Senate Atheism 4.0 - Now Discussing: Religiosity and intelligence

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

  1. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    I swear to God, the next time I see an article about religious nuts doing something outrageous I'm just going to ignore it. There's too much of this stupidity going around and it's not worth my time to read about them.
  2. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Well, the good news is unaffiliated is a growing portion of our society. So at least we'll see less organized religious stupidity.
  3. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    What I want to know is, where has rebellion gone?

    I'm not saying people should disown their parents or stop communicating with them. But, you know, impress me. Tell me you worship the god Krythnor from the Boogalerp galaxy or something. At least that would be original! Instead a lot of people seem to just go along with the same **** their parents went along with. It seems tantamount to an unspoken belief that their parents couldn't possibly have been wrong about anything. And if that's where someone is at, of what value are their other opinions?
  4. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    The Flying Spaghetti Monster is not rebellious enough for you?
  5. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Flying Spaghetti Monster is becoming too much of a thing, for my tastes
    PointGiven likes this.
  6. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    So has anyone here attended the Skepticon conventions?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skepticon

    I've just ordered two new books from one Skepticon regular Dr Richard Carrier " Not the impossible faith, Why Christianity didn't need a miracle to succeed (2009)" and also Dr Bart Ehrman "Did Jesus Exist?:The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth 2012". It appears that Carrier has published a scathing review of Ehrman on his website so that will be interesting as you rarely see one atheist scholar trashing another atheist scholar. Anyone read these books?
  7. Aytee-Aytee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2008
    star 5
    You lose the thread, lol.
    Last edited by Aytee-Aytee, Nov 20, 2012
  8. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Skepticon, eh? Add that to the long list of things I wish to attend.
  9. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    http://www.iheu.org/new-global-report-discrimination-against-nonreligious

    The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) has produced the first report focusing on how countries around the world discriminate against non-religious people. Freedom of Thought 2012: A Global Report on Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists and the Non-religious has been published to mark Human Rights Day, Monday 10 December.


    The report highlights a sharp increase in arrests for “blasphemy” on social media this year. The previous three years saw just three such cases, but in 2012 more than a dozen people in ten countries have been prosecuted for “blasphemy” on Facebook or Twitter, including:

    In Indonesia, Alexander Aan was jailed for two-and-a-half years for Facebook posts on atheism.
    In Tunisia, two young atheists, Jabeur Mejri and Ghazi Beji, were sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for Facebook postings that were judged blasphemous.
    In Turkey, pianist and atheist Fazil Say faces jail for “blasphemous” tweets.
    In Greece, Phillipos Loizos created a Facebook page that poked fun at Greeks' belief in miracles and is now charged with insulting religion.
    In Egypt, 17-year-old Gamal Abdou Massoud was sentenced to three years in jail, and Bishoy Kamel was imprisoned for six years, both for posting “blasphemous” cartoons on Facebook.
    The founder of Egypt’s Facebook Atheists, Alber Saber, faces jail time (he will be sentenced on 12 December).


    Some jewels from the report:
    - In the UK, more than 30% of state-funded schools are run by church authorities and are free to discriminate. Schools are required to hold a daily act of worship;
    - In Germany, a professor who publicly doubted the historicity of Muhammad had his teaching license revoked;
    - The Mississippi constitution reads: "No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state". Similar phrasing exists in the constitution of six other US states;
    - In Iran, only Muslims are allowed to be elected to office;
    - Prisoners at Berkley county detention center were denied all reading materials except for the Christian Bible.
  10. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    Well, for that last point, if people actually read the Bible from cover to cover, they would see why atheists don't believe in it. There is so much crap in there, and it's ridiculous how the Christians only focus on a few key phrases and ignore 98% of the book.
  11. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Nobody should be giving convicted felons who are incarcerated with other convicted felons the Old Testament to read. It's a recipe for disaster. There's just too much smiting going on there. The Old Testament really should have warning stickers placed on the front cover at point of sale.

    One of my personal favourites is the Polish court case against Behemoth singer Adam Darski aka 'Nergal' for ripping up a bible onstage in 2007. He is facing up to two years in prison for "offending religion" which is a crime in Poland.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/oct/31/polish-singer-bible-tearing-stunt

    Unbelievable.

    It's intersting that so many christian apologists these days seem puzzled by the rise of 'militant atheism' and its aggressive tone. This is why.

    Also, thoroughly enjoying Dr Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus" book. I found his lecture on youtube which is excellent.

    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Dec 12, 2012
  12. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    That was fascinating!
    If only copyright had existed at the time the Gospels were first written down...

    Still, the skeptic in me doubts even some of Ehrman's suggestions. He calculates the copying of a manuscript at 50 years, tops - but he doesn't seem to consider the possibility that centuries old manuscripts have been copied. So that, for instance, someone in 600AD could copy a first generation manuscript, which could have been copied in 1100AD, which could have been used as a basis for the King James version - in which cases, you'd have only three generations of copies. Or it could even be two. I think 50 years on average - almost twenty versions of Bibles - is pushing it.
  13. Champion of the Force Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 4
    Whilst that is indeed possible, it is also fairly unlikely. In the past our ancestors placed far less emphasis on 'originals' than we do today - whereas nowadays the 1st edition of Dracula can sell for thousands of dollars, in the past monks, theologians, scholars, writers etc. had little hesitation is turfing older manuscripts if they had a fresh copy to replace it. This is why the monastic system placed a lot of emphasis on copying and recopying manuscripts - when the older versions got a bit flaky they could easily be disposed of since they would always have newer copies available.

    That was a good video. In particular, I was intrigued by his point of whether later additions to the text (such as the 'stoning of the prostitute' story in John; or even the extended ending of Mark) can be considered 'canon' now that we know they almost certainly were not part of the text when the New Testament as we know it today was organised in the 4th century.
  14. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    That's just factually untrue. There were multiple attempts to find the oldest possible documents and eliminate new interpolations. Many of the best known major historical editions (Jerome's Vulgate, the KJV) are the product of these efforts.
  15. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    The fact that it was collated by a committee should make it less reliable than more reliable, I would think. Mainly because bias in what is added and what isn't can seep in whether it's realized or not.
  16. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    The problem though is that even if you go all the way back to the earliest known copies, that is still over 100 years after the first manuscript was written (Mark) and that manuscript was based upon 30 to 40 years of oral tradition. The likelihood that the text of the gospels as we read them today accurately captures the events they purport to narrate is extremely remote. That's not to say that none of this stuff happened just that the gospels are not reliable sources in historical terms.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Dec 14, 2012
  17. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I wasn't speaking to those issues, but continuing the discussion started by Champion about how far removed from the original texts we are. If the guy claims that every 50 years a new version is produced, without considering access to much older editions, then he's just factually wrong. That's now how the Bible was composed or maintained.
  18. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I don't know where the whole 50 year thing is coming from. Ehrman mentions the 50 year concept in the context of the science of dating handwriting. He says that you have to allow 50 years because a person with a particular writing style (which allows an expert to date the handwriting) might have written a document in his 70's even though he learned to write that way in his 20s. Accordingly an expert can place handwriting within a certain point in time but must allow at least 50 years to take into account the possible age of the author. Not sure how that relates to the manuscripts being copied every 50 years.
  19. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
  20. Champion of the Force Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 4
    You are indeed correct and I am mistaken. I was misremembering a lecture series I listened to earlier in the year - I went back and rechecked it out and it turns out it had nothing to do with the transmission and copying of manuscripts (instead it was more specifically about oral traditions in the 1st and 2nd centuries). My apologies for such a blatant error. [face_blush]
  21. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    You are indeed correct and I am mistaken. I was misremembering the lecture - I went back and rechecked it out and it turns out it had nothing to do with generations of copying of manuscripts. My apologies for such a blatant error. [face_blush]
  22. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    I just thought I'd say (and I do read this thread, though mostly without posting) that in the new year I'm planning to bring back a project of mine from a couple of years ago, where I go through the entire Bible in great detail. If you've read any of my "project" threads (like my journey through the Star Wars eu or my X-Files thread or my Middle Earth Chronology thread), you'll know what I mean when I say I'm going to be using my "bullet point" style. I did a couple of posts back when I was first going to start it and then let it die, but now that the Amp and JCC and Senate are all integrated I'm kind of excited about getting some cross pollination! If you know my style, it's very detailed, kind of off the cuff and irreverent. It'll be fun to see how this applies to the Bible (which I have read cover to cover, several times prior to this project). Anyway, I hope to start this project in January here in JCC and I'm hoping some of you guys and gals from this thread will stop by. I think we could have some interesting discussions or at least some laughs. Yes, I'm a Christian and you guys are atheists, but the Bible is a ton of fun to talk to about, I find. So, be watching for that.

    Don't mean to disrupt the discussion at hand; I've just been looking for a way to drop an invitation into this thread about the project and timmo's post seemed a good way to shoehorn it in here. :)
  23. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    ^:)^

    That's already quite an achievement. I honestly think you will enjoy the video Hoth linked to.

    As for your project, it will be awesome! It will be the most awesome thing on this board... as long as we don't up getting a lame ´I brought the book back to the library' copout after a few pages :p
  24. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I have read most of the bible from cover to cover but failed to finish the whole thing largely because of the Book of Revelation. I discussed this with one of my Christian workplace colleagues and after some probing he advised that given that I rarely drink and I gave up using illegal drugs years ago I will never understand the book of Revelation .

    I'm very much looking forward to your project Rogue.
  25. Condition2SQ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    Please try reading the Bible sometime without bringing your own anti-religious bias along and let the text stand for itself. Is their barbarism in the Old Testament? Yes. Is Yahweh often petty, capricious, and violent? Yes. Is that the sum of the text? No; not even close. The Bible is an astoundingly rich and complex amalgam of myth, history, and poetry. Every classic dynamic that makes literature literature is there in abundance. Indeed; Yahweh's own flaws and poor decisions often set the stage for these dynamics.

    Does any of this make the existence of the God of Abraham or the divinity of Jesus any more likely? Most certainly not--I, too, am an "atheist". Does this make the evangelical Right's seemingly endless attempts to mold public policy to reflect scriptural injunctions any less ridiculous and bothersome? Not at all. But if you are going to let such things color your opinion of such a magnificent text so thoroughly that you cannot see anything in it besides theocratic nihilism, I feel sorry for you.
    Last edited by Condition2SQ, Dec 16, 2012