16 comments posted · 11 followers · following 2

15 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Power, Responsibility,... · 0 replies · +1 points

I've always felt that those who seek power are usually the ones we should desperately be trying to keep power from. But I'd ask the question, do those who enter the clergy do it for power or do they genuinely do it in order to "help" people?

You can make a strong case that the abuses of religious power outstrip those of religion's political cousins (although the cases of Robert Mugabe or Slobodan Milosevic would be, I feel, comparable) but can you really argue that those who enter the clergy do it because of an attraction to the authority of the position? I think that it's more likely BECAUSE those who become clergymen have a misguided idea of what helping their flocks truly means, that the abuses are so bad. They genuinely feel that they're doing the right thing for others, which is a key distinction between them and those who wield political power.

Also, since religious power is only granted by the faith of followers, it could be argued that the abuses of that power aren't really abuses but rather a deranged surrender of authority on the part of parishioners and that any negatives they incur as a result are deserved.

15 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Revealing the Atheist ... · 2 replies · +2 points

You know, the immorality one always bothers me. I've heard, countless times, the old standby, "You don't believe in anything so what's to stop you from raping or murdering etc?" I've always thought it ludicrous that a belief system whose core focus is the absolution of guilt through profession of faith has the gall to hold itself up as morally superior to anything.

15 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Dobson Resigns From Fo... · 0 replies · 0 points

The part about the organization pushing forward into new territory was especially ominous to me. Don't they have their crucifixes tarnishing enough pies? :(

15 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Need a Christian Extre... · 0 replies · 0 points

It would clearly be a walking on water kind of deal; or maybe there's boats. :D

15 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - We Don't Need No ... · 1 reply · -2 points

Wow. Ummm, is it just me, or does this just seem like nothing more than a different way to sneak Pasquale's Wager into a debate that a high profile, generally centrist magazine shouldn't be having in the first place?

Believe, because it can't hurt and it might just help. Yuck.

A few things that stood out for me:

1) "That's undeniably true — up to a point. But it's also true that our brains and bodies contain an awful lot of spiritual wiring. Even if there's a scientific explanation for every strand of it, that doesn't mean we can't put it to powerful use. And if one of those uses can make us well, shouldn't we take advantage of it?"

Well, that's just arguing that, if it makes you feel better, you should choose to believe anything, no matter the level of foolishness involved. The problem with this is, I'm guessing the "benefits" only exist for those who are deeply devout and those people also believe some truly abhorrent things about their fellow humans; not to cross a line here, but I want LESS of those people in the world, not more.

2) " If a woman given a diagnosis of breast cancer is already offered the services of an oncologist, a psychologist and a reconstructive surgeon, why shouldn't her doctor discuss her religious needs with her and include a pastor in the mix if that would help?"

For the same reason that a priest doesn't have any place at a debate between different theories of biological evolution. They don't have anything measurable or useful to contribute so why should they be allowed to get in the way of those who can provide genuine help?

3)"While churches are growing increasingly willing to accept the assistance of health-care experts, doctors and hospitals have been slower to seek out the help of spiritual counselors."

Well, maybe that has something to do with the fact that churches and their members are coming to realize that medical science may actually have more to say on the subject of getting better than prayer; it seems ludicrous then to assume the same treatment on the reverse. What, are they expecting equal treatment just out of politeness?

To be fair, the author of this piece does finish with a grudging acknowledgment that prayer shouldn't completely replace medicine, but still, what was the point of this dreck?

15 years ago @ Surviving and Thriving... - Was Alexander really G... · 0 replies · 0 points

See, but for all that pseudo history they poured down your throat in school, trying desperately to justify that Great at the end of his name, at least they didn't give him a holiday.

Someone who really got elevated to Godhood in America was Columbus and his historical record in the public school system might as well have been written by Tolkien for all the actual fact contained in it.

15 years ago @ Surviving and Thriving... - WithoutGods - Super Go... · 0 replies · +2 points

Literally wiping tears from my eyes at the idea of George Alexander using football to show off his military prowess. Fantastic, sir!

I'll be back tomorrow to read more. :D

15 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - If Prayer Worked... · 1 reply · +3 points

See, it's not just prayer itself but faith in general. If heaven is real, why does the pope drive around in a bulletproof glass box; at best isn't that just him forgetting that he, of all people, is probably going to a better place, at worst isn't he deliberately trying to thwart god's will? When the leader of the biggest church in the world has visible faith issues, isn't it time for all of them to hang up their hats and admit the whole thing is kind of ill advised?

15 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - What Sharia Law Teache... · 0 replies · +3 points

Any theocratic system is inherently terrifying because there's no opportunity for the law to grow as the people do. Because you're basing your laws on religious texts, unless god puts in an appearance to mediate editing every fifty years or so, there's no way for the law to be appealed or reasoned with; it takes humans completely out of the loop of policing themselves and relegates law and order issues to the tooth fairy.

My biggest fear during the Bush years was that the U.S. would turn into a theocracy and then negatively influence Canada.

15 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Are Atheists Too Comfo... · 0 replies · +2 points

That reaction seems a little....overstated. :D Christians especially have as many if not more biases against atheists than they do against homosexuals. After all, non belief is the only sin that (scripturally) can't be forgiven. You may not hear the public bashing on the same level, but the hate is still definitely there.

"anyways you're no better than a bible thumping christian when you try to push your beliefs on someone else."

You know, I've only ever heard that statement from religious people. Atheism is an absence of belief and, even if atheism came with it's own set of beliefs and rules that we could "push" on someone, we would be better than your "bible thumping christian" because we actually have an opinion that's based on something real. The truth is always better than the lie, even if it's unpleasant.