SCIENCE VS RELIGION

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Carstonio
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Postby Carstonio » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:30 am

Ezra Lb. wrote:Carstonio, paradoxically perhaps but understandably, it was only after I rid myself of any religious beliefs that I began to appreciate and love the Bible. Parts of the Hebrew Bible are equal to any literature by the Greeks and the formation of early Christianity is a completely fascinating and currently ongoing hot area of research. I'm fascinated anyway.


That makes complete sense to me. Once someone gets past the notion of "Oh no, God will smite me if I interpret the Bible wrong," one can appreciate the book on its own merits, and make one's own conclusions about the book's ethical teachings.

Having said that, I find much of the Old Testament deeply disturbing, particularly the Flood and the Sacrifice of Isaac.

Carstonio
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Re: First Off

Postby Carstonio » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:59 am

LarryF wrote:So, is it worthwhile to argue with the faith heads? Maybe, maybe not. I can't provide statistical evidence to make the case one way or another; however, it is a sporting endeavor, one that is more humane than fox hunting, so ... I'll continue to continue. By the way, Carstonio, I've enjoyed your posts in the past; why not weigh in on the Harris site?


I was referring to the forum on Sam Harris' own Web site, not to Truthdig which I've never visited. Thanks for your praise of my posts.

Your question is fascinating. I see arguing with the fundamentalists/literalists as a matter of principle - they're not going to define me according to their beliefs without me putting up a fight. If someone believes I deserve to suffer for eternity because I don't share the person's beliefs, them's fightin' words.

Perhaps arguing with believers in general may sway some of the moderates. I see religious moderates as being pulled in two directions - one way by the forces of naturalism, and the other by the forces of fundamentalism. The theocrats aren't able to destroy religious freedom on their own. They would have to lead the moderates into a Faustian bargain, probably by using some national crisis to scare moderates into believing that their religion is in imminent danger.

I had a weird thought not long ago...fundamentalist Christians who talk about the imminent return of Jesus remind me of the protagonist of the 1973 hit "Delta Dawn." The song does seem like an allegory for the delusion of Christian premillennialism. I wonder if that was the intention of the songwriters?

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:28 pm

Jesus saves.

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:31 pm

Duane, I was shocked that you mentioned that you were a practicing Mormon. Question: do you knock on doors? I thought heavy metal was the devil's music. Is it true about the underwear?

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Chuck Messer
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Postby Chuck Messer » Sat Jun 30, 2007 2:01 am

Frank wrote:

Jesus saves.



Moses invests.


Chuck
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

LarryF
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The Atheists Strike Back

Postby LarryF » Sat Jun 30, 2007 2:56 am

I've read most of the recent books written by the "neoatheists": THE END OF FAITH and LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION by Sam Harris; THE GOD DELUSION by Richard Dawkins; and GOD IS NOT GREAT by Christopher Hitchens. They all have their virtues, and I would recommend them to one and all, be they pious or heretical. Another good one, published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (of which I am a member) is LOSING FAITH IN FAITH by Dan Barker. Barker was, for nearly twenty years, a Christian minister of the fundamentalist tribe.

While the Religious Right in this country has been a plague upon the land since the late seventies, it was 9/11 which was the resounding wake-up call for America. This tragic event is what inspired Harris to write his book, and its success paved the way for the others. At the very least, the neoatheist books have made it acceptable (though not quite yet respectable) to attack religious faith of all varieties, be they conservative, moderate, or liberal. This is, to my iconoclastic mind, a good thing, as I believe the best way to make philosophical or scientific progress is to hold that nothing is sacred, that even the most revered authority is not immune from being questioned.

Let the winds of controversy blow!

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:28 am

Skank alert!

Laura Ingraham, paltry brained babe on the right really plays the bully with Harris here:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=traRmwGEunQ

Sex is about all she is good for, if that.

LarryF
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Postby LarryF » Sat Jun 30, 2007 11:55 am

Thanks for the link, Frank. I left a comment under the name "Oscarriled." Is Laura I. only good for sex? I dunno. I think I could be persuaded to give her a pearl necklace, but only if she didn't spew any neocon agitprop during said production. Hey, as Dirty Harry put it, a man's got to know his limitations!

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:04 pm

She has a hard mouth -- I'm saying that before she even opens it -- and that's a turnoff for me.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:48 pm

I did hear she likes to butt heads before she mates.

Ok, that's enough of my sexist hypocracy. Don't tell anybody.

Larry, I like it when Clint is eating a hamburger, while shooting those guys on the plane. Real republican grit there.

---------------

I guess this is conservative humour.

http://www.thenoseonyourface.com/

Click the youtube link.

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:49 pm

Enough, sayith the lash, I think I am going to go outside and do something. Tah, you lovely people.

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Lori Koonce
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The Viewpoint of a Recovering Christian Fundie

Postby Lori Koonce » Sat Jun 30, 2007 3:55 pm

Didn't read the entire thread, so I hope I'm adding someting new.

I grew up in several different Christian denominations, so I kinda got my head filled with a bunch of stuff I don't think belongs here.

The one thing I was taught at one point, and still believe to this day is the following:

The Bible says things like "A day is like unto a million years unto God." So it's perfectifully possible for persons like me to realize that prehaps the writers of the bible used their best thinking to describe things like evoulition to people who didn't quite have the capacity to understand it.

For example it seems reasonable to me to think of the big bang as "god flinging the stars from his fingertips." Some one mentioned the fact that the bible can be looked at as metaphor, and if you subscribe to that theory, there are many things that science backs up.

But, in all honesty, the longer I live the less faith I have, and in all honesty I bet god is somewhere saying the same thing about me...

Lori
Life, love and all the chocolate you can eat

Lori

purplelynn35@gmail.com

Onlooker
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Don't get snarled up

Postby Onlooker » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:01 am

in hopeless pointless webs of belief or non-belief debate. You don't have to read books to prove or disprove your belief, or lack thereof, or maybe-belief. If you're an atheist, you won't read a tract by a godbotherer that will sway you; ditto if you're a believer; the only people who MAY benefit from reading yay-or-nay-say books would be agnostics...and who cares what those fence-sitting chickenshits have to say anyway?

As I said, I am a TOTAL atheist. I don't feel that I need to read books to bolster my position, to have ammo to throw at some Christian, because they will never believe a word I say anyway. As for agnostics, well, I would only tell them what I believe and let them decide for themselves. Ultimately, life is too damned short to try and convince others to come round to your point of view. Let them work it out for themselves, or not...and just get on with what you have to do.

There's no time to waste. Argument is pointless.

G.
Some snappy-sounding soundbite signature slogan

Onlooker
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PS:

Postby Onlooker » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:07 am

Here's what it all boils down to literature-wise:

"God does not exist" - Dawkins et al.

"God exists" - Bible, et al.

"Could be" - Billy Joel fans (joking) et al.

There is your whole 'religious debate' (there is NO SUCH THING - for me at least) in a nutshell.

Save your breath. You will NEVER convince those who don't want to be convinced on either side, or the middle. Masturbate or drink beer or read Naked Lunch instead.

G.
Some snappy-sounding soundbite signature slogan

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Lori Koonce
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Re: Don't get snarled up

Postby Lori Koonce » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:43 am

Onlooker wrote:in hopeless pointless webs of belief or non-belief debate. You don't have to read books to prove or disprove your belief, or lack thereof, or maybe-belief. If you're an atheist, you won't read a tract by a godbotherer that will sway you; ditto if you're a believer; the only people who MAY benefit from reading yay-or-nay-say books would be agnostics...and who cares what those fence-sitting chickenshits have to say anyway?

As I said, I am a TOTAL atheist. I don't feel that I need to read books to bolster my position, to have ammo to throw at some Christian, because they will never believe a word I say anyway. As for agnostics, well, I would only tell them what I believe and let them decide for themselves. Ultimately, life is too damned short to try and convince others to come round to your point of view. Let them work it out for themselves, or not...and just get on with what you have to do.

There's no time to waste. Argument is pointless.



Not trying to argue at all. I realize that belief is one of those things you either have, or you don't. And for most of us there is no swaying us from our beliefes.

But, I also know that for those that do not have their minds made up, being exposed to a variety of belifes is never a bad thing. The more knowledge one has, the more sure of their beliefes they are.

Just doing my bit to make sure that the knowledge base on this subject is as thorough!
Life, love and all the chocolate you can eat



Lori



purplelynn35@gmail.com


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