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BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)

M.Ted 08 Jan 08 - 01:27 PM
Amos 08 Jan 08 - 11:33 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 08 - 11:31 AM
wysiwyg 08 Jan 08 - 11:27 AM
Riginslinger 08 Jan 08 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Keinstein 08 Jan 08 - 07:48 AM
Riginslinger 07 Jan 08 - 05:26 PM
Mrrzy 07 Jan 08 - 05:16 PM
Mrrzy 07 Jan 08 - 05:15 PM
Nickhere 01 Jan 08 - 07:18 PM
Bill D 01 Jan 08 - 12:45 PM
Bill D 01 Jan 08 - 12:35 PM
Rusty Dobro 01 Jan 08 - 09:59 AM
Georgiansilver 01 Jan 08 - 05:06 AM
Don Firth 31 Dec 07 - 06:25 PM
wysiwyg 31 Dec 07 - 05:57 PM
Amos 31 Dec 07 - 05:52 PM
wysiwyg 31 Dec 07 - 05:46 PM
Georgiansilver 31 Dec 07 - 05:35 PM
wysiwyg 31 Dec 07 - 04:45 PM
john f weldon 31 Dec 07 - 04:15 PM
Georgiansilver 31 Dec 07 - 04:09 PM
wysiwyg 31 Dec 07 - 03:55 PM
Mrrzy 31 Dec 07 - 03:19 PM
wysiwyg 31 Dec 07 - 11:31 AM
Bill D 31 Dec 07 - 09:21 AM
wysiwyg 30 Dec 07 - 09:29 PM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 30 Dec 07 - 07:36 PM
Bill D 30 Dec 07 - 07:33 PM
Bill D 30 Dec 07 - 07:32 PM
Bill D 30 Dec 07 - 07:30 PM
john f weldon 30 Dec 07 - 07:16 PM
Don Firth 29 Dec 07 - 12:56 PM
Bill D 29 Dec 07 - 10:15 AM
Janie 29 Dec 07 - 10:11 AM
Janie 28 Dec 07 - 10:20 PM
Bill D 28 Dec 07 - 08:51 PM
Bill D 28 Dec 07 - 08:43 PM
bobad 28 Dec 07 - 07:15 PM
Janie 28 Dec 07 - 07:09 PM
wysiwyg 28 Dec 07 - 06:32 PM
Janie 28 Dec 07 - 06:25 PM
Dave the Gnome 28 Dec 07 - 05:58 PM
Don Firth 28 Dec 07 - 05:17 PM
Georgiansilver 28 Dec 07 - 05:10 PM
Riginslinger 28 Dec 07 - 04:41 PM
bobad 28 Dec 07 - 04:19 PM
beardedbruce 28 Dec 07 - 03:59 PM
bobad 28 Dec 07 - 03:26 PM
Don Firth 28 Dec 07 - 03:21 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 01:27 PM

SRS--I often despair at the fact that media has the idea that "balance" means giving equal time to someone who represents an opposite view, no matter how bizarre that view is--and, as in your example, since the opposing view is really offered pro forma, they simply let the any one they have managed to scrape up rant for a their allotted time, and then move on as if nothing had happened.

Most of the people who belong to mainstream religious groups have no disagreements with the discoveries of science, and that comprises most "religious" people, but you wouldn't know that if you relied on the media--you'd think that science and religion were locked in some sort of mortal combat--


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 11:33 AM

I'd like to request CLosure of Thread (in favor of the continuation thread "Still No...." started by Mrzzy.)


A


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 11:31 AM

That was one of the least-inspiring, phlegmatic conversations I've heard on the Diane Rehm show in years. And they let the "creation scientist" guy (oxymoron and all) go on and on. No one called him on trying to set the discussion in his terms, they accepted them (despite his cockeyed "metaphors" of football games and such), they just accepted it all and tried to make the best of it. I finally turned it off. There was no passion in the conversation, only PC talking heads picking their way through the landmines.

Religion doesn't belong in the science classroom. It doesn't belong in secular schools unless it is in a comparative context. And we all know damned well if the religion being pushed in the classroom was muslim or judaism, this same exclusively christian creation science lot would be up in arms at religion on the science classroom.

It isn't rocket science to understand that there are many religions in the world, and whether they subscribe to the "personal god" or other types of gods, spirituality or animism or whatever, as was discussed yesterday, all of those religions are too important to let one dominant religion dictate that it alone be inserted into the education system of the community, state, or nation. The founding fathers were influenced by the baptists in separating church from state, because the baptists were afraid that the puritans would try to dictate how other religions conducted themselves or existed at all. Now isn't that ironic!

Let's hope that what goes around, comes around.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 11:27 AM

Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Mrrzy - PM
Date: 07 Jan 08 - 05:16 PM

Oops - meant to post this to the other thread! This one is being discontinued...

=====

Actually, I had not seen that the management had decided to close this one, and if intelligent, non-offensive conversation in this one resumes, I will participate.

I had the impression that the thoughtful posts here had suspended not because the thread got too long, but because some of us might have gone off to think it all over for awhile, reflectively.

I think of the other thread as the place where reactive posting can just go on ad nauseum.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 10:37 AM

Yeah, your account and mine. Should we address this problem to the creationists or the biologists?


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: GUEST,Keinstein
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 07:48 AM

In the Universe there must be balance in All Things!

Why? There appears to be at least one great asymmetry in the Universe (Big Bang/ Creation, call it what you will), so why should smaller scale imbalances not exist? Or could not the balance exist over a broader field, like conservation of energy. Energy (with its matter equivalence) is conserved, but changes in form with a general drift to higher entropy.

And if there's balance in All Things, how do explain my Bank Account?


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 07 Jan 08 - 05:26 PM

The concept of a child's right to an education is an interesting thought. I just heard a bunch of people arguing on the radio this morning about teaching intelligent design in biology classes. Is that what you mean by keeping them ingorant?


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Jan 08 - 05:16 PM

Oops - meant to post this to the other thread! This one is being discontinued...


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Jan 08 - 05:15 PM

Um - The original thread, begun last year by another freethinker, was titled "There aren't any gods (not even Jesus)." I continued it, after it passed 800 some-odd posts, as "Still no gods 2008." If my shorter title is so much meaner, I apologize, but I really don't see the massive difference in spirit.

M.Ted, what do you mind so much about my intolerance of empirical-reality-deniers, assuming you aren't one of them? Do you disagree that a child's right to an education trumps a parent's desire to keep them ignorant? Do you believe that a leader should consult their personal supernatural force or being when making decisions involving your actual life? Why do you think it mean to argue forcefully against these and other immediate harms stemming from basing human actions on faith-in-something-undemonstrable-and-unfalsifiable?

I've started threads about celebrating midwinter godlessly, about whether atheists are the new gays, and posted the lyrics of godful songs I've liked enough to rewrite into godless songs. Others have started very similar threads. Look for the words to Atheists in Foxholes, for instance.

Don't read any further without a sense of humor...
(I also insist that people not smoke in no-smoking zones around the hospital where I work. Meanie, meanie.)


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Nickhere
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 07:18 PM

"Philosophers singing folk songs!" eh! I recall Samuel Johnson's phrase to his philosopher friend "I have tried to be a philosopher, but cheerfulness kept breaking in"! ;-))


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 12:45 PM

oh,wait...I'm sorry. I guess maybe He gets around. Probably plays with a number of groups.

He even plays acoustic guitar, so we folkies don't even have yell "Jesus Christ, will you turn that thing down!?"


Theology sure is complicated. I'd better quit being silly, as I have to finish looking at Janie's post from several days ago and get some semblance of a relevant reply posted.


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 12:35 PM

You sure you didn't just see this guitar?


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 09:59 AM

I'm sure I saw Him playing guitar for the Yardbirds in the '60's. Looked pretty real to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 05:06 AM

Thank you Susan! I guess when I read back over my last posting again it almost implies my 'wisdom' and although perhaps in many ways I have wisdom..I am also aware that I have so much more to learn. However, the wisdom I was attempting to describe was the wisdom of many others, over the years, that I have disregarded and often to my cost. We all 'go our own way' and 'make our own choices' and I have sometimes deliberately gone against what I know is right just to be 'independent'...I have ignored wisdom when it was offered.
I would hope that I am somewhat more open minded now although I can still be over enthusiastic and go at things like a bull in a china shop...but then can't we all.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Don Firth
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 06:25 PM

I heard an interview with author A. J. Jacobs on my local NPR affiliate a few days ago.

In his book, The Year of Living Biblically : One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, Jacobs describes how, after reading the Bible very thoroughly, he welcomed Jehovah's Witnesses when they came to his door, and on one occasion, after a three-hour discussion, he had them looking about furtively and backing toward the door.

Don Firth

P. S. Happy New Year, all!!


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 05:57 PM

I think it's feckin universal, Big Guy.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Amos
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 05:52 PM

P'raps so; and perhaps the disregard you complain of is reciprocal.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 05:46 PM

... wisdom may often be frowned upon by people who have not experienced what the wiser person has experienced...

CS Lewis, in one of his theological works (not Narnia which is kid stuff! ), says much the same thing. I've been looking for a text version I could paste in, because he says it so well, but you did too, GS. I know a lot of us have sure experienced it as parents!!!

And I think it is true whether one assumes that the "wisdom" is pro-belief, or anti-belief. Relax, folks-- it's just a reference to a common experience, not a GS attempt to convert ("control") you to "his" "wisdom"!

Sometimes I think that all the "religion" arguing around here is just folkie independence, redux.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 05:35 PM

At the end of the day we are all just human beings who have been brought to life on earth and are trying to make our way through it in as wise a way as we can. Sad to say that wisdom may often be frowned upon by people who have not experienced what the wiser person has experienced. Also sad in my mind that people have to understand before they can believe, when often belief in something not experienced could be the beginning of ones understanding. There I go again...Happy New Year everyone!


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 04:45 PM

In the Universe there must be balance in All Things!


There's another huge area of agreement people seldom suspect about Christians-- I not only listen to many sources musically and theologically, I continue to believe in and practice many things from outside the faith as it is traditionally taught that are not in conflict with it. I know many other believers who do the same.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: john f weldon
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 04:15 PM

In the Universe there must be balance in All Things!

Therefore, my New Years resolution is to spend at least a week listening to Philosophers singing folk songs!


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 04:09 PM

Sounds good to me Susan....the best way I reckon...but that's just my opinion!


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 03:55 PM

I like that approach.

The Biblical way of living (esp. New Testament) is close enough to "rounding error" to work for me. I suppose that sounds smartass, but it actually isn't.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 03:19 PM

Oh, and when people ask me why I'm still willing to use the Christian calendar of this being New Year's 2008, I say well, the planet's close enough within rounding error to 1,400,002,008 years old!


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 11:31 AM

Oy, so legalistic! :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Bill D
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 09:21 AM

hmmmpf...just shows YOU have not been reading the rules! Next you'll be telling the highway patrolman who stops you for speeding that you drove below the speed limit 3 times last week, and that you had credit.


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 09:29 PM

and what a nice excuse to get #800!

Bill, all you demonstrated is that you're not reading my posts-- I claimed 800 already, nyah nyah!

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 07:36 PM

Listen! You can all have your gods! As long as you promise not to SHARE!

It's not the religious faith I object to. It's the compulsive spillage...

Ah, that's better.

Cheers and happy new year

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 07:33 PM

and what a nice excuse to get #800!


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 07:32 PM

Just to prove it, here's my intro

      Janie. There's only a small amount of redundancy in the post, and it is 'clarifying', not confusing.

Where to start? As I contemplate a reply, I find myself musing that it is much easier to whale away at something one disagrees with than to analyze and comment sagely on something one mostly agrees with.....and you have pretty well laid out not only many of the parameters that we, as humans, must confront in our interactions with others AND our own consciousness, but you also have noted the often 'automatic' (hard-wired?) ways we seem to respond to some of the seemingly contradictory conceptual needs in our psycho-social interactions.
   (now I tell ya'..THAT sentence could use some editing


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 07:30 PM

It wasn't lost...I have been composing some thoughts in a word processor program. Just haven't had time to get 'em polished. Maybe next year.. ☺/big>


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: john f weldon
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 07:16 PM

no fair!

god cannot die so easily!

refresh!


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 12:56 PM

Good, Janie. Indeed, excellent!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 10:15 AM

I was just this minute beginning to read it....more later.
(It reminds me of many of my own posts...and the oft-quoted mantra of college students.."I don't have TIME to write a short paper!")


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Janie
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 10:11 AM

Oops. Sorry for the redundancy in that last post. I'm wordy enough without it:>)


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Janie
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 10:20 PM

Bill,

I think most religions embrace mystery at their core. I think one of the prime psychological functions of religion is to provide avenues by which humans can come to acceptance that it is not possible for our species to fully discover and rationally know and understand 'ultimate reality.' Our senses are not sufficiently sensitive, and our big brains are not big enough. One very important aspect of all religion is that it provides a means to come to terms with the unknowable -not to know the unknowable, but to live in the knowledge that we do not know, so that we are not paralyzed by the anxiety of all that we do not know.

Among the monotheistic faiths, I think it would be very rare for a believer (regardless of the depth of their sense of spirituality) to claim that God is small enough to be truly comprehensible in all ways. By definition within the Abrahamic faiths, God is ultimately ineffable. I don't know enough about the major Eastern religions and philosophies to make the same definitive statement, but I would be very surprised if the same were not true.

Every culture, whether one is speaking of a social unit as small as a marital dyad, or something as big as "Western Culture" or "Eastern Culture", incorporates rites, rituals and/or sacraments which serve to both endow individual and social meaning, and to cement social connection. And they always incorporate the mysterious, they always express some mystical sensibility.

What we humans do have the capacity to know, sense, and understand, unlike any other earthly species (at least as far as we have determined thus far) is that existence is, at some level or another, other than what our senses tell us it is.

If one has any rational understanding of human beings, one can not rationally come to the conclusion that is possible to eliminate religion, or faith, or the notion of spirituality from the human species through any means. Let me re-emphasize that these are often (though not always) related, but not synonymous concepts. It is not possible to eliminate 'belief.' We can not as individuals operate in the world without beliefs. There is simply too much information for our brains to handle, process and function if every action, every functional operation must first be examined and determined to be 'real' or 'functional,' examined for it's rational basis, by each individual. Rationality is one part of who we are, what we are capable of, how we operate. Rationality is one tool, skill, attribute, of the human species. But the irrational is just as important to our survival.    It is irrational to deny the operational reality of irrationality as inherent and and it's functionality as essential to the continuation of life.

Education always includes indoctrination. ALWAYS. Because as a species, we are interdependent, we are social. Our young can not survive on their own without assistance from other humans for a lengthy period of time. Hypothetically, a human being may possibly have developed enough both cognitively and physically to have the potential to feed, cloth and shelter themselves in the absence another human in a natural environment endowed with sufficient raw resources by, what, age 9? (assuming they have been trained in the basic skills and knowledge of how to identify and utilize the materials in a sufficiently similar natural environment for the purposes of survival.)   

Other species are also social and at least as interdependent as are we humans. Where we are different, as far as we can thus far determine, is in our capacity to contemplate our individual and collective actions. Our ability to consciously construct or conceptualize notions of morality, notions of values. Guilt (not shame) seems to be unique to humans on this earth.

I have values that I treat as inherent, but from a purely rational perspective, values are not inherent. Values are learned. And values vary from culture to culture. From a rational pov, they each represent different possible configurations to potentiate the probabilities of the continued existence of the individual, the genetic line, the social group. Considered as a whole, the very variety ought to maximize the odds of species survival. And for awhile that was true. Now, however, the mix of the very attributes that have promoted our survival may lead to our demise.   Just how adaptive are some of us?

The personal qualities and attributes that result in me contemplating these issues may not be the same attributes that would allow me, my genetic line, my social group,or my culture to endure, or to effect the radical changes in human behavior that might maximize the likelihood that the species will endure.   I am interdependent in terms of survival. Our species, like any other, is terribly dependent on diversity for our survival. The paradox is this: That diversity could also prove to be our demise.   

In either event, I have a need to make meaning, as does any human. Given my nature as a human being, that meaning will be both individual and social. It will incorporate choice. And the choice(s) I make will incorporate both the rational and the irrational.


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 08:51 PM

goose necks and lesser tools

(Yes...thread drift. But this thread has many byways. Perhaps 'finding something better than toilet paper' IS a religious experience)


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 08:43 PM

Oh, sure,,,the bidet! Makes sense....but tell me, how do they get those to soldiers in the field and porta-potties at the festival?

(Rabelais said "the neck of a goose") seems like that would be 'slightly' easier to transport...and no plumbing.


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: bobad
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 07:15 PM

"Sorry, but if evolution is so damn clever how come we still have to wipe our arses? Surely after all these millenia the body would have come up with something more hygeninic..."

It has, it's called the bidet.


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Janie
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 07:09 PM

The following is lifted from the Wiki discussion on Culture.

Religion and other belief systems are often integral to a culture. Religion, from the Latin religare, meaning "to bind fast", is a feature of cultures throughout human history. The Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion defines religion in the following way:
... an institution with a recognized body of communicants who gather together regularly for worship, and accept a set of doctrines offering some means of relating the individual to what is taken to be the ultimate nature of reality.


I would go further and say that religion also always includes some means of relating individuals to other individuals, and to the social group.

I will also say, as did Don Firth, that I think it unlikely that human beings have the native capability to ever discover the "ultimate nature of reality."   

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 06:32 PM

Don't DO that, Janie-- have a V8 instead! :~)

I'm posting out of sequence, so I'm claiming #800.

At that Cavalcade of Bad Nativities site, I saw a T-shirt for thinking Christians. Mudcat fundraiser?
SHIRTS, MUGS, BUTTONS, STICKERS On the back: He died to take away your sins. Not your mind.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Janie
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 06:25 PM

Family is the 5th institution. (smacking forehead with palm of hand.)


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 05:58 PM

Sorry, but if evolution is so damn clever how come we still have to wipe our arses? Surely after all these millenia the body would have come up with something more hygeninic...

:D


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 05:17 PM

An ambitious amoeba?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 05:10 PM

Who on Earth started evolution?


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 04:41 PM

"There is an intelligent design - it's called evolution."



                      But who's in charge? That's what I want to know.


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: bobad
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 04:19 PM

"Why is it that the ones who push "Intelligent design" are (mostly) opposed to genetic modification ( ie, "intelligent ( by Man) design" of life?)"

Probably because the bible doesn't tell them to "go forth and modify genes".


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: beardedbruce
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 03:59 PM

Why is it that the ones who push "Intelligent design" are (mostly) opposed to genetic modification ( ie, "intelligent ( by Man) design" of life?)

And why are they NOT against "breeding", which has the same effect- to manipulate the genetic structure of the animals and plants that Man uses?


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: bobad
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 03:26 PM

There is an intelligent design - it's called evolution.


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Subject: RE: BS: There aren't any Gods (not even Jesus)
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 03:21 PM

If this is supposed to be "Intelligent Design," I have a few quibbles with the Designer. . . .

Don Firth


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