ereador

ereador

61p

198 comments posted · 9 followers · following 18

143 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Christian Belief in De... · 0 replies · +1 points

Setting aside the question of what believing in nonsense signifies, I see a third goal, which is to be able to dismiss ideas with the benefit of avoiding any analysis. Fundies tend to be lazy thinkers, and one of their primary tactics in any debate is to dismiss, subtly or overtly, anything that disagrees with their agenda. Attributing something to demons ends all discussion.

Another point I'd like to make is a question: What does one do when (supposedly) encountering demons? I have an anecdote from years ago when I was on hard times and signed up for a Christian program at a local homeless mission in order to get food and a decent place to sleep. My "counselor" -- he did have credentials of a sort -- insisted that humanism was demonic. Totally off the cuff, I pointed out that I'd studied the Bible, and apparently Jesus won in those stories, so even if someone is a Christian, there is no point in worrying about demons. "Get thee behind me," you know. At any rate, apparently the only solution to believing one has encountered a demon is to redouble one's faith-effort. Believe harder.

Ridiculous, all of it.

143 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Christian Belief in De... · 0 replies · +1 points

Setting aside the question of what believing in nonsense signifies, I see a third goal, which is to be able to dismiss ideas with the benefit of avoiding any analysis. Fundies tend to be lazy thinkers, and one of their primary tactics in any debate is to dismiss, subtly or overtly, anything that disagrees with their agenda. Attributing something to demons ends all discussion.

Another point I'd like to make is a question: What does one do when (supposedly) encountering demons? I have an anecdote from years ago when I was on hard times and signed up for a Christian program at a local homeless mission in order to get food and a decent place to sleep. My "counselor" -- he did have credentials of a sort -- insisted that humanism was demonic. Totally off the cuff, I pointed out that I'd studied the Bible, and apparently Jesus won in those stories, so even if someone is a Christian, there is no point in worrying about demons. "Get thee behind me," you know. At any rate, apparently the only solution to believing one has encountered a demon is to redouble one's faith-effort. Believe harder.

Ridiculous, all of it.

569 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Idiot of the Week: Mik... · 0 replies · +1 points

Of course Huckabee's an idiot of this week and all others, as are many people, famous and otherwise. It's because they have no training, no intellectual rigor, and hence no honesty. They have very little information on issues about which they spew because they are not scholars of anything and never have been. This is the mindless mob we are talking about. The people who think they have a thought.

Message to the mob: If you don't understand the difference between opinion and argument, and don't care to, you're going to be an idiot. No way around it. If you think evidence and data are not important, you're going to be an idiot. You will have no discernment and you won't be able to make decisions that are consistently helpful. By contrast, the world itself operates relatively consistently, but if you don't take pains to understand, you will be hit in the face with one thing after another, all seeming equal, and all equally negative. Go figure, or something, maybe put yourself out of our misery. You say it takes all kinds? No, there ARE all kinds, but IT doesn't TAKE them.

The situation of the gay-marriage justices in Iowa, for example, shows this up perfectly, and these are the kind of activist judges (as if we could have justices that didn't act) the Huckster (love that term; just heard it) is "against." I use the scare quotes around "against" because it is a very low-level, sort of visceral opposition that these people have. It's not logic, not argument, not evidence. It's "Teh Gayz (TM) are getting married in Iowa! Gah! Kill them!"

Huckabee is what the principal in my grade school used to call the people who egged on the kids who were fighting: agitator. He agitates just by puking his black/white "analysis" all over the obsequious MSM. He is the guy supplying the pitchforks to the locals storming Frankenstein's castle. Everybody knows the monster was the hero. Sad.

570 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Scolded for Not Attend... · 0 replies · +1 points

Yeah, this very often works. If someone wonders why I don't pray out loud with them, it's because I am not a Xian (or Muslim, or Jew, or Hindu, etc.) Sometimes I just say I'm not religious. All of the above are even true!

570 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Scolded for Not Attend... · 0 replies · +2 points

Bryn and AegisLinnear, you have caught me on something I hadn't elaborated, and I think I understand what you are saying. I don't agree but I see that it may be more borderline than I thought. Offense is not like fear, on a very basic level. If something comes near my eyes, I flinch, regardless of what it is. It may be that your offense reaction to some content seems immediate and unavoidable (and mine certainly does sometimes), but it is not. For something to be as complex as offense, the reaction had to have been constructed ahead of time and waiting to be used, because the content of an offense is not predictable. (However the act of offending is, like the event producing basic fear, an event necessarily without content in itself, but it may have some cues which produce natural and immediate reactions.) So I flinch when something comes near my eye because I react faster than the time it would take to understand that it was a feather, and harmless. I would also flinch if someone got in my face and started screaming. But in addition offense depends on its content to be offensive, so necessarily requires processing.

Not totally sure where I'm going with this; I have to think about it some more, but your points are well-taken.

570 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Scolded for Not Attend... · 3 replies · +3 points

I don't see any problem with saying it's a waste of time for me to go to church. It may be on the edge of harassment rules, but I think generally speaking only sexual harassment of this borderline nature would qualify for disciplinary action, but I don't know your company's specific policies. (One year I hired both an orthodox Jew and a Palestinian refugee from Jordan. These were educated, high-tech guys, but even so, early on I had to explain the rules about how they should be talking, especially for the Palestinian, but it turned out to be all kosher, so to speak.:) We had to fire a guy who was getting all wack and sending out anti-Arab e-mails with bible prophecies during the aftermath of 9/11.)

I might feel it's a waste of time to go to my friend's son's local football game, or to watch soap operas, or whatever. Maybe it's kind of dickish for me to lash out mildly, but when people harbor and nourish emotional attachments to things, which is what religious faith is, they set themselves up for being offended, usually by accident on the part of the offender, as we have seen. Some people get very offended, maybe to the point of violence, if you insult the local team, or if you refuse to say the pledge of allegiance or something.

Being offended is a choice, as is how you react once you feel you have been offended. Too many of these jackasses are wandering around taking umbrage, apparently because they can't think of anything else. (Oops! Did I harass someone?)

570 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Maddow vs. Stewart: Th... · 0 replies · -2 points

vjack pointed out:

Stewart's low point, which wasn't nearly as low or as disturbing to those of us who value fact-based news, concerned the debacle of his rally. [emphasis mine]

I want to make a comment about the rhetoric we (non-theist antagonist-types) use, and vjack highlights my point. When media personalities go on record, that is to say their activities become public information, which is their intent BTW , that is a good thing. This is the essence of free public discourse. Whether or not you agree with Stewart's or Maddow's ideas, or tone, or choice of forum, or analysis, or career-enhancing choices, or consequences, or anything, BOTH of these "media personalities" are sticking to their guns in their own media-ways, and the result is the lively debate we may be having here and are are having elsewhere.

I am willing to say I admire my ideological enemies when they, likewise, so obviously stick to their guns. That's when real debate happens. How many times and how passionately have we argued against those who would say: You are not allowed to say this, it's disrespectful, or, You are being too "strident"; or the ultimate lie from those who want to control the discussion, which is, You are not allowed to say what you say if I don't like it or feel like responding to it just now, because I'm a media-guy.

I think we should not desire to control the discussion, except that we should: We should control the discussion such that everyone gets to discuss.

570 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Christian Calls Islam ... · 3 replies · 0 points

So true. A friend of mine watches TV preachers, mostly the young turks -- Osteen and some other guy, Prince, I think -- and I was fascinated with their similarity to the old ones, bible in one hand, swaggering around excitedly. There have always been two ways to preach: Fire and Brimstone, and Good News (gospel). I guess there is a third, the didactic version, but that's rare in public preaching.

At any rate, the Xian bible has not changed substantially since the KJV, and that was a substantive change from the Vulgate, substantive because it was a translation, and different languages conceptualize differently. Of course, the Vulgate bible was a (single, there were others) translation from the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, so more built in substantive changes. (Obviously I can't go into detail here -- there has been scholarship on this dating back to the beginning, available for anyone to research: start with bible exegesis.

The only thing that has changed since the KJV is the messenger, so I would argue the only difference between Osteen and,say, Billy Graham is that they are each a unique human being with unique ways of expressing things. They are different, but they are both guys swaggering around with the bible in hand, telling us, either sweetly or aggressively, that we're going to suffer for eternity if we don't give them money and otherwise do what they tell us, because they claim to know the word of their god, either implicitly or explicitly.

Interestingly, that message also got through in Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek (and Arabic if you want, later). Luther was the most famous conscientious objector for those of us badgered by Xianism all the time, but his legacy was more of the same. EVERYBODY has the True Faith (TM) apparently, but it is obviously not more important than oxygen. It's not even more important than Halloween candy-corn, if that's all you have to eat. :)

570 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Christian Calls Islam ... · 0 replies · 0 points

Not just you. These are the WTF moments we all know and love.

570 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Christian Calls Islam ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Something in me wants to let them fight it out. My boy''s magazine article Forty predictions that will come true by 2050 predicts the next world war will begin in space. Sounds good to me right now.

There are two problems I see with that scenario: 1) The war started in space would undoubtedly spread to earth. They are battling here and now and there is lots of collateral damage; and 2) I can't overcome my compassion for those who are, um, less capable mentally, or truly mentally ill, so I could not encourage them to put themselves and their families in harm's way over something so fucking stupid.

Man I'm angry this morning. Maybe it's the Oklahoma Sharia law thing. The main reason I am into Gnu Atheism is I believe we have to stop legitimizing this shit. No respect for stupid ideas. Be nice if you feel nice, but remember: ridicule and vocal anger can be valid tactics. Attack (in legal ways) the attackers. Be vocal -- your speech is free also. The strategy is the same as Grant's in the American Civil War: Engage your enemy, and keep him under constant pressure. We have the advantage: reason and the brains to use it.

And it's good to see you Zenlite!