How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Some of us think far more than we should
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Freecare Spiritwise
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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:11 am

Ahh, ok, most people hold the opposite view on free will. The atheists I normally debate religion with have all taken the stance that the universe is ruled purely by cause and effect. And the Christians/Catholics I debate with normally take the stance that we are operating under free will. My mistake, I just assumed that you didn't believe in free will.

I do believe in some higher power, but that mystical connection I feel doesn't seem like it can be encapsulated by just a book, or narrow belief system. And I don't believe that higher power micro-manages our lives or interferes with our society. That's my main problem with organized religion: the abdication of personal responsibility.

I'll share a story about one of my cousins:

She marries this minister, and they have lots of kids and seem to have this perfect life. Then one day God called him to Arizona. He dropped everything and they sold everything and uprooted their whole family. After a while they finally got settled and were semi back to normal. But God wasn't done with him. Next he was called back to Idaho, then back to Arizona, then Finally to Montana and that's about where I stopped paying attention. Most people would just call that a mid-life crisis, but it wasn't his fault because God was calling him in circles.

My friend's sister did the same thing. Married a minister and be-bopped around the whole country. I think she ended up back in her mom's mobile home with her and all the kids. Yeeeaaahhhh, God did that to you *wink*.

But my problem with orgainized religion aside, I feel this mystical connection to something wonderful. It makes me feel at peace with the universe, but I don't credit my successes to it or blame my failures on it. It's a comforting companion that travels with me on this journey through life.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Kulaf » Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:54 am

MeGusta wrote:I am 39.

In those years I have learned that Faith is the negation of reason. Belief in God allows mankind to do any manner of unreasonable thing, to espouse any illogical idea, and commit any manner of atrocity in the name of Faith.
Then you have learned.....nothing.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Kliban Nimbledigits » Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:30 am

42 years old.

It's hard to taste vengeance when you have a cold.
Mal: Seems we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?

Zoe: Big damn heroes, sir.

Mal: Ain't we just.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Payne » Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:37 am

Kliban Nimbledigits wrote:42 years old.

It's hard to taste vengeance when you have a cold.

This is hilarious!

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Payne » Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:43 am

MeGusta wrote:What a load of unsubstantiated drivel. Your self deluded spiritual conclusions have not set you free. They have imprisoned you in a cage devoid of logic and reason. Now you have an excuse for everything in your life. Congratulations. :roll:
See, your words come from your heart itself and speaks of what's inside you. If my "self deluded spiritual conclusions" are ruining my life, then how come I can answer you calmly? I can give a hundred examples right now of how my life is at its best because of God. Can you give forty reasons of how your life is better because of your atheism/self made human principles/distance from God?

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Kulaf » Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:35 am

The sad part is the delusion that man only comitts atrocities because of religion. What a total and complete fallacy that is.

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MeGusta
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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:55 am

Fantasy Island wrote:If my "self deluded spiritual conclusions" are ruining my life,
I never said that. You could easily be happy and satisfied in your delusions.
Fantasy Island wrote: Can you give forty reasons of how your life is better because of your atheism/self made human principles/distance from God?
Sure. I can give 10 or so off the top of my head....

1.) I can accept scientific discovery without having to make room or excuses for it in my spiritual life.
2.) I can eat pork with no concern.
3.) I can eat red meat on Friday
4.) I can write angry letters to Chick Fil A about being closed on Sunday and feel justified
5.) I sleep in on Sunday
6.) Church functions do not interrupt the NFL
7.) I do not feel like I have to sit in hypocritical judgement of others
8.) I don't have to "testify" to others
9.) I can watch porn and not feel guilty
10.) I can believe that dinosaurs ruled the earth
If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that man's only moral commandment is: Thou shalt think. But a 'moral commandment' is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments. ~Ayn Rand
Kulaf wrote:The sad part is the delusion that man only comitts atrocities because of religion. What a total and complete fallacy that is.
You are the only one who has introduced that argument here. Having said that, I think that the balance of atrocity in history is clearly weighed towards the religious.
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Kulaf » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:05 pm

The purges in Russia alone surpass the killing in all of the wars fought for religious purposes.
MeGusta wrote:7.) I do not feel like I have to sit in hypocritical judgement of others
You just do it to be a dick?

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:24 pm

Atrocity is not limited to war, Kulaf. Try counting colonization under religious auspices and it dwarfs any secular instance you could name.

For response to your snark I can say "hypocritical" is the operative word. My judgement of others does not spare myself as is so often found amongst the religiously deluded such as yourself.
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Kulaf » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:25 am

Negative. Colonization was driven by the desire for land, gold and trade goods. The friars and other religious figures just went along for the ride. Also, the majority of the deaths were caused by disease.....which would have occured anyway for any number of reasons.

BTW, we lost roughly 2% of the worlds population in WWII alone. Some 60 million people. That dwarfs any number you want to toss around for the Crusades and every other death from religious reason you want to add to it.

Here are the 20 worst death tolls in world history:

Rank Death Toll
1 63 million Second World War
2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine)
3 40 million Genghis Khan
4 27 million British India (mostly famine)
5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty
6 20 million Taiping Rebellion
7 20 million Joseph Stalin
8 19 million Mideast Slave Trade
9 17 million Timur Lenk
10 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade
11 15 million First World War
12 15 million Conquest of the Americas
13 13 million Muslim Conquest of India
14 10 million An Lushan Revolt
15 10 million Xin Dynasty
16 9 million Russian Civil War
17 8 million Fall of Rome
18 8 million Congo Free State
19 7½ million Thirty Years War
20 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty

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MeGusta
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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:56 am

The friars and other religious figures just went along for the ride.
This is a gross mischaracterization of history. While riches were definitely the impetus for most colonization efforts, God was the excuse. It was to spread the word of God that was given as a reason for the right of nations to subjugate the native peoples.

In fact, the colonization by the Puritan peoples was strictly because of God and not riches. Even the expansion of the United States under Manifest Destiny included a divine prerogitive.

As to the rest of your argument, your list is incomplete.

http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstatz.htm#RelCon

The above link contains a more comprehensive listing. You are only listing the 20 worst death tolls in history but the deaths from religion span the entire course of human history and add up to more than your entire list.

The total number of religious deaths over the course of human history is estimated to be more than 800 million. I know you will balk at this number but if you wish to check the data contained in the list be my guest.

You also miss the point completely when you leave out the instances of the Church persecuting knowledge. How many died because science was held back, covered up, or surpressed?

And finally, you have found yourself in the unenviable position of saying that religion is only the second worst killer behind the evil nature of man. You really wish to make that argument?
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Kulaf » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:59 pm

In a word......yes, because it is the evil nature of man that perverts religion into an instument of greed, oppression and dominance.

Thanks for agreeing with me.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:30 pm

We are agreed. Now would it not be beneficial to mankind as we become more self aware to remove the tools of ignorance and superstition in order to mitigate some of the atrocity?
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Kulaf » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:49 pm

That's like saying let's remove violence from video games and people will be less violent. Or if we ban handguns people will not kill each other.

Humanity needs to improve itself and not look to external causes.

I could just as easily agrue that we should abandon science and go back to living in harmony with nature and achieve balance with the Earth rather than constanly creating new and more efficient ways of killing each other.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:11 pm

Or if we ban handguns people will not kill each other.
Ah, but they will not kill each other with handguns (I am not arguing for gun control, relax) and if we abandoned the archaic superstitions of religion they would no longer use them for oppression, inequality, and murder while preaching peace and love in the hypocritical way they do now.

You make my argument for me.
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Ddrak » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:38 pm

Talking about eradicating religion is about as smart as eradicating any other vice. It's not psychologically plausible. Similarly, blaming religion as the cause of death is a lot like blaming communism for Mao's famines - they are a vehicle for the problem but not the cause.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Kulaf » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:42 pm

MeGusta wrote:
Or if we ban handguns people will not kill each other.
Ah, but they will not kill each other with handguns (I am not arguing for gun control, relax) and if we abandoned the archaic superstitions of religion they would no longer use them for oppression, inequality, and murder while preaching peace and love in the hypocritical way they do now.

You make my argument for me.
Right....they will kill each other with something else. That's the point. The people who want to kill are going to kill. Just like the people who pervert religious belief into a tool of oppresion, inequality and murder would use something else...like political party affiliation, skin color, wealth, etc. etc.

If that is making your arguement for you......well sweet because that is my arguement as well. Religion is a facet of life which can be cherished and enjoyed....or like any other facet of life can be turned into something evil.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by MeGusta » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:26 am

Talking about eradicating religion is about as smart as eradicating any other vice
I agree that religion is a vice.
Religion is a facet of life which can be cherished and enjoyed....or like any other facet of life can be turned into something evil.
Religion is a method of control and a negation of reason. It allows you to view any unreasonable thing as reasonable giving you the excuse of the divine to justify it.

Any good you can name is outweighed tenfold by the evil perpetrated in the name of religion.
Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. ~Sigmund Freud

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Kulaf » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:54 am

MeGusta wrote:
Talking about eradicating religion is about as smart as eradicating any other vice
I agree that religion is a vice.
Religion is a facet of life which can be cherished and enjoyed....or like any other facet of life can be turned into something evil.
Religion is a method of control and a negation of reason. It allows you to view any unreasonable thing as reasonable giving you the excuse of the divine to justify it.

Any good you can name is outweighed tenfold by the evil perpetrated in the name of religion.
Well let's just thank God that you made a reasonable arguement.

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Re: How old are you, what have you learned in that time ?

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:21 pm

MeGusta wrote:Religion is a method of control and a negation of reason.
Religion is purely a construct. It's people who control other people. It's people who choose to negate reason. You're also probably only speaking of christianity. So when you speak of "religion", what do you mean? Christianity? Buddhism? Hinduism? Shinto? All of the above? None of the above? I'm guessing that you are speaking on a subject you basically have no knowledge of. On the interwebs, everyone is an expert at everything!

Pure reasoning is one of the best tools that mankind has IMO. But it's just a tool. If it's your only tool, then what are your thoughts about things like empathy, charity, service, etc? Empathy is the negation of all reason! There's no rational purpose for it! Booze and hookers, let's go! Same with love. It's just endorphins flooding into your brain. Pure delusion. Yeah, tell your girlfriend that. So pure reasoning is great until UPS drops the wrong package at your door and you fuck up your back sprinting down the street to catch the truck because you know it's an XMAS gift that your neighbor two streets over is waiting for. Pure reasoning falls short for guidance in a vast number of daily tasks. If it's the only tool in your tool box then you are most likely a sociopath.

And there's nothing that says that my spiritual beliefs need to negate reason. In a well adjusted person, it can be a nice augmentation of reason. For example, in my daily life I treat people the way I want to be treated. Why? Because it's the right thing to do. This makes the spiritual part of me very happy. But it's also good for my personal relationships and for my career. Not being a dick to people has far reaching consequences that the purely reasoning part of me can only guess at. But the reasoning side of me can appreciate that not being a dick is going to help me pay my mortgage. So it appreciates these things even if it's on the sidelines. But I guess if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.

So pure reasoning is great. It's one of my personal strong points. I use it to design and build software, which is an intangible construct (much like religion). Reasoning helps me do my family budget and organize the house. I use it to troubleshoot computer problems and fix what's wrong with the car, household appliances, plumbing etc. I use algebra in my grocery shopping. I use geometry to miter the oak trim in my office.

But reasoning is absolutely no substitute for wisdom when wisdom is what you need.

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