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AASFSHNR

AASFSHNR

Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious

This group is named for the discussion group on http://www.kiva.org (founded by Peter Kroll) which shows that critical thinkers can (and do) act compassionately, without the need for magical sanction.

The idea for this room is to highlight the genius of the unwieldy name: a place to share and discuss content about issues of atheism/agnosticism/secular humanism from a truly skeptical and non-religious point of view.

It's difficult to label lack of belief (much like "not collecting stamps" doesn't work as a hobby). Names like "brights" are kind of lame, and neither "skeptic" nor "atheist" is comprehensive enough. Maybe AASFSHNR will catch on?
Tinfoil 2.0
‘Christianity was a hoax’ and scholar claims he has the proof http://dangerousminds.net/comment...
covert_messiah_xxq456.jpg
It is no secret that the biography of Jesus according to the NT has been constructed and can't have much in common with the life of the alleged historical person. But I doubt Atwill can provide evidence for his extravagant claims. Plus, can what he describes as the schemings of the Caesars be in accordance with the ways of thinking of that time? - To me, this is another impulse to read more on the historical roots of Christianity. - Maitani
It would be so much fun if this was the real story, but it sounds unlikely to me. - Eivind
I agree Eivind. I suspect the only way we'll ever know the truth behind the myths is if some ancient drafts that were supposed to get destroyed are uncovered. - Tinfoil 2.0
Eric Logan
Pascal’s Wager: Expanded Edition - http://www.patheos.com/blogs...
Pascal’s Wager: Expanded Edition
Eivind
Meet the Fantastically Bejeweled Skeletons of Catholicism’s Forgotten Martyrs | Past Imperfect - http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history...
Meet the Fantastically Bejeweled Skeletons of Catholicism’s Forgotten Martyrs | Past Imperfect
Meet the Fantastically Bejeweled Skeletons of Catholicism’s Forgotten Martyrs | Past Imperfect
Meet the Fantastically Bejeweled Skeletons of Catholicism’s Forgotten Martyrs | Past Imperfect
"On May 31, 1578, local vineyard workers discovered that a hollow along Rome’s Via Salaria, a road traversing the boot of Italy, led to a catacomb. The subterranean chamber proved to be full of countless skeletal remains, presumably dating back to the first three centuries following Christianity’s emergence, when thousands were persecuted for practicing the still-outlawed religion. An estimated 500,000 to 750,000 souls—mostly Christians but including some pagans and Jews—found a final resting place in the sprawling Roman catacombs. For hundreds of skeletons, however, that resting place would prove anything but final. The Catholic Church quickly learned of the discovery and believed it was a godsend, since many of the skeletons must have belonged to early Christian martyrs. In Northern Europe—especially in Germany, where anti-Catholic sentiment was most fervent—Catholic churches had suffered from plunderers and vandals during the Protestant Revolution over the past several decades.... more... - Eivind from Bookmarklet
"Communities believed that their patron skeleton protected them from harm, and credited it for any seeming miracle or positive event that occurred after it was installed. Churches kept “miracle books,” which acted as ledgers for archiving the patron’s good deeds. Shortly after Saint Felix arrived at Gars am Inn, for example, records indicate that a fire broke out in the German town.... more... - Eivind
Eric Logan
Cops: Jehovah's Witnesses Faced Bullet Barrage | The Smoking Gun - http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documen...
Cops: Jehovah's Witnesses Faced Bullet Barrage | The Smoking Gun
Cops: Jehovah's Witnesses Faced Bullet Barrage | The Smoking Gun
Baldwin, seen in the above mug shot, admitted firing 19 rounds “just behind” the car carrying the three Jehovah’s Witnesses. Baldwin added that he “was just letting them know he had a gun and was trying to get them off his property. - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
Yeah, because that's the most sane way to go about it... - Heather, 30k Camper
Good one, Heather. - MRW_8
Maitani
3quarksdaily: The New Dark Ages, Part I: From Religion to Ethnic Nationalism and Back Again - http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarks...
3quarksdaily: The New Dark Ages, Part I: From Religion to Ethnic Nationalism and Back Again
"European Historians have long eschewed the term "Dark Ages." Few of them still use it, and many of them shiver when they encounter it in popular culture. Scholars rightly point out that the term, popularly understood as connoting a time of death, ignorance, stasis, and low quality of life, is prejudiced and misleading." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"In this essay I am taking the liberty of modifying the tem "Dark Ages" and applying to a modern as well as a historical context. I use it to refer to a general culture of fundamentalism permeating societies, old and new. By "Dark Age" I mean to describe any large scale effort to dim human understanding by submerging it under a blanket of fundamentalist dogma. And far from Europe of 1,500 years ago, my main purpose is to talk about far more recent matters around the world." - Maitani
Eddy63
Maitani
▶ Life Of Brian- 1979 Debate (1/4) - YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch...
▶ Life Of Brian- 1979 Debate (1/4) - YouTube
Play
The full debate from "Friday Night, Saturday Morning", 9th November 1979. - Maitani
"On the edition of 9 November 1979, hosted by Tim Rice, a discussion was held about the then-new film Monty Python's Life of Brian, which had been banned by many local councils and caused protests throughout the world with accusations that it was blasphemous. To argue in favour of this accusation were broadcaster and noted Christian Malcolm Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood (the then Bishop of Southwark). In its defence were two members of the Monty Python team, John Cleese and Michael Palin." - Maitani
"The first part is an interview with Cleese and Palin, the actual debate starts 3 minutes into part 2." - Maitani
It's been awhile. I had forgot that wonderful character that is the bishop! :D - Eivind
:D - Maitani
Not the Nine O'Clock News - Monty Pythons worshipers http://www.youtube.com/watch... - Maitani
Eddy63
Eric Logan
What Bible says about the Bible?... Great visualisation of the contradictions in the holy book: BibViz Project http://www.bibviz.com/ (via http://friendfeed.com/sonicmi...)
What Bible says about the Bible?... Great visualisation of the contradictions in the holy book: BibViz Project http://www.bibviz.com/ (via http://ff.im/1fMPr5)
Eivind
Dr. Eben Alexander Proof of Heaven Investigation - Proof of Heaven Factual Omissions - Esquire (Behind a paywall) - http://www.esquire.com/feature...
Dr. Eben Alexander Proof of Heaven Investigation - Proof of Heaven Factual Omissions - Esquire (Behind a paywall)
Dr. Eben Alexander Proof of Heaven Investigation - Proof of Heaven Factual Omissions - Esquire (Behind a paywall)
Dr. Eben Alexander Proof of Heaven Investigation - Proof of Heaven Factual Omissions - Esquire (Behind a paywall)
"On December 18, 2012, the set of Fox & Friends was both festive and somber. Festive because it was the Christmas season. The three hosts, two men in dark suits flanking a woman in a blue dress, sat on a mustard-colored couch in front of a cheery seasonal backdrop: a lit-up tree, silver-painted twigs, mounds of tinsel, blue and red swatches of fabric, and, here and there, multicolored towers of blown glass with tapering points that made them look surprisingly like minarets. Somber because a terrible thing had happened just four days earlier, in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. All three hosts looked sad, but the woman, Gretchen Carlson, looked the saddest. The shot of the three hosts occupied most of the right three quarters of the screen. A guest was joining them by satellite from another location, and a shot of his head and shoulders occupied most of the rest of the screen. This was his third appearance on the program in the last few months. He wore a dark blazer and a... more... - Eivind from Bookmarklet
"We talk for hours. We talk about his past life and his present one, and about the strange voyage that divided the two. We talk about some of the stories he tells in Proof of Heaven, which has sold nearly two million copies and remains near the top of the New York Times best-seller list nearly a year after its release. We also talk about some of the stories you won't find in the book,... more... - Eivind
Pics or it didn't happen. - Joe - Systems Analyst
The Dalai Lama said something similar after hearing his story at the graduation ceremony at Maitripa College, a Buddhist college in Portland, Oregon. From the article: "He explains that Buddhists categorize phenomena in three ways. The first category are "evident phenomena," which can be observed and measured empirically and directly. The second category are "hidden phenomena," such as... more... - Eivind
Eivind
In Dying Brains, Signs of Heightened Consciousness – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science - http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013...
In Dying Brains, Signs of Heightened Consciousness – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science
"We often talk about death as a point in time. One moment you’re alive and the next, when your heart stops beating and your lungs stop breathing, you are clinically dead. This definition tempts us to view death as a clear-cut event, like the flip of a switch. That’s not how Jimo Borjigin, a neuroscientist at the University of Michigan, sees it. “Doctors assume that after clinical death, the brain is dead and inactive,” she says. “They use the term ‘unconscious’ again and again. But death is a process. It’s not a black-or-white line.” In a new study, Borjigin discovered that rats show an unexpected pattern of brain activity immediately after cardiac arrest. With neither breath nor heartbeats, these rodents were clinically dead but for at least 30 seconds, their brains showed several signals of conscious thought, and strong signals to boot. This suggests that our final journey into permanent unconsciousness may actually involve a brief state of heightened consciousness." - Eivind from Bookmarklet
Well, 30 seconds of "afterlife" is more than I expected. I'll take it :) - Eivind
There was an NPR piece on this yesterday that was fascinating. They discussed dreams in a way I hadn't heard before: One part of your brain is firing randomly and doing housekeeping, while another part is desperately trying to figure out what all this random stimulus means. - Stephen Mack from iPhone
Building a story out of signals never intended for the narrative building circuitry? I've never thought of dreams in quite that way :) - Eivind
If we really believed that the brain shut off right when respirations and heartbeats cease, there'd never be any point in resuscitating anyone :D I think the estimate is about four to six minutes of no circulation before you get irreversible brain death. But I guess their point is that you're probably conscious for about 30 seconds after cessation of blood flow. Which means that it's probably true that when you get decapitated, you're still conscious as your head rolls away. - Victor Ganata
Sephen, that definitely explains the patchwork nature of dreams. - (Curtis/Alan) Jackson
I thought about the "astonished faces" guillotine stories when I read this piece, Victor :) - Eivind
Victor: I've heard of a study that showed there are random neurons firing long after six minutes -- that even an hour later there are still some bursts of activity. That always made me think that consciousness continues on after death for a long while, just much slower (and with no sensory input or movement). I imagine it's terrifying at first to experience. - Stephen Mack from iPhone
^ This idea is part of the premise of a 1985 award-winning story first published in Omni by John Crowley: "Snow" http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction... - Stephen Mack from iPhone
The random firing of neurons continues for a while, but you need a lot of neurons firing in synchrony to maintain consciousness, and the higher level functions are the ones that go down first because they cortex tends to exhaust its oxygen and glucose supplies first, just going by how the cerebral arteries run. - Victor Ganata
"Consciousness" is a pretty complex program, I suspect, needing a large set of neurons firing orderly. edit: Or ^ - Eivind
Well, dream-state consciousness maybe... - Stephen Mack from iPhone
The brain is just as active and ordered during REM sleep as it is during wakefulness, though. I suspect the random firing of neurons in the brain is just as ineffective at maintaining coherent thought as fibrillating heart muscle is ineffective at actually pumping blood. But I imagine there are significant barriers to ever knowing for sure. - Victor Ganata
An alternate explanation for the increased brain activity after circulation stops is that the ion pumps on the cell membrane stop working. This lets sodium and calcium flood into the neurons and depolarizes them, causing them to dump their neurotransmitters. The other thing is that a significant number of neurons in the brain are involved in sending inhibitory signals. Maybe they stop working first, letting the excitatory neurons fire at will. - Victor Ganata
I could use a good neurotransmitter dump right now. - Jkram|ɯɐɹʞſ
Well, that's what Ecstasy is for :) - Victor Ganata
If you want a head twisting book to read, try "Proof of Heaven" written by a neurosurgeon and the brain events he had while very ill with bacterial meningitis. It is very clinical in his descriptions so he can dispel the science he was taught! - Janet from FFHound!
I remember that book, Janet. It didn't get a very good reception, and there's actually a link to an article criticizing it in this text: http://www.esquire.com/feature.... I'm not sure if he actually believes what he wrote, or if he's just extremely cynical, knowing 'proof' of what so many Americans want to believe is a gold mine. I suspect the latter. - Eivind
Eivind, I want to read that article, but it is for purchase. :( - Maitani
Yeah, that's too bad. I'm curious about it myself. - Eivind
I haven't managed to find an easy way to pay for interesting articles from USA or UK yet. I am willing to pay when I am really interested in a topic, but I eschew the inconvenience of the process. - Maitani
Paypal? I realize they charge you a bit for most things, but it's easy. I am also able to use my Norwegian VISA/MASTER Cards for almost everything these days. - Eivind
Maybe I need Paypal. :-) - Maitani
The article is well worth it, imo. - Eivind
I find it interesting and mildly amusing that Eivind is willing to pay for the cognitive security of a 30 second afterlife. ;-) - Eric Logan
You know I have a thing for non-prophets :) - Eivind from Android
It's free to believe you can live forever though. Possibly a little delusional, but free nonetheless. - Eric Logan
I can be expensive to believe that the right way, though. - Eivind
"...but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice." -- Carl - Ken Gidley
A detailed discussion and critique of the experiment by the Neurocritic http://neurocritic.blogspot.com/2013... - Victor Ganata
So we don't even really know that EEG gamma waves actually are involved in consciousness, much less in NDEs. - Victor Ganata
Yeah, the information is usually all in the modulation :) - Eivind
sofarsoShawn
[THIS your brain on "God". Say NO to "God".] http://is.gd/EOwU9Z Science Daily God as a drug: The rise of American megachurches ~ American megachurches use stagecraft, sensory pageantry, charismatic leadership and an upbeat, unchallenging vision of Christianity to provide their congregants with a powerful emotional religious experience - http://www.sciencedaily.com/release...
[THIS your brain on "God". Say NO to "God".] http://is.gd/EOwU9Z Science Daily God as a drug: The rise of American megachurches ~ American megachurches use stagecraft, sensory pageantry, charismatic leadership and an upbeat, unchallenging vision of Christianity to provide their congregants with a powerful emotional religious experience
God as a Drug: The Rise of American Megachurches ScienceDaily (Aug. 19, 2012) — American megachurches use stagecraft, sensory pageantry, charismatic leadership and an upbeat, unchallenging vision of Christianity to provide their congregants with a powerful emotional religious experience, according to research from the University of Washington. "Membership in megachurches is one of the leading ways American Christians worship these days, so, therefore, these churches should be understood," said James Wellman, associate professor of American religion at the University of Washington. "Our study shows that -- contrary to public opinion that tends to pass off the megachurch movement as consumerist religion -- megachurches are doing a pretty effective job for their members. In fact, megachurch members speak eloquently of their spiritual growth." Wellman and co-authors Katie E. Corcoran and Kate Stockly-Meyerdirk, University of Washington graduate students in sociology and comparative... more... - sofarsoShawn from Bookmarklet
Megachurches, or churches with 2,000 or more congregants, have grown in number, size, and popularity in recent years, coming to virtually dominate the American religious landscape. More than half of all American churchgoers now attend the largest 10 percent of churches. Megachurch services feature a come-as-you-are atmosphere, rock music, and what Wellman calls a "multisensory mélange"... more... - sofarsoShawn
Christianity + rock concert + laser light show=Sundays at Megachurches. - Chris Topher
Lol well Megadeath's lead singer "came out" recently as Christian evangelical homophobe so that sounds equation is correct :) - sofarsoShawn from iPhone
Sounds like they need a designated driver system to get all these people drunk on holy spiritus home. - Eivind
lol best keep off the roads today - sofarsoShawn from iPhone
I have read an article (http://community.myfoxlubbock.com/members...) about Elements To Understand Prior To Great Commission Alliance. It has a very inspiring content and you will learn a lot from the said article. Take time and read it. Thank you. Feedbacks are very much appreciated. - Anastasia Odair
Eivind
Reminded me of the 'Atheist delusion' post :) - Jesus and Mo - http://www.jesusandmo.net/2013...
Reminded me of the 'Atheist delusion' post :) - Jesus and Mo
"So how do you explain things while maintaining a sense of mystery?" "Simple" "God did it" "Mysteriously" - Eivind from Bookmarklet
Eivind
Boko Haram leader calls for more schools attacks after dorm killings | World news | guardian.co.uk - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world...
Boko Haram leader calls for more schools attacks after dorm killings | World news | guardian.co.uk
"Abubakar Shekau describes western-style education as a 'plot against Islam', as two-pronged strategy delivers young recruits" - Eivind from Bookmarklet
Disgusting, but I can see his point about education being "a plot" against religion. - Eivind
"A recent spate of attacks on schools is part of a two-pronged strategy that plays up the extremists' ideology against western institutions while also providing a stream of potential new recruits as frightened parents pull their children out of education. Unschooled and unemployed children are increasingly being recruited – sometimes forcibly – to fill the ranks of Boko Haram and... more... - Eivind
We didn’t know Islamic education is pleasurable and western education is criminal!!! . This guy is an idiot and a Murderer, full stop - Arash
he is not idiot, otherwise he would be caught already and given to justice. - непростые коротышки
Eddy63
Cargo Cult - YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch...
"This is like the perfect example of what religion is made of: people seeing something they didn't see before or do not understand, making story's and rituals about what they cant understand and starting to believe in what, in their mind, must be the right answer on it, and with each generation people more and more start to believe in these traditions, as they grow up with it, adding more and more stuff round so it makes more "sense" in their definition of it." - Eddy63 from Bookmarklet
Maitani
BBC News - How religions change their mind - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news...
BBC News - How religions change their mind
"Once upon a time, animal sacrifice was an important part of Hindu life, Catholic priests weren't celibate and visual depictions of the Prophet Muhammad were part of Islamic art. And soon some churches in the UK may be marrying gay couples. How do religions manage to change their mind?" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Tinfoil 2.0
Remember this too dumb to be true creationist ‘science quiz’: snopes says it’s real! http://dangerousminds.net/comment...
snopesDINOfefefegfefefef1.jpg
"this “science quiz” WAS actually given to 4th graders in the Blueridge Christian Academy of Greenville, South Carolina, as the urban legend detectives at Snopes.com found out. The actual father of the child whose test was on reddit wrote in to quiet the naysayers asserting that the quiz did indeed belong to his 10-year-old daughter" - Tinfoil 2.0
So the Snopes article shows the second page of the test too: http://www.snopes.com/photos... -- along with the school's huffy response. - Stephen Mack
I'm all for freedom of religion, but at what point does it become psychological abuse to mess kids up this badly? - Tinfoil 2.0
WERE YOU THERE TINFOIL? - Stephen Mack from iPhone
When the dinosaurs suddenly appeared from the firmament? No, but what a sight that would have been. ;) - Tinfoil 2.0
I would have flunked this test. - Eivind from Android
I'd like to think I'd have had the gumption to pull something like this: http://dangerousminds.net/comment... - Tinfoil 2.0
@ Tinfoil 2.0 wow respect to the teachers teacher! - Eddy63
April Russo
Devout Jewish woman sues Lancôme over beauty product that fails the Sabbath test - http://freethinker.co.uk/2013...
Devout Jewish woman sues Lancôme over beauty product that fails the Sabbath test
"NEW YORKER Rorie Weisberg forked out $45.00 for a one-ounce a bottle of facial gunk that promised a full night and day of “lasting perfection”. The Orthodox Jewish woman did so because she wanted something that would last her through the Sabbath. The product had to be long- lasting because it is verboten for observant Jews to apply make-up between sundown on a Friday and Saturday night. Lancôme’s new Teint Idole Ultra 24H foundation held out the promise of a full 24 hours of beauty enhancement, but apparently failed to deliver. So, according to this report, Weisberg “can’t look good and stay holy at the same time”, and she’s suing the make-up giant." - April Russo from Bookmarklet
On one hand I think it's great to call companies on their bull claims. On the other, really? Make up is that important? - Heather, 30k Camper
I dont think they meant night and day as in "you can sleep in it and it works just fine and wont schmutz off" - ωαřмaiden ❤Bassetmom❤
She has to sue for unspecified damages? She can't just ask for her $45 back? - Stephen Mack
Josh Leffingwell
A really good post about from the daughter of a Christian Author about why she is no longer Christian. Welcome to our side! :) www.principiamedia.com/blog/155-why-i-am-not-a-christian
April Russo
[redacted for my own good]
[redacted] - April Russo
[redacted] - April Russo
So what happens if he doesn't win the case? Is your lawyer going to cover the cost of the medical bills?? - Georgia
Does this lawyer have an MD as well? Then he should butt out of what is best medical care for another person. - Andy
I can see the legal view, but can't he get a regular therapist instead? - Eric - Watch Me Now
I didn't have a chiropractor do this but a D.O. was doing spinal manipulation for my back spasms and adjusted me to the point my bulging disk broke free and sequestered in two spaces causing me permanent drop foot. My surgeon said never ever manipulate again. - Janet from FFHound!
[redacted] - April Russo
holy crap. - Big Joe Silence
Oh that's horrible! - Heather, 30k Camper
Ugghh shocking! - ᏓᏰ #team Monique
You can probably find a lot of information if you follow the Simon Singh trail when he was unsuccessfully sued by the British Chiropractic Association after criticising their crap; here's just one link to get you started: http://www.dcscience.net/... - and the electric paddle "treatment" sounds almost medieval. - Mark H
Thanks, Mark. - April Russo
I just came across this new-ish meta analysis: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD00888... (It's specifically geared towards acute lower back pain, though) - Eivind
[redacted] - April Russo
Thanks, Eivind. - April Russo
April Russo
Does common every day faith exist? I am not talking about religious faith or a belief in any sort of supernatural beings or deities. Or even a belief in an afterlife. I am talking about ordinary every day beliefs in things for which you have no proof, common to the events of everyday life. Looking for answers from atheists only, please.
Give me an example of something you have to do often that actually requires you to believe in something and make a decision or act without any proof that what you believe is true. - April Russo
Be married? - MoTO Moca Blend from Android
I have been told not to confuse trust with faith, that trust does not require faith, and that marriage requires trust, not faith. - April Russo
Personally, I thought trust required faith, that you can't trust without it. - April Russo
Perhaps trust can be lost because it based on some sort of evidence and relationship. but faith is much harder to lose precisely because it is faith. - Todd Hoff
I have been told that people trust others because over time there is evidence that they are trustworthy, and that trust doesn't require faith. - April Russo
But doesn't trusting that their actions in the future will be consistent with what they've done in the past require faith, since there is no evidence to support that? - April Russo
I've found that trusting someone can, in some cases, inspire trustworthiness. - MoTO Moca Blend from Android
But this isn't about trust. Trust is just an example, maybe. I don't know. But the question was about non-theist faith, for which I still don't have a good example. - April Russo
I think I have a general faith in people, in that if you expect the best of them, they will try to live up to that. It could be considered trust, but it often has no proof because it's "trust" in strangers. - Heather, 30k Camper
April, I think this is a very interesting question. For me, I take it on faith that the past is predictive of the future. Just because the sun has risen every morning so far, that doesn't prove that it will continue to do so tomorrow. But I take it on faith that the future will be like the past. (See Hume's Fork: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...) - Stephen Mack
Thank you Stephen...that's a wonderful example. And thanks for the link (almost sarcastically). I see I am going to be trapped in wikipedia for quite awhile. :-D - April Russo
Maitani
Neo Cultural-Evolutionism | Genealogy of Religion - http://genealogyreligion.net/neo-cul...
Neo Cultural-Evolutionism | Genealogy of Religion
"In evolutionary religious studies there are some scholars who claim that “religion” is an adaptation that is the product of natural selection. Though there are several different variants of this argument, all of them rely – in one way or another – on some form of “cultural evolution.” This is not cultural evolution in the old-fashioned, progressive, and normative anthropological sense (i.e., Lubbock, Tylor, and Frazer) — in its modern guises, cultural evolution relies on some variant of gene-culture co-evolution, niche construction, or memetics. While Dawkins and Dennett continue professing faith in memetics, they are pretty much alone. The most serious contender is the dual inheritance model first proposed by Boyd and Richerson (1985) in Culture and the Evolutionary Process." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"While these kinds of models are certainly plausible and mathematically elegant, I have long doubted that cultural units (such as “religion”) are the equivalent of genetic units and can be reduced to a simple variable that captures anything meaningful about the multi-causal complexities of cultural reality. “Religion” is not a simple binary that can be expressed as either... more... - Maitani
"Given these disagreements, it is nice to have the distinguished Massimo Pigliucci weigh in on the subject. Over at berfrois, he recently asked: “Is Cultural Evolution a Darwinian Process?” His answer is no. Why? Because the source of variation in biological evolution is random, whereas the source of variation in cultural evolution is directed. This foundational difference means that... more... - Maitani
So, it's more like cultural breeding than natural selection? :) - Eivind
Tinfoil 2.0
The Beauty of Agnosticism https://medium.com/who-i-a...
0*Yh3HgkXpAVdX9hkZ.jpeg
'We can finally admit that attempting to discern the entire checklist by which God will justify each person at the end of the world is entirely pointless and counterproductive to making the world a more beautiful place right here and right now.' - Tinfoil 2.0
As I see it, agnosticism is, most often, a reaction to some proposed deity. It's not the neutral, default position that most people seem to think it is, to me. It requires an unknown 'supernatural' realm.' This 'supernatural realm' is only there because people keep proposing supernatural beings. And we cannot know about these supernatural beings, these deities, only because the... more... - Eivind
"Two men say they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong" -Dire Straits :) [which of course doesn't rule out the other one being wrong too ;) ] - Tinfoil 2.0
The Three Christs of Ypsilanti: "In the late 1950s, psychologist Milton Rokeach was gripped by an eccentric plan. He gathered three psychiatric patients, each with the delusion that they were Jesus Christ, to live together for two years in Ypsilanti State Hospital to see if their beliefs would change. The early meetings were stormy. "You oughta worship me, I'll tell you that!" one of... more... - Eivind
Eddy63
It's Okay To Be Smart • sciencecenter: Cargo Cults and Creationists ... - http://www.itsokaytobesmart.com/post...
It's Okay To Be Smart • sciencecenter: Cargo Cults and Creationists ...
Eddy63
RDF: The disgrace of papal blessing for Ugandan homophobia - http://richarddawkins.net/news_ar...
From the comments: "I have a really bad feeling about this: three of the most morally bankrupt organisations in the known world, the Roman Catholic Church, Apple Computers and Fox News, coming together in some sort of trinity of evil." :) - Eivind
Stephen Mack
"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." -- Voltaire (_Questions sur les miracles_, 1765, quoted in http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki...)
Full French quote: <<Il y a eu des gens qui ont dit autrefois: Vous croyez des choses incompréhensibles, contradictoires, impossibles, parce que nous vous l’avons ordonné; faites donc des choses injustes parce que nous vous l’ordonnons. Ces gens-là raisonnaient à merveille. Certainement qui est en droit de vous rendre absurde est en droit de vous rendre injuste. Si vous n’opposez point aux ordres de croire l’impossible l’intelligence que Dieu a mise dans votre esprit, vous ne devez point opposer aux ordres de malfaire la justice que Dieu a mise dans votre coeur. Une faculté de votre âme étant une fois tyrannisée, toutes les autres facultés doivent l’être également. Et c’est là ce qui a produit tous les crimes religieux dont la terre a été inondée.>> - Stephen Mack
Translated: "Formerly there were those who said: You believe things that are incomprehensible, inconsistent, impossible because we have commanded you to believe them; go then and do what is unjust because we command it. Such people show admirable reasoning. Truly, whoever is able to make you absurd is able to make you unjust. If the God-given understanding of your mind does not resist a... more... - Stephen Mack
The headlined rephrasing of the quote is pithier, but "atrocity" may be a bit stronger than Voltaire intended. - Stephen Mack
Eddy63
The seven countries where the state can execute you for being atheist http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...
Tinfoil 2.0
76 things banned in the Bible, most of which are punishable by death http://boingboing.net/2012...
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Uh-oh. I'm in trouble. - Tinfoil 2.0
Hm. You're not allowed to mistreat foreigners, but you're allowed to keep them as slaves? I guess you have to be really good to your slaves, then :) - Eivind
Eddy63
Eivind
Letters of Note: Why I am an Atheist - http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012...
Letters of Note: Why I am an Atheist
"In 1903, Kentucky-based newspaper "Blue-grass Blade" asked its readers to write in and contribute to a forthcoming feature named, "Why I am An Atheist."" - Eivind from Bookmarklet
"Why am I an Atheist [/] Because it has dawned upon me that it is right to be so, and upon investigation I find no real evidence of the divine origin of the scriptures. And because I cannot, as a refined and respectable woman, take to my bosom as a daily guide a book of such low morals and degrading influences. Written by a lot of priests, I cannot accept a salvation that is based... more... - Eivind
seriously bold words for the time (not to mention now). i hope she didn't attract trouble by them. - Big Joe Silence
I was very surprised to find out that a Kentucky newspaper would prepare such a feature in the early 1900s. I'd like to find out more about the religious climate around that time in the US. - Eivind
Why are you surprised? - MoTO Moca Blend
I guess I keep making the mistake of thinking atheism is a modern thing. At least that it wasn't something you went public with in Christendom. - Eivind
I'm not sure what "Christendom" is. But in my neck of the woods, near Kentucky, you were pretty free to express your belief, or non-belief as long as you were willing for some older relative to label you a "heathen" and "back slider" while they fed you. - MoTO Moca Blend
"Ancient"? :) - MoTO Moca Blend
That was a bit later, though, MoTO, and I'd be equally surprised to find such a feature in a Norwegian paper from the first decade of the 1900s. I guess I tend to imagine the last 500 years or so as this linear march of progress (for 'the West') where we've gotten more and more social freedoms. I've encountered things many times before that didn't fit this model, but it seems to still... more... - Eivind
BC is ancient, right? - m9m, Crone of FriendFeed
It is to me. I think 'ancient' lasts about up to 'medieval' :) - Eivind
back in 8th grade i once made the mistake of calling myself an atheist. same day, after school, i got cornered by the bike rack by 10-15 WASPy Southern Baptist boys who proceeded to kick the shit out of me. i was peeing blood for most of a week. cops and school district were emphatically not interested. this happened in north Texas in 1982. - Big Joe Silence
While Kentucky is now a hotbed of religious fundamentalism and political conservatism, for a long time it was more of a live and live state. Religious fundamentalism didn't arrive in force until later in the 20th century. For instance, the church I grew up in, The Church of God, wasn't even founded until around 1900. The same is true for the Assembly of God which started on the West coast in 1906. - Friar Will
unrelated: i was "born again" in 2004. some ppl might never believe that, tho! - Big Joe Silence
Joe, one of my old roommates had almost the same experience in elementary school in TN (late 80's.) Her teacher basically said "it's your fault for being a godless heathen," and punished her instead of the other kids. I still don't get that sort of hate. - Jennifer Dittrich
Eivind, in the mid 1800's many German freethinkers immigrated to Texas, particularly around Fredericksburg and Comfort. Leonard is only about 500km north of there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki... - Ken Morley
I was expecting to see Samuel P. Putnam in that article. Maybe he wasn't a big name? I love his poem 'Earthward.' (edit: I just realized I don't even know if he's American :")) - Eivind
I admire young Minnie Parrish not only for her boldness saying that she's an atheist, but her courage to be a feminist while saying it, too. I think she's really something. But what you think about this? http://www.slate.com/article... - Cyber Wanderlust
I think the people harassing her are dicks. I don't understand why they're so angry, and I am no fan of the 'someone else has it worse' argument to try to silence complaints. - Eivind
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