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BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists

freda underhill 05 Feb 13 - 07:44 AM
GUEST 05 Feb 13 - 07:53 AM
freda underhill 05 Feb 13 - 07:57 AM
freda underhill 05 Feb 13 - 08:23 AM
Donuel 05 Feb 13 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 05 Feb 13 - 01:35 PM
Ebbie 05 Feb 13 - 01:50 PM
Steve Shaw 05 Feb 13 - 03:12 PM
Ron Davies 05 Feb 13 - 03:19 PM
Bill D 05 Feb 13 - 03:24 PM
jacqui.c 05 Feb 13 - 03:32 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 05 Feb 13 - 03:32 PM
mayomick 05 Feb 13 - 03:32 PM
Donuel 05 Feb 13 - 03:41 PM
Don Firth 05 Feb 13 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Futwick 05 Feb 13 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,CS 05 Feb 13 - 04:53 PM
Little Hawk 05 Feb 13 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 05 Feb 13 - 05:17 PM
Little Hawk 05 Feb 13 - 05:33 PM
Steve Shaw 05 Feb 13 - 06:22 PM
Jeri 05 Feb 13 - 06:45 PM
Steve Shaw 05 Feb 13 - 08:43 PM
Donuel 05 Feb 13 - 09:56 PM
Donuel 05 Feb 13 - 10:10 PM
Donuel 05 Feb 13 - 11:02 PM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 13 - 12:35 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 06 Feb 13 - 12:56 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Feb 13 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 06 Feb 13 - 03:12 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Feb 13 - 06:16 PM
gnu 06 Feb 13 - 08:45 PM
Jeri 06 Feb 13 - 08:55 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Feb 13 - 09:07 PM
GUEST,Futwick 06 Feb 13 - 09:16 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Feb 13 - 09:31 PM
gnu 06 Feb 13 - 09:37 PM
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gnu 06 Feb 13 - 10:06 PM
freda underhill 06 Feb 13 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,Futwick 06 Feb 13 - 11:27 PM
Musket 07 Feb 13 - 04:05 AM
GUEST,Stim 07 Feb 13 - 10:27 PM
Janie 07 Feb 13 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 08 Feb 13 - 07:36 AM
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Jack the Sailor 08 Feb 13 - 10:43 AM
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GUEST,Musket sans cookie 09 Feb 13 - 02:24 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Feb 13 - 07:14 AM
Mr Red 09 Feb 13 - 09:39 AM
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Bill D 09 Feb 13 - 12:54 PM
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Subject: BS: The 10 Commandments for athiests
From: freda underhill
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 07:44 AM

I just came across these (see end of article) - and I think they're a pretty useful set of tips for anyone, whether a person who has some sort of faith or spiritual practise, or someone who doesn't.

Alain de Botton's 10 commandments for non-believers


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for athiests
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 07:53 AM

They're brilliant.
Thanks for taking the time to share them, Freda.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for athiests
From: freda underhill
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 07:57 AM

Yes, I thought so too, Guest. I have an "inspiration" folder that I save things in (articles, music, health tips) and this one is going in there too.

:-D


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for athiests
From: freda underhill
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 08:23 AM

Alain de Botton's 'list for life'

Resilience: Keeping going even when things are looking dark.

Empathy: The capacity to connect imaginatively with the sufferings and unique experiences of another person.

Patience: We should grow calmer and more forgiving by being more realistic about how things actually happen.

Sacrifice: We won't ever manage to raise a family, love someone else or save the planet if we don't keep up with the art of sacrifice.

Politeness: Politeness is closely linked to tolerance, -the capacity to live alongside people whom one will never agree with, but at the same time, cannot avoid.

Humour: Like anger, humour springs from disappointment, but it is disappointment optimally channelled.

Self-awareness: To know oneself is to try not to blame others for one's troubles and moods; to have a sense of what's going on inside oneself, and what actually belongs to the world.

Forgiveness: It's recognising that living with others is not possible without excusing errors.

Hope: Pessimism is not necessarily deep, nor optimism shallow.

Confidence: Confidence is not arrogance - rather, it is based on a constant awareness of how short life is and how little we will ultimately lose from risking everything.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for athiests
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 10:50 AM

George Carlin whittled the 10 commandments down to one.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 01:35 PM

Call me thick,(my kids do) but whilst the term atheist is a subjective one, surely the idea of atheism is that you don't need nor want a Creed or set of rules?


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 01:50 PM

Not only that but - 'commanded' by Whom? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 03:12 PM

Not only that, but an atheist is not a "non-believer." I'm an atheist but I do not not believe in God. I don't deal in belief or non-belief in this particular sphere. God is someone else's notion. All I can do is assess whatever evidence there is for and against the notion. I'm an atheist because I've concluded that the evidence against God's claimed existence so far outweighs the evidence in favour (not difficult) that the probability of his existing is vanishingly small. Belief don't enter into it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 03:19 PM

"tolerance"   Now there's a concept.    Unfortunately seems to be a real deal-breaker for a number of Mudcat atheists.    It was a nice thought, though. Better luck next time.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 03:24 PM

In the article. the author says: " de Botton has done a marvellous job of summing up what it is to be a nice human being."

So I wonder why 'atheist' and 'non-believer' have to be equated and named in order to just provide a nice list of virtues?

I never wrote out a list like that, but I have always tried to act in such a way that such a list might describe me. Now, if 'believers' would all do the same, those apocryphal stone tablets might not be needed.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: jacqui.c
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 03:32 PM

Good guides to live by. Not always easy to follow, but worth a try.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 03:32 PM

""Call me thick,(my kids do) but whilst the term atheist is a subjective one, surely the idea of atheism is that you don't need nor want a Creed or set of rules?""

The polite answer is that an Atheist doesn't believe in a Deity, or in the religions which support such beliefs.

It does not mean that he is devoid of need for a set of behaviour imperatives by which he can live a decent and respectable life.

Whether you call them rules, or commandments, is immaterial. The point is that they are self generated or inspired by respected others and accepted, then form the framework within which he lives his life.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: mayomick
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 03:32 PM

Maybe they could read the ten atheist commandments at the atheist church opened recently in London .

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/03/atheist-church-sunday-assembly-islington


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 03:41 PM

please not another god said she said thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 04:11 PM

Carl Sandburg said that they forgot to include the Eleventh Commandment. If they had, there would be no need for the preceding ten, because the Eleventh Commandment covered them all:
Thou shalt not commit nincompoopery.
Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 04:39 PM

As an atheist, I reject the atheist commandments. What is moral or ethical is a chosen course not a commanded one.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 04:53 PM

"What is moral or ethical is a chosen course not a commanded one."

Well put.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 05:08 PM

Whether they are "commandments" or suggestions or just "good advice" (advisements), it's an excellent list of recommendations for any sensible person to follow, whether or not they are atheistic or religious or mystical or anything else along that line. It's a good set of ideas to live by.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 05:17 PM

Not saying they aren't good sense.

But I trust myself to live a fairly moral life without a subjective comfort blanket to use for audit purpose.

The concept of commandments for atheists is a way of saying there is a need for religion after all.   And frankly I find that insulting. .


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 05:33 PM

There is a vital need for having a coherent ethical philosophy of some sort to guide your conduct if you plan on living life as a thinking human being who is capable of examining and assessing his own actions honestly, and not just in the light of his own immediate gain, but with regard to the general welfare of all the other lives around him, all of which are valuable, just like his.

And it was a concern about that which produced the list...and which produces most serious religious inquiry and most serious philosophical inquiry as well, out of which has arisen what we term "civilization" (as opposed to the Law of the Jungle).

If you don't give a shit about anyone but yourself, on the other hand, then such a list of ethical considerations is of no use to you at all...nor are any social "rules", ethics, or civil laws. And neither are you of any use to anyone at all...because you are, in effect, an outlaw.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 06:22 PM

The polite answer is that an Atheist doesn't believe in a Deity...

Well I'm an atheist and I see no reason to not believe in a deity. It is far more accurate to say that I don't know whether there's a deity or not. I can hardly leave it at that, though, because that sounds like I'm undecided in an on-the-fence way. Au contraire. I've decided that the possibility of the existence of a deity is so infinitesimally small that I can ignore it for the purpose of how I choose to live my life. I've come to that conclusion by considering evidence. There's a chance I could be wrong. I'm an atheist because I see that chance as being about as likely as the tenth planet of Proxima Centauri being made of green cheese. It's an assertion that cannot be disproven yet for which there is no evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 06:45 PM

I think the list of commandments makes sense for everyone, but I wouldn't think most atheists need someone they don't know telling them how to not act like an asshole. I also believe people who are already assholes won't pay any attention to commandments.

In short, it's as if all those "10 commandments for atheists" boil down to "don't be a jerk". If people don't know how to follow THAT once they reach adulthood, they'll likely suffer somewhat for it.

To treat atheism as a separate system of beliefs is bullshit. It's like asking someone what sort of car they like, and then telling the ones who don't actually drive a car that their car type is a "non car". You can't make what isn't into a different type of "is".


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 08:43 PM

Good stuff, Jeri.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 09:56 PM

'What is moral or ethical is a chosen course not a commanded one' but it is based more upon one's enviorment.

A boy raised in a back water babtist town among violent craven people who only profess pure religiosity, may not have the morality of a boy raised by two ethical atheist educators in NY.

The thing is little kids can't chose their enviorment.

I certainly don't view athiests as people with no cars in a nation of car drivers. That sounds self serving for the lucky religionists who are the only ones priviledged, trusted and allowed to drive.

But its fine to root for your home team if you want. Just don't be an ass hole about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 10:10 PM

Along LH lines I believe you can not teach some people empathy no matter how much religion you put in their heads and hearts. It may help many in the spectrum of social psychopathy but there is nothing that can replace true empathy which is a matter of nature, not religion nor is it an emergent product of athieism.

Interact in a large group and it will be hard to dectect who is religious and who are athiests but it is damn easy to spot people who are unempathetic or those who have no empathy at all.
If this experience is not true for you, you may be the one lacking empathy.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 11:02 PM

There are religious people who preach about empathy but do not have any developed right brain functionality of empathy.

An example of a religious person with no empathy at all would be a priest who rapes little children. How could anyone with true empathy commit such a horrific act?

There are two other possibilities which may warp priests into monsters and that would be those who had also been abused as a child or, number 2, low empathetic natural homosexuals who were twisted into an obscenity by the conflicting religious decree of celibacy.


On the other side of the coin there may be atheist people who teach ethics but may never employ ethics as a guiding priciple in their own lives.
A better example may be a Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld who feel very little destorying countless lives not because of any religion or lack of it but due to a principle they believe in that supercedes ethics or morality, patriotism that pays hard cash.

Commandments may be well intentioned but the spectrum of inate human talents and abilities and disabilities differ enough to make certain people immune from good advice to the core of their being, with or without religion. For most of use endowed with Empathy, empathy is enough for the basic morality of society, The higher teachings still require education be it a secular golden rule or religious law.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 12:35 PM

That's right, Donuel. Having or not having empathy for others is the key issue. Most religions devote a great deal of concern to the issue of empathy, but that doesn't mean that all members of those religions get the message. Some of them don't. Most philosophies pay a good deal of attention to the issue of empathy as well...or at least one would hope they would! But that doesn't mean that adherents to those philosophies will necessarily display empathy.

"Commandments" was the word that arose out of the ancient Hebrew culture from which came the books of the Old Testament. That was a society full of commands that were coming down from various patriarchal authority figures, so it's not surprising they would have used the term "commandments" for a set of religious instructions said to be emanating from God. They saw God as they saw their own patriarchs...a being invested with great power and authority, a being easily moved to anger, etc...

The later developments of Christianity tended to move more in the direction of a God of love...and love is based upon empathy.

We are also said to have been given free will.

If we have been given free will, then no one can command us!

Or if they do, then we can choose to disobey the command. And we sometimes do disobey commands, no matter who they are coming from, whether it be our parents, our teachers, the local government, the police, the national government, the club president....or God (presuming we can entertain that concept).

So...the ancient Hebrews called those statements "Commandments", because that fit their mindset at the time, and that seems to offend some people.

Okay, they might just as well have called those statements "suggestions" or "guidelines" or "good advice", which is exactly what they are, and what the stuff in the article is. The fact that they chose to call them "commandments" has little to do with the statements themselves, and a great deal to do with the nature of that ancient patriarchal, very authoritative society.

There's no point in people getting upset now over an expression of language that came out of an ancient tribal society, when the basic message contained in the "commandments" is a perfectly understandable set of instructions on how NOT to be an antisocial and destructive asshole in the normal terms of the society of that time.

And that's what the set of "commandments for atheists" is in the linked article as well. It's simply a group of suggestions on how not to be an antisocial jerk. The only reason the article even called it "commandments" at all was to symbolically link it to the Christian religious commandments which we already know about, thereby making a premise for having such an article in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 12:56 PM

""Well I'm an atheist and I see no reason to not believe in a deity. It is far more accurate to say that I don't know whether there's a deity or not. I can hardly leave it at that, though, because that sounds like I'm undecided in an on-the-fence way. Au contraire. I've decided that the possibility of the existence of a deity is so infinitesimally small that I can ignore it for the purpose of how I choose to live my life.
Well I'm an atheist and I see no reason to not believe in a deity. It is far more accurate to say that I don't know whether there's a deity or not. I can hardly leave it at that, though, because that sounds like I'm undecided in an on-the-fence way. Au contraire. I've decided that the possibility of the existence of a deity is so infinitesimally small that I can ignore it for the purpose of how I choose to live my life. I've come to that conclusion by considering evidence. There's a chance I could be wrong. I'm an atheist because I see that chance as being about as likely as the tenth planet of Proxima Centauri being made of green cheese. It's an assertion that cannot be disproven yet for which there is no evidence.
""

Surely Steve, that is the description, in fact the definition of an agnostic, not an atheist.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 01:40 PM

Not so, Don. If you consider what I said, there is only one further step beyond my position, which would be to declare that there is definitely no God. You won't even get Richard Dawkins to say that. He places himself on his own 7-point scale of certainty about the non-existence of God at 6.9. The problem is that neither word, atheist nor agnostic, is very useful. Fence-sitting "agnosticism", the usual kind, contains a spectrum within itself: it can cover the truly uncertain (a rare breed, I think, as the genuine article), the spineless who fear the consequences of invoking the wrath of a God they don't even know for sure exists, insurance-seekers and the don't-give-a-shits. The kind of "agnosticism" you accuse me of is a very different beast to all of those. My dismissal of God is based purely on my consideration of the evidence (I threw "faith" out of the window decades ago). I have a bust of Beethoven next to me on my computer desk. I'm now going to reach out and pat Ludwig on the head. In the split second it takes my hand to reach him, there's chance he'll vanish in a puff of busted atoms (I understand that quantum theory allows for the possibility of this). The chances of it happening are hundreds of trillions to one against. That allows to me live my life assuming it won't happen. It does not allow me to say that it will definitely not happen. It allows you to say to me that I don't know that it won't happen, but it's a hell of a stretch to then accuse me of being "agnostic" about it. See above on lack of usefulness of the word. That's about where I am with God. What I'm saying is that you seem to be telling me that the only true atheists are those who, mistakenly, declare that there is certainly no God. If the word "atheist" is to be of any use at all (and I don't like it much at all myself), then you have to apply it to people like me. Otherwise, let's ditch it. It's a bastard word in any case, defined only by the existence of the delusional believers (if no-one had ever come up with the God notion, there would be neither believers nor atheists). Paradoxically, applying the word "atheist" to myself immediately puts me into believer territory, as would the term "non-believer". Those words beginning with "a-" or "non-" define me in terms of God. Seems rather unfair to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 03:12 PM

If stamp collectors had a term for non stamp collectors I am sure the term would be derogatory or condescending.

Hence I suspect that differing terms for rational people such as atheist or agnostic are not exactly positive words when used by superstitious people.

Me? I call myself neither. I am irreligious. With all due respect to stamp collectors they don't affect me and I don't affect them. But if they did try to influence law to their benefit and my detriment I would reserve the right to treat them with disdain.

Im thinking Sundays opening hours and gay /women /peoplr who don't read from the same book of fairy stories as them equality here but I could be tedious and extend the list...

I also note that altruism has a Darwinian angle to it. So what price commandments or other obvious nonsense. I don't kill or covet my neighbours tits for the simple reason it is wrong. I don't need buggering priests to remind me. (Mind you, if she's selling those puppies I'll have the one with the pink nose. Did I type that out loud?)


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 06:16 PM

It's fine to covet your neighbour's tits as long as you keep your bloody coveting to yourself. Neither my neighbour, her tits, nor my neighbour's hubby have ever suffered from my coveting of her titties, as I've always kept it to meself.

"Irreligious" is yet another of those words that automatically casts the person so described in the negative in relation to deluded believers. Were it not for misguided people inventing and/or following religion, you would never need to apply that term to yourself. By inventing themselves they invented the reluctant you as well. Don't let 'em get away with it by making up words for you!


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: gnu
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 08:45 PM

Cool posts! After reading them, my take is two things.

Jeri summed one up - "don't be a jerk". It really is that simple, although it really is complex fer the stunned as me arse and there seems to be a lot of them

The second is troubling for me. Atheists who deem themselves of higher "intelligence" seem not to grasp the reasons for religion and the good it has done over untold years (don't bother to post about the bad stuff... that just shows you don't acknowledge the good stuff... assuming, of course, that you have any knowledge of the role religion played in the development of where we are today).

Believe in a higher power than me? No. I believe in what my religion actually says (which many don't understand, especially atheists) and what I believe my religion says is... I... me and only me... am God to me. God is within me. I choose to do right or wrong. No one else makes that choice. I have to answer to me and to all others. If I am a "God fearing man", I fear ME and MY choices. If I pledge fellowship within a religion I am not pledging servitude to a "ghost". I am pledging allegiance to me and my fellows. I am about as atheist as one can get and still believe that "God" exists... because I am he within the context of what I believe my religion truly teaches - the same as the religion of Jeri... "Don't be a jerk."

Offer void for door to door salesmen.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 08:55 PM

Gnu, I understood that. Scary.

I don't think not believing and deities means I have to be free from wonder or not be spiritual in other ways. I love this quote from Babylon 5 (one of the best science fiction shows EVER), and think it makes perfect sense, although open to interpretation (which is good):
"The molecules of your body are the same molecules that make this station and the nebula outside, that burn inside the stars themselves. We are star-stuff. We are the Universe, made manifest, trying to figure itself out. And, as we have both learned, sometimes the Universe needs a change of perspective."
--Ambassador Delenn, Babylon 5


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 09:07 PM



(Whilst denying the higher intelligence bit out of sheer humility...) Yes, we do grasp it. Because we say that God almost certainly doesn't exist, we don't go on to say that everything that has emanated from the God notion is evil. There are great cathedrals, great art, great music and a good deal of beneficial social bonding that has come out of religion. Equally, there is just as much secular art, architecture, music and social life that has had nothing to do with religion. Religion, I have to admit, is a foundation for community spirit in many societies. Like a sort of social glue. We heathens tend to be individualistic. We lack those organisations and traditions that can seem to give religion an edge in society. But that is not to say that only religion can produce those goodies. We atheists just have to try harder, that's all. There's nothing wrong with our moral codes, common decency and sense of social understanding. We're just not as good at getting our act together, that's all. We're too ruggedly-individualistic. Not joiners, sort of thing. But we're still good eggs.

As for the bad stuff, you won't catch me rattling on about that. Most of the "bad stuff done in the name of religion" was not done in the name of religion at all, but in the name of imperialism/stealing someone else's stuff. I do think that religion is pretty rotten in general and that belief in God stunts the intellect, and I could argue the fat all night about that, but that's a different issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 09:16 PM

All the good religion has done? Such as what? Charities? You can do charity all you want without a religion. Beyond that, I am frankly stumped as to what this "good" is that religion has done.

Compare that to the bad and there is no comparison. Religion has done questionable good that could have easily been done without a religious conviction and it has done a far more bad that cannot have been done without a religious conviction.

Religion is useless. What is needed is philosophy. When someone says, "I don't covet my neighbors tits" he has no understanding of how his mind works. You can't control what you covet and what you don't. People think they control their own thoughts, they do not. IF you control your own thoughts then stop thinking right now and make your mind a total blank. You can't. Why? Because you can't control your thoughts. So ask yourself, if you don't control your own thoughts then what does? Where do those thoughts originate?

As for "I choose to do good and bad" that's not really true either. You choose to do what YOU BELIEVE is good or bad. In fact, the vast majority of people who do bad believed they were doing something good or at least were not doing anything with the idea of doing bad in mind. But regardless, you can't do good or bad, you can only do what you believe is such and you will be judged by others according to what they believe is good or bad. When you are all in concordance on the matter then things will be fine. When you are not, things will not be so fine.

For instance, a Kuwaiti man was recently sentenced to prison. For what? He went on Twitter and spoke ill of Kuwait's emir whom the Kuwaiti govt hold is inviolable. Did he do wrong in your belief? I'll bet not. But ask a Kuwaiti and you'll get a very different answer.

As for fearing yourself, why should you do that except that you do not understand how your mind works? If you understand it, what is there to fear?


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 09:31 PM

Whether or not you happen to think that religion has done more good/less good/a bit of good/a bit of harm/much harm is beside the point in a way. The bottom line, really, is whether God exists. I'm not going to argue about whether religion has given people their moral code or innate goodness. For all I know, it might have. But I also know that we heathens have just as many damn good people in our ranks. But does God exist? If he doesn't, then all these goodly religious people had better work out whether they couldn't be just as good without him. I think they could, personally. Also, if he doesn't, billions of people, by subscribing to him, have given up a huge chunk of their free thinking and intellectual prowess, and that's serious. Ironically, God would hate that.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: gnu
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 09:37 PM

Well said Steve... right up to "... belief in God stunts the intellect...". I believe in God. Just not in the God you think I believe in, and my God is the same God that most Cat'lics believe in (just my opinion). Those that I know anyway, and I dare to extrapolate. I figure I can extrapolate even further... to include you according to your beliefs as posted herein (you believe in you). I don't think we are too far apart.

In any case, it's all a cluster fuck. I will always be a TRUE Cat'lic but I will always tithe to the Church of Saint Jeri.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 09:48 PM

Well I'm hanging on to the point about belief stunting the intellect. No matter how Spock-like you are in other areas of thinking, if you believe in God you have forced a small piece of your mind to suspend all belief in the laws of nature and forced it to "explain" complicated things (the universe, all life on Earth, etc.) by interpolating something infinitely more complicated, that defies all known laws, that has no beginning or end and for which we have no evidence (God). What a cop-out. You lie down in the face of tradition, uncorroborated ancient texts, witness and edicts from holy men. You suspend all critical analysis in that area of thought. If that isn't intellectual stunting, well I don't know what is.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: gnu
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 10:06 PM

Futwick... I assume you need at least twenty more years under your belt to take the edge off yer attitude. I would ask you to Google mothert (that's her rap rep in the hood) fer a start but I don't think you'd get that ref bro. Chill and read a book eh? And pray you don't end up on the doorstep of Nazareth House lookin fer food and shelter with that attitude. I'd rather see my donations used in better ways than helpin you out of a bind. Of course, if you did need my help, I would help even tho all indications are you wouldn't do the same for me.

God bless. (Read... fuck off.)

Yet again... I gotta reduce my BP... gnightgnu


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: freda underhill
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 11:24 PM

I guess "commandments" and "athiests" are loaded words, to me the heading was tongue in cheek but has generated a lot of discussion about related concepts.

unwanted advice can be a real pain in the neck and sorry to those who took this thread as that.

great quote from Ambassador Delenn, Babylon 5 (have not seen this in Australia),and thanks for the many thoughtful posts.

re "the molecules of your body are the same molecules that make this station and the nebula outside" - I have been doing artwork on this theme for a few years - if you'd like to see something, pm me your email address and I'll send you a couple of examples.

Look forward to reading more of the infinite dancing molecules that make up the thoughts in mudcatter minds

freda


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 06 Feb 13 - 11:27 PM

If I ask for someone's help, I expect them to help me because I asked not because they are a Christian. If they only help me because of the latter reason then it is self-serving. At the root of all religious altruism, that's what what you will find--people in it for themselves for one reason: they think by doing "the lord's work" they are going to go to heaven. So they are doing this stuff for themselves and nothing else.

Moreover, you know perfectly well that it is true or you wouldn't be so pissed off at my bringing it up (talk about needing to take en edge off some attitude I think I just took some off yours).


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Musket
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 04:05 AM

ah but Steve, my fantasy was a loaded point.

Purposely put on the basis that my neighbours both sides don't have tits, or at least not in the way my post put it. One side is a holiday let (mine to be precise and I don't covet my own tits) and the other an old bloke whose purpose in life is walking his dog and occasionally mine, bless him.

Yet many people bring their fantasy into the debate, ie God. Just thought I'd introduce another fantasy, one that man has held true throughout time, just like theirs. A fascination with tits.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 10:27 PM

This is the same stupid discussion that you always have. My question, why do you even bother?


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Janie
Date: 07 Feb 13 - 11:03 PM

"Don't be a jerk." Love it.

I really don't care what motivates a person to try to "not be a jerk." Frame it in terms of moral imperative or simple choice. Doesn't matter. What matters is a critical mass of people who try, not always successfully, to "not be jerks." As long as there are enough people who mostly try to not be jerks, we will likely get by.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 07:36 AM

some people can be so touchy.how about the word "materialist" ie advocating that there are no deities or spiritual entities.
me- i promise not to be offended if i am called a "non materialist" or "non atheist"
have a nice day.pete.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 08:08 AM

Who's "advocating"? You think what you bloody want. I just tell you what I think. You wish to continue with your life's delusion, feel free. In fact, I advocate it. And perhaps you could apprise us of what "material" has to do with this.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Musket
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 08:25 AM

I know what I think, but if I laid them out, I might be accused of having a creed.

If you get by in life with comfort blanket such as an imaginary friend or fairies at the bottom of the garden, then fine. Just don't lobby to teach it to impressionable children in school.

This thread started by laying out, not unreasonably, a list of things that if taken into account would make you seem reasonable to reasonable people. The issue was when some people, some of which I am surprised to see advocate it, reckoned if you don't have a set of rules to live by, you must be a hedonist or even, as I read, an outlaw.

Sod that.

The need for rules is a need for religion. Seriously, you can get really pissed off when people say that without knowing the boundaries, anarchy will prevail or some other such tosh. The boundaries are altruism, and exhibited by communal animals, insects and even plants in the way Darwin suggested.

if you need to be submissive to others in order to be good, then fine. Just don't shout about it being a virtue. Dogs start fretting when they feel they are alpha male. Shout at them and don't let them have their own way, and they are far more relaxed as someone else has the responsibility. Perhaps an argument for religion being a hard wired pack animal instinct.

if it were though, how come the majority of people in The UK see through it and dismiss it as medieval superstition?

Einstein was dismissive of the term atheist. He said that logically, it means you believe in nothing, and that everything is chance. He said that isn't the answer, as every day, gravity works as measured. I think about that when I am referred to as an atheist, and it makes me uncomfortable. But nothing like as uncomfortable as when the god botherers try filling the gap for me..


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 09:37 AM

Einstein was dismissive of the term atheist. He said that logically, it means you believe in nothing, and that everything is chance.

He was wrong. He didn't realise that belief don't enter into it. His fiddle teacher thought he wasn't much good and I doubt I'd have trusted him with my roast chicken recipes. But when it came to science, well that's a different ball game innit.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 10:43 AM

I have a lot of thoughts about this thread.


Alain de Botton's mission is to give non-believers the same access to what he believes are the benefits of religion and religious practitioners get from their practices. I haven't heard him separate people into the classes of Athiest and Non-Athiest. Have any of you?

So the entire premise of this long debate is a misinterpretation of Mr. de Botton's work by an Australian reporter?

A word on a list is NOT and commandment. Even when there are 10 words on the list. Mr. de Botton is saying that society and the individual are better off when this list is considered in daily life. In spite of what the Australian reporter believes, no one is being commanded to do anything. As usual among the atheists on this thread, Bill D totally gets it. For most of the rest of you, Mr. de Botton might suggest that you read the source material more carefully and to try to apply 2,3,5,6 & 7. Especially 7.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 10:55 AM

Maybe I got that whole "Don't be a jerk" thing from Abraham Lincoln, who said, "Be excellent to each other....and....PARTY ON, DUDES!" (In Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure [1989])


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Mr Red
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 11:47 AM

surely the idea of atheism is that you don't need nor want a Creed or set of rules?

Hmmm - surely any decent person has their own methodology, "do as you would be done by" sort of whittles it down to one mantra. Rules exist live with it, people make their own, good or bad. Some people prefer guidance, some more than others.

The reason religion can produce good people is by any other name - a methodology.

The reason religion can produce evil is that assertive people can usurp the willingness of others to follow strong leadership. Creeping infallibility is not unknown in at least one religion.

The problem atheism throws up (in this context) is that individuals have to be responsible for for their own ultruism.

My faith is in human nature, that shitty people actually exist.
And not all of them are atheists. But atheist don't get absolution from confession.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 12:17 PM

The masochist said hit me and the sadist answered no.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 01:39 PM

Nobody gets absolution from confession. You tell an old bloke what you have got up to.If you tell him you have broken the law then he is a criminal for not reporting crime.

What has confession got to do with atheism? If I want someone to confide in and value their judgement I'll nominate them on merit not superstition.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: freda underhill
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 07:07 PM

Jack the Sailor, thanks for putting it so well.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 07:11 PM

The eleventh commandment should be: don't turn atheism into a religion.
Commandments were made for tablets and authoritarian theologians.

There is no atheist church that I would consider reputable.

Atheism just means a-theism, non-theism and that's all.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 08:42 PM

Jack give me a nice complement, so I thought I'd add a remark (or two... one remark does tend to lead to another)on how & why I said what I did.

I have always (well, since about 11-12 when I began to even consider having opinions beyond what I was 'told') been a skeptic. Now, being a skeptic does NOT mean just blindly doubting stuff I don't like, but rather just wanting to know the reasoning & evidence for things where it is not intuitively obvious what is true or false.
In thinking this way, one sees that sometimes honest, intelligent people do disagree about stuff. Not about color or music or what is the best pie, but serious stuff about morality, historical accuracy and, of course, religious concerns regarding our very nature & origins. It is easy to see WHY people might grow up with different beliefs, given history and cultural variation: but it is seldom easy to see how to resolve their differences. It has been all-too-common in history for some to demand that others accept one set of definitions about the 'best' set of beliefs.... and there are horrendous stories in history about the results of trying to instill belief by force.

Ok...enough background... many eyes are beginning to glaze over already, no doubt. So- what to do? You ALL see.. or have experience.. of how some decide how & what to believe and how to cope with it all.
I set out to find out how to even decide to think about deciding... the process commonly known as Philosophy. Of course, even there no consensus exists about the 'best' approach, but some ways of thinking have attained pretty good status... including one general approach best exemplified by Immanuel Kant in what is called The Categorical Imperative.
There's a lot of reading there, and it leads to a lot more reading if one wants to follow many lines of reasoning... but to put it as simply as possible, Kant thought that with enough care, we (humans) could develop an **objective** system for determining moral decisions without the artificial layers of some religious or cultural background. Of course, it is impossible to do ANY thinking about it all without some awareness OF history and the variety of approaches... but Kant claimed, with VERY complex language and reasoning, that sane, decent behavior could be worked out in a logically neutral manner. Nothing he said can be *directly* used to prevent crime, war & stupid behavior, of course, but a little delving into the basic approach can ..ummm... provide a way to read articles like the one linked in the original post to this thread!
(see?... I DID get around to something relevant... I hope.) And that is why I was concerned about the very use of the word 'commandments' and the linguistic linking of 'atheist' and 'non-believer'........

(all those dots indicate 'more'... but I'm sure that is plenty for now!~)


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 09:59 PM

Mr. Red's got it, in a nutshell. JtS, as usual, makes sense. Steve Shaw gets a pass because he plays the harmonica.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 02:24 AM

Presumably the court may now rise. .


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 07:14 AM

Now, being a skeptic does NOT mean just blindly doubting stuff I don't like, but rather just wanting to know the reasoning & evidence for things where it is not intuitively obvious what is true or false.

Well, I may have a mountain to climb here, but I happen to think that it is intuitively obvious that God does not exist. Big religion's job is, and always has been, to enforce, from birth, suspension of intuition allied to a fear of questioning. Speaking as a cradle (but not to grave) Catholic, I realised that, once I'd divested myself of the fear factor that had been so carefully inculcated into me by those priests and brothers who taught me, my intuitive sense was finally set free. It seemed immediately intuitively clear to me that there was no God. That isn't good enough to be a proper atheist, however. It merely gives you a lead to pursue. That involves looking for evidence, as we all know that things can occasionally be counter-intuitive, etc. As a scientifically-trained chap, I looked at all the supposed evidence for the existence of God and found every scrap of it wanting. Not only that, the very concept of God required the breaching of every law of nature, and that was a suspension of disbelief way too far for me.

Why a mountain to climb? Because it will be immediately thrown back at me that billions of believers can't all have perverted senses of intuition. But I think they have. See how easy it is to get kids to believe in things we grown-ups all know are stupid: goblins, fairies Santa, the Sandman and so on. As the kids get older we gradually excuse them from continuing to believe in these fantasies. Big religion is different. Its aim is to instil similar fantasies from birth - but then, instead of letting us let go, it strengthens its grip by multiplying the fear factor, inventing draconian codes of behaviour and compliance and adding in the threat of ostracism (or worse) should you demur. Big religion also promises us more than the earth, as long as we stay in line. Big religion also knows full well how to wrap us up in social cosiness (which, even I have to admit, isn't always malignant), which is very enticing. It's a skill we ragbag collections of atheists are singularly bad at, which is why believers can throw in our faces all the superb work done by many Christian charities, etc. We can't usually match that.

But these human constructs - fairy stories, fear factors, social cohesion, big promises, good works - don't amount to a hill of beans when it comes to getting at the truth of God's existence or not. The only reason God hasn't become extinct is that human beings are not permitted to think of him as a hypothesis to be investigated. You can do that, but only when you're grown up and released from the fear factor, and that's too late, or never happens, for a lot of people. They remain deluded and, at least in one part of their brain, intellectually stunted. By not allowing people to let go of beliefs that are no more sound than those childhood fantasies, religion infantilises them.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Mr Red
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 09:39 AM

What has confession got to do with atheism?

nothing - in the context I put it. Religions have their confessional dept. Atheists don't have that - they have to rely on their own morality to be the "good guys" - a harder task IMNSHO.

I prefer to highlight Colin Mylar - ex-editor of at least 3 newspapers (make that comics) and editor still of a national rag. He has been sacked twice by Rupert Merde Hock for printing excessively bad taste &/or lies and once by another comic. This is a guy who goes to church more than once mid week to gain some sort of wellbeing that Catholicism offers him. Like I say not all reprehensible people are atheists.

They permeate society. Think bankers.

Rules may be un-necessary for a lot or people, but it would be so nice everyone conducted themselves as if the rules were channeling them.

The meek shall inherit the earth - once we weed out the shits.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,guestlexic
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 09:51 AM

Steve great post and I identified with every word as an ex catholic and have taken a similar line until this year.I do believe in a God/creator/architect thing now though.
Red indian medicine men chanted danced rhythmic breathing and go on spirit walks have a "trip" SEE THE TRIP THROUGH gain enlightenment come back with wisdom and filled with something that energises evangelises and gives instruction how to live that they are compelled to "share".
   Where does the bible originate, its root some holy men fast chant rhythmic breathe come back with more or less the same deal as red Indians except tailored to their culture.
    Born again Christians have the chakra exp as described above but some don't see it through and misinterpret, but still basically the same message.
      Buddhism same deal,Hinduism same deal.Original Templars same deal had a leg up from suffi tradition,original freemasons same deal,Shamans,druids,Egyptians same deal.African tribes same deal etc ad nauseum.Every culture has had this,and tailored to suit.Millions upon millions of human beings have had this God realisation when it happens to them they know there is some higher power.It also teaches them usually using their own life experiences.I Could flood you with links for scientists,doctors.musicians,artists,white collar,blue collar,tramps,millionaires,etc who have seen this through.This needs to be understood by science for us to move forward.Be nice if we could stop personalising God in human terms.If you study all the religions it is obviously an energetic state that strips any human notions away as scarey as that sounds.Most say you judge yourself to the most and you can't hide from yourself so the vengeful god goes out the window.
   The "trip" exp, those that don't understand come back talking about fairies/leprechauns,space aliens (see S.GREER) angels, devils,Jesus whatever,which is what causes all the problems, it is usually (always) personal and pertaining to current circumstance.The trip is irrelevant the goods is what matters.Very rare anyone else see the phenomena of the trip but can't help but notice the dramatic change to whoever it happened to.Furthermore sometimes in fact most of the time when still evangalised if you are privelidged enough to witness it you see it feel it, truth resonates is a throw away remark but to witness it is mad.It shakes ppl moves ppl look at the oneness movement she is calling herself God has devoted sheep like followers scarey as hell to me because they charge,never will accept that one. Yoga is catching on like wildfire again because people are searching for this via witnessing the result, or word of mouth.It is never going to go away,even if we banned all faiths religions became atheists,it would still be happening to millions and always will,it happens to people who haven't read the bible since school days(or ever) and don't go near churches non of them mentally ill by the way although some do crack up if they don't understand what is happening.It was put to me we all should have this happen naturally like a second puberty try stopping puberty, as some go through this through no choice of their own,then have to figure it out and come through fine changed for the better.Have two friends who went through this,well more but these two Ive known for decades both independently went through this they did not have contact at time.One was tortured by filth and devils until the light/realisation was given, the other had a real gentle exp before the light/realisation moment.Both sane lovely lads never had mental issues both over it now and happier wholesome people,neither go to church but now believe the physical aspect of the christian message.The idea a year ago that i would post a "I believe in God" post on a forum..well i would of sneered like your doing but I have to go with the evidence,and direct exp to me is all i would ever believe and i have seen it.
Did you catch that a few years ago major atheist think groups accepted a higher power concept (cpl had the trip) but wouldn't call it God..god then, mind you I struggle with the word myself ex catholic thing. Look at son of God Mr Icke he had the trip messed him up but as it faded he understood it better,glad my mates never fell into that trap and saw it through.As for commandments I would think we all get on fine in our environments without giving them any thought,humans if happy are pretty sociable wherever you go.So they can ban religions and the word God for me, the world would have to find something else to hate with,and it would find something until we address what is human spirituality,because we can't just ignore it as it messes us up too much and we cant deny it because its there/here.YMMV regards sorry for wall of txt
Re D.ICKE they reckon (i dont know) that if he was an artistic type he would understand metaphor and what he was given was beat the desire/rep part of the brain not space lizards.8)


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 12:54 PM

"I happen to think that it is intuitively obvious that God does not exist."

Well Steve, I see every explanatory point you make in defending that view, and can only disagree with the absoluteness of it. You note the ease with which children believe in stories about all sorts of stuff which *most* grownups 'know' are imaginary, but you don't seem to be able to even consider the reason(s) that grownups hold onto the 'God' concept even after outgrowing "goblins, fairies Santa, the Sandman etc."
I happen to agree with you that they should, but emotionally, culturally, and even logically, 'God' is in a different category. We don't NEED goblins & fairies & Santa to answer the basic question of our basic existence.
(I know, I DO know.... we don't really **logically** need 'God' either, but until we figure out how to inoculate folks against fear & dread & sadness and explain the inequities of life, 'God' and the idea of an afterlife provides a way to face poverty, death and the 'inequities of life'.) Who can say why you & I are [content]? with NOT having "pie in the sky", while others see no reason to go on living without that hope? (well... psychologists try hard to explain it) I claim...over & over... that our very language structure and phrasing of the issues creates a circular trap that most people find hard to escape. When someone asks: "Do you believe in God?", I reply that the very construction of the question implicitly asserts that there is one, and that because they USE the word 'belief', they should realize that the real implication is that it is NOT certain.

We differ, Steve, in that you say "intuitively obvious" that there is no 'God' and related Heaven setup, and I say "I simply see no compelling evidence, therefore I will not buy into it all." I always just shrug when someone tells me "there must be a first cause" or even stronger: "I can't imagine all the complexity of the Universe without an 'intelligent designer'!"
I just reply: "Well, *I* can't imagine any intelligence great enough to DO all the designing required... much less being able to toss atoms around like clay!"..... but, the Universe being what it is, and answers being so elusive beyond a certain point, I can't prove them wrong... and 'they' know that and cling to the emotionally useful beliefs. All I can do is say that their beliefs are JUST beliefs and have no compelling influence on my doubts.

In many ways, believing in religious stuff is just another example of the ways our large, complex brain can reflect on possibilities and imagine things that do not exist. We (well, most of us) enjoy imaginative fiction and art which draws pictures of unicorns and songs about devils and heroes all doing things that we 'know' are impossible... except that because even the weakest (as in young children) brains are capable of entertaining possibilities, even unicorns & devils are incorporated into many belief systems.
------------------------------------------------

Now, having typed all that, I have to admit that I was studiously avoiding a direct response to "gestlexic" above. That would require 6 hours to dissect.. , so I will hope the 'guestlexic' will just read my reply to Steve Shaw and think about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 01:39 PM

Done Bill D.We both might agree that anyone who says "I know this is it" knows nothing.We cant get away from the phenomena though and its profound impact on us all,whether we believe or not.The notion of God being an old man never washes,it is obviously to me a source that we can tune to.Most will have the "trip" i mention above at death i would imagine so none of us need panic even if what i posted and many others think is true.Anyway thats my religion cool when you can make your own up.(def off to hell i know)


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 01:54 PM

I put it to all the posters here if you look at all the religions with a logical mind you will see a big picture.You cant help but see it.What it is that THEY ALL are talking about in their many interpretations is the same thing.But what is it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,guestlexic
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 01:55 PM

forgot to tag


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 02:16 PM

Sorry guestlexic, but the fact that many cultures experience "the trip"... whatever that might mean... shows only that people try to grasp at words to convey ideas.

(your sentences about it are pretty rambling.. it's hard to sort out a stream of consciousness like that. The only totally clear thing you say is that "I do believe in a God/creator/architect thing now though.", which leads me to guess that you are asserting that all those different cultures and religions are just 'expressing awareness' of some metaphysical truth.... and I don't accept that.)

Once a set of concepts gets 'set' in someone's mind, however vaguely, the effort to convey the sense of it all to others in a coherent way requires, for want of a better phrase, 'linguistic creativity'... and people who basically agree that they are talking about 'something', then convince each other that they are agreeing on 'reality', when they are merely trading ambiguous, poetic language.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: kendall
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 02:34 PM

I don't need a deity to know right from wrong. My basic philosophy comes from the Code of Hammurabi.Some know it as the Golden Rule.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 02:38 PM

"I happen to think that it is intuitively obvious that God does not exist."

Anyone who believes that is very unlikely to examine at the subject at hand in a scientific manner.

If he had had the scientific training that I have had, he would not have said it.

Steve, The biggest flaw in your argument, in my humble opinion is that you project your experience in the Catholic Church with all other religion. In my small experience, I can assure you that not all denominations are nearly as dependent on generating fear.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 02:47 PM

Once a set of concepts gets 'set' in someone's mind, however vaguely, the effort to convey the sense of it all to others in a coherent way requires, for want of a better phrase, 'linguistic creativity'... and people who basically agree that they are talking about 'something', then convince each other that they are agreeing on 'reality', when they are merely trading ambiguous, poetic language." "........... yes agree to a point.There will be some however who will see straight away what i mean because it is not new.What I think is that it is plain to see that all religions and traditions have this spiritual thing in common and they are all talking about the same thing/transformation.All the many from all traditions who have experienced this cant all be mad way too many and the wisdom gained is undeniable.I wont call it trip then dream,visions but it is more than that a lot of the time so struggle for a word.If you had the time to research all the different flavours i posted in the other post you would see they all are talking about the same process.That is a given really,whether you believe or i do is up to us but too much weight in the God/source camp for me to deny anymore.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,guestlexic
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 02:58 PM

Just reread my post again Bill sorry see no rambling I could talk you through each point.Couldn't flesh it all out for obvious reasons.Every example I gave is what we are talking about.It's where the original commandments come from Moses "trip" process whatever.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,guestlexic
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 03:30 PM

Just tried to find a link for silly stat list for exp in religions.Top was Buddhism if i remember right but bottom was def RC with 6 percent.Iffy source I know but made sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 03:54 PM

Well Steve, I see every explanatory point you make in defending that view, and can only disagree with the absoluteness of it.

But Bill, did you stop reading there? I said that intuition is not enough, remember? it is a starting point, a lead-in to further investigation. The further investigation is investigation of evidence. I said all that. I also said that intuition can lead us up the wrong path. There is also counter-intuition. I said all that too. You've lost the whole point of my carefully-constructed post, I'm afraid. There was absolutely no absoluteness to disagree with. I'm surprised, to be honest.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 04:01 PM

I put it to all the posters here if you look at all the religions with a logical mind you will see a big picture.You cant help but see it.What it is that THEY ALL are talking about in their many interpretations is the same thing.But what is it.

What it is is one big delusion. You can argue all night about the strength of the pro-God argument in terms of the billions who buy into it, but the billions have been hoodwinked by big religion hook, line and sinker. You are caught before you leave the cradle, and as you grow up more and more draconian notions are thrown at you. You can leave only with difficulty, surrounded by threat of hellfire, social ostracism and, occasionally, much worse. You might even be honour-killed! The deadly cuddle of social acceptance has you firmly in its grip. Apocalyptic? Maybe, but a good number of people, by accident of birth and no more, have to endure this worst-case setup.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,guestlexic
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 04:28 PM

No argument here Steve Shaw.Apart from the delusional bit in fact those that I have seen after having this thing happen are the sanest people I know.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 05:46 PM

Call me Steve. Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. If you recall, in my original rant, the one you responded to, I was at pains to point out that They remain deluded...at least in one part of their brain...
(excuse the slight misquote of myself, but that's what I meant). Some mighty people have allowed themselves to be compartmentally-deluded in some aspect or other of human endeavour. Isaac Newton, undeniably one of the greatest scientists who ever lived, was convinced right to his grave of the veracity of alchemy. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 05:46 PM

It sure is interesting debating/discussing all this with both Steve Shaw and 'guestlexic' and trying to a commonality of language to convey points back & forth without one side continuously misunderstanding what the other might be saying. (I used to discuss it with 7 stars pete, but while we did not agree, there was seldom much confusion about just what was said)

So... Steve... even though I understand your point that "...intuition is not enough, ... and is a starting point, a lead-in to further investigation.", what it leads you to is the idea that 'looking about for good evidence and not finding any' somehow justifies what seems to me as an absolutist position as exemplified in these sentences.
"I happen to think that it is intuitively obvious that God does not exist." "....It seemed immediately intuitively clear to me that there was no God." "·....it will be immediately thrown back at me that billions of believers can't all have perverted senses of intuition. But I think they have."

   Your position, even though there are 2 steps to it, ends up almost as absolutist as its opposite, and the reason I take issue with its details is, as I said, that I DO see why "freed intuition" can lead people like 'guestlexic' to very different conclusions. He thinks that (paraphrasing liberally) 'the fact that lots of people in different traditions have experiences that seem metaphysically meaningful, sorta proves there must be something to it all'. I suppose he is using some sort of reasoned intuition... but of a sort that you & I don't agree with. The difference is that I see why he thinks that way and why he feels free TO think/believe that way when so many others do also, and no one can 'prove him wrong'. I know a number of VERY intelligent people..including some close friends.. who are deeply into religion in various ways. We deal with this by just not discussing it much.
I **DO** discuss it when they.. or anyone else I meet... tries to suggest or assert that I ought to believe as they believe.. and I am seriously concerned at the number of people in the USA who would, if they could, get fundamentalist Christianity formally inserted into our politics and legal system. I fight it even as I see exactly why their beliefs tell them they should do this!

I AGREE that there is no convincing evidence for religious beliefs...they are exactly that- beliefs! I also have said many times that when claims are made about important issues, they NEED evidence, and **the burden of proof is on the asserter**
It is an ongoing, perplexing issue, and I doubt it will ever be resolved. If we raised a generation with NO mention of religion, I would bet that, because human minds CAN drift in various ways, someone would eventually create similar thoughts by just thinking and wondering. It would do only a limited good to educate against it and no good at all to ban it. All *I* can do is interact with people I know and try to ease the friction on both sides..... what? You say I merely increase it with my tedious babble? Hmmmppff *grin*


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 05:54 PM

OK Bill. Now we do have some history here. But I wish to protest once again that my position is not absolutist. Here's the bit of my post you quoted in order to promote that claim:

I happen to think that it is intuitively obvious that God does not exist." "....It seemed immediately intuitively clear to me that there was no God." "·....it will be immediately thrown back at me that billions of believers can't all have perverted senses of intuition. But I think they have.

Here it is again, with the bits you chose to gloss over in bold:

I happen to think that it is intuitively obvious that God does not exist." "....It seemed immediately intuitively clear to me that there was no God." "·....it will be immediately thrown back at me that billions of believers can't all have perverted senses of intuition. But I think they have.

Case rested.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,guestlexic
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 06:18 PM

The trouble with communicating is probably my doing as I'm more of a chatter than typer as my punctifaction shows;-).Steve re alchemy Ug Krishnamurti (thats prob wrong sp) said the fire is more important than the smoke ie the flesh time is what matters never mind what they want (spirit) (para) not my bag but another angle.Me done on this now as we are at that point,plus got to tidy up Mrs due back, but was fun got me thinking,usually ends in train wreck so thought we managed quite well,so i'm qyitting while we are ahead lol.regards


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 07:57 PM

"I happen to think that it is intuitively obvious that God does not exist."

Anyone who believes that is very unlikely to examine at the subject at hand in a scientific manner.


But, just like Bill, you failed to read on. I said that intuition was insufficient to justify one's atheism. I am all too aware of the shortcomings of hunches/intuition/gut feelings, not to speak of witness/edicts from above/the rantings of holy men/tradition/tendentiously-translated incomplete ancient texts. I yearn for evidence. Contrary to what you say, the realisation that intuition is merely the beginning of a process of enquiry is very likely to trigger a scientific response. As for this:

If he had had the scientific training that I have had, he would not have said it.

Well, wacko Jacko, I'm not going to trade qualifications with you as that would be infra dig. Suffice to say that I have enough confidence in my qualifications and long scientific experience to say what I say. Question this any further at your peril, but be my guest.

Steve, The biggest flaw in your argument, in my humble opinion is that you project your experience in the Catholic Church with all other religion. In my small experience, I can assure you that not all denominations are nearly as dependent on generating fear.

Translator's note: Wacko is trying to say, without actually saying it, that I'm one of them thar "bitter ex-Catholics". Well think what you like, old chap. It's a tired old formula that quite a few of us have decided will not get on our tits. For my part, I'll continue to talk with sensible people. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 08:01 PM

I don't need a deity to know right from wrong.

I'm thinking of having a tee-shirt printed with this on the front as a slogan. Will you require royalties?


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 10:04 PM

Ok Steve... you have gone back and edited qualified your own remarks in bold type to show once and for all that you are always clear and precise, while I (and others) just fail to read and comprehend the fuller implications of your remarks. ... and you rest your case.

What can I possible say in the face of such forthright finality? Perhaps: "yes, Socrates...quite so, Socrates..."

I'll say one thing further, Steve. While I disagree with Pete, with 'guestlexic' and with many others, I have never seen the value in demeaning and insulting them. When they fail to rise to your high standards of discourse, you resort to 'wacko jacko' terminology. You were beyond rude with Pete.
If someone is worth answering at all, they are worth being answered politely and without name calling. If you decide they cannot be debated fairly, I'd suggest you not bother. I kind of like my own advice in that regard, so rather than descending to that level..... goodbye.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 10:23 PM

Though I probably shouldn't admit it, I've been following this discussion;-)

Steve has made it very clear that he, like a lot of people, suffered from his religious upbringing. Whether there is a God or not, treating people that way is wrong. I think that rejecting that, and questioning whatever system of values or beliefs is used to justify it intuitively, makes much more sense than trying to refute all the argumentation that is used to support it.

There is a commandment to the effect of, "Thou Shalt Not take the Lord's name in vain", which amounts to, "Thou shalt not threaten, intimidate, or abuse children(or anybody else) in the name of God."


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 10:26 PM

"It is an ongoing, perplexing issue, and I doubt it will ever be resolved. If we raised a generation with NO mention of religion, I would bet that, because human minds CAN drift in various ways, someone would eventually create similar thoughts by just thinking and wondering."

And by imagining things, by hallucinating, by being crazier than a 3 Stooges story plot, etc.

I said the same thing about UFOs. If it were proven there are not, never were and never will be any such things as UFOs in any way, shape or form, people will still see them, still report them, still photograph them and still claim they were abducted by them.

The remark didn't go over so well.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 02:43 AM

Hello Sailor!

Still full of yourself I notice.

Mr Shaw must feel his mountain needs rope and crampons at times here.   Religion is so hard wired due to abusing children's brains from an early age that many people, bloody huge number too, will never let go of their comfort blanket.   Indeed why should they? presumably because the more vocal adherents of superstitious nonsense confuse religiosity equality with religious privilege.   That means thinking they can impose their views and philosophy on others.   Listen to those who say they live in a Christian country. A bit like saying the Queen rules us. Traditional words in a secular democracy. Im not a chuffing Christian and neither is my mate Omar. He's religious and I'm not. Neither of us claim dominion over others, so that's cool.

Commandments for atheists is at best an oxymoron and at worst an attempt to justify religious mumbo jumbo by thinking we all need something prescribed in the big book of fairy stories.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: John P
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 09:19 AM

the fact that lots of people in different traditions have experiences that seem metaphysically meaningful, sorta proves there must be something to it all

This points up one of the problems of definition that I see in discussions of this sort. There is often an assumption that atheism equals materialism and mystical experience equals religion. There is also no working definition of 'god', allowing people who don't really disagree to disagree anyway.

For the purposes of what I'm about to write, let's assume that the word 'god' implies a conscious, sentient being of some sort who is able to listen to what we have to say and who takes an interest in what we do. 'God' also has the ability to perform miracles and has communicated codes of behaviors to it's adherents. If we don't constrain ourselves to this definition, there is not much point in using the word, since it then takes on lots of different meanings and no one knows which is being used by anyone else.

It is clear that lots of people from throughout history and from all over the world have had what is usually described as mystical experiences. I have experienced them, I personally know many others who have, and I have read of this type of experience -- described in much the same ways -- from every culture there is. I have to conclude that the mystical experience is possible for to humans have, that it is built into us like hearing or taste. Most people experience this as a sense of being connected with everything that exists, a feeling of ecstasy and/or bliss, and the experience of visual phenomena. This is often a profoundly moving, even life-altering, event. A lot of religious rites are stylized descriptions of this experience, which may or may not actually produce the experience in the people performing the rite. There are lots of ways to get there.

I am an atheist who experiences life in a deeply spiritual way ('spiritual' being, of course, another word with many meanings, but I hope you get what I mean). The mystery of the universe is there for us to immerse ourselves in. We are able to experience being a part of everything else. I can have this experience without thinking there is a god somewhere who is giving it to me. Where the chain of logic in religion/spirituality breaks down is between the mystical experience and the belief in commandments from god, virgin births, raising from the dead, and all the other details that religions claim as true but for which there is no evidence whatsoever. A lot of people, apparently, have the mystical experience under the auspices of the devotees of some religion and then assume that everything else the adherents of that religion say must also be true, and that their version of god is only way to have this experience.

On the subject of morality and ethics, it seems clear that belief in god or lack of belief has nothing to do with it. If it did, all religious people would be paragons and all atheists would be evil, or vice versa. All the available evidence says otherwise. I reasoned my way to an ethical code while I was in my teens. It's based on altruism being in my own best interests in the long term, on empathy for my fellow humans being a better state of mind for me to be in than not, and the idea that kindness creates more kindness. As has been mentioned, the Golden Rule pretty much sums up the basis of any rational ethical code. I also liked the Abraham Lincoln quote up-thread. Here's another from Lincoln: "I care not for a man's religion whose dog is not the better for it."

One of the reasons that so many people are so distrustful of religion is that so many religious people - a vocal minority - carry and communicate the belief that there is no morality without god and that their way of behaving toward the world is obviously the only correct way. As we know, they then often pass laws based on this idea, and religion in general gets a bad name amongst those who don't want to be dictated to in these ways. Unfortunately, many religious people espouse a philosophy of hate and bigotry and enshrine these things in secular laws.

Some years ago I was channel flipping when I came across the Dalai Lama on my TV saying something like, "It doesn't matter if someone is religious or not, it doesn't matter if they are Christian or Buddhist, what matters is that there are people of good heart everywhere. They are our spiritual brethren." I've probably mangled it in my memory, but it's essentially the same message as that of the last book of the Chronicles of Narnia. Good people are good people. It doesn't matter how they come by it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 10:32 AM

Good stuff indeed, John. Cheers.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 10:43 AM

Steve has made it very clear that he, like a lot of people, suffered from his religious upbringing.

Au contraire. I'm enjoying a reasonable life and came to little harm in the long run from my upbringing and I've said that on this forum several times before. You're falling into the old Aunt Sally trap of saying "he's a bitter ex-Catholic, therefore he doesn't take an objective view of religion". Well every ex-Catholic who dares to mention the fact gets this old chestnut thrown at them. It's unimaginative, formulaic and downright untrue.

I think that rejecting that, and questioning whatever system of values or beliefs is used to justify it intuitively, makes much more sense than trying to refute all the argumentation that is used to support it.

Again, this misrepresents what I said. Firstly, my process, and I dare say that of many others who dare to escape from organised religion, starts with throwing off fear. Next, your intuition tells you there cannot be a God. That's the easy bit. He is, after all, no more believable than goblins, fairies and Santa Claus. And next, you look for evidence. Many times on this board I've said that the whole basis of atheism is a dispassionate look at the evidence for and against the existence of God. There is no "trying to refute..." about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 10:51 AM

an item from religion today nov 99 relates how pychologists in britain and japan asked children who had made various objects.these were not all from religious backgrounds yet it suggested that all children had a belief in a creator God even if not raised in any faith in a deity.
a japanese researcher said,having reportedly been surprised by the results-
"we japanese dont think about God as creator - its just not part of our japanese philosophy"
admittedly i have not checked the source material but if accurate ,it seems that the notion that it is untuitive to believe in God is just atheist bluff.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 11:01 AM

Ok Steve... you have gone back and edited qualified your own remarks in bold type to show once and for all that you are always clear and precise, while I (and others) just fail to read and comprehend the fuller implications of your remarks. ... and you rest your case.

I spent a long time on that post and all you did is read it with your own agenda at the forefront of your mind. If you can't accept that I think you misread, well that's tough luck, I'm afraid.

What can I possible say in the face of such forthright finality? Perhaps: "yes, Socrates...quite so, Socrates..."

Forthright patience, more like, in the face of a wilful misinterpreter.

I'll say one thing further, Steve. While I disagree with Pete, with 'guestlexic' and with many others, I have never seen the value in demeaning and insulting them. When they fail to rise to your high standards of discourse, you resort to 'wacko jacko' terminology. You were beyond rude with Pete.

Jack's post was a return to form after months of our avoiding conflict. Too bad. He made an offensive, patronising and groundless remark about my scientific background. Pete insults the whole of the scientific community with almost every post he makes. He is wilfully ignorant and he deserves all the flak he gets. This world would be a horrible place if people of his ilk had power. You indulge him and patronise him, and, arguably, give him the kind of succour that makes him even worse.

If someone is worth answering at all, they are worth being answered politely and without name calling. If you decide they cannot be debated fairly, I'd suggest you not bother. I kind of like my own advice in that regard, so rather than descending to that level..... goodbye.

You sure kind of like the sound of your own voice. Thank you for the lecture. If that little "goodbye" means I won't hear another, good.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 11:05 AM

but if accurate ,it seems that the notion that it is untuitive to believe in God is just atheist bluff.

Atheists don't bluff. They don't dedicate whole "education" systems to lying to children either. Let's have your source, eh, instead of your creationist bluff.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 02:09 PM

OK- I'm laying myself open to assault. That is fine. Here goes:

It is my belief that there exists a dimension that, for lack of a fresh word, can be called spiritual, something far behind our physical life, something that is connected to a deep and almost forgotten knowledge. It is apparent that many people- whether priest, shaman, medicine man, saint, hermit or ordinary person in duress- have glimpsed it; some may even be able to access it repeatedly.

Religions stem from that knowledge, but many religions- perhaps all – have perverted it. Somehow, people within religions have over thousands of years learned how to force large groups of people to fear or venerate, - whichever is needed – the inherent power that enables it to compel them to follow and obey the rules that the religion's authorities desire.

This dimension is often called God or Allah or Nature or the Great Spirit. I tend to call it the Flow. It seems to me that on the occasions when we find ourselves in the Flow there is an ease in that moment that has little or nothing to do with one's religious beliefs or station in life or upbringing.

That Flow is what I would like to live in.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 02:18 PM

I guess we're done with the subject and are back to religion vs no religion again?

I'm fine with not knowing, and being skeptical. For me, the possibilities are what make living special.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 04:03 PM

Great post, Ebbie.

As for not knowing, well we can know very few things, from the spiritual right down to the mundane, with certainty. The fun comes in keeping looking. Religion would rather you didn't do that.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 06:17 PM

Ah, well, Steve, I assumed when you said, "You are caught before you leave the cradle, and as you grow up more and more draconian notions are thrown at you. You can leave only with difficulty, surrounded by threat of hellfire, social ostracism and, occasionally, much worse." that you were speaking from your own personal experience.

As to this, "I think that rejecting that, and questioning whatever system of values or beliefs is used to justify it intuitively, makes much more sense than trying to refute all the argumentation that is used to support it." When I say, "I think" it is about what I think, not about what you think.

I don't really care if you are a bitter ex-catholic or not. I don't care if you are an ex-catholic or not. I think it's important that you play the harmonica, the rest of it, not so much...


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 09:11 PM

Who are you ? Stim??

To some extent I was talking from personal experience, though I imagine mine was relatively benign by some standards. I also know, from working among Muslim families when I was a teacher for six years in Walthamstow, that leaving Islam can be even more fraught than leaving Catholicism. To a large extent it depends on your family circumstances. A strict religious background, replete with fear factor and parental pressure, can make it fiery at best and next to impossible at worst. But I would far rather you stopped trying to search for strange motives in what I say, which is as honest and from-the-hip as I can make it, and take what I say at face value. In not doing that, Jacko and Bill are convicts and you are beginning to sound like a prime suspect. You can leave the Catholic church and not be bitter. I have always respected (believe it or not) everyone's right to have whatever private beliefs they like. Not one single self-respecting atheist would ever raise the issue of anyone's beliefs if only they would keep them to themselves. And away from their children. You wouldn't even know we existed.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 09:35 PM

I was reading about that all-girl Muslim rock band that broke up after a cleric issued a fatwa against them. One of the girls stated that no one forced them to break up. To go against the cleric is a sin because he is "a saint."

All it takes is them to stand up and tell him to fuck off but it is unthinkable. They'd rather be miserable than free. Can't help those who don't want to be helped.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 09:57 PM

Well, no-one to date has issued a fatwa against me (to my knowledge) but I imagine that it probably isn't the most edifying thing that can happen to one. Perhaps you could give us a link to this case. I haven't heard about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 08:02 AM

funny how most of the threads on religion on mudcat are stearted by atheists .funny how they expect christians to lay down and play dead.
funny how fundy atheists attack the church and her saviour and then complain that they dont leave them alone!funny how most christian responses are polite while many if not most atheist are agressive and insulting.funny how they claim to possess the moral high ground but exhibit such venom.its a funny old world!


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 08:15 AM

Where's your evidence that we want Christians to lie down and play dead? Where are the attacks on Jesus Christ? Where are the quotes showing how atheists claim the moral high ground?

Your posts serially insult science and the honest, hard work that scientists do, now you come out with this pack of lies. Give me the evidence to back up these statements or desist from making them, charlatan.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 12:42 PM

Everyone must by definition agree with Ebbie's post below.

except for a left minded fundamentalist.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 01:19 PM

Whether I agree or not is irrelevant. I don't have to check to see what I think, and that is the important bit. Free will and all that.

Starry Pete says Christians say this and atheists say that blah blah.   Really? If wishing to carry on with child abuse and perpetuating medieval myth to scar people for life instead of finding out how the universe works is being polite then I'm glad I'm a foul mouthed c&nt really.

If Christians did lay down for once we can make headway in stopping superstition from buggering up society.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 01:42 PM

Hmmm - I thought we didn't do "commandments" because there is no godlike authority?


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 02:22 PM

That was me, Steve. And thank you for sharing that. I am not searching for strange motives, really not. Given that, I probably should mention that it seems to be rather easy for people to misconstrue my intent.

I gave BillD a rather hard time in another thread, on the subject of gun control, and he got the idea that I was one of those 2nd Ammendment guys who just wanted my guns. I just thought that his solution didn't address the right problem. And so it goes...


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 02:52 PM

That's OK, Stim. I like to be challenged, as long as I don't keep having to backtrack to tell bad readers such as Bill and Jacko what I really meant in the first place, when all they have to do is leave their agendas at the door as they read. I might be a lot of things but I don't think my powers of written communication are that bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 04:38 PM

Actually, over the years, both Jack and Bill have been much less likely to have agendas than most around here. Both tend toward a congeniality of spirit and an independence of thought that enhances most discussions.
(And I might as well mention that both JohnP and Ebbie fall it there, too)

Anyway, I am not sure that they disagree with you as much as you might think. As to bad reading, well, the print seems to be getting smaller every year, doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 06:18 PM

Nice defence, Stim, but on this occasion they have both transgressed in a rather offensive manner. I was trying to make my points in a carefully-considered post written in good English, remember. I don't much care for being shot at by people having off-days and enduring cloudy thinking when I've gone to those lengths to express myself clearly.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 Feb 13 - 01:59 PM

Christians are not benign on this subject. They attack. They defend their "faith" as if it were their very beings.

"Left minded fundamentalist" name calling is the very thing that belies an intelligent
conversation on this issue.

I think you can be a fundamentalist on every issue including that of atheism but to proclaim that there is a "spiritual dimension" is playing into the very notion of a theistic doctrine of sorts. This notion is unsupportable by scientific evidence.

I don't need a "spiritual" guide to appreciate the beauty, the wonder and the inspiring awe of the world, the universe or life. I certainly will not attribute this to any "Great Spirit", "God" or any other all encompassing deity so sorry Ebbie, I have to part company with you on this.

I can see how this notion might provide comfort in a chaotic world but that doesn't make it real for me.

I don't see this as a semantic issue either. You either "believe" this or you don't.

I think we have the potential to know more than we give ourselves credit for and that search is worth the effort.

To use ignorance as a basis for defending a "spiritual" or any other kind of notion seems
compromising and this is why I am not an agnostic.

Show me the true evidence and I will concur.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: BrendanB
Date: 12 Feb 13 - 03:45 PM

I believe that, for many people, there is a spiritual dimension in their lives which has nothing to do with religion. I also believe that this has a great deal to do with semantics. Many people find themselves greatly moved by certain experiences, these may be triggered as a response to art, music, the natural world etc. such experiences are not regular or even predictable and we can struggle to define or categorise them. Some of us therefore use the word 'spiritual' to describe these experiences, perhaps as an acknowledgement that we cannot always quantify or define what we feel. Can I present evidence that such experiences are in fact 'spiritual'? No, obviously I can't - I can only say that the word 'spiritual' best sums up what I feel.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Feb 13 - 08:01 PM

Well, with the caveat that there are plenty of things I can't define or quantify that I wouldn't regard as particularly "spiritual", I'll buy that. Part of the problem is quantifying or defining the oft-misused word "spiritual" itself. If you'd regard it as subjective responses to art, nature, music, and so on that provide edification through joy as well as knowledge, a synergy of experience and personal response, that would do me. As long as I'm allowed to stop there and enjoy the reverie without having a divine bolt-on suggested to me. I never really feel I have to say thank you to anyone when I've enjoyed a "spiritual" moment or two.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Feb 13 - 08:36 PM

...thank you Stim... I try. Sometimes opinions are mis-read, and I usually try to be sure I 'get' a poster's meaning(s).... over time it is usually not too hard to get a good idea.

... but sometimes any perceived criticism just seems to lead to a refutation of ANYTHING one posts.... *wry smile*

You & I Stim, managed to clear up most confusions without insults... I do appreciate that.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Feb 13 - 09:02 PM

Well you didn't manage it very well this time, and I see you're still in patronising mode. Too bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 12 Feb 13 - 10:43 PM

We do the best we can to sort the wheat from the chaff, Bill, though there are some who prefer to sort the chaff from the wheat (present company excepted).


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Feb 13 - 11:25 PM

"Show me the true evidence and I will concur." Stringsinger

Frank, have you ever been truly in love? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 09:12 AM

LOL, Stim.... "chuffed by chaff" (I just invented that phrase... you get 50% credit)


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 12:19 PM

For the purposes of what I'm about to write, let's assume that the word 'god' implies a conscious, sentient being of some sort who is able to listen to what we have to say and who takes an interest in what we do. 'God' also has the ability to perform miracles and has communicated codes of behaviors to it's adherents. If we don't constrain ourselves to this definition, there is not much point in using the word, since it then takes on lots of different meanings and no one knows which is being used by anyone else. " " great post btw When I think of God it is outside of human concepts non personal something of Greater love greater wisdom than each of us.


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: Mr Red
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 12:30 PM

Well! atheist taking the moral high ground ?

Sweeping generlisations ?

Religious people tend to hand that baton on to their deity and thence speak on her behalf. (God was a woman you know).

Some atheist have sufficient detachment to see a bigger picture. viz:

Religion comes with some very nice benefits, but it ain't at zero cost.
Atheism on the other hand has a cost, but some useful benefits.
Totally different you see!


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Guestlex
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 12:32 PM

For the purposes of what I'm about to write, let's assume that the word 'god' implies a conscious, sentient being of some sort who is able to listen to what we have to say and who takes an interest in what we do. 'God' also has the ability to perform miracles and has communicated codes of behaviors to it's adherents. If we don't constrain ourselves to this definition, there is not much point in using the word, since it then takes on lots of different meanings and no one knows which is being used by anyone else." " ..............             Great post btw When I think of God it is outside of human concepts non personal something of Greater love greater wisdom than each of us.We each have the free will whether to tune to it or not imho.How can a God like this do miracles.See link,lots more research pointing to this too exciting days if science and religion could come together.As usual don't trust the one source as there is lots more credible out there to make a case.Other odd one even religions that don't believe in a deity believe in an afterlife,usually from listening to a Master ie "experienced" the eternal thing. Another thing I am thinking is the kundalini riseexperience this dna phenomena.Regards sorry about other post it just posted no click...............http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/dna-science-and-reprograming-your-dna#ixzz2JUQVEOcl


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Guestlex
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 12:59 PM

Jumped the gun there Mr Red 8)

Badly phrased that,better way.. does the dna alter/change come into play whatever when somebody has the full kundalini exp.Is what I meant to say. rgrds


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Subject: RE: BS: The 10 Commandments for atheists
From: GUEST,Guestlex
Date: 13 Feb 13 - 01:37 PM

The team achieved incredible results using vibration and language. For instance, they successfully transmitted information patterns from one set of DNA to another. Eventually, they were even able to reprogram cells to another genome — they transformed frog embryos into salamander embryos without lifting a single scalpel or making one incision.

The Russians' work provides scientific proof of why affirmations and hypnosis have such powerful effects on human beings. Our DNA is inherently programmed to respond to language. Esoteric and spiritual teachers have known this for ages. All forms of affirmations and "thought power" derive in part from this underlying principle" "............................................................. Got to admit it takes some grasping/swallowing but all the same the possibilities are mind blowing.


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