religious cult, whether or not the invoke the term "antichrist", and kill their own children. I renounce all people who call themselves a God.

I have defended and quoted Jesus and C.S. Lewis. You can flatter me by lumping me in with them if you like. Everyone else, EVERYONE else is on their own.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 01:57 PM

I don't know any "followers of Dawkins". Atheists don't follow anyone. We are a disparate (not quite desperate) bunch of free thinking people. Atheists never herd together (or flock together if you like, as Christians do, though "herd" seems to be a lustier word to me. Oh, well. Your choice). If Dawkins talks crap or appears too abrasive we'll always say so. Many atheists agree with much of what Dawkins has to say,and we appreciate his diplomatic approach. Hitchens was another "prominent atheist" who wrote books. You will find fewer atheists agreeing with his approach. This "follower of Dawkins" malarkey seems to me to be yet another attempt to cast atheism as a quasi-religion. Dawkins is Jesus, we are his followers. We don't think so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 02:04 PM

"That is not the same as seeking forgiveness for something not your fault. That is what I don't understand. "

You make assumptions not in evidence. pete is talking about people seeking forgiveness for things that ARE their fault, alcoholics, gamblers, violent abusers rapists, murderers and more. People who can't live with the things they have done. People who can't forgive themselves.

He mentioned Amazing Grace with is very apt.

It is written by a man grateful for the forgiveness of things he had done, including slave trading.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazing_Grace


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 02:06 PM

Steve Shaw,


You are with Dawkins, because you place yourself with Dawkins. You repeat his memes, and defend them. You defend Dawkins and try to explain what he means.


If you don't like the word "follower" choose another.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 02:08 PM

You chose it. Given your form, you're unlikely to accept mine, so do carry on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 04:41 PM

I think it is usually a lie to tell children that Dinosaurs and people coexisted. I would not call it child abuse.

4th-grade-science-test-creationism-quesions


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,The Other Mr. Abernathy
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 05:37 PM

Dawkins! The evilest man to walk the Earth! His despicable lies lead fools to commit the vilest abominations. And as humanity is swallowed by the toxic foam of his deception, he laughs...well, maybe he doesn't laugh, but he smirks. Not so much smirking, really, more twitching his nose, but it is annoying, at least distracting, and you never can concentrate on what he's saying because it's all, "Hem,hem, haw, haw, twitch, twitch, hum, hum.." Really. Too much. Just too much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 05:50 PM

Oh he smirks!

He is nothing if not smug.

LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 07:57 PM

Good to see you feeding a troll there, Wacko. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 08:01 PM

I think it is usually a lie to tell children that Dinosaurs and people coexisted. I would not call it child abuse.

Cut the bullshit, Jacko. The child abuse comes in telling children that the myth of their particular place of birth is true, that you mustn't question it and that it will be very hard and unpopular of you to try to leave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 10:19 PM

I feed your trolling. Sometimes I even answer you childish questions.

I found the Abernathy post amusing. You yourself would be more tolerable if you have a detectible sense of humor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sin
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 02:42 AM

The Amazing Grace story is one I know well and have always been impressed with. Not sure it goes anywhere towards the point about people with a mental health problem seemingly requiring forgiveness.

There again, I did ask that someone with knowledge help me out here.

Regarding the dinosaur conundrum. It isn't child abuse to tell fairy stories. Santa Claus and the tooth fairy were a feature of our house. However, one of the rites of passage of growing up is to find out it was a myth to entertain children. Perpetuating the myth into adulthood such as creationism, rising from the dead, being sinners unless you bow to those representing a fictitious character. ...

That's different.   Much different. ....


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 04:01 AM

it seems musket that you inferred that i was claiming that ALL mental/pychological problems are guilt related.that was not my intention.it may be that that many more than appear to be other causes,may be guilt related - though i am not claiming a scientific,ststitical study.

i would not be surprised if dinos were discovered somewhere even now.there have been other aninals and plants that were claimed to be extinct on the supposed evidence of the geological record.you probably know they are sometimes called "lazarus taxa"
of course,if a dino were discovered evolutionists would just re-arrange the theory and congratulate themselves on how "provisional" their "science" is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 06:58 AM

Thanks for the clarification pete. I was purely picking up on the issues I raised when I was part of a health care regulator. Complaints from staff in many trusts included confusion where, I accept mostly inadvertently, patients had confusion and like it or not, confusing the metaphysical with reality often compounds the issue according to the many professionals concerned. The good results of what I admittedly called comfort blanket have to be put alongside the many poor or exacerbated outcomes.

In contrast, use of a figure, often god, to relate to in the twelve step approach to substance misuse cessation has had excellent results. I have been able to publish encouraging reports.

Despite my huge misgivings and my dismissal of tirades by Sailor Jack, my issues with aspects of religious influence are based on real issues that could and should be addressed without fear or favour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 09:45 AM

"i would not be surprised if dinos were discovered somewhere even now."

"if a dino were discovered evolutionists would just re-arrange the theory"

There would be no need to re-arrange the theory. With due respect, it appears that you do not have a working knowledge of the "theory"

Finding a dino in the process of being intelligently designed and created on the spot by an omnipotent Deity probably would spark some debate. But many scientists would probably be more interested in pouring over the blueprints than talking to the deity. Nerds are like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,JtS
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 10:15 AM

This group embodies my Christian values to some extent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,concerend
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 10:44 AM

i do not believe this!!!the smugest asshole on mudcat accusin others of bein gsmug
Get a grip of youself..not in the biblical sense..cos I know what sailors are!..pretty safe there barnacle balls..shiver. Me timbers Its Jerk the Sailor.the. Nauticalimposter and all round bounder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,concerend
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 10:44 AM

i do not believe this!!!the smugest asshole on mudcat accusin others of bein gsmug
Get a grip of youself..not in the biblical sense..cos I know what sailors are!..pretty safe there barnacle balls..shiver. Me timbers Its Jerk the Sailor.the. Nauticalimposter and all round bounder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,The Other Mr. Abernathy
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 08:08 PM

If Dinosaurs were discovered some where, it would be important to know where they've been, why they disappeared in the first place, and who did they think was going to clean up the mess that they left?

I wouldn't leave it to scientists to figure out the answers. Scientists sit around and mumble about "Fossil Evidence" and such silliness while these lizard types walk off with the store. I don't mind saying it's a scandal. Or a shame. At least something to look in to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 10:19 AM

The Dinos walk among us!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Musket
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 12:14 PM

So.. Is Carolina in the Pre Cambrian or Jurassic era?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 03:10 PM

The Christian Left (Facebook page)
There is a way to "correct the sinful behavior" of others without being a hypocrite. It's through kindness and understanding. It goes something like this: "Brother (or Sister), I can understand your struggles. I struggle too. We all do. There are no new sins under the sun and we're all in the same boat which is the human condition. I've found hope in looking at the life of Jesus and trying to imitate his ways. I fall short every day but I get up and try again every morning. I stay close to him, read the word, and pray. It's the only thing I've found that helps me change my own sinful ways."


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sailor seaman
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 03:26 PM

So if I read that right...

If I were a sinner, being a Christian would help me come to terms with it?

But as I don't sin, it follows that I don't need to confess anything. Seems to me there are many people who don't need to waste so much of their time. Have they been told?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 03:47 PM

The Christian Left (Facebook page)
In the sermon on the mount Jesus is basically saying, "You want to go around worrying about other people's sins? Fine. Here's the standard you need to use for yourself first … If you hate your brother, it's the same as murder, etc." He's saying that when you've achieved perfection, then you can judge. Of course he knew that none of us is capable of achieving perfection. Conservative Christians like to walk around and say, "Well, if we truly love people then we must correct their sinful behavior." WRONG. Any human attempt to "correct the sinful behavior" of others only looks like blatant hypocrisy given that we all sin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: John P
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 04:04 PM

It's the only thing I've found that helps me change my own sinful ways.

The normal moral compass doesn't get the job done, eh? Jack, this makes you sound like an ethical infant.

given that we all sin

Speak for yourself! I may regret some choices I've made, but I have never sinned. Sinning, in my book, requires intent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 04:34 PM

i am surprised that even atheists consider themselves sinless.
two possibilities occur to me
1,sin is too religious a word.maybe going against the conscience?if they think they never do that,it speaks to me of shutting off the sense of wrongdoing and not being able to recognize it anymore.
2,not having any point of reference as a final authority they determine right and wrong on whatever suits them.this admittedly seems consistent with atheism.
maybe the sinless ones could enlighten those of us that are conscious of being sinful what they mean?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 04:34 PM

It is a quote John P. It is a quote of instructions of things for Christians to say to Christians who need help. Please don't take it personally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 02:52 AM

"i am surprised that even atheists consider themselves sinless"

I consider myself sinless. I've done stupid, bad and thoughtless things, hurt others and made bad choices. I've hopefully learned from these experiences. But I've never "sinned", because that's a purely religious concept and I'm not religious.

As to this issue about mental ill health being rooted in guilt, maybe it is in some instances. What the average mental health practitioner would say, though, is that more often or not it's rooted in trauma.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 03:57 AM

Christian Left

Christianity is Reactionary Conservatism by default, thus Christian Left is a contradiction in terms. In its various guises, Christianity is humiliating, disempowering & counter-revolutionary, even if that revolution only exists in your own head. Christianity is an orthodoxy devised for the pacification of slaves & as such it is founded on a divinely appointed hierarchical absolutism anathema to Left Wing thinking, which is Atheist at its very core.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sin
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 08:17 AM

Yeah perhaps sin is a word that has religious connotations so if you feel no need for religion it doesn't mean you can't sin.

I fail to accept pete, s second theory. Determining right or wrong on whatever suits you infers moving the boundaries. My dog is consistent in that he knows not to crap on the carpet. He has no point of reference. Many creatures show altruism but lack the capacity to ascribe it to anything.

Or put another way, it is rather insulting to be preached at along the lines of "if you have no faith you must be an anarchist and capable of doing naughty things no believer would consider. "

Let he who is stoned cast the first sin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Spleen cringe
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 12:05 PM

"if you have no faith you must be an anarchist and capable of doing naughty things no believer would consider."

An aside. Anarchism's not about 'doing naughty things' - it's simply a belief in a stateless society. Self-rule not being ruled.

Me above at 2.52. Sorry for not filling the box in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 03:14 PM

EVeryone has acts they knew intuitively were in some way more harmful than good. And everyone has a list of things they did not do that would have been better done, omissions which harmed through inaction.

Neither sort of harm requires a confessor--it requires the strength of personal ownership and responsibility, a willingness to face the truth. 'S about it. Sins are one's own responsibility, and not that of any intergalactic watchers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 05:21 PM

we have had a few dogs mess on the carpet.mostly we trained them to desist from doing so.in their canine capacity they then know it is dog gone wrong and wait till they are outside.
i was not suggesting that an atheist must of nessesity be always wrongdoers or moving the boundaries but if no-one see,s and there are no other constraints it must be an exceptional character who resists temptation.of course,i believe that being made in Gods image we all have conscience,even God deniers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sin
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 06:03 PM

But if your God is eternal, how can we be in his image? we have evolved from amongst other things a form of starfish in a cosmic speaking short length of time. We also have belly buttons and vary a hell of a lot with individual DNA.

Your exceptional person would be so regardless of Creed or lack of Creed surely? You might even say by that logic, an atheist person would have no ulterior motive. Im not sure faith has any bearing on morals unless it just happens to be your moral compass.

Making faith a personal rather than group affair. And on that subject, whatever floats your boat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: John P
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 10:58 PM

maybe the sinless ones could enlighten those of us that are conscious of being sinful what they mean?

It's very simple, in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. Sin means doing bad things with the intent to do bad things. While I have made many mistakes, I have never purposefully done bad things. I am an atheist, so it follows that being an atheist does not cause a person to sin. You, on the other hand, as a Christian, do sin. You've said so. Jack has said that all Christians are sinners. Therefore, all Christians do bad things on purpose.

pete = Christian, bad

John = atheist, good

All clear now?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 01 May 13 - 01:54 PM

With all due respect, John P, if sin is a religious concept, why should you, a self-proclaimed atheist, have meaning for anyone?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 01 May 13 - 02:20 PM

Sorry, John, I meant to say, "why should your definition of sin have meaning to anyone?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: John P
Date: 01 May 13 - 05:10 PM

why should your definition of sin have meaning to anyone?

Why shouldn't it? If it's a reserved concept, why is it in this discussion? Is "sin" always defined only from a religious viewpoint? I'll poke fun at pete all I want when he says rude things like the following:

if they think they never do that,it speaks to me of shutting off the sense of wrongdoing and not being able to recognize it anymore.
or
not having any point of reference as a final authority they determine right and wrong on whatever suits them.this admittedly seems consistent with atheism.

Besides, did you really think I was being serious, even though my logic is unassailable from within the Christian framework of reality as expressed in this thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 13 - 05:42 PM

"framework of reality as expressed in this thread" is an oxymoron. That's funny.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 02 May 13 - 08:13 AM

now that you have confirmed that you are john taking the p i know not to answer any more posts from you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: John P
Date: 02 May 13 - 09:51 AM

pete, did you really think I wasn't being serious, even though my logic, since I borrowed most of it from you, is completely full of holes?

You don't get off the hook for your inflammatory comments about atheists. Please explain why you think atheists are "shutting off the sense of wrongdoing and not being able to recognize it anymore."

Do you have any evidence to support this assertion? Can you offer any examples of atheists who have no sense of wrongdoing, where that lack of sense was caused by their atheism? Do you recognize that some people, of all religions or lack thereof, are evil people? Have you not looked at the Catholic Church lately? Do you know that there are good people from every group and every walk of life, regardless of their religion? Which type of person are you? Do you have any clue about how offensive it is to say this sort of thing to people? Is insulting people in a crass, ego-centric way part of your Christianity?

Do you know that you, right here and now, are the reason so many people have no patience with Christians?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 May 13 - 10:17 PM

make good art.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 03 May 13 - 11:19 AM

i guess the pursuit of good art is more profitable than answering pointless and p taking posts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: John P
Date: 03 May 13 - 04:35 PM

Not good enough, pete.

Support what you say, please. Stand up and be counted. Own up to your words. Take responsibility for your actions. Say what you mean. Etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 May 13 - 05:35 PM

I guess that in a simplistic way, I'd define sin as that which does harm - or maybe that which gets us into the fricking mess we're in right now. Viewed from that standpoint, we all sin.

And I think this simplistic perspective of sin is as valid as the more complicated ones. I think we all have the ability to determine right from wrong - and I think the vast majority of us are inclined to choose what's right. Oh, I suppose there may be some shifts on the fringes of what's considered right and wrong, but I think that for most people, what's right is what serves the benefit of ourselves and those around us.

And in general, I think that "moral" people, are people who are altruistic - people who think of others as much as they think of themselves. I know lots of very moral, exemplary people who have no religious beliefs - and I know lots of immoral, despicable people who are so religious it makes me choke. I know lots of wonderful religious people, too.

And I think I can honestly say that sexual orientation (and a great deal of sexual conduct) doesn't fit into my perspective of morality at all - unless it does harm to another person.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 May 13 - 07:01 PM

Atheist agreeing with Christian alert!

I do find myself agreeing with what Joe says above. To me, the point is that people can be good, moral, altruistic or conversely, completely otherwise - and whether they subscribe to a religion or are atheists or don't even think of their world in either of those terms is largely irrelevant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans Ian
Date: 04 May 13 - 03:32 AM

That's your problem Joe.

It can be very irritating for someone like me when you utterly destroy the religious stereotype I need to vent my anger at.

Kindly stop being so rational, logical and agreeable and start living up to the Catholic stereotype idiots like me dismiss in one sentence.

Regarding sin, if I were being serious, I'd say that it can describe what you and others have portrayed it as but to many people, regardless of their view on religion, sin seems a religious word. You can break local laws, you can commit acts that go against any moral compass or you can go against what scriptures suggest. An act can fall into any or all categories but I suspect it has to fit in the latter to be a sin for many people?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 May 13 - 03:43 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 13 - 11:40 AM

Thanks Joe. Being altruistic and not doing harm is pretty much my definition of ethical behavior.

If sin is defined as doing harm, isn't there still a requirement that the harm be intentional in order for it to be considered sin? Or are you saying that doing harm completely unintentionally, maybe without even knowing about it, even without there being any way to avoid it, is being sinful? I'm pretty sure I can't go along with that. It offends my sense that intention, responsibility and consequences need to be balanced.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 May 13 - 12:32 PM

In the original Greek of the New Testament, "sin' is actually "hamartia", which, as the more literate Mudcatters may know, is an important idea in Aristotle's discussions of drama and tragedy. Here's a bit of definition, from the Wikipedia entry:


"The Greek term "hamartia," typically translated as "tragic flaw," actually is closer in meaning to a "mistake" or an "error," "failing," rather than an innate flaw. In Aristotle's understanding, all tragic heroes have a "hamartia." The character's flaw must result from something that is also a central part of their virtue, which goes somewhat awry, usually due to a lack of knowledge. By defining the notion this way, Aristotle indicates that a truly tragic hero must have a failing that is neither idiosyncratic nor arbitrary, but is somehow more deeply imbedded -- a kind of human failing and human weakness."


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 13 - 05:08 PM

Well, I can't see defining sin as a tragic flaw or an honest mistake. Why would you all feel the need to seek forgiveness for something you don't have any control over? You seem to be saying that if I make the best decision I can based on everything I knew at the time, and if that decision later proves, because of knowledge that came later, to have been a mistake, that I was engaging in sin. If that's sin, I'm glad I'm not a Christian of the "we're all sinners" variety, and I'll stop wondering why so many Christians are so screwed up about wanting to tell how other people how they ought to behave. It sounds like their sense of where responsibility lies has been twisted sadly out of shape.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 May 13 - 05:43 PM

It isn't about something you have no control over, and it's not about "God", "The Bible", or other Christians, or whatever--it's about setting standards for yourself, (which all of us do (whether we identify ourselves as religious or not), and missing the mark.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 May 13 - 05:50 PM

Incidentally, GUEST, those comments are about the idea of "Hamartria". I was simply posting some commentary on the meaning of a word, what it implies to you is your own affair.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 May 13 - 08:04 PM

Musket, traditional Catholic teaching says that for sin to be serious (mortal), it must in fact be serious and known to be serious, and done with the intention of doing serious harm.

Non-serious (venial) sin is a little broader, but it still must be intentional.

But in a broader context, I don't think that "I didn't know" is a completely adequate excuse. Once we become aware that something we've done has caused harm, I think there's a duty to put things right.

I don't like to get boxed into looking at morality from a legalistic or doctrinal point of view. For one thing, that's a negative approach, and I'm in this life to make positive impacts. My criterion is justice, what does it take to make things right. I may not be responsible for that man on the corner being homeless, but don't I still have a moral obligation to him? Maybe all I can do for him today is make eye contact with him, but at least that's something.


-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 May 13 - 11:54 PM

That comes very close to the idea that "It's OK if I think it's OK". Is it OK for a person to murder, to steal, to commit adultery, etc if they didn't believe that they were doing wrong, and didn't intend to do harm?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: John P
Date: 05 May 13 - 12:18 AM

Is it OK for a person to murder, to steal, to commit adultery, etc if they didn't believe that they were doing wrong, and didn't intend to do harm?

Stim, do you really see this being a problem in the real world? It seems fairly obvious that it is not, from anyone's point of view, OK to murder or otherwise harm others. Why would you say such a thing?

People who don't know they are doing harm when they commit these crimes are insane and our courts actually don't hold them responsible in this way.

I agree with Joe that if I found out later that my actions caused harm I would try to make the situation better. While I would feel bad about it, I wouldn't think I had committed a sin, and I would probably be somewhat successful at convincing myself that feeling guilt was inappropriate for the situation and harmful to myself.

Sorry, the guest a few posts back was me unexpectedly sans cookie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 May 13 - 02:58 AM

Stim, you're twisting what I had to say. And as I said, I don't like to get boxed into looking at morality from a legalistic or doctrinal point of view - we need to take a much wider view of all the implications of moral decisions, of what's right and wrong. In answer to the question posed, I defined the matter very narrowly with regards to personal guilt for sin - not legal guilt, and not whether the act was objectively right or wrong. The principle has many worthwhile applications, particularly in issues where there is disagreement - like birth control and homosexuality and abortion, for instance. Warfare and capital punishment and employer mistreatment of workers would be three other good examples, ones that make conservative Catholics squirm. The Catholic Church is opposed to all these things, and considers them to be "objectively immoral." In the eyes of the Catholic Church, these things are NOT "OK," and some of these things may even result in excommunication, the most extreme punishment the Catholic Church can impose.

But even then, if the person does these things believing that they are not wrong, or not intending to do wrong, then the person is not guilty of sin and is considered to have done these things "in good conscience" (even if he/she gets excommunicated). For Catholics who oppose certain policies of the Catholic Church, that allows a modicum of freedom of conscience that offers at least a bit of reassurance - and I think most Catholics oppose at least some of the policies of the Catholic Church.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sin
Date: 05 May 13 - 04:37 AM

Just to be provocative then Joe.

At what point is any Catholic subjected to excommunication? The police officer who is aware of the possible consequence of arrest? The prosecuting attorney? The judge and jury? The governor? The technician? The doctor who pronounces time and cause? Any voter who uses their vote for a pro capital punishment politician?

Are there any Catholics in the armed forces?

How about the priests and their support who have been found guilty of abuse? Or the Vatican seniors who covered it up?

Excommunication sounds a weak response to a non believer but even then, I don't see it used much either as a response nor a deterrent?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 05 May 13 - 05:51 PM

For John P, in response to:

"Stim, do you really see this being a problem in the real world? It seems fairly obvious that it is not, from anyone's point of view, OK to murder or otherwise harm others. Why would you say such a thing?"


It really is a problem--people who are not insane do terrible things all the time. And they do them believing that whatever the laws might be, and whatever suffering that they might cause, that they are justified in doing them.

Though a lot of war atrocities spring to mind, I'll bring up the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments . If you're not familiar with this, medical researchers, working for the United States Government told a group of black sharecroppers that they were giving them free medical care. They concealed from them the fact that they had syphilis, didn't treat them with penicillin, and prevented them from getting outside treatment. They allowed them to spread the disease to loved ones and babies, and watched as they slowly died, without intervening with antibiotics, so they could observe and document the course of the disease.

This work went on for 40 years, and the people involved were intelligent, rational people who cannot have been oblivious to either the suffering that was going on, or the fact that they had the power to end it. They didn't though.

And so it goes...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 05 May 13 - 06:05 PM

For Joe:

My point is that, whatever the Catholic view on sin may be, the idea of harmatria, or "tragic flaw" is that we are morally responsible for failing to recognize the harm that can come of our plans and actions, even, or perhaps especially, things done in "good conscience"

My thought, as I get older, is that relatively few of my fellow humans really "do evil" intentionally--they may act impulsively, stupidly, out of misunderstanding, out of misplaced loyalty, out of selfishness, or simply without self-awareness. Whether they (or we) are exonerated by a court of law, absolved by a church, or just slide on a technicality, we have to live with the knowledge that we caused harm, and that, if things had been more carefully considered, we wouldn't have.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 May 13 - 02:19 AM

Stim, I agree with all you say about "hamartia." We covered the concept thoroughly in moral theology classes.
That's why I don't want to get stuck behind the narrow definition of "sin." If you try to decide to decide what's a sin and what's not a sin, you oversimplify the entire topic of moral judgment.

A moral person must explore the ramifications of what he/she does, and weigh the pros and cons of every action - very few of the important things in life are absolutely right or absolutely wrong, so a balance must be sought.

I also think that our moral decisions are often choices of general attitudes, rather than individual acts. We often to have time to make a moral decision on the spur of the moment, so what we do depends on the attitudes we have chosen before the action itself. After I had been a father for about a dozen years, I realized that I didn't like hearing myself say "no" as a first response whenever my kids wanted to do something. I made up my mind to say "yes" unless I had a darn good reason to say no, and it made for a far more positive relationship with my kids. Now, I really wasn't wrong in my earlier, negative approach - but I found the later approach to be much more positive and healthy. I made a moral choice and it had a profound effect on my relationship with my children, but it wasn't really a choice between right and wrong.

Guest who posted 04 May 13 - 05:08 PM asks:
Well, I can't see defining sin as a tragic flaw or an honest mistake. Why would you all feel the need to seek forgiveness for something you don't have any control over.

I wouldn't consider those things to be sin, either - but I did apologize to my kids for my previous negative approach. I think that apology should be seen as doing what it takes to heal the harm and mend the relationship, even if that harm was unintentional. I think it's wrong to see apology and forgiveness as bowing in submission to the offended party and groveling to beg forgiveness (although I had an ex-wife that demanded that....)

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 May 13 - 02:54 AM

Musket asks about "excommunication." The Wikipedia article gives a pretty good definition: Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend, or limit membership in a religious community or (as in the case of the Catholic Church) to restrict certain rights within it.

Excommunication is most usually used in matters over which there is disagreement, to attempt to compel the individual to comply with church policy. Women who receive abortions and practitioners who perform abortions are automatically excommunicated. One of our Mercy sisters was vice president of a Catholic hospital and a member of the hospital ethics committee, and she was excommunicated by her bishop when she voted to allow an abortion when the mother's life was endangered. The nun had to go through a humiliating process of confession and repentance in order to be readmitted. I wish she hadn't submitted to that, but that's what she chose to do.

Excommunication is also used in cases of heresy, when a theologian refuses to retract something that has been deemed contrary to Catholic teaching. Another sanction used on theologians, is the withdrawal of the theologian's license to teach in a Catholic university.

Now, please take note that I tend to agree or at least sympathize with most Catholics who are being excommunicated these days, so please don't ask me to defend excommunication. I'm hoping Pope Francis cuts way back on excommunications. Remember that I'm an associate member of the Sisters of Mercy, and these frickin' bishops have been excommunicating nuns lately.

While it might seem appropriate to excommunicate a child molester, especially if the molester is a priest; that isn't done. There's no controversy, no room for retraction - in most situations nowadays where complaints are substantiated, the priest is simply removed from ministry and never allowed to practice as a priest again - and referred for criminal prosecution. There's still lots of noise about what happened before 2000, but there is now very little tolerance for priests who engage in any sort of sexual misconduct with children.

Many of you won't believe this, but the Catholic Church has been out of the business of punishing people for wrongdoing for a long, long time. By the end of the 16th century, the excesses of the 15th-century Spanish Inquisition had been done away with. Sanctions issued after that time were to ensure compliance, not to punish wrongdoers for sin. Even the Spanish Inquisition referred wrongdoers to civil authorities for punishment - although it's clear that blame for the torture and punishments of the Inquisition, rests squarely on the shoulders of the Inquisitors.

So, the general idea nowadays is that the Catholic Church may issue sanctions to force compliance, but any punishment is meted out in the Hereafter - by a Judge known to be "gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love" (Psalms 86, 103, and 145).

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 May 13 - 03:20 AM

"the Catholic Church has been out of the business of punishing people for wrongdoing for a long, long time."
http://www.magdalenelaundries.com/jfm_comm_on_torture_210411.pdf

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 May 13 - 03:39 AM

Not what I'm frickin' talkin' about, Jim - and you know it.

Those were systems of punishments within an institution, issued by the staffs of the institutions and those who supervised them.

And yes, those systems of punishments were wrong - and those who committed crimes were Irish citizens and should be punished under Irish law. If your government doesn't have the courage to prosecute crime that happens within its own boundaries, don't try to pass the blame off on Rome, or America. The criminals were Irish, every one of them.

-Joe Offer-


....and the Spanish Inquisition was exactly what the name implies - Spanish. Of course, the Popes were Spanish at the time, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sin
Date: 06 May 13 - 09:04 AM

Thanks for the explanation Joe.

In some ways I remain confused but am not getting hung up over it.

By having the facility to excommunicate it seems logical to me that there can be no definition for all. Either everybody is subject to doctrine whether they want it or not, one true path etc or the religion only applies to the members. In which case what happens to the rest of the planet?

I see a logical flaw here. If a religion explains the world and those matters we don't as humans understand, it applies to all. It also makes other religions contemptible?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 06 May 13 - 09:06 AM

Whatever that is what you are talking about, the church still sees fit to punish whoever it disapproves of.
Following the death of a young woman due to being refused a termination, the Irish Government has been forced to review Ireland's laws on termination.
The hierarchy have announced that it is "not inconceivable" that politicians who vote 'the wrong way' will face excommunication.
Long may we stay in the 19th century!
I would have thought that considering its historically appalling record on sex education, contraception and the clergy's own record of sexual misconduct, sex should be the last thing the church has a right to have a say in
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 13 - 07:25 PM

I guess that in a simplistic way, I'd define sin as that which does harm - or maybe that which gets us into the fricking mess we're in right now. Viewed from that standpoint, we all sin.

I've been in hospital for a bit and I haven't been keeping up, so this might not fit in, but here goes. Neither of those definitions of sin will do because you can do harm by accident, or out of the very best intentions, and you can get into a fricking mess completely unintentionally and with the best will in the world.

Now, to be slightly provocative (and ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek...), let me put one or two things forward for consideration. Musket prays that Sheffield Wednesday will avoid relegation. I put it to you that his prayer is sinful, because, by asking God to keep his team up, he is, in effect, praying that another team (unspecified, but I'm afraid that doesn't get him off the hook) will suffer the ignominy of the drop. My 85-year-old granny, massive character, still got all her marbles, salt of the Earth, hub of the family, has got cancer. We stand around her bed praying to God for her to get better. This is sinful because we are asking God to keep an infirm old woman alive who will continue to be a huge burden on the social services, which are paid for by taxpayers who never knew her, and we are asking him to keep alive a person who will be also a burden on the resources of the planet.

I elected not to tell you I was going into hospital (for a major op on my spine) because I didn't want praying for (plus I use my real name and I never disclose my infrequent absences from home online). You may or may not be relieved to know that I'm recovering remarkably well. That is nothing whatsoever to do with all the good wishes I've received (which were all most welcome all the same) or with any covert praying that's been going on round here. I will be buying the missus a bunch of flowers for looking after me brilliantly since I came out of hospital and I might just send that amazingly skilful surgeon a thank-you card. :-) Good stuff comes from truly human endeavour, not from some bloke in the sky who, according to religion, could click his fingers and wipe me out in a heartbeat. I can't imagine Mr Wafai in the Orthopaedics/Trauma department even remotely contemplating that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 May 13 - 07:43 PM

Oh dear. I have come up with a metaphor that does not console.

"You are climbing higher and higher and the ground, when you dare peek, is getting farther and farther away. The one thing that gives you the confidence to keep going is knowing that you are safe because you have a belaying rope around your middle.   You have heard of other people who suffered grievous accidents but you know that either they went off without their rope or they didn't know how to fasten it properly. Thank the gods that you have been properly trained.

You know that you are safe, and that makes all the difference. You are not aware that the rope is not attached at the other end."


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 May 13 - 04:53 AM

By the way Joe - in both the examples you gave - Spain and Ireland, had the church chosen to intervene, the abuse would have stopped immediately - they didn't and it didn't.
In the case of Ireland, the church held the establishment in its pocket, and still does to an extent.
Confining religious abuse to national boundaries is as dishonest as it gets.
Don't suppose anybody would care to explain the concept of "original sin" would they?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 13 - 05:40 AM

Original sin is an easy one, Jim. We are all miserable, guilty wretches because a woman who never existed bit into an apple belonging to someone else who never existed. This was passed down to us in a story told by a liar. Now the only way out of our guilty wretchedness is to turn our faces to "The Lord" and, grovelling before him ("Lord, I am not worthy...") ask his forgiveness for something we did not do and which never happened in the first place. Even the tiniest of new babies are besmirched with this guilt! But, even having signed up to his club (which I'm certain he would have hated) you might well be waiting around, even long after you're dead, for "judgement day" to find out whether you've done enough to get yourself off the hook. Hope this helps!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 13 - 09:03 PM

Well, Jim, in Spain in the 1490s, it was a church court that was passing judgment and handing people over to government for torture or other punishment. So, there's no disagreement there. It was, however, quite some time ago. I'm sure you're still looking to pin the blame on somebody, though.

In the case of the industrial schools and the Magdalene laundries in Ireland (18th - 20th centuries), these were local affairs - not done under the authority of Rome. Rather than transfer the blame elsewhere, why not admit that the crimes committed in these institutions should be prosecuted by Irish authorities?

And people are pointing fingers of blame at churches everywhere because of proposed anti-gay legislation in Uganda. There's no doubt the legislation is unjust, but the churches have at least been successful in getting the death penalty removed for most situations. Despite all the finger-pointing, I have yet to see solid evidence of leaders of the major churches supporting anti-gay legislation. They just haven't opposed it according to specifications set by the finger-pointers. So, the Archbishop of Canterbury gets blame, and some Catholic bishop in western Africa who was one of the frontrunners in the papal elections.

It's all about blame, folks. The people placing the blame, have little to do with fixing the problem, however. For those who place the blame, making progress on a problem is never enough.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans respectability
Date: 08 May 13 - 01:17 AM

Very true Joe. But.

Laying blame upwards allows responsibility for actions in your name.

If The Archbishop of Canterbury was to even acknowledge that the views and assertive attempts by Anglican bishops in Uganda to promote capital punishment for anything, let alone being gay... were not the actions of people in his ministry, it would be a start.

The difference between a person in the street with a view and the influence of these savages is the cloak of respectability his church offers them.

Ditto Rome and the Irish issues. Saying that influence restricts the excesses is a bit weak when their representatives are part of the problem and the centre turns its head and looks away.

I have been a board chairman and a chief executive variously in my time, thousands of staff working under our banner. I can't see any situation where the media wouls accept a plea of "not my problem" should actions by our staff do harm.

Don't confuse blame with responsibility. Ask whether the big bosses would be happy to take credit for any good these people do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 May 13 - 02:14 AM

But churches don't work on the model of corporations, Musket. They are broken into national churches that are loose affiliations of dioceses that are far more autonomous than what you would find in most corporate divisions. In the Anglican Church, Archbishop of Canterbury really has very little influence over other churches in the Anglican Communion. And besides, the reports from the "legitimate press" paint a far more favorable picture of the conduct of the Anglican and Catholic bishops in Uganda. There's a lot of extremist propaganda on both sides of this issue. The Anglicans and Catholics are caught in the middle of this impossible situation, and I think they're being judged unfairly.

In general, Africans seem to be far more conservative about homosexuality, than the peoples of any of the other continents. Here's the official position of the Church of Uganda (Anglican) on the previous anti-homosexuality bill. It definitely opposes homosexuality, but does not promote any of the harsh punishments that have been proposed. http://churchofuganda.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/COU-official-position-on-the-Anti-Homosexuality-Bill-2009-.pdf.

This pastoral letter [http://www.uecon.org/downloads/A%20Pastoral%20Letter%20UEC%20Celebrating%20Uganda%20at%2050%20Years%20Please%20Oct%202012(1).pdf] is the only mention of homosexuality I could find in the documents from the Roman Catholic bishops of Uganda. Both the Catholics and the Anglicans oppose homosexuality, as is the tradition in their churches; but neither group speaks in favor of the harsh treatment of homosexuals that is proposed in the Anti-Homosexuality Act of Uganda. Wikipedia has an excellent article on the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

As for Ireland, the Irish bishops and the Irish government have the information and the authority to handle the situation of the industrial schools and the Magdalene Laundries. The Irish Catholic Church is largely autonomous, and Rome rarely interferes on local issues.

If you try to understand churches as corporate authority structures with strong chief executives that command obedience, you're looking at the wrong model. Every local church/parish is largely independent; and every member of every church is a voluntary member.

Churches work more on a family structure. My cousins and I are in the same family, but I don't ordinarily intervene in the family affairs of my cousins' families. Even Grandpa should be very hesitant to intervene in the affairs of his adult grandchildren.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket not giving in just yet
Date: 08 May 13 - 05:48 AM

Yes, I do understand the more federal or franchise approach religious parent bodies adopt.

However, this is rather convenient. When a Pope or Archbishop is influencing governments, which they do, they use their membership as a single body in terms of what they bring to the table. When Stalin asked how many divisions the Pope had, it was a dismissal of people power rather than dismissing the view of the Pope.

The offical view of The Church of Uganda is not consistent with the views as stated publicy by some of its own leaders, (influenced by the way through funding and support by certain evangelical American organisations, staffed by British evangelical people.) The main African aversion to being gay may be there, but also there is a deep faith and respect for church.

If churches therefore stopped discriminating, stopped finding weasly excuses to hate people for what they are.... the "African" view on being gay would alter, the permission to hate people for being different would be lessened and ... and... Well, why not try it at least?

But they won't.

Because God doesn't want equality for gays.

Apparantly.

He doesn't want women in top positions of employment in the church either.

Apparantly.

Are you sure their bible has the same words in it as yours Joe? I reckon yours is similar to my cousin's copy. I also reckon my local vicar's copy must have been a different translation because he comes across as rather bigoted. Doesn't help that he approached Catholicism as he feels it is more in line to his view of the world. The catholic church meanwhile has opened its doors to Anglican clergy who don't want to see women in senior positions. What respect, seriously, what respect should someone offer the catholic church when it can do that?

Hard to explain that to a simplistic bloke like me, or at least it is difficult I guess to put a positive spin on it.

When I put provocative and, yes, insulting posts in order to bring out debate, I am not proud of myself, not seeing this as the Ian who deals with my own reality day to day and sometimes I actually want to insult. Why? Because I have huge issues with it all. I cannot think of a single mainstream religion that doesn't promote difference as something to be distrustful of in one way or another.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 10:36 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_of_Pi


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 11:32 AM

Steve, Musket ~~ rereading this thread which I had not logged on to lately: astounded to find you both in different ways dissing Rupert Sheldrake, who seems to me to have the best, most questioning intellect currently working on questions that really matter, i.e the dogmatism to which science, as well as other sorts of intellectual concepts like faiths, are prone to settle matters of dispute by appeal to different sorts of unquestionable "Constants". The account in his TED lecture of the reactions he had provoked from a "Professor of Metronics[?]" was as shudder-inducing to me as some of the declarations one reads of from the Holy Office at the trial of Galileo. It seems to me that the Sheldrake road is surely, clearly, the way to go. Particularly surprised, Steve, by your admission that you had decided all of a couple of minutes into his lecture that it was not worth listening any more as he was 'talking out of his bottom'. Regret to say that he does not appear to me in this instance to have been the one so doing; not what I should have expected of you whatever!

Jack ~ Have just seen the film of Life of Pi, and read it some time ago; exercised as to what relevance you find in it to topics raised in this thread.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 11:39 AM

As a matter of coincidence, I broke off to catch up on the Cat from the book I am currently reading ~~ which happens to be that very Sheldrake's "Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home". I happen myself to have had experiences with an acquaintance at one time which seemed [and seems still, tho it was years ago] inexplicable except in terms of telepathy, which I am convinced is essential as one of the thus-far unaccounted for functions of our minds which desperately need further exploration. Sheldrake is the one doing it ~~ not helped by the hysterical, non-scientific flak to which his work is being subjected by some who should know better. Like ?? and ?? and...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 11:51 AM

MtheGM I saw it last night. It is the most visually beautiful film I have ever seen. Ang Lee even makes those old block style apartment buildings in La Belle Province look way prettier than they do in person. I thought that no one could surpass Amelie and Avatar in their own ways for sheer cinematic beauty. Ang Lee has beaten both at their own game.

M~, According to what I saw in the film and quotes I have read by the novelist, the theme is that when you have two stories, one with "God", one without, the one with "God" is the more interesting. This is a story that speaks a little about the Hindu Gods, Jesus & Allah and has a very sympathetic Buddhist character.

Life of Pi is exactly the type of material I started this thread to discuss. If there is no discussion other than the usual nonsense, at least I will have done my part. At least I will have tried.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 12:00 PM

Agree about the film's visuals and atmosphere, Jack; but less sure about its 'message' [if that is quite the word I want]. After all, it wasn't Allah or Jesus or Buddha that influenced the final choice and judgment ~~ it was Richard Parker, that exquisite TIGER, wasn't it? Honest, now! And even if he be taken as a sort of Deity-symbol, then what are we to make of the fact that he so disappointed Pi ultimately by not even turning to give him an affectionate final glance, after all they had gone thru together and the relationship he thought they had forged against all the odds, before vanishing from his life into the jungle for ever? Beware how symbols may turn on you & bite your bum!

LoL

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 05:45 PM

MthGM I can only assume that you did not see the last scene in the movie where adult Pi explains to the interviewer how stories with God in them are better.

But don't argue with me. Argue with the man who wrote the original story.

"according to Yann Martel, can be summarized in three statements- "Life is a story... You can choose your story... A story with God is the better story."


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 05:48 PM

Personally, I like stories with fairies in them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 06:30 PM

Honestly, The, has your common sense taken a day off? Here we have an embittered man (for reasons best known to himself) who immediately starts by railing at science for its being usurped by belief-system obsessives. It should have taken you less than the 90 seconds to realise that here we had a man who was doing that usual dismal thing of equating what he doesn't agree with (atheism/science? Select your particular bent) with religious belief systems, as equal but opposite. But science is not a belief system. It is the way that human minds seek explanations for natural phenomena. Science starts with unbelief, dismissal and super-scepticism. Neither is atheism a belief system. Atheism is waiting for evidence, pure and simple. Allowing yourself to be swept up into this pseudo-intellectual back-alley, is, well, somewhat unbecoming.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 01:22 AM

Science is not a belief system. Of course it isn't. Did you know that Steve Shaw examined every fossil in existence and went to the very ground from which they were dug before he believed in evolution. Did you know that he personally checked every notation in Einstein's math before he accepted Relativity?

He read all of Fermi's and Curie's work in the original Italian then replicated all of their work in his second floor bathroom.

He observed the heavens through his own telescope befor he believed Galileo Galilei and Newton.

Of course he did, faith and trust are totally rejected by low level science teachers. Science rejects belief!! All must be tested by each individual!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 01:37 AM

You just don't get Sheldrake, Hen. You have given yourself, to hear you tell it, a viewing of 120 seconds of a public discourse by him, without having read a word he has written or listened to a further word he has said, and presume to judge him entirely by that. Do you really think that becoming intellectual behaviour, or a basis on which to come to a conclusion?

Surprised at you. Whose commonsense has take the day off, as you put it? If you really want to dismiss him [& I tell you, he is in this discourse one of us, not one of them], at least provide yourself with a reasonable intellectual framework within which to do so.

~The~


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 01:40 AM

Jack ~ "Stories are better with God in them":

I think it is you who miss Pi's point ~~ that, though they might sound better to some, be more entertaininig and interesting than boring old actuality, they still remain simply stories.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 04:00 AM

M~ the author and Pi in the book have both said that the stories with God are better. You want to quibble with the movie or the novel, quibble with them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sailor seaman
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 04:56 AM

I have not read every post you have submitted me old Jack Tar but I believe you generally talk bollocks.

Is that what you meant?

Science isn't a belief system. Belief systems are belief systems. Science describes what we understand about what we observe, not what we wish to observe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 05:04 AM

No, Jack -- I shall quibble with YOU, till you get into your thick head that you have misunderstood what they mean by 'better'.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 05:21 AM

... and that even if 'better' in their terms, they are still only stories


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 06:10 AM

I did listen to a lot more than 120 seconds as it happened, The. Still, it was a long time ago and I'm not watching it again until the sun goes back in.

Well now, wacko. You think science is a belief system just like religion because I trust everything that's told to me without checking it first-hand for myself.
So let's demolish this false equivalence 'twixt science and religion once and for all.

Religion tells you what to believe. Science puts information in front of you.

Religion is a massive disconnect between the writings of ancient desert-dwellers, claims of witnesses, tradition and the assertions and edicts of holy men (rarely holy women). Science is an ever-accumulating body of hard-won knowledge via the verification of evidence.

Religious "knowledge" must not be questioned. You may end up being excommunicated, ostracised or having your head cut off. Science is not science unless it can be questioned at every step. In fact, science must be questioned at every step. That's the way science has progressed, and that's why religious knowledge never progresses. All we have is the further ruminations of "theologians" who operate within a tight ringfence.

Religion consists of a static and unconnected mix of myth, witness and edicts. Science consists of a huge single jigsaw of knowledge for which we are forever finding more pieces. Quite often, we realise that the jigsaw seems to be growing bigger before our eyes. I know whether I can trust the findings of Galileo or Newton or Einstein because many further pieces of their jigsaws have been discovered and are still being discovered, and you can't fit pieces of the wrong jigsaw. For any new scientific assertion, I can find the paper, study the details of the methodology and take or leave the conclusions if I want to. I don't need to imagine that the whole of science is one big fraud unless I check every detail personally. That is not faith in anything like the same sense as religious faith, which is completely blind (if it wasn't, there would be no religion). If you want to call it faith at all, it's based on sheer practicality, in the same way that I have "faith" in the fact that my wife hasn't poisoned my porridge this morning.

So try not to be so silly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 06:12 AM

Of their parts of the jigsaw, I suppose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 06:31 PM

". and that even if 'better' in their terms, they are still only stories "

that is not what the character says in the movie that is not what the novelist says about the movie.

I haven't commented except to quote them. If you don't believe it your problem is with them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 06:32 PM

Steve, You are a very poor spokesperson for science.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 06:41 PM

I simply love your amazingly supported assertions, Wacko Jacko.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sailor seaman
Date: 04 Jun 13 - 01:19 AM

I wasn't aware science offered the post of spokesman?

Religions on the other hand have thousands of the buggers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: theleveller
Date: 04 Jun 13 - 03:34 AM

Bugger me! I pop back to Mudcat for a quick look and there are even more interminable religion v atheism threads. I have to wonder if Jack's been talking to his god and been instructed to bombard the site with his ramblings.

Anyway, one thing that does interest me is MtheGM's comments about Rupert Sheldrake. I haven't read the book he refers to but my copy of 'The Rebirth of Nature' is much-thumbed, annotated and dog-eared. I find his theory of morphic resonance et al compelling and thought-provoking. Along with the writings of Sir Alastair Hardy, John Gribben, Peter Russell, Paul Devereux, James Lovelock, Roger Penrose and many, many other exceptional thinkers, it has a place in my own eclectic, ever-changing and perpetually open-minded approach to life, religion and everything. I even keep an open mind about the idea of a single, all-powerful deity but, after over 50 years of searching, I still haven't found anything to convince me. But, of course, if there was certainty, faith would be redundant, so Jack is welcome to his interminable postings – I, however, won't be spending too much time reading them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Jun 13 - 05:40 PM

Republicans are not Christians?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Jun 13 - 05:43 PM

"I, however, won't be spending too much time reading them. "

I am fine with that. If you don't like what I say, please don't feel obligated to read or comment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 06:49 AM

""Republicans are not Christians?""

The answer to the question is, except in their use of the name, No, they are not!

Exactly as the author of that article says.

The relevance to this thread is...................?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 10:09 AM

The relevance to this thread is that I started this thread to talk about Religion and Atheism. Christianity is a religion. The post is not a quiz. It is a starting point for a discussion for anyone who wants to to politely an intelligently have one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 11:01 AM

Pope says Atheists can get to heaven.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 11:04 AM

Nice of His Holiness, certainly. But why should he bother, as we won't be interested anyhow, and what difference is it supposed to make to anyone else?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Chongo Chimp
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 11:39 AM

Well, see....he just likes to let the world know what he thinks...same as you do.

- Chongo


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 11:40 AM

A comment without reading the article? Thank you for your input sir.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 12:23 PM

Of course I read the article before posting, Jack. But my point holds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 12:50 PM

So you realize that the article is a well thought out, well expressed point of view piece expressing a similar stance to the one you just did? :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 02:29 PM

Scientist not Republican because of Atheism?

Interesting survey. I find that a lot of strident Atheism seems to be a reaction to the Right wing f the GOP.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 04:47 PM

It's likely that scientists are smarter than the average American. That's why so few of them are Republicans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 08:09 PM

""It's likely that scientists are smarter than the average American. That's why so few of them are Republicans.""

Not likely Guest, bloody certain, and not just in the USA, but in every country on the planet.

Real scientists will always be above the average of the population in intelligence.

And you can sit down again Pete. There is no Creation Science, nor any Creation Scientists.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans reading glasses
Date: 07 Jun 13 - 03:53 AM

I skimmed the article if it helps. Seems like bollocks to me. Although reading it or not is irrelevant. Jack off decides whether you have read something on the basis of his preconceived opinion of you.

The Pope insists there is something called Heaven eh? All seems well till he starts describing it. We are all entitled to our delusions, but if I were a God fearing Catholic, I'd be a bit pissed off about all the mea culpa I'd been told was important.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jun 13 - 01:40 PM

Musket Mather I don't care what you think or say. I am sure that devout Catholics don't either. You have admitted to only using that name so that you can be childish in conversation. Carry on with your childishness, if you must, but don't expect your expressed mocking opinions and insults to carry any weight.

M~ Can speak for himself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans Ian
Date: 07 Jun 13 - 02:05 PM

Permission to speak Sah!

Sailor Jack has just lost his permission to post on Mudcat by order of me.

Perhaps I should stop posting too? After all you can't educate pork.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jun 13 - 02:14 PM

More childish insults? .... sigh


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans reality check
Date: 07 Jun 13 - 02:55 PM

Just thought I'd give you what you keep asking for.

Funny that you never either acknowledge nor debate when I post something serious. So why should I bother?

Far better to treat your atheist taunting threads for what they are. You start with a quote and say it is to provoke debate. Yeah. We don't all live in Dumbfuckistan.

Snag is, you have an idea what you ridicule but have no idea really. As you wish to be taken seriously, pointing and laughing is more appropriate than saying " yes Jack. That's right Jack. Now eat some of the mushed banana the night staff made for you."


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jun 13 - 03:12 PM

"Funny that you never either acknowledge nor debate when I post something serious. "

Because you are always insulting

Because you have said that you are not being serious when you are Musket.

On that basis, why should anyone bother? I think that I give you far more respect than you earn.

"So why should I bother?"

If you are not a God-hater WHY DO you bother? The amount of effort you put forth can only be explained by zeal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans timing
Date: 11 Jun 13 - 12:28 PM

If I were a god hater, assuming you can hate fictional characters..... I would be able to post under Spunky's rules, but if was not a God hater I have something called zeal in my pocket? Presumably an American seal?

Ok I get it. I cannot be taken serious unless I use my own name but Seaman Stains should be taken seriously regardless.

Mind you, if I were Jack Off, I would hide behind the idea of not being taken seriously on account of the illogical claptrap he comes out with. No wonder I can't bring myself to debate with the sailor's parrot......


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 04:51 AM

interesting points of view.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 11:13 AM

Interesting points indeed. (I lost track of this thread last month, and was just now reading most of the parts I missed.)

Malala Yousafzai is an amazing person, not only for her obvious courage, but also for her very sophisticated view of the 'meanings' embedded in various forms of religious thought.

I also read with interest the links to the story "The Life of Pi", which I had never heard of before. I have not been to a 'movie theater' in many years, and will not have a chance to see the film unless YouTube gets it, or I find a DVD. It is interesting to compare Malala's attitude with Pi's... they don't say exactly the same thing, but they might basically agree.
It seems to me that Malala is implicitly saying something similar to Pi's "stories with God are better", simply because she is aware that many (most?) people need a story on which to hang their internal 'processing' of those basic messages. She never touts any of the stories as 'fact', but asks people to take notice of how similar they are when practiced well.

What she doesn't address directly is whether... and how.. atheists can practice the virtues she notes. Since this thread is about "Reflections on Religion and Atheism", it may be relevant to say something in that regard. Immanuel Kant.. (and some other philosophers).. discussed morality and its roots. Kant believed that moral behavior could be deduced and defended thru reason alone, and wrote several turgid explanations of it. Without suggesting that everyone delve into his "Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals", I DO suggest that many non-religious people, when asked what they 'believe' to give themselves a moral compass, will come up with simple forms of many of the arguments that Kant took hundreds of pages to develop....and which Mammy Yokum, the mother of cartoon character L'il Abner, shortened to: "Good is better'n evil, 'cause it's nicer!"

I do wish my links in the early part of this thread had been followed and digested a bit more.

(Jack.. you said back there... "there is a lot of reading in those links, none of it current. I had a look at The Faith of the Heretic. The comparison of Jesus to other religious figures to see which is the greatest is not interesting to me. I don't claim that Jesus is the greatest role model or speaker or whatever..."

I don't really think 'currency' is relevant to what Kaufmann is saying about history and relationships of religious thought.... and personally, I never found any notion of 'comparison' to determine "which is the greatest" in his analysis. I kind of suspect Kaufmann would like Malala!

For those who might like to read all or part of his book, I repost the links:

for a summary

link to the downloads page(several formats)

In the last link, one can find a zip file of plain text.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 11:29 AM

I just watched "The Life of Pi" a couple of days ago, Bill. It's an absolutely wonderful movie.

Yes, moral behavior can be deduced and defended thru reason alone...which is fine. No particular harm done to religion by that.

But let me rephrase Mammy Yoakum's "Good is better'n evil, 'cause it's nicer!" Cute! ;-D

The way I'd put it is, "Good is better than evil because it's constructive, not destructive...because it leads to better results and after-effects, and this is self-evident. It's also practical. It's the wiser course to follow, as we can all figure out just by using common sense."

In Eastern religions this is taught about in terms of karma...negative actions inevitably produce negative results...in the long run...they are not always so evident in the short run. (Al Capone thought he was doing great for a while there...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 11:59 AM

There are some atheistic schools of thought that define "good" in non-optimal ways for society. Lenin's version of Marxism, Ayn Rand's stress on "self interest", Nietzsche focus on superior men etc.

That is not to say that there are not immoral ideas carried out by religion. But Atheist philosophy does not inevitably lead to morality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 12:01 PM

"No particular harm done to religion by that."

Well, you don't think so... and I don't think so, but many IN religion(s) would rather you believe that true morality comes from its acceptance as "god's word". They surmise that without the force of Divine Word that people assume they have a choice, and that they are justified in whatever they can 'get away with'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 12:23 PM

Yeah. Some of them do think that way. Their choice, not mine.

****

That film of Malala speaking at the U.N. is really something to see!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 12:34 PM

Atheist philosophy

And what precisely is that when it's at 'ome?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 12:58 PM

Gee Steve, What is wrong with you? In context of what Bill was saying ("Immanuel Kant.. (and some other philosophers).. discussed morality and its roots. Kant believed that moral behavior could be deduced and defended thru reason alone, and wrote several turgid explanations of it. ") and having given three examples I made myself pretty clear.

If you want piss and moan and quibble over semantics this may not be the best thread for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 01:11 PM

Darwinism? What about Aristotle? Adam Smith?

Though Darwin was a lightening rod of praise and criticism, and a convenient scapegoat for some. He does not deserve all the criticism or blame.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 01:52 PM

Well I'm an atheist but I have no atheist philosophy. I might have philosophy of some kind. But atheism is not a system of tenets to base anything on. Atheism is one big shrug.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 03:09 PM

"Atheism is one big shrug."

Well, it should be. The infamous Madelyn Murray O'Hair couldn't limit it to shrugging and gave atheism (at least in the US) much of its bad press and still affects how many view the word.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 09:57 PM

So what are you saying? That people who oppose the outrageous and unjust default position of religious bigotry in this world have some kind of "atheist philosophy"? I think you should tell us. Or, at least, tell us why you brought that up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 10:08 PM

If you want piss and moan and quibble over semantics this may not be the best thread for you.

You toss out a stupid throwaway phrase like "atheist philosophy" and I need you to explain what you mean. Semantics my arse. That's just your feeble attempt to legitimise the illegitimate. It's drivel, isn't it, Wacko?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 10:08 PM

If you want piss and moan and quibble over semantics this may not be the best thread for you.

You toss out a stupid throwaway phrase like "atheist philosophy" and I need you to explain what you mean. Semantics my arse. That's just your feeble attempt to legitimise the illegitimate. It's drivel, isn't it, Wacko?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 10:10 PM

I absolutely definitely posted that just the once.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 10:58 PM

The term "atheist" has been used many in different ways during human history. In Roman times, for instance, when mobs of conventional Romans gathered to drive the despised Christians from their midst...or kill them...those mobs most popular shout was "Out with the atheists!!!" They saw Christains as atheists because the Christians didn't recognize the conventional Roman gods and goddesses, didn't visit their temples, and didn't make sacrifices to propitiate them. This, to the conventional Roman, amounted to "atheism". It's highly ironical, given the passage of time...and how concerned Christians actually were then about their idea of God.

Hitler encouraged his troops to fight the "godless/atheistic" Soviets, and every German soldier of the Wehrmacht had the words "Gott Mitt Uns" (God is with us) inscribed on his belt buckle (and no doubt most of them believed it). In this case the label "godless" or "atheist" would have fit the Russians (at least a great many of them) fairly well, since their government did follow an officially atheist philosophy.

Mao followed an officially atheist policy, and so did Pol Pot in Cambodia. Mind you, Pol Pot also was against things like modern education, eyeglasses, speaking foreign languages, intellectualism, and pretty well anything else that stood apart from the most rudimentary and primitive peasant existence. The way to survive under his regime was to pretend to be totally ignorant and extremely willing to follow orders, no matter how savage.

If you want to find out what any person means by "atheist"...ask them. You'll get their version of what they think it means, but it won't necessarily agree with your version or with what's in the dictionary either.

Same goes for the phrase "atheist philosophy". You want to find out what someone who says it actually means? You have to ask them. You might get 10 or 100 different explanations, depending on whom you ask.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 03:23 AM

What I like about resurrecting this old thread is that it was started by Jerk who then goes on to say he doesn't have a dog in this hunt.

Couple that with berating others for having closed minds and then stating that whilst there may be others out there as philosophers, Jesus is all he needs.

Do keep going Jerk. Saves me having to type. ......


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 06:24 AM

Say there are a hundred different Gods (I'm not interested enough to have counted them). Then there are just two different camps: those who disbelieve in 99 of them and those who disbelieve in a hundred of them. We're closer than you think, Wacko! Scary! So what's your atheist philosophy, Wacko?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 09:13 AM

I think there are way more than a hundred. ;-) And nobody's ever succeeded in counting them all. My father and his brother, for example, were at least demigods...although only in their own minds! (Nobody else worshipped them.) Mao was like a god in China. Stalin was like a god in Russia. Al Capone was like a god to his organization. Politicians, generals, and kings have often managed to more or less appoint themselves to such a heady position in life.

The question is, what are the characteristics of the "god" in question? Is it merely a quasi-human character made up by humans in their own image? Or is it more like an underlying principle that lies behind all manifestation? Or is it something completely indefinable? And what do those who speak of it imagine when they use the word "God"? Do they imagine an authoritative old gent on a heavenly throne? If so, where do they think he is located? Or do they imagine a guiding principle or consciousness rather than an embodiment?

There's more to the business of God than just "meets the eye", and that's why I find it interesting. If it was just a question of the old bearded guy on the throne, I'd be as utterly uninterested in the subject as I was at age 7 when I rejected that idea without a second thought.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 09:15 AM

There are people who are happy to believe in a 'Supreme Being' (or Beings) without any proof that such an entity exists - except, perhaps, for some vague, and often highly ambiguous, statements and narratives in old texts - texts whose origins are often unclear. These people have a tendency to construct complex mythical, moral and ethical structures on such unstable and rickety foundations. In addition they tend to insist that others respect their beliefs and even treat them with reverence.

Then there are people who see no reason to dedicate their lives to a Supreme Being, when they can see no evidence, whatsoever, to suggest that such a Being actually exists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 09:30 AM

How would you go about proving that something exists if it's not a physically observable phenomenon? And if it's not separate from anything else, but intrinsically involved in everything?

I just had a thought. I just had another! And another! ;-) How do we go about proving that those thoughts existed? We can't. But I know I just had them, and I have no doubt about that. And our thoughts are real...because we experience them, they affect us profoundly, and they often move us to action (or lack of action, in some cases).

There are many things which are absolutely real, but which cannot be "proven" (or observed by someone else) in any outward sense. They can only be directly experienced within by the person having the experience. Such things lie at the heart of life, give it meaning, and have produced great poetry, art, song, and religious concepts and experiences.

Some people don't wish to think about stuff like that. Fine with me. (shrug) It doesn't matter one way or the other if they do or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 10:53 AM

Little Hawk, if you must interface with the piss takers, please do it on another thread.


You know that they are just doing their same old bullying B.S.

You two can make up your own definition of "Atheist" if you want. But you can't force it on others. I don't see what your problem is. Lenin and Ayn Rand proudly proclaimed their atheism. Both are recognized as philosophers. When they turned to matters of religion and morality, what they produced was atheist philosophy. You two claim not to be atheists then you start a jihad every time the word is used. I don't think that irony is lost on anyone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 11:00 AM

Oh, I notice that Shaw is now claiming to be an Atheist. But by which definition?

Ayn Rands?

Mao's?

Nietzsche's?

Kant's

There are plenty of Atheist philosophies to chose from. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 11:07 AM

"I think there are way more than a hundred. ;-)"

Not any more, according to Nietzsche's Zarathustra..


With the old Deities hath it long since come to an end:--and verily, a
good joyful Deity-end had they!

They did not "begloom" themselves to death--that do people fabricate! On
the contrary, they--LAUGHED themselves to death once on a time!

That took place when the unGodliest utterance came from a God
himself--the utterance: "There is but one God! Thou shalt have no other
Gods before me!"--

--An old grim-beard of a God, a jealous one, forgot himself in such
wise:--

And all the Gods then laughed, and shook upon their thrones, and
exclaimed: "Is it not just divinity that there are Gods, but no God?"


------------------------------------------------------------------

original text:

Mit den alten Göttern gieng es ja lange schon zu Ende: - und wahrlich,
ein gutes fröhliches Götter-Ende hatten sie!

Sie "dämmerten" sich nicht zu Tode, - das lügt man wohl! Vielmehr: sie
haben sich selber einmal zu Tode - _gelacht_!

Das geschah, als das gottloseste Wort von einem Gotte selber ausgieng,
- das Wort: "Es ist Ein Gott! Du sollst keinen andern Gott haben neben
mir!" -

- ein alter Grimm-Bart von Gott, ein eifersüchtiger vergass sich also:

Und alle Götter lachten damals und wackelten auf ihren Stühlen und
riefen: "Ist das nicht eben Göttlichkeit, dass es Götter, aber keinen
Gott giebt?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 11:18 AM

By the way, having a degree in Philosophy, it kinda bothers me to see anyone who sometimes muses on meaning, religion and morality 'accepted' as philosophers. It's diluting the word, rather like "folk".
(We don't call someone who collects & categorizes rocks as a hobby a Geologist, do we?)
Just a personal quibble..

Back to our regularly scheduled bickering discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket again
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 11:22 AM

101. You forgot Chris Waddell.

Oy Jerk. Do not post again on this thread. By order of me.

Sanctimonious sod. Little hawk speaks more sense than you so debate between him and others is far better for this thread . You see, interfacing with piss takers as you put it doesn't happen. There are however a growing number of people who have problems taking you seriously. If those who laugh at rather than with you posted on other threads, this thread would soon... Err....

Bloody good idea Jerk! Well done that rating!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 11:52 AM

Nice quote from "Zarathustra", Bill. I like it.

I'm mostly speaking quite seriously on this subject, Jack, so I don't see what the problem would be (?). I occasionally deal in satire too, but when I do it's usually to make a serious point.

I agree that there are many atheist philosophies to choose from...perhaps as many of them as there are of the religious philosophies. What I find, though, is that people usually just attach themselves to the philosophy they like best at a gut level, and because of familiarity...and then set about justifying and defending it after the fact. They all think they're "right". When I was young I liked the idea of opposing any philosophy that suggested there might be a "God". Why? Well, that's what I learned from my parents...to be contemptuous of such a notion. I now see it differently...but I now see the entire idea of "God" in a very different manner than I did back then. (I don't picture a superhuman figure out there somewhere who judges, rewards, and punishes people.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket curious
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 12:57 PM

There is only one definition of atheist, so stop claiming the philosophy of many who used their lack of superstition ad being flavours of atheism. If they had wrinkled scrotums and the Pope had a shiny sack, would you differentiate on this bollocks rather than verbal versions?

Atheism is a term meaning the antithesis of theism. Ok. I'll accept that. However, an antithesis is a non event, no more than yin and yang, a balance. No more. Theism is assertive. Atheism is just a term to mean the opposite. It is also a snearing term of contempt used to point people out.

If you went up to a teenager in the street or a bloke walking his dog and asked him what kind of atheist they were, you'd get a blank look. Not believing in fantasy, not using a published moral compass, not trusting those who try to command respect. .. it doesn't make you a flavour of anything. It either means you have never had to think about religion or you have thought about religion. Either way, you have come out of it well adjusted, rational and without hang ups.

The purile interest in such people can only be through a deep sense of envy. Not feeling guilty. Not balancing actions against a medieval philosophy. Not wondering what the Sunday thought police would think.

Sorry, but I fail to see how Jerk the Sea Cadet fails to understand that lack of superstition can be any more than that. He manages to insult people with faith every bit as much as I must be. The difference bring he doesn't realise it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 01:09 PM

Atheism can be either dismissive ("I'm not interested in that") OR assertive ("there is NO God"). It depends on the person expressing the view. I've run into both of those attitudes from time to time. My parents tended more toward the dismissive, but my father would occasionally take the assertive approach.

Can't say I've ever given any thought as to the state of the Pope's scrotum... In fact...I'd sort of prefer not to even think about it...

NOW look what you've done, Musket! ;-D Gahh! Yuck! This is going to bother me all through lunch, I just know it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 02:05 PM

"How would you go about proving that something exists if it's not a physically observable phenomenon?"

You can't. Does a non-physical, non-observable phenomenon exist? Sounds awfully like 'nothing' to me! As for thoughts - well they are communicable (we're communicating them now) and I'm sure that some thoughts have measurable, physiological effects on the human body (let's not delve too deeply into that!).

"And if it's not separate from anything else, but intrinsically involved in everything?"

Well atoms are not separate from everything else and involved in everything. I think I'll pass on worshipping atoms, thanks!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket shiny and veiny
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 02:19 PM

Aye, you see, you get it. Some fail to see the technical difference. Not all people who don't have a view would like to be lumped with x whilst x can have many reasons for dismissing a religion, but indifference isn't one of them.

I seem to notice that not having faith is seen by some as denial. It isn't. It means you don't go to a church, mosque, temple etc any more than you collect pocket watches, watch soap operas or play cricket for your local village.

I am not in denial about not indulging in bell ringing or heli skiing, but my responsible adult gets a kick out of both. I don't say that non guitarists are in instrumental denial or if you don't drink beer, there is something wrong with you.

The more religious people get curious about indifference, the more I feel like provoking them. I suppose if you are brainwashed into thinking a myth has substance, you feel the need to give people a chance to share your delusion. It isn't always helpful.

There is no reason to suppose there is anything in religion, no reason to conform other than the need for religious organisations wishing to have control over you and no reason why intelligent people should fall for thanking a myth for the good things whilst waffling away reasons for the bad things. If I were to accept a God, I would accept he killed those school children in India the other day. He is responsible for the busy mortuary close to my office, for the disappointment that drives many to suicide... Luckily, I fail to see how he could exist. He'd be a bit of a bastard lately if he did....

There is a good side. Most people who express a faith and attend services can differentiate between belief and belief. It's just the dodgy ones riding on their respectability and good will that need questioning. (Not to mention their apologists.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 05:05 PM

Shimrod, where did I say you are required to worship anyone or anything? ;-) I do not say you are required to do that. If there is a God, in the sense of a universally existing consciousness or presence that informs and holds together everything right down to the atomic level, then I very much doubt it requires worship from anyone.

If it's there, then it just is what it is...like gravity is what it is. I don't worship gravity, and I'm not saying you should worship anything either. It helps us if we understand our relationship with gravity...and we do, hopefully...but we sure don't need to worship it...nor does it need to be worshipped.

You say that we can't prove (or disprove) that something exists if it's not a physically observable phenomenon.

Correct! Exactly. We can't. And that was my point. It's silly to think that people can prove or disprove the existence of God, and it's a waste of time to even try to, because God is not an observable phenomenon in the first place...nor are many other things that truly matter in our lives.

Don't ask the physical sciences to do what they are simply not equipped to do. It would be like asking a painter to open a complex lock by using his paint and a brush...nonsensical. You'd be using tools that don't in any way apply to the problem at hand.

If God exists, perception of God is an inner experience of consciousness, not an outward matter of observable phenomena, therefore the research lab isn't going to help you find God. (not saying you have to look for God, by the way...if it doesn't interest you to do so, that's fine with me).

Yes, thoughts have an effect on our nervous system...clearly! Religious experiences also appear to have an effect on our nervous system, because they are directly linked to our thoughts and our emotions...they provoke movements in thought and emotion, and that causes effects to the nervous system.

If you don't have such experiences yourself, then for you they remain hypothetical, and your reaction may be to deny even the possibility that such experiencies CAN happen...but you can't possibly know for sure unless you HAVE such an experience...and then you do know. If so, it cannot be proven, it can only be known BY having the experience. This is a personal matter, not a matter that can be investigated in a lab or by a committee, and that means that the bean-counters of this world have nothing useful to say about it, and probably have no interest in it either. They just want more BEANS to count! ;-) So, fine. If that's what people want, I won't tell them they shouldn't. To each his own.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 05:13 PM

Yes, you have the Ian Mather centric idea of Atheism down pat. But wait!! There are millions of Atheists out there (As Little Hawk pointed out) Who are not Ian Mather and who may have different points of view.

Kant, in his atheism, (as Bill D, whose posts you "couldn't be arsed" to read apparently,posted on this thread) felt the need to come up with non-religious definitions and sources of morality.   

Ayn Rand rejected all ethics other than self interest.

Nietzsche was poetic about it, basically replacing the worship of a god? or gods with what? Self worship for those worthy of worshiping themselves?

Marx said religion was the "opiate of the masses." Obviously his views were along the lines of "improving" society by substituting another "opiate"

"By Frans de Waal" tries to explain ethics and altruism in terms of primate behavior rather than as a gift on a stone tablet.

All of these are philosophies, of Atheists used to explain or dismiss conventional religion and/or religious values. These people do not fit your idea of what and Atheist is. There are or were actively trying to frame the debate about what it means to be religious.

And all you can do is mock and taunt. I've said this before Musket. I don't care what you think about me I don't care what you and your little friends say in PMs. It is sad that you have nothing better to do than to talk about me. You are rude and you don't put much intelligent thought into what you say. Worst of all, you don't pay attention to what others say. There would be more satisfaction in talking with a parrot trained to say five or six Dawkins memes

"Arwak!!! religious education is child abuse." "Awrak! Its OK to teach your kids to lie if it means they get a "good" education. Arwak!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 05:53 PM

1 2 3 4


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,musket is God apparently
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 06:18 PM

Wow.

I point out that many people don't fall for any theory or dogma and Jerk calls it the Ian Mather theory. Bugger me, I must be very important.

Mind you, I'm not used to being important. Next time you are in port, can you give me lessons? I'm especially interested in the bit about lying to children. Never tried it myself see.

Religious education isn't child abuse. Teaching them to be wary is a good thing. Religious instruction however is another thing..... luckily, other than school assembly and ignoring the RE teacher who was incapable of teaching, I wasn't tainted. Neither were my lads. The religious comeback by Gove and associated dangerous nutters may start dragging The UK back to the dark ages. Still, at least we'll be a few centuries ahead of Dumbfuckistan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 06:44 PM

I dearly hope you don't mean Canada when you say "Dumbfuckistan", Musket! It wouldn't bother me, but it would probably infuriate Shane McBride...and when Shane gets infuriated he uses very bad language and breaks things. That can end up in him getting arrested. If he gets arrested, he may tell the Sudbury, Ontario cops that you called Canada "Dumbfuckistan". The cops may then inform CSIS CSIS may then decide that you are a threat to Canada. They may then dispatch a hit squad of Canadian Moose and Beavers who will be sent "across the Great Waters" to hunt you down in your wretched home environs and administer a little Canadian justice! This usually involves a form of waterboarding where lethal amounts of Maple Syrup mixed with Brador beer are poured into your mouth and nostrils while an Inuit icepick is shoved up your nether extremities. (that would be "arse" in UK-ese) (This latter procedure would more or less satisfy your rather unexpected request "bugger me".)

At any rate, few have survived the above treatment. Fewer still have retained the ability to use a bank card, converse intelligibly, play gin rummy or tie their shoelaces.

You have been warned, sir! Retract those dreadful words or face the very worst Canada can offer!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 08:39 PM

You piss on everything. Religion, other countries, other people. Its tedious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 08:41 PM

The piss takers are Musket and Shaw.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 09:33 PM

I agree that there are many atheist philosophies to choose from...perhaps as many of them as there are of the religious philosophies. What I find, though, is that people usually just attach themselves to the philosophy they like best at a gut level, and because of familiarity...and then set about justifying and defending it after the fact. They all think they're "right".

Yeah well you got really cross when I told you how patronising you are and here you are doing it again par excellence. You simply can't help it, can you, imagining yourself floating above the rest of us in some kind of assumed benign judgemental/analytical mode. If you have any idea of an "atheist philosophy" or two "to choose from", well let's have 'em, chapter and verse. As for me, my atheism, as I'm bloody sick of telling you, can be summed up in a couple of sentences. Here is it is again, boringly, in the hope that it will shut you up about your bogus "atheist philosophies" once and for all, you pompous twit:

"The laws of science as we understand them explain almost everything we know about the universe, and the stuff we have yet to understand, through current lack of evidence or technique, is rapidly being closed in on. The idea of some kind of supernatural being who explains the universe is the stupidest idea in existence, because, not only is there no evidence for such a being, and no need under the laws of nature for such a being (he would have to break every law in any case), his existence would raise infinitely more questions than answers, all of them unanswerable, therefore the proposers of his existence are utterly deluded."

No philosophy there, old chap, just a bit of fact, a bit of logic and a bit of a big shrug.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket being patriotic
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 03:29 AM

Naw Littlehawk. I don't mean Canada. You have enough issues with the French as it is. . I mean the part of USA below the Dixie as it were. Where your mate was sent in exile.

I don't know about in Canada but here in The UK television shows love screening snippets of God channel shows from the deep south so we can apparently laugh and feel superior I suppose. Me? I feel worried that these dangerous idiots buy politicians and are trying to turn the constitutionally secular USA into a Jesus theocracy, whilst denouncing Islamic areas of the world for trying the exact same thing.

We have still to disenfranchise the Church of England but it is slowly happening. The deputy prime minister and leader of the opposition have declared they question the right of one religion to be involved in legislative issues and the prime minister says he goes to church purely through tradition. (He only started that once he ran for office.) Can you see anyone running for The White House saying they don't do God?

Yet whenever you point out that religious membership is not exactly logical in these enlightened days, they send the dogs out to attack. Some try to be subtle, although come over as subtle as a bucket of lard, whilst some are rather disturbed.

Then of course you have the well adjusted rational people who are comfortable with their faith and always have been. These are the ones the more sinister nutters depend on for respectability.

I see it as a rearguard action and the rise of polarised religion in 21st century western world society is the death rattle. The unearthing of abuse, the open questioning of not seeing gays and women as equal, laws being passed against the wishes of bishops. .. Society is slowly seeing the paper tiger for what it was founded on. Control of communities.

Looks like revelations saw the target but missed the point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 03:51 AM

"If God exists, perception of God is an inner experience of consciousness, not an outward matter of observable phenomena, therefore the research lab isn't going to help you find God."

So God is confined within each individual 'God perceiver's' brain, is He, LH? How do you know then that each God perceiver is perceiving the same God?

Also, is God just a function of human consciousness? Do cats, parrots, blue whales and ants perceive God too? If not, where did God reside before humans evolved? Where is He going to reside after we've rendered ourselves extinct in another couple of generations time?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 01:59 PM

No, Steve, I am talking about some of the people in this world, that's all. A fair number of them. I couldn't say what the percentage might be, per capita...but a good many people. Your error was to take it personally and imagine I am talking about you...or even about everyone else in the world EXCEPT for me! ;-D And I am not. I do not imagine that I am floating above all the rest of you in some superior manner...I am simply talking about something basic and simple enough to understand that pretty much any adult should be able to grasp it, so that hardly puts me at some kind of superior level to the rest of humanity, does it?

End of story. You have no cause to take what I say personally when I am philosophizing about various common errors in thinking that affect a good deal of humanity, and which have been doing so ever since anyone can remember.

You protest too much, Steve, and over nothing.

***

Nor am I in disagreement with your statement:

"The laws of science as we understand them explain almost everything we know about the universe, and the stuff we have yet to understand, through current lack of evidence or technique, is rapidly being closed in on. The idea of some kind of supernatural being who explains the universe is the stupidest idea in existence, because, not only is there no evidence for such a being, and no need under the laws of nature for such a being (he would have to break every law in any case), his existence would raise infinitely more questions than answers, all of them unanswerable, therefore the proposers of his existence are utterly deluded."

...because that sort of a being does not in any way resemble anything I believe in....or that comes to my mind when I hear the word "God". I do not imagine God as a being nor do I imagine any natural laws being broken by such a hypothetical being.

You do have an argument with some people about that, yes...with religous fundamentalists of one stripe or another...but not with me.

***

Musket - Yeah, I figured you were talking about the Deep South in the USA. Just couldn't resist the opportunity for a few jokes. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 02:25 PM

Shimrod - I don't think of God as "He". Somebody else might...fine with me if they do...but I don't.

"How do you know then that each God perceiver is perceiving the same God?"

I doubt that they are. Just as we each experience love in a unique way, I wouldn't expect people to all perceive God in the same way...nor do I assert that there IS only one way of perceiving God, love, or anything else that is not limited to the structures of physically observable phenomena.

"is God just a function of human consciousness?"

Maybe. Maybe not. I don't have the answer to that, but I've certainly wondered about it.

"Do cats, parrots, blue whales and ants perceive God too?"

They may. Again, I don't know. (If I were to make a guess, I'd say that they probably sense it in some instinctive way...) If I had a way of communicating with them about that, I could find out.

"If not, where did God reside before humans evolved?"

'Where'? I don't think of God as being 'somewhere'. I think of God as being everywhere, so 'where' doesn't even enter the equation.

"Where is He going to reside after we've rendered ourselves extinct in another couple of generations time?"

Like I said, 'where' doesn't even enter the equation. Infinity is everywhere (by definition)...it's also "everywhen", by the way....and it's nowhere (for purposes of observation)...because it cannot be limited to any one location...and you can't see it as a phenomenon unless you were able to limit it to one location and say where it begins and ends and where it is NOT some other phenomenon.

That's why we can't bring science to bear upon it. It's not separate. It can't be observed. We can talk about it...yes...but we can't get it in a lab or look at it through a telescope or see it on a radar screen, because it is NOT separate from anything that exists...including us.

I think that: It IS what we are. And it IS what everything else is. But at a conscious level rather than simply by default.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 02:47 AM

Thank you, LH, for your answers to my questions. Sadly, though, I can't help thinking that when you 'spiritually aware' people discuss spiritual matters with 'mere mortals' ('mm's), like me, you have a tendency to close down discussion by asserting that any questions that the 'mm' might have are unanswerable or not even valid questions. To someone with a scientific outlook, such as this particular 'mm', this is like the proverbial red rag to a bull!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 09:32 AM

Heh! ;-) Yeah, I can imagine it must be like the red flag to the bull. Sorry about that.

It's not that I'm trying to frustrate anyone by saying that some things are unanswerable in scientific terms (and I do think that is true of some things). I'm simply talking about something that really interests me, that's all. I accept the fact that some things cannot be answered by science (or physical observation of phenomena, to put it another way)...just as we can't completely explain the mystery of love, for example, by science although we do experience it powerfully.

Earlier in my life I wanted to explain everything through science, logic, deduction, and observation...and that was how I approached things. I had no interest in spirituality back then.

Later I became more interested in the non-material aspects of life, the stuff than cannot be proven or disproven through any means of outer observation, but that is experienced within the individual's own consciusness, and that coincided with my interest in spirituality, love, religious concepts, poetry, philosophy, etc.

What led me there? Listening to songs by great songwriters...and the joys and sorrows of falling in love with various women. I encountered challenges that simply couldn't be nailed down by scientific observation or logic...and it ended up seeming more important to me (strictly on my own personal level) than all the stuff that can be nailed down and thereby "proven" or "disproven".

Don't blame it on the church! The church had nothing to do with it. ;-) Blame it on Bob Dylan, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, Leonard Cohen, and the various young women who broke my heart. They are what made me end up looking for stuff science simply can't provide answers to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 01:16 PM

""If you are not a God-hater WHY DO you bother? The amount of effort you put forth can only be explained by zeal.""

But he isn't the zealot who cannot resist starting these threads "to provoke", not discussion, but anger. Then of course he can complain about anyone who responds, on the basis that they are bullies.

Poor wee pompous ass.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 01:32 PM

""Then there are just two different camps: those who disbelieve in 99 of them and those who disbelieve in a hundred of them. We're closer than you think, Wacko! Scary! So what's your atheist philosophy, Wacko?""

YAYYyyyy! I like that one Steve! We're all pretty much in agreement, though those Romans would be a problem. They believed in a raft of Gods of their own and assimilated everybody else's.

I guess they spent their whole lives fighting enemies in the real world and didn't want to make any for the afterlife.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 01:33 PM

Going back 15 days to find something to whine about?


Grow up DonT! Go bark at a police dog.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 02:23 PM

I think the Romans believed in having enemies both before AND after death, Don. They used to put dire curses on souls of the departed sometimes, hoping to worsen their sojourn in the Afterworld.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 03:24 PM

15 days eh?

He has you weighed up all the same.

Tell me, is everybody on the list of people to ignore? Are Steve and I still on your special list or are you expanding it to include everybody else who sees through your victim complex and any opportunity to rubbish anybody who doesn't share your interpretation of delusion?

If you really are a sailor, get your parrot to post. I don't enjoy being provocative believe it or not and a Norwegian Blue might just talk more sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 04:53 PM

You are a jewel MuskIan! I call you a parrot, you make parrot jokes about me. Your buttons are too easy to push.

I haven't been ignoring you or Steve in a long time. But please excuse me when I ignore your comments when you are "taking the piss" which seems to me all the time.

BTW, I have no idea what bee is under DonT's bonnet. But Don'T think for a minute that his rants bother me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 03:00 AM

Mmm. I mentioned the sailor's parrot then you did if you check back.

Just for the record, taking the piss is best described here as an alternative to trying to rationalise with an irrational stance?

Ring any bells?

Check your trousers. ....


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 06:05 AM

You do have a way of making up your own definitions. That's what you call rational? Who do you think you are Lewis Carrol?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket getting bored now
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 07:11 AM

For the benefit of any poor sod reading this game of tennis between Jerk the Sea Cadet and my good self, here is a synopsis to date.

I respond to his wish to pigeon hole people who don't believe in all that stuff as having as stance by saying you can't define people as atheists and say things about them. Jerk, being all at sea anyway, doesn't like that as his original posts declare, he likes to have something he can sneer at.

Hence no matter how many people on these threads dismiss his stance, he twists things to mean what he wishes. I would say like characters of Lewis Carroll but he seems to have preempted that. ...

I haven't defined atheists you oaf. I merely point out that you can't, as it merely means not having theist traits which is too wide a sample of the population to notice any similarity. Only 0.001% of people dress up and Morris dance, but that tells you nothing about the rest of the population. Prick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 07:53 AM

"I haven't defined atheists you oaf. "

When I speak of famous people who happen to be atheists, both you and Steve has taken exception to nearly every point I make. Calling me names and I would assume, implying that I am wrong in what I say.

I am interested in the topic of religion and the lack of it. Please don't be offended by this but I am not interested in your religion. I don't see why Bill D and I can't discuss Kant without you and Steve taking it personally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket being pious
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 11:32 AM

You can discuss Kant and sound like a Kant for all I care. If you wish to discuss our religion, I refer you to our offer as per the thread where we launched our new religion.

(Bingo, beer, live gnomes and none of that God nonsense. Make cheques payable to C Ash, and send them to me.)

If however you lump all rational people as having a similar reason or outlook, you will be challenged. This is a forum for debate. You forfeit the right to go unchallenged. When I reply in a less than serious manner, it reflects the degree of seriousness I attach to your observation.

Discussing famous people? Why not? Pointing out their lack of delusion? Whatever. Making mental leaps between philosophy of religion and the group term "atheist"? Prepare for challenge.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 01:43 PM

""Going back 15 days to find something to whine about?


Grow up DonT! Go bark at a police dog.
""

No pertinent answer to the point then? Doesn't invalidate the point, only your response!

Never mind!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 01:52 PM

Consecutive posts on this thread

""Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket not giving in just yet - PM
Date: 08 May 13 - 05:48 AM
""

Thread inactive

""Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor - PM
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 10:36 AM
""


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 01:56 PM

25 DAYS!

And who re-animated a dead thread to rekindle the argument?

JACK the SAILOR!

He who moans about a response to a fortnight old post!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 07:25 PM

DonT, I did not rekindle the thread to argue. I rekindled it to talk about Religion and Atheism, which is the reason I started the thread in the first place. As you clearly have no interest in discussing the topic and only in attacking me. I shall try to ignore such attacks in future.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 10:49 PM

an informative essay on The Rapture


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 10:57 PM

from the essay above.


"Should the more sophisticated but equally zealous advocates of a Middle-East-cum-worldwide holocaust gain sufficient voice in the making of American foreign policy, we may discover that questions about the flux of history that delivered us to this point, or whether the Rapture can be defended Biblically, or the ongoing banter about who's crazy and who's not, have become irrelevant. We could say, then, that the realest thing about the Rapture is that it's an idea with the potential for making the earth into a graveyard. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 11:01 PM

Yes, indeed. It's a good article.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans Clapton
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 02:43 AM

Yeah, made me smile.

Of course, any man made devastation with huge casualties tends to be given the label "biblical proportions" so whilst any religious story that doesn't obey physics is to be taken with a biblical pillar of salt, the ultimate justification for religious people feeling smug is that you can attach a prophesy to any man made event should you choose.

After all, the mindset that believes in God is already susceptible to gullibility.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 03:56 AM

""As you clearly have no interest in discussing the topic and only in attacking me. I shall try to ignore such attacks in future.""

Uhuh! Attacking Atheists and then..................Poor you!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 06:18 AM

When evangelicals were pro choice


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 06:47 AM

It surely is a fallacy that these religion vs atheist debates are a waste of time.
I, for one, have shifted from believing in God to being an atheist because of on-line debates!
Interestingly, rejecting the notion of God has not caused me any mental anguish, but, ironically, I feel that I have been "freed" by the light of reason over blind - nonsensical - faith.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 09:11 AM

Nice to hear you've been "saved", Tunesmith. ;-) I would wager that the God you once believed in was quite unrealistic, and violated the laws of Nature, right? But which laws, specifically? And why?

Musket, any religious story that "doesn't obey physics" is probably a myth (a symbolic tale) intended to make some sort of ethical or spiritual point, wouldn't you think? There are almost innumerable examples of those throughout known civilizations, all the way from Tierra Del Fuego to the Arctic and from China to pre-Columbian America. Only a minority of them are in the Christian tradition, and there's usually something interesting to learn about the cultures they came from by studying the tales.

For instance, I doubt that most Greeks took the story of Icarus literally. Perhaps some of the common people did, but I suspect that the more educated people realized that it was a parable about hubris:

"In Greek mythology, Icarus (the Latin spelling, conventionally adopted in English; Ancient Greek: Ἴκαρος, Íkaros, Etruscan: Vikare[1]) is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus. The main story told about Icarus is his attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. He ignored instructions not to fly too close to the sun, and the melting wax caused him to fall into the sea where he drowned. The myth shares thematic similarities with that of Phaëton—both are usually taken as tragic examples of hubris or failed ambition—and is often depicted in art. Today, the Hellenic Air Force Academy is named after Icarus, who is seen as the mythical pioneer in Greece's attempt to conquer the skies."

To throw out the parable on the basis that it "violates the laws of physics" (or of common sense) is to miss the point of the parable entirely...something that only an imagination-deprived chowderhead or an utter prat could possibly do, seems to me.

And to take it as literally would be similarly foolish, of course...but that's what both the fundamentalist who believes literally in myth AND the materialist who rejects it literally are doing. They're BOTH making the same error in being literal, but from the exact opposite point of view. One insists on literal belief. The other insists on literal disbelief. Both miss the point of the parable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 10:32 AM

In reality the parables are simply made-up stories within a larger made-up story, and in made-up "fantasy" stories the authors can make anything happen.
The problem is that MOST Christians don't see the bigger picture because it isn't presented to them in school, or in church, or in the their own homes. They don't see the Jesus story in the context of a long line of Middle-Eastern god/men myths.
MOST Christians probably don't realise that Jesus's biography is "suspiciously" similar ( in modern parlance "a rip-off )to that of earlier god/men.
Indeed, not long ago, anyone trying to present the "bigger picture" would have been excommunicated or even put to death!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket again
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 01:16 PM

Yeah but Littlehawk, we have already discussed the parable versus account symbolism. Of course rational people don't take scripture literally, but when trusted pillars of society, priests, tell children t happened in real life, many grow up living with an unhealthy delusion that frustrates them or the rest of their lives.

That isn't nice..


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 01:29 PM

As an alternative to the boundless foofaraw that is generated by the corkscrew vision of a single Godhead with a testosterone-fueled personality disorder, I submit an alternate metaphysic: consider that the kingdom of Heaven is within you, and that all the cherubim and so forth are your own flights of delight; consider that each of us is the whole well, the Infinite made manifest. Consider that your entire personality is like a micron on the tippy end of a blooming flowered vine of endless extent, the smallest possible representation of the infinite possibility of your wider and truer (and godly) being.

This enables you, or me, or anyone, to completely let go of floundering diatribes and clashes of personal ire and such nonsense. I think it is a much more satisfactory version of the Universes than the Old Testament rendition of a naughty child at the head of the stairs throwing his tin soldiers down in a fit of pique.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 01:47 PM

There are a lot of things about the OT God that are hard to accept. Joshua engaging in genocide, the nuking of the twin cities (Sodom and Gomorrah), and I happen to like shell fish and cheeseburgers.

There is also a lot of wisdom and poetry in those books, especially the psalms.

There is a lot of wisdom in the New Testament. What Amos said is interesting but I do not understand it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 01:48 PM

What Amos said,............ I think!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket agreeing with guess who..
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 03:28 PM

Yeah, someone sang one song a few years ago they said was based on I think it was called the song of Deborah? They said it was from the bible and I thought it beautiful. Not being a biblical scholar, perhaps someone might enlighten me.

Some of the prayers our headmaster said in morning assembly may have washed over us, but when I was at a wedding recently and the vicar was pure King James, the nostalgia was comforting. At a funeral a while ago, I was asked to read the ubiquitous 23rd psalm. I asked for the King James text as my friend was about as religious as me, but I thought the nostalgia aspect would strike a chord with some of us. Beautiful to recite too. Pity it is comfort rather than hope.

Yes, there is a lot of wisdom, as there is in many well written books. The quality of the text nor the wisdom of the words should elevate wisdom to a level unbecoming of it though. Some bits are indeed wise, some silly, some fantasy and some downright wrong and immoral, but it is the words of men, and should be seen as such.

I'll have a pint of what Amos is on.

Sting in the tail. What gives you the right to pick and choose if it s all supposed to be holy Jack? Serious question.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 04:55 PM

the song of Deborah [and barak] is found in judges 5,
interesting story for what is often alledged as demeaning to women is here presenting a heroine and the male hiding behind her.barak the army commander would not face the foe unless Deborah went with him.

serious question?i rather agree,musket.

ok tunesmith which god/men prior to Jesus were suspiciously like him.
I respect your choice to cease from faith in Christ,but I am not convinced that these alleged parallels are any more than superficial.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans Ian
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 05:25 PM

A genuine thank you for the reference pete.

As to whether picking and choosing the bits of the Bible to emulate versus the bits to bury is good sense or hypocrisy? I'll leave that to those affected or troubled by their conscience. ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 07:26 PM

300!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 07:45 PM

Ahhhh.... Still recovering from the incredible thrill of nailing the 300th post.

Okay. (be still, my beating heart)(well, not completely still, but, you know...)

Okay.

****

Amos - Brilliantly said, old pard! I believe you have expressed it quite aptly.

*****

tunesmith - "MOST Christians probably don't realise that Jesus's biography is "suspiciously" similar ( in modern parlance "a rip-off" )to that of earlier god/men."

True, most Christians now do not realize it...but...

A great many serious theologians, ministers, and people who've looked more deeply into Christianity most certainly DO realize it, and they understand how that would have happened through the process of "midrash" (the prevailing Jewish, and later Christian, custom of building symbolically upon previous sacred traditions when writing religious texts. Much of what Jesus does in the New Testament is a clear echo and extension from previous Jewish tales about Elijah, and is also echoed in tales from Egyptian mythology and other previous Middle Eastern religions. The "virgin birth", for example, is an idea found in several previous religions, and so is the notion of resurrection from the dead, and ascension of a God-man into Heaven. That these repetitions of previous traditions occur in the Christian writings was perfectly normal for religious writings of the time which were NOT written as literal "biography" or "history" texts, but as allegorical texts to inspire faith and to provoke spiritual thought. People in the 90 years after Jesus' death borrowed a great deal from many previous sacred traditions to make the story of Jesus one which would be suitably inspirational to Christian followers, using the literary style of the time. They would not have seen it as a "ripoff", but as what was normally done in religious tales. To view it as literal history or literal biography is to not understand the purpose or intention of those writings.)

Matter of fact, I've been reading some books about this very stuff just lately, and they are quite interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 07:59 PM

After 'accidently' ..*giggle* ..getting 500 on the other thread, I thought I'd leave it.. MY heart would never recover from getting 2 in one day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 25 Jul 13 - 05:11 PM

interesting LH that you have been reading about the very thing that tunesmith asserted.
rather than the generalizations, maybe you could cite just one god/man prior to Jesus that was said to be virgin born/died and was raised from the dead.
obviously it needs to be more than a superficial similarity to give this argument any serious credibility.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Jul 13 - 10:26 PM

pete, You may want to read "The Hero" By Lord Raglan 1956. He makes the point that nearly all mythic heros, including religious leaders and high order prophets such as Moses, Jesus, Buddha and Krishna have many similarities in their bios.

I think it is just the way stories of spiritual significance are told.



Her are some of the characteristics.



BIOGRAPHY OF A HERO
From Lord Raglan's The Hero
, New York, 1956:
The Story of the Hero of Tradition
1. His mother is a royal virgin
2. His father is a king, and
3. Often a near relative of his mother, but
4. The circumstances of his conception are unusual, and
5. He is reputed to be the son of a god.
6. At birth a attempt is made, often by his father, to kill him, but
7. He is spirited away, and
8. Reared by foster parents in a far country.
9. We are told nothing of his childhood, but
10. On reaching manhood he returns or goes to his future kingdom.
11. After a victory over the king and/or a giant, dragon, or wild beast,
12. He marries a princess, often the daughter of his predecessor, and
13. Becomes king.
14. For a time he reigns uneventfully, and
15. Prescribes laws, but
16. Later he loses favor with the gods and/or his subjects, and
17. Is driven from the throne and city.
18. He meets with a mysterious death,
19. Often at the top of a hill,
20. His children, if any, do not succeed him.
21. His body is not buried, but nevertheless
22. He has one or more holy sepulchers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Jul 13 - 10:47 PM

"What gives you the right to pick and choose if it s all supposed to be holy Jack? Serious question. "

I am not picking and choosing. I am learning from all of it. God did flatten Sodom and Gomorrah. That doesn't mean that >> I << should destroy Los Vegas. Though some fundamentalists do feel that way. Jesus gave us dispensation from a lot of the OT laws. That's what our ministers said when I was young.

I look to the Bible for examples of what to do and what not to do.

When I was a child, I had night terrors and my mom read the 23rd Psalm to me. It was quite a comfort.

St Paul says a lot of thing that I do not agree with. But he was an evangelical preacher speaking to the people of his time. He is a wonderful example of that and the story of his conversion is wonderful and inspiring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 01:59 AM

I'll look into it some, pete, and see what I can find.

Keep in mind that what I value about Jesus is what he taught and demonstrated. He set a wonderful example of how to live what might be called a "Godly life", and people can learn from that example. I think that many of the things told about him later (such as the "virgin birth" story) were typical embellishments added to religious tales in that era...not literally true, in all probability, but very meaningful to members of the religion that was founded in his name.

And there's another interesting thing about Mary being termed "a virgin" in the stories. That expression in the vernacular of the original writings at the time can be translated simply as "a young woman" (not denoting sexual virginity in any clinical sense, but denoting youth and innocence). Mary appears to have been quite young when she was married, and the term "a virgin" would have been commonly used to describe any respectable young woman without making reference to her sexual virginity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket curious
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 02:46 AM

Fair enough. You and most people of the Christian faith too I suppose.

The question has to stand though, not necessarily in your case granted, that biblical dogma is stated as reason for secular laws or influencing of such laws. That is the hypocrisy I refer to.

Take the recent ongoing debates in the Anglican church over allowing female bishops. The only argument put forward to support what appears to outsiders as misogyny is that the Bible forbids it. Jesus had male disciples etc. Vicars represent the disciples yadda yadda.

Rather convenient. As to making their faith appear relevant to society, well most western societies have moved on. Ditto gay marriage. Bishops come on the telly saying the word marriage is a holy one. Not only pissing off gay people but inadvertently winding up the many marriages conducted other than in holy places. My second marriage was in a hotel.

Picking and choosing for personal guidance is one thing. Doing so to fortify debate on shaping society at large? Err. That's what church leaders seek to do and that is where convenient cherry picking weakens their argument.

By the way. Note pete's response to my question. To an outsider, he seems the real deal. I may disagree with him, I may feel his opinions dangerous if taken up, I may question how an intelligent person cannot see beyond blind faith in ancient ideas, but for all that, I admire his resolute commitment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 07:03 AM

"He who does not allow his miracles to be investigated is a crook,
he who does not have the courage to investigate a miracle is gullible,
and he who is prepared to believe without verification is a fool."
- Dr Abraham T. Kovoor


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 08:54 AM

He could have added that he who claims a miracle is a bloody liar. The ordinary laws of nature are more than wonderful enough. We don't need no miracles!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Musket
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 09:05 AM

If we don't secure a decent striker before the deadline, I'm afraid miracles form a large part of plan B...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 09:15 AM

It'll be a bloody miracle if Luis stays at Liverpool. But who'd wanna play fer Arsenal fer chrissake? Can we at least agree on that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Musket
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 09:18 AM

I would.

But back in the days of George Graham, when their flat back four was not only ugly, but bloody effective. A less to us all back then.

he has already gone mate, already gone. Just the pound notes and face saving to deal with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 09:24 AM

I know, I know. Is it all right though if I pray to you for a miracle?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 11:25 AM

I agree, Steve, that there are no miracles. Everything that happens is according to natural law.

When people witness something they don't understand or have never heard of before, they are often inclined to call it "a miracle", but that is simply because they don't understand how it happened, and they are not familiar with the natural laws that made it possible.

Don't assume that we've got ALL the natural laws and all the possible events figured out and tucked neatly away in our little bag of "stuff that we have the final answers to", however....I doubt that that is the case. We know quite a bit now about natural laws, but we are far from knowing all of it.

And thus, we may now and again run into a situation that seems miraculous...seems to defy our conventional beliefs about what is "possible". To call that something a "miracle" and mean "against natural law" would be to mislabel it. It's just something we don't understand yet, that's all.

There will always be new things to learn, no matter how long human beings write their science books and compose their religious essays.

In any case, I'm probably as skeptical about most of the more unusual Bible stories as you are...if they were to be taken absolutely literally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 11:58 AM

Hmm. let's keep our feet on the ground here. Show me any "miracle" and I'll show you a whole clutch of natural laws that we already understand being breached.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 12:06 PM

That depends on which "miracle" we're talking about. South sea islanders probably thought it was a miracle the first time they saw someone fire a gun or the first time they saw an airplane fly overhead.

We know it wasn't a miracle, because we're familiar with guns and airplanes.

I'm suggesting that there are things which most of us aren't familiar with yet, things we may know nothing about, and would be astounded by when and if we encountered them. Yet there would still be a natural explanation, providing one understood the nature of what one was seeing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 02:46 PM

Steve. Pray to me if you must. Be warned though that my youngest lives up the road from Anfield and his pub based inside track rarely fails. Bloody miracle so it is.

Sorry LH, football takes priority in any debate surrounding our new religion. That's real football, not that you get south of your border with body armour and advert breaks, but the natural god ordained game.

Any road up. Arthur C Clarke said that any advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic.   He also said something about the advantages of living in Sri Lanka bit we can draw a veil over that. ..


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 04:10 PM

"He could have added that he who claims a miracle is a bloody liar."
You see Steve, here is where you depart from logic and science.

You make this pronouncement with out evidence, data or or analysis.

Both Musket and Hawk have give examples of how someone might perceive a miracle to have happened. If they believe it was a miracle, they can truthfully claim that a miracle had occurred.


likewise,   If a kid with cancer goes to Lourdes and does whatever they do there and and his cancer goes away. You could say that it had nothing to do with the prayer but not being a Dr. and not having witnessed the event you cannot completely rule out a miracle. Maybe someday we will be able to say that such things happen because of some internal mechanism of the body, or some other as yet unexplained factor. But as of now you cannot rule it out completely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 04:28 PM

Musket, you said,

"Picking and choosing for personal guidance is one thing. Doing so to fortify debate on shaping society at large? Err. That's what church leaders seek to do and that is where convenient cherry picking weakens their argument. "

It is a little more complex than simply picking and choosing of course. But I think I understand what you are saying.

I think this young woman has things to say pertinent to your query.

yo-christian-you-can-go-away-now

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2013/07/yo-christian-you-can-go-away-now/


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 04:47 PM

Musket...I always try to be polite and respect the general customs of a religious group or an ethnic culture when I visit them. What do you suggest in regards to UK football crowds? What sacred rituals should I watch for? How do I avoid committing something they would regard as sacrilege? I welcome general guidelines and suggestions on this. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket par for the course
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 06:50 PM

Jack. Interesting.

LH. Don't ask when the time out is, why the sin bin isn't being used and when you look for popcorn, don't be too disappointed when you can only buy a rats coffin (meat pie to the uninitiated) and a drink of bovril.

Oh. No matter who you are watching, who you appear to be supporting, don't forget to tell everybody that Sheffield Wednesday were the first to play like that. Chris Waddell was the guy's influence and don't forget to say "Good crowd. A few more and I could have thought I was at Hillsborough. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 07:03 PM

L Hawk- just to clarify,- matthew and luke are explicit that mary was a virgin when she bore Christ.
there is some argument about the word used in isaiahs prophecy Isaiah 7 v 14.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 08:01 PM

Yes, pete, I realize Matthew and Luke are very specific about it, but that doesn't necessarily mean it happened exactly as they say. Matthew and Luke may have added any number of fairly typical ebellishments to their stories about Jesus and his family. By "fairly typical", I mean that those kind of supernatural embellishments were rather common in heroic religious tales of that era.

I'm not particularly concerned about whether or not Mary was a virgin, by the way. I don't think it matters in terms of practicing the faith. I don't think it impacts what Jesus taught one way or the other. But I'm interested in the possible interpretations people have made about it, based on the few books the council of bishops in in the ancient Church decided to give their official stamp of approval to. Some other books were considered for inclusion in the Bible at that time, but they were rejected for various reasons. Further books about Jesus and his family have been written right up to modern times, some of them claiming to be further revelations about the life of Jesus...and some of them are very much worth reading, in my opinion.

If there IS such a thing as divine revelation at all (and I think there may well be), I doubt that it only happened a very long time ago. If it happened then, there's no reason why it wouldn't continue happening now and then right up to the present day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 08:49 PM

Wacko's response is so stupid that I won't waste time on it.

As for whichever gospel writers claimed that Mary was a virgin, well they are simply liars, aren't they. I remind you that they were about as close timewise to Jesus as I am to Queen Victoria. Adherence to this myth, along with all the others, is a sure sign of delusion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 12:29 AM

It's a sign of tradition, Steve, and people's traditions (whether they are religious or otherwise) are generally chock full of delusions. You have delusions too, but quite different ones, I'm sure. Everyone has some delusions. Yes, we all have delusions about certain things, things we believe that simply aren't true...but the nature OF a delusion is this: You don't realize you have it! ;-) Other people may realize it. You don't.

And most people are too proud to even admit to the possibility that some of their cherished beliefs are delusions. They think it only happens to other people, not to them. THAT's another one of their delusions! ;-D

I readily admit that I probably have a few delusions...after all, I'm human. Yup, I have no problem admitting to the very likely possibility of having some delusions...after all, my culture has passed them on to me like it does to everyone else.

I bet you don't admit to such a possibility in your own case, Steve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket evolving slowly
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 02:31 AM

I suppose there is a huge difference between literal and traditional.

Despite not having a shred of religious faith and deeply sceptical of the intentions of organised religions, I am comfortable with the idea of Mary being traditionally a virgin.

I am also convinced by the evidence for biology that states a) it requires semen to fertilise an egg and b) IVF wasn't available in biblical times. The idea of a man with wings telling her she was now pregnant doesn't deserve further scrutiny. But perhaps a nice fantasy story. I am unsure of the moral being put across. I had always assumed seeing sex as dirty as being a Victorian idea.

I was reading an article by Dr Ben Goldacre the other day where he explained the use of the word theory as applied to scientific hypothesis. He compared it to theological use of the word and how either mischievous or ignorant people confuse the two to say "I have a theory that God exists as per Scripture and at that level it has equal status to evolution theory, so stop putting science on a different level."

The paper was just that. Paper. (BMJ - subscription required to download) but it or similar may be on his website or trawl of his newspaper columns. His book Bad Science is well worth a read unless you have pharmacy shares. ....


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Monique
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 03:23 AM

Miraculous births: one, two, about Jesus'


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans soul
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 05:18 AM

You see, this is my point regarding evidence etc. Dates of census etc are of historic record yet still clerics insist history is wrong if it contradicts Scripture.

If religions wish to have a place in society beyond those drawn into the hardcore stuff, they have to accept that most rational people, including most who profess their faith, draw a line at trying to marry up facts with traditional stories.

It takes more than wittering on about the little baby Jesus. In the meantime, we see the rise of faith in educated societies. Scrutiny should be enough to find the appropriate level of engagement but whilst they wish children to actually believe myth as fact, we hang our collective head in shame.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Jul 13 - 05:24 PM

You have delusions too, but quite different ones, I'm sure.

"You're sure", eh, you pompous ass? Well, if you knew me well enough, which you don't, you may well be qualified to comment on whatever delusions you detect. Otherwise, you seriously need to cut out the pontificating and pseudo-psychoanalysis, and stick to what you see here on this board. Please apprise me and the rest of the board of any delusions you have detected from my posts. As for you, I confine myself to regarding you as deluded only in those matters which you, usually unwisely, choose to go large about. Evolution for one, a subject on which you bravely, recklessly and publicly rattle on about but about which you know precisely nothing. What you do know plenty about is how to bullshit us all on this forum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket head shaking
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 05:17 AM

Isn't it amazing. I engage with these debates on being a member of a religion or not, laughing at absurdity, marvelling at the power of persuasion and slowly become more aggressive in my disdain of those who wish to control others.

Then this happens.

My responsible adult is away this weekend, leaving me to a) go to Cambridge Folk Festival yesterday, bloody good. Especially Martin Simpson, and b) do domestic chores today.

So.. I washed the sheets and put them on the line. To be honest, although we have a washing line we never use it as the utility room has hanging racks but as the builders are in, I used the line.

Ten mins ago, a lady whose property is a wheat field and a horse paddock distant from my land, (must have used binoculars) walked round, with a bible in her hand and, not nicely but forcefully and with zeal, ordered me to observe the sabbath and take my washing in. Of all the things I could have said in repy, I just smiled, shook my head and slammed the door.

Never rains but it bloody pours...





Steve - you do have a delusion you know. It is on the western end of the county, just north of a city centre.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 05:50 AM

Well yes, I deeply enjoy the delusion that Luis will score 50 for The Reds this season and do so without biting anyone (actually, I think that could be two delusions).

Two blokes knocked on my door last Sunday and all they wanted to talk about was vacuum cleaners. Bloody Jehoover's Witnesses...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 12:11 PM

Musket, that's amazing- in the US I don't know of anyone who would 'visit' someone with that exhortation. Maybe in the American south, though- our bible belt is quite active.

You might have reminded her that the holy day - according to the Bible - is Saturday, not Sunday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Musket
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 02:03 PM

If I had opened my mouth to say anything, I am sure such a point would have been wasted on her. Mind you, if I had opened my mouth, fire and brimstone would only have been the start of what I had to say.

I wasn't going to add the clothes pile I washed, I was just going to put them on the drying racks I have put temporarily in a spare bedroom. Needless to say, my underpants are waving merrily where she can see them...

To be fair, although we have The Lords Day Observance Society and others who picket outside shops who open beyond the allowed times on a Sunday etc, such loonies are a dying breed.

(The Lords Day Observance Society, by the way, rather hilariously picketed Liverpool Airport when they changed the name of it to John Lennon Airport. Yoko Ono gave them permission to use the strapline "Above us only sky" in their advertising, and guess who didn't like that....)


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