Senate Atheism 4.0 - Now Discussing: Religiosity and intelligence

Discussion in 'Community' started by Lowbacca_1977, May 18, 2010.

  1. Rouge77 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2005
    star 5
    Jeremy Paxman, another pseudo-intellectual who hasn't written himself everything that has been published under his name, because he's too busy...

    I can guarantee that I have read quite enough from Hitchens to know his duplicitious nature. He was a dishonest charlatan, like for example reading this article shows:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/995phqjw.asp?page=1

    Anyone, if they wish, can drink deep his snake oil from that. Try to find much compassion for the Iraqi people's experiences since 2003 from that and you will fail. Instead you will get a lot of nonsense that doesn't survive any close scrutiny - and his claim that politicians that do not take their countries into devastating wars are more guilty and more wrong than politicians that do, that the Iraq war should be supported because of inaction previously elsewhere like it somehow would make a difference, all ending up in conspiracy theories.

    In here, several years later, he proclaims that no matter what happens to Iraq, whatever consequences, the attack in Iraq was a right thing to do and will always remain the same, nothing can change that, and that it had to be done, there was no other choice:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/did-i-get-the-iraq-war-wrong-no/story-e6frg73o-1111115840625

    No matter what happens to the Iraqis, George W. Bush and Hitchens himself will always be correct in their warmongering. So, the Right Reverend Hitchens can happily give absolution to all the brave crusaders...

    Here he claims that the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" excuse for the war is no blame of the attackers, and puts the blame on the UN, Baath regime etc and contradicts himself. He claims that the Baath regime's claims could never be trusted yet claims also that it gave the appearance of having WMD and thus, again, George W. Bush and his cohorts and Mr Hitchens himself, of course, are left right and righteous:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2007/03/so_mr_hitchens_werent_you_wrong_about_iraq.html

    Hitchens believed that basically everyone except those that supported the attack in Iraq in 2003 were guilty. To him, pacifist anti-war protesters were something to be opposed and George W. "God told me to attack Iraq" Bush and his torture gang were something to be fervently defended.
  2. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I think my problem with Narnia, at least the more recent Narnia movie I saw, bugged me because it was just.... blunt about it. Voyage of the Dawn Treader gets very "DO YOU GET IT? HE'S JESUS".

    In contrast, this song rocks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_in_the_Sky and I listen to some country, which can be very religious. So, I think it's more... is it done well or not, rather than if it's got gods in it or not.
  3. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Not an atheist here, but I'd agree. I hate Xmas lights unless they're pretty minimal; the big yard displays just irritate me. Spending about half an hour singing with my wife's family's church was a massive improvement by comparison because it actually means something besides running up your power bill.

    Haven't seen any of the Narnia movies besides the first one, but I'd probably avoid it. Not a fan of being beaten over the head with anything.
  4. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    The music with god in it is a little timely here. Cee-Lo Green did a New Years Eve cover of John Lennon's Imagine and pissed off some fans of Lennon and some atheists when he changed the lyrics from "no religion too" to "all religions too".

    My complaint isn't he changed the lyrics but rather his cover sounded like ****. :p

  5. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Cee Lo's got no business covering Lennon, the former's neosoul and the latter's solo output is very traditional rock. Not to mention rewriting lyrics is tantamount to sacrilege in my book - I'm definitely more offended as a Lennon fan than as an atheist. Does that make music my religion? Maybe.:p

    And would that mean that if I lost my iPod I'd be losing my religion? Was this REM reference worth it?
  6. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Rouge (hilarious typo btw);

    I'd echo the question poised earlier but to what extent you have familiarity with Hitchens writings, and not just in the context of someone else saying "this piece by that Boorish Hitchens said X, Y or Z".

    Because in Hitch-22, he clearly outlines alot of his views on the Iraq situation and as the chapter "Mesopotamia From Both Sides" highlights, his views were formed by seeing the first Gulf War in full swing.

    ES
  7. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    It's entirely possible for something that's tantamount to sacriledge to be of no particular interest to atheists. I thought the news about Cee Lo was funny, but I didn't even check the clip, it was too unappealing. I have better music to listen to. And I'm all for freedom of expression.

    But I guess Cee Lo did miss a chance to impress me. He could have sung:
    a. "Imagine there's no Armenian genocide"
    b. "Imagine there was never a Holocaust"
    c. "Imagine Obama's a muslim"

    ---

    I agree with Lowie that Spirit In The Sky is good stuff. And I think it's quite alright if an atheist chants along with the part that goes "I've got a friend in Jesus!"
  8. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    I'd be less bothered by the Cee Lo thing if it was an outright parody.

    What bugs me is the way it attempts to co-opt the real song, pretending to be a variation on a theme rather than the flat-out contradiction of the original message that it is.
  9. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I feel it's worth noting the song also says "Imagine there's no heaven"
  10. Mustafar_66 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2005
    star 5
    A nice little victory for freedom of speech/expression in London: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/13/muhammad-cartoon-student-atheist-society
  11. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Wanted to see if I forgot about any responses in this thread, and I did, but I promise this will be short. Just inserting, I'm too lazy right now to make a quote for each point. :p
  12. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Millions/billions of people have believed in God, without falling into a habit of more readily accepting false beliefs,

    How would you support this? Throughout history we have all sorts of examples were false beliefs were prolonged due to their belief in God and their interpretation of him. I view all religious beliefs as false beliefs. These false beliefs have varying levels of harm. You would like to make a clear distiction between those that cause clear harm and those that don't, and define "true religion" as those that do not harm. In Mormonism, there is a clear correlation between them accepting Mormonism and accepting other financial ponzi schemes. However plenty of Mormons can claim that there are plenty of people who don't fall for them. That doesn't change the fact that they are more readily accepting of them. That people do fall for MLM get rich quick schemes in Mormonism does speak to authenticity of the specific religion, and it is the same for religion in general.


    I'm a Christian. I believe in Jesus' life story (particularly from the start of his Ministry to his Resurrection), in Jesus' moral teachings (love your enemy, let the one without sin cast the first stone, etc), in the Incarnation, in the Trinity, and in Atonement. I believe those are tbe commonly-acceped fundamental basics of Christianity.

    You believe, and seem to have an understanding that you have no rational or evidenciary basis for the belief. Perhaps you don't like calling it "pure emotion," I wouldn't have either. I do understand the psychological and biochemical basis for religious belief is much deeper and complex than just emotion. If it wasn't, then you'd be changing religions at a drop of a hat based off whatever new feeling you felt.

    What I think you understand is that your belief is not based off logic and reason. What you ascribe to outside forces I know comes from something within yourself and how you decide to view the world based on your upbringing. My personal experience with the transendent "spritual" feeling was such that I was lucky it was so directly contradicted by physical evidence. Had there been more room for doubt, and had to deal with 2000 year old history rather than 200 year old history, perhaps I would still be in that mindset.

    Going through what I did taught me a lot about the unrealiability of non-evidenciary worldviews.
  13. wannasee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    Ghost's claim is that one false belief does not make you more susceptible to other false beliefs.

    You responded to Ghost by saying that history has shown people "prolonging their false beliefs", which doesn't actually address the claim that he made.
  14. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Repeat after me: correlation is not causation. Just because there is a correlation doesn't mean that one is caused by the other.

    This specific complaint doesn't actually address the validity of any religion, not even Mormonism. MLM setups are specifically designed to take advantage of the trust built in social networks, and many religions create tight social networks. You can see similar effects in non-religious settings (such as country clubs, or PTAs).

    Religion itself doesn't encourage people to be more accepting of ponzi schemes. What it does, is it helps forge connections between people that build trust, and then that trust gets exploited for the ponzi schemes. Ponzi schemes are designed to take advantage of the basic human preference towards tribalism, and the trust generated from "they're like me".

    Kimball Kinnison
  15. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    correlation is not causation. Just because there is a correlation doesn't mean that one is caused by the other.

    True, but it doesn't mean it isn't either. Religions are ponzi schemes that also take advantage basic human preference towards tribalism. Buying into one ponzi scheme has both a correlation to joining another, and I think a strong case can be made for a causation.

    Here in the MLM capital of the world, it is far more than increased levels of trust. It is also doctrines of prosperity = righteousness, sales training, gradiose beliefs in the afterlife being easily translated to monetary gain, along with a wide variety of things.
  16. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    I don't think you can use this here.

    Correlation doesn't equal causation, but it usually means they both share causes. In that, whatever is causing one might be causing the other.
  17. wannasee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    According to wikipedia, a ponzi scheme is a "fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors".

    I don't know how Mormonism works, but I've never heard of anyone expecting to receive gains on their investment into their church. Also, I've never heard of the church handing out money, except in the case of charity.

    So I ask you, how is religion a ponzi scheme?
  18. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Everyone who gives to a church expects to receive something for it, the only difference is that rather than expecting a return on investment in this life which is the downfall of every ponzi scheme, the genius of religion is that the return is only given to those that are dead, thus providing a perpetual source of income in this life. If you can convince your investors never to ask for anything in this life from all that money, then you've only solved the sustainability problem with the scheme, not the ethical issues.
  19. wannasee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    Even if the argument in the post quoted were valid (which it is not, but I will stick to the argument that was at hand), according to your description the church still does not technically qualify as a ponzi scheme, since the money is not being recycled, so to speak, among investors.
  20. Armenian_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2003
    star 7
  21. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Some.

    First, not exactly news that Muslim immigrants tend to get pissy over things like this, which is ridiculous in and of itself; welcome to the free world, maybe? Second, the article is abit of a false flag; the headline is "Muslim attacks atheist" (which to me at least implies that the reason for the attack was the guy being an atheist), but the content makes it quite clear that the Muslim guy had absolutely no idea who this guy even was, let alone that he was an atheist.

    Anyway. The judge frankly ought to lose his job; he's clearly showing bias to put it mildly. Courts are supposed to be impartial and I'm expecting this to be reversed on appeal.
  22. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    Please refrain from "link-only" posts. Welcome to the Senate, A_J. [face_coffee]
  23. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Eh, I'm not sure about this. I don't think there was bias on the judge's part (there are no Lutheran Muslims, for instance). I think the atheist was being a bit of a jerk-bag, so it's not surprising that he provoked a reaction (I'd get the same reaction if I wore anti-LSU stuff down here). The judge indicated that the level of evidence wasn't met, and I don't know enough about the case to claim otherwise.
  24. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I don't follow your point about Lutheran Muslims, Quix.

    The case seems like a reasonable one to appeal. If there's no defensible reason for dismissing the video evidence and officer testimony, that's certainly a reason to ask that the case be heard again. That is the point that is potentially worthy of criticism in the judge's conduct. As for the discussion about Islam and the First Amendment, however, I have no problem with it.

    Saying "maybe you shouldn't be a jerk" is nothing terrible, nor is trying to point out where the attacker was coming from. That's all commentary that shouldn't influence the outcome of the actual case. It's only problematic insofar as it did.
  25. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    I got the impression from Boba's post that he felt that the judge was biased for religious reasons - I was merely pointing out that the judge was Lutheran, so there wasn't a religious bias, and I could be entirely off-base with my impression. The judge noted that he had spent a significant amount of time in the Middle East, so he knew what kind of reaction such a costume would provoke. I think that's more sensitivity than bias.