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BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism

Jack the Sailor 23 Jul 13 - 07:25 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 23 Jul 13 - 01:56 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 23 Jul 13 - 01:52 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 23 Jul 13 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Musket being pious 23 Jul 13 - 11:32 AM
Jack the Sailor 23 Jul 13 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,Musket getting bored now 23 Jul 13 - 07:11 AM
Jack the Sailor 23 Jul 13 - 06:05 AM
GUEST,Musket evolving slowly 23 Jul 13 - 03:00 AM
Jack the Sailor 22 Jul 13 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Musket evolving slowly 22 Jul 13 - 03:24 PM
Little Hawk 22 Jul 13 - 02:23 PM
Jack the Sailor 22 Jul 13 - 01:33 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 22 Jul 13 - 01:32 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 22 Jul 13 - 01:16 PM
Little Hawk 22 Jul 13 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 22 Jul 13 - 02:47 AM
Little Hawk 21 Jul 13 - 02:25 PM
Little Hawk 21 Jul 13 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 21 Jul 13 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,Musket being patriotic 21 Jul 13 - 03:29 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Jul 13 - 09:33 PM
Jack the Sailor 20 Jul 13 - 08:41 PM
Jack the Sailor 20 Jul 13 - 08:39 PM
Little Hawk 20 Jul 13 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,musket is God apparently 20 Jul 13 - 06:18 PM
Ebbie 20 Jul 13 - 05:53 PM
Jack the Sailor 20 Jul 13 - 05:13 PM
Little Hawk 20 Jul 13 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,Musket shiny and veiny 20 Jul 13 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 20 Jul 13 - 02:05 PM
Little Hawk 20 Jul 13 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Musket curious 20 Jul 13 - 12:57 PM
Little Hawk 20 Jul 13 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,Musket again 20 Jul 13 - 11:22 AM
Bill D 20 Jul 13 - 11:18 AM
Bill D 20 Jul 13 - 11:07 AM
Jack the Sailor 20 Jul 13 - 11:00 AM
Jack the Sailor 20 Jul 13 - 10:53 AM
Little Hawk 20 Jul 13 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 20 Jul 13 - 09:15 AM
Little Hawk 20 Jul 13 - 09:13 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Jul 13 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,Musket evolving slowly 20 Jul 13 - 03:23 AM
Little Hawk 19 Jul 13 - 10:58 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Jul 13 - 10:10 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Jul 13 - 10:08 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Jul 13 - 10:08 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Jul 13 - 09:57 PM
Bill D 19 Jul 13 - 03:09 PM
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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: 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: 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 - 01:43 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: 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: 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 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 - 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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,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 - 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 09:13 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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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