Author Topic: Old essay, but still relevant ...  (Read 1323 times)

Offline Baruch

Old essay, but still relevant ...
« on: November 01, 2018, 01:51:12 AM »
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From 3.5 years ago, an eternity in Internet meme time.

Basically what I have been saying here all along ... religion is part of anthropology and psychology, and except for anomalous individuals, it isn't going away.  That and progress/teleology is Aristotelian BS.

Review of book by author of the essay ...

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Well we know a few people who are atheists, who are not ex-christians.  But does the exception prove the rule?
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 01:56:29 AM by Baruch »
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2019, 07:24:56 PM »
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Well we know a few people who are atheists, who are not ex-christians.  But does the exception prove the rule?

Are you asking if most atheists are ex-Christians for a reason? It seems to me that western atheism does have its roots in Christianity. I'm an atheist and an ex-Christian, and my atheism did indeed take root in Christianity. After studying the Bible, I realized that no perfect god could author such an imperfect work.

Does that make me an "inverted believer"? Not really although it did take me a while to shed my fundamentalist approach to truth. For a while I did defend the Theory of Evolution like I used to defend the miracles of Christ. Nowadays I have settled down a bit and seek truth with an open mind. I just try to argue consistently and let the chips fall where they may. But those chips still fall squarely on skepticism.

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2019, 07:30:36 PM »
Exceptions never prove rules, they prove those rules to be not rules at all.
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"Ideas have consequences, and totally erroneous ideas are likely to have destructive consequences."
Steve Allen

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2019, 10:15:27 AM »
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Are you asking if most atheists are ex-Christians for a reason? It seems to me that western atheism does have its roots in Christianity. I'm an atheist and an ex-Christian, and my atheism did indeed take root in Christianity. After studying the Bible, I realized that no perfect god could author such an imperfect work.

Does that make me an "inverted believer"? Not really although it did take me a while to shed my fundamentalist approach to truth. For a while I did defend the Theory of Evolution like I used to defend the miracles of Christ. Nowadays I have settled down a bit and seek truth with an open mind. I just try to argue consistently and let the chips fall where they may. But those chips still fall squarely on skepticism.


By saying....................no perfect god could author such an imperfect work.....................do you think that there is no a mighty God on the bases that the Bible contain BS?

Do you mean that?
When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you’re the one smiling and everyone around you is crying. Tulsi Das

Offline aitm

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2019, 11:55:05 AM »
I think its somewhat obvious that the more educated a society or person becomes they become a little more skeptical about claims that cannot be easily proven or if not proven at least be reasonable. Education leads to skepticism, skepticism leads to hearsay or outright abandonment of religion ideas. Many countries that have good education have greater numbers of atheists and not simply because they may be born to non-religious but are able to see the thin curtain pretty easily.

Education leads to different interpretation of the babble and thus different churches and also the gradual relaxation of biblical punishments for ordinary behaviors such a eating pork or shrimp. Leviticus is pretty much ignored today, tats and all. Given time if education were more pronounced in Islamic countries they too would lessen their religions demands as skeptical thought turned less dogmatic.

There will always be some new whacko with some BS idea of universal woo, aka Arik. In my 60 odd years I have seen an explosion of free thought leading to agnosticism and atheism. It is possible, though I also understand the humans are easily superstitious sometimes, even myself. I woke up at exactly 3:56 am three days in a row. Thinking what the hell, I bought a lottery ticket based on a 3 number pick.....or course it didn't win....but hey.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Baruch

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2019, 12:15:25 PM »
In the experience of some, as they age, their understanding of their world (not THE world) improves.  This is not the general experience of the toiling masses.  It is true for well connected, well educated First World people on average.
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline aitm

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2019, 12:28:44 PM »
No doubt I agree with the premise that the uneducated will remain ignorant, superstitious and cling to the flavor of the local surroundings.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Sal1981

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2019, 12:32:50 PM »
Makes a huge equivocation of scientific values leading to eugenics and then redefines it to suit today's scientific search for human values. Case in point:

Quote
The racial theories promoted by atheists in the past have been consigned to the memory hole – and today’s most influential atheists would no more endorse racist biology than they would be seen following the guidance of an astrologer. But they have not renounced the conviction that human values must be based in science; now it is liberal values which receive that accolade.
If eugenics wasn't scientific to begin with, then it is merely as the same standard as astrology. How is this the same of human values?

And further equivocates atheism with totalitarian states like the USSR. When in fact it has as much as to with atheism as someone basing a state on the Pythagorean theorem. Atheism has no ideology, it was State Atheism - very different than the simple statement of disbelief.
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In fact there are no reliable connections – whether in logic or history – between atheism, science and liberal values.
That's because atheism isn't an ideology. Goes further in the article spouting about "atheist ideologies". Might as well have said "non-stamp collectors union" same result.

Not until 2nd section does the author admit that atheism is merely a standard position. Also this is telling:
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Why make a fuss over an idea that has no sense for you?
Uhm, maybe because the True Believers(tm) influence public policy to accredit their delusions? Just perhaps.

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As an organised movement, atheism is never non-committal in this way. It always goes with an alternative belief-system – typically, a set of ideas that serves to show the modern west is the high point of human development.
A stupid tautology, to begin with, and an outright lie in the 2nd sentence. Atheism, again, has no ideology - if you want to ascribe atheism anything it is the defaulting position of disbelief. That. Is. All. Everything else is flights of fancy, ascribing ideologies at vaccouos assertions about what values atheists hold. They don't hold them because they're atheists. No one does. Human values come from human experience, not from disbelief. Nothing comes from that. Nothing at all.

Yet. What does come from atheism, is the release from all the otherwise theistic baggage that comes from believing. But that is a feature of lacking 'chains of thought', not atheism.

I also love the quote-mine of Sam Harris' book The Moral Landscape. What a disingenuous twat.

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There is no more reason to think science can determine human values today than there was at the time of Haeckel or Huxley.
Do we still live in the past, is our knowledge static? What a moron. The supercomputer in my pocket, and my access to all of human knowledge on a small device is a testament to our ingenuity and sheer force of will, from a science standpoint, that we are able to grow and change. For the better, too.

This is merely a God of the Gaps argument. That's all I'm reading from this article; durrrr in past we make mistake ... hurrrr we repeat mistake.

Quote
How could any increase in scientific knowledge validate values such as human equality and personal autonomy?
Maybe because we're able to, with a better understanding of human nature, to ascribe how to behave, like, from experience. Just perhaps. This author doesn't think 2 centimeters in-front of his nose.

This dude thinks Nietzsche thought modern morality came from monotheism. BRB, gotta sell my daughter for some silver. I doubt he even has read any Nietzsche directly, maybe articles discussing his ideas, but the source material? Nah.

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The question is which morality an atheist should serve.
One of Wellbeing is a good start, but that's not because he's an atheist - or anyone for that matter - is better off not be an asshole to everyone else. Just a guess.

In the 3rd section he tries to argue that liberalism is, somehow, intertwined with monotheism. Whatever its origins, they were incorporated into later monotheism, liberal values are the antithesis to Biblical values. He mentions - instead of the Bible - "religious traditions" because, I suspect, that he knows damn well that the Bible has no say in modern liberal values. Liberal values flourished in spite of theology, not because of it. You see this today, where theism co-opts cultural norms, copying whatever fad there is and tries for antiquated ideas to stay relevant in an ever-changing world. This author does the same, just in the inverse for atheism.

He flails around the concept of universal morality, missing the point of it: Wellbeing.

Quote
Throughout history there have been large numbers who have been happy to relinquish their freedom as long as those they hate – gay people, Jews, immigrants and other minorities, for example – are deprived of freedom as well. Many have been ready to support tyranny and oppression. Billions of human beings have been hostile to liberal values, and there is no reason for thinking matters will be any different in future.
Who might those have been? hmmmmm.

He seems surprised that people are different from one another. I'm not surprised he thinks this way.

Quote
In ancient Greece and Rome, religion was not separate from the rest of human activity. Christianity was less tolerant than these pagan societies, but without it the secular societies of modern times would hardly have been possible.
How the fuck does he know? Does he come from a parallel universe where Christianity and later the Abrahamic religions aren't the dominating faiths of the world? This is pure speculation on his part.

Quote
Britain has an established church, but despite that fact – or more likely because of it – religion has a smaller role in politics than in America and is less publicly divisive than it is in France.
He has no idea. It's because of state religion, with annual funding, that they become (quite ironically in fact) dependent on the state for their existence. This in  turn results in the established religion losing power, surprise, surprise, because it becomes mandated by the state. In the USA, the opposite is true. The established religion(s) are free to fuck things the way they want to fuck things, independent of the state. Which is also why I'm surprised people in the US are so afraid of the merger of the state with religion. Case in point: All Scandinavian countries have state religions (Lutheran Church), but are the most secular countries on the planet.

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Above all, these unevangelical atheists accepted that religion is definitively human. Though not all human beings may attach great importance to them, every society contains practices that are recognisably religious.
To be sure, it's a result of human nature, not the other way around - and using the banner of "religious" to encompass more human endeavours waters it down and makes human endeavours ambiguous apart from religious behavior. A treason to the sensibilities for those able to discern human nature as explicitly human.

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There is an irresolvable contradiction between viewing religion naturalistically – as a human adaptation to living in the world – and condemning it as a tissue of error and illusion.
It's an evolutionary trait. Just ask Michael Shermer. This is the naturalistic fallacy. Just because it exists in nature, doesn't mean it's good or true. There are many evolutionary adaptations that are neither good or beneficial. Like the fucking appendix, for instance.

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Other religions have their own distinctive flaws. But the fault is not with religion, any more than science is to blame for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or medicine and psychology for the refinement of techniques of torture.
An outright lie. Nowhere does it say how you should use a tool/weapon/refinement. But in the "holy" texts there are strict mandates of behavior.

Why this moron lies about this is displayed in his following statement straight after:
Quote
The fault is in the intractable human animal. Like religion at its worst, contemporary atheism feeds the fantasy that human life can be remade by a conversion experience – in this case, conversion to unbelief.
Only a rapid idiot thinks this. Only thing atheism changes, is freeing you of your dependency that theism offered. Sure, there are many possible side-effects, such as dissolving the relationships you had with other theists, but they're not necessarily so; many apostates maintain their relationships with their theist peers. Other than that, no inherent change is to the nature or conditions of living.

He ends with:
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What today’s freethinkers want is freedom from doubt, and the prevailing version of atheism is well suited to give it to them.
I'm convinced he never has met a skeptic of a freethinker in his entire life. The feed on doubt. Doubt is what made people question their faith. Doubt is making apostates of people. Doubt is the fluid that melts rock-hard assurance of faith. Why do you even think doubt is ascribed so often as a sin, and that you shouldn't have doubt about your convictions? Doubt away.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Offline aitm

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2019, 01:44:53 PM »
Wow..I didn't read it but by looking at what you posted the guy is a obviously a xian crybaby trying to argue that reason and common sense is also to the detriment of society. As long as you have woo to believe in your fine.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Baruch

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2019, 02:57:22 PM »
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No doubt I agree with the premise that the uneducated will remain ignorant, superstitious and cling to the flavor of the local surroundings.

Maybe your peasants are supermen ;-)  Or perhaps you are part of the revolutionary cadre to lead them ;-))  There really isn't any model for Progressives beyond the systems perfected by the 20th century totalitarianisms.  A conservative educational approach wouldn't be tried, because the goals are antithetical.

Sal1981 ... I now believe someone actually read the essay.  My thanks.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 08:39:32 PM by Baruch »
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline aitm

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2019, 04:38:05 PM »
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There really isn't any model for Progressives beyond the systems perfected by the 20th century totalitarianisms.
oh perfected you say.....so where is this at?
Quote
a conservative educational approach wouldn't be tried, because the goals are antithetical.
Because you say they are? Interesting.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline aitm

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2019, 04:42:20 PM »
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By saying....................no perfect god could author such an imperfect work.....................do you think that there is no a mighty God on the bases that the Bible contain BS?

Do you mean that?

When the first page tells us the sky is water, most reasonable people would tend to think the rest is equally absurd...and it is.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2019, 04:57:36 PM »
OK, so even if the Bible's God isn't real, that doesn't mean Ganesh can't exist!
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"Ideas have consequences, and totally erroneous ideas are likely to have destructive consequences."
Steve Allen

Offline aitm

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2019, 07:41:37 PM »
The babble is full of gnashing of teeth and tearing of clothes...apparently old time Jews were a bit high strung.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Baruch

Re: Old essay, but still relevant ...
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2019, 08:40:21 PM »
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When the first page tells us the sky is water, most reasonable people would tend to think the rest is equally absurd...and it is.

Life is absurd.  See Cubism.
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

 

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