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Baal
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:50 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

They call me Tater Salad wrote:
Even now, in this post-modern era--the number of atheists tends to stay at around 2-5%.  There is something to be said for the human need to understand their spiritual nature.  I resent that 5% of the population seems to think that the other 95% are idiots.

If you believe that belief in God is what causes hate, division, and destruction then you're entitled to it, but I doubt very much that those people who deeply and thoughtfully pursue a deeper meaning to their existence are the cause for these things.  

Here is my personal theory on religion.

Every major system in the world has a religion behind it. Even recent Atheist systems, had some sort of strong ideology bordering on religion.

Why is that? Is it because if you get a religion you also get a supreme being that will come and assist you against those who do not have a religion?

Here is the more likely scenario.

Tribe Baal, Tribe Tater and Tribe Brain. Three different races, languages, customs. It is hard to learn languages. It is impossible to change race to match each other and our customs are often too sacred to us.

So the Three of us live our lives competing with each other with limited trading between us.

In come the Brains tribe invent a religion. They walk up to the Taters and all Taters have to do is say a Shahada and Bam, the Two tribes have something in common. Since now they have something in common, trade will increase between them.

It is now a matter of time before they become strong enough and eat up the Baal Tribe.

This is IMO the step-by-step process as to why we grew up with religions. Because those who did not develop a religion that they can share with others, were eaten up by those who developed a religion.

Now we have 2-5% of the people realizing that they do not need religion to prosper. They think that we now have enough in common that we no longer need a religion between us. We have Science in common maybe? Education in common? other religion-like ideologies in common?

What a novel idea. The idea of being able to live and prosper and get eaten up by other people who will form a larger group because they will have a religion binding them together.

You expect me to drop the safety of being in a group. A group following a tried and tested method. To join you in a new experiment? Sorry, not going to happen. Specially if I actually need the help and support of my group. And since most of the world is poor, most of the world will need the support anywhere they find it.

You want to spread atheism, start by implementing methods that create personal independance. Good Luck. A better method will be to start your own 'Group' of atheists. So atheists can feel secure and can feel a sense of belonging.

So they can feel free, as they join your religion.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a very interesting theory, Baal.  I'll have to think on that.

But just so you know, we Taters aren't allowed to eat Baals (or Brains).  Very Happy

(ooo, that sounds kinda nasty, doesn't it? Embarassed )
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Baal wrote:
They call me Tater Salad wrote:
Even now, in this post-modern era--the number of atheists tends to stay at around 2-5%.  There is something to be said for the human need to understand their spiritual nature.  I resent that 5% of the population seems to think that the other 95% are idiots.

If you believe that belief in God is what causes hate, division, and destruction then you're entitled to it, but I doubt very much that those people who deeply and thoughtfully pursue a deeper meaning to their existence are the cause for these things.  

Here is my personal theory on religion.

Every major system in the world has a religion behind it. Even recent Atheist systems, had some sort of strong ideology bordering on religion.

Why is that? Is it because if you get a religion you also get a supreme being that will come and assist you against those who do not have a religion?

Here is the more likely scenario.

Tribe Baal, Tribe Tater and Tribe Brain. Three different races, languages, customs. It is hard to learn languages. It is impossible to change race to match each other and our customs are often too sacred to us.

So the Three of us live our lives competing with each other with limited trading between us.

In come the Brains tribe invent a religion. They walk up to the Taters and all Taters have to do is say a Shahada and Bam, the Two tribes have something in common. Since now they have something in common, trade will increase between them.

It is now a matter of time before they become strong enough and eat up the Baal Tribe.

This is IMO the step-by-step process as to why we grew up with religions. Because those who did not develop a religion that they can share with others, were eaten up by those who developed a religion.

Now we have 2-5% of the people realizing that they do not need religion to prosper. They think that we now have enough in common that we no longer need a religion between us. We have Science in common maybe? Education in common? other religion-like ideologies in common?

What a novel idea. The idea of being able to live and prosper and get eaten up by other people who will form a larger group because they will have a religion binding them together.

You expect me to drop the safety of being in a group. A group following a tried and tested method. To join you in a new experiment? Sorry, not going to happen. Specially if I actually need the help and support of my group. And since most of the world is poor, most of the world will need the support anywhere they find it.

You want to spread atheism, start by implementing methods that create personal independance. Good Luck. A better method will be to start your own 'Group' of atheists. So atheists can feel secure and can feel a sense of belonging.

So they can feel free, as they join your religion.


Nice analogy Baal and do agree with most of its ideas. The group and the tribe psychology and safety in numbers. They all makes sense.

What I am suggesting however is a world with no groups, no gangs and no separation.

Just like in John Lennon's (Imagine)!

A world where humanity, science and love are what keep us together. A world where all races, languages, sexes and age groups can learn from each other.

A world with no ignorance, fear or hate! A world with no religion.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I don't think that the world will ever move past 'the religious area'. But I think that religions will change over time, some will collapse, and some new will emerge. I'm in no way deterministic, but I think that if we rule the world with reason and thought the overall progress of the future will be positive, but what that mean is harder to say.

Today many people, mainly in Europe, consider deathpenalty as a horrible thing, 200 years ago europeans where crowding in public places to see a viliant get tortured and barbaricly murdered (kind in the way things a happening today in Saudi Arabia with the beheading of criminals). I consider it a positive thing that more people today consider that deathpenalty is a horrible thing, but what will the "Tvebak" of the future think. I'm of course a product of the social environment I was raised in and the future "tvebak" will be the product of his environment, perhaps with new morale values, new ideas of ethics. Perhaps the human rights have been implemented all over the world, and constructed as a set of universal values that every single nation, and hence every single person a obliged to follow. One could hope. And as stated earlier, if we, and especially our rulers, behave with reason and thought the overall progress of the future will be positive, and human rights might be accepted globally.
But there will always be religion. There will always be a market for people who wants a 'greater meaning' with life and all. Though I'm confident that the religions will change over time.

An analogy of the overall progress, can be seen fx in an example of scientific progress. Lets say the ability to make synthetic (artificial) life. This could have huge implications on how we can heal diceases and diminish pollution and a lot of other positive things, but the scientific discovery can also be used to make horrible weapons and perhaps of mass destruction. So to put it short, if we as humans use the scientific discovery with reason and thought the overall progress will be positive, curing diceases and making the air more clean among other things.

I lost my focus... well have to go play some soccer. "I'll be back"

Peace
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The below is a response and further clarification with regards to my thoughts. This is important as it will further clarify what I meant by certain expressions.


Ciao IoshkaFutz

Firstly, let me start with the fact that you have misunderstood some of the points I made.


Quote:
To my simple and religious way of thinking, evolution is either beyond our control or it's not evolution anymore and enters full force in the realm of morality: choice between good and evil, smart and stupid, useful and useless. If we sit around (or screw around) simply being animals intent on passing on the best genes available (definitely tall, blonde, blue-eyed Norwegian genes!) then it is definitely out of our control and we place our trust in this great and prodigious thing that apparently goes forward and forward, and gets better and better, called Evolution.


This is the first misunderstanding, when I mentioned passing on best genes, I didn't just mean the uncontrollable passed on physical attributions. I also meant the collected information, science and code of humane and moral conduct. You see I happen to think that genes also carry psychological dispositions that can give rise to certain directions in life.


Quote:
If instead, as we prepare to be animals, (though I'm really not so sure how concerned the creatures are about benefitting the future generations) by hanging out only with like-minded friends and partners (eschewing the company, partnership and input of the different-minded) then we are shaping evolution, which might have taken a different turn.


Couple of other misunderstandings here, let me clear them up. The word animal here is to retrieve man's ultimate connection with nature and ancestors and not the illusion that we were created in the Powerful one's image!

We can rid ourselves of that selfish gene by realising our background and status in life.

Also, when I said to surround ourselves by like minded people was never meant as segregation, but as an area of comfort when we are done chatting with those who dramatically differ with us.

We all do this on daily basis. I myself debate and chat with religious people all day long, just to return to my unbelieving wife, family and friends to draw energy, so that I can keep going.

Religious people do the same in reverse!

Quote:
BTW, your old Holy Book is quite similar to your new one: "Do not take Kaffirs as friends or partners or you might become like them" is really not all that different from  "we can only prepare for the future to take place and surround ourselves by like minded friends and partners."


This is misunderstanding from your side, I don't have a book or a holy message!!! I still have many believing friends and family members who I dearly love. I am also sure you have seen by now my conduct with believers and non-believers alike, I do what I breach. I don't agree with segregations and segregated groups!


Quote:
So you give us the history of Pre-history and suggest moral ways to alter natural evolution. Sounds like a religion of fancy and myth to me, just like the best and worst of them. And frankly becoming  immortal, by simply being an animal who is trying to pass on the best genes available to benefit the next generation doesn't quite make it... I would also add some advice about setting up human colonies on other solar systems, something which animals are not likely to do for a long while. None of the animals I have really fuss about whether they're passing on their best, second-best or downright medicocre genes or not. Do you mean "atheist" genes?


I think you have got this one wrong. Animals pass on their best genes instinctively. Nature has already equipped them with subconscious tools to achieve this very purpose "Survival of the fittest"!

I hope you can now re-read my post in light of the above elaborations on my thoughts.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They call me Tater Salad wrote:
All_Brains wrote:
They call me Tater Salad wrote:

I don't believe it was the homosexuality--although that was mentioned.  Some believe that it was lack of hospitality in a desert region where hospitality could mean the difference between life and death.  Regardless, it was God who destroyed it, not man.  Even then, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah could have been a cautionary tale based on two cities that were found abandoned and burned.  Natural disaster?  Also a possiblity.


I will leave all the points you have expressed your opinion on and focus on the above very point, as it is a symbol of what my dilemma was religion is all about.

It's very clear in the bible and the Quran what God did to this village and why.

So, you are now defending God for killing innocent people just because they were not hospitable? Are you kidding me?

And you suddenly said that God was who destroyed and killed the people, not man!!! That's exactly the point!!!

How can your God tell to love those who hate you and HE himself is incapable of the same?????

Could have been a cautionary tale or a natural disaster???? How can you say that you're of the bible then???

How about the whole thing is a mere folklore???


I guess I really don't think I need to defend God.  See, you and I have diametrically opposing viewpoints--since I believe that there is objective truth and that God holds the power to give and take life, it is God's choice to do what He will.  If God is perfect, then His truth is also perfect.

Now, before you go off on a rant about religious people not thinking and just doing what God says to do just because He says it (that is common in religions like Islam), if perhaps you could see the type of society that drew God's attention then it might make sense.  According to the Bible, it wasn't simply people being homosexual.  It was a complete sense of selfishness and lack of empathy and lack of respect towards themselves and others that caused God to destroy the villages.   A complete disregard for the values that keep a society civil.

Now, even if I don't believe that God sent fire and brimstone to destroy the cities, the implication of how important it is to live a life in service to others or at least with a healthy respect for more than one's self is pretty evident in this story.  It is a repeated theme throughout the OT that tells the story of what happens to societies when they begin to disregard the values of community and respect for others.  According to religious texts, God destroys them.  From a secular viewpoint, those societies simply fall apart and into oblivion.

Even if you believe that the Bible is full of mythologies, there can be good lessons learned from the theme of these stories.  Taking God and making Him live up to what you expect Him to be isn't and shouldn't be the goal--taking the story for what it can teach you (not about God but about ourselves) should be, IMO.  And I think that's what the story is meant to convey.  Not the nature of God, but the nature of man when he begins to believe that HE is the most important thing to consider.

I don't believe that this story or others like it are meant to show how God hates as much as they are meant to show us the consequences of our behaviors.  That God is the "agent" of this consequence only means something to those who believe that He CAN and HAS intervened in human affairs at certain times.  That part only comes with faith.  The rest can be taken as a part of (or a story about) the history of civilization, I guess.


I have only one thing to say to the above.

If your God is omniscient, why did he design the above instance to have this final outcome????

Remember, you're the one here trying to convince us of an invisible force. So, unless you make a good logical argument its stays in the category of hallucination to me.

Is like my trying to convince that I have a full size real life elephant inside my closed hand.

1. I can't show to you.
2. When you ask me to open my hand to show you the elephant, I amazingly respond with "you have got to believe first"!
3. And when you ended up forcing my hand open just to see nothing within, I blatantly tell you that God can only reveal himself to those who believe, followed by the deluded comment of: "Who are you to understand how God behaves?".

Your God killed dead an entire village for some reason (Homosexuality, lack of hospitality) whatever inexcusable reason it's. And the reality is you can't defend him or justify his action, instead you go and talk about a mysterious wisdom!

Isn't that what Muslim terrorist do every day. kill in the name of high cause, just like you God????

Your God can't promote love, yet demonstrate the actions of racist, hating and clumsy super force that does what it wants whenever it wants??? Why the hell is he better than Satan then, if you gonna go around justify his killing for wise!!!

Maybe Satan had a very good reason to lure humans and disobey that self-centered God???

Sorry, if I come across a little harsh, but I need to challenge your views! Your person has my utmost respect.

Regards
All_Brains
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All_Brains wrote:

I have only one thing to say to the above.

If your God is omniscient, why did he design the above instance to have this final outcome????


If God desires people to recognize Him by their own will, then why should He force people to "be good" or even engineer that result?  Should we always be held by the hand and protected, or should we be able to live how we want, accepting that there may be consequences whether good or bad?  

Are there some instances where even you think a broken thing is so far gone that it's better left to rot than to fix?  I don't mean this in human terms, but even just a broken appliance?  


All_Brains wrote:
Remember, you're the one here trying to convince us of an invisible force. So, unless you make a good logical argument its stays in the category of hallucination to me.


I'm not trained in the discipline of logic.  What I think is logical to me probably won't be to you.  I'm not trying to convince, only to try to present a different perspective.  If you can consider the possibility, then perhaps you can logically understand that perspective.  There are others here who would be much better then me at providing possible logical arguments.



All_Brains wrote:
Is like my trying to convince that I have a full size real life elephant inside my closed hand.

1. I can't show to you.
2. When you ask me to open my hand to show you the elephant, I amazingly respond with "you have got to believe first"!
3. And when you ended up forcing my hand open just to see nothing within, I blatantly tell you that God can only reveal himself to those who believe, followed by the deluded comment of: "Who are you to understand how God behaves?".


1. True--that's why I don't try to convince--only try to present a different perspective of "seeing".

2. But we both know what elephants look like and that it would be impossible for one to fit in your hand.  I'm trying to present to you how I see "something" that you admit to have no personal experience with.  You don't have to believe in God in order to experience Him--you have to believe in God in order to acknowledge that experience as coming from Him. How's that for logic?

For example:  If I get checks in the mail on a regular basis from some unknown source, I'm likely to happily cash the check and go shopping (perhaps after first making sure that they are really meant for me).  I might not be able to find out who it is writing the checks, and eventually figure out that as long as I'm getting them I don't really need to know who it is--especially if he's making it difficult for me to find out.  If that benefactor in some way lets me know who he is, then I am probably likely to recognize his generosity and want to thank him for it.  Except for the fact that I can't prove to you that we are both actually recieving "checks in the mail", I don't see much difference in the analogy to God.  I don't really even feel the need to prove to you that you're getting them.  I know who's signing my checks, and I'm thankful for them.

3.  First part, see answer #2. Second part, I don't pretend to understand how God behaves, and I don't begrudge others' questioning at all.  Again, I'm simply telling you how I percieve the things you bring up as points of contention.  

All_Brains wrote:
Your God killed dead an entire village for some reason (Homosexuality, lack of hospitality) whatever inexcusable reason it's. And the reality is you can't defend him or justify his action, instead you go and talk about a mysterious wisdom!


I'm not sure why it's the religionists' responsibility to do any of that defending or justifying.  If you can't or aren't willing to figure it out on your own, then what makes you think an outside source will fare any better with you?


All_Brains wrote:
Isn't that what Muslim terrorist do every day. kill in the name of high cause, just like you God????


Yep.  And that's one reason why I reject Islam and Muhammad utterly.  It is not our job to kill/fight/judge/condemn for God.  Is God so distant that He expects imperfect beings like us to mete out His perfect judgement?  

But why you lump Islam in as a true Abrahamic religion, then imply that Jews and Christians are told to do the very same things (by their own writings), is something I can't understand.  You claim to have a good bit of knowledge on the three but based on that kind of equivocation I don't see how.  


All_Brains wrote:
Your God can't promote love, yet demonstrate the actions of racist, hating and clumsy super force that does what it wants whenever it wants??? Why the hell is he better than Satan then, if you gonna go around justify his killing for wise!!!

Maybe Satan had a very good reason to lure humans and disobey that self-centered God???


OK--you have a problem with the idea of an objective morality.  I'm not going to use my words, because it's not something I have grappled with for quite a while.  It's not an issue for me.  My job isn't in judging God or other people.  It's simply to LOVE others and to present what I DO know.

Quote:
God is, by definition, the author or designer of life. A designer designs with intention. Only the designer is in a position to know his intention; all others can only speculate concerning his intention. For example, players, without the set of instructions for a new board game, can only have opinions as to how the game is designed to be played. They don't know, with certainty, the objective intent of its designer. But when the designer reveals the objective purpose of the game through written instructions and rules, he objectively states his intention. The designer is the authority concerning his design; he is the objective authority when it comes to purpose of the design because only he can know, with certainty, its purpose. He may attempt to make that purpose known to others, but that attempt would make it open to interpretation. But to agree that the designer’s expressed intentions as to how the game is to be played, are just as subjective as one’s own interpretation of the game, would be like saying to another, "We know what you think you mean, but we disagree that you really mean it.”

http://www.ex-atheist.com/game-designer-argument.html




All_Brains wrote:
Sorry, if I come across a little harsh, but I need to challenge your views! Your person has my utmost respect.
Regards
All_Brains


Thank you, and the respect is totally mutual.  Why do you feel the need to challenge my views?  Do you really think that my life would be better without my beliefs?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All_Brains wrote:
A world where humanity, science and love are what keep us together. A world where all races, languages, sexes and age groups can learn from each other.

A world with no ignorance, fear or hate! A world with no religion.


You don't have to look for that in Shangrila. Just step into Singapore, A_B. It is very close to what you desire but is a little world full of all religions and has all the elements of a beautiful life.

Cheers

BMZ

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BMZ wrote:
All_Brains wrote:
A world where humanity, science and love are what keep us together. A world where all races, languages, sexes and age groups can learn from each other.

A world with no ignorance, fear or hate! A world with no religion.


You don't have to look for that in Shangrila. Just step into Singapore, A_B. It is very close to what you desire but is a little world full of all religions and has all the elements of a beautiful life.

Cheers

BMZ


LOL BMZ, despite I've heard great positive things about Singapore I must admit that I found this remark funny. It's not a critic I miss stuf aswell  Very Happy

Cheers
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You want to spread atheism, start by implementing methods that create personal independance. Good Luck. A better method will be to start your own 'Group' of atheists. So atheists can feel secure and can feel a sense of belonging. ...............Baal.

That is what the four Prophets of Atheism discuss in the Four Horseman .

http://richarddawkins.net/article...h-Richard-Dawkins-Episode-1-RDFRS


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