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Jun. 17th, 2007

mudstew

(no subject)

I was reading a book by Mark Vernon the other day called: "Science, Religion and the Meaning of Life".  Here's what he had to say:

If god talk can avoid getting hung up on "proofs", then it can become a way of critiquing human knowledge.  Examining what people take to be divine is baluable because it reminds them that they are made lower than gods and that aspirations to god-like knowledge will remain just that-aspirations.  Then, if this can be stomached, the attitude it nurtures itself becomes a valuable source of insight, for religious humility is the product of embracing the human condition.  With it, the vain attempt to "overcome" is ditched, and the challenge to understand is taken on.  And this, in turn, is what makes life worthwhile.  It produces the best kind of human beings, people who are not merely ignorant, but recognise the ways in which they are.  To this extent, they become wise and lovers of wisdom.  To put it another way, the unexamined life is not worth living, negatively because it would be deluded, and positively because examining all those other things in life- character, intuition, friendships, loves and fundamentally "who am I?" gives life shape and meaning. 


What?  First off, what's with all this anthropomorphic crap?  Why is this man, former Christian, turned Atheist, now agnostic defending agnosticism using anthropomorphic gods?  How does he know?  So far, he has been citing "god" as being some "supernatural" being who thinks and acts like humans, with human emotions and human desires.  He claims to not know or will ever know if god exists, yet he talks as if he believes god exists- "examining what people take to be divine is valuable because it reminds them that they are made lower than gods."  That's assuming gods even exist!  He's contradicting his agnosticism just with that one sentence, nevermind the whole paragraph!


He claims that religion is the key to opening that door that lets out our inner philosophers.  What about me?  I agree that examining and questioning the world around you gives life more meaning, but I don't need to believe in a "god" to humble myself and try to understand who I am.  I see belief as being a sort of target in the dark for insecure people to aim for.  I'm happy for some people who have broken away from "mainstream" religion, but to grasp on to agnosticism to keep you afloat seems to me to be even more futile then focusing all your energy into an actual religion.  I mean, good for them that they see something wrong with religion, and I'm sure it's difficult trying to explain to people what being agnostic means.  But I'm pretty convinced only 30 pages into his book that it just sounds like agnostics are just trying to find an easy way out. 


*Sigh*  I'm not going to stop with Mark Vernons opinion though.  He has a lot of interesting things to say about philosophy, which means "love of wisdom" by the way.  It sounds like this guy is taking Socrates words and twisting them until he gets a theistic meaning out of them.  It's ridiculous!

Jun. 16th, 2007

WatchAnad

anadart

Paradoxic Christian ideas about free will

Paradoxic Christian ideas about free will
By Dave, the WM
The articleCollapse )

May. 31st, 2007

slacknote

militant atheism

Richard Dawkins: "It may sound as I'm about to preach atheism, but I want to reassure you that's not the fact. In an audience as sophisticated as this that would be preaching to the choir. No what I want to urge upon you is militant atheism".

This interview was filmed for the TV documentary "Root of All Evil?"but was left out of the final version. Time restrictions dictated thatnot all interviews filmed could be used. This was especially regrettable in the case of the McGrath interview, which is therefore offered here now, unedited.

Feb. 28th, 2007

slacknote

the god who wasn't there

I can whole heartedly recommend this film:

I can also whole heartedly recommend the soundtrack:

Since I also whole heartedly support the atheist coming out of the closet case I bought both originals.
However you can legally download the soundtrack off their own website.

Jan. 23rd, 2007

BookBanter

actoplasm

Well That's Just Great!

I've know about the building and development of the creation museum in Petersburg, Kentucky for some time, and I also heard about them making a magical exhibit where our ancestors and dinosaurs coexisted in peace and harmony together a couple thousand years ago. I kind of pretend edit was a bad dream that I kept hoping wasn't going to happen, but alas the museum will open May 28th of this year, and HERE'S a photo of their dinosaur and human exhibit with a little info on it.Even though dinosaurs had their time 65 million years ago as every child is taught in a REAL school, while humans have been developing AT MOST in the last TWO million years. I wonder if our wonderful administration has made a sizable donation to this wonderful place yet.

I at most feel sorry for the children who will come to this museum built on land millions of years old in a world five billion years old,thinking our planet has only existed for about four thousand. And they will learn from this and take this idea through life. It pisses me off that we have an administration that will allow children to be taught outright lies. Why don't we make another museum where dinosaurs not just lived among us but are still alive today and have evolved to talk and do things and have jobs, just like that book series by Eric Garcia.

Well that's ruined my day!

Jan. 8th, 2007

Wry

doctor_frank

Hello to all you fine people

Hi everyone, I'm new here, although several of you may have seen me around on various other communities.

Just 3 months ago I was a fundaMentalist Bible-believing Christian, but then Richard Dawkins showed me the light! I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and personal saviour and was condemned to a life of superstition and drudgery until He came and showed me the way! Praise Him!

OK, the above is a flagrant lie, but I've read so many fake stories by Christians about how "they too were an unsaved heathen just like me" before Jesus came into their lives that I thought something needed to be done to redress the balance a little.

I have a copy of The God Delusion that was signed by the Dawkins himself when I saw him at Oxford - it's a shame he wasn't doing dedications that day otherwise I was going to try and get him to make it out to the Allied Atheists Alliance (cf. South Park) :D

Anyway, I'll just go sit in the corner and be cynical and snarky, if you don't mind.

Dec. 21st, 2006

Jeeves

dfordoom

being an atheist at christmas

One of the many things I hate about this time of year is the subtle pressure to go along with a Christian celebration. If you’re an adherent of another religion, as long as it’s an approved respectable religion like Judaism, you might get excused. But if you’re an atheist and you don’t celebrate Christmas you risk being regarded as a miserable, misanthropic curmudgeon. Which I resent enormously. Perhaps we atheists need to get our act together and establish our own festivals to celebrate! Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Dec. 7th, 2006

Llond ceg

jcortese

Quite happy to find this community

A skeptic with temporal lobe epilepsy? I thought you people were all fundies!Collapse )

Nov. 26th, 2006

skurkey

The story of my beliefs and how I reached my beliefs.

At the age of nine, I moved to a new city and made a new friend, Cathy. Cathy attended a Protestant Christian church and invited me to attend their weekly youth group meetings. This was the formal beginning of my Christian education. I began to baby-sit in the nursery and attend church on Sundays. Eventually, my mother also joined the church. She well over shined my participation in the nursery, and still works as a part time job as an unpaid volunteer for the church. My father began to pressure me to attend church on Sundays, but was noticeably absent himself. When I asked him if he believed in god he would say, “Yes,” or “What is the alternative?” Later, I found that he meant, “Yes, I believe in the concept of god as a cognitive tool for spreading morality.”

Socially, I did not fit in at the church I attended. On a couple of occasions I was accused of, “my salt not being salty enough,” because I dated non-Christians. I was accused of having sex in the baptismal. Which of course I did not do! I had sex in the pews of a neighboring church. I was often conflicted by the concept of sin and forgiveness. I felt constantly watched and judged by an ever-present god.

I could feel the belief memes clashing with my rational mind. I would try to rationalize and combine science and Christianity. I would suppose that Adam and Eve could have possibly been the first fully evolved Homo sapiens. As the memes clashed inside my mind, I would feel a deep, unrelenting fear. I would ponder the end. Sometimes, I would only feel a vague terror as I scratched the surface of non-existence. I remember this feeling when a close friend of mine said, “The Bible is just a bunch of stories, like any other book.” Other times, I would force myself to consider non-existence. The sensation would grip my body and put me in an unreal state of panic and horror. This was the road out of Christianity. Upon my journey, I found that I had Christian memes directly targeting my out of Christianity experiences. I would remember how I had learned about this or that as evil. They had showed me footage of an abortion in the third trimester. The head had been pulled out and intentionally popped between the grip of the forceps.

As the meme battle continued, I would play out one side or the other. What if I had been randomly born to a Hindu family? The fear of hell drifted away. Why does god make me responsible from determining the truth, given a rational mind, based on faith? I embraced the idea that maybe there was more than one way to the center. Maybe I could battle the fear of non-existence with reincarnation and past lives as many do. I can hear Dawkins’ voice saying, “that what is comfortable is not necessarily true.” I began to look at all religions. I learned about symbolism, allegory, and metaphor. The seat of the soul took residence in the Limbic system. The now became infinite. I am here.

Nov. 22nd, 2006

rednorth

hi

hi everyone. i'm really glad to join this community. i have just received the god delusion this week and read the introduction last night. i have just finished honours in psychology, and will do my best to use that knowledge to help others understand that god is a delusion, and not even that much of a helpful one (as they usually reply that it is).

take care,

wil

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