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Virus
26th February 09, 07:41 AM
Ji-qdC5zYd4

The United Nations is proposing a motion to make blasphemy illegal. At who's behest was this motion put forward? The Organization of the Islamic Conference, a union of 57 predominantly Muslim states that was started by King Fasal of Saudi Arabia. Many of these states are blatant human rights abusers and many of them wouldn't know democracy if it farted in their face.

The OIC openly rejects the Universal Deceleration of Human Rights for not being compatible with Sharia Law. They espouse the view that Jews control the world and are responsible for all conflict and strife. They support terrorist violence against Israel.

This motion is one of many attempts to force the rest of the world to submit to the values of their retarded medieval culture.

Islam make grandiose claims for itself, states that their god is the real one, that he writes books and that he has personal opinions on human affairs. It then demands to be respected for this. It doesn't deserve respect, it deserves contempt.

I think we are being over-protective of Muslims and that shielding Islam for criticism is going to do us harm in the long run. We need to stand up, acknowledge that Western culture, imperfect as it is, is better than virtually all others and refuse to sell it off to appease Wahabbi and Sulafi crackpots who's contribution to humanity is nothing.

PS: If anyone thinks I'm going over the top on criticizing Islam I'm just trying to get my quota in before it's made illegal.

GuiltySpark
26th February 09, 09:59 AM
Not over the top. Fuck hardcore islamic medieval beliefs.

SuperGuido
26th February 09, 11:00 AM
Islam deserves tolerance.

Respect and obedience?

Hardly.

But tolerance I can get behind.

This law does nothing to further tolerance.

TM
26th February 09, 11:17 AM
The U.N. should be the last organization to hawk such a bill. Considering the only chapel in the U.N. building is sponsored by the lucy foundation. (Formerly the lucifer foundation.)

cyrijl
26th February 09, 11:58 AM
Deserves tolerance? Can you please explain that? People might deserve tolerance, but I don't think religions do.

HappyOldGuy
26th February 09, 12:02 PM
Deserves tolerance? Can you please explain that? People might deserve tolerance, but I don't think religions do.

I'm pretty sure you can't have a forest without trees.

Spade: The Real Snake
26th February 09, 12:18 PM
I like how tolerance and acceptance is a one-way street.

HappyOldGuy
26th February 09, 12:20 PM
I like how tolerance and acceptance is a one-way street.

Pretty much by definition, or else there is nothing to tolerate.

Shawarma
26th February 09, 12:37 PM
Won't pass. Ignore.

Spade: The Real Snake
26th February 09, 12:43 PM
Pretty much by definition, or else there is nothing to tolerate.

If one is expected to accept and tolerate things they don't like, shouldn't this road run both ways?

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
26th February 09, 12:44 PM
i have this pipe with squiggles that seem to spell out "islam"
pretty dope

Zendetta
26th February 09, 12:55 PM
Won't pass.

True.


Ignore.

Fuck that.

Sun Wukong
26th February 09, 01:34 PM
Lou Dobbs trolled. Seriously. Lou Dobbs is a media troll. How people don't see that, I'll never know.

Just stop listening when Lou Dobbs is talking, you'll be better off.

KO'd N DOA
26th February 09, 01:35 PM
The Blue Berets will go into Mecca to enforce the anti-blasphamy laws protecting other religions from blasphamy by Islam?

(txt msg to financial advisor: buy shares in the military industrial complex ASAP)

Aphid Jones
26th February 09, 02:48 PM
Lou Dobbs trolled. Seriously. Lou Dobbs is a media troll. How people don't see that, I'll never know.



We have a winner.

Harpy
26th February 09, 04:41 PM
True.

Fuck that.

What Zendetta said. Religious groups should be staying the hell out of the UN process. Look how well their convention on the Rights of the Child went, there's so much BS in the world and they even consider this request?

Its not about the Muslims, just any religion that thinks it can make people play nice. Fuck that.

Spade: The Real Snake
26th February 09, 04:53 PM
Lily just offended the Mormons.

Harpy
26th February 09, 04:59 PM
Am I going to be stoned to death?

Spade: The Real Snake
26th February 09, 05:01 PM
No.
Mormons don't do that.

They will breed you to death.

Harpy
26th February 09, 05:04 PM
Ewwww. Are we blaspheming?

Harpy
26th February 09, 05:05 PM
PS: If anyone thinks I'm going over the top on criticizing Islam I'm just trying to get my quota in before it's made illegal.

This made me laugh. Virus!!!!! I don't think the UN can really make anything 'illegal'.

EuropIan
26th February 09, 05:36 PM
Am I going to be stoned to death?
That would take gargantuan amounts of pot

Harpy
26th February 09, 05:38 PM
Ian - you're a charmer. A mean person would have said something about it taking a huge ass mountain to kill me.

Spade: The Real Snake
26th February 09, 05:42 PM
I don't think the UN can really make anything 'illegal'.

THE UN CAN MAKE EVERYTHING ILLEGAL UNIVERSALLY.

Cullion
26th February 09, 06:05 PM
Now, hopefully you faggots finally understand why global government is a bad idea. At best it means sharing your voting rights with people who massively outnumber you but have scant regard for any of your cultural concepts of liberty.

At worst it means not even getting a vote on an issue because a small coterie of internationalist 'worthies' just decided for you in some bullshit court that you wouldn't recognise under your common law.

But carry on, by all means.

Sun Wukong
26th February 09, 06:20 PM
jeezus cullion, how can you take something like this seriously. Lou dobbs is a fuckwit on par with limbaugh, hannity and o'reilly.

it's the kind of shit stupid people listen to when they want to feel imperious.

Spade: The Real Snake
26th February 09, 06:33 PM
it's the kind of shit stupid people listen to when they want to feel imperious.
this was on NPR?

Cullion
26th February 09, 06:37 PM
jeezus cullion, how can you take something like this seriously. Lou dobbs is a fuckwit on par with limbaugh, hannity and o'reilly.

it's the kind of shit stupid people listen to when they want to feel imperious.

That's what British liberals said to skeptics with each new EU treaty until they saw there was no point bullshitting any more about 5 years ago and starting to admit that our suspicions were true and making lame arguments as to why it was as good idea.

Consider me your lame broke-down warning-flag from the old world.

Harpy
26th February 09, 06:47 PM
^ agreeing with Cullion

United Nations is in the Balls Column. That's what Sochin told me.

Zendetta
26th February 09, 06:53 PM
making lame arguments as to why it was as good idea.

such as?

Cullion
26th February 09, 06:58 PM
'we can reduce the money we waste on currency trading charges between countries'

'we need to present a united European front to the world'

'the scale of trade between our countries now is huge, and it needs to be managed'

'only an isolationist or a xenophobe would argue against us'

You're a Libertarian of some description. You know the usual absurd shit that self-congratulatiing media-political elites come out with to justify their raison de etre, especially when they scent blood in the air and see a chance to just keep on keepin' on with it without the formality of a public vote.

Zendetta
26th February 09, 07:03 PM
Sheesh. I am really freaked out about how that kind of rhetoric is used to stifle debate.

Yes I do know what you mean. Just the other night I was discussing public edumacation with a friend.

I told her to "fuck your 'Greater Good'!". You can use that one if you want to.

HappyOldGuy
26th February 09, 07:06 PM
So the takeaway is, you oppose public education?

Cullion
26th February 09, 07:07 PM
depends what you mean by 'public education'.

Zendetta
26th February 09, 07:36 PM
So the takeaway is, you oppose public education?

Both of my parents are retired career public educators, and a number of my friends teach for east bay schools.

Its just that the US had a higher literacy rate when it was just one-room schoolhouses.

I teach adult vocational school, and I see tons of students with high school degrees that cannot write a coherent sentence in english.

I'm for it in principle, but against the reality of an over-bloated corporatist indoctrination machine. This is what the american public educational system was designed to be, and its done a wonderful job.

I'm opposed to:
social promotion
underqualified teachers
obstructionist unions
"self esteem" over results
multi-culti nonsense
tolerance for violence and disrepect
and the idea that schools (or the state generally) can, let alone should fill all of the gaps left by bad parenting and dysfunctional communities
and those goddam blobs of goo that are supposed to be tater tots.


Let me give you a precise example. A good friend of mine moved to NY and got a job teaching. He is brilliant, eccentric, and can actually get high schoolers to get interested in shit like physics. He plays rock and roll and rides his motorcycle to school.

He was "asked to resign" when he told his rowdy class they were acting like a bunch of crazed monkies. That's racist, you see.

Wounded Ronin
26th February 09, 08:16 PM
It's asinine to villify the UN over this. As Shaw pointed out, won't pass, ignore, is just a dumbass gesture. Plus even if it did pass the UN would never be in the position to enforce.

Wounded Ronin
26th February 09, 08:20 PM
underqualified teachers


Teaching requires a relatively high level of qualifications for the salary. You need a masters degree plus various continuing qualifications but salaries tend to be in the forty-thous.

What's all this talk I always hear about evil deadbeat teachers? The vast majority of teachers I've ever known have been extremely hard working underpaid people who do their work from a sense of dedication to the public good.



multi-culti nonsense


Don't you think the study of other cultures is important in today's world?



and the idea that schools (or the state generally) can, let alone should fill all of the gaps left by bad parenting and dysfunctional communities


Honestly I think that's more the parents abdicating responsibility and expecting the school system to do it instead. I never met anyone actually working in a school who expressed the above idea. I've only heard people complaining in a political context that the schools don't do the above.

Zendetta
26th February 09, 08:32 PM
You need a masters degree...

Not out here you don't.


What's all this talk I always hear about evil deadbeat teachers? The vast majority of teachers I've ever known have been extremely hard working underpaid people who do their work from a sense of dedication to the public good.

Yes, but many are working from what I would call a "wrong paradigm" and so they get shit results. When this is questioned, the stock reponse is "underfunded schools". And yet americans were better readers in the days of the one-room schoolhouse.


Don't you think the study of other cultures is important in today's world?

Very. I love other cultures. But I'm talking about an attack on the foundations of our culture. For example: Oakland Schools don't celebrate Columbus Day, they celebrate Ceasar Chavez Day.


Honestly I think that's more the parents abdicating responsibility and expecting the school system to do it instead.

Its not so much the fault of the schools* as it is a symptom of deeper societal dysfunction. But the education Industry eagerly steps in to occupy the gap. And why not? Its how the institution grows in power and influence.

* actually, its very much the fault of the industrialists and social engineers who developed the american public school system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Taylor_Gatto

HappyOldGuy
26th February 09, 08:37 PM
Its just that the US had a higher literacy rate when it was just one-room schoolhouses.

Utter and complete horseshit (http://nces.ed.gov/naal/lit_history.asp).

Zendetta
26th February 09, 08:55 PM
Its just that the US had a higher literacy rate when it was just one-room schoolhouses.


Utter and complete horseshit (http://nces.ed.gov/naal/lit_history.asp).

Fair enough. This is the more accurate version of the point I was trying to make:


And yet americans were better readers in the days of the one-room schoolhouse.

And by that I mean that what used to be standard texts in grade school are now considered high school or even college level material. I'l need to get to my house before I can back that up further.

I'm pretty sure there were more illiterate plowhands back then. But what I am saying is that an average person with a basic education* could and did read more advanced curriculum than what is taught now.

* much of which came from bible readings at home and at sunday school. I'm not suggesting we bring that back.

HappyOldGuy
26th February 09, 09:05 PM
Fair enough. This is the more accurate version of the point I was trying to make:



And by that I mean that what used to be standard texts in grade school are now considered high school or even college level material. I'l need to get to my house before I can back that up further.

I'm pretty sure there were more illiterate plowhands back then. But what I am saying is that an average person with a basic education* could and did read more advanced curriculum than what is taught now.

* much of which came from bible readings at home and at sunday school. I'm not suggesting we bring that back.

Absolutely backwards. The amount of what must be known now to be considered baseline educated is exponentially ridiculously larger now. Math and science obviously. Your mythical one room schoolhouse stopped at what we would consider first or second grade sums and probably didn't have any science curriculum at all. Also the breadth and depth of what people are expected to know for social studies, Computer literacy, etc.

Now if you want to argue about public education now versus say the 70's, you have a strong case. But universal public education in general is one of the two or three most important innovations in american history. It's something the entire world has copied from us, and the issue we face now is that a number of places are doing it better than we are.

Zendetta
26th February 09, 09:13 PM
Now if you want to argue about public education now versus say the 70's, you have a strong case. But universal public education in general is one of the two or three most important innovations in american history. It's something the entire world has copied from us, and the issue we face now is that a number of places are doing it better than we are.

Alright, i'm game. What should i know about Now vs the 70's?

Also, Chavez vs Columbus. Opinion?

HappyOldGuy
26th February 09, 09:29 PM
Alright, i'm game. What should i know about Now vs the 70's?

Also, Chavez vs Columbus. Opinion?

Just that that's when most of the things that seem to bother you got started.

Picking different dead guys to please constituencies annoys me a tiny bit, but not majorly. It is kindof amusing that you picked columbus day to complain about considering it was originally added as a sop to italian americans.

DAYoung
26th February 09, 09:38 PM
On Australia's high literacy rates (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20658123-2702,00.html).

Does it matter if they can't write correctly, if they've acquired the correct knowledge?

(Open question, by the way.)

HappyOldGuy
26th February 09, 09:44 PM
On Australia's high literacy rates (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20658123-2702,00.html).

Does it matter if they can't write correctly, if they've acquired the correct knowledge?

(Open question, by the way.)

y do u thnk it matrs? lnguag is a tul 2 cmunicat. Only a lusr wines abot th protocol.

DAYoung
26th February 09, 09:57 PM
y do u thnk it matrs? lnguag is a tul 2 cmunicat. Only a lusr wines abot th protocol.

Yes, I do think it matters.

Of course, how much it matters depends on context and motive (e.g. whether it's transmission of facts or expression of emotion).

Certainly, a fuller grasp of language offers more possibilities for personal development, career, understanding, and the like.

But in some situations (like this exchange), it doesn't matter as much.

Zendetta
26th February 09, 10:02 PM
different dead guys...

One of these kids has much more world-historic importance than the other one.

Virus
26th February 09, 11:58 PM
How about that Islam. They say some crazy stuff in Islam.

Like Jews "Infect Food with Cancer and Ship it to Muslim Countries."

http://canadiancoalition.com/forum/messages/35849.shtml

Wait a sec, didn't that guy just blaspheme the Jews?

WarPhalange
27th February 09, 12:00 AM
Fuck! It was the Jews who put cancer in my peanut butter?! Those bastards!!

Virus
27th February 09, 12:18 AM
They don't send cancer to America. They only ship cancer to Muslim countries.

They ship cancer and make Muslim girls wear tight shorts.

.

boondock lee
27th February 09, 12:31 AM
Alright, i'm game. What should i know about Now vs the 70's?

Also, Chavez vs Columbus. Opinion?

70's - no internet, disco and bell bottoms...

As for Chavez Vs Columbus, why not celebrate both?



Fuck! It was the Jews who put cancer in my peanut butter?! Those bastards!!

The cancer give peanut butter its added flavor and maintains freshness.

WarPhalange
27th February 09, 01:03 AM
It looks like the Jews are actually shipping food infected with Stupid to the Muslims.

Virus
27th February 09, 01:33 AM
It looks like the Jews are actually shipping food infected with Stupid to the Muslims.

No, it's a pretty well known fact:


Israel - Major export goods:
machinery and equipment, software, diamonds, cancer.

Toby Christensen
27th February 09, 03:32 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F67JhKT5bxU

P.S. I own an English version of the Koran as translated by Dawood.

Virus
27th February 09, 04:49 AM
What would happen if someone went on national TV and said that Muslims are putting cancer in the felafel and shipping it to the west?

Doritosaurus Chex
27th February 09, 10:30 AM
You'd probably get riots.

KO'd N DOA
27th February 09, 10:46 AM
Would the UN censor many of the threads here? Perhaps Lou was misunderstanding the UN law, because for its full impact, has to be read in 7th century Arabic, and then interpreted by qualified lawyers for its true meaning.

(btw. anyone else getting a Singlemuslims.com banner on this thread?...its creeping me out.)

HappyOldGuy
27th February 09, 11:26 AM
What would happen if someone went on national TV and said that Muslims are putting cancer in the felafel and shipping it to the west?
Given the masssive coverage of such DHS scenarios in the press. I feel feel pretty comfortable saying absolutely fucking nothing.

Now let me turn it around. What do you think would happen if islamic countries started a big public campaign to screen all packages coming in from the US for biological and radiological contaminants?

cyrijl
27th February 09, 05:03 PM
Given the masssive coverage of such DHS scenarios in the press. I feel feel pretty comfortable saying absolutely fucking nothing.

Now let me turn it around. What do you think would happen if islamic countries started a big public campaign to screen all packages coming in from the US for biological and radiological contaminants?

They'd have to let the packages in in the first place.

HappyOldGuy
27th February 09, 05:11 PM
They'd have to let the packages in in the first place.

say what :confused:

http://www.foreigntradeexchange.com/countries/saudi_arabia.html

Toby Christensen
27th February 09, 05:28 PM
"Eliminating religion would solve a lot of problems in the world" My Dad, dental surgeon and political pontificator.

Either the UN forms some sort of amalgamate One World effort towards scientific and social change, or it does precisely bugger all. There's no in-between.

Also I HATE classroom education. School isn't a social or sporting club, it's a place to learn skills.

Virus
27th February 09, 07:54 PM
What do you think would happen if islamic countries started a big public campaign to screen all packages coming in from the US for biological and radiological contaminants?

They'd either open the packages or put them in a machine that goes "beep".

AAAhmed46
27th February 09, 09:11 PM
Now, hopefully you faggots finally understand why global government is a bad idea. At best it means sharing your voting rights with people who massively outnumber you but have scant regard for any of your cultural concepts of liberty.

At worst it means not even getting a vote on an issue because a small coterie of internationalist 'worthies' just decided for you in some bullshit court that you wouldn't recognise under your common law.

But carry on, by all means.

Quoted for truth.

AAAhmed46
27th February 09, 09:14 PM
Seriously virus, why do you hate muslims so much?

I mean shit, their getting more modern as time goes on. All the shit you hate about them will more or less fade away due to the dominance of western secular culture around the world.


I agree with you in the stupidity of the U.N.'s blasphemy law. But thats not why you posted it.

Virus
28th February 09, 03:35 AM
Seriously virus, why do you hate muslims so much?


This is your claim that I hate Muslims. Not mine.

Cullion
28th February 09, 09:32 AM
Absolutely backwards. The amount of what must be known now to be considered baseline educated is exponentially ridiculously larger now.

Math and science obviously. Your mythical one room schoolhouse stopped at what we would consider first or second grade sums and probably didn't have any science curriculum at all. Also the breadth and depth of what people are expected to know for social studies, Computer literacy, etc.

I think one of the primary sources of evidence would be to look at newspapers from the 'one room schoolhouse' era. Complex literacy seems to have been more widespread then. I don't know if he's read it, but the point Zendetta is trying to make comes straight from 'The Underground History of American Education' by the man in my avatar. I strongly recommend you read it, you might find a lot to argue with, but I think it's well written.


But universal public education in general is one of the two or three most important innovations in american history. It's something the entire world has copied from us, and the issue we face now is that a number of places are doing it better than we are.

lolz. Please read that book. It's free online.

Phrost
28th February 09, 09:59 AM
Now, hopefully you faggots finally understand why A STRONG FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is a bad idea. At best it means sharing your voting rights with people who massively outnumber you but have scant regard for any of your concepts of liberty and consider areas where people don't live shoulder-to-shoulder in cities as populated by ignorant subhumans.

Cullion
28th February 09, 10:08 AM
You're touching on something powerful and important there Phrost. The final acceptable 'discriminatory' meme amongst wealthy urban 'liberals'* is to brand rustics as savages, when in many ways they're actually the last repository of the flame of the west.

Take heart in the fact that they're scared of you. That speaks volumes.

* I really, really, hate the fact that such people have acquired the label 'liberal'. They're nothing of the sort. They're neurotic, superior, control freaks and deserve a fitting name.

Zendetta
28th February 09, 11:35 AM
You're touching on something powerful and important there Phrost. The final acceptable 'discriminatory' meme amongst wealthy urban 'liberals'* is to brand rustics as savages

All the while being apologists for the shenanigans of the uneducated, unemployable urban underclass.


when in many ways they're actually the last repository of the flame of the west.

Wooo! Tell us more, Boromir!

While I soundly agree with you, be aware: rural areas in the US have undergone a major "brain drain" since WW2. See "Republican Base".

Cullion
28th February 09, 11:58 AM
I hoped you'd get that. DAYoung has started something here.

TM
28th February 09, 12:30 PM
You're touching on something powerful and important there Phrost. The final acceptable 'discriminatory' meme amongst wealthy urban 'liberals'* is to brand rustics as savages, when in many ways they're actually the last repository of the flame of the west.

Take heart in the fact that they're scared of you. That speaks volumes.

* I really, really, hate the fact that such people have acquired the label 'liberal'. They're nothing of the sort. They're neurotic, superior, control freaks and deserve a fitting name.

I call them the fiber fairies.

HappyOldGuy
28th February 09, 01:07 PM
You're touching on something powerful and important there Phrost. The final acceptable 'discriminatory' meme amongst wealthy urban 'liberals'* is to brand rustics as savages, when in many ways they're actually the last repository of the flame of the west.

Take heart in the fact that they're scared of you. That speaks volumes.

* I really, really, hate the fact that such people have acquired the label 'liberal'. They're nothing of the sort. They're neurotic, superior, control freaks and deserve a fitting name.

My farmboy credentials are pretty weak, but I've still got a sneaking suspicion I've spent more time with shit on my boots than you have.

Matt Stone
28th February 09, 01:14 PM
Seriously virus, why do you hate muslims so much?

I don't think he hates muslims. It seems that it's islam that he hates, and I think rightfully so. I think there's an important, and very distinct, difference.

Muslims are the poor saps that, through societal and cultural conditioning, have bought into the nonsense that some punk illiterate "back in the day" managed to force onto his soft-headed posse, and then jammed down the throats of everyone else around him at the point of a sword. Since then, nobody asked questions because the fanatics were all too ready to fire up the public executions for those who didn't toe the party line.

Islam is the sick death/hate cult that keeps muslims from moving on, moving up, and joining the 21st century. I think islam is very deserving, not only of incredibly intense and unrelenting criticism (as any "revealed" religion should be), but of derision and hatred from any right-thinking lover of personal freedom anywhere in the world.


I mean shit, their getting more modern as time goes on. All the shit you hate about them will more or less fade away due to the dominance of western secular culture around the world.

Really? How so? Because I'm just not seeing that "western secular culture" influence in any country that caters to their bizarre sharia guidance... What I see in those countries is their gradual islamization of those countries where "western secular culture" is the norm, and in this case islamization equals elimination of said "western secular culture" and replacement with "back home values."

Seriously, correct me with examples if I'm wrong, because the crap that the UK recently did regarding Wilders and the British muslim population, and the fact that the UN wants to protect someone's mythology under law, kind of scares the shit out of me (because it's a pretty easy jump from protecting someone's myths to enforcing someone's myths once you get past the initial obstacles preventing it...).


I agree with you in the stupidity of the U.N.'s blasphemy law.

The major problem is that you don't see reports of huge masses of muslims in western countries opposing the UN's proposed law... They're all for it. So if they're so influenced by western secular culture, why aren't they stepping up and saying "can't we all just get along" or "I don't need no special laws, my religion's tough enough as is?"

Why? Because their religion tells them to conquer the world, to get everyone to submit to Mohammad's insanity, and to do so with violence if need be. They're more than happy to help this along, and those who think the entire thing is insane are too afraid of their own religious communities' reactions should they stand up and resist... They'd become targets, too, so they remain silent out of fear of reprisal.

Please, seriously, show me where I'm in error... I don't care which sky fairy a person believes in, prays to, or lets limit what they eat, who they fuck, or what days off they're supposed to have in a week. But their "right" to such beliefs ends precisely where their beliefs begin banging up against my right not to believe their nonsense. And lately, they're creeping closer and closer to negatively impacting my inalienable right to speak my mind about whatever I like. Free speech is a foundational characteristic of my National Identity, and having the UN even make a public statement encouraging self-censorship, much less saying they're wanting to pass a fucking law, puts me very heavily on the defensive...

Cullion
28th February 09, 02:24 PM
My farmboy credentials are pretty weak, but I've still got a sneaking suspicion I've spent more time with shit on my boots than you have.

That would be the same broken instinct that told you our heirs to the throne were effeminate fags who wouldn't stand a chance against you in a brawl. I grew up in a village of a few hundred people and worked on farms during the summer.

Cullion
28th February 09, 02:25 PM
Matt, have you ever been to Dubai?

Sun Wukong
28th February 09, 02:37 PM
They're neurotic, superior, control freaks and deserve a fitting name.

I have a static tendency to reject the ideology that endorses the doctrine of the massively under exposed and under-educated.

No offense to Phrost or Cullion here, but to put this plainly, I'm not at all concerned about globalization.

Unity, wherein people become accepting of one another rather than accept branded tyrannical government that benefits a small few, is a desired cultural destination.

That people want to inject their own brand of self benefiting restrictions on a growing and popular path to mass cultural integration, is an expected side effect of any number of different groups coming together even in the spirit of co-operation and friendship.

That laws can be corrupted is no selling point for anarchy or toppling of government; the fact war CAN be waged is no incentive to wage war.

While it's fine to champion the cause of individual liberty, don't be so vain as to think you can do it all by yourself.

Cullion
28th February 09, 03:10 PM
I think you're conflating two issues here, SWK. I have no objections whatsoever to global travel or trade for individuals. That's all part of my 'free individuals' ideology. I have no love of tariffs.

It's the 'global governance and law making' that doesn't sit right with me. I don't think the former requires the latter.

Matt Stone
28th February 09, 03:13 PM
Matt, have you ever been to Dubai?

No. Kuwait (sequestered on an airbase) and the greater downtown Baghdad area.

I'll concede that there are some areas in the middle east, specifically in "dar al Islam," that aren't quite "as" muslim as other places. I guess my concern is that these locations aren't standing up to the more prominent muslim nations (e.g. Saudi Arabia) to condemn their obviously oppressive attitudes.

If I went to Dubai, and publicly stated that Mohammad, if he existed, was a pedophile and a fraud, what would happen? See, I can at least still say that here in the US and have no fear of official reprisal. Can the same be said in these muslim countries allegedly influenced by western secularism (and I'm not asking rhetorically; I'd seriously like to know, so I'm asking for enlightenment here...)?

Sun Wukong
28th February 09, 03:15 PM
I think you're conflating two issues here, SWK. I have no objections whatsoever to global travel or trade for individuals. That's all part of my 'free individuals' ideology. I have no love of tariffs.

It's the 'global governance and law making' that doesn't sit right with me. I don't think the former requires the latter.

And I don't think the minor growing pains of attempts at peaceful cultural interaction need to be fretted about constantly.

Nobody is going to allow this law to pass, it's ridiculous. It hasn't a snow flakes chance in hell of passing.

Cullion
28th February 09, 03:17 PM
Matt, you're right, but you also sound like a man looking for a fight. How would I fare in rural georgia if I said Christ was a fag ?

Matt Stone
28th February 09, 03:18 PM
Nobody is going to allow this law to pass, it's ridiculous. It hasn't a snow flakes chance in hell of passing.

They have this kind of protection in the Netherlands, and the UK is moving toward catering to the radical muslim sector by doing what they can to prevent others inciting the muslims to riot through perceived slights to islam.

I agree completely - it's a ridiculous proposition. That being said, someone thought enough of it to make the motion for such a law, and there's likely to be others who have the same opinion...

Cullion
28th February 09, 03:19 PM
And I don't think the minor growing pains of attempts at peaceful cultural interaction need to be fretted about constantly.

Nobody is going to allow this law to pass, it's ridiculous. It hasn't a snow flakes chance in hell of passing.

But does the mechanism by which that law might be passed concern you?

That's the sort of thing that concerns me. It's not enough to just worry about current events and how to navigate through them, you have to consider the wider framework.

EuropIan
28th February 09, 03:20 PM
Turkey..


Also,



I guess my concern is that these locations aren't standing up to the more prominent muslim nations (e.g. Saudi Arabia)

Sarcasm, right?

Matt Stone
28th February 09, 03:30 PM
Turkey..


Also,



Sarcasm, right?

Turkey what? Turkey's influenced by western secularism? Fine. How so? Never been there.

Sarcasm about what? About other muslim nations standing up against the silly shit other more devout muslim nations regularly commit (e.g. Saudi's sentence to flogging of a rape victim, Saudi's upholding of a marriage between a 70 year old man and a 9 year old girl, etc.), or what? I'm confused by your wordy post... :biggrin: I guess the point of my comment there was that, if these moderate, secular muslim nations are so progressive that they acknowledge the idiocy of the more devout interpretations of the koran, why aren't they turning to the backwards muslim nations living (or attempting to live) in the 16th century to bring them forward and correct their oppressive, hate-filled behavior?

EuropIan
28th February 09, 03:44 PM
So you were sarcastic about with the term "prominent"


Anyways, the reason why I mentioned Turkey was because of ataturk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustafa_Kemal_Atat%C3%BCrk) who is considered the father of modern Turkey.

Turkey has strong nationalism, and many are muslim. But the rhetoric is far less religiously inspired than, say, the US.

HappyOldGuy
28th February 09, 03:47 PM
Matt, you're right, but you also sound like a man looking for a fight. How would I fare in rural georgia if I said Christ was a fag ?

You really need to make up your mind. Bigoted backwater or flame of the west?

Cullion
28th February 09, 03:48 PM
I'm consciously sitting on the border for this reason:

Both should be left alone unless and until they provably menace anybody else.

Shawarma
28th February 09, 04:43 PM
Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, Lebanon, Iraq etc. Muslim country =/= religious dictatorship. It often equals secular dictatorship instead, which is obviously much better and has cooler fascist uniforms.

Virus
28th February 09, 07:22 PM
In Turkey, 20% of Muslims believe in suicide bombing against civilians, Mein Kamph is a best seller and they support the UN blasphemy laws.

Sure, it's better than Saudi Arabia but let's not be too quick to hold it up as the Muslim success story.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/mar/29/turkey.books

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/1512887/Turkeys-foreign-minister-asks-the-EU-for-blasphemy-laws-to-protect-Islam.html

EuropIan
28th February 09, 07:32 PM
Also, Ataturk is a state religion.

WarPhalange
28th February 09, 11:36 PM
In Turkey, 20% of Muslims believe in suicide bombing against civilians, Mein Kamph is a best seller and they support the UN blasphemy laws.

Sure, it's better than Saudi Arabia but let's not be too quick to hold it up as the Muslim success story.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/mar/29/turkey.books

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/1512887/Turkeys-foreign-minister-asks-the-EU-for-blasphemy-laws-to-protect-Islam.html

Were those people asked if they would be OK with their family or friends being hurt by a suicide bomber with goals/ideals opposing his? Neutral to his? In line with his?

I'd really like to understand this mentality better. I have a feeling they just think of civilian casualties as either all bad people anyway or irrelevant in the name of their ideal/goal instead of suicide bombing being an acceptable war tactic in general.

Virus
28th February 09, 11:49 PM
I don't think he hates muslims. It seems that it's islam that he hates, and I think rightfully so. I think there's an important, and very distinct, difference.

Muslims are the poor saps that, through societal and cultural conditioning, have bought into the nonsense that some punk illiterate "back in the day" managed to force onto his soft-headed posse, and then jammed down the throats of everyone else around him at the point of a sword. Since then, nobody asked questions because the fanatics were all too ready to fire up the public executions for those who didn't toe the party line.

Islam is the sick death/hate cult that keeps muslims from moving on, moving up, and joining the 21st century. I think islam is very deserving, not only of incredibly intense and unrelenting criticism (as any "revealed" religion should be), but of derision and hatred from any right-thinking lover of personal freedom anywhere in the world.



Really? How so? Because I'm just not seeing that "western secular culture" influence in any country that caters to their bizarre sharia guidance... What I see in those countries is their gradual islamization of those countries where "western secular culture" is the norm, and in this case islamization equals elimination of said "western secular culture" and replacement with "back home values."

Seriously, correct me with examples if I'm wrong, because the crap that the UK recently did regarding Wilders and the British muslim population, and the fact that the UN wants to protect someone's mythology under law, kind of scares the shit out of me (because it's a pretty easy jump from protecting someone's myths to enforcing someone's myths once you get past the initial obstacles preventing it...).



The major problem is that you don't see reports of huge masses of muslims in western countries opposing the UN's proposed law... They're all for it. So if they're so influenced by western secular culture, why aren't they stepping up and saying "can't we all just get along" or "I don't need no special laws, my religion's tough enough as is?"

Why? Because their religion tells them to conquer the world, to get everyone to submit to Mohammad's insanity, and to do so with violence if need be. They're more than happy to help this along, and those who think the entire thing is insane are too afraid of their own religious communities' reactions should they stand up and resist... They'd become targets, too, so they remain silent out of fear of reprisal.

Please, seriously, show me where I'm in error... I don't care which sky fairy a person believes in, prays to, or lets limit what they eat, who they fuck, or what days off they're supposed to have in a week. But their "right" to such beliefs ends precisely where their beliefs begin banging up against my right not to believe their nonsense. And lately, they're creeping closer and closer to negatively impacting my inalienable right to speak my mind about whatever I like. Free speech is a foundational characteristic of my National Identity, and having the UN even make a public statement encouraging self-censorship, much less saying they're wanting to pass a fucking law, puts me very heavily on the defensive...

I'd like to thank Matt Stone for writing this post. I couldn't have written a better defense for myself.

I don't hate people on the basis of them being Muslim. How dare anyone put those words in my mouth.

Islam states that the universe was created by a single, omnipotent god, who has personal opinions on human affairs and writes books in Arabic. It's ridiculous and transparently made-up but believe that if you want.

But to go onto say that I must submit to it's taboos, that I must give deference and refrain from criticism no matter how ill-behaved its adherents is asking for submission and those who do that, of any religion or creed are no friends of mine.

WarPhalange
28th February 09, 11:56 PM
Yeah, you look more like an anti-semite to me, Virus.



Yes, I know Arabs count as semites. Fuck off.

Virus
1st March 09, 02:21 AM
I'm anti-religion.

It's offensive to my reason and I believe I have the right to burn down embassies if people in that country offend Western, secular culture. I also want laws preventing people from offending me or criticizing my beliefs. I think that putting a bomb in a Saudi school bus is justified given that this country persecutes atheists. If any atheists convert to a religion, well, it's not my problem if a gang firebombs your house. We are very sensitive people after all, we have a particular sense of honor that a religious person doesn't understand. No matter how pathological my behavior, I want the Middle-East to be blamed for it.

.

DAYoung
1st March 09, 02:33 AM
Virus, does religion have any value?

I don't mean 'Is it right or wrong?' I mean: Does it offer anything of any worth?

I'm happy for you to draw on contemporary examples, but you have at least two thousand years of history to work with.

Perhaps you're more comfortable with the contrary position. Fair enough. But I'd like to see what you can do with this.

WarPhalange
1st March 09, 02:39 AM
DAYoung, what a coincidence. I have to do a brief report on Henry James on Monday because we will be reading What Maisie Knew in class (19th century literature).

DAYoung
1st March 09, 02:45 AM
The final chapter of my book concentrates on Henry James and his brother. If you order it on Amazon RIGHT NOW, you can have it by Tuesday.

(JUst delay your report for a week, and savour the joy of Jamesian follies.)

Virus
1st March 09, 02:56 AM
Virus, does religion have any value?



I'm a fan of devotional art, architecture and music.

WarPhalange
1st March 09, 03:04 AM
The final chapter of my book concentrates on Henry James and his brother. If you order it on Amazon RIGHT NOW, you can have it by Tuesday.

(JUst delay your report for a week, and savour the joy of Jamesian follies.)

There are 6 students in the class and only 4 (including me) tend to show up regularly.

Plus, like with all of my other endeavors, I will half-ass this one as well. I am planning on going to the libarry tomorrow and spending an hour or 3 tops on this thing (it's only a 10 minute presentation) and make up for the rest by talking really slow.

DAYoung
1st March 09, 03:31 AM
I'm a fan of devotional art, architecture and music.

Sure. And let's assume you find these valuable.

But what value do they have? Put another way, what particular qualities to they have, and why are these worthwhile for you?

DAYoung
1st March 09, 03:34 AM
There are 6 students in the class and only 4 (including me) tend to show up regularly.

Plus, like with all of my other endeavors, I will half-ass this one as well. I am planning on going to the libarry tomorrow and spending an hour or 3 tops on this thing (it's only a 10 minute presentation) and make up for the rest by talking really slow.

Only $19, delivered Tuesday March 3rd.

BUY NOW AND SAVE!

WarPhalange
1st March 09, 03:53 AM
Wow, DAYoung, you've turned into quite the capitalist pig-dog.

DAYoung
1st March 09, 03:59 AM
Damn right.

Two posts and exclamation marks.

THE HARD SELL GREED IS GOOD MONEY MONEY WRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH.

Virus
1st March 09, 06:12 AM
Sure. And let's assume you find these valuable.

But what value do they have? Put another way, what particular qualities to they have, and why are these worthwhile for you?

I don't know. Been trying to think of something good that only religion can provide and I can't.

Given what we knew about the natural world there could only have been religion, spirits, vengeful deities in that development phase. This was the way we explained things and dealt with our mortality and our helplessness to blind, random chance. The ancients didn't have the luxury to say that there is blind, random fate in an uncaring universe. Becuase our brains need an explanation, and a bad one is more comforting than none at all.

Should it surprise anyone that 99% of the world's population believes in space wizards? No, because this is the way our teleological and anthropomorphic brains are wired and this is the way people have thought since we evolved brains complex enough to comprehend the idea.

The age of reason and science is only 200 years old and habits built over millennia die slowly. Although religion is a retardant on current human development we probably had to endure it to get where we are.

Philosophy and science begin where criticism of faith begins. What is our place in the world? What are our duties to humankind? Religion claims to have these answered. Religion claims these have been revealed by a magical being who conveniently writes books in Hebrew, Greek and Arabic.

This is one reason why we have to oppose blasphemy laws. Who knows what some mullah or bishop is going to find offensive next? So you ban cartoons of Muhammed, will that stop a riot over a Jewish man with "Allah, most beneficent, most merciful." written on his ski? They will always find something to be offended by.

danno
1st March 09, 07:39 AM
i tend to think that if religion were as harmful as you describe, there'd be a lot less of it.

as far as perpetuating itself, religion has been blindingly successful. that probably would not have happened if religion didn't have a few "useful" things going for it. and i mean, beyond easy answers for the creation of the universe.

for the most part i don't techincally disagree with you virus, but i do think your attitude towards religion is impractical and unworkable in the real world. but you might be happy with that? i mean, be happy to sit back and argue your point. i know you aren't going to endorse warfare and whatnot for the sake of cleansing the world of religion.

Arhetton
1st March 09, 08:07 AM
Perhaps a war of words rather than violence. I think obviously the topic of the thread runs along one of the opening themes of "The God Delusion" which is that: Religion is treated as if it is outside criticism - its okay to criticize anything about another person except their religious belief - and thats old hat which needs to be challenged.

This resolution, even though it will probably fail, is a misguided attempt to stifle criticism, and to close down free and open discussion.

There is also a big difference between the way a person writes on the internet and the way they treat another human being during a conversation - on the internet often its a 'no holds barred' type argument, whereas in person when you're debating with someone you take into account their sensativities, mood, etc. After all you are trying to convince people, not just mock them.

Compare say the way people are mocked on bullshido (the cold empty laughter of the internet) to the way they are treated at a throwdown (with some dignity and friendship) and I think you'll get what I mean. In martial arts the medium for learning and progress is competition, and for belief systems the medium for learning and progress is debate, reading, sharing, collaboration etc.

danno
1st March 09, 08:19 AM
i don't think it's unreasonable for ahmed to assume that virus hates muslim people. i think most people would after reading his posts. that doesn't mean it's true.

Spade: The Real Snake
1st March 09, 10:58 AM
the opiate of the masses.

TM
1st March 09, 11:38 AM
Sometimes it seems more like the crystal meth of the masses.

Truculent Sheep
1st March 09, 12:11 PM
They have this kind of protection in the Netherlands, and the UK is moving toward catering to the radical muslim sector by doing what they can to prevent others inciting the muslims to riot through perceived slights to islam.

I agree completely - it's a ridiculous proposition. That being said, someone thought enough of it to make the motion for such a law, and there's likely to be others who have the same opinion...

The UK context needs some further clarification. It's not so much appeasement that the government is engaging in as fear of the masses. What terrifies it is two particular masses - the 'white working class' and the 'brown muslims'. Both are seen as homogenous blobs of seething rage who must be kept at bay at all times.

The only difference lies in how the two groups are treated. White proles are treated as morons who have to be protected from racist or provocative speech 'lest they rise up and riot. Muslims are meanwhile treated like the local nutter who'll go mental if the wrong thing is said or done.

So the government restricts the likes of Wilders on the grounds that the white Sun readers might 'get the wrong idea' and the brown Muslims might get really, really upset.

It's ultimately quite grubby, hypocritical, bigoted and cowardly - ironic given that the current Labour government traditionally gets much of its vote from both groups.

Cullion
1st March 09, 01:06 PM
Wow, DAYoung, you've turned into quite the capitalist pig-dog.

I like to think that's partly due to my influence.

Cullion
1st March 09, 01:15 PM
The UK context needs some further clarification. It's not so much appeasement that the government is engaging in as fear of the masses. What terrifies it is two particular masses - the 'white working class' and the 'brown muslims'. Both are seen as homogenous blobs of seething rage who must be kept at bay at all times.

The only difference lies in how the two groups are treated. White proles are treated as morons who have to be protected from racist or provocative speech 'lest they rise up and riot. Muslims are meanwhile treated like the local nutter who'll go mental if the wrong thing is said or done.

So the government restricts the likes of Wilders on the grounds that the white Sun readers might 'get the wrong idea' and the brown Muslims might get really, really upset.

It's ultimately quite grubby, hypocritical, bigoted and cowardly - ironic given that the current Labour government traditionally gets much of its vote from both groups.

It's also clearly a strategy designed by people who haven't really digested the fact that the Internet exists and isn't just something used by well-paid highly educated people any more.

GuiltySpark
1st March 09, 01:15 PM
I don't know. Been trying to think of something good that only religion can provide and I can't.

Given what we knew about the natural world there could only have been religion, spirits, vengeful deities in that development phase. This was the way we explained things and dealt with our mortality and our helplessness to blind, random chance. The ancients didn't have the luxury to say that there is blind, random fate in an uncaring universe. Becuase our brains need an explanation, and a bad one is more comforting than none at all.

Should it surprise anyone that 99% of the world's population believes in space wizards? No, because this is the way our teleological and anthropomorphic brains are wired and this is the way people have thought since we evolved brains complex enough to comprehend the idea.

The age of reason and science is only 200 years old and habits built over millennia die slowly. Although religion is a retardant on current human development we probably had to endure it to get where we are.

Philosophy and science begin where criticism of faith begins. What is our place in the world? What are our duties to humankind? Religion claims to have these answered. Religion claims these have been revealed by a magical being who conveniently writes books in Hebrew, Greek and Arabic.

This is one reason why we have to oppose blasphemy laws. Who knows what some mullah or bishop is going to find offensive next? So you ban cartoons of Muhammed, will that stop a riot over a Jewish man with "Allah, most beneficent, most merciful." written on his ski? They will always find something to be offended by.

Awesome post Virus.

Cullion
1st March 09, 01:23 PM
Relgion, when it's useful, provides a game theorist's answer to things like the prisoner's dilema. It gives people a fear that doing the wrong thing will always finally be accounted for, even though in reality it won't. There were many times in our history when society only functioned because we could each trust that the other person believed the same things, and would therefore act in a certain way without requiring omnipresent surveillance.

Now of course, it doesn't work any more because most people realise it's a trick, with no foundation. We haven't found a way to replace that useful effect with pure reason yet. Communism was a desperately failed attempt.

The problem is, there's just us now. And we're all flawed sinners who can't be trusted with the power required to try and function without relying on implied trust. So what do we do ?

It's all going to be reliant on us developing a functioning, rational system of self-improvement, I think.

DAYoung, please take over here, I'm out of my depth.

Truculent Sheep
1st March 09, 01:36 PM
It's also clearly a strategy designed by people who haven't really digested the fact that the Internet exists and isn't just something used by well-paid highly educated people any more.

Indeed, and their attempts to regulate the Web only reinforce how ignorant they are about it.

Zendetta
1st March 09, 01:41 PM
How would I fare in rural georgia if I said Christ was a fag ?

It would get ugly, but you wouldn't get beheaded.




But I really wouldn't try it if you're black, though.

Truculent Sheep
1st March 09, 02:20 PM
Now of course, it doesn't work any more because most people realise it's a trick, with no foundation. We haven't found a way to replace that useful effect with pure reason yet. Communism was a desperately failed attempt.

Though, Marxism can be placed in a tradition of European messianic movements. Its only really innovative idea was to fixate on economics and ignore God.


The problem is, there's just us now. And we're all flawed sinners who can't be trusted with the power required to try and function without relying on implied trust. So what do we do ?

It's all going to be reliant on us developing a functioning, rational system of self-improvement, I think.

The matter is further complicated by the fact that a majority or large number of people in any given scenario are always apathetic and self-serving. No matter the ideological basis of their society, as long as they get bread, circus, tits on Page 3 and lotus, they are happy. People mostly don't care because that actually involves using their brains, which terrifies them. Watch the TV. Eat. Fuck. Die. Occasionally go to Church, or maybe get your Tarot cards read. The end.

In effect, every ideology or religion so far seems to have been developed to keep this large slab of mediocrity on the straight and
narrow, rather than anything else. Religion and other competing ideologies have served to control or mould large numbers of people rather than facilitate the individual's personal growth. Those in a position of power find themselves dependent on this status quo, and so become part of the con rather than its solution. After all, the worst thing to ever happen to any religious or political establishment is if the masses stop believing their nonsense and subscribe to someone else's.

Any future system will likewise find itself doing this rather than making the world a 'better' place. And unless some madman tries to wipe out most of humanity and replace it with servile mindless drones while a self-nominated elite of 'individuals' rule the roost until they destroy themselves, I presume this will continue for evermore.

Any system of self-improvement would therefore have to take up this pessimistic viewpoint - we are not our brothers' keepers as the old cliche goes, so trying to improve people who don't want to improve (and indeed thinking that we can 'improve' anyone at all) is a highway to nothing. We must try to make ourselves better people and do what good we can do on our own. This will require an outlook that combines elements of the Golden Rule, the public service ethic, traditions of self-improvement and self-help, enough secularism to keep us away from spiritual or absolutist squabbling and an acknowledgment that politics is a cynic's game and that ideology is the death knell of any free mind. But it will also require the courage to just walk away - some people can't be helped, some situations can't be fixed, some dilemmas can't be resolved. And yet, by picking the battles that can be won and growing in number, we might be able to make things better for the greater whole (and so ourselves) simply by doing what good we can.

But perhaps trying to codify such a system is itself a problem. In the end, any philosophy or ideal system becomes an end in itself rather than a means to an end. We simply end up following yet another dogma or Utopian ideal that ignores the unresolvable curse of human nature. We can always try though.

Shawarma
1st March 09, 02:53 PM
Ok, this is where y'all niggaz stop your little inbred secular humanist circle jerk of shitting on religion in general and pick up your holy book of choice. Have a flick through it. Odds are that you'll come across six passages extolling the value of charity, nonviolence, aiding others, hospitality and forgiveness for every offensive passage.

There are billions of faithful all across the world with the vast, VAST majority subscribing to those values rather than the misanthropic brutality also present in several holy books, especially those originating from the Mosaic tradition.

Virus claims to have thought of nothing religion does that nothing else can do. He does, as usual, not think very hard. Religion brings comfort and meaning during dark times to the lives of BILLIONS all over the world, churches and temples are important community gathering centers and provide an important social contact for many. Look at Dagon - he picked up his bride-to-be at his asshole church that he hates.
Religion is not alone in doing so, however. It doesn't have to be - The sheer magnitude of how many people feel that their lives have been enriched by faith speaks for itself.

So what if religion makes no sense? It doesn't have to, God working in mysterious was and all that. That's why it's called "faith." It's no threat to anyone for as long as it's a personal thing and nobody's trying to force it upon others. Y'all appear intent on sneering in your smug oh-so-superior atheist awesomeness at little old ladies who go to church for the socialising.

I dislike the idea of religious encroachment into my personal life as much as the next internet atheist but shitting all over religion on general terms clearly isn't doing anybody any good and only serves to alienate non-psychotic faithful from secular society.

Cullion
1st March 09, 02:58 PM
Human reason makes no sense if you analyse it deeply enough. What's it founded on? Unprovable axioms.

HappyOldGuy
1st March 09, 03:11 PM
^^^Shawarma and Cullion have each siezed possesion of their halves of the correct.

GuiltySpark
1st March 09, 06:57 PM
He who takes up the sword against us shall perish by it.

danno
1st March 09, 08:06 PM
Though, Marxism can be placed in a tradition of European messianic movements. Its only really innovative idea was to fixate on economics and ignore God.



The matter is further complicated by the fact that a majority or large number of people in any given scenario are always apathetic and self-serving. No matter the ideological basis of their society, as long as they get bread, circus, tits on Page 3 and lotus, they are happy. People mostly don't care because that actually involves using their brains, which terrifies them. Watch the TV. Eat. Fuck. Die. Occasionally go to Church, or maybe get your Tarot cards read. The end.

In effect, every ideology or religion so far seems to have been developed to keep this large slab of mediocrity on the straight and
narrow, rather than anything else. Religion and other competing ideologies have served to control or mould large numbers of people rather than facilitate the individual's personal growth. Those in a position of power find themselves dependent on this status quo, and so become part of the con rather than its solution. After all, the worst thing to ever happen to any religious or political establishment is if the masses stop believing their nonsense and subscribe to someone else's.

Any future system will likewise find itself doing this rather than making the world a 'better' place. And unless some madman tries to wipe out most of humanity and replace it with servile mindless drones while a self-nominated elite of 'individuals' rule the roost until they destroy themselves, I presume this will continue for evermore.

Any system of self-improvement would therefore have to take up this pessimistic viewpoint - we are not our brothers' keepers as the old cliche goes, so trying to improve people who don't want to improve (and indeed thinking that we can 'improve' anyone at all) is a highway to nothing. We must try to make ourselves better people and do what good we can do on our own. This will require an outlook that combines elements of the Golden Rule, the public service ethic, traditions of self-improvement and self-help, enough secularism to keep us away from spiritual or absolutist squabbling and an acknowledgment that politics is a cynic's game and that ideology is the death knell of any free mind. But it will also require the courage to just walk away - some people can't be helped, some situations can't be fixed, some dilemmas can't be resolved. And yet, by picking the battles that can be won and growing in number, we might be able to make things better for the greater whole (and so ourselves) simply by doing what good we can.

But perhaps trying to codify such a system is itself a problem. In the end, any philosophy or ideal system becomes an end in itself rather than a means to an end. We simply end up following yet another dogma or Utopian ideal that ignores the unresolvable curse of human nature. We can always try though.

nice ideology you have there.

danno
1st March 09, 08:13 PM
Human reason makes no sense if you analyse it deeply enough. What's it founded on? Unprovable axioms.

i would have said that that it's founded on a few million years of evolution. each set of beliefs we develop is a kind of behavioural hypothesis which will eventually be tested in one way or another. we live and die by that.

Matt Stone
1st March 09, 09:10 PM
Ok, this is where y'all niggaz stop your little inbred secular humanist circle jerk of shitting on religion in general and pick up your holy book of choice. Have a flick through it. Odds are that you'll come across six passages extolling the value of charity, nonviolence, aiding others, hospitality and forgiveness for every offensive passage.

Fine. "Magic book cites good principles. Adherents fail to obey for over 2 millenia. Film at 11:00..."

So what if the magic book of choice extols any given number of virtues... The same magic books also extol institutionalized hatred, racism, sectarianism, misogyny, double-standards of behavior, slavery, and if considered as true history (which they certainly are not), chronicle no end of personal agenda pursuit and contract negotiation with their god in order to achieve their ends, all by so-called paradigms of virtuous character.

So, with the vastly larger amount of crap contained in any magic book of your choosing, do you think the few virtuous exhortations negate the rest of the garbage sufficiently to maintain said magic books in their current infallible, ineffable, unchangeable states? Or could you agree that, despite the command to obey without question, we've grown up enough to see that even some of what god directed us to do is evil, hate-filled bullshit?


There are billions of faithful all across the world with the vast, VAST majority subscribing to those values rather than the misanthropic brutality also present in several holy books, especially those originating from the Mosaic tradition.

Where's the vast, vast majority of muslims that publicly disagree with the directions from god to spread islam around the world, by violence if necessary, and who also resist the islamization of non-muslim countries via institution of sharia?

That's right, "nowhere to be found" is the right answer, because they're just as afraid of their own religious zealots as the rest of the world is... Their non-action makes the complicit in the crimes of those who do evil in the name of their twisted god...


Virus claims to have thought of nothing religion does that nothing else can do. He does, as usual, not think very hard.

Let's examine your list -


Religion brings comfort and meaning during dark times to the lives of BILLIONS all over the world,

Comforting things:
Puppies
Kittens
Lavender baths
Fresh baked cookies
Hugs from loved ones
The company of friends
Hope that history demonstrates nothing lasts forever

None of these are tied to religion nor do I require religion to exist in order to take comfort from these things.

Meaningful things -
Doing good for the sake of others without hope of any kind of reward (specifically contradictory to religion; religion is explicitly concerned with reward)
Living an honest, ethical life
Providing a safe, nurturing environment for one's children

None of these are tied to religion nor do I require religion to exist in order to take meaning from these things..


churches and temples are important community gathering centers and provide an important social contact for many.

There are plenty of community gathering centers that provide social contact that have nothing to do with religion whatsoever. This is a very weak example of religion's benefit. Social contact and interaction, essentially a relief for perceived loneliness, as justification for institutionalized intellectual dishonesty and violently sectarian philosophies seems absurd at very best.

"I wuz a neo-nazi 'cuz I was bored and di'nt have any friends what lived near to mah dubble-wide, so's I went and joined up with that thar mulisha group so's I could have me sum friends and kill a few mud people while's I was at it."

Would you accept that racist organizations provide important community gathering centers and important social contacts? I didn't think so.


Look at Dagon - he picked up his bride-to-be at his asshole church that he hates.

Another very weak depiction of religion's utility... "Church as single's pick up spot?" Really?? So religion, generally, is good because Dagon found a girl to have an intimate relationship with? Please... You could as equally effectively use the grocery store, single's bar, neighborhood picnic, school reunion, or any of a thousand other social venues in which to find a mate.

"I found me a nice little filly at the last cross burnin'... She an' I gots lots in common. We both like to hang mud people and watch 'em kick while they die. So we figured we ought to go ahead and get hitched as soon as we could, so's we could enjoy the kickin' together an' all..."

Would you accept that racist organizations provide valuable match-making services? I didn't think so.


Religion is not alone in doing so, however. It doesn't have to be - The sheer magnitude of how many people feel that their lives have been enriched by faith speaks for itself.

The point isn't that there are other venues through which these functions are served. The point is that religion doesn't need to be one, that these are weak reasons for retaining religions in the modern age, and that the bulk of content in religious texts is more negative than positive, more divisive than inclusive, more evil than good.

We don't need religion to have the things you've listed so far. Not in the slightest.


So what if religion makes no sense?

Seriously? Neo-nazi racism makes no sense. So what? Anti-semitism makes no sense. So what? Do we just say "so what" when someone starts their own cult, advocating the suicide of members, because a spaceship is coming to get them, but they can't load up in a physical body? Do we turn a blind eye to things that make no sense, as long as the believers feel good about themselves?

I'm sure you can find any number of KKK members that take great comfort and meaning from their hatred of blacks, jews, etc. But by your rationale it's all okay, even if it doesn't make sense...


It doesn't have to, God working in mysterious was and all that.

Um, "bullshit." If it's offered as an explanation for life, the universe, and everything; if governmental policy, personal rights limitations, and private behavior are intended to be governed over by it; if science, generally, and science education, specifically, is expected to kow-tow to it, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary; then it better god-damned well make a shitboat full of sense. If it doesn't, then it needs to be disposed of entirely.


That's why it's called "faith."

And somehow that still makes the misogyny, the hatred, the racism, the slavery, etc., all okay?


It's no threat to anyone for as long as it's a personal thing and nobody's trying to force it upon others.

Ah, but there's the rub... It is being forced on others, constantly. I have to sit back and be "tolerant" and "respectful" of people praying in public, of people putting up their very much in-your-face religious decorations during holiday seasons, of having the mention of an invisible, imaginary, telepathic, zombie death deity's reference on every piece of currency I possess, of having no end of ignorant science-haters try repeatedly to get my children to accept their nonsensical version of how the world was created and developed, all the while having to self-censor and remain silent.

I don't fucking think so.

At what point am I allowed to push back? At what point do they have to STFU and be tolerant and respectful of my beliefs? At this fucking point, that's where. They brought their nonsense into the public square, they brought their nonsense into the spotlight. If their awesome god isn't capable of some good, hard examination and criticism, if their awesome god can't handle a little inquiry, then he ain't all that awesome. They cry out about oppression, only because they no longer have free reign to yammer on about no end of fantasy to whomever they like. People are pushing back, people aren't accepting things "on faith" anymore, because your average 4th grader is probably 10 times better educated on the workings of the world around him than the patriarchs of the Abrahamic traditions ever were...


Y'all appear intent on sneering in your smug oh-so-superior atheist awesomeness at little old ladies who go to church for the socialising.

When those same little old ladies are calling for the withdrawal of evolutionary theory from high school biology classes, if they're calling for Obama's head because he's a "damned dirty muslim," if they're happy we're in Iraq because W had a calling from god, then you're damned right I'll sneer at them... I'll sneer at the demonstrations of public ignorance wherever I see it, religious or otherwise.


I dislike the idea of religious encroachment into my personal life as much as the next internet atheist but shitting all over religion on general terms clearly isn't doing anybody any good and only serves to alienate non-psychotic faithful from secular society.

But the irreligious were mostly previously religious in orientation. They were open to other perspectives, other ideas, and are now areligious. Those who are alienated are demonstrably closed to other ideas, sure in what they know they know, despite easily illustrated flaws in their knowledge. Trying to correct the simplest foundations on which the rest of their beliefs are built is doing them a service, helping them to correct errors in their information flow.

They're just pissed because they see the errors, don't like what they see, don't like what it says about them that they've been led by the nose for so long, so they turn an even blinder eye solely to make themselves feel better about having been taken for a ride for so long - a lot like career TKDists and Ashida Kim followers that get deconverted.

Aphid Jones
1st March 09, 09:34 PM
So, with the vastly larger amount of crap contained in any magic book of your choosing, do you think the few virtuous exhortations negate the rest of the garbage sufficiently to maintain said magic books in their current infallible, ineffable, unchangeable states? Or could you agree that, despite the command to obey without question, we've grown up enough to see that even some of what god directed us to do is evil, hate-filled bullshit?


Where did Shwarma bring up infallibility?

FriendlyFire
1st March 09, 09:55 PM
But the irreligious were mostly previously religious in orientation. They were open to other perspectives, other ideas, and are now areligious. Those who are alienated are demonstrably closed to other ideas, sure in what they know they know, despite easily illustrated flaws in their knowledge. Trying to correct the simplest foundations on which the rest of their beliefs are built is doing them a service, helping them to correct errors in their information flow.

I would like to thank you for your service to mankind. I, like many children, grew up a good christian boy when I was young. My parents, teachers, and class mates were all religious so in my easily influenced youth I too was religious. Then in junior high I started to mature past blindly believing in what I was taught (As people should). Great arguments like yours helped kick start my doubt. Then the very poor arguments of theist enhanced them. Finally it was when theist started shifting their views when shown they were wrong that my 'faith' died. Or more accurately, I saw the light (And by light I mean truth).

Most of the people posting are already decided, but there are far more lurkers who are not sure. People like you, Matt, are winning the fight against illogical destructive fairy tales.

HappyOldGuy
1st March 09, 10:02 PM
But the irreligious were mostly previously religious in orientation. They were open to other perspectives, other ideas, and are now areligious. Those who are alienated are demonstrably closed to other ideas, sure in what they know they know, despite easily illustrated flaws in their knowledge. Trying to correct the simplest foundations on which the rest of their beliefs are built is doing them a service, helping them to correct errors in their information flow.

They're just pissed because they see the errors, don't like what they see, don't like what it says about them that they've been led by the nose for so long, so they turn an even blinder eye solely to make themselves feel better about having been taken for a ride for so long - a lot like career TKDists and Ashida Kim followers that get deconverted.
Actually they tend to just find themselves in social environments or with social identities where disbelief is the norm rather than belief. Because they are hairless monkeys, and monkey social behaviors are pretty predictable. Some of the monkeys are funny because they think that big sky monkeys tell them how to behave, but they can't hold a candle to the hairless monkeys who don't believe in sky monkey think that they are somehow not instinct driven like every other animal on earth.

Matt Stone
1st March 09, 10:54 PM
Where did Shwarma bring up infallibility?

He didn't. I did, because it is so common a theme when revision of the bible enters into a conversation (something I was anticipating at some point in the near future, based on how this conversation is currently going).

If the bible is the word of god, it must, therefore, be infallible. It must be correct in every detail, otherwise it calls into question the ability of god to communicate to his creations. If the bible is fallible, it's not the word of god, just the word of men, therefore the rest of the bible's commentary, for good or ill, becomes suspect. If the rest of the bible becomes suspect, it calls into question which parts, then, are worthy of following. If the parts worthy of following are identical to the mores that non-believers follow (e.g. treat others well because it's the right thing to do, do good things without hope of reward, take care of those less fortunate than yourself, etc.), then it calls into question the need for the bible in the first place.

But heading this direction is premature just yet...

taijiamn
2nd March 09, 12:48 AM
.... treat others well because it's the right thing to do, do good things without hope of reward, take care of those less fortunate than yourself, ...



I've always wondered, without some sort of, I guess spiritual point keeping system, what makes treating others well the right thing to do, or why would you do good things without some sort of reward?

Aphid Jones
2nd March 09, 01:04 AM
He didn't. I did, because it is so common a theme when revision of the bible enters into a conversation (something I was anticipating at some point in the near future, based on how this conversation is currently going).

If the bible is the word of god, it must, therefore, be infallible. It must be correct in every detail, otherwise it calls into question the ability of god to communicate to his creations. If the bible is fallible, it's not the word of god, just the word of men, therefore the rest of the bible's commentary, for good or ill, becomes suspect. If the rest of the bible becomes suspect, it calls into question which parts, then, are worthy of following. If the parts worthy of following are identical to the mores that non-believers follow (e.g. treat others well because it's the right thing to do, do good things without hope of reward, take care of those less fortunate than yourself, etc.), then it calls into question the need for the bible in the first place.

But heading this direction is premature just yet...
So this is just basically a complete re-run of every judeo-christian discussion we've ever had, except we're starting way at the beginning again.

Great.

Matt Stone
2nd March 09, 01:21 AM
I've always wondered, without some sort of, I guess spiritual point keeping system, what makes treating others well the right thing to do, or why would you do good things without some sort of reward?

That's the common misunderstanding when debating this kind of topic... Is there a spiritual point keeping system? Whose is the right one? There's plenty of contradictory material even within any one given religious tradition without getting into the morass of which particular religion - in this case, christianity, islam, or judaism - has the "real" word of god.

So, for the sake of argument, and it's certainly not a new argument (having been posited by the Greeks thousands of years ago, and even prior to Christ if I remember correctly), but is a thing good because it is good, or because it pleases god? Can a thing that isn't good please god? If it pleases god, is it necessarily good? Couldn't a bad thing please god? Would god be pleased by a bad thing? If god is pleased by a bad thing, is he god?

Conversely, I can identify good and evil ethically based on the impact of actions on the individual, or the group. Granted, what can be good for the individual may not always be what's best for the group, but that's where ethics stems from - what's best for the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Mass murder would be "good" for a god of death and murder, but much less so for a fertility god or a god of love. Similarly, indulgence in pleasures of the flesh and senses might not be so "good" for that same god of death and murder. So, spiritually speaking then, depending upon the god you worship, good is far more relative than a good determined by the best outcome for the most number of people...

Stealing is "bad" because if it weren't then nobody's property would be safe.
Lying is "bad" because if it weren't then nobody could be trusted.
Killing (without a definitive need to protect one's own survival) is "bad" because if it weren't then nobody would ever be safe from random violence.

I don't need a "god" to tell me these things are bad. I can figure that out on my own. Hell, even if I accepted that religion was legit, Genesis points out that from Adam and Eve on we've been just like God... Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. After that snack, we didn't need God to tell us right from wrong. All we needed, according to Genesis, to be exactly like God, was to eat from the Tree of Eternal Life. He gets to be immortal, we don't. Otherwise, we know what God knew (good and bad), and no longer need him to dictate it for us. No more need for God, then.

Arhetton
2nd March 09, 01:26 AM
You don't have to believe in god to find comfort or hope during dark times. Any ideology will do, not neccessarily religious. People will find comfort in heroic deeds, inspirational public or historical figures, the hope of a better tomorrow etc.

As to what else brings comfort

electricity
clean water
medicine

hope

photography
video journalism
information

etc

The only thing that religion can be that nothing else can, is just extremely ridiculous and entertaining, and just outrageously insulting.

oGpZstJK5O0

Aphid Jones
2nd March 09, 01:31 AM
Funny how you thought of Gods of Fertility and Gods of Love together, matt.

Matt Stone
2nd March 09, 01:32 AM
The only thing that religion can be that nothing else can, is just extremely ridiculous and entertaining, and just outrageously insulting.

oGpZstJK5O0

The apologists will point out that these nutcases are the extremists within christianity... My argument, and that of many, many others, is that these nutcases' justifications for doing what they do, saying what they say, is right there in their magic book - the same magic book I'm supposed to be tolerant and respectful of.

Since nobody in their right mind would tolerate these assholes and their views, nobody in their right mind would "respect" their homophobia and not question it (especially in light of their professed faith in a god of unconditional love who says only he gets to finally judge someone and encourages his followers to love their neighbors as they love themselves), I'm curious how the "moderate" religious get their bizarre views protected from inquiry (since they're the same views as the extremist freaks).

Matt Stone
2nd March 09, 01:34 AM
Funny how you thought of Gods of Fertility and Gods of Love together, matt.

I like kids and I'm in love with my wife... maybe it's a subconscious thing. I'm also pretty fond of food and computer games, so I suppose I could have just as easily made up some scenario that'd demonstrate opposing views between them (the god of food and the god of computer games don't get along, since one takes time away from the pursuit of the other's stated goals... eating food while playing video games isn't acceptable, either, since you still have to stop one to do the other).

Arhetton
2nd March 09, 01:35 AM
dude, how the fuck are you in the U.S army? Do you keep your atheism a secret?

Aphid Jones
2nd March 09, 01:36 AM
I'm curious how the "moderate" religious get their bizarre views protected from inquiry (since they're the same views as the extremist freaks). You just said they weren't. You're making all these logical fallacies because you've gone into circle-jerk mode and aren't covering your bases properly.

Look at what you've just done:

Extremists use one part of the bible to justify their belief.

Moderates use another part of the bible to justify their belief.

Therefore, moderate's views shouldn't be respected.

At least make sense.

Aphid Jones
2nd March 09, 01:38 AM
dude, how the fuck are you in the U.S army? Do you keep your atheism a secret?
...

taijiamn
2nd March 09, 01:40 AM
That's the common misunderstanding when debating this kind of topic... Is there a spiritual point keeping system? Whose is the right one? There's plenty of contradictory material even within any one given religious tradition without getting into the morass of which particular religion - in this case, christianity, islam, or judaism - has the "real" word of god.

So, for the sake of argument, and it's certainly not a new argument (having been posited by the Greeks thousands of years ago, and even prior to Christ if I remember correctly), but is a thing good because it is good, or because it pleases god? Can a thing that isn't good please god? If it pleases god, is it necessarily good? Couldn't a bad thing please god? Would god be pleased by a bad thing? If god is pleased by a bad thing, is he god?

Conversely, I can identify good and evil ethically based on the impact of actions on the individual, or the group. Granted, what can be good for the individual may not always be what's best for the group, but that's where ethics stems from - what's best for the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Mass murder would be "good" for a god of death and murder, but much less so for a fertility god or a god of love. Similarly, indulgence in pleasures of the flesh and senses might not be so "good" for that same god of death and murder. So, spiritually speaking then, depending upon the god you worship, good is far more relative than a good determined by the best outcome for the most number of people...

Stealing is "bad" because if it weren't then nobody's property would be safe.
Lying is "bad" because if it weren't then nobody could be trusted.
Killing (without a definitive need to protect one's own survival) is "bad" because if it weren't then nobody would ever be safe from random violence.

I don't need a "god" to tell me these things are bad. I can figure that out on my own. Hell, even if I accepted that religion was legit, Genesis points out that from Adam and Eve on we've been just like God... Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. After that snack, we didn't need God to tell us right from wrong. All we needed, according to Genesis, to be exactly like God, was to eat from the Tree of Eternal Life. He gets to be immortal, we don't. Otherwise, we know what God knew (good and bad), and no longer need him to dictate it for us. No more need for God, then.

That's sort of more than what I meant to be asking I suppose. I mean more along the lines of, why help the stranger, even if it is a good thing, when the same resource could be used to further your own personal/familial good? I mean, I've taken an ethics course, and read a little on my own, so I'm not completely in the dark, I know it's something that's been questioned for quite some time. But, I still have very rarely seen anything for motivating anything other than apathy towards another person or group without some, even if it's forlorn, expectation of it being reciprocated at some point.

Matt Stone
2nd March 09, 01:40 AM
dude, how the fuck are you in the U.S army? Do you keep your atheism a secret?

Not even remotely. For that matter, since I "came out" I've found far, far more that think as I do than most people seem to expect... All my Soldiers know what I am (I'm the platoon sergeant), and I've made it clear that, though I don't believe as they do, I'll happily support their attendance at religious ceremonies, observance of religious holidays, etc. I'm actually quite accommodating in real life.

Now, that being said, I've not seen the hordes of rampant, raging zealots and their minions. Might be because I work in JAG and we police ourselves pretty tightly. For that matter, in our offices, generally we don't have much in the way of interesting, much less controversial, conversation for fear of violating a regulation, offending another Soldier, etc. In my current office, we've had some interesting religiously themed discussions, but with the general education level and overall GT level, everyone's pretty capable of keeping an even temper, listening, and debating intelligently to come to a fair ending.

We argue. It's what we do.

Arhetton
2nd March 09, 01:42 AM
you know john rockerfeller was a hardcore social darwinist, but he set up massive philanthropical organizations.

figures?

Aphid Jones
2nd March 09, 01:45 AM
you know john rockerfeller was a hardcore social darwinist, but he set up massive philanthropical organizations.

figures? He was also a tyrant, but I suppose that can be ignored if he gave away a small portion of his money, right?

This isn't about religion v. whatever the fuck, this is about the fact that if you're trying to make a case that social darwinists (scum) aren't dicks, rockafellah isn't the best choice, bro.

Look up "let us prey".

Arhetton
2nd March 09, 02:08 AM
look up herbert spencer you tosspot.

Aphid Jones
2nd March 09, 02:21 AM
look up herbert spencer you tosspot.
What's your point?

Virus
2nd March 09, 03:12 AM
I'm sick of circle jerking secular humanist atheists constantly slagging off Hamas. They ignore the fact that Hamas are keeping people fed and clothed through their charity work in Gaza. They ignore the fact that Hamas give checks to poor widows and orphans. The Palestinians are going through dark times and Hamas provide comfort and hope. When Israeli tanks rolled into Gaza it was Hamas who stood up to them. Hamas give people something to belong to; a sense of brotherhood, solidarity and community. So stop poking your finger at Hamas just so you can feel superior.

DAYoung
2nd March 09, 04:26 AM
I don't know. Been trying to think of something good that only religion can provide and I can't.

Given what we knew about the natural world there could only have been religion, spirits, vengeful deities in that development phase. This was the way we explained things and dealt with our mortality and our helplessness to blind, random chance. The ancients didn't have the luxury to say that there is blind, random fate in an uncaring universe. Becuase our brains need an explanation, and a bad one is more comforting than none at all.

Should it surprise anyone that 99% of the world's population believes in space wizards? No, because this is the way our teleological and anthropomorphic brains are wired and this is the way people have thought since we evolved brains complex enough to comprehend the idea.

The age of reason and science is only 200 years old and habits built over millennia die slowly. Although religion is a retardant on current human development we probably had to endure it to get where we are.

Philosophy and science begin where criticism of faith begins. What is our place in the world? What are our duties to humankind? Religion claims to have these answered. Religion claims these have been revealed by a magical being who conveniently writes books in Hebrew, Greek and Arabic.

This is one reason why we have to oppose blasphemy laws. Who knows what some mullah or bishop is going to find offensive next? So you ban cartoons of Muhammed, will that stop a riot over a Jewish man with "Allah, most beneficent, most merciful." written on his ski? They will always find something to be offended by.

This is a good post, but it doesn't quite answer the question.

You often extol the virtues of rationality. I'm asking for a rational evaluation of the religious artifacts you listed.

What did you like about them, and why? What specifically do they offer? And, by 'specifically,' I don't mean 'what do they offer that other non-religious artifacts don't'. I mean: Can you identify the specific qualities you appreciate, and can you say why they're worthy of appreciation in this way?

Again, I'm not trying to lead you to a pre-determined answer. I'm genuinely curious, particularly as you've admitted to liking some religious artifacts.

DAYoung
2nd March 09, 04:43 AM
Off the top of my head...

http://z.about.com/d/atheism/1/0/k/K/AthAcropErechtheum05-l.jpg

When I try to imagine Classical Athens without gods, it's not difficult. (I can probably explain why, but it's not necessary for now.)

Of course most Athenians believed in them. Of course they used them - virtuously and viciously (in the true sense of the word). And, of course, philosophy was built on religious and mythical foundations.

But if I envision Athens without divinities, it looks pretty much the same (with the exception of Plato, perhaps).

This suggests a world with all the virtues and vices of mortal civilisation, without the comfort and consolation of immortals. It suggests a human, all-too-human ambition, unsullied by the fog of faith.

Despite being pro-religion, I find this a beautiful, entrancing vision.

Arhetton
2nd March 09, 04:59 AM
human all too human lol

DAYoung
2nd March 09, 05:02 AM
I'm sick of circle jerking secular humanist atheists constantly slagging off Hamas. They ignore the fact that Hamas are keeping people fed and clothed through their charity work in Gaza. They ignore the fact that Hamas give checks to poor widows and orphans. The Palestinians are going through dark times and Hamas provide comfort and hope. When Israeli tanks rolled into Gaza it was Hamas who stood up to them. Hamas give people something to belong to; a sense of brotherhood, solidarity and community. So stop poking your finger at Hamas just so you can feel superior.

By the way, this is a great bit of polemic, Virus.

Arhetton
2nd March 09, 05:18 AM
we all know what a world of science without religion looks like: Krypton!

http://www.jaypinkerton.com/superman/superman01.jpg
http://www.jaypinkerton.com/superman/superman02.jpg

the rest


http://www.jaypinkerton.com/superman/superman03.jpg
http://www.jaypinkerton.com/superman/superman04.jpg
http://www.jaypinkerton.com/superman/superman05.jpg
http://www.jaypinkerton.com/superman/superman06.jpg
http://www.jaypinkerton.com/superman/superman07.jpg
http://www.jaypinkerton.com/superman/superman08.jpg
http://www.jaypinkerton.com/superman/superman09.jpg
http://www.jaypinkerton.com/superman/superman10.jpg
http://www.jaypinkerton.com/superman/superman11.jpg

continued:

http://jaypinkerton.com/2005/02/03/superman-origin-comics/

Robot Jesus
2nd March 09, 05:53 AM
oGpZstJK5O0


God Hates australia
land of the sodomite damned.


when he said that I started to hope he was going to deliver the news in ryme

Virus
2nd March 09, 08:03 AM
This is a good post, but it doesn't quite answer the question.

You often extol the virtues of rationality. I'm asking for a rational evaluation of the religious artifacts you listed.

What did you like about them, and why? What specifically do they offer? And, by 'specifically,' I don't mean 'what do they offer that other non-religious artifacts don't'. I mean: Can you identify the specific qualities you appreciate, and can you say why they're worthy of appreciation in this way?

Again, I'm not trying to lead you to a pre-determined answer. I'm genuinely curious, particularly as you've admitted to liking some religious artifacts.

I don't know. Beauty, aesthetics, historicity.

danno
2nd March 09, 08:11 AM
Not even remotely. For that matter, since I "came out" I've found far, far more that think as I do than most people seem to expect... All my Soldiers know what I am (I'm the platoon sergeant), and I've made it clear that, though I don't believe as they do, I'll happily support their attendance at religious ceremonies, observance of religious holidays, etc. I'm actually quite accommodating in real life.

the way you and virus talk sometimes, it really rings a lot of alarm bells to me.

but if that's how you behave towards the religious in real life, i i guess i really have nothing to argue with you about.

what really makes me angry is the average joe who believes that certain religions and people should be banned/removed from my country.

Virus
2nd March 09, 08:46 AM
I think this guy has seen some of my posts:

FbekUvB5jw0

KO'd N DOA
2nd March 09, 11:03 AM
Valentine Virus...makes the Prophet sad. Did you write this?

HappyOldGuy
2nd March 09, 11:42 AM
I'm sick of circle jerking secular humanist atheists constantly slagging off Hamas. They ignore the fact that Hamas are keeping people fed and clothed through their charity work in Gaza. They ignore the fact that Hamas give checks to poor widows and orphans. The Palestinians are going through dark times and Hamas provide comfort and hope. When Israeli tanks rolled into Gaza it was Hamas who stood up to them. Hamas give people something to belong to; a sense of brotherhood, solidarity and community. So stop poking your finger at Hamas just so you can feel superior.

Exactly, and that is why those dumbfuck blind western idiots have consistently failed to deal effectively with Hamas. Because their kneejerk monkey tribalism says, "religious fanatic, must throw poop."

GuiltySpark
2nd March 09, 06:02 PM
I'm sick of circle jerking secular humanist atheists constantly slagging off Hamas. They ignore the fact that Hamas are keeping people fed and clothed through their charity work in Gaza. They ignore the fact that Hamas give checks to poor widows and orphans. The Palestinians are going through dark times and Hamas provide comfort and hope. When Israeli tanks rolled into Gaza it was Hamas who stood up to them. Hamas give people something to belong to; a sense of brotherhood, solidarity and community. So stop poking your finger at Hamas just so you can feel superior.

Go forth. Strap this bomb to your body and kill the infidel and your family will be well taken care of.

Hamas provides comfort and hope at a price.
Don't get me wrong, I think Israel is being a bunch of cocksuckers and I have next to zero pity for the rocket attacks their getting but Hamas aren't saints. They surround military juicy targets with civilians which Israel is all to happy to ignore.
Reservation under asshole, table for two.

DAYoung
2nd March 09, 06:10 PM
I don't know. Beauty, aesthetics, historicity.

You might like to think a bit more about this. It'll add to your rational critique of religion.

Cullion
2nd March 09, 06:18 PM
By the way, this is a great bit of polemic, Virus.

I think he just 'ironically' arrived at the same point I sincerely did 3 years ago.

DAYoung
2nd March 09, 06:29 PM
I think he just 'ironically' arrived at the same point I sincerely did 3 years ago.

Yes. It doesn't take much to move from appalled dismissal (or something like it) to patient appraisal.

Instead of writing X off completely, you reveal X's qualities, and evaluate each in turn.

It's a kind of pragmatic perception, which tries to judge the world as it is.

(While, I hope, keeping an eye on what a better world might look like.)

Cullion
2nd March 09, 06:44 PM
It's different for me. I don't just try to appraise religion any more. I see a need for it, but one I cannot square with reason.

I keep looking for a healthy, humanistic mythology which doesn't require the suspension of our rational faculties, but I haven't found it.

Maybe the ancient Greek pantheon could have served such a purpose. It was a kind of passion play of inner human archetypes which their great thinkers seemed to understand for what it was, but still indulge in and accept. No absolute holy writ as such, but dramatic celebrities on a high stage, giving us mythical examples, but no mandate to act inhumanly.

DAYoung
2nd March 09, 07:02 PM
Maybe the ancient Greek pantheon could have served such a purpose. It was a kind of passion play of inner human archetypes which their great thinkers seemed to understand for what it was, but still indulge in and accept. No absolute holy writ as such, but dramatic celebrities on a high stage, giving us mythical examples, but no mandate to act inhumanly.

More like good literature, in other words.

(Which is precisely what the mythical canon was.)

Of course there were moments of zealotry, but on the whole the Greeks were wonderfully humanistic. Even if they believed wholeheartedly in the pantheon, the gods were chiefly irrelevant to human drama (morally, that is).

Cullion
2nd March 09, 07:05 PM
I'm no classical scholar, but the impression I get is that their gods provided an explanation, and maybe sometimes an example or a warning, but not an excuse, if that makes sense.

DAYoung
2nd March 09, 07:14 PM
I'm no classical scholar, but the impression I get is that their gods provided an explanation, and maybe sometimes an example or a warning, but not an excuse, if that makes sense.

With the exception of Socrates' trial and execution, I can't think of any examples off the top of my head.

Mytilene exemplifies the humanistic outlook.

HappyOldGuy
2nd March 09, 07:15 PM
Not to intervene on this lovele hellenic man man love, but the greeks didn't necessarily go kill eachother over the olympians, which is why almost all of them wound up joining mystery cults and such so they would have an excuse to go bopping people over religion.

Aphid Jones
2nd March 09, 07:23 PM
Not to intervene on this lovele hellenic man man love, but the greeks didn't necessarily go kill eachother over the olympians, which is why almost all of them wound up joining mystery cults and such so they would have an excuse to go bopping people over religion.
Careful not to confuse Hellenistic mystery cults with Hellenic ones.

DAYoung
2nd March 09, 07:27 PM
Not to intervene on this lovele hellenic man man love, but the greeks didn't necessarily go kill eachother over the olympians, which is why almost all of them wound up joining mystery cults and such so they would have an excuse to go bopping people over religion.

This post is uncharacteristically unclear. What do you mean?

Cullion
2nd March 09, 07:32 PM
I think he means that the Greeks morphed into henotheistic gnostics before embracing mainstream monotheistic Christianity. Monotheism carries with it the whiff of 'unique revealed truth', which sort of naturally gives rise to conflict.

HappyOldGuy
2nd March 09, 07:40 PM
I think he means that the Greeks morphed into henotheistic gnostics before embracing mainstream monotheistic Christianity. Monotheism carries with it the whiff of 'unique revealed truth', which sort of naturally gives rise to conflict.
^^^Mostly this. Plus I would argue that such a morphing is the inevitable result of cosmopolitan religion. They didn't bop eachother over the olympians because the olympians hadn't been their "religion" for quite awhile.

DAYoung
2nd March 09, 07:45 PM
Hmmm.

Can you give some examples of the mystery cult->henotheism->monotheism movement?

Also, are you suggesting that, when the Olympians were their religion, they did bop each other over them?

And can you give examples of this Olympian religious violence?

EuropIan
2nd March 09, 07:48 PM
wouldn't it be normal to pray for good luck before battle?

I mean, not because it inspired religeous fervor but more because it couldn't hurt.

Virus
3rd March 09, 03:12 AM
wouldn't it be normal to pray for good luck before battle?

I mean, not because it inspired religeous fervor but more because it couldn't hurt.

Probably. They liked to consult oracles and stuff.

Virus
3rd March 09, 03:19 AM
I keep looking for a healthy, humanistic mythology which doesn't require the suspension of our rational faculties, but I haven't found it.


Just buy a plastic glow sword and call yourself a Jedi. You know you want to.

HappyOldGuy
3rd March 09, 12:01 PM
Hmmm.

Can you give some examples of the mystery cult->henotheism->monotheism movement?

The mystery cults (Eleusis, Dionysus, Aesculapius etc) were loosely henotheistic, in that participants were dedicated to a single god while still participating in the whole olympian menagerie.


Also, are you suggesting that, when the Olympians were their religion, they did bop each other over them?

And can you give examples of this Olympian religious violence?

My thesis would be that the olympians were never their religion in the sense we think of as religion. I don't think it was possible to talk about religion in archaic greece. I don't think that those folks had a concept of religion that was different than any other social obligation. That doesn't mean that noone ever wondered whether the stories were true or not. We know that they did. But what they didn't do was form social identities based around what they thought about the stories.

As far as examples of violence, they certainly didn't like people knocking the phalluses off of their phallic cult statues. Apparently the penalty was death. And there are other hints at such things in various stories. But that just feeds back to the notion that there isn't a seperation of religion and society. The most famous defacing of the herms was both an act of impiety and an act of treason.

TM
3rd March 09, 12:19 PM
It's different for me. I don't just try to appraise religion any more. I see a need for it, but one I cannot square with reason.

I keep looking for a healthy, humanistic mythology which doesn't require the suspension of our rational faculties, but I haven't found it.

Maybe the ancient Greek pantheon could have served such a purpose. It was a kind of passion play of inner human archetypes which their great thinkers seemed to understand for what it was, but still indulge in and accept. No absolute holy writ as such, but dramatic celebrities on a high stage, giving us mythical examples, but no mandate to act inhumanly.

Sikhism gets close for me, but they miss with the dress code. I think folks that enforce dress codes have their head up their fourth point of contact.

Aphid Jones
3rd March 09, 03:16 PM
Hmmm.

Can you give some examples of the mystery cult->henotheism->monotheism movement?

If one views that as the natural "evolution" of religion, I'd have to disagree. That's sort of a 19th century SD theory.

Virus
3rd March 09, 03:21 PM
When people say "religion is good for people" and "religion brings comfort." are they including Wahabbi Islam? Is it better that someone believe in Wahabbi Islam than no god?

Aphid Jones
3rd March 09, 03:27 PM
When people say "religion is good for people" and "religion brings comfort." are they including Wahabbi Islam? Is it better that someone believe in Wahabbi Islam than no god?
How much is a bucket of feathers divided by a pound of butter?

EuropIan
3rd March 09, 03:38 PM
Blue cheese is bad for you because rotten milk is bad for you.

HappyOldGuy
3rd March 09, 03:42 PM
If you add belief and a nickle, you have five whole cents.

Aphid Jones
3rd March 09, 03:44 PM
If you add a reef and a pickle, the pickle will be dwarfed by the size of the reef.

DAYoung
3rd March 09, 03:56 PM
The mystery cults (Eleusis, Dionysus, Aesculapius etc) were loosely henotheistic, in that participants were dedicated to a single god while still participating in the whole olympian menagerie.

Yes, but I was asking about the movement, i.e. the evolution from polytheism to henotheism to monotheism (Cullion paraphrasing you).



My thesis would be that the olympians were never their religion in the sense we think of as religion. I don't think it was possible to talk about religion in archaic greece. I don't think that those folks had a concept of religion that was different than any other social obligation. That doesn't mean that noone ever wondered whether the stories were true or not. We know that they did. But what they didn't do was form social identities based around what they thought about the stories.

As far as examples of violence, they certainly didn't like people knocking the phalluses off of their phallic cult statues. Apparently the penalty was death. And there are other hints at such things in various stories. But that just feeds back to the notion that there isn't a seperation of religion and society. The most famous defacing of the herms was both an act of impiety and an act of treason.

Yes, I think this is closer to treason and state crime than religious crime. There's a hint of impiety, but it has more to do with the polis than religion.

It's something to be ashamed for, not guilty of.

HappyOldGuy
3rd March 09, 04:02 PM
Yes, but I was asking about the movement, i.e. the evolution from polytheism to henotheism to monotheism (Cullion paraphrasing you).


I would never use the word evolution. It just happened that most (not all) of the mystery cults focused on specific gods/myths. Other options on the hellenistic/roman buffet table had many gods, one god, or no gods at all.

DAYoung
3rd March 09, 04:49 PM
I would never use the word evolution. It just happened that most (not all) of the mystery cults focused on specific gods/myths. Other options on the hellenistic/roman buffet table had many gods, one god, or no gods at all.

Of course.

But Cullion's paraphrasing (which you agreed to) suggested some development (hence 'morphed'). In this light, the henotheistic cults evolved into monotheistic ones (which I don't think is quite true).

But you might be saying something quite different from Cullion's paraphrase.

Anyway, how is this relevant to our Hellenic humanistic man-man love-in (given we were speaking of Classical Athens)?

HappyOldGuy
3rd March 09, 05:06 PM
Anyway, how is this relevant to our Hellenic humanistic man-man love-in (given we were speaking of Classical Athens)?

Humanist a pretty huge stretch for a society built on slavery. You and Cullion seemed to want to call them humanist due to the lack of claims of divine authority among the philosophical musings, but I'm saying that's an anachronistic way of looking at it. Participation in the polis was the center of proper ethical behavior and participation in public worship services was an inseperable part of that. Belief is something that only becomes important once you have a compting belief system in place.

DAYoung
3rd March 09, 05:18 PM
Humanist a pretty huge stretch for a society built on slavery. You and Cullion seemed to want to call them humanist due to the lack of claims of divine authority among the philosophical musings, but I'm saying that's an anachronistic way of looking at it. Participation in the polis was the center of proper ethical behavior and participation in public worship services was an inseperable part of that. Belief is something that only becomes important once you have a compting belief system in place.

I'd quibble with the 'built' part (depending on what you meant). If you mean 'essential to the functioning of the polis', this hasn't yet been established. Some scholars suggest otherwise.

But yes, you're right. Bad choice of words on my part. The Greek polis (including Athens) is better understood as initiating strands of humanism, rather than exemplifying it.

Aphid Jones
3rd March 09, 06:12 PM
Part of what HoG is saying is that one can fail to separate political philosophy with religious philosophy with cosmological philosophy in classical Greece. And there are differences.

Cullion
3rd March 09, 06:22 PM
My history may be scrambled, but my understanding is that by the time of Greek gnostic/henotheism their polis was no longer truly functional and they were paying tribute to Rome. The impression my quite possible flawed understanding had was that the late gnostic henotheism blurring into monotheism was going on pretty much at the same time they were probably most keen to escape from facing national failure.

HappyOldGuy
3rd March 09, 06:35 PM
In the sense of the mysteries, henotheism (in this case, having a special cult connection to demeter, dionysus, aesulapius, etc while still participating in the conventional olympian practices) is a pretty early development. As we move on into "roman" times, the mysteries become less tied into the dominant state cult.

DAYoung
3rd March 09, 07:29 PM
If I remember rightly, Dionysus is a good example of a pre-Archaic cult divinity becoming an Archaic/Classical Olympian (though obviously references to the cult remain in Classical literature).

Aphid Jones
3rd March 09, 07:54 PM
My history may be scrambled, but my understanding is that by the time of Greek gnostic/henotheism their polis was no longer truly functional and they were paying tribute to Rome. The impression my quite possible flawed understanding had was that the late gnostic henotheism blurring into monotheism was going on pretty much at the same time they were probably most keen to escape from facing national failure. That's a good question, it's very important to understand the chronology.

The polis became the Cosmopolis after Greece was conquered by Macedon, followed by the formation of the Macedonian Empire and the following Macedonian kingdoms. You are correct in saying that the polis was no longer functional in the sense you mean. The concept of the "5000 citizen polis" that the Greeks idolized, along with the cultural effects of the polis lifestyle, began to fade rapidly, in many respects.

By the time what you're referring to as "greek gnosticism" (which I assume means a certain set of mystery traditions that were fused with Christianty in Greece/Byz. later on) came about, the traditional polis, especially the "patriotism" and "comeradry" of the traditional poleis no longer existed.

Well, I shouldn't say at all, but it was certainly not the old days.

DAYoung
3rd March 09, 08:10 PM
I've a short history of Greece somewhere on this site.

Virus
4th March 09, 12:54 AM
People are saying that religion is good for people. So is Wahabbi Islam good for people? Just want to get a straight, non-metaphorical answer on that.

DAYoung
4th March 09, 12:58 AM
I'm sure there are some beneficiaries. So, yes, Wahabbi Islam is clearly good for some people.

Of course, 'good' here needs defining.

DAYoung
4th March 09, 12:59 AM
People are saying that science is good for people. So are nuclear bombs good for people? Just want to get a straight, non-metaphorical answer on that.

Matt Stone
4th March 09, 01:04 AM
People are saying that science is good for people. So are nuclear bombs good for people? Just want to get a straight, non-metaphorical answer on that.

Close parallel to Virus' comment, but I think a closer variant would be:

"People are saying that science is good for people. So is nuclear science good for people? Just want to get a straight, non-metaphorical answer on that."

He'd originally essentially said:

People are saying that X Category is good for people. So is subcategory Z of X Category good for people?

In that situation, nuclear bombs, though a product of nuclear science, are bad, but we'd have to also say that communion wafers, as a product of religion, or some other sort of comparison that equally relates.

Does that make sense?

DAYoung
4th March 09, 01:10 AM
Close parallel to Virus' comment, but I think a closer variant would be:

"People are saying that science is good for people. So is nuclear science good for people? Just want to get a straight, non-metaphorical answer on that."

He'd originally essentially said:

People are saying that X Category is good for people. So is subcategory Z of X Category good for people?

In that situation, nuclear bombs, though a product of nuclear science, are bad, but we'd have to also say that communion wafers, as a product of religion, or some other sort of comparison that equally relates.

Does that make sense?

Yes.

Actually, I think we could be a little more refined. If we wanted to be as polemically pointed as Virus, we'd write:

People are saying that science is good for people. So is the science of nuclear weaponry good for people? Just want to get a straight, non-metaphorical answer on that.

This would no longer be a product, but the scientific subcategory that produces the product. And this product would be a polemically useful one.

DAYoung
4th March 09, 01:16 AM
This, of course, raises another question.

Science is clearly more rational and truthful than Wahabbi Islam. But science still freely and knowingly produces evils (and on a planetary scale).

The question, then, is this: What's the relationship between rational truth-seeking and morality? And does it matter what sort of truth you're seeking?

Matt Stone
4th March 09, 01:20 AM
Yes.

Actually, I think we could be a little more refined. If we wanted to be as polemically pointed as Virus, we'd write:

People are saying that science is good for people. So is the science of nuclear weaponry good for people? Just want to get a straight, non-metaphorical answer on that.

This would no longer be a product, but the scientific subcategory that produces the product. And this product would be a polemically useful one.

Well said. Proof that education can be useful (so can sleep, but I still have coffee, so I'm good, right?)...

And nukes are only good against zombies and aliens.

Matt Stone
4th March 09, 01:24 AM
This, of course, raises another question.

Science is clearly more rational and truthful than Wahabbi Islam. But science still freely and knowingly produces evils (and on a planetary scale).

The question, then, is this: What's the relationship between rational truth-seeking and morality? And does it matter what sort of truth you're seeking?

I think, though, that science doesn't always necessarily and deliberately pursue a path solely for the weaponization of its resulting findings. I think that the bulk of weapons research stemmed from already existing discoveries that were "twisted" from their original use.

Gunpowder was just a really cool thing the Chinese used to entertain themselves. Then someone realized you could blow up that guy down the block when he pissed you off. A few years later, and who knows how many experiment-related injuries down the road, you get guns, guns, guns. Inaccurate portrayal of history, I know, but the jist of it is still there.

Aphid Jones
4th March 09, 01:26 AM
I think, though, that science doesn't always necessarily and deliberately pursue a path solely for the weaponization of its resulting findings. I think that the bulk of weapons research stemmed from already existing discoveries that were "twisted" from their original use.

Gunpowder was just a really cool thing the Chinese used to entertain themselves. Then someone realized you could blow up that guy down the block when he pissed you off. A few years later, and who knows how many experiment-related injuries down the road, you get guns, guns, guns. Inaccurate portrayal of history, I know, but the jist of it is still there.
Or vis versa. Something is developed as a weapon and is then used for non-military purposes.

DAYoung
4th March 09, 01:38 AM
I think, though, that science doesn't always necessarily and deliberately pursue a path solely for the weaponization of its resulting findings. I think that the bulk of weapons research stemmed from already existing discoveries that were "twisted" from their original use.

I agree, in part.

But I think we have to be careful here. Otherwise we end up inventing T3h R34l Science, from which evils are twisted. And then the religious loonies make the same case: 'We is has T3h R34l Religion, and all those decapitations and circumcisions is twisting T3h F4ith."

Reality looks a little more like this: Science and religion are social and psychological structures. They structure, and are structured by, individuals. They are influenced by, and influence in turn, economical and political structures. None of these is pure, or perfect.

However, some structures have more autonomy than others, i.e. more ability to maintain themselves. Science, at its best, is a highly autonomous structure, which can sometimes avoid the worst of its society's ills. In the case of The Manhattan Project, or industry-driven research, I suspect it fails to do this.

(By the way, autonomy is not the same as dominance. You can have a dominant structure without in any way resisting your own social, psychological prejudices, e.g. misogyny in Islam.)

Make sense? Feel free to pick holes in this. I'm speculating out loud.

Virus
4th March 09, 05:08 AM
Science doesn't have inbuilt moral values. If you want to use the methodology to discover ingenious ways to blow people to bits, you can do it.

Religions have very specific moral values built into them and many of those are downright rotten. Homosexuals are an abomination, women are the property of men, infidels are going to burn in hell, slavery is a just institution and so on.

To be religious is to not only believe that there is a prime mover, but that this being has communicated with people in the past and revealed his personal opinions, which are to be taken as the absolute and final word on moral duties.

To go back to my question, when people have said "religion is good for people." they actually meant some religions are good for people.

So is Islam good for people? Is anyone here glad that Islam exists? Would anyone here be unwilling to live in a world without Islam? Would you rather the Middle East have Islam than Matt Stone's or my secular humanist atheism? Who's willing to affirm this?

Cullion
4th March 09, 05:16 AM
Science itself is just a tool which amplifies ones ability to do good or bad. If we're talking about the prevailing culture and attitudes of what for a better term I'll call 'western rationalists' (Virus being an example), that's a different kettle of fish.

Truculent Sheep
4th March 09, 07:18 AM
I remember that utter Malthusian totalitarian twat Johnathon Porritt claiming that Al Gore was right because he knew 'The Science'. (Even though he wasn't a scientist.)

In fact, if you want a new dangerous ideology to worry about - 'The Science' is it. It has nothing to do with science, per se. It's a faith (an unshakeable one) in this thing called 'The Science' which just so happens to support your worldview. Everything else is WRONG. Listen to The Science. It is the truth, or else.

EuropIan
4th March 09, 07:26 AM
I think that has been one of the main critiques of atheism by the apologetics of various religions.

But without saying "lol N4zis!1!"

Cullion
4th March 09, 07:29 AM
I remember that utter Malthusian totalitarian twat Johnathon Porritt claiming that Al Gore was right because he knew 'The Science'. (Even though he wasn't a scientist.)

In fact, if you want a new dangerous ideology to worry about - 'The Science' is it. It has nothing to do with science, per se. It's a faith (an unshakeable one) in this thing called 'The Science' which just so happens to support your worldview. Everything else is WRONG. Listen to The Science. It is the truth, or else.

There are other insidious forms of 'The Science'. Crass reductionism hiding behind scientific-sounding terms (without actually making testable predictions like real science) seems to be a creeping plague in the social sciences. 'Sociobiology' being an example.

EuropIan
4th March 09, 07:31 AM
Junk Science is a religion

Aphid Jones
4th March 09, 09:06 AM
'Sociobiology' being an example.
Agreed.

KO'd N DOA
4th March 09, 09:30 AM
Whew, Am I ever glad Cullion didn't say "socio-anthro" cause then I would be feeling unsure about the scientific tools at my disposal to describe the world around me. That and my paycheck.

HappyOldGuy
4th March 09, 11:32 AM
I hope we've all read technologies of the self (http://www.scribd.com/doc/11519107/Foucault-Technologies-of-the-Self). I enjoy taking that typology and using it in a more functionalist sort of way than the author probably intended.

th:dr version
(I) technologies of production, which permit us to produce, transform, or manipulate things;
(2) technologies of sign systems, which permit us to use signs, meanings, symbols, or signification;
(3) technologies of power, which determine the conduct of individuals and submit them to certain ends or domination, an objectivizing of the subject;
(4) technologies of the self, which permit individuals to effect by their own means or with the help of others a certain number of operations on their own bodies and souls, thoughts, conduct,and way of being, so as to transform I themselves in order to attain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom,perfection, or immortality.

DAYoung
4th March 09, 04:16 PM
I hope we've all read technologies of the self (http://www.scribd.com/doc/11519107/Foucault-Technologies-of-the-Self). I enjoy taking that typology and using it in a more functionalist sort of way than the author probably intended.

th:dr version

I was drawing on Bourdieu. Foucault's talking about similar principles of self-formation, but his social fields are looser, less structured, more dynamic, and he gives agency more potency.

I like his later stuff, and used it in Distraction.

Virus
4th March 09, 06:35 PM
Is Islam good for the Middle East? Would you prefer Islam or secular humanism to be widespread in the region?

DAYoung
4th March 09, 06:42 PM
Is Islam good for the Middle East? Would you prefer Islam or secular humanism to be widespread in the region?

I don't see how this is a helpful question.

Aphid Jones
4th March 09, 06:44 PM
Is Islam good for the Middle East? Would you prefer Islam or secular humanism to be widespread in the region? I'd prefer humanism. Alongside Islam.

The real one, not secular humanism.

danno
4th March 09, 07:58 PM
ISLAM IS THE CANCER THAT WILL SPREAD AND KILL THE WORLD

steady on, chap. we're trying to have a civilised discussion here.

Virus
4th March 09, 11:13 PM
People say that religion is good for people. I'm trying to gauge how committed the proponents are to that idea. Is Islam good for people?

DAYoung
4th March 09, 11:19 PM
Is Islam good for people?

Sometimes.

Aphid Jones
4th March 09, 11:36 PM
Is gatorade good for people?

HappyOldGuy
4th March 09, 11:54 PM
Sometimes.

I'll even say, net, over the course of it's entire history, yes.

DAYoung
4th March 09, 11:56 PM
I'll even say, net, over the course of it's entire history, yes.

Exactly.

Truculent Sheep
5th March 09, 01:42 AM
There are other insidious forms of 'The Science'. Crass reductionism hiding behind scientific-sounding terms (without actually making testable predictions like real science) seems to be a creeping plague in the social sciences. 'Sociobiology' being an example.

True, but I think the hierarchical undertones of 'The Science' are most significant - it's all about powerful, right thinking elites beating down the wrong thinking masses. How, err, convenient.

Virus
5th March 09, 02:16 AM
I'll even say, net, over the course of it's entire history, yes.

In what way? The persecution of homosexuals, the subordination of women, cruel punishments, hostility to other religions, genital mutilation and sectarian wars were all worth it for what?

danno
5th March 09, 05:43 AM
to piss you off.




hehehehehe

DAYoung
5th March 09, 06:22 AM
In what way? The persecution of homosexuals, the subordination of women, cruel punishments, hostility to other religions, genital mutilation and sectarian wars were all worth it for what?

For you, Virus. They offer you identity, in opposition.

Also: tulips, meze, coffee, foursquare gardens, zero, parts of the Renaissance, enlightened Empire, and more.

(Either by invention or dissemination.)

DAYoung
5th March 09, 06:32 AM
You know, this is absurd.

Virus, I can't believe you don't know this stuff.

Islam, like Christianity and Buddhism, exists - it is what it is (and has been). And they're not going away.

We're better of recognising their virtues and vices, instead of simply insulting them in toto (without regard for place and time).

Virus
5th March 09, 07:51 AM
Actually Christianity in Europe is going away and may one day become extinct just like Zeus, Thor and a million other religions.

Perhaps it will persist but decline to near insignificance, like astrology or Elvis worship.

Either one suits me, but I'd still like monks and monasteries to exist.

Virus
5th March 09, 08:01 AM
You know, this is absurd.

Virus, I can't believe you don't know this stuff.



Actually I do know this stuff. I know that while Europe was in the dark ages that the Islamic countries were intellectual centers.

The point I'm trying to make is that there's nothing good that a religious person has done that couldn't be done by a non-believer. But there are many bad things believers do that are anchored to religion.

Would a person even dream of holding a baby boy down and taking a scalpel to it's penis if they didn't think it pleased Yaweh? This disgusting practice is virtually confined to religious people.

danno
5th March 09, 08:07 AM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/Global_Map_of_Male_Circumcision_Prevalence_at_Coun try_Level.png

Aphid Jones
5th March 09, 09:29 AM
Would a person even dream of holding a baby boy down and taking a scalpel to it's penis if they didn't think it pleased Yaweh? This disgusting practice is virtually confined to religious people.
Er, Virus, in American hospitals that's rather common practice regardless of religion.

Virus
5th March 09, 10:32 AM
Er, Virus, in American hospitals that's rather common practice regardless of religion.

You mean the hospitals of one of the most religiously fundamentalist countries in the world?

Virus
5th March 09, 11:04 AM
This is the point I'm trying to make;

People say that religion is good for people, but bring up the persecution of homosexuals and suddenly "That's not the r34l religion." What about doctrine that the dead get tortured? Oh, That's not th3 r34l either. Preaching the avoidance of condom use in Africa isn't th3 r34l, creationism isn't th3 r34l, the anti-abortion movement isn't th3 r34l, the anti-stem cell movement isn't th3 r34l, the Soldiers for Jesus camps aren't th3 r34l, the Ten Commandments in courthouses isn't th3 r34l, spazzing out and speaking in tongues isn't th3 r34l, demanding prayer in school isn't th3 r34l, retarding a child's freedom of choice by bring them up to believe in space ghosts isn't th3 r34l, the pro-slavery movement wasn't th3 r34l, pushing your beliefs on people isn't th3 r34l, anything even slightly negative about any religion isn't th3 r34l. Taking your religion seriously isn't th3 r34l. So when we've excised 90% of the bible and 99% of actual religious people as not being r34l, we're left with a secular humanist who believes in the three branches of government, 21st century liberal values, accepts modern science but continues to half-believe in some vague, impotent, wishy-washy God and looks up to the heavens when a relative dies for comfort. And if I could find something wrong with that, then suddenly it wouldn't be th3 r34l.

Real religious people, that exist today and throughout history don't think like this. When everyone took the subjugation of women for granted did the majority of religious people stand in opposition? After all, that's not th3 r34l is it? No, the church jumped on the bandwagon well after our consciousness had been raised and claimed that they always stood for women's equality and the people who didn't were perverting the religion. As time goes on, we're discovering more and more of these "perversions of the r34l faith", the church only seems to realize it after everyone else has and not before. People don't get their morals from religion, religion gets it from people. Specifically people that lived 2000 years ago and would be considered moral savages by today's standards. Even 50 years ago it was normal to be racist, homophobic and to consider women second class citizens. Except people don't think the bible is the ravings of first century tribal men, they think it's a book written by god which is why religion retards moral progress and makes people believe ridiculous and dangerous things. Yeah, so religion is good for people, as long as we change almost everything about it.

HappyOldGuy
5th March 09, 11:57 AM
You mean the hospitals of one of the most religiously fundamentalist countries in the world?

Also the most powerful. Biggest scientific innovator on the planet etc ad nauseum.

Amazing we managed to pull that off without our foreskins.

Virus
5th March 09, 12:55 PM
Does this change the fact at all that genital mutilation is mandated by Islam and Judaism?

HappyOldGuy
5th March 09, 01:06 PM
Does this change the fact at all that genital mutilation is mandated by Islam and Judaism?
Yes, because it isn't. It was implemented in the name of science and victorian social mores. It had nothing whatsoever to do with Islam or Judaism.

Virus
5th March 09, 01:27 PM
Yes, because it isn't. It was implemented in the name of science and victorian social mores. It had nothing whatsoever to do with Islam or Judaism.

Yes, you're right. But the practice is strongly tied to certain religious groups.

Fearless Ukemi
5th March 09, 01:44 PM
Actually Christianity in Europe is going away and may one day become extinct just like Zeus, Thor and a million other religions.

Perhaps it will persist but decline to near insignificance, like astrology or Elvis worship.

Either one suits me, but I'd still like monks and monasteries to exist.


I'm not so sure about this. Recent trends are showing that Christianity is getting more liberal, but it is not going away. Below is a quote from Philip Jenkins, God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis:

The religious picture in Europe is not unremittingly bleak. Ninety percent of Greeks acknowledge the existence of God, and only 5 percent are atheists. Ireland still has church attendence figures of around 45 percent, twice as high as the continent as a whole. Along with Ireland, Poland and Slovakia are two of the most religious countries in Europe.

Zendetta
5th March 09, 01:56 PM
"That's not the r34l religion."

This is why these discussion remind me of the endless discussions of Wing Chun.

"Those Wing Chun guys can't fight."

"That's because they don't have the real lineage/footwork/spelling/R34L Chun"

This is why I tend to define religions, and organizations generally, by what their believers do, as opposed to what their dogma says.

Virus
5th March 09, 02:06 PM
This is why these discussion remind me of the endless discussions of Wing Chun.

"Those Wing Chun guys can't fight."

"That's because they don't have the real lineage/footwork/spelling/R34L Chun"

This is why I tend to define religions, and organizations generally, by what their believers do, as opposed to what their dogma says.

Yeah, and everyone has this chunner friend, who isn't that much into Wing Chun, watches the UFC and lets you show him mount escapes. Which renders all criticism of wing chun invalid.

Aphid Jones
5th March 09, 02:45 PM
Would a person even dream of holding a baby boy down and taking a scalpel to it's penis if they didn't think it pleased Yaweh? This disgusting practice is virtually confined to religious people.
No, it's not.

Get mah?

HappyOldGuy
5th March 09, 03:03 PM
Yes, you're right. But the practice is strongly tied to certain religious groups.

Not in the US, and a number of other countries it's not at all, in any way shape or form connected to religion. My bits got cut because I was born in an american hospital in the 60's. Not for any religious reason whatsoever. And the reason it got implemented in american hospitals was for pseudo scientific health reasons having nothing to do with religion.

Aphid Jones
5th March 09, 03:20 PM
I guess you could say that most circumcised people are religious because most of the world's population is religious.

But that really doesn't imply anything, does it?

Virus
5th March 09, 06:45 PM
I just agreed with you about the US. I did some additional reading and realized I was wrong. The practice was routine many years ago, it persists in the US but is on the decline. It has declined sharply outside the US but persists in Jewish and Islamic circles.

HappyOldGuy
5th March 09, 06:48 PM
I just agreed with you about the US. I did some additional reading and realized I was wrong. The practice was routine many years ago, it persists in the US but is on the decline. It has declined sharply outside the US but persists in Jewish and Islamic circles.

I missed that. You still owe me an apology for your science getting part of my dick cut off.

I take that kinda personally you know.

Virus
5th March 09, 07:17 PM
You still owe me an apology for your science getting part of my dick cut off.



That's wasn't th3 r34l science.

.

Zendetta
5th March 09, 08:33 PM
^^^ Bwahahhhahhaha!

Well played.

Toby Christensen
6th March 09, 07:32 PM
Religion is born out of a fear of death and is used by some to control others. The Supreme force in the Universe would make Cthulu Himself be disintegrated and would look as a kid's toy before Him in his last moments, but the Supreme Being is INDFEFINABLE.

He also isn't going to grant you, me, the Pope or the cat's mother any sort of second go at life.

Too bad so sad, we've all been had. Time to do something about it.

AAAhmed46
6th March 09, 11:41 PM
PENIS CUTTING!!!!

WEEEE!

AAAhmed46
7th March 09, 12:01 AM
Is gatorade good for people?


Only if you sweat it.

Toby Christensen
7th March 09, 02:38 AM
When I was powerlifting I liked Gatorade. It's admittedly better than the Australian sports drinks taste wise.