Religion - is one better than another?

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Message 1456386 - Posted: 22 Dec 2013, 14:22:05 UTC

No, that date was the product of the Victorian fetish for numbers - they took some pretty wild guesses at how long folks had lived, and how many generations there were between certain events and came up with a number, which even as it was published was greeted with some scorn.
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Message 1456543 - Posted: 23 Dec 2013, 6:54:26 UTC - in response to Message 1456386.  

A Catholic Church official has said angels do exist - but that they 'do not have wings or look like cherubs'.

Father Renzo Lavator, an 'angelologist', said the heavenly beings, which are 'back in fashion' thanks to New Age religions, are in fact more like shards of light.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2527511/Angels-exist-dont-wings-like-shards-light-says-Catholic-Church-official.html
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Message 1456597 - Posted: 23 Dec 2013, 11:06:55 UTC - in response to Message 1456582.  
Last modified: 23 Dec 2013, 11:08:33 UTC

If you were ET surveying and mapping a planet, you might want to land away from civilisation in a desert somewhere to avoid frightening the population. Once there you would need to travel about. So you might have the leader of the expedition land in something like a Thunderbird 2. He would be seen by desert nomads as a God who "spoke in a loud voice and was enveloped in clouds when he came". A pretty good description of a jump jet type cargo shuttle aircraft landing on a dusty plain. In the hold would be large CH47 helicopters (Archangels), smaller blackhawk helicopters (Angels), and one man gyrocopters (Cherubs). You might also want to travel on land so a snowcat type vehicle might be useful "wheels within wheels turning not as they went".

How else could people of the time thousands of years ago describe what they had seen to others, limited by the language and knowledge they had.


Why would a civilization capable of interstellar travel use such inefficient machines like helicopters? Its likely that such a civilization has mastered thrust vectoring, if not something much more advanced, to such a degree their aircrafts no longer require rotating blades to hoover in the air. Aside from that, helicopters make a lot of noise and without special technology they also cause a minor sandstorm in the desert. Have them hoover over a nomad camping area and you probably blow away their tents. Not to mention the noise a helicopter tends to make. If you want to play God to a bunch of savages I doubt helicopters are the thing to use.

Also, why would you use such slow lumbering tractor like vehicles if you want to move around if you got aircraft that can land with such precision that you can pretty much go anywhere you like with your aircraft.
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Message 1456615 - Posted: 23 Dec 2013, 13:24:59 UTC

Religion in the 21st century

"My entire family are Muslims and I can wholeheartedly say that this is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. If your religion forbids you form handling alcohol, don’t work in a shop that sells alcohol. A Catholic wouldn’t work in an abortion clinic and a Hindu wouldn’t work in a bovine slaughter house. This woman is either a hypocrite or she has a severe lack of common sense."

An excellent explanation of religion!
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Message 1456705 - Posted: 23 Dec 2013, 17:31:32 UTC

People do not have common sense when it comes to religion, that is the worlds biggest problem.


Agreed.
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Message 1456713 - Posted: 23 Dec 2013, 18:01:23 UTC - in response to Message 1456602.  

We think mankind originated from central Africa, and that religions originated from the Middle East. Most religions have this great flood story. The Mediterranean basin was a plain until 5 million years ago when the Atlantic ocean flooded it. And the English Channel was a fertile valley until the North Sea meltwaters broke through the Weald–Artois anticline land bridge between Northern France and SE England, and joined up with the Atlantic 200,000 years ago. Given their proximity to the Mediterranean, could either of them have been the Great Flood? If you were a friendly ET and saw it about to happen, would you warn Noah?

I can't prove a thing, but it's fun to speculate.

If I were a friendly ET who lacked common sense and intelligence I would warn Noah. But that would beg the question why that particular ET was put on a spaceship or why that ET civilization had access to such advanced technology if they had no idea what the consequences would be. Unless of course they did realize and they did it on purpose, which makes us little more than an experiment in social engineering. Or another possibility would be that we are part of an advanced simulation to study how our long term history would react on certain stimuli.

Another thing we should wonder is if the flood story indeed covers the flooding of the Mediterranean area or the English channel, and if so, would a story survive for either 5 million or 200 thousand years intact? Or is it likely that after such a long time, people would have added and changed so much of the story that it would be completely unrecognizable.
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Message 1456809 - Posted: 23 Dec 2013, 20:35:33 UTC

It was politely pointed out to me that there is evidence of religion prior to 10,000 years ago. I am thankful for the correction, and am posting the link that was given to me.

Prehistory Religion

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Message 1456817 - Posted: 23 Dec 2013, 20:44:06 UTC - in response to Message 1456740.  

Possible, but that sounds a bit like Douglas Adams and the HGTTG.

There is a very interesting debate regarding the possibility that we are actually part of some advanced simulation. And personally I do not think the idea is entirely unrealistic. Such a feat certainly falls within the realm of the possible for any post-singularity civilization, and it might provide interesting insights either in our history, our behavior or even our future.

Given that our current civilization is moving towards the technological singularity, I do not find it entirely unrealistic that we might create our own simulations ourselves. Obviously it would take a while before we have created large enough computers to compute such a thing, but given that such a singularity is capable of transforming at least the entire solar system into a gigantic computer network, it should fall well within the realm of the possible.

I think the Channel flood is much more within the timescale I would accept. We don't know where Noah really lived do we? Anywhere in Europe would sort of fit. And it noticeable that so many religions have this great flood in their history.

Well, when it comes to timescale maybe, but the geographical location makes the English channel less likely, given the spread of the story. Why would Hindu's know about a flood in the English channel. It would mean that people would have gone from Africa, to Europe, then back to India and the Middle East. I don't think human migration patterns match like that, but I could be wrong about that. If someone knows more about that, then please enlighten me.

Aside from that, the current story speaks of a sort of sudden flood. Wouldn't the English channel have filled rather gradually if it was the result of melting water? Also, the story in my head also seems to have set around the Middle East, but that could also be my cultural bias along with simple changes within the story itself.
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Message 1456874 - Posted: 23 Dec 2013, 21:59:14 UTC - in response to Message 1456817.  

Sounds like someone caught up to much in "The Matrix"

Anyone for a reload?
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Message 1457268 - Posted: 25 Dec 2013, 1:15:10 UTC

"The Right-Wing Is Filled with Biblical Illiterates -- They'd Be Shocked by the Teachings of Jesus if They Ever Bothered to Study Them
It's preposterous to suggest that Jesus wouldn't have supported food stamps -- yet many right-wingers do just that."
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Message 1457269 - Posted: 25 Dec 2013, 1:16:23 UTC

"The Brits have it right: forget Happy Holidays, just wish people Merry Christmas
I'd rather be able to wish people in the US a Merry Christmas this week without having to worry if they'll be offended"
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Message 1457274 - Posted: 25 Dec 2013, 2:16:07 UTC - in response to Message 1457269.  

"The Brits have it right: forget Happy Holidays, just wish people Merry Christmas
I'd rather be able to wish people in the US a Merry Christmas this week without having to worry if they'll be offended"

You can say that to me I wont be offended.
Merry Christmas ES.
[/quote]

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Message 1457351 - Posted: 25 Dec 2013, 11:22:05 UTC

Indeed, Merry Christmas everyone :)

Also, interesting article about American biblical illiteracy.
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Message 1457397 - Posted: 25 Dec 2013, 14:30:06 UTC

Here is as good a place as any, I too, wish everyone a Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Holiday, whichever you prefer. I was surprised that an extremely devout muslim would work in a store that sold spirits, let alone ring them up herself. I didn't think they cared what us infidels drank.
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Message 1457431 - Posted: 25 Dec 2013, 17:53:10 UTC - in response to Message 1457397.  

Here is as good a place as any, I too, wish everyone a Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Holiday, whichever you prefer. I was surprised that an extremely devout muslim would work in a store that sold spirits, let alone ring them up herself. I didn't think they cared what us infidels drank.

Muslims come in a variety of devoutness. I knew some that wouldn't set food in a pub, I knew some that liked a good drink. Back in the UK we could always rely on the mulsim owned corner store to be open on Christmas day and they sold alcohol.
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Message 1457432 - Posted: 25 Dec 2013, 17:56:29 UTC - in response to Message 1457348.  

I wish a Merry Christmas to everyone here, or if you would rather, Happy Holidays instead. There you are you see, seasons felicitations in a way that you are happy to accept. Shouldn't that be basically what it's all about.

Happy Magic Baby Day!!



I hope its a nice day however you celebrate.
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Message 1457513 - Posted: 26 Dec 2013, 0:05:38 UTC - in response to Message 1454763.  
Last modified: 26 Dec 2013, 0:50:59 UTC

Comparing a dictator to a capitalist in the manner you are is incredibly far-fetched. Any thinking that starts with "If I kill these people, then our lives will be better" is irrational. Any minutia in the rationale afterward is irrelevant. Any decent capitalist simply wants to make money, and possibly employ people to do the work for him/her. The minutia of how a decent capitalist goes about earning the money is irrelevant so long as they are not harming people.

I get the feeling you just don't want to see it. Yes, the premise on which the logic starts is flawed, but the structure of the logic is exactly the same. The same motives play a role here, namely the need to maximize efficiency and minimize cost. That does not suddenly become irrational because you disagree with the premise and the goal.


Again, if you're building a structure of logic on a flawed premise, then everything that comes after is flawed as well. To further equate the logic of the Nazi killings with capitalism, or to further suggest that Nazism is somehow the epitome of pure rationalism is unequivocally flawed as well.

It isn't that I refuse to see the point you are attempting to illustrate. It is that I think your interpretations and conclusions are highly suspect as being largely incorrect, and if you do indeed equate rationalism or Atheism/Darwinism with either of those premises, it's no wonder that you find Atheism itself disagreeable. I would further proffer that your disagreement with Atheism is just as flawed and incorrect as your assertion of Nazism and capitalism.

So what comes after it is not irrelevant, it shows exactly that far from being murderous sadistic brutes, the Nazis were extremely cold and rational in their attempt to exterminate millions of people. Personally, I only find that it makes their regime worse. Unconstrained hatred for the other is tragic, but far more easy to comprehend then the cold, emotionless and calculating way in which millions were killed without mercy. The Nazis treated them like we treat cattle when we lead them to the meat factory.


And likewise that you do not seem to want to see is that just because you believe the Nazis were coldly rational in their killing methods, does not mean that Atheism and pure rationality is cold or inhumane.

The root of your argument seems to rest on the false idea that Atheism/Darwinism is without respect for life, and that only the belief in religion or religious influences are what makes us better at being human.
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Message 1457514 - Posted: 26 Dec 2013, 0:07:50 UTC - in response to Message 1454770.  

My point with the Nazis was that pure rationality does not prevent massacres.


You have a funny way of illustrating your point, and I would add that you were arguing a straw-man. I never claimed that pure rationality does not prevent massacres. My argument was simply that Nazism != Atheism/rationalism, which was only in defense of your seeming position to the contrary.
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Message 1457516 - Posted: 26 Dec 2013, 0:15:29 UTC - in response to Message 1457514.  

Pope Reaches out to Atheists.
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Message 1457517 - Posted: 26 Dec 2013, 0:15:48 UTC - in response to Message 1454816.  

I see you brought up an excellent example in history which demonstrates the flaws in human nature which are applicable to many points of discussion in the general area of politics.


No one ever claimed that there aren't flaws in human nature. The example of Nazism should be viewed for what it was: an isolated, twisted interpretation of a country's moment in time where blaming others for the fault of their woes was somehow acceptable. Nazism was not a demonstration in rationalism or in Atheism.

Of course, the standard response in here (and probably many other forums) is that the "Godwin principle" has been envoked, which was created and designed to shut down any logical sequence of discussion.


I invoked Godwin's Law because I saw what was coming next. Immediately when you start talking about Nazism, it tends to force one party in the discussion to have to defend certain ideas or positions in an attempt to illustrate a point, whereby neither party may feel comfortable doing so. I was correct in my concern as Michiel at one point wanted me to defend why massive genocide is not acceptable.

I never attempted to "shut down" any "logical sequence of discussion" but rather would have preferred to use other means to illustrate a point.

This thread is obviously a response to my "why is teaching atheism good?" and since there was no real answer to that given, the answer became obvious... teaching atheism is not good for society.


Indoctrinating anyone into a particular line of reasoning is indeed bad, including Atheism. What should be important is to teach the facts, and teach people how to find the facts and test their conclusions.
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