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View Diary: Rev. Franklin Graham thinks God may have to ruin our economy because Obama was reelected (270 comments)

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  •  As an atheist (5+ / 0-)

    I hope more people become rational thinkers and give their fantasies about gods and prophets.

    •  That's the biggest problem I have (28+ / 0-)

      with Graham (father and son) and their ilk -- they give the rest of us who are just quietly practicing our faith in a personal matter and not forcing it down everyone else's throat a bad name.

      My mother-in-law, who's been an Episcopalian for 60+ years, actually told me that some of the actions of the Religious Reich make her embarrassed to admit she's a Christian, out of fear of being tarnished with the same brush.

      It shouldn't matter to anyone whether someone believes, or does not believe -- if the example of an upright life, like that of my late father-in-law's, isn't enough to convince those in his social circle to check out Christianity, no amount of dragging them to church kicking and screaming is going to do it, nor will forcing it down their throat in laws based on the Bible rather than the Constitution.

      "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:17:58 PM PST

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    •  That was unnecessarily (0+ / 0-)


      "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

      by Americantrueandblue on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:20:20 PM PST

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      •  Wanting us as a nation... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, BYw rely upon reason more than fantasy is provocative?

        •  You using a crazy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Judge Moonbox

          preachers ravings to brandish all religious people (a group a do not belong to) when you know many people here are "faithful" was provocative, yes.

          "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

          by Americantrueandblue on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:50:23 PM PST

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          •  I find it fascinating... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wsexson, Neon Mama, BYw, reddog1

            ...that recognition of the lack of reason in something that is, by definition, without proof offends people of faith so easily. It's enough to suggest to me that they either don't understand or don't accept what faith actually is.

            •  As someone else (0+ / 0-)

              has pointed out you also have no proof god also does not exist. Of course, disproving the bible as literal truth is easy, but any God at all etc is still impossible. That's why I don't claim to be all about logic and have all the facts. I don't know and probably won't ever know, and if an opportunity for me to learn the truth comes I'll take it, but until then I'm content not pretending as if I'm more intelligent or better than others for not believing in the bible. (Don't take that last part personally, I was specifically referencing you.)

              "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

              by Americantrueandblue on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:14:01 PM PST

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              •  And you have no proof... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                ...that an intangible, invisible, pink unicorn isn't standing right behind you, so I guess that must mean that that unicorn exists unless you can prove that it does not.

                •  Please don't be a prick. (0+ / 0-)

                  I never said that God existed, I simply stated that it gets annoying when people get all high-and-mighty as if they no everything, because they don't believe in him/her/it whatever.

                  "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

                  by Americantrueandblue on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:01:32 PM PST

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                  •  It annoys me... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    ...when people of faith act like faith is the same thing as reason, when the whole definition of faith is that the article of faith has no proof whatsoever. It annoys me when people think atheists have to prove nonexistence; well if we have to prove the nonexistence of God, then you have to prove the nonexistence of things you don't believe in. The existence of something is always incumbent upon the one saying it exists to prove that existence. If we were talking about ghosts or extraterrestrials or bigfoot instead of God you wouldn't be so adversarial of those who demand the proof and you wouldn't expect anyone to prove nonexistence of ghosts or extraterrestrials or bigfoot.

                    •  Now you're just being (0+ / 0-)

                      argumentative. If you don't understand what I was trying to say it's simply, because you don't want to. Get off your high horse please.

                      "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

                      by Americantrueandblue on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:45:29 PM PST

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                      •  Get off your own first. (0+ / 0-)

                        Your first words to me were an attack on me. I will not equate faith with reason because they are not equivalent. Just because people want their faith to have the same weight as things that are provable does not mean I or others have to pretend that faith is the same as reason.

                        •  Pointing out (0+ / 0-)

                          that your post was provocative and baiting was a personal attack? Okay then. keep playing the martyr if you want.

                          "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

                          by Americantrueandblue on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:35:59 PM PST

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                          •  That original post that you condemned... (0+ / 0-)

                   "provocative" was not mine. I initially only found it interesting that a desire for our country to act out of reason rather than faith was deemed to be provocative. The personal attack happened in a latter post of yours when you said, "Don't take that last part personally...", which of course was the tell that you knew what you said was personal. And you kept following it up with condemning me as thinking myself to be "high-and-mighty" and on a "high horse" because I expect people to recognize the difference between faith and reason.

        •  I see that (0+ / 0-)

          you were not the author of the comment I was replying to, but my point still stands.

          "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

          by Americantrueandblue on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:52:53 PM PST

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        •  Reason & fantasy: that's pretty rich (0+ / 0-)

          Atheism is no more or less "reasonable" than theism. Both belief systems are completely insupportable by logic and, so far, resistant to scientific proof.


          by raincrow on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:53:03 PM PST

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          •  Atheism is not a "belief system"... (5+ / 0-)

   matter how much people of faith want it to be.

            Everything is not assumed to exist until proven to not exist the way people of faith expect atheists to prove the nonexistence of God.

            I cling to the hope in Stephen Roberts's famous quote: "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." Maybe one day, more will indeed understand.

            •  And of course you don't believe in love (0+ / 0-)

              or beauty, and CERTAINLY not the cuteness of puppies or the fabulousness of rock and roll or any of that delusional stuff that can't be quantified or evaluated for quality with existing technologies and our current understanding of the universe.

              Because Serious, Rational People know the only stuff that exists in the universe, the only stuff that is "real," the only stuff that should be considered and acted upon by Serious, Rational People is the stuff we can measure right now andor precisely frame with language and mathematics.

              Your belief system requires what seem to me some very strange and contra-scientific conclusions about the universe and human experience. You and I are obviously wired VERY differently.

              But if your beliefs give you a sense of meaning and fulfillment, it's not up to me to judge (unless and until you as try to use the political process to impose your belief system on me).


              by raincrow on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 05:59:50 PM PST

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              •  Sigh. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ChurchofBruce, terrypinder, BYw, JosephK74

                Love is not proofless. Love is an emotional reaction people have, and as with all emotions it is easily observable in people's behavior. Despite what happens in the Harry Potter series, love is not magic; it's not something that exists disconnected from people. It's just an emotion. It's electrical discharges travelling pathways through chemicals in people's brains.

                Beauty is an opinion; things that one person considers beautiful are not beautiful to others. Same with cuteness. Same with opinions about music; people have been praising and condemning the same type of music forever. Having an opinion, aka making a judgement, is no where near the same thing as recognizing whether or not something exists.

                When you can understand that as an atheist, I don't have "beliefs" then you'll understand me. But as long as you keep assuming that my lack of belief works the same way your belief does, you'll never understand me. Work on understanding why you don't believe Zeus is bowling whenever there's a thunderstorm, and then maybe you'll understand why I don't believe God does anything whatsoever.

                •  I'm saying that what happens inside you (0+ / 0-)

                  is different from what happens inside me, and we should accept that pretty much as peaceably as I accept that I can't understand what having an erection feels like because I'm missing the necessary body parts and wiring, and a man has no basis from which to understand what menstrual cramps and PMS feel like.

                  You and I can listen to a late Haydn string quartet wearing full biotelemetry gear, making 4D maps of the sound pressure levels in the room, monitoring how our prefrontal cortex, amygdala, etc., etc., respond to changes in key, etc., etc., etc., etc., and never once will all that data reveal WHY I love late Haydn and you, perhaps, hate it, why I am psyched by the quartet's ability to chorale so perfectly in a passage that so carries you away with emotion and unbidden memories that you couldn't care less about the interplay of the musicians at that moment.

                  I'm saying that you and I can have different sexual orientations or gender identities, and you can insist from here to eternity that your experience is valid and mine is twaddle, that I merely "believe" in my sexual orientation or gender identity while you are rooted in The One True Reality and thus, of course, are conducting your life free of any need to merely "believe" in your experience of sexual orientation or gender identity.

                  And I agree with you about some of the physiological externalities of love. A component of it is indeed emotion (although I in no way find it "just" an emotion), and it shows no sign of being magic (tho I'm not entirely sure what magic would even look like, I must confess). My experience of God feels qualitatively very similar to love, thus I find in it no magic. I assume there are physical inputs that form a basis for my experience, and genetics to go with that particular perceptual ability. However, as with Haydn, all the physical measurements in the universe may do little to add meaning to my experience of and relationship with God. I'm not concerned that they are as yet uncharacterized -- the existence of atoms was hypothesized HOW many thousands of years before we had the tools to directly demonstrate them? We went HOW long in our characterization of the universe without the slightest inkling of dark energy and dark matter?

                  Where there is no measurable proof, no symbolic language that allows rigorous characterization and modeling, there is only experience and belief. You cannot prove the absence of God just as, so far, I cannot prove its existence. You do not perceive the existence of God and I do; thus your universe is entirely devoid of God while mine is filled with it to the brim. Just as making no decision is a decision nonetheless, your non-belief operates in every way as a belief.

                  YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

                  by raincrow on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:48:09 AM PST

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    •  *eyeroll* Yet another demonstration that (2+ / 0-)

      atheism, like theism, has nothing to do with rationality. But, hey, whatever it takes to help you get by...


      by raincrow on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:47:09 PM PST

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      •  Faith, in fact, has many benefits (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judge Moonbox, Neon Mama

        In religion people pray based on their faith.
        In medicine we call it the placebo effect.

        It's real. People who believe they will get better, have a statistically significant higher likelihood of getting better.

        No body really understands it, but one factor might be that people who believe they will get better have lower stress hormones.

        •  Yes, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          you don't need faith in a deity for that. You can just believe in your own immune system. And, yeah, I've heard of the whole stress hormone thing--but, again, you can be a complete atheist and still reduce your stress hormones.

          And sometimes it won't help, no matter what you do--take it from someone who buried his childhood best friend--the most devout person I've ever met who had a whole church praying for her--at 15. Reduced stress hormones weren't going to cure that particular strain of leukemia--and hundreds of people directly praying to god for intervention did, as usual, fuck-all.

          "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

          by ChurchofBruce on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:38:12 PM PST

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          •  My comment is making the same point you are (0+ / 0-)


            Having faith in placebo controlled clinical trials doesn't have anything to do with religion.

            Having faith in your doctor that they are giving you good advice, when they suggest treatment for an illness or disease doesn't have anything to do with religion.

            And yes there are many ways to reduce stress, and whichever one you choose, it works better if you believe it will relax you.  It's a self-reinforcing process.

            Even measurable with something as simple as caffeine. People who know they are drinking caffeinated coffee have larger physicological responses than people who think they are drinking decaffeinated coffee.

            PS. Sorry about losing your friend.

            •  Good. Yes, we are in agreement. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Placebos--I take Prozac. It changed my life. I have had skeptics tell me that Prozac does nothing, "depression" doesn't really exist, it's all placebo, and all I'm doing is giving my money away to Big Pharma.

              My response: "If the drastic changes I've seen since Prozac are a placebo, well, then I will gladly pay Big Pharma for those little pills to completely fool my brain as long as it works." :)

              "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

              by ChurchofBruce on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:23:08 AM PST

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              •  Glad you found something that works for you - (0+ / 0-)

                what most people don't realize is that the placebo effect even works with surgery.

                There was a study on knee surgery, where people who thought they had the surgery recovered just as well as those who actually had the surgery.  What's going on with the mind/body connection is still largely a mystery. We know how to intervene in many acute conditions, but don't know what makes people healthy.

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