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View Diary: Every Thought Is a "War on Religion" (41 comments)

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  •  This reminds me of the (7+ / 0-)

    conniptions I would drive the Sunday School Teachers to as a youth.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:54:32 AM PST

    •  I used to get sadistic pleasure out of (8+ / 0-)

      tormenting religious people with logical traps, but then I just kind of evolved beyond that pettiness.  There are indeed sweet, innocent people who live in that world, and I just wish I could show them the beauty of the real world.

      Live by the certainty that nothing can kill you. You'll only be wrong once.

      by Troubadour on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 02:19:33 AM PST

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      •  Mine were just miffed a six year old was thinking (7+ / 0-)

        circles around them.

        Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 02:20:49 AM PST

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        •  I was actually embarrassed (5+ / 0-)

          to learn there was no Santa Claus.  Some kids are disappointed, some are crushed - I was humiliated, because I'd believed it.

          Live by the certainty that nothing can kill you. You'll only be wrong once.

          by Troubadour on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 02:32:33 AM PST

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          •  Lies people tell children (7+ / 0-)

            while telling them to never lie.

            Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

            by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 02:36:20 AM PST

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            •  What they mean is "Never lie to me." (7+ / 0-)

              A lot of religion - or at least Abrahamic religion - is the projection of family relationships on to the outside world.  God the Father, the Holy Mother, the Son, and so on.  Reality is not familial - it's caustic.  Nature is more alien than any relationship we could identify - we're just tiny little fragments of its overall pattern.

              Live by the certainty that nothing can kill you. You'll only be wrong once.

              by Troubadour on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 02:42:02 AM PST

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              •  I had nuns come to my house when I was a kid (5+ / 0-)

                to complain to my catholic parents that I asked too many questions. In catholic HS I was great friends with the school's administrator , a priest, and two nuns- all three left the church . In fact that administrator married my first husband and I and called us into his office after my honeymoon to tell me that my marriage was his last. And right then and there I also knew that marriage wouldn't last... lol and it didn't..

                The priest and two nuns and I had awesome open and honest communication and viola, real truth won:)

                "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

                "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

                by roseeriter on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 05:18:19 AM PST

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              •  a projection based on an ecological catastrophe. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tennessee Dave

                When the Fertile Crescent suffered population overshoot and abusive agricultural practices, and turned into a desert, a major resource base was knocked out from under the population (much as we are going to see with the climate crisis, globally).

                That gave rise to an enormous amount of competition between humans, much of it violent, and much of it by way of various groups trying to exterminate each other to gain control of scarce resources.  

                The tribes that would produce what we now call the Abrahamic religions survived through natural selection.  And the obsession with "blood and seed" and all things reproductive, was arguably part of what helped those groups survive more or less intact.

                One of the consistent threads in the Abrahamic religions is to seek ways of reducing the overall level of violence.  The Jewish prophets' concept of the deity as the supreme law-giver was one approach.  Jesus' concept of the deity as loving and kind was another.  The Prophet Mohammed's concept of the warrior's duty to the deity being to refrain from slaughtering conquered peoples but instead convert them to peaceful monotheism, was another.  No doubt there were others, many of which have been entirely lost to history.

                But as for "reality is caustic," that's an emotional overlay: every bit as much as the view of reality as a demon-haunted world, or facts as "cold and hard."  The entire phrase and its underlying emotionalism, "cold hard facts" is an arbitrary irrationalism.  We may as well speak of "warm fuzzy facts" and nature as vaguely maternal (Mother Nature), seeing as the most logical extrapolations and inferences from modern astronomy are that this universe as presently configured, is highly likely to be infested with life including intelligent life.

                Per the weakest version of the anthropic principle, we are most likely to find ourselves living in a universe that is more favorable to our existence than any of a large number of other possible universes.  A large range of other possible types of universes is supportable from alternative values for key variables, but the overwhelming majority of those universes could not support any form of life that we can conceptualize.  Those are the warm fuzzy facts and the conclusions that follow.  

                "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:58:29 PM PST

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                •  I agree with the anthropic principle (0+ / 0-)

                  but I don't apply emotional value to the statement that reality is caustic - it's simply a fact that the domain in which nature supports us without a massive degree of human effort and foresight is always a small, migrating locus.  Most of nature consists of near-total vacuum - an atom of super-cold hydrogen and helium here and there.  Most solid objects in the universe are dust in vacuum, or asteroids, or comets, or dwarf planets with no atmospheres.  Most of the solid bodies with atmospheres have gas compositions we can't breathe, at temperatures too hot or too cold, and pressures too high or too low.  

                  The rest of the (visible / non-dark) matter of the universe is in objects that are too hostile for organic matter to directly interact with - gas giants, some of which are highly radioactive; brown dwarfs; proto-stars; stars; ultra-dense stellar corpses like white dwarfs and neutron stars; and black holes.  

                  To say this is caustic is not a moral weighting, just a human-relative descriptor.

                  Live by the certainty that nothing can kill you. You'll only be wrong once.

                  by Troubadour on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 01:19:52 AM PST

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          •  deprogramming kids from the god of commercialism (0+ / 0-)

            I wonder about this:

            Starting the day after Thanksgiving, hundreds of volunteers hit the streets, carrying signs saying "Hey kids: there is no Santa Claus" and "Santa Claus isn't real" and "Santa Claus doesn't exist," and "There's no Santa Claus: Mom and Dad buy you those presents," etc.

            This would smash right through a bunch of cultural taboos at the same time:  deflating a cultural myth that is arguably the root source of the unsustainable consumerist culture, and doing it by directly addressing other peoples' children.

            Clearly it's protected speech so there's no stopping it.

            Question is, what percentage of children would be deprogrammed by this kind of thing?  And would it make a dent in the culture of consumerism, even a small dent?

            BTW, when I learned there was no Santa Claus, I was mildly disappointed but mostly just curious about how the whole myth worked and why it existed.  "Oh really?  That's interesting, so what's really going on?" a feeling that seems to be very similar to the reaction to seeing a favored hypothesis being falsified.  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:44:52 PM PST

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      •  OK, so what do you do with art? (0+ / 0-)

        Paintings, music, fiction, dance, etc.

        A purely rational description of any of these would render them unappetizing, or at best, anthropological curiosities that cater to irrational urges and emotionalisms.

        What say you?

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:35:49 PM PST

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        •  Art makes no false claims. (0+ / 0-)

          It is simply expression, and no more false than a statement of personal emotional state.  Religion is the harnessing of emotion to serve lies - art is the opposite of religion because it is emotion operating on its own terms.  Art and science are two sides of a whole humanity.

          Live by the certainty that nothing can kill you. You'll only be wrong once.

          by Troubadour on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 01:23:00 AM PST

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