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  1. #21
    Network Hub Donjo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Evolution is a lie made by socialists to call us upstanding god-fearing folks monkeys! Next, they'll be comparing us to Black people!



    Don't forget the Magdalene asylums.
    Oh I'm not forgetting them. After the scandal was (ahem) unearthed and the documentary Sex in a Cold Climate was shown I asked a priest who was a teacher in my school (yep) about it, he said it was all lies and they just wanted money. He wasn't a bad guy.. but I hope he lived a miserable existence and died a painful death.

    Edit: it's all here anyway.. http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...53937770017672

    Nice and grim for a Thursday night. Tragic stuff. It's very difficult to imagine a defence of this organisation after hearing what these women had done to them.
    Last edited by Donjo; 17-05-2012 at 11:18 PM.

  2. #22
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lambchops's Avatar
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    My initial response to the thread title without reading anything wherin (no offence to anyone I'm not ignoring you just want my optinion to be uncoloured by anything (other than several pints!)) is:

    The God Delusion has many decent points but feels rather ranting and harsh at times and can't help me feel Dawkins is ever so slightly bitter.

    The Selfish Gene and the Extended Phenotype are much better works, and far more interesting and you should totally go and read them instead because they are absolutely wonderful. If science isn't so much your bag and you are more interested in the basics of evolution then definitely read Climbing Mount Improbable, which is full of wonderful analogies and so on for evolution and a much more joyous and interesting read than him ranting about how God is a load of bollocks. Which he doesnn't do so much in Selfish Gene and Extended Phenotype which again I stress you should absolutely read now.

    Honestly i much prefer Dawkins when he is expousing the joys of science and actually contributing to said subject rather than when he is moaning about religoious folk (even if there are many flaws with religion). He's better at it, which is a shame as the moaning is now what he is known for.
    Last edited by Lambchops; 18-05-2012 at 01:59 AM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sendmark View Post
    Religion has absolutely no claim to kindness, social activity or art.[
    I'm an atheist, but I do think it's important to recognise that we wouldn't be where we are in terms of social, political and scientific advancement if it weren't for the efforts and endeavours of those who came before us and much of the what drove them up until the last few hundred years was belief in a higher order as well as the patronage of organised religion. Christian morality is so heavily ingrained in the Western mindset that it pervades pretty much every aspect of our thinking. The values you subscribe to are by on large inherited from your parents and peers and their's were inherited from their ancestors accordingly through practical instruction going back through the generations. Our notions of good & bad, right and wrong, fair and unfair are all informed accordingly. We're not born human beings (in the societal sense), we're raised to be human beings. Albeit increasingly religion as a reinforcer of social instruction is less and less relevant, there is a requirement for other secular bodies/institution's (particularly education) to take up that mantle. Civilization is something we subscribe to, it's not inherent.

    Not a fan of Dawkins tbh mainly because he tends to rant and focus on Christianity more than anything else. If he wrote a book called 'The Dreamtime delusion' or was informing the tribes in the Amazon that their beliefs were BS, or really rallying against Judaism people would be up in arms. Christianity is an easy target.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 18-05-2012 at 02:22 AM.

  4. #24
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lambchops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Not a fan of Dawkins tbh mainly because he tends to rant and focus on Christianity more than anything else.
    As I pointed out above read his non "God Delusion" esque stuff. There's the odd bit of ranting here and there but I'd definitely recommend both Climbing Mount Improbable and the Blind Watchmaker as excellent "wow isn't evolution fucking amazing" type books and if you're more inclined to read something a bit more in depth (but still very accesible, I'm not a biologist of geneticist and managed to follow them, though as such may have missed some flaws) The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotutype.

    In my mind "The God Delusion" was the least engaging of all of his books, perhaps because it's the most focused on trying to take a stand against religion and not actually playing to his real strengths of a fntastic ability to convey the wonders of evolution or to put forward his ideas about the role of genetics in evolution via game theory, which are much more interesting than any old "god is a load of bollocks" sort debate.

    It's a shame his most famous book is his most ranting, really he's better than that and I wish more people would highligh/explore those areas rather than bang on about the God thing.

  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Christian morality is so heavily ingrained in the Western mindset that it pervades pretty much every aspect of our thinking.


    Our heritage includes industrial-scale genocide, the bloodiest wars of humanity, widespread acceptance of slavery, a racial theory, centuries of ignorance, and a legacy of destructive colonial hegemony and terrorism that the rest of the world will never forget and likely never forgive us for.

    We have every right and a very strong obligation to drop vestiges of our upbringing that should be dropped. Consequently, I honestly find it funny that a recurring critique of Dawkins in this thread is that he's mean, as if the topic requires diligent politeness.
    Last edited by Nalano; 18-05-2012 at 03:27 AM.
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  6. #26
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wheelz's Avatar
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    I haven't read The God Delusion so I can't comment on the intentions of author. However on the topic of religion, I tend to view it as being similar to a gun. In that you can blame the gun for the likes of Mass murder about as much as you can blame religion for (past) genocides, It wasn't religion or the gun, but the man wielding it. It's the people that let others use religion as an excuse that are part of the problem, being religious does not legitimise your racism, or your sexism, or what have you, and people need to stop acting like it does.

    I'm not religious myself, but I do understand that there are some benefits to it. Namely that it provides a kind of comfort that nothing else can, In some cases its all people have to help them through hard times and terrible circumstances, and I think that untill we find a viable alternative to the comfort offered by religion it's unlikely we'll be able to move past it.

  7. #27
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
    I haven't read The God Delusion so I can't comment on the intentions of author. However on the topic of religion, I tend to view it as being similar to a gun. In that you can blame the gun for the likes of Mass murder about as much as you can blame religion for (past) genocides, It wasn't religion or the gun, but the man wielding it. It's the people that let others use religion as an excuse that are part of the problem, being religious does not legitimise your racism, or your sexism, or what have you, and people need to stop acting like it does.
    Not that your analogy makes a whole lotta sense anyway, but most civilized places have strong gun control laws for a reason.
    Last edited by Nalano; 18-05-2012 at 04:18 AM.
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  8. #28
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    I hate Dawkins. He's just out to be a dickhead. I'm an atheist but his offensive message is just as bad as the offensive extremists.

    Personally though so long as there's a proper separation of church and state, I'm fine with religion existing. It must however conform to the laws of the secular state. That's a difficult state to achieve, but the fact is that whether they're a religious or a political extremist (is there a difference?) they're going to manipulate the system. I don't think you can demand freedom and autonomy of thought, and then simultaneously demand all religion be destroyed and that people can't entertain the idea of spirituality or religion (unless it encroaches on the rights of another person). If a religion doesn't encroach upon the operation of the state or the state laws (which should be in the interests of protecting the people that invest the State with power) then it should be allowed. People come up with all sorts of ridiculous atheistic beliefs (often 'supported' by pseudo-science) yet we're just dismissive of them, not really outright hateful.

    I think it's important to note though that religion gets blamed for pretty much everything despite it not always being the case. People like to blame religion for all violence but at the end of the day it's just about power and access to resources. Atheistic violence predominates human history, but the internet historian revisionists are hell-bent on insisting that religion is the root of all problems. That and money, because apparently resources are infinite. Science and religion have existed side by side since humanity evolved to be sapient, the suggestion that the lack of religion would somehow solve the world's problems and have catapulted us into a golden technological age is ridiculous and not based on reality. That's not to say that there haven't been periods of conflict or church oppression (or state oppression for that matter devoid of religion) but by and large religion hasn't been the lumbering knowledge-killer the internet has decided it is supposed to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    In a way, that makes them comparable to fascists. Under fascism, everything must be in service to the state, including art. Here, everything must be in service to the church. Power corrupts.
    It doesn't make them really comparable to fascists (which is seriously getting overused these days). They found it offensive. You probably find the messages of the Westborogh Baptist Church offensive (I know I do!) but that doesn't make us fascists. People send death threats and vandalise WBC property because of their offensive message. Does that make us fascists, or is it okay to attack them because they're religious nut jobs? Alternatively, does it just make people exceptionally pissed off to the point where some people feel the need to meet their message with violence? I'm betting it's the latter.

  9. #29
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    I've only read a little of the God Delusion and, well, I agree with what I read. Living in an overly religious country rife with religious violence has made me scorn religion to the point that I'm judgmental towards people who follow one. All the good things points attributed to religion, charities, morality and shit, is stuff that should exist without religion in a sane society.

    Still, I think it's wrong to criticize Christianity for priests that diddle kids. I mean, if the Ping Pong Association's coaches turned out be pedophiles that alone wouldn't make ping pong evil, would it?

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Atheistic violence predominates human history
    Really? Give me an instance.
    Last edited by Shane; 18-05-2012 at 05:49 AM.

  10. #30
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wheelz's Avatar
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    that they do, which is perhaps somthing that should be looked into in regards to religion. My Analogy was more in response to what you said earlier.

    Our heritage includes industrial-scale genocide, the bloodiest wars of humanity, widespread acceptance of slavery, a racial theory, centuries of ignorance, and a legacy of destructive colonial hegemony and terrorism that the rest of the world will never forget and likely never forgive us for.
    That feels like your trying to pin past acts of terrorism, war, racism, etc, on religion. which is about as true as blaming them on guns, in that they're both used as a means to an end, but they're not the real problem. The majority of people consider guns a somewhat neccisary evil, and don't have a problem with them so long as they're not used against another human.

    I get that it's not a perfect analogy, but I would like it if you would offer criticism of it, and a possible replacement rather than claim its nonsensical.

    edit: I'm in agreement with soldant, who I think worded part of what I was trying to say better.

    Also, perhaps a better analogy would be weapons in general?
    Last edited by Wheelz; 18-05-2012 at 06:04 AM.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
    That feels like your trying to pin past acts of terrorism, war, racism, etc, on religion.
    I think he was talking about why blindly following traditions is not a good idea, rather than blaming that stuff on religion.
    Last edited by Shane; 18-05-2012 at 07:06 AM.

  12. #32
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Really? Give me an instance.
    Try pretty much any war in human history. WW2, WW1, Boer War, Vietnam, Korean War... these are just the recent examples. The Mongol invasions and the building of their empire. Pretty much every war the Romans were ever part of. When Caveman A kicked the shit out of Caveman B because he looked at him funny and had a big leg of ham that Caveman A really needed to survive. Really, you'd be hard pressed to find a war that was entirely about religion. Even the Crusades ultimately boils down to "Hey look, those guys have gold and land and stuff! We just need a reason to go to war... um... wait, wasn't there something about Jesus and that part of the world? Lemme check... yep, there it is! Cool, let's go on a pilgrimage of sorts!"

    The majority of human wars (and this is just ignoring violent crime) are about resources and political power, where religion is an effective stand-in for promoting unity in an alliance or as a substitute for political power. The fundamental issue however is resources. This applies to pretty much any species that we know of; species compete for resources on a daily basis. It's only humanity though which can mobilise and rationalise actions to create the extension of this called 'war'.

    And yeah, WW2 did have an element of religion in that the Nazis had a hatred against particular sections of society that identified with particular faiths, but by and large the war itself was still about power and control of resources. Finding a war that has religion as a definitive root cause (to the point that without the religious element there'd be no purpose in the war) is fairly difficult. Even then, the few examples of 'true' religious wars where religion plays a bigger part than resources (say some of the Middle East conflicts) are significantly outnumbered by secular wars dressed up in religious overtones (or which are straight out secular and blatantly about imperialism).
    Last edited by soldant; 18-05-2012 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Fixed broken Shane quote link (Forum software put words in Nalano's mouth), nerfed Zerglings, buffed Rice Fields.

  13. #33
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    You used the term atheistic violence. What you are talking about is secular violence.

  14. #34
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    You used the term atheistic violence. What you are talking about is secular violence.
    Christ, that'll teach me to do two things at once. You're right, I did mean secular.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Our heritage includes industrial-scale genocide, the bloodiest wars of humanity, widespread acceptance of slavery, a racial theory, centuries of ignorance, and a legacy of destructive colonial hegemony and terrorism that the rest of the world will never forget and likely never forgive us for.We have every right and a very strong obligation to drop vestiges of our upbringing that should be dropped.
    I didn't say otherwise Nalano. Also have you ever read my sig? It's been there since the forum began. My point was it's impossible to deny the impact of religion/belief as a force on society and the shaping of civilization because it's influence is so profound in terms of cultural mindset. To blithely assume we'd be where we are presently, devoid of the influence of religion as a shaping force is a nonsense. Certainly we've reached a point culturally where in religious mindset is holding us back (consider the clusterfuck that is the state of israel for instance), however it's important to recognise that we can't throw out the baby with the bathwater and we need to parse out the useful aspects. People aren't born inherently constructive members of society (any school playground can show you that), they are shaped by society and moral instruction and reinforcement is an important aspect of that, and religion/belief has played a significant role in that culturally.

    Consequently, I honestly find it funny that a recurring critique of Dawkins in this thread is that he's mean, as if the topic requires diligent politeness.
    It does if you want people to genuinely listen to you. Despite all it's sales I don't think TGD has done much in the way of changing peoples thinking on the subject beyond where they likely stood already. In fact I'd say Dawkins militant stance has likely done more harm than good.

  16. #36
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    You misquoted, Soldant.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    WW2
    To quote Hitler, "There may have been a time when even parties founded on the ecclesiastical basis were a necessity. At that time Liberalism was opposed to the Church, while Marxism was anti-religious. But that time is past. National Socialism neither opposes the Church nor is it anti-religious, but on the contrary, it stands on the ground of a real Christianity. The Church's interests cannot fail to coincide with ours alike in our fight against the symptoms of degeneracy in the world of today, in our fight against the Bolshevist culture, against an atheistic movement, against criminality, and in our struggle for the consciousness of a community in our national life, for the conquest of hatred and disunion between the classes, for the conquest of civil war and unrest, of strife and discord. These are not anti-Christian, these are Christian principles."
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  17. #37
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    People aren't born inherently constructive members of society (any school playground can show you that), they are shaped by society and moral instruction and reinforcement is an important aspect of that
    I don't think I understand, are you saying that because religion has played a major role in shaping society and it's sense of morality, we should continue to keep things that way? Yes, I agree religion's role in shaping our current societal values and thinking can not be dismissed but clinging to it is not right either. Religion does not need to play a role in reinforcing morality and ethics.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    I don't think I understand, are you saying that because religion has played a major role in shaping society and it's sense of morality, we should continue to keep things that way? Yes, I agree religion's role in shaping our current societal values and thinking can not be dismissed but clinging to it is not right either. Religion does not need to play a role in reinforcing morality and ethics.
    I'm not saying we keep religion Shane.

    @Nalano

    Pretty sure The Pope didn't start WW2 tbh.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 18-05-2012 at 08:28 AM.

  19. #39
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    --- Fuggedaboutit---
    Last edited by Shane; 18-05-2012 at 08:37 AM.

  20. #40
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    You misquoted, Soldant.
    Actually I haven't. Religion was little more than a tool to promote cohesion, as it was with the Crusades. The fundamental point of WW2 was about power and control, which is secular. Quoting a politician and claiming their words are clearly indicative of their motivations is... well, yeah I don't really need to say much more than that!

    Specifically regarding Hitler although his public statements seem to embrace Christianity, in private it seems he was more conflicted. Assuming the private statements are accurate, it makes it even more obvious that Hitler saw religion as yet another system of control to be manipulated. And organised religion is exactly that; a system of control. After all, we didn't see Nazis carrying a golden cross and screaming "Deus vult!" as they invaded Poland.

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