I Like the Atheist Life (OT)

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 1116 of total 1116 in this topic
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 28, 2012 - 09:15pm PT
I thought it would be nice to have a thread where SuperTopo Atheists could tell tell their story and make a statement of their lack of blind faith.

Format:

1. What happened that lead you to follow the trail to Atheism? How did you find your lack of blind faith?

2. How does god™ being dead help you deal with life? What do you have that helps you to take comfort in the Atheist Life?

3. What is your affiliation? Union of Concerned Scientists? Atheists Alliance International? Or perhaps a local group or person you would like to acknowledge? Perhaps you follow atheism from within, unaffiliated with any group.

Please let others tell their story, hold your reactions, criticize on other threads and let the Atheists, or whatever lack of blind faith they may have post here, be proud of who they are being for a moment.
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 28, 2012 - 09:18pm PT
Just to be clear:

I have many christian friends. I like them and they like me. We respect each other and our own beliefs. I also have friends who have other religious beliefs, and all that is just fine by me.



But as an atheist I feel compelled to request equal time and consideration. I'm tired of feeling like I live in a country that automatically condemns anyone who doesn't have "faith" as somehow abnormal.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Aug 28, 2012 - 09:20pm PT
Oh you do , do you...?
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Aug 28, 2012 - 09:20pm PT
I thought the Eldo Route "Blind Faith" was wicked cool. but I try not to be judgmental.
WBraun

climber
Aug 28, 2012 - 09:22pm PT
I respect the atheist.

Better to remain an atheist than to preach a bunch of bullsh!t religion and mislead people.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Aug 28, 2012 - 09:23pm PT
Khanom, well done, apropos thread, indeed.

I look forward to hearing the testimonials and perhaps even giving a few.


.....

Nice to see the term "atheist" spelled correctly as well, at least in the thread title.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Aug 28, 2012 - 09:23pm PT
I had atheist foot once...Eating a Dessenex burger rid me of the fungus...
Some Random Guy

Trad climber
San Franpsycho (a.k.a. a token of my extreme)
Aug 28, 2012 - 09:30pm PT
I'm tired of feeling like I live in a country that automatically condemns anyone who doesn't have "faith" as somehow abnormal.
amen.....wait is that an oxymoron by saying that?!?!
Lovegasoline

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Aug 28, 2012 - 09:37pm PT
Bonn, June 11, 1865: Letter to Elisabeth Nietzsche

Dear Lisbeth,

[....] As for your principle that truth is always on the side of the more difficult, I admit this in part. However, it is difficult to believe that 2 times 2 is not 4; does that make it true?

On the other hand, is it really so difficult simply to accept everything that one has been brought up on and that has gradually struck deep roots—what is considered truth in the circle of one’s relatives and of many good men, and what, moreover, really comforts and elevates men? Is that more difficult than to strike new paths, fighting the habitual, experiencing the insecurity of independence and the frequent wavering of one’s feelings and even one’s conscience, proceeding often without any consolation, but ever with the eternal goal of the true, the beautiful, and the good?

Is it decisive after all that we arrive at that view of God, world, and reconciliation which makes us feel most comfortable? Rather, is it not the result of his inquiries something wholly indifferent to the true inquirer? Do we after all seek rest, peace, and pleasure in our inquiries? No, only truth—even if it be the most abhorrent and ugly.

Still one last question: if we had believed from childhood that all salvation issued from someone other than Jesus—say, from Mohammed—is it not certain that we should have experienced the same blessings? I point this out to you, dear Lisbeth, only to disprove the most common means of evidence relied upon by orthodox people who derive the infallibility of their belief from subjective, inner experience. Every true faith accomplishes what the person who has the faith hopes to find in it; but faith does not offer the least support for a proof of objective truth.

Hence the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire. [....]

-Friedrich Nietzsche
jstan

climber
Aug 28, 2012 - 09:37pm PT
Neither of my parents' families were church goers. When I was maybe four or five they once took us to the local presbyterian church. I spent the whole bloody morning coloring squirrels. When we got home my mom asked me if I wanted to go again. I said I had too much to do to go wasting time that way. I thought of adding that I did not view crayons as a promising career path for me. But decided to keep my own counsel.

When a little older I started a self-improvement project ( I still could use one) and undertook to read the bible from cover to cover. I got several pages into accounts of begetting and decided two things.
1. These people must have been really horny.
2. They were more interested in who their father was than what anyone thought it was right to do.

I didn't like them at all.

That was that.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 28, 2012 - 09:43pm PT
I'm a born-again atheist every morning.
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Aug 28, 2012 - 09:53pm PT
An easy red flag when you gotta attack others to make your point (OP).
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Aug 28, 2012 - 11:39pm PT
Anyone with an education in Philosophy or Rhetoric is bound to react viscerally to organized religion- language is just too pliable, and evidence is king since the enlightenment.

I find the US to be a pretty tolerant place to live as a secular humanist- but then again I run around in narrow circles of the educated, and the artistic. I think the hype about how psycho religious this society is, is just that: hype.

Sure the evangelicals (in all religious bents) are scary f#cks, but they are a minority.

I think there is a fine line between agnosticism and atheism- and I also think you can be both. I am atheist in that I disbelieve all theistic constructions and attempts at meta-physics. But I also reserve the right to find full awe at the universe, cosmology, quantum theory, mathematics in general, the technology it has all spawned. I also reserve the right to admit first hand experience of existential ennui and the profound paradox that seems inherent and in fact required for all feedback loops, all life, all consciousness. So by that I am agnostic- because the ride is pretty damn cool- and I just don't know.
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Aug 29, 2012 - 12:34am PT
The things they said in church never made sense to me.

Then one day I asked Jesus into my heart. Nothing changed, so I concluded that either a) Jesus wasn't listening, b) having Jesus in my heart was just the same as having Jesus not in my heart, and / or c) Jesus didn't exist.

Khanom, nice one :-). 3-point swish.

Contrary to Khanom's request: Believers, feel free to tell me that my beliefs are wrong (here, or by knocking on the front door to my sanctuary), hand me flyers on the street telling me I'm wrong, put up billboards, tell me I need Jesus, etc.

Oh, right... I forgot: your brethren are already doing that...
squishy

Mountain climber
Aug 29, 2012 - 12:47am PT
should be here..

paganmonkeyboy

climber
mars...it's near nevada...
Aug 29, 2012 - 05:26am PT
I've personally only got a beef with those few religions that profess non-believers will spend eternity in some sort of hell...That just seems elitist and exclusionary to me, very offensive actually...

All the other religions are cool in my book though ;-)
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Aug 29, 2012 - 05:58am PT
I was baptized and raised a Catholic, priests, nuns (and lay teachers) in the Catholic school (until I got kicked out), altar boy (weddings were great, the groom would slip you some money and the bride's father as well), all that stuff, when I was nine I wanted to be the first American pope. When I was ten I wanted to be an astronaut, (always reaching for the heavens in one way or another).

But over the years, none of it made real sense for me (and I also saw enough hypocrites at mass), 'rotten' six days of the week, but angels and saints on Sundays).

Okay to believe in a deity/faith helps some people, coolaboola, I have no problem with that.

It is the fanatics of any religion (or no religion for that matter) that bother me. I can take the moderates any day.

When Jennie was in hospital recently, an elderly woman in a bed in Jen's room (there was generally four beds to the room in St Anne's Ward) was visited by her daughter, a nun.

Katherine (her name) and I talked for a while, it was interesting and 'fun' (no, not 'fun with the nun', for those of you who may be dirty minded, heh heh). I told her that I was an avowed atheist and evolutionist, and she was okay with that, no preaching. And I wasn't bothered by her vocation.

People with sense, the moderates, can get along, but throw a fundamentalist nut in the mix, and that is when the problems start.

When evangelists of any sort (Seventh Day Adventists, Mormon, Jehovah's, 'non-aligned', whoever) come to the door (will gates now and press the intercom) I come out to meet them, and when I realize why they are there, I tell them, politely, that I am an avowed atheist, that I do not believe in God, but in nature and the goodness of human beings. Thank you and have a good day. Once in a while there is the persistent one, so I just go back into the house.
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
Aug 29, 2012 - 06:25am PT
I'm in. Was brought up by parents who were deeply religious early in their respective lives and dropped it once they got married in NYC City Hall because each was of a different religion (mom=southern baptist, dad=eastern orthodox) and my dad's side sent death threats to my mom, quite the wake up call. So I was never indoctrinated with religious precepts and revealed truths... And my Sundays were free and clear then and remain so to this day.

My wife was selectively religious when we first met. I have since broken her of that fence-sitting and she fell onto the evil non-believer side with me. However, she did send two of our kids to a Lutheran pre-school where my son began to believe in hell and that god is vengeful. Yikes, had to break him of that.

I can say that the entire Gunkie Gang is now living on the evil side of the fence. More can be learned from the attached video below.

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 29, 2012 - 06:41am PT
Many immigrants came here for freedom of religion, hopefully, someday, freedom from religion will include avowed atheists being successful in the political arena.
MisterE

Social climber
Aug 29, 2012 - 06:58am PT
This thread has already been done recently, Khanom - although it was spelled incorrectly

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1907498/I-love-the-athiest-life-OT
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Aug 29, 2012 - 07:36am PT
Raised a non-denominational pastors kid. Was loved but controlled.


Grew up, moved out and discovered that I had no motivations to continue the sham.


Drank beer ,had sex, did drugs.


Mushrooms taught me that everything around me is full of unconditional love and that god as I had been taught was an unnecessary and contrived wast of my time and energy.


Decided to live every day for the present and to learn and grow as a human till I go back to sleep at the other end of my lucky life.
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 29, 2012 - 08:30am PT
Woops, didn't see the previous thread as I was absent from the internet for a bit.



But also, I don't love atheism, I merely like it.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Aug 29, 2012 - 08:31am PT
Another Atheist Thread??

10b4me

Ice climber
dingy room at the Happy boulders hotel
Aug 29, 2012 - 08:51am PT
Unfortunately because of the bullshit that organized religions espouse, people have no alternative other than to become atheists.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 29, 2012 - 08:52am PT
Once again, the Virtuous Pagans are excluded. Sheesh!
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Aug 29, 2012 - 06:36pm PT
Squishy, might I presume you related to what Sam Harris said?

Anyways, thanks for super-tweeting his ideas.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Aug 29, 2012 - 06:49pm PT
why do we have two atheist threads?

are we evangelizing?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Aug 29, 2012 - 06:52pm PT
Perhaps I am the only one who cares about the proper spelling of atheist?

Btw, evangelizing merely means... getting the message out. Only Christian evangelizing has given the word a crappy side.

Evangelizing science, also the value of science education, are good things.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Aug 29, 2012 - 07:07pm PT
Anyone with an education...

Alright, a science education then.

Organized religions in Abrahamic form are a crockpot of bronze-age misconceptions institutionalized when it comes to truth-claims regarding how the world works. Straight as that.

Anyone who is science and history literate will realize this and anyone with a backbone will take a stand to evangelize this in the interest of human civilization.

Unless he is so old or worn down or burned out he just doesn't care anymore. (There are umpteen millions in this camp.)

Blessed are the young people (with unbounding energy) who push the envelope into terra incognita.
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Aug 29, 2012 - 07:21pm PT
Anyone with an education...

Alright, a science education then

In his personal testimony, Dr. Schaefer writes that on his fourth year as a faculty member at UC Berkeley, he became a Christian. Ever since, he has made the most of his opportunities as a gifted chemist and teacher to speak on the topics of faith and science to a wide, mostly college audience. Dr. Schaefer speaks convincingly that one can be a credible scientist and a committed Christian, that the scientific view is not necessarily opposed to the religious. Dr. Schaefer is also willing to speak about his personal experiences and struggles as a Christian, including having to deal with the death of his adopted infant son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). A man of unquestioned intelligence, with a passion for sharing his faith, Dr. Schaefer almost left his faculty position at the University of Georgia when he was criticized for being too outspoken about God (which was quickly resolved in his favor). Dr. Schaefer is the Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and the director of the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry at the University of Georgia. He has authored more than 900 scientific publications. He has been recognized as one of the most cited chemists in the world and was nominated for the Nobel Prize. He graduated from M.I.T. and has a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Stanford University
http://www.veritas.org/Presenters.aspx?pid=23


Does this qualify?


P.S. Evangelism is derived from the Greek word euaggelion, meaning “gospel” or “good news.” The verbal forms of euaggelizesthai, meaning “to bring” or “to announce good news” occur some fifty-five times (Acts 8:4, Acts 8:25, Acts 8:35; Acts 11:20) and are normally translated with the appropriate form of the word “preach.” Evangelism has to do with the proclamation of the message of good news.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Aug 29, 2012 - 07:32pm PT
It's too bad me and Fruity could never team up
He is just a little judgemental to aid a fellow traveler, and instead bites the hand that feeds him

Dr. F,

but I think we are something of a team already. Maybe good cop bad cop fits the bill? Yeah, and you're the good cop, m'kay? ;)

We gotta keep the pot stirred, that's what evolution working on these so-called "culture wars" needs to work its best.

We're like different players on the gridiron, that's all. We may have different strategies and moves but we both have the very same multi-strategy playbook, and we both know where the goal line is. That's what matters.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 29, 2012 - 07:35pm PT
Sorry P. Rob, there are always exceptions, but face the facts. In a country, by all measures extremely religious, only 7% of eminent scientists (those elected to the National Academy of Sciences) believe in a personal god.
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Aug 29, 2012 - 07:45pm PT
“Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.”
― Blaise Pascal, Pensées

There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.
Blaise Pascal


A survey of scientists who are members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press in May and June 2009, finds that members of this group are, on the whole, much less religious than the general public.1 Indeed, the survey shows that scientists are roughly half as likely as the general public to believe in God or a higher power. According to the poll, just over half of scientists (51%) believe in some form of deity or higher power; specifically, 33% of scientists say they believe in God, while 18% believe in a universal spirit or higher power. By contrast, 95% of Americans believe in some form of deity or higher power, according to a survey of the general public conducted by the Pew Research Center in July 2006. Specifically, more than eight-in-ten Americans (83%) say they believe in God and 12% believe in a universal spirit or higher power. Finally, the poll of scientists finds that four-in-ten scientists (41%) say they do not believe in God or a higher power, while the poll of the public finds that only 4% of Americans share this view
Mr. Donini of all the folks on threads of these currents you have modeled, IMO, the most consistent and decent personality. Unfortunately many have chosen to behave in the very fashion they rail against “ If you do not believe like me than you are & a ” – Just fill in the blank with ones favorite pejorative - Nothing sweet or learned about them – base name calling, and E thuggery. Different sides of the same evil coin.


P.S. wikipedia is not always the best source Mr.D
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 29, 2012 - 07:51pm PT
I agree with you P.Rob, it seems that where religion or politics are concerned, intelligent discourse is often replaced by vitriol and ad hominen arguments. Too bad, arguments can be presented in a collegial manner and still carry weight.
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Aug 29, 2012 - 07:58pm PT
I agree with you P.Rob, it seems that where religion or politics are concerned intelligent, discourse is often replaced by vitriol and ad hominen arguments. Too bad, arguments can be presented in a collegial way and still carry weight.


And in that fashion that’s what makes them …… well fun. Test my faith; challenge what I believe in …. Make me think. Start getting ugly and resort to name calling – especially behind an avatar or some other pseudonym …………… really? Thank you Jim for operating with reason
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Aug 29, 2012 - 08:08pm PT
If you do not believe like me than you are...

Curious, can anyone find the name-calling, "E- thuggery" (whatever that is), etc. that this P.Rob guy has alluded to in his last couple of posts on this thread?

Or is he just blowing smoke? Maybe I'll check to see if there's any context on the other thread (you know, the one with the misspelled title) that might substantiate his claim. Otherwise he's just another phony trotting out the usual "defender of the faith" pablum.

.....

Yeah, we progressive atheists (for lack of a better word, presently) dare point out "aborting zygotes isn't murdering people," for example, or dare express our claim that angels and demons don't exist any more than unicorns... and we are called "haters." ("Haters" spewing "vitriol," etc.)

If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Like Campbell says, if you don't participate then you're on the sidelines. And if you participate and don't give as good as you get, you get rolled over. So it's not nearly so simple as we all would like. Hence what we witness, and what we have, in politics and these culture wars and in history at large.

Personally, I think your posts are spineless, P.Rob. WADR.

(Tsk, is that name calling?)

.....


EDIT to ADD

From my quick research, it seems Bluering was the most incendiary of the herd, hiterto. Isn't Bluering a Christian?
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Aug 29, 2012 - 08:40pm PT
From my quick research, it seems Bluering was the most incendiary of the herd, hiterto. Isn't Bluering a Christian?

oh yes, Blue often professed his Christian faith
MisterE

Social climber
Aug 29, 2012 - 08:46pm PT
Leave it to the Christians to insert their rage of belief into anything that threatens/opposes their sense of righteousness.

Such is the life of secularity - aren't the rest of us happy we don't have to spend so much energy to make others conform to our beliefs?

It is such an easier process not having the "leaden book" to make me behave like some sort of religious crack addict.
WBraun

climber
Aug 29, 2012 - 09:22pm PT
Yer all religious nut cases yourselves.

Religiously posting on Supertopo daily with stupid meaningless advice ........
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Aug 29, 2012 - 10:08pm PT
And stupid meaningless opinions about stupid meaningless advice.

The wheels on the bus go round and round.

HFCF, you have a way with debates. *LIKE* I remember when peeple thought you were just a punk.

Boy, were they wrong.
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Aug 29, 2012 - 11:50pm PT
Talk about lead book. I had a principle at a christian school I went to hit me over the head with his bible once. Hard.

Didn't work. What an as#@&%e.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Aug 30, 2012 - 08:05am PT
I remember when peeple thought you were just a punk.

People? Wasn't that mostly the girls (and those defending them) because I wouldn't give em a free pass on their supernatural beliefs, lol!

Evangelizing science, YouTube gets the modern good news out to the masses...




No free passes for girls, they need to know science in the modern age as much as the boys. More so, if it's going to be a woman's world. -Which seems to be the way it's trending, sorry boys. ;)
maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Aug 30, 2012 - 09:01am PT
I finally gave myself permission to say I didn't believe in god after listening to this wonderful monologue by Julia Sweeney:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bqh53RCkURQ (This will take to part one of 13 parts. Part 2 will appear on the upper right of your screen while you're watching part 1, etc, etc.)

It's also available from Amazon to download to your iPhone or whatever. Makes a great road story. The whole story last about 90 minutes.

Mal
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 30, 2012 - 09:15am PT
Was thinking about this today (and it's been touched on already... in both threads):

Christians who afford me the respect for my personal beliefs that they demand for themselves are just fine by me. But the problem is that the very nature of the religion requires that they not afford that respect, and that they diminish any beliefs or ideologies that differ (Exodus 20:3, among others... He's a jealous god!).

The Christians who do accept my atheism -- ie don't "pity" me, try to convert me, or assume I'm going to hell -- are the ones that don't seem to conform to mainstream Christian ideas. They are not the literal-interpretation types. To me that's about personal disposition more than ideology.

I specifically wanted to mention Lynne 'cause she's such a wonderful person. The topic came up with us exactly once, and when I said something like "I believe we all follow our own path" we moved on. I have many Christian friends like this and it's the "model" of Christian acceptance and tolerance that I grew up with.

Although I goofed in not seeing the other thread, my intention was that atheists should have an opportunity to stand on equal footing with Christians, and that being nasty and intolerant in the "I Like the Christian Life" thread is crass and inappropriate. I may poke fun at Christians all the time, but much of that is opposition to the kind of extremist, absolutist thinking that doesn't just affect me on a personal level, but either drives or justifies (depending on your view) on-going and costly global conflict.
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
Aug 30, 2012 - 09:19am PT
Here's the whole 2 hour Julia Sweeney - Letting go of God in one file.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri3-DpSn7AA&feature=related

One day I'll have to load this onto a portable player and listen to it on a plane flight.
Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Aug 30, 2012 - 10:49am PT
I'm all for having the freedom to choose how one approaches the mystical/spiritual. Slamming other's beliefs won't win you any arguments and shows a lack of respect especially in any "appreciation thread". Appreciation threads are meant for those who want to share the stoke about a person, belief, place, etc. If I don't share the stoke on a particular thread I see no reason to crap on it (not that I always follow my own advise)

Bill Callahan (Smog) wrote a beautiful song about his personal quest.

Daphne

Trad climber
Black Rock City
Aug 30, 2012 - 12:35pm PT
I'm not an atheist but I am so grateful for a thread that spells it right. Thank you! I am an intolerant speller, I wish I wasn't --but I am.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Aug 30, 2012 - 12:54pm PT
OK
I will also switch to this thread, for the spelling police

Nothing can be more freeing than stripping away all the religious dogma, the guilt, the thinking that something is looking over your shoulder, and the billions of questions that will never be answered (about how God does things)

It's like being Born Again, but born FREE of BS
maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Aug 30, 2012 - 12:57pm PT
Thanks Gunkie. It was listening to this on a road trip that led me to believe that, finally, it was okay to not believe in god.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Aug 30, 2012 - 09:02pm PT

http://connecticut.cbslocal.com/2012/08/30/national-atheist-party-cancels-convention-due-to-lack-of-funding/
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Aug 30, 2012 - 09:07pm PT
How many ways have you seen Daphne misspelled?
MisterE

Social climber
Aug 30, 2012 - 09:18pm PT
Daphne: spelling is at least forgivable...or maybe not?

Haha! You believe in correct spelling! I was raised a rabidly-proper American English, and yet I can forgive.

Where is the tolerance when one needs it? :)

Here is a link to remind you how far down the rabbit-hole one can go:

http://books.google.com/books/about/Miss_Manners_Guide_to_Excruciatingly_Cor.html?id=FOodocaTLsMC

;)



Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 30, 2012 - 09:24pm PT
She doesn't understand the freedom inherent, in, punctuation, though, especially periods.

Edit, I mean, commas,!
Daphne

Trad climber
Black Rock City
Aug 30, 2012 - 10:48pm PT
^^^ you know how your use of commas drives me crazy! argh!!

Seems the most preferred ways of misspelling Daphne are
Daffeney
Daphine
Daffnie

I was also raised in a home that demanded perfect English-- the intolerant belief system i acquired in that home has been hard to shake.

On the other hand, my father was an impassioned atheist. What happened to me?
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 30, 2012 - 11:07pm PT
My mother was an English professor. She taught me that language is flexible and evolves.

It's the message that counts, not how it is conveyed.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Aug 31, 2012 - 02:43pm PT
^^^^^^

And yes, the English language is one of the most flexible. Though I love French and the lyrical italian, just for example, English has proven to be the most adaptable, not such a bad thing, which is why I suppose it is the international language (apologies to Francophones).

As a copy editor/sub-editor, I have to be pedantic in my job, but as a writer, screw it, conventions go out the window.

From an avowed atheist, and I ain't going back.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 31, 2012 - 03:49pm PT
People in foxholes are better off keeping their heads down than praying.
WBraun

climber
Aug 31, 2012 - 03:49pm PT
The sound vibrations of the English language still has no real potency.

Take for example the word water.

That word when vibrated is not water.

There are words when sound vibrated that are absolute when vibrated without offenses.

Those words will act just like medicine will act whether one believes or not.

This why I say the mundane gross material mental speculators have no potency.

And they don't .......
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 31, 2012 - 03:55pm PT
Werner, I have to admit that when I start to read some of your posts the voice in my head suddenly shifts to José Jiménez.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Aug 31, 2012 - 04:01pm PT
What happened to me?

Beauty.

DMT
Daphne

Trad climber
Black Rock City
Aug 31, 2012 - 04:17pm PT
:)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Aug 31, 2012 - 06:52pm PT
I especially like climbing with atheists.

You can tell all the politically-incorrect, off-color religious jokes you want (recall Pate's best jokes thread) and you can talk all you want about religions and their nonsense in the style of George Carlin open and freely without having to always check your language.

Climbing with hardcore supernaturalists whether Christian or Muslim wouldn't ever be my first pick. (Birds of a feather flock together, it's only natural.) But maybe I'll have to at some point when I'm older - beggars can't be choosy. :)

.....

Thought for the day: If Clint Eastwood can talk to an empty chair, then why can't Christians pray to an ancient carpenter whose bones have long turned to dust?
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Aug 31, 2012 - 07:04pm PT
in the style of George Carlin open and freely without having to always check your language.


 Mainly because anyone who is offended by "George Carlin" style humor is a f*#kin pussy, and leads to the "pussification" of the American male.


In my view one of the reasons for climbing is to push thy self to thy limit right?
Or at the very least have a bunch of fun within one's limits…

How often have you heard anyone thanking god when they got to the top of a climb?
I'd be the guy on belay yelling up "YOU ONLY HAVE YOURSELF TO THANK… YOU DID ALL THAT WORK AND YOUR F*#KING TRAINING AND PERSEVERANCE GOT YOU TO THE TOP OF THAT CLIMB!!!

Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Aug 31, 2012 - 08:45pm PT



I agree with this clip….. Is it possible that, when those who have had those "at one with the universe" moments it's only happening because that is an instance where a single person has let go of their self, their ego, and their thought of what makes them them, they have let go enough to see, feel and understand that they are the universe. That all that is found in the universe is found in each of us and is accessible by all if only we could let go of the self, the ego and the self imposed (or societal imposed) limits we all seem to want to place on ourselves and each other.

ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Aug 31, 2012 - 09:56pm PT
yer gonna burn in hell forever, and then some more
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Aug 31, 2012 - 09:58pm PT
I am an intolerant speller, I wish I wasn't --but I am.

but apparently you is not so good at teh grammar

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 31, 2012 - 09:58pm PT
Or at the very least have a bunch of fun within one's limits…

Sometimes I think the real fun doesn't start until I'm one move past my limits.
MisterE

Social climber
Aug 31, 2012 - 10:27pm PT
Time for some Atheist jokes - I know you won't be offended.


A Jew, A Catholic, and an atheist are rowing in Lake Erie when their boat springs a huge leak. The Jew looks skyward, and says “Oh, Adonai, if you save me, I promise I’ll sail to Israel and spend the rest of my days trying to reclaim the land you gave us.” The Catholic looks skyward, and says, “Oh, Jesus, if you save me, I promise I’ll fly to the Vatican and spend the rest of my days singing your praises.” The atheist says, “Oh, guys, if you pass me that one life preserver, I promise I’ll swim to Cleveland.” “And how will you spend the rest of your days?” the Jew and the Catholic ask. “Well,” says the atheist, “I’m not sure, but I can tell you one thing: I’ll never go rowing with other atheists.”


An atheist buys an ancient lamp at an auction, takes it home, and begins to polish it. Suddenly, a genie appears, and says, “I’ll grant you three wishes, Master.” The atheist says, “I wish I could believe in you.” The genie snaps his fingers, and suddenly the atheist believes in him. The atheist says, “Wow. I wish all atheists would believe this.” The genie snaps his fingers again, and suddenly atheists all over the world begin to believe in genies. “What about your third wish?” asks the genie. “Well,” says the atheist, “I wish for a billion dollars.” The genie snaps his fingers for a third time, but nothing happens. “What’s wrong?” asks the atheist. The genie shrugs and says, “Just because you believe in me, doesn’t necessarily mean that I really exist.”

Daphne

Trad climber
Black Rock City
Sep 1, 2012 - 12:51am PT
Who needs grammar? I seem to need words spelled in the traditionally accepted way. I can figure out the rest without suffering. Maybe I should head over to the christian thread (where I also don't belong) and start a conversation about how I should judge not lest I be judged. :)
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 1, 2012 - 01:46am PT
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Sep 1, 2012 - 12:03pm PT
People? Wasn't that mostly the girls (and those defending them) because I wouldn't give em a free pass on their supernatural beliefs, lol!



Did you. by chance, lavish your promising childhood years playing "toll booth assessor", Officer Fructose?

...vowing no "free pass" to the servile, the subservient and the "uncritical thinkers" at YOUR kiosk?

I, for one, am bouyed up by your commitment to the corporal.

May you continue in your allegiance to doubt and materialism...







...and may you continue writing internet funnies ! :-)
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Sep 1, 2012 - 12:32pm PT
So many friends on this thread. It's a blessing to be included in the campfire!

I can only live my life. What other's believe is their life. Paul called himself chief of sinners....I include myself in that. Meaning how could I possibly point a finger and demand people conform to my beliefs. I have enough challenges trying to live what I believe.

Bottom line....I believe there is a Creator-Father which includes my best friend, jesus. If he truly is God then he can touch peoples lives. All I can do is live to the best, His principles.

Thought for a long time that even if there is no "higher being" I would be very happy with how I have tried to live. The book has truths that have changed my life, especially it has been there for me the past 4 plus years....as has the wonderful Taco community and of course my family and friends.

Hope this makes sense cause I'm hurring out to worship in the cathedral called the Eastern Sierra.

Love and Joy, Peace and Blessings from lynnie

PS, special shout out to each one of you especially Khanom. Daphne I MISS yo. Good to see you recently Jaybro.
MisterE

Social climber
Sep 1, 2012 - 05:25pm PT
Look what showed up in the mail today - LOL!

I think they're missing the point...
I think they're missing the point...
Credit: MisterE
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 1, 2012 - 05:52pm PT
My "allegiance"... when it comes to my own "practice of living" concerns more trust than doubt... concerns respect for reason and evidence... last but not least, concerns belief, not nonbelief. I am not a nonbeliever, I am a believer.

My "allegiance" accentuates the positive.

.....

re: deification

Jesus, crucified and succeeding that, deified. That's more like it.

Jesus: Crucified and deified. (Kind of a catchy ring, wouldn't you say?) That's the real truth of it.

If you don't know what deification is (a great many Christians don't), look it up. You'll see that our species has a rich and storied history in deification.

"If he's greater than me, he must be a God." (Yeah, that's it.)

All people interested in human civilization - its continuation - should hold the feet of the great historical figure - Jesus of Nazareth - to the fires of reason and research to see if in fact his status doesn't amount more to deification than to divinity.

Of course, we all know where the irreligious believers of science and the good life stand on this point, don't we? :)
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 1, 2012 - 05:57pm PT
Or is he just blowing smoke? Maybe I'll check to see if there's any context on the other thread (you know, the one with the misspelled title) that might substantiate his claim. Otherwise he's just another phony trotting out the usual "defender of the faith" pablum.

Personally, I think your posts are spineless, P.Rob. WADR.

Mr. jarabe de maíz alto en fructosa the intent of my spineless posts were two fold:

1) The simple and continuing generalization of people of faith as of having no active intellect or ability let alone a passing knowledge of science. So in short I posted a quick reference to Dr. Henry “Fritz” Schaefer to dispute such a contention. Here is a more in depth biography of Dr. Fritz
Biographical Sketch
Dr. Henry "Fritz" Schaefer

Henry F. Schaefer III was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1944. He attended public schools in Syracuse (New York), Menlo Park (California), and Grand Rapids (Michigan), graduating from East Grand Rapids High School in 1962. He received his B.S. degree in chemical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1966) and Ph.D. degree in chemical physics from Stanford University (1969). For 18 years (1969-1987) he served as a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. During the 1979-1980 academic year he was also Wilfred T. Doherty Professor of Chemistry and inaugural Director of the Institute for Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Texas, Austin. Since 1987 Dr. Schaefer has been Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Computational Chemistry at the University of Georgia. In 2004 he became Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, at the University of California at Berkeley. His other academic appointments include Professeur d'Echange at the University of Paris (1977), Gastprofessur at the Eidgenossische Technische Hochshule (ETH), Zurich (1994, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006), and David P. Craig Visiting Professor at the Australian National University (1999). He is the author of more than 1100 scientific publications, the majority appearing in the Journal of Chemical Physics or the Journal of the American Chemical Society. A total of 300 scientists from 35 countries gathered in Gyeongju, Korea for a six-day conference in February, 2004 with the title “Theory and Applications of Computational Chemistry: A Celebration of 1000 Papers of Professor Henry F. Schaefer III.”
Critical to Professor Schaefer's scientific success has been a brilliant array of students and coworkers; including 50 undergraduate researchers who have published papers with him, 83 successful Ph.D. students, 41 postdoctoral researchers, and 60 visiting professors who have spent substantial time in the Schaefer group. A number of his students have gone on to positions of distinction in industry (Accelrys, Allstate Insurance, American Cyanamid, AstraZeneca, AT&T, Avaya, Bicerano and Associates, Chemical Abstracts, Computational Geosciences, DeNovaMed, Dow Chemical, Electronic Arts, Endress-Hauser, GAUSSIAN, Goodrich, Henkel, Hughes Aircraft, IBM, Komag, Lehman Brothers, Locus Pharmaceuticals, Mobil Research, Molecular Simulations, Monsanto, OpenEye, OSI Software, Pharmaceutical Research Associates, Polaroid, Proctor & Gamble, Q-CHEM, Reagens Deutschland, Ricoh, Schroedinger, SciCo, Sugen, and WaveSplitter Technologies). Four of his graduated Ph.D.s have successfully started their own companies. Several have gone on to successful careers in government laboratories, including the Australian National University Supercomputer Center, Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, NASA Ames, National Cancer Institute, National Center for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health (Bethesda), Naval Research Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and Sandia National Laboratories. Charles Blahous went directly from his Ph.D. studies with Dr. Schaefer to the position of American Physical Society Congressional Scientist Fellow, and eventually to positions of significant importance in the U.S. political system (chief of staff for Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming and later Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire; and currently chief strategist for President George W. Bush's initiative to reform social security; see Wall Street Journal article April 22, 2005).
Many of Dr. Schaefer's students have accepted professorships in universities, including the University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Arizona, Budapest University (Hungary), University of California at Merced, City University of New York, Fatih University (Istanbul, Turkey), Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, University of Giessen (Germany), University of Girona (Spain), University of Grenoble (France), University of Guelph (Ontario), University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Illinois-Urbana, Johns Hopkins University, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, University of Kentucky, University of Manchester (England), University of Marburg (Germany), University of Massachusetts, University of Michigan, University of Mississippi, National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan), University of North Dakota, Ohio State University, Osaka University (Japan), University of Paris - Sud (France), Pohang Institute of Science and Technology (Korea), Portland State University, Pennsylvania State University, Rice University, Rikkyo University (Tokyo), Scripps Research Institute, Stanford University, University of Stirling (Scotland), University of Stockholm (Sweden), University of Tasmania (Australia), Technical University of Munich (Germany), Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Arlington, University of Trondheim (Norway), and Virginia Tech.
Dr. Schaefer has been invited to present plenary lectures at more than 200 national or international scientific conferences. He has delivered endowed or named lectures or lecture series at more than 40 major universities, including the 1998 Kenneth S. Pitzer Memorial Lecture at Berkeley and the 2001 Israel Pollak Distinguished Lectures at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa. He is the recipient of fourteen honorary degrees. He was the longest serving Editor-in-Chief of the London-based journal Molecular Physics (1995-2005). He was also the longest serving President of the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists, from 1996 to 2005. His service to the chemical community includes the chairmanship of the American Chemical Society's Subdivision of Theoretical Chemistry (1982) and Division of Physical Chemistry (1992). At the 228th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (Philadelphia, August, 2004) the Division of Computers in Chemistry and the Division of Physical Chemistry co-sponsored a four-day symposium in honor of Dr. Schaefer.
Professor Schaefer's major awards include the American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry (1979, "for the development of computational quantum chemistry into a reliable quantitative field of chemistry and for prolific exemplary calculations of broad chemical interest"); the American Chemical Society Leo Hendrik Baekeland Award (1983, "for his contributions to computational quantum chemistry and for outstanding applications of this technique to a wide range of chemical problems"); the Schrödinger Medal (1990); the Centenary Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry (London, 1992, as "the first theoretical chemist successfully to challenge the accepted conclusions of a distinguished experimental group for a polyatomic molecule, namely methylene"); the American Chemical Society Award in Theoretical Chemistry (2003, "for his development of novel and powerful computational methods of electronic structure theory, and their innovative use to solve a host of important chemical problems"). In 2003 he also received the annual American Chemical Society Ira Remsen Award, named after the first chemistry research professor in North America. The Remsen Award citation reads "For work that resulted in more than one hundred distinct, critical theoretical predictions that were subsequently confirmed by experiment and for work that provided a watershed in the field of quantum chemistry, not by reproducing experiment, but using state-of-the-art theory to make new chemical discoveries and, when necessary, to challenge experiment." The Journal of Physical Chemistry published a special issue in honor of Dr. Schaefer on April 15, 2004. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. He was named the recipient of the prestigious Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize of the University of Wisconsin for the academic year 2005-2006. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (London) in 2005.
During the comprehensive period 1981 - 1997 Professor Schaefer was the sixth most highly cited chemist in the world; out of a total of 628,000 chemists whose research was cited. The Science Citation Index reports that by December 31, 2004 his research had been cited more than 35,000 times. His research involves the use of state-of-the-art computational hardware and theoretical methods to solve important problems in molecular quantum mechanics.
Professor Schaefer is also well known as a student of the relationship between science and religion. One or more of the lectures in his popular lecture series on this important topic have been presented at most major universities in North America, including Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, M.I.T., Yale, Princeton, and the Universities of Alberta and Toronto. Dr. Schaefer has also presented these lectures in many universities abroad, including those in Ankara, Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, Bern, Bratislava, Brisbane, Budapest, Calcutta, Canberra, Cape Town, Chengdu, Christchurch, Cluj-Napoca, Delhi, Durban, Goa, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Istanbul, Kanpur, Krakow, Kunming, Lausanne, London, Lucknow, Madras, Mumbai (Bombay), Paris, Prague, Sarajevo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sofia, Split, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Szeged, Taipei, Tokyo, Urumqi, Warsaw, Xiamen, Zagreb, and Zurich. His continuously evolving lecture The Big Bang, Stephen Hawking, and God appears in many locations and in several languages on the worldwide web. This lecture has been one of the most popular articles about science on the web in recent years, as discussed in Michael White and John Gribbin's best selling biography of Professor Hawking (pages 314-315 of the 2002 edition). On April 24, 2002 Dr. Schaefer received the Erick Bogseth Nilson Award, given to an outstanding university professor in North America, by the organization Christian Leadership. In May 2005 Dr. Schaefer was elected a Corresponding Associate of the Catholic Academy of Sciences in the USA. A brief spiritual biography (through 1991, written by Dr. David Fisher) of Professor Schaefer may be found on pages 323 - 326 of the book More Than Conquerors, edited by John Woodbridge (Moody Press, Chicago, 1992). At the University of Georgia Professor Schaefer teaches a popular two credit freshman seminar each year entitled Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence? Dr. Schaefer's book with the same title had its third printing in March 2004 and reached position #84 the same month on the best-selling list of Amazon.com. The fourth printing (with additions) appeared in March 2006

I also posted some quotes from Blasie Pascal here is a brief bio
Blaise Pascal, (born June 19, 1623, Clermont-Ferrand, France—died August 19, 1662, Paris), French mathematician, physicist, religious philosopher, and master of prose. He laid the foundation for the modern theory of probabilities, formulated what came to be known as Pascal’s law of pressure, and propagated a religious doctrine that taught the experience of God through the heart rather than through reason. The establishment of his principle of intuitionism had an impact on such later philosophers as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Henri Bergson and also on the Existentialists


My intent was to show how science and faith ( even a half millennia apart) are not contradictory, nor swept away by easy and incorrect statements and platitudes.

2) Even your boy Dr. F points out the tone & tenor of your posts.
It's too bad me and Fruity could never team up
He is just a little judgemental to aid a fellow traveler, and instead bites the hand that feeds

It appears that you have chosen to focus in on “this P.Rob guy” instead dealing with the content of the posts and you have yet to refute them.

I remember when peeple thought you were just a punk.

Listen Little Homie, I do not know if you ever were or still are a “little punk”. From your posts your obvious well read, have, I assume, at least undergrad if not graduate education. If you do not equate your posts to name calling.. so be it - cool.

"If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Like Campbell says, if you don't participate then you're on the sidelines. And if you participate and don't give as good as you get, you get rolled over. So it's not nearly so simple as we all would like. Hence what we witness, and what we have, in politics and these culture wars and in history at large".

You are right – civility - wtf was I thinking? I do want you to know – as a posted in the original and no defunct “Love Athiest Life” - I applaud the courage, strength and will to accept as evidence that there is No God! I have siblings & friends that live the life – some of the closest people to me – cherish them I do. Just could not do it for myself – I guess I just did not evolve that way. I hope you stay healthy spirit mind and body

“If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone” Romans 12:18 h.c.s.b.

P.S. Go away – always a possibility – get rolled over ……. he he ya oh my ha ha ha – now you are making me laugh Mr. Corn Spirit – yes sir you done tickled me good. Stay strong little Homie & stay committed to your cause
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 1, 2012 - 05:59pm PT

Monotheistic Deification

It may surprise some to learn that a monotheistic doctrine of deification was taught by many of the church fathers, and is believed by many Christians today, including the entire Eastern Orthodox church. In keeping with monotheism, the Eastern Orthodox does not teach that men will literally become "gods" (which would be polytheism). Rather, as did many of the church fathers [2], they teach that men are "deified" in the sense that the Holy Spirit dwells within Christian believers and transforms them into the image of God in Christ, eventually endowing them in the resurrection with immortality and God's perfect moral character.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 1, 2012 - 06:11pm PT
No Norton, that's not the simple definition of deification that I speak of. With all due respect, my friend, your post muddles the subject where it is important to have clarity.

deification: the making of a deity.

Ptolemy: deified (Son God of Amon-Re)
Cleopatra: deified (Daughter Goddess of Isis)
Jesus: deified (Son God of Jehovah / Yahweh)

I only chose these three because they were all contemporaries 2,000 years ago. Deifying great leaders 2,000 years ago was "all the rage" in Mesopotamia.

More later...

Of course, fundamentalist Christianity et al would like to see the subject complicated, the waters murky, in order to preserve the status quo, their dying institutions. But the definition is so simple, clear and straightforward it shouldn't puzzle anyone.

Where are the Sunday sermons that focus on mythologies of old, superstitions, subjects like deification - all in a simple straight-forward manner. The fact that they don't exist, that they are kept behind closed doors, discussed in secret if at all, speaks volumes.

Reverend Rick Warren should discuss why the divinity of Cleopatra or Ptolemy is illegitimate but not the divinity of Jesus. Do we really wonder why he won't discuss these off-topics?

.....

P.Rob, I see you posted. Welcome back to the debate, man, I missed you!
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 1, 2012 - 06:28pm PT
With all due respect, my friend, your post muddles the subject where it is important to have clarity.

well then I feel vindicated that my muddling prompted further, needed, clarification

and for that, I thank myself, and you for providing it

so shall it be
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 1, 2012 - 06:28pm PT
So Mr E, back to the joke thing, would you ever knowingly ride in a plane with a Budhist pilot? Is it in our best interests to have a pilot who believes in reincarnation?

Give me an atheist pilot every time! In the words of that Rastafarian ( a fundamentalist Christian offshoot, more or less) Bob Marley; "if you knew what life was worth, you would look for yours on earth,". That seems pretty nondenominational to me.

Daphne,
"to boldly go where no one has gone before!"?
O
"to go where no one has gone before, boldly!"?
Or
"boldly to go where no one has gone before!"?

Great seeing you too Lynne, may the force be with you!
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 1, 2012 - 06:48pm PT

Missed you also Mr.Spirit - been putting extra time losing my tail as I evolve up from snails - thanx for keeping the fire stoked
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 1, 2012 - 07:27pm PT
Lynne
There is no sinning, nor judging

The only one judging your actions is you
Free your self from your judgement, and Be Free!!!
klk

Trad climber
cali
Sep 1, 2012 - 07:56pm PT
I'm tired of feeling like I live in a country that automatically condemns anyone who doesn't have "faith" as somehow abnormal.

then yr gonna need to move a lot farther away than groveland

heh
WBraun

climber
Sep 1, 2012 - 08:04pm PT
anyone who doesn't have "faith" as somehow abnormal.

Relax ....

Everyone has faith. Atheist, theist and everyone in between.

If you don't have any faith in anything at all then you don't even exist at all ......
luggi

Trad climber
from the backseat of Jake& Elwood Blues car
Sep 1, 2012 - 08:08pm PT
Hey Syrup don't know why I showed up here but I was curious...I like to learn....concerning your earlier post on deification...please expound on what other species have evidence of that occurrence. It would truly be for my edification. Interesting how you used it. It intrigues me....
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 1, 2012 - 08:13pm PT
Werner-
Wrong
Faith is trust in something that can't be proved to exist
People have faith in something (GOD), that God is out there, even though you can't explain it, see it, feel it, trust it, know it, talk to it, or understand it, You just have faith that it exists, just out of shear will and ignorance, just to satisfy some doubt or need.

Atheists have trust in the objective reality and the truth that science has revealed
MisterE

Social climber
Sep 1, 2012 - 08:30pm PT
Some people are just bulldogs, and there is no cure for that.

Piss off, Dr. F - keep to the things your mind wraps comfortably around, and leave the mystery for the rest of us.

You are the worst kind of righteous disruptors - one who has the skill and free time to create emotional states for your black-or-white world: be it political or religious.

Just look at your on-line persona. You must be a sadist...or a masochist. Probably both.

You are fukking irritating in the worst of ways. This is the only response I will ever give to this horrible emotional troll called "Dr. F"
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Sep 1, 2012 - 08:32pm PT
Dr. F- what is the difference between 'trust' and 'faith'

Since you 'trust' reality
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 1, 2012 - 08:37pm PT
then yr gonna need to move a lot farther away than groveland

Yeah, no kidding. But we've found a little enclave of deviants and heathens. We'll manage.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 1, 2012 - 08:57pm PT
When you step into the Gulag Aeroplano you consign yourself to the fate determined by your guards.

DMT
jstan

climber
Sep 1, 2012 - 08:58pm PT
I understand people in the jungles of New Guinea view cargo planes as deities. They even build models. And believe it or not they know man has walked on the moon. If I were having to struggle every day in a jungle, I surely would wish I could get up above the trees. You can even see some of this tendency in ST's aviation thread. And then there is always the business that without a gun we can't kill at any real distance.

Humans have fundamental urges, like flying, that we simply cannot do. Perhaps we create deities that are able to do what we cannot. Jesus was reportedly resurrected. Walking on water, etc. The transference , of course, requires the deities look just like us. So it is we don't worship drosophila melanogaster.

With the exception of some sci fi horror movies. That has to be the basis for the horror. They can fly and we can't.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 1, 2012 - 09:09pm PT
I was at JFK yesterday, drinking a beer. A frequent flyer came up to my table an grabbed a potato chip. I was like all WTF???!!!

Then she flew off lightly, sat on a hand rail and delicately pecked that chip apart.

DMT
jstan

climber
Sep 1, 2012 - 09:13pm PT
And there us a horror movie titled "Birds!"
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:35am PT
MisterE wrote,
Piss off, Dr. F - keep to the things your mind wraps comfortably around, and leave the mystery for the rest of us.

The bulldogs getting your goat, eh? lol

Remind us, are you a Christian?

If so, traditional fundamentalist Christian (bible is literal truth) or modern renascent Christian (bible is allegory, metaphor, myth)?

Where you coming from?

.....

Seems to me, loss of mystery is the price we pay for increased knowledge. Benefits and losses to both sides of the coin. We really can't have it both ways, either as individuals or as communities, can we?

One man's meat is another man's poison. That's what these culture wars are sorting out, I think, what's going to be the meat going forward.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:42am PT
I thought this was a safe place for us atheists to say what we want???

Look up the definition of Faith Mister E
Faith is exactly what I said
and is quite different than trust

I am the opposite of black and white,
so give up on trying to badmouth me, I'm impervious to BS spewed by the misinformed
And yes, please don't bother with me anymore.


You can look up the facts that support science, there are no facts that back up Faith
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:45am PT
Sh#t, I'm all over the map, I've got a bone to pick with you, Dr. F.

Why can't you distinguish different species of faith like so many others do and quit falling into the Christian religious trap, actually the Christian's long-standing rhetorical traps like the one involving "faith." When Christians speak of faith, they mean "blind faith" or "baseless faith" relative to evidence or reason. Don't you see that? (But obviously they won't themselves call it "blind faith" for what should be obvious reasons.)

When you call their "blind faith" simply faith, you're letting them frame the conversation. You're expressing yourself out of their rhetoric, their rhetorical framework.

"Faith," like "belief," is too good an English word, too prevalent as well, just to hand over to Christian religion for their sole use.

Call em on their blind faith, or blind trust, not simply their faith. Call em on their blind trust (aka blind faith) that has no basis in reason or basis in evidence or facts.

I trust in my climbing rope. It's earned my trust (aka faith). It's earned by faith (aka trust). It's an earned faith hard-won; for sure, it's no blind faith. If I didn't have faith - indeed, an evidence and reason-based faith - in my climbing rope I wouldn't go climb with it.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:47am PT
faith [feɪθ]
n
1. strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence
2. a specific system of religious beliefs the Jewish faith
3. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) Christianity trust in God and in his actions and promises
4. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) a conviction of the truth of certain doctrines of religion, esp when this is not based on reason
5. complete confidence or trust in a person, remedy, etc.
6. any set of firmly held principles or beliefs
7. allegiance or loyalty, as to a person or cause (esp in the phrases keep faith, break faith)
bad faith insincerity or dishonesty
good faith honesty or sincerity, as of intention in business (esp in the phrase in good faith)

Whatever

Faith in the religious sense means faith in something that can't be proven or substantiated
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:53am PT
Maybe you just don't get this, too subtle. Perhaps a course in rhetoric or linguistics would help? Or read Frank Luntz's books on the power of words, wording, right framing. Lakoff also has written and lectured extensively on the subject.

As far as citing definitions go, perhaps it would help to remember Christianity and the English language grew up together over many centuries. One of the effects of this is that our beloved English today has a strong Christian religious slant to it. It helps to remember this.

......

Faith in the religious sense means

"In the religious sense." Exactly. So when you use their definition, you're letting "their side" frame the conversation, control the rhetoric, however you prefer to say it.

As a Dem, a passionate one at that, I'm sure you don't let Republicans (the other side) frame the conversation in their terms (and I'm sure you know what this means and Im sure you understand the importance of this). So, correspondingly, why as an atheist let the supernaturalists or theists (in this case, Christians) frame the conversation and thinking in their terms, their rhetoric, which serves otherwise favors their agenda? Just think about it.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:53am PT
Well, HFCS you tried, with Dr F. Or threw him a shovel to dig himself in deeper; whichever.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:57am PT
I was responding to Werners claim
Relax ....

Everyone has faith. Atheist, theist and everyone in between.

If you don't have any faith in anything at all then you don't even exist at all ......

Which I said was wrong
You can exist without Faith
End of story
WBraun

climber
Sep 2, 2012 - 08:12am PT
When you present facts to Dr Failed and then he fails. he then backtracks and says it's just my opinion.

That's why he's called Dr Failed ....

Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 2, 2012 - 08:18am PT
It can only be opinion
Werner, when will you admit that you are wrong about everything?
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 2, 2012 - 08:25am PT
6. any set of firmly held principles or beliefs
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 2, 2012 - 08:51am PT
Dr. F

Just accept that WBraun is a joke.

Part of the WBraun perspectivism:
Everything substantial is an illusion unless substantial is redefined to be non-thing, in which case non-thing is the only thing substantial and not an illusion.
WBraun is an illusion. And illusions are to be forgotten.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 2, 2012 - 09:36am PT
Food for thought:

Isn't our cultural evolution already fast enough? Aren't we already buckling under the strains of it in all corners?

So check this out, here's a guy Jason Silva advocating "Radical Openness" as means not only to furthering evolution but as means to accelerating evolution.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEWaBlSSUgw&feature=plcp

"What imagination does is it allows us to conceive of delightful future possibilities, pick the most amazing ones, and pull the present forward to meet it."

.....

It occurs to me: imagine a buildup of ideas, ten times over, a hundred, a thousand, a million, a billion times over - because of cultural evolution, "Radical Openness", and such. At some point, this buildup of ideas, or selected memes that work, could become so thick, the world so chockful of them - that the whole affair could maybe be called a "universal consciousness" afterall. A universal consciousness at long last. Maybe.

Fasten your seat belts...
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 2, 2012 - 12:30pm PT
To the High Dr. F...s out there,
It saddens my heart to hear you mock the followers of Christ. Like Peter I want to cut ur ear off. But like Jesus I want to wrap my arms around you and try to give you some words of encouragement. There is one step of " blind faith" you must take. You have to close ur eyes to the "world" and WHOLE heartedly seek Him. Mind,Body and Soul. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God. Jesus is the Word! That's what the Bible says. Since I took my first step toward Jesus, He scooped me up and has been at my side ever since! No, I don't have pics to prove it. If I did would you believe me then? I was a big doubting Thomas. And God has "shown" me; not only the Love and Peace I have in my heart, but also the actions in my day to day life. Along with my sleeping dreams He's shown me things to come. AND THEY DID! Without a doubt I KNOW He's real and alive right next to you! Definetly the most special "proof" (I guess U would call it) I say Gift is speaking in a different language. I'm a high school dropout. I barely know English. But I've prayed in a couple of different languages. Not knowing at all what I was saying. And the Spirit was Tremendous! Overwhelming! Undeniable!
And I know that I know this was of the True Spirit of Jesus the Christ! Amen.
So please when U say we "Christians" ( I try not to affiliate with that term. It's to broad and delluted) have no proof you couldn't be more wrong. It's the ONLY thing I know that's true in this universe! Don't get side tracked by big churches and preachers and politicians. Jesus didn't like them either. He came for us, the liars, the thieves, the adulterers ,the egomaniacs
Just study the 4 gospels mathew mark Luke and John. If U still don't get it John 8 37-47 will tell U why.
God Be With You
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 2, 2012 - 12:45pm PT
So please when U say we "Christians" have no proof you couldn't be more wrong. It's the ONLY thing I know that's true in this universe

Since this is the Atheist thread
I can challenge you, and ask for your proof

I say you have nothing, except faith in a unprovable belief
There is No Jesus Now, He is long dead, and has zero impact on our reality, except for believers and their belief's

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 2, 2012 - 12:50pm PT
Dr. F

Just accept that WBraun is a joke.

Poor Dr. F. Good thing you're there to save her from the booger man, Marlow.

DMT
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 2, 2012 - 01:10pm PT
Mr.Spirit,
Alright little Homey I bit - viewed this & other sermons ( lets be honest that's what they are) of Silvas and so many things jumped out at me i am not sure where to start :

So ideas , thoughts contain in essence a creative energy of change
Word of Faith preachers tell us that words of faith are containers of power that will create
And change the world around you as they are spoken into existence- seems like a variation on a theme . In fact Silva reminds me of a kind of Joel Olsteen for the new atheist movement - good looking slender charismatic guy with good hair & bleached teeth.

Sweets tell me if I am wrong - cuz I know I could as a member in good standing in the Confederacy of Dunces - but folks struggle to describe this position without using the language of the divine , the language of mystics. In essence we replace worship of a creator for the worship of creation

In this new world of openness are opinions considered and esteemed - I mean are we expected to belive that divergent ideas & options will have equal access or will i have to tow the party line? Are all animals equal or are some more equal than others? Do I no longer bend my knees at the altar of a benevolent God rather acquiece to the benevolent leadership of the new elightned priestly class - Harris & Dawkins a veritable Moses & Arron settings Darwin's people free?


Appreciate you Mr. Spirit, may your synapses keep firing

"we are never more like the Creator than when we are creative"
J.R.R. Tolkien

P.S. is Silva advocating the new deification along with the new
Atheism


Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 2, 2012 - 01:13pm PT
Dingus,

I had to consult dictionary.com when you used the word booger.

Booger:
1. Informal. Any person or thing: That shark was a mean-looking booger. Paddle the little booger and send him home.
2. Slang. A piece of dried mucus in or from the nose.
3. Bogeyman.
4. Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. any ghost, hobgoblin, or other frightening apparition.

What kind of booger were you thinking of?

Dried mucus in the nose of nothing or something else?

Frågan är fri, så får svaret klinga hur det vil.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 2, 2012 - 02:01pm PT
Luv ya Marlow don't ever change.

I feel the same about Werner.

You both challenge the heart as well as the mind.

That's about as far as I'm willing to go however. Some folks are just plain poisonous and Werner ain't one of them.

Cheers

DMT
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 2, 2012 - 02:29pm PT
Yea ur right , Jesus was killed in his earthly body. But his spirit rose to the the be at the right hand of God. And the last thing He told us was He was sending the Holy Spirit to help us. He commanded the Apostiles not to go out into the world until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. Without the baptism of the HS man is very manipulable by the world and his own mind.
I can control ur emotions just by showing U a couple pics. If I show U a shot of Sharma topping out after free soloing the Nose ud be like Wow, bitchen dude, killer! Ud be stoked. Me to. But then if I showed a follow up pic of him tripping off the top and falling to the base in a bloody splat. Ud be like Oh bummer! I could take U from high to low in a matter of a few seconds. Without saying a word. Satan knows this more than we can imagine and he's using it every minute. With out the HS in ur heart it's almost impossible to discern what God wants for U. The Holy Spirit is proof positive of the nature and spirit of Jesus and His Father the God of Love. Any one can have it. Just pray and ask Jesus to send the comforter,the teacher,the peacemaker,the anointer,the descerner The Holy Ghost. Once the HS touches ya youll change ur mind forever! Sorry I can only try to tell U of my proof (or truth) and U can do nothing and be a naysayer. Or U could just ask and experience it for yourself. The Beutiful thing is its intirerly up to U. Your freedom of choice. Revel in it!
splitter

Trad climber
Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Sep 2, 2012 - 02:35pm PT
^^^ WORD!
The Call Of K2 Lou

climber
Squamish
Sep 2, 2012 - 02:41pm PT
There is one step of " blind faith" you must take.

You lost me right there.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 2, 2012 - 02:44pm PT
When Jesus died, he did not go to heaven, he died, and his body rotted just like everyone else

There is no heaven or hell, it's all in your mind, and so is Jesus.

If Jesus saved people, Doctors would tell you to go and pray rather than get a shrink, a Doctor would never say Christianity ever saved anyone, because they haven't

it's all Crisis Management, you save your self, and then blame Jesus for your savior,
Get a psychology book, and look up how many people have been saved by Jesus, the answer, exactly Zero

How many different religions and other crazy beliefs has man made up, claimed that the made up idea will save you and was willing to die for, millions
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 2, 2012 - 03:08pm PT
BLUEBLOCR, this thread is for Atheists.



Go away or the I like the Christian Life thread gets it.
splitter

Trad climber
Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Sep 2, 2012 - 03:12pm PT
The Call of K2 -- "You lost me there".
Lou

He does give us each an equal measure of faith.

"to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith."

it doesn't say a measure of faith, it says the measure of faith!

we have all been given the same amount. the exact same amount that Noah, Moses, Abraham, etc., were given. they went with it, activated it, utilized it. that initial "leap of faith". that is what pleases Him. that is all He requires to initiate a relationship with Him!

so, i would venture to say, that faith has some substance to it. read Hebrews 11 (the faith chapter).

edit: khanom -- tell yer buds ta leave us alone, cuz, we already been "get'n it."! this is just - Tit Fer Tat (btw, dat be a gud woot name, eh?).

Okay, Respect dood! I'm outta here!!

"tic fer tac" killer, right up my alley.

yea, perhaps that verse is applied to peeps that are already believers. the faith required to accomplish certain things...
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 2, 2012 - 03:57pm PT
Splitter; There is a root at Smith that's called tic for tac. 11a/b I think, seemed pretty good just follow the chalk marks. U prolly like it.

As for ur lock on faith, not true...
I'll reply on the other thread


Knorham (sorry if misspelled) I feel for U bro..
Open ur mind and the truth will set U free!
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 2, 2012 - 04:00pm PT
Open ur mind and the truth will set U free!

I already did you moh-ron.
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 2, 2012 - 04:10pm PT
Dr.F,
In truth there are a number of extra bibical resources that sight the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Here are a quick two just for you - Josephus & the Babylonian Talmud. Aquiant your self perhaps with Dr. Gary HAbermas ( www.garyhabermas.com) often sited as the foremost expert on the resurrection of Jesus Christ

I have one more question for you Doc - for someone who seems to major in the use of worn out platitudes I am surprised at the lack of acadamic rigor in many of your posts - the dr. Is it earned or just your battle name? BTW HAbermas earned his - give it a look and do honest enquirer instead of the typical knee jerk reaction

Cheers
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 2, 2012 - 05:55pm PT
YAWWN!
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 2, 2012 - 06:00pm PT
Jesus never resurrected
That is a proven fact, he died, and was dead, and was never witnessed to be alive after death

Jesus has zero real impact on reality, or in any possible dimension

This thread is for just chat, if you want me to write a Doctorate thesis here,, you can just forget about it
WBraun

climber
Sep 2, 2012 - 06:14pm PT
Dr F spends his time talking to the empty chair .......
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 2, 2012 - 06:18pm PT
Or maybe his mistake is trying to talk to empty.....now what is that thing above your shoulders, encapsulated by your skull?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:11pm PT
Sight = to see

site = a specific location

cite = short for citation.

As in "I am going to cite you for gross typticular wordslaughter if I catch sight of your wholesale word-butchering on this site again.

Now GIT!

DMT
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:19pm PT
Oh well doc gave you the opportunity to state
Something more than "I said it and that ends " defense - was asking for something more than an opinion but proofs and in truth you have none - most Atheist I know (including siblings who Actually earned their advanced degrees in real science) will admit that the most appealing concept of atheism is the liberation of a primary mover & creator - if there is no creator then I am not accountable - it is not science but a choice that
Motivates ~ riddle me this Dr.F why did Dr.Flew the leading atheistic philosopher for over 50 years move from his life's work to deism - because he followed the truth
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:27pm PT
So You're giving me sh#t about my writing, and then you go ahead and write in complete non-understandable gibberish

So you have no degree, nor know anything about science, but some scientist you read about became a deist before he died,
Is that your position?
That's all you got...

What about the millions of Christians that Gave up on Jesus, because they found out their truth, that he hasn't done anything, he was a figment of their imagination

How do account for them, the smarter and more educated, the more apt they are to leave the cult, and find out their truth, that is was a fraud, a scam, a dangerous cult that fleeces it's flock, and uses brainwashing techniques to keep them enslaved in the cult

Over the top, of course
Yawnn
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:29pm PT
DMT

Really ? Give me a break homey I am working off of an IPhone and doing well or so i thought - correct my expediency .... Okay - deal with my arguement ...
Cheers Toasty One
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 2, 2012 - 07:36pm PT
P.Rob, no doubt you have failed to consider the obvious:

Without a deity to which can confess our sins, attribute our failings and from which we can seek absolution we atheists are completely accountable for our actions. We have no invisible bogey man we can blame if things don't go right, but must face reality as it exists right here and now.

You christians pass the buck at the drop of a hat. You rely on a manufactured morality that leaves you unaccountable for your actions. You have no strength of character but rely on blind faith. Religion the world over has been used as a crutch and an excuse and driven people to act in the most disgusting and depraved ways because people could claim their actions were sanctioned by a god.

Atheists have no such smoke and mirrors. Our actions are exposed to the light of the day for what they are, good or bad. And since we don't have some artificial morality telling us how we should behave, we must judge our actions from a most human perspective.

There is no more pure morality than that of an atheist.

You talk about truth and reality from the standpoint of a cultural construction that has it's roots in superstition and ignorance.

What a joke!
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:39pm PT
I guess you will have to jump down Jim Donini's throat as well
since he posted this on the Christian Thread

donini
Trad climber

Ouray, Colorado

Sep 2, 2012 - 04:48pm PT

God forgot at least one person when he allotted everyone a little faith....me. Faith is belief without evidence......just something I can't get behind along with- mountain bikes, dogs at crags, working routes, beer in a can, and the republican party.
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:43pm PT
Not giving you sh!t Doc just was expecting something more from someone who carries the title Doctor - if I hurt your feelings my Apologies does not change the fact your stance is weak - Keep believing what you want About my education it wlll not change how I am compensated at the end of the day - if you do not want to engage honestly and openly - cool keep espousing mistruths and by all means disregard the hard work of actually investigating the issue - something tells me that makes it easier for you to sleep at night - all the best to you
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 2, 2012 - 07:53pm PT
What's your question?
Fire away


hurt feeling?
Hell no

You haven't presented a single point of evidence or proof
So you are still at zero

I have been debating this for years,
And can go for another 20 years at it, so bring it on
Good Luck
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 2, 2012 - 08:03pm PT
K,

In truth I have wished many times that there was no God - Lennon is liar it's not easy - I failed as an atheist - and I have the pedigree that on paper I should be good at this - free thought house hold where education ( in particular science) was Esteemed and cultivated - being a Christian in my opinion is for no sissy la la's. I am called to care for you, consider you greater than myself - work to be absent of attachment to things and invest in people without thought or reward - it would be easy in the "natural" to say F.U. to anything and anyone - in the past if I did not get my way I usually would enforce it in another - in Short I was selfish & self serving

I apologize to all if my "ass holeness" came out - as I have posted elsewhere I esteem & admire successful atheists who live the consistent life - I have always enjoyed the fight ( more fight than flight - I blame it on evolution) By no means have I intended any offence to anyone

With that I wish peace to all please know that I truly hope ( and pray) for the best to all
Captain...or Skully

climber
Sep 2, 2012 - 08:07pm PT
Stick your degree, Doc.
I don't necessarily disagree with you, but your elitism reeks.
No community needs that.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Sep 2, 2012 - 08:20pm PT
not sure where you're picking up this elitism from…. maybe you're interpreting things that way because you think your beliefs are… better? And maybe you find other people's non belief intimidating?
After all, from when you were a child who made you most uncomfortable?
Those who you knew nothing about?

And so, atheists may seem to have a high and mighty attitude because they are a pretty solid bunch on this reality we experience and share…

Its all those people who have the special imaginary friends that we will never get used to….
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 2, 2012 - 08:26pm PT
I guess People Don't like seeing The Debate, and feel like they must shut it down,

I thought This thread would be safe place for it, rather than on the Christian thread
They may not want to have the debate there, they can have there little love fest without the atheists shitting all over them

But on this thread, it should be welcome

Elitist? pffttt.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Sep 2, 2012 - 08:31pm PT
The best place to be misunderstood on Earth is right here.
Nevermind. Not like it matters, anyway.
WBraun

climber
Sep 2, 2012 - 08:40pm PT
This is atheist thread.

If theist comes in this thread he better be ready for the red hot iron up his ass.

Like going into a hard core biker bar and giving em sh!t.

Get ready for a beatdown unless you can take em down.

Are ya ready ...... :-)
MisterE

Social climber
Sep 2, 2012 - 08:43pm PT
Without a deity to which can confess our sins, attribute our failings and from which we can seek absolution we atheists are completely accountable for our actions. We have no invisible bogey man we can blame if things don't go right, but must face reality as it exists right here and now.

You christians pass the buck at the drop of a hat. You rely on a manufactured morality that leaves you unaccountable for your actions. You have no strength of character but rely on blind faith. Religion the world over has been used as a crutch and an excuse and driven people to act in the most disgusting and depraved ways because people could claim their actions were sanctioned by a god.

Atheists have no such smoke and mirrors. Our actions are exposed to the light of the day for what they are, good or bad. And since we don't have some artificial morality telling us how we should behave, we must judge our actions from a most human perspective.

There is no more pure morality than that of an atheist.

You talk about truth and reality from the standpoint of a cultural construction that has it's roots in superstition and ignorance.

What a joke!

Great observations and very well put, Eric.

The lack of the deity to "have to answer to in the afterlife" makes all the difference. It is why I became Taoist at 20, and why I am happily married to an Atheist now.

Thanks for the reminder.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 2, 2012 - 08:45pm PT
Anyone is welcome
Even Werner!!!

Now tell us your proof that Jesus exits, and people can talk to him.
Because if he doesn't exist, the Bible is just a book of myths based on a lie.

Hi Mister E
Hope you had a good Day!
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 2, 2012 - 08:51pm PT
K,
Seriously;" there's no more pure morality than that of an atheist " Really ? LOL!
IMO if U took Earth and started over. Gave it a spin, squirted it with water. Thru in a bunch of seeds. Added some animals and humans. And never spoke the word god. We wouldn't last 500 yrs. (that would make a good movie, wouldn't it?) but in today's world if there were no thought of god or an everlasting life. Humans were no different than animals. LOL
I tkink we would prolly be eatin each other. (I've seen some Chinese and Japanese people that looked pretty tasty!) still laughing .. I think I'd also be down with just going over and taking that oil from them head towels. And cultivatie all that hareoin and maryhuchy from Crackistan. LOL. I'm crackin myself up! Why wouldn't we? We have no one to answer to! No government would ever survive. We'd live in tribes. And maybe roam. And just took what we wanted. Kinda like madmax or the American Indians
Jus Sayin
What if
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 2, 2012 - 09:12pm PT
I'm gettin hungry, better go make some popcorn. MMMmm butter!
Leggs

Sport climber
A true CA girl, who landed in the desert...
Sep 2, 2012 - 09:22pm PT
Dr F spends his time talking to the empty chair .......


Hilarious.

Carry on...
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 2, 2012 - 11:37pm PT
Dingus

You said:
"Some folks are just plain poisonous and Werner ain't one of them."

Question:
 Do you see me as poisonous?
 If so: What am I doing that make you think so?

Be free to answer directly and honestly. No one is gonna be hurt. Don't be afraid.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 3, 2012 - 08:55am PT
Dr. F,

I guess you will have to jump down Jim Donini's throat as well...

I don't have time this morning, but our problems with the word "faith," also "spirit" and "belief" and some others, just show us how religion makes a mess of it.

I do get the fact that there is a habit among everyone - atheists to theists - to abbreviate or to shorten "religious faith" or "blind faith" or "baseless faith" to simply "faith." What I wish is that more of the irreligious naturalists of the world (for lack of a better word) could see that this (bad) habit works in the favor of the theists and then sometimes at least try to communicate more precisely at least amongst themselves or as called for.

At some point atheists will have their own discipline and belief system beyond science (and hopefully needless to say, beyond religious supernaturalisms) that deals with "what matters" and "what works" in addition to "what is" - the latter being the purview of science - and that provides them a positive identity. When this point comes, this discipline, I think, will bring with it its own language (likely to include "belief" and "spirit" and "faith") and habits, practices, standards and such; and this new status quo will, in the end, clean up a lot of the existing mess we currently have in communications and understanding that is being generated because of all the clashing and conflicting modes of thought, habits and belief.

In the meantime, it seems to me, at least the use of "religious faith" or "Christian faith" in lieu of simply "faith" can go along way to improving the conversation and clarity in some posts. My two cents.


P.S. Don't forget, I do share your frustration as well as your interest to bring improvements to these areas. It's part of evolutionary struggle, eh? :)
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
Sep 3, 2012 - 09:04am PT
I was wrong. After hearing the cogent arguments from this adroit individual, I can admit that I was clearly wrong to reject the teachings of Jebus.





these are the kinds of posts that occur, not during a bender, but when it's raining and I really don't want to mingle with the gym rats
mountainlion

Trad climber
California
Sep 3, 2012 - 09:15am PT
has anyone ever noticed how many of the religeons have similar stories? I believe the major religeons of the world took most of their stories from societies that pre-dated thiers. We are just reading stories of an ancient people who were in the dark about why things are the way they are.

I myself am fascinated by science, physics, geology, biology, chemistry literally all science is amazing.

I don't believe in an invisible man in the sky but I do believe in treating my fellow man as I would like to be treated.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 3, 2012 - 09:16am PT
Thanks
I will work on the proper word usage

But remember, this is a chat, and does any of it really matter?
Every word gets buried in a matter of hours.

I post for fun and frivolity, so I will probably continue to use the wrong words and in the wrong context. I am partially dyslexic, have mild ADD, and some mild Asperger symptoms. Or, just your typical scientist that finds the world out of whack and fighting against reality.

I'm fighting to bring reality back to the center stage.

Why do I post, Because I have a little giggles going on in my mind as I do it, Its all about good fun and laughs.
Right?

Sometimes I say that English is my second language, because it doesn't come natural.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 3, 2012 - 09:20am PT
Indeed, those are all good points.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 3, 2012 - 09:34am PT
My brother has full blown Asperbers

It is not for wimps
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 3, 2012 - 09:38am PT
Hear Hear,
Nice Fructoast, My sentiments exactly on the use of faith, and the ability to communicate.
Ur two cents are worth at least a dollar!
Trying to learn something here, with no deities in the air. What's an atheist point of view of what was before the big bang. And what started time clicking?
Just trying to open my mind. Hear the butterflies?
BB
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 3, 2012 - 09:57am PT
Dr.
With all those symptoms, maybe it's U that's a little wack? The world is a Beutiful place!
Depending on what U allow thru ur eyes and ears...
Take charge of ur universe! It's the only one you'll get....
Jus Sayin
BB
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 3, 2012 - 10:09am PT
Trying to learn something here, with no deities in the air. What's an atheist point of view of what was before the big bang. And what started time clicking?

us Atheists don't know what was here before the bang, and more importantly we don't care
as we feel no need to assume and ascribe a spiritual causation

Whatever it was or wasn't is ok with us
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 3, 2012 - 10:17am PT
As far as beauty goes
I am completely immersed in it, have you seen my cactus photos?

Natural Beauty!
It's everywhere, The Natural world, all completely natural, all formed by billions of years of evolution and change

You don't need God or some supernatural agent to enjoy it, all humans see it the same way, the objective reality

Yet humans interpret it many different ways

But it is the same, and knowing the science that explains it in natural terms is the most satisfying, because it is truth based on the facts

Myths and fairy tales are for children, not real world explorers
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 3, 2012 - 10:27am PT
What's an atheist point of view of what was before the big bang.

You have an inquiring mind, which is the first requirement for detecting bullsh!t.

Many would say simply that we can't know. It's ok to not know... to simply not have an answer. The sky does not fall.

There are however scientific theories which have been developed by multiple individuals. You can read the various points of view on your own and develop your own ideas. The point being to weigh the evidence as best as you can.

Personally I do not believe in a "beginning". The cosmos has always existed and goes through a series of expansions and contractions and an on-going process of renewal over periods of trillions of years and more. We know space is expanding through direct observation. Modern theory also says that the rate of expansion is accelerating. Since I am not an astrophysicist I'm not well versed in current thinking, but much of my own thoughts on the matter center around the patterns I observe in nature. At every scale there is a process of evolution and renewal. It seems logical to me that these processes are carried out on scales we can barely observe and perhaps ones we can't.


Direct observation and empirical evidence are powerful tools but they gain their power from creative thinking and speculation. One without the other is useless.


Edit: us Atheists don't know what was here before the bang, and more importantly we don't care

This is completely untrue. Discovering the nature of our cosmos is the most intriguing science evar.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 3, 2012 - 10:42am PT
Oops

Ok, should have said I, not us, don't really care
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Sep 3, 2012 - 11:18am PT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6w2M50_Xdk
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Sep 3, 2012 - 12:12pm PT
Atheism is not a peculiar brand of intellectual heroism. No one cares if the atheist is immune to religious bull. Most atheists I know make up for it with a more than conspicuous
lack of metaphysical imagination.
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 3, 2012 - 01:14pm PT
Dr.F,

I appreciate your transparency. My view is that we are all Pilgrims on a journey operating within our own inherent design limitations. Since you have stated that you “post for fun and frivolity” and with offense to none:

Jesus never resurrected
that is a proven fact, he died, and was dead, and was never witnessed to be alive after death:


There is no quick answer. First one has to establish the historicity of the New Testament. Answer the usual rebuttal that the N.T. is nothing more than Christian propaganda. This means that the return answer is that all contemporize writings and history of the Romans was also religious propaganda because the roman chroniclers operated with the knowledge that the Caesars are untimely deified and made gods. For brevities sake I leave the following post

http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/garyhabermas.htm



► 90:35► 90:35
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACljoLzPQ14
1.
Debate: Jesus Resurrection - Dr. Gary Habermas vs Antony Flew ...






http://www.reasonablefaith.org/scholarly-articles/historical-jesus


P.S. Antony Flew is was more than "some Scientist" he was the leading voice for atheism for nearly half a century - just saying
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Sep 3, 2012 - 01:49pm PT
Atheism is not a peculiar brand of intellectual heroism.


Perhaps you haven't read Nietzsche...
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Sep 3, 2012 - 02:00pm PT
Sheesh, two threads? Let me think, do I like it or love it? Hmmm, I guess I'll go with this one since the word is spelled properly.
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 3, 2012 - 02:01pm PT
P.Rob, no doubt you have failed to consider the obvious:

Without a deity to which can confess our sins, attribute our failings and from which we can seek absolution we atheists are completely accountable for our actions. We have no invisible bogey man we can blame if things don't go right, but must face reality as it exists right here and now.

You christians pass the buck at the drop of a hat. You rely on a manufactured morality that leaves you unaccountable for your actions. You have no strength of character but rely on blind faith. Religion the world over has been used as a crutch and an excuse and driven people to act in the most disgusting and depraved ways because people could claim their actions were sanctioned by a god.

Khanom,

I do not recognize the Christianity of your description. My world view is the antithesis of your description. I am called to operate as humble and contrite. I have relational stance based upon imputation, expiation and PROPITIATION to God. I am fully accountable for my actions and their consequences. I cannot blame anyone or anything. Furthermore I mandated to respect all, esteem others greater than myself. I am told that our time here is fleeting, so make the most of it and live in the immediate. I am called to love my neighbor, the poor and the widowed. The sick and the down trodden. I am to fight against unrighteousness and injustice. God is more interested in my character than my comfort

Isaiah 58:7-10
New International Version (NIV)
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Sep 3, 2012 - 02:19pm PT
Oh no. If people are going to start posting inane scripture references on this thread (they're ALL inane), I may have to move to the other thread.
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Sep 3, 2012 - 02:39pm PT



Perhaps you haven't read Nietzsche...


True that "Twilight of the Idols" is my least favorite

In the chapter The Four Great Errors, he suggests that people, especially Christians, confuse the effect for the cause, and that they project the human ego and subjectivity on to other things, thereby creating the illusionary concept of being, and therefore also of the thing-in-itself and God. In reality, motive or intention is "an accompaniment to an act"[6] rather than the cause of that act. By removing causal agency based on free, conscious will, Nietzsche critiques the ethics of accountability, suggesting that everything is necessary in a whole that can neither be judged nor condemned, because there is nothing outside of it.[7] What people typically deem "vice" is in fact merely "the inability not to react to a stimulus."[8] In this light, the concept of morality becomes purely a means of control: "the doctrine of will has been invented essentially for the purpose of punishment, that is of finding guilty."[9]

Schopenhauers influence is tiresomely apparent...(sigh). Lol
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Sep 3, 2012 - 03:17pm PT
Yes... but Christians aren't the only individals confusing effect for cause, and projecting human ego and subjectivity on to other things,

How close Hitler's statement:

"Historically speaking, the Christian religion is nothing but a Jewish sect.... After the destruction of Judaism, the extinction of Christian slave morals must follow logically... . I shall know the moment when to confront, for the sake of the German people and the world, their Asiatic slave morals with our picture of the free man, the godlike man.... It is not merely a question of Christianity and Judaism. We are fighting against the most ancient curse that humanity has brought upon itself. We are fighting against the perversion of our soundest instincts. Ah, the God of the deserts, that crazed, stupid, vengeful Asiatic despot with his powers to make laws! ... That poison with which both Jews and Christians have spoiled and soiled the free, wonderful instincts of man and lowered them to the level of doglike fright."


resembles Nietche's manuscripts.

Can we suggest that Hitler appropriated Nietzsche's ideas and-reconciled them into his own heroic romanticism of power?

...even haunting the Nietzsche museum in Weimar and posing for photographs of himself staring in rapture at the bust of the great man.
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Sep 3, 2012 - 03:38pm PT
" How close Hitler's statement"

We have a validation of 'Godwins Law'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

Reductio ad Hitlerum

WBraun

climber
Sep 3, 2012 - 04:22pm PT
The atheist argument is monkeys striking typewriters can produce English words.

Pretty normal considering how the atheist "thinks" his father is a Monkey.

And we haven't seen God therefor there's no God.
Duh.

And then the best one yet,

Direct observation and empirical evidence are powerful tools but they gain their power from creative thinking and speculation.

That's just plain Jane guessing masqueraded as "Science"
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 3, 2012 - 11:25pm PT
COOL K,
Ive always been the one to ask big questions. U obliviously believe in time. With ur description of the universe( expanding, contracting, accelerating). So time must start then stop. Right?
So, what (who) caused it to start? I know U can't answer, but just think about the idea of the question. And another one I have is "scientific research" has said the Sun is burning out. It's not getting bigger. It's getting smaller. And less than 250k years ago it was so potent nothing could live here! I think some people take to heart some scientific notions and discard others.
So who started plant life, and animal life, and human life? And who the heck invented the eyeball? Genius !
Jus wuderun
BB
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 4, 2012 - 02:11am PT
The atheist argument is monkeys striking typewriters can produce English words.

And yet we see evidence of this on the Taco every day... the monkeys are sending.

DMT
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 4, 2012 - 08:19am PT
Time doesn't "stop" or "start". It's like gravity, it just is. There are scientific explanations and theories about the nature of this phenomena if you care to be fascinated.

So who started plant life, and animal life, and human life? And who the heck invented the eyeball? Genius !

Why does someone have to "start" them? Invented? I don't know if you are even being serious, but the explanation is incredibly simple: evolution.

Every living creature has traversed a process of evolution along a series of evolutionary branches coming from a common root. Most educated people accept evolution as scientific fact because there is overwhelming evidence to support the theory.

That evolution has allowed incredibly complex and "ingenius" organisms and features on organisms to develop should not be confused with genius intent. It's simply selection of positive attributes through a process of attrition of less effective attributes.

If you really want to understand evolution, read The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. Of course there are many other great books on the subject, but Dawkins is easy to read and one of the first (if not the first) to talk about evolution in terms of competition of genes. No it's not atheist propaganda -- he was first an evolutionary biologist.

And as a side note, it's always amazed me that so many christians can be staunch capitalists and yet have trouble with the concepts of evolution. Really, it's just competition. A characteristic (like ability to see) wins out because it provides a competitive advantage over the same organism with lessor sensory ability, just as Mitt Romney's superior ability to lie, cheat, and steal has made him a sh!t load of money.


Careful Werner, you should probably jumble up those words a bit... you don't want to blow your cover.

And we haven't seen God therefor there's no God.

Incorrect. There is zero evidence for a phenomenon and yet a perfectly good cultural explanation for why people think a god exists. A whole long history of cultural reasons in fact. So an a-theist decides that he or she, in the face of zero evidence, cannot conclude something exists instead of just making sh!t up. That's not the same as saying "there is no god". An atheist says "there is no evidence for a god and I believe one does not exist".

I know how fond you are of making sh!t up. You are a mental speculator!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 4, 2012 - 08:31am PT
So blublock, saying your imaginary friend was always there, is a logical counter argument? A step up in debate? Anything different from saying, "I don't know, either?"
crasic

climber
Sep 4, 2012 - 08:34am PT
Any self-consistent axiomatic system is as valid as the next.


So, what (who) caused it to start

It never started, it simply didn't exist along with our concept of the universe. Its meaningless to talk about something that didn't exist to have started. How can you talk about yourself before you were conceived?

Something can come from nothing quite readily, as long as the total energy is zero (which, for our universe, as far as we can tell, it is).

Its a confusing concept, but only because geometry of 4-dimensional manifolds isn't very intuitive (well, it is, but you need to have learned just a little differential geometry and topology).
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Sep 4, 2012 - 08:39am PT
And yet we see evidence of this on the Taco every day... the monkeys are sending.


Studly

Trad climber
WA
Sep 4, 2012 - 08:40am PT
Hey, its cool to be a atheist. Just one thing you might want to think about so that you can respond when the time comes. When you stand in front of your creator, and he asks you why you denied his existence and his incredible vast creation, probably not a good time to be without a answer.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Sep 4, 2012 - 08:46am PT
I'd have an answer to your imaginary event.

"I used the brain you gave me and logical reasoning allowed me to arrive at the conclusion that you simply are an illusion and one made up by the weak-minded."
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 4, 2012 - 08:52am PT
"Hey, its cool to be a atheist. Just one thing you might want to think about so that you can respond when the time comes. When you stand in front of your creator, and he asks you why you denied his existence and his incredible vast creation, probably not a good time to be without a answer." (-Studley)

Hey, it's cool to be a theist. (In any of the world's dozen major or minor theologies: Abrahamic to Yanomamo to Zoroastrian.) Just one thing you might want to think about so that you can respond when the time comes. When you stand in front of any educated demographic in the 21st century and they ask you why you are so dense before so many founts of knowledge of modernity, probably not a good time to be without a answer.

Lest you be labeled a scientifically illiterate rube.



P.S.

Unless you're ol' time (over 75 years old, say), then you might get a free pass.
jstan

climber
Sep 4, 2012 - 09:21am PT
Almost any interaction between humans is a political interaction. In political interactions one is interested foremost in creating results based upon agreement good for all ( hopefully). Not in being right. As Sam Harris points out it makes little political sense needlessly to turn off a thousand people just in order to point out that ten people have got something wrong. The youtube for that address is here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KG5s_-Khvg

You may want to skip the four minute introduction. I watched the introduction once and it is a little off topic.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 4, 2012 - 09:40am PT
Cool, that you would link to this particular Sam Harris lecture - as it's one of my favorites. It's in this piece where he tries to challenge the "atheists" to think anew and beyond their current identity.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:17am PT
Here's a Sam Harris, atheism-related kickstarter project...

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/618768707/i-wonder

Interesting how this kickstarter went from two backers to almost 200 in just a couple of hours.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:39am PT
When you stand in front of your creator, and he asks you why you denied his existence and his incredible vast creation, probably not a good time to be without a answer.
.
you denied ... his incredible vast creation
Assuming your Creator (shouldn't it be capitalized?) does exist, and assuming He/She's compassionate (why CAN'T He be a She, or even an Hermaphrodite?), I'm not worried. I've led my life well by any Christian/Judaic/Muslim/Hindu standard (well, maybe I've eaten too much pork and beef, I'm certainly not Kosher and I don't pray to Allah 3 times a day).
I've honored, respected and taken the best care I could of His creation since I was a child. I don't need to believe in Him/Her/It in order to have the greatest wonder and affection for the Universe (or even all of them) and all it contains.
I'll tell Him I made an honest, reasoned mistake and have never (or at least seldom) blasphemed and He/She/It will let me in.
If not, then I'm not really interested and I'll be happier in Hell...as long as I don't run into George W Bush and Dick Cheney. (oops.....is that blasphemous?)
WBraun

climber
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:56am PT
"There is zero evidence for a phenomenon and yet a perfectly good cultural explanation for why people think a god exists."

The atheist can't find God because he's always offending him.

Thus God never reveals himself to such rascals.

Thus the atheist remains in the darkest region of consciousness ......
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 5, 2012 - 12:19pm PT
The atheist can't find God because he's always offending him.
Please tell me how I've offended your God.
Is He/She/It such a wimp that He can't tolerate dissent? Is It so jealous and insecure that my disbelief damns me?
Assuming HeSheIt exists, my behavior toward It's creations should be all It gives a damn about (oops....another blasphemy)
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 5, 2012 - 12:19pm PT
Funny, you'd think God™ would want atheists to see him in action in order to convert them.

But seriously, Werner, such statements just make you look stupid. "You can't see my god because you don't have faith"... what kind of nonsense is that? It's not only illogical but it is contrary to christian doctrine (mercy, redemption, yada yada).
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 5, 2012 - 12:32pm PT
Werner, are you saying that god gets snitty because people offend him/her/it/they?
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 5, 2012 - 01:13pm PT
There is no god and WBraun is his prophet.
In my view WBraun himself is one of the offences to this no-god who is revealing himself every day in the material world, though the words of WB are nothing but falling leaves having no influence on this no-god who is older than any universe.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 5, 2012 - 01:30pm PT
All Atheists gave God a chance, when we were young, we were told about God. We waited and hoped that God would appear, or save us if we surrendered to him.

But nothing happened, and it never happened to anyone else either, or in any science experiment or observation.
Then we found out that what we told were lies and made up stories about God.

So us smart folks just made the next step, we decided we wanted freedom from God. Why add delusion and fairy tales into reality, when it works without God just fine.

Why would we offend God, the only thing we offend are people that want an argument for God, since they can't win.
WBraun

climber
Sep 5, 2012 - 01:42pm PT
"You can't see my god because you don't have faith".

I never said said anything like this ever.

You guys are the ones making up tons of sh!t and framing it as what someone is saying and you guys are totally projecting.

There is no "My" and "Your" God.

There is only God almighty himself.

Atheists are not very intelligent.

They only rubber stamp themselves as "I'm a scientist" and then claim themselves as the only ones with real intelligence .......



khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 5, 2012 - 02:01pm PT
therefore I'm the only one with real intelligence

How do you know that your arrogance does not offend your god?
WBraun

climber
Sep 5, 2012 - 02:27pm PT
I never said anything like this either.

You really are weird.

You keep trying to put your words and thoughts into other people. (projection)

You keep revealing your true self.

That you are very unintelligent.

Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 5, 2012 - 02:36pm PT
Just say it Werner
We are all stupid, and you're not
You see God, we don't, what can be more stupid
WBraun

climber
Sep 5, 2012 - 02:44pm PT
Whether one sees God or not is not the issue here.

You guys make so many unintelligent statements to support your conclusions .....
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 5, 2012 - 04:18pm PT
EDIT - Poster deleted his/her thread.

you seem to want to force your non-belief as well

First, one operative word above is "seem." I suppose it might "seem" this way to you. Esp insofar as youre coming from a Christian perspective.

Second, it's modern times in America, so nobody on this site is desiring or intending to "force" their ideas on anyone. (Not that I can tell at least. But who really knows, I mean really. Maybe a supertopian (Ed, maybe, or Nature) at some point met up with Go-B or Klimmer - in perhaps a dark forsaken descent somewhere - and threatened them with a blue cam to convert - really I do doubt it but if so I'd love to hear the tale.)

Third, speaking for myself, I don't have "non-beliefs" - I have beliefs and plenty of them. Last I checked millions of Christians didn't believe in evolution or in an automatic free-running nature independent of any divine supernatural superintendent. Millions of traditional fundamentalist Christians along with Muslims didn't believe they are an integral part of nature. Moreover, millions more didn't believe its possible that everything they are could be a result of mechanistic cellular metabolism at work by the trillions of microscopic parts. Or that all of this magnificent Creation en total could result from something called a big bang. (And I could go on.) So who exactly are the non-believers?" That's the point, here. And who exactly harbor the non-beliefs? Don't you see, it is a matter of perspective and framing.

And I for one, am tired of always working out of the Christian perspective, always having to deal with Christian rhetoric and bias in language and thought; it's time for change, and I feel it coming along nicely.

A believer, I am
 in science and science edu
 in modernity and human civilization and its continuation
 in the good life

P.S.

I had some issues with the rest of your post and its peculiar wording, too, but don't have the time to address them.

Carry on...

michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
Sep 5, 2012 - 04:30pm PT
Sigh. Most atheists give other atheists a bad look.

I don't believe in a god.

I have no problem with the god you believe in.

Just don't shove whoever your god is, and your faith, down my throat.

Most atheists I know are so "scientific," they're more annoying than the believers themselves.

It's okay to not be a believer, just don't be a douche.

Have morals.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 5, 2012 - 04:33pm PT
Sigh. Most atheists give other atheists a bad look.... Most atheists I know are so "scientific," they're more annoying than the believers themselves.

michaeld, hope you're not speaking to me. P.S. Either way, I can't agree with your broadbrush statement. Seems pretty shallow.

.....

So cool off and let this thread die

You wish. Atheism (as a clearing agent for bigger and better things to come) and other irreligious, nonreligious or post-religious groups are just getting started. It's the information age now and things are just starting to heat up. Hallelujuh!

.....


One issue the michaeld post does point out is that even among the irreligious - perspectives, attitudes, interests and values vary. All that unites them is an interest - mild in some, passionate in others - to push beyond the supernatural theism. I can imagine, in 100 years, when there are hundreds of millions of irreligious or nonreligious people milling about, no doubt I would find a lot of them disgusting in their interests or values.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Sep 5, 2012 - 04:40pm PT
I'm an atheist because I can't believe. I just wasn't raised to believe in creators and such. Sometimes I wish I could! Belief is cultural as far as I can tell. I do have spiritual beliefs, just nothing organized or involving any kind of entity a bunch of monkeys could possibly understand.
Binks

climber
Uranus
Sep 5, 2012 - 04:51pm PT
I like Alan Watt's answer:

If you believe in God I don't.

If you don't, I do.

I don't believe in religion or holy books or priests, ministers or any institutionally appointed guru of any stripe.
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 5, 2012 - 05:11pm PT
So cool off and let this thread die becasue it will never be concluded any other way.

You're new here, aren't you?
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 5, 2012 - 05:32pm PT
MissJ
A short SuperTopo history of "life".
Someone started a thread called "I Like My Pathetic Life"
And then another thread appeared "I Like the Climbing Life"
Then "I Like My Pantheistic Life"
"I Like My Agnostic Life"
...life
...cereal life
..Thug Life
..Night...
..Bit'er...
...Tantric...
I Like My Christian Life
and finally this thread.

Do we need a "get a life life" thread?

Considering that evangelical conservatives have been trying to merge religion with politics for the past 30 years, contrary to the prescient 1st Amendment, quite a few people have actually come out of the Agnostic/Atheist closet.
You got a problem with that?

Oh, and some of my good friends are practicing Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. So no, I don't have any problem with your beliefs......as long as I can have my own, or lack of.

Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Sep 5, 2012 - 06:16pm PT
I've never had an atheist come to my door and talk to me about not accepting God into my life.

I should start the Church of Jebus H Bomz.

It would mostly involve climbing on Sundays.
MisterE

Social climber
Sep 5, 2012 - 06:21pm PT
Werner Braun must be one of the most narrow-minded people that have ever posted to a religious thread, he can't even see past his own righteousness, let alone beliefs.

It must be a very fixated place to not allow any other considerations of beliefs.

Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Sep 5, 2012 - 06:34pm PT
Werner Braun must be one of the most narrow-minded people that have ever posted to a religious thread, he can't even see past his own righteousness, let alone beliefs.

Frankly, I never can tell what he really believes. It involves calling people stupid? Stupidism?
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 5, 2012 - 07:11pm PT
Frankly, I never can tell what he really believes. It involves calling people stupid? Stupidism?


yes, Werner is obsessed with calling other forum members "stupid"

and let's just say it, he just can't handle seeing posts that disagree with him

just one example: if he reads a post that carefully lays out a scientific finding that supports human evolution, he calls the poster "stupid"

and you know why?

because Werner is an admitted believer in god and Christianity

and absolutely no one, no one, has ever called him stupid for his belief

but Werner is a hypocrite, because HE calls others stupid simply because he doesn't like what they have to say when they happen to disagree with him about god beliefs
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 5, 2012 - 07:31pm PT
Why don't you Christians head to the Christian thread.
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 5, 2012 - 07:34pm PT
because Werner is an admitted believer in god and Christianity

and absolutely no one, no one, has ever called him stupid for his belief

I know at first blush Werner can seem ….. Well harsh. But I have come to believe he is being ironical & honestly subtly self deprecating, with the twist to not take ourselves so seriously.

I can not state on his commitment to “Christianity” and I have never seen such a post as him saying as such …….. Even back in the early 80’s I had always heard he was committed to the study of Vedic writings and the concept of Karmic debt.

The one and only “conversation” I had with Werner is when I asked him where the crux was on a certain climb ………….. The answer – one of the all time best “The Crux is the hardest move for you”
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 5, 2012 - 07:38pm PT
Why don't you Christians head to the Christian thread.

Cuz I love you Spirit man - and you know thats true. Besides the Christian page got hijacked by "y'all" pretty quick. And in truth Mr.Spirit you in particular give cause to thought. I do not want to join some bless me club - I like to bang and clang ..... and you are pretty good at it.. most of the time
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Sep 5, 2012 - 07:45pm PT
because some people just delete their posts...
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 5, 2012 - 08:13pm PT
Sorry P. Rob, there are always exceptions, but face the facts. In a country, by all measures extremely religious, only 7% of eminent scientists (those elected to the National Academy of Sciences) believe in a personal god.


I have been pondering this Mr.Donini
The “religious” tend not to be a codified or homogeneous, rather an amalgams or mosaic in their chosen bits and pieces. If you take these religious poles and drill down the definitions of “faith” are quite murky and muddled.

I also wonder if those in the National Academy of Sciences are being transparent in their answering of theses questions, seeing how reactionary the thought of “god believers” in their midst.

While some see intelligence as an antidote to being infected by the God Delusion, obviously its efficacy is not 100%:


Richard Feynman, Nobel prize in physics in 1965, was a very unusual person. He said some 9 years before receiving the Nobel prize, "Many scientists do believe in both science and God, the God of revelation, in a perfectly consistent way." So is it possible to be a scientist and a Christian? Yes according to Richard Feynman.
Now one could regard that statement as strictly anecdotal. Americans love statistics. Here's the result of a poll of the professional society Sigma Zi. Three thousand three hundred responded, so this is certainly beyond statistical uncertainty. The headline says, "Scientists are anchored in the U. S. mainstream." It says that half participate in religious activities regularly. Looking at the poll is that 43% of Ph.D. scientists are in church on a typical Sunday. In the American public, 44% are in church on a typical Sunday. So it's clear that whatever it is that causes people to have religious inclinations is unrelated to having an advanced degree in science.

Michael Polanyi
Let go a little deeper with a statement from Michael Polanyi, professor of chemistry and then philosophy at the University of Manchester. His son, John Polanyi, won the Nobel prize in 1986. I think that it's probably true that when John Polanyi's scientific accomplishments, which have been magnificent, have been mostly forgotten, his father's work will continue.
Michael Polanyi was a great physical chemist at the University of Manchester. About halfway through his career, he switched over to philosophy. He was equally distinguished there. His books are not easy to ready. His most influential book is called Personal Knowledge. He was of Jewish physical descent. He was born in Hungary. About the same time he switched from chemistry to philosophy, he joined the Roman Catholic church. He said,
I shall reexamine the suppositions underlying our belief in science and propose to show that they are more extensive than is usually thought. They will appear to coextend with the entire spiritual foundations of man and to go to the very root of his social existence. Hence I will urge our belief in science should be regarded as a token of much wider convictions.

Michael Faraday
My very favorite—and probably the greatest experimental scientist of all—is Michael Faraday. The two hundredth birthday of Michael Faraday's birth was recently celebrated at the Royal Institution (multi–disciplinary research laboratory in London). There was an interesting article published by my friend Sir John Thomas, who said if Michael Faraday had been living in the era of the Nobel prize, he would have been worthy of at least eight Nobel prizes. Faraday discovered benzene and electromagnetic radiation, invented the generator and was the main architect of classical field theory.
Let me contrast the end of his life with the end of Lev Landau's life. Faraday was close to death. A friend and well–wisher came by and said, "Sir Michael, what speculations have you now?" This friend was trying to introduce some levity into the situation. Faraday's career had consisted of making speculations about science and then dash into the laboratory to either prove or disprove them. It was a reasonable thing to say.
Faraday took it very seriously. He replied:
Speculations, man, I have none. I have certainties. I thank God that I don't rest my dying head upon speculations for "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I've committed unto him against that day."


John Suppe
Member of the U.S. Academy of Sciences and noted professor of geology at Princeton, expert in the are of tectonics, began a long search for God as a Christian faculty member. He began attending services in the Princeton Chapel, reading the Bible and other Christian books. He committed Himself to Christ and had his first real experience of Christian fellowship in Taiwan, where he is on a fellowship. He states:
Some non–scientist Christians, when they meet a Christian, will call on to debate evolution. That is definitely the wrong thing to do. If you know what problems scientists have in their lives—pride, selfish ambition, jealousy—that's exactly the kind of thing Jesus Christ said that He came to resolve by His death on the cross. Science is full of people with very strong egos who get into conflict with each other. The gospel is the same for scientists as it is for anyone. Evolution is basically a red herring; if scientists are looking for meaning in their lives, it won't be found in evolution. I have never met a non–Christian who brought up evolution with me.

Richard Bube
For many years, Bube was the chairman of the department of materials science at Stanford and carried out foundational work on solid state physics concerning semiconductors. He said:
There are proportionately as many atheistic truck drivers as there are atheistic scientists.


The above comes from a Scientists and Their Gods by Professor Henry F. (Fritz) Schaefer is one of the most distinguished physical scientists in the world
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Sep 5, 2012 - 08:15pm PT
"There is zero evidence for a phenomenon and yet a perfectly good cultural explanation for why people think a god exists."

The atheist can't find God because he's always offending him.

Thus God never reveals himself to such rascals.

I thought God just "is"...

Seriously? God hides from those who don't believe in him?
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 5, 2012 - 08:30pm PT
Yeah, you'd think that would put an end to christianity pretty quick.
MisterE

Social climber
Sep 5, 2012 - 08:33pm PT
I like the idea that Atheists are not non-believers, they just believe in things most of us take for granted, and/or consider mundane from a spiritual perspective.

That is a theism that shows wonderful appreciation of the present - the here and now.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 5, 2012 - 08:37pm PT
It's ALL ABOUT Being in the Here and Now

Being immersed in a untainted reality
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 5, 2012 - 08:39pm PT
khanom

If I can submit my personal experience I have found God to make Himself rather inconvenient in the non believers life – showing up in the most unlikely places and fashion. He is not afraid of our disbelief and I contend he is always showing Himself to rascals……… all one has to do is read the Bible and it is filled with rascals running into God


P.S. Good evening Doc - I hope you are doing well
Heyzeus

climber
Hollywood,Ca
Sep 5, 2012 - 08:45pm PT
Credit: Heyzeus
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 5, 2012 - 08:47pm PT
I want one!!!
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Sep 5, 2012 - 09:02pm PT
If I can submit my personal experience I have found God to make Himself rather inconvenient in the non believers life – showing up in the most unlikely places and fashion. He is not afraid of our disbelief and I contend he is always showing Himself to rascals……… all one has to do is read the Bible and it is filled with rascals running into God

So, Bible says rascals run into God.

All one has to do to see this is read the Bible [and believe what they read].

But, rascals don't believe the Bible.

==> Rascals can't see by reading the Bible that God is always showing Himself to Rascals.

After that logical proof, I'm curious what you mean by "inconvenient". The only way God has made himself "inconvenient" to me is sending His servants to tell me my beliefs are wrong and by preventing my friends from marrying the people they love, doing what they want with their bodies, or joining the Boy Scouts, and by inciting attacks on other religions that invite reciprocation-by-bombing from terrorists in my home country.
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 5, 2012 - 09:21pm PT
I can understand your anger, and what I am about to share is as a personal place in my life as I have ever posted on ST. Regardless of what Dr.F has speculated, I actually have more than a passing education - Pastorial Studies, Philosphy of religion plus Critical Incidents Stress Management (CISM) certification. Conservative Seminary , inner city Pastorial Ministry - .... I say all this to let you know that my 24 year old daughter - my youngest child, is involved in a same sex relationship with a very intelligent, wonderful young woman. I have never seen my daughter so happy, so alive and I do believe they will marry some day. She tells me that I am not allowed to be the officiate, as I will walk her down the isle ......
MisterE

Social climber
Sep 5, 2012 - 09:48pm PT
Frankly, I never can tell what he really believes. It involves calling people stupid? Stupidism?

It sounds rather 5th grade to me - maybe that is his dig.

"I WILL SHOW YOU ALL HOW YOU RESPOND AT AN ADOLESCENT LEVEL! BWAHAHAHAHA!"

As if, somehow that wasn't an adolescent provocation to begin with.

Not dissing the guy for his achievements, just the level at which he chooses to "draw people out".

It could be Elder wisdom, from what I have read - but it isn't.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 5, 2012 - 09:52pm PT
I know Werner,,,
Hung with m, worked with m, climbed with m. I've seen his heart...
I'd say he's a lot like Jesus. He doesn't h8 the sinner for being stupid.
He h8's the sin of being stupid!
Jus Sayin
BB
Andree Hussar

Social climber
ny
Sep 5, 2012 - 10:04pm PT
Atheism is a belief and you are your own God... that is your religion.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 5, 2012 - 10:13pm PT
I would like to know where the Feynman quote came from... it is not easily found (which is suspicious for him)...



the implication that Feynman was religious is certainly incorrect...

"...I'm not frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn't frighten me."


HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 5, 2012 - 10:16pm PT
P.Rob
Nice list of Believing scientists. But you can't really include Faraday since he lived 200 years ago.
That's a pretty short list.

I'm reminded of working in the Physics Dept of my university for a summer with a PhD Candidate for high energy physics. He thoroughly denied evolution. He suspended his knowledge of science when it contradicted his religious beliefs rather than reforming his religious beliefs based upon what he knew as fact.
As an engineer, I can promise you that confusing belief with fact can lead to disaster. Global warming denial is a case in point. Not believing what facts are telling you leads to the Global Horizon oil rig disaster.
Please tell me how particle physics and relativity are "true", as proven by 60 years of experimental proof and practical experience, yet evolution is bunk.

It's OK with me if you believe in God. There's a lot to be said for believing in the moral and ethical frameworks of all religions. Even in believing that God created the universe. Just don't go telling me that God created the earth in 6 days and Eve from Adam's rib. Or that Noah got 2 of every species onto his ark. Or that God delivered the Ten Commandments to Abraham. Or that He turned Lot into a pillar of salt.

I'm not accusing anyone in this forum of believing any or all of the above, just pointing out that\ science trumps belief whenever they contradict.
And no, I cannot disprove the existence of God, any more than you can prove His/Her/It's existence. It's only what God IS or ISN'T that can be debated rationally.

Edit: Ed, thanks for following up on what I thought was rather fishy.
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 5, 2012 - 10:26pm PT
Quote comes from Prof.Henry "Fritz"Schaeffer " scientists & their gods"
Andree Hussar

Social climber
ny
Sep 5, 2012 - 10:29pm PT
FYI ...the man F is his own god and he purports twisted views to all of you climbers ... and no one ever challenges him.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 5, 2012 - 10:30pm PT
Atheism is a belief and you are your own God... that is your religion.

which is rather silly statement. I believe the implication being that without an absolute ethical framework against which your morals are judged by some supernatural authority, "God", that you sort of make it all up on your own?

that you have no purpose other than that which that "God" has conveyed on you?

that you are exceptional because "God" made you that way?

..not believing in "God" also encompasses not believing in your own self as being "God", too...



Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 5, 2012 - 10:31pm PT
P.Rob, I know where the quote comes from, is Schaeffer saying that he heard Feynman say this and is conveying it to us.. even then, it would be attributed to some meeting at some time and some place...

my point is, that it is only a quote from Schaeffer, and not found elsewhere... I doubt it.

On the Schaeffer site, I also read a story regarding Lev Landau which makes it sound like he wanted to be "saved," where that was interpreted in a Christian sense... also highly doubtful that the story has anything at all to do with religion...
Andree Hussar

Social climber
ny
Sep 5, 2012 - 10:32pm PT
Reread what you stated and it makes no sense
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 5, 2012 - 10:35pm PT
Ms. Hussar, why do you say atheists believe that they are, themselves, "god"?

WBraun

climber
Sep 5, 2012 - 10:54pm PT
Ed

Since you don't know what "God" really is you wouldn't really fully understand what she means by that.

It's not a simple black and white understanding ........
Andree Hussar

Social climber
ny
Sep 5, 2012 - 10:55pm PT
I am on the east coast and need to sleep!!!!!!!!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:03pm PT
go to sleep then...

Werner... how could you say this: Since you don't know what "God" really is... I actually think I have a working understanding of it... and even on a non-intellectual level. If you are implying that having rejected the notion of "God" demonstrates that I didn't understand it, well I think you are speculating.

Loomis

climber
Peklo Vole!
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:05pm PT
Andree Hussar

Social climber
ny
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:13pm PT
I was going to sleep until this non sequiter video was posted...
And the God I believe in has revealed himself in the bible and I reccomend reading the book of John as it seems no one has any knowlege of the bible.
WBraun

climber
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:14pm PT
Ed -- "I actually think I have a working understanding of it"

Then explain it.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:15pm PT
why would you assume no one has knowledge of the bible? because they disagree?
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:18pm PT
I found my Blind Faith at a drug party in Newport in the early or mid-1970s.

Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat

I was deeply religious when I was young. But as I grew older, wiser and better educated I saw that religion was for primitive or simple people.

They need something that helps them make sense of the universe. Unfortunately, religion and the religious mindset is passed on the the children.

It's like Santa Claus. Well, I'm here to tell you that there ain't no Santa Claus, or Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny.

Eventually you grow up and then you don't need Santa Claus anymore. Same applies to God. Some people just never grow up, I guess.

Andree Hussar

Social climber
ny
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:24pm PT

I was deeply religious when I was young. But as I grew older, wiser and better educated I saw that religion was for primitive or simple people.

They need something that helps them make sense of the universe. Me, I revel in being confused and perplexed by the universe.

So you "revel" in being confused and perplexed?!!!!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:27pm PT
shouldn't you go to bed Ms. Hussar? the thread will still be here when you get back to it
Andree Hussar

Social climber
ny
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:27pm PT
FAITH IS NOT BLIND
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:30pm PT
for you Werner... John chapter 3, 6

What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.

Loomis

climber
Peklo Vole!
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:38pm PT
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:41pm PT
Jesus said; unless U become as a child U will NOT see God!
But it takes an adult to understand that!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 5, 2012 - 11:53pm PT
and who was Jesus?

John 20: 30&31:

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of [his] disciples that are not written in this book.

But these are written that you may [come to] believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.


BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 6, 2012 - 12:09am PT
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord, my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul He'll take.
Please God allow these atheist to see the Light!
Amen
Good Night!
slayton

Trad climber
Here and There
Sep 6, 2012 - 01:46am PT
Please God allow these atheist to see the Light!

Thanks, but I have my own (non Christian) light to illuminate the universe.
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Sep 6, 2012 - 01:48am PT
i believe in science and what it has proven to show the Earth and it's transformations, evolution, etc.

That to me cannot be refuted. Scientific evidence cannot be refuted. Fossils, dinosaurs, early man, cave paintings by man dating back 40,000 years, I could go on.

To say the Earth was created in a matter of days by a sky God and humans just happened to appear here in male and female form out of the blue just several thousand years ago is not logical.

That's what's behind my beliefs.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Sep 6, 2012 - 08:15am PT
So you "revel" in being confused and perplexed?!!!!

Doesn't the religious faith preach the mystery of creation and faith in the face of events we can't understand? [I know, Werner, I'm stupid.] It sounds like Sierra Ledge Rat is right there with you and you just don't like the vernacular he uses to express the same thing.

Personally, I'm sooooo glad I'm not religious and looking for obscure doctrine and the "correct" lens through which I should interpret it. Life is confusing enough! I try to be a better person and to take care of those around me with compassion. I don't need God(s) to do that. I hope whatever your orientation, you don't let a disagreement of perspective get in the way of appreciating the good stuff about life and the people around you.[I know, I know, I'm stupid.]
WBraun

climber
Sep 6, 2012 - 08:49am PT
Jebus

I never said you're stupid.

I would say that implying your statement (see your quote below)

[I know, Werner, I'm stupid.]

That is making an unintelligent statement that has nothing to do with me.

Thus you can see for yourself you are are just making up sh!t and directing it in any direction possible outside of yourself.

Contaminating your clear thinking of reason and logic will definitely provide you of undesirable results to which you are seeking.

The scientific method requires one to use a clean uncontaminated petri dish and not a dirty contaminated one to start the process .....
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Sep 6, 2012 - 09:03am PT
I'm having fun Werner, not trying to argue the merits of any belief. For another thing, I do not say I'm trying to think clearly. I believe that we as something like advanced atmospheric phenomenon inhabiting the face of this planet probably are incapable of truly clear thought anyhow.

The thread asks us to explain why we are how we are and I tried. I'm not trying to pull apart religion or mock those who subscribe to it, I'm just saying I don't get it or really care.

I was raised a heathen, so it's like looking at tribal rituals from some strange land (although, I do realize Christian values/thoughts permeate Western culture, acknowledged or not). You can criticize my subjective reality, but that is my reality all the same. Whether my reality fits in with whatever perspective you contrarily (from my perspective) use to cherry pick at it with, I cannot possibly be the arbiter of that.

Also, I like how you basically called me stupid anyway!

I know, I know.... ;)
WBraun

climber
Sep 6, 2012 - 09:09am PT


If someone makes a stupid statement that doesn't mean they are totally stupid.

Yet the hard core knee jerk reactionaries here like to make it look like that.

Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Sep 6, 2012 - 09:12am PT
I'll take you saying I'm only partly stupid as a compliment, Werner!
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 6, 2012 - 09:16am PT
For the record,

I've grown to appreciate the posts of both Jebus and WB, I'm sure I'd enjoy a climb with either. How about Bloody Corner on Russell? For starters. Then Western Front. Then a run back to the Portal for burgers. Let me know.

But no talking stupid. During the climbs.

.....

Oh, this bears repeating:

I believe that we as something like advanced atmospheric phenomenon inhabiting the face of this planet probably are incapable of truly clear thought anyhow.

Reminds me of that Haldane remark.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Sep 6, 2012 - 09:18am PT
But no talking stupid.

Heh. It's all I know.

Yeah, that'd be a sweet itinerary. I don't think I'm up for that link up, however! Separately, yes. I'm sure WB'd have no problem with it though.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 6, 2012 - 09:47am PT
Welcome back Andree Hussar
Plenty of people challenge me, I only state my opinions, never have I shoved anything down anyone's throat

All I ask is for proof, everything has proof of existing, except God

How can something exist that can't be proven to exist???
It only exists in people's mind, and people CAN and Will Believe almost anything.

I was a believer for many years, but I challenged Myself to prove my beliefs were correct, and my challenge failed, so I had to come up with something that Fit ALL Observable data, and the only thing that Did make sense was that God doesn't exist, he only existed in my delusion.

This revelation made me become a better person, more ethical with higher morals, since I had to be the best human possible, since Only I was responsible for me

To say we believe we (or I) are (is) God is ridiculous, There are No Gods, there are no higher levels of existence than man (on earth), no spirits, we are nothing more than specs of complicated dust. I am just like another one of the trillions of ants, doing my life, and when I get snuffed out, all the other ants will just go on without me like I never existed.

Andree, this is chat, please join in, and leave your judgemental attitude at the door.
Tell us your opinions, your experiencing that make you believe what you do.
Read our posts and think about them, can they be true?
Could you be Wrong? what makes you right?

We all have thought about these things long and hard, we are not neophytes in the game of life, us climbers have experienced every emotion to the extreme, suffered terribly over and over ON purpose to climb our rocks and mountains, this has been our spiritual adventure. And this is were it led, to atheism.
this just in

climber
north fork
Sep 6, 2012 - 09:50am PT
If we all come from Adam and Eve, then we are all related. Incest is the best.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Sep 6, 2012 - 10:00am PT
and who was Jesus?

i've noted this on other threads, but it bears repeating. i'm basing my observations on a catholic upbringing, which employed a version of the bible called the douay-rheims, which they claimed--i think with good cause, based on the recent nonsectarian scholarship of elaine pagels and bart ehrman--to be closer to source texts than the more beautifully poetic but poorly authenticated king james version which most protestant americans grow up with.

i note some interesting aspects of jesus's rhetoric, and i'd be interested what others with some familiarity with bible scholarship may have to say about it. for one, jesus never claims to be god. also, he rarely speaks of god--rather he speaks of "his" father in heaven, adding things like "i and the father are one" and "no one comes to the father except through me".

isn't that interesting? he doesn't say "no one comes to god except through me". he does seem to speak of god occasionally, but usually he speaks of "the father".

jesus seems to have had a certain coyness on this subject, and he seems to have set others in his circle up to make declarations as to his true nature, as if he were either unsure of it himself or too humble, shy, or afraid of saying it himself directly. after all, the implication of divine powers and consequent blasphemy was what got him executed.

there is also an intriguingly recurrent third-person phrase, "the son of man," apparently, although i suspect not necessarily, referring to himself, coming back at a future time in apocalyptic circumstances.

the deification of jesus came later, after christians hashed things out--and they still haven't settled it.

the relativity of scriptural declarations came out in a different way in a discussion i had with a jewish friend about the ten commandments. we catholics were always taught, "thou shalt not kill". seemed pretty black-and-white, and based, i'm sure, on the old douay-rheims. other denominations have slightly different sets of commandments--there has been that much textual controversy over the years. but my friend was somewhat appalled. "it's 'thou shalt not murder', not 'thou shalt not kill'." i guess there's always a good excuse for something as drastic as killing. that commandment doesn't seem to get too far into the criterion for it, however.
WBraun

climber
Sep 6, 2012 - 10:04am PT
Dr F -- "To say we believe we (or I) are (is) God is ridiculous,"

You misunderstood just like Ed and others did.

God is by definition an Absolute Authority, (just one of his infinite attributes)

When God is rejected due to poor fund of knowledge such as the incomplete conclusions of modern gross material mechanistic science then that entity takes on an air of authority.

Thus her claims are that modern gross material mechanistic science is the new authority masquerading as "like god" due to their frustrations of not finding the absolute source of all.

Modern materialistic science is just using the wrong tools for the job of finding (God) and are rigidly entrenched in those methods (ascending process and reductionism expounded by Largo in another thread.)
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 6, 2012 - 10:05am PT
That's pure insanity
Thanks for clearing it up

There is no absolute authority, we are just ants.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 6, 2012 - 10:08am PT
Is Jesus God?
If not, is there more than 1 God?
How do you know?
Maybe there are lots of Gods, and Jesus is one too.

Why surrender to a name of a dead Person that is Not God?
So many unanswered questions, no wonder you guys are so confused.
rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
Sep 6, 2012 - 10:19am PT
Someone here is wrong and they are afraid to accept that it might be them. Our lives are ruled by fear and we can only become more than a dumb animal if we stop letting that fear dictate our beliefs and our actions.

Dave


WBraun

climber
Sep 6, 2012 - 10:33am PT
Our lives are ruled by fear


Typical knee jerk reaction by someone due to poor fund of knowledge.

This isn't about fear or someone being wrong although to you it seems that way.

Sectarian religion may be fueled by fear but that is a defective method.

Modern material science is not fueled by fear.

Spiritual science is also not fueled by fear.

The western gross materialistic mechanistic science has no real problems except when it tries to apply its material methods to a spiritual science that it has yet to really grasp and fully understand.



Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 6, 2012 - 10:55am PT
I think I touched on that Werner, but that my post was too incoherent...

but as Feynman explains in that video clip, he is not looking for "absolutes" as there is no indication that such at thing exists, or that it could be something that is studied.

there has been a long history of seeking such absolutes, and in particular, trying to understand the "condition of man" in an existential sense. What we know now (and I know you will disagree but you are wrong) is a great deal more than what we knew 200 years ago, 2000 years ago and 20000 years ago. What we know informs this discussion.

What we do not know also informs the discussion, and defining that, putting it into a form that is useful, has largely been due to science (and its critics, but to be a critic there must be something to criticize). Philosophy and religion has set the stage as to what those questions are, science has been not so slowly explaining them.

For instance, "the origin of the species" is well explained by evolution, it is doubtful that any reasonable person could formulate an cogent argument against evolution. Evolution, from its very first presentation, begs the question of abiogenesis, for which we have various ideas but nothing that is predictive in the way scientific theories must be.

The origin of this current universe is also known, it's details refined as cosmology becomes a modern science, and in so doing starts to reach back to the time before the big bang... which might be difficult to understand but is very much in line with the progress being made in cosmology. These phenomena, life, and the universe, are well described by science and do not require the intervention of any thing else.

As Weinberg had said, in another video linked on a similar but separate thread, ultimately we cannot explain everything by science. I think his implication was that ultimately we cannot explain everything. But interestingly, we keep pushing that "ultimate end" farther and farther along, with science. There has been little new of late coming from either philosophy or from religion... if that is an inaccurate statement I'd like to be corrected.

BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 6, 2012 - 11:20am PT
I agree let's not argue! Let's talk it out so we can all understand.
The Bible describes the Father,Son and Holy Ghost as one Being. And yet three. Something we quite can't understand. Maybe because we're locked in these body's? But the example of Father-son relationship I can comprehend. And the Love there being. What I've learned from the Bible, God IS Love, and where He sits is so Holy NOTHING but Love can approach Him. I do not believe God interjects with us when we go astray. We are simply walking on our own. Which is dangerous because the ruler of this world at this time is Satan. God of lies. But when we Love and seek our Father in Heaven. He sends His Angels to help us along our way. God did many things on Earth before christs crucifixion. He made a deal with Satan to stand aside for a period of time. God knew that His flock would return to Him, and some would be lost. God gave us the freedom of choice. Through our heart God speaks to us with Love. Through our minds Satan deceives us. The lie of many churches is that Jesus was no one special. But without His blood we would all be condemned by the law.
IMO
BB
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 6, 2012 - 11:30am PT
Let's talk it out...

No, let's not.

Take your questions to the Christian thread. There you can talk about the blood of Christ and the Holy Trio to your soul's content. This thread's a celebration of the athiest life.

,,,,,

I esp like climbing with atheists... and later breaking bread with atheists... because chances are any conversations we have will concern secular matters (aka this-world matters).
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 6, 2012 - 11:32am PT
God did many things on Earth before christs crucifixion. He made a deal with Satan to stand aside for a period of time
Speaks for itself
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 6, 2012 - 11:33am PT
Lets begin the talk with: The bible is not the word of God

And does not factually document the life of Jesus or anything else of importance
It is a Book of myths and stories
To use the bible as a handbook for reality is a disservice to the reader and the world at large

Where does Jesus exist Outside the Bible?, only in people's minds

In a couple of words, here are the facts; Jesus Does Not exist!
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 6, 2012 - 11:36am PT
Sh!t, apparently some atheists love the never-ending battle with theists, perhaps they should start a...

I like warring with theists forever and ever.... thread.

There they can realize their raison d'être day after day for the rest of their lives.

.....

But there are millions of others... post-religious... who have moved on.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Sep 6, 2012 - 11:39am PT
Point taken, HFCS. I've had my fun here, even got called half-telligent by Werner, so there's not too much more to be gained by engaging in the "uh, uh" "yeah, huh" form of debate.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 6, 2012 - 12:00pm PT
What else is there to talk about??

I would rather talk about evolution, but no one wants to discuss it, and there is not much to say about it anyway.

The only thing left is the debate, and it will go on forever, as long as there are theists.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 6, 2012 - 12:20pm PT
What else is there to talk about??

Tons of stuff.

I would rather talk about evolution, but no one wants to discuss it,


Sure they do.

and there is not much to say about it anyway.

Really? I think the likes of Dawkins and Myers might disagree. Maybe.

Go watch Star Trek Voyager, Distant Origins, available at Netflix. It's got some interesting thought-provoking ideas. Watch it. Bring one of these ideas here and we'll discuss it, lol.

...the debate, and it will go on forever, as long as there are theists.

Could be wrong, but I thought that's what your Politics, God vs Science thread was for.




P.S. Nor does this thread always have to have a presence on page one. It could rest for awhile. (While atheists are out climbing, e.g., or making love.) Right?



More later...
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 6, 2012 - 12:25pm PT
this thread needs pictures

photo not found
Missing photo ID#262206
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Sep 6, 2012 - 12:41pm PT
Credit: gop
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 6, 2012 - 12:44pm PT
Saint Harding in Camp4 parking lot, 1968ish?
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 6, 2012 - 12:59pm PT
No one is going to write about the details of evolution on ST

There is much to write about, but nothing that we can chat about.

There are no campfire discussions going on about how evolution works.
The discussion is? do you believe it, or not,?
and if not, why?, what about the evidence?

and it turns into exactly what we got going on here
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 6, 2012 - 01:42pm PT
I guess U would have to not care where U came from to believe In evilution. Come on kids something from nothing, provoke by what? What's the idea? Lightning hit grass and turned into a worm. A
A million years later it decided it needed a brain another million to figure out how to build an eye. Again from nothing? Then another million to grow into a fish. And then, and then and then. What a JOKE!! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!
And U find it hard to believe the Bible? With eye witnesses!
SHOW ME SOME PROOF!
Jus Laffin
BB
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 6, 2012 - 02:00pm PT
So God created everything out of nothing
You can believe that?

When was there nothing?

Evolution has been proven to be a fact, to bad you don't have the brain power to understand it.

Maybe it would be a better idea to read some science books, rather than children stories, you have a better understanding of the world we live in.

we care about what came before, that's why we study evolution, the story of life on the earth
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 6, 2012 - 02:04pm PT
Here you go, just today: Dawkins on cnn.

http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/06/dawkins-evolution-is-not-a-controversial-issue/?hpt=hp_c3

Atheists, for lack of a better word (presently), can CHOOSE to leave theists and their theism behind at any time. It's up to them, of course, but the views above and beyond the ol' time "early models" on vast.

.....

But Dr. F, I can appreciate your point about chit chat and having fun, so go for it, it's all good.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 6, 2012 - 02:06pm PT
My advice
Don't be so judgemental
It's only for fun, but addicting
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 6, 2012 - 06:31pm PT
Repost from another thread


From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader

By ROBERT F. WORTH
August 22, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/magazine/from-bible-belt-pastor-to-atheist-leader.html?pagewanted=all

Late one night in early May 2011, a preacher named Jerry DeWitt was lying in bed in DeRidder, La., when his phone rang. He picked it up and heard an anguished, familiar voice. It was Natosha Davis, a friend and parishioner in a church where DeWitt had preached for more than five years. Her brother had been in a bad motorcycle accident, she said, and he might not survive.

DeWitt knew what she wanted: for him to pray for her brother. It was the kind of call he had taken many times during his 25 years in the ministry. But now he found that the words would not come. He comforted her as best he could, but he couldn’t bring himself to invoke God’s help. Sensing her disappointment, he put the phone down and found himself sobbing. He was 41 and had spent almost his entire life in or near DeRidder, a small town in the heart of the Bible Belt. All he had ever wanted was to be a comfort and a support to the people he grew up with, but now a divide stood between him and them. He could no longer hide his disbelief. He walked into the bathroom and stared at himself in the mirror. “I remember thinking, Who on this planet has any idea what I’m going through?” DeWitt told me.

As his wife slept, he fumbled through the darkness for his laptop. After a few quick searches with the terms “pastor” and “atheist,” he discovered that a cottage industry of atheist outreach groups had grown up in the past few years. Within days, he joined an online network called the Clergy Project, created for clerics who no longer believe in God and want to communicate anonymously through a secure Web site.

DeWitt began e-mailing with dozens of fellow apostates every day and eventually joined another new network called Recovering From Religion, intended to help people extricate themselves from evangelical Christianity. Atheists, he discovered, were starting to reach out to one another not just in the urban North but also in states across the South and West, in the kinds of places­ DeWitt had spent much of his career as a traveling preacher. After a few months he took to the road again, this time as the newest of a new breed of celebrity, the atheist convert. They have their own apostles (Bertrand Russell, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens) and their own language, a glossary borrowed from Alcoholics Anonymous, the Bible and gay liberation (you always “come out” of the atheist closet).

DeWitt quickly repurposed his preacherly techniques, sharing his reverse-conversion story and his thoughts on “the five stages of disbelief” to packed crowds at “Freethinker” gatherings across the Bible Belt, in places like Little Rock and Houston. As his profile rose in the movement this spring, his Facebook and Twitter accounts began to fill with earnest requests for guidance from religious doubters in small towns across America. “It’s sort of a brand-new industry,” DeWitt told me. “There isn’t a lot of money in it, but there’s a lot of momentum.”

Not long ago, the atheist movement was the preserve of a few eccentric gadflies like Madalyn Murray O’Hair, whose endless lawsuits helped earn her the title “the most hated woman in America.” But over the past decade it has matured into something much larger and less cranky. In March of this year, some 20,000 people marched through a cold drizzle at the “Reason Rally” in Washington, billed as a political debut for the movement. A string of best-selling atheist polemics by the “four horsemen” — Hitchens and Dawkins, as well as Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett — has provided new intellectual fuel. Secular-themed organizations and clubs have begun to permeate small-town America and college campuses, helping to foot the bill for bus and billboard ad campaigns with messages like “Are You Good Without God? Millions Are.”

The reasons for this secular revival are varied, but it seems clear that the Internet has helped, and many younger atheists cite the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as a watershed moment of disgust with religious zealotry in any form. It is hard to say how many people are involved; avowed atheists are still a tiny sliver of the population. But people with no religious affiliation are the country’s fastest-growing religious category. When asked about religious affiliation in a Pew poll published this summer, nearly 20 percent of Americans chose “none,” the highest number the center has recorded. Many of those people would not call themselves atheists; “agnostic,” which technically refers to people who believe that the existence of a higher being can’t be known by the human mind, remains the safer option. The godless are now younger and more diverse than in the past, with blacks and Hispanics — once vanishingly rare — starting to appear in the ranks of national groups like the United Coalition of Reason and the Secular Student Alliance.

The movement has also begun cultivating a new breed of guru in men like DeWitt and Nate Phelps, the son of Fred Phelps, the leader of Westboro Baptist Church, which pickets military funerals and gay-pride events with signs declaring “God Hates Fags.” Nate Phelps, a big, barrel-chested man who delivers fierce rebuttals of his father’s theology and narrates the agonies of his fundamentalist upbringing, has become a star speaker at atheist rallies and gay-pride events around the country. At the Reason Rally, crowds cheered as he declared that the Sept. 11 attacks played a critical role in blasting away his lingering belief in any sort of deity.

Because they started out as fervent Christians, unlike Dawkins and Hitchens and company, Phelps and DeWitt are seen as heroes within the movement. They tend to live and work in the country’s most Bible-soaked places. “I think what’s happening is that nontheists are realizing we can’t just leave this cause to Ivy Leaguers and intellectuals,” DeWitt told me. “We’ve got to convey the secular worldview in a more emotional way.”

At the same time, DeWitt is something of a reality check for many atheists, whose principles rarely cost them more than the price of “The God Delusion” in paperback. DeWitt refuses to leave DeRidder, a place where religion, politics and family pride are indivisible. Six months after he was “outed” as an atheist he lost his job and his wife — both, he says, as a direct consequence. Only a handful of his 100-plus relatives from DeRidder still speak to him. When I visited him, in late June, his house was in foreclosure, and he was contemplating moving into his 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser. This is the kind of environment where godlessness remains a real struggle and raises questions that could ramify across the rest of the country. Is the “new atheism” part of a much broader secularizing trend, like the one that started emptying out the churches in European towns and villages a century ago? Or is it just a ticket out of town?

DeRidder is a four-hour drive northwest of New Orleans, near the Texas border. It is a tiny place, surrounded by thick forests of long-leaf pine, where many of the 10,000-odd residents have known one another all their lives. There is one major commercial strip lined with fast-food restaurants and chain stores, and in the rest of town it is difficult to drive a block without passing a church. Many of them are Pentecostals, part of the revivalist Christian movement in which worshipers often speak in tongues — babbling in what is thought to be a sacred language — sometimes while writhing on the floor. In the local Walmart, it’s easy to recognize the more conservative Pentecostal women, who wear modest, long dresses in a high-waisted style, their hair, which they do not cut, pulled neatly into buns.

When I first met Jerry DeWitt, I half expected a provincial contrarian hungry for attention. Instead, he was mild and apologetic, a short, baby-faced man with a gentle smile and a neatly trimmed dark beard. He was earnest and warm, and I soon discovered that many of his fellow townspeople cannot help liking him, no matter how much they dislike his atheism. He appears to have reached his conclusions about God with reluctance, and with remorse for the pain he has caused his friends and family. He seems to bear no grudge toward them. “At every atheist event I go to, there’s always someone who’s been hurt by religion, who wants me to tell him all preachers are charlatans,” DeWitt told me, soon after we met. “I always have to disappoint them. The ones I know are mostly very good people.”

DeWitt is a native son in every way, and this must make his apostasy all the more difficult for others to make sense of and to accept. He is descended from a long line of preachers on both sides of the family. His paternal grandfather helped establish at least 16 different churches­ in Louisiana, including one in DeRidder, he told me. (I found 69 churches in the town directory, though some may be inactive.) DeWitt grew up in the church, but it was only at 17, after being “saved” during a weekend visit to Jimmy Swaggart’s church in Baton Rouge, that he became a passionate Christian. Weeks later he spoke in tongues for the first time. Soon after that, sitting in church, he heard his pastor call on him to deliver a homily. Terrified, he asked if he could have a few minutes to pray for guidance. He stepped to the pulpit with his finger on a passage from the Gospel of Mark, and spoke for 15 minutes on the “seed of David.” The crowd loved it. “It was the biggest high I’d ever had,” he told me. “I knew right then that preaching was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.” He married a local girl at age 20, and two weeks after the wedding, he received an invitation to speak at a camp meeting in Lucedale, Miss. There he preached to overflow crowds of whooping Pentecostals who were speaking in tongues.

He and his wife began touring the South, building a reputation for the power of his sermons. It was a tremendous ego charge, especially for a short, chubby young man with dyslexia. For the first time, he was treated with respect, even awe. “I had this whole prophet persona going on. I wouldn’t really mix with people before the sermon,” he told me. “All kinds of people were seeing miracles, and I believed it 100 percent.”

For the next few years, DeWitt preached across the South, doing itinerant jobs to pay the bills. In 2004 he became a full-time preacher at a church near DeRidder. By that time, though, he had drifted away from the literal claims of Pentecostal doctrine and espoused a more liberal Christianity. He had begun reading more widely (he never got a college degree), starting with Carl Sagan’s books on science and moving on to Joseph Campbell and others. But equally, he told me, he found it unbearable to promote beliefs that only seemed to sow confusion and self-blame. He recalled how one middle-aged woman in his church who was suffering from heart disease asked him anxiously: “How am I going to believe for salvation when I can’t believe enough to heal?”

Finally he began to feel that his rationalist impulses were alienating and hurting his flock, and he resigned — reluctantly, he said, because he loved the human side of being a pastor, “playing Mr. Fix-It for the community.” He continued preaching part time for a while, invoking an ever more misty and ethereal God. By now he had also read Dawkins and Hitchens, and even weak-tea Christianity was becoming hard to swallow. He preached his last sermon in April 2011, in the town of Cut and Shoot, Tex. A month later, Natosha Davis called, and DeWitt found himself unable to pray at all.

DeWitt never meant to go public with his unbelief. He figured he could “stay under the radar,” he said, and continue working as a buildings inspector in DeRidder, where, over the years, he had gained a reputation as a community champion and was talked about as a future mayor. But when he heard that Richard Dawkins would be attending a Freethinkers gathering in Houston, he couldn’t resist. He took a day off, without telling his boss where he was going. He got a picture taken of himself and his son Paul (who was then 19 and who has never been religious) with Dawkins. DeWitt posted the photograph on his Facebook page, assuming that “nobody in DeRidder knew who Dawkins was.” He also, perhaps unwisely, updated the “religious views” box on his Facebook page to read “secular humanist.”

It was his grandmother’s cousin, an 84-year-old woman he knew as Aunt Grace, who saw that page and outed him. Word spread quickly. On Dec. 1, his boss asked to meet him at a diner in town. Sitting at the table, the man took out two printouts from secular Web sites with DeWitt’s name on it. “He told me: ‘The Pentecostals who run the parish are not happy, and something’s got to be done,’ ”DeWitt recalled. “Half an hour later I was out of a job.” (His former boss did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.)

Almost at once, DeWitt became a pariah in DeRidder. His wife found herself ostracized in turn, and the marriage suffered. She moved out in June. He received a constant stream of hate messages — some threatening — and still does, more than seven months later. He played me a recent one he had saved on his cellphone as we ate lunch at a diner in town. “It’s just sickening to hear you try to turn people atheist,” a guttural voice intoned. It went on and on, telling DeWitt to go to hell in various ways. “I’m not going to sit around while you turn people against God,” the voice said at one point.

But DeWitt also hurled himself into his new role as a faith healer in reverse. He became the first “graduate” of the Clergy Project, discarding his anonymity and giving the clandestine preachers’ group its first dash of publicity. It was formed in early 2011 with a few dozen members, mostly recruited through Dan Barker, a former pastor who is co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and through Linda LaScola, who in 2010 co-conducted a study of nonbelieving pastors with Daniel Dennett, the atheist philosopher. The project now has more than 300 members, with about 80 applicants awaiting clearance (the group is very careful about admissions, to secure the members’ privacy).

DeWitt also became the executive director of Recovering From Religion, formed in 2009 by Darrel Ray, a Kansas-based atheist proselytizer. The group grew quickly under DeWitt’s leadership and now includes at least 100 local chapters scattered across the country, each one typically with 10 to 12 participants. Like other public figures in the movement, DeWitt also serves as a one-man clearinghouse for religious doubters via Facebook and e-mail. During the four days I spent with him in DeRidder, he was almost constantly checking his cellphone and tapping out messages.

There is more involved in this work than sympathy. The transition away from faith may start with an intellectual epiphany, but it runs through a difficult reinterpretation of your own past. For believers, this often involves what DeWitt calls a “hook,” or a miraculous story that helps anchor your faith. He gave me an example: he was born again in Jimmy Swaggart’s church thanks to his former elementary-school teacher, who persuaded him to come along with her to Baton Rouge. He later discovered that his teacher almost died while she was being born, and that she had emerged safely from the womb only after a preacher from a neighboring town was roused from sleep to offer a blessing in the delivery room. That preacher was DeWitt’s paternal grandfather. This coincidence had seemed providential to DeWitt, a sign that he was meant to be a preacher himself.

“This story has kept you feeling that God has a destiny for you,” DeWitt said. “So now how do you reconcile that? How do you make sense of your life? It’s not easy.”

I heard parallel stories from a number of other participants in post-religion networks. “People have a really difficult time making decisions after they’ve lost their faith,” said Amanda Schneider, who organized a local Recovering From Religion group in Santa Fe (and also helps manage the broader organization). “They used to always base it on ‘What is God’s plan for me?’ They are still looking for something miraculous to guide them.”

One former pastor named Teresa MacBain told me that when she began doubting her faith last year, she ran through her list of friends and acquaintances and realized that every single one of them was religious. With no one to confide in, she began recording her thoughts into her iPhone when she was alone in the car. “It was a huge encouragement when I finally found other people to talk to online,” she told me. Like DeWitt, MacBain joined the Clergy Project. Then, earlier this year, she resigned from her pastor’s position in Tallahassee and went public as an atheist. She was promptly defriended (in the literal and Facebook sense) by almost everyone she knew. But like DeWitt, she has begun receiving frequent messages from doubting pastors and churchgoers, seeking her help in making the leap away from God. “It’s all new friends now,” she said.

That kind of abrupt excommunication is a fairly common experience, and many atheist networks — including hundreds on college campuses — become replacement communities and de facto dating services for many people involved. “Community is a huge problem for people wanting to leave religion,” DeWitt told me as we drove through DeRidder. He pointed to a church as we passed, then another, and another, and another. “How do you escape it?” he said. “It’s not like you can avoid driving past the church every day.”

In late June, Jerry DeWitt allowed me to accompany him to church in DeRidder. It was the first time he had attended since his apostasy became public, and he half-jokingly predicted that we would be attacked, or that the service would turn into a prayer session for our wayward souls. But he also made clear that he had no desire to hold religious doctrine up for ridicule. He wanted me to witness the emotional power of the ceremony and the music. He wanted me to understand why people are drawn to church, not just why they leave it. The church we attended — known as Grace — was one of the most liberal in town, multiracial and less orthodox than hard-line Pentecostals. He had delivered sermons there himself, and he was known by many, perhaps most of the parishioners.

As we arrived outside the church’s white porticos on a hot June morning, I could tell DeWitt’s fears were unfounded. “I’m praying for him” is the refrain when his name comes up, his mother had told me. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Sure enough, everyone we met was gracious, though there was often an undercurrent of unease. The service, by my own etiolated WASP standards, was an orgy of religious passion: people of all ages praised themselves hoarse as a high-decibel gospel band and choir shook the walls with heartfelt rhythm and blues. The preacher then delivered a homily about the risks of being a “catch-and-release Christian,” and I couldn’t help wondering if this was aimed at DeWitt.

Afterward, we met with the church’s founding pastor in an elegantly appointed office adjoining the main auditorium. He was a 79-year-old man named George Glass, with a wrinkled face and a magnificent deep voice full of warmth and gravitas. He hugged us both as we came in, chiding DeWitt for having stayed away for so long. We sat down, and over the course of an hour, he spoke movingly about his own struggles as a younger man, when he lost his first ministry and had to start from scratch. He reassured DeWitt that he understood his doubts and did not think any less of him. As we said our goodbyes at the door, Glass spoke again in his slow, Southern cadence, fixing DeWitt with his gaze. “The thing of it is,” he said, and we all waited as he allowed a weighty pause to fill the air — “you’ve just got to keep your mouth shut.”

Everyone laughed. But I did later wonder if all the public atheism had done DeWitt more harm than good. Couldn’t he have remained a nominal Christian, as so many others have? Even the old pastor, George Glass, acknowledged that others in the church had had problems with literalist claims about the Bible, and prefer not to talk about it. It is easy to see why. Open confrontation with faith, some would say, just provokes angry gestures from the faithful. In DeWitt’s case, those gestures had taken a wrecking ball to the life he spent 42 years building. He was once seen as a potential mayor of DeRidder. He helped clean up some of the town’s uglier spots when he worked at City Hall, and he knew the insides of almost every building in town; he knew and cared about most of the residents. Now many of them, he was told, believed he was a Satanist. During my short stay in DeRidder, I heard him take a call from the lawyer handling the foreclosure of his house, and I saw his wife’s moving boxes on their living-room floor. She’d had enough.

Was it possible, I wondered, that he was doing this deliberately? DeWitt is an intensely curious man, a homegrown intellectual who seems a little stifled in DeRidder. Was this a way of moving on? Would he really still want to be mayor of DeRidder someday, if it were possible?

“I’m so entrenched in this community, I feel like I’d be lost if I went anywhere else,” he said. “As for being mayor, who knows, stranger things have happened. I’d like to stay.” The town had changed a lot since his childhood, he explained. The old Pentecostalism had mostly softened into a more open, tolerant Christianity. He said he’d been amazed by the number of quiet atheists he discovered in towns throughout the South, looking for congenial voices online. Perhaps his community would one day welcome atheists, too.

DeWitt stood thinking as we waited in a stone garden outside the church (he said he wanted to make sure Glass and his wife got off safely in their car before he left). He said he admired the Glasses­, and the congregation, and many aspects of the church itself: its good works, the beauty of the music, the community it fostered. “Religion does a lot of good, especially the loving kind, like at Grace Church,” he said. “I know people who went to a more liberal kind of Christianity and were happy with that. The problem is, for me, there was a process involved in moving from Pentecostalism to a more liberal theology, like Grace Church. What makes me different is that process didn’t stop, and it took me all the way. In the end, I couldn’t help feeling that all religion, even the most loving kind, is just a speed bump in the progress of the human race.”
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 6, 2012 - 08:18pm PT
the implication that Feynman was religious is certainly incorrect...
Dr. Ed,
I do not believe that is Schaeffer’s contention, rather the implication is that it is a false dichotomy to say you cannot be a person of faith and a person of science
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 6, 2012 - 08:27pm PT
http://fixed-point.org/index.php/video/35-full-length/164-the-dawkins-lennox-debate

One of a number of debates between Professor Richard Dawkins & Professor John Lennox. For those unfamiliar here is a quick bio from Prof. Lennox web site
John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science, and Pastoral Advisor at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is also an adjunct Lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University and at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and is a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum. In addition, he teaches for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme at the Executive Education Centre, Said Business School, Oxford University.

http://johnlennox.org/
Reed101

Trad climber
CA
Sep 6, 2012 - 08:32pm PT
Born Atheist will stay that way.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 6, 2012 - 08:33pm PT
I guess U would have to not care where U came from to believe In evilution. Come on kids something from nothing, provoke by what? What's the idea? Lightning hit grass and turned into a worm. A
A million years later it decided it needed a brain another million to figure out how to build an eye. Again from nothing? Then another million to grow into a fish. And then, and then and then. What a JOKE!! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!
And U find it hard to believe the Bible? With eye witnesses!
SHOW ME SOME PROOF!
Jus Laffin
BB


is this a troll, some kind of joke post?

written by a retarded grade schooler?

must be, no high school kid who passed basic biology could be even this ignorant
Andree Hussar

Social climber
ny
Sep 6, 2012 - 09:50pm PT
John 17
" Father, the time has come.
Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you....that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God,
and Jesus Christ , whom you have sent.
I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
And now, Father , glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Sep 6, 2012 - 10:02pm PT
Many like the atheistic life.
The US is increasingly portrayed as a hotbed of religious fervour. Yet in the homeland of ostentatiously religious politicians such as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, agnostics and atheists are actually part of one of the fastest-growing demographics in the US: the godless. Far from being in thrall to its religious leaders, the US is in fact becoming a more secular country, some experts say. "It has never been better to be a free-thinker or an agnostic in America," says Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the FFRF.

The exact number of faithless is unclear. One study by the Pew Research Centre puts them at about 12% of the population, but another by the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture at Trinity College in Hartford puts that figure at around 20%.

Most experts agree that the number of secular Americans has probably doubled in the past three decades – growing especially fast among the young. It is thought to be the fastest-growing major "religious" demographic in the country.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/01/atheism-america-religious-right

The actions of most Republican leaders shows that they're closet athetists, too, whatever their rhetoric and public performances.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Sep 6, 2012 - 10:25pm PT
apologies to the guardian, but most experts do not agree that america is becoming more atheistic.

religiosity is changing. that's not the same as going away.


becoming more "secular" isn't the same thing as becoming less religiously conservative. in the 1960s, confessional divides mattered more than they do now. fundamentalist protestants and strict catholics kept strictly apart. one's religious devotion or identification was measured by confessional allegiance, denomination, and then frequency of church attendance.

today, that's very different-- one's christian devotion tends to be measured by "secular" criteria, namely one's positions on "secular" issues like abortion, gay marriage, prayer in schools, vouchers, etc. rather than one's position on the theological questions that used to send nations to war. technically speaking, the most conservative christians in america today are more "secular" than were the christian conservatives of the 1920s. as a result, they are much more politically active and open about asserting what they see as 'christian" values in the public sphere.

i can easily believe the total population of atheists is one of the fastest growing subcultures in america. pretty soon there may be seven hundred of them.

seriously, that article is a well-meaning swing and a miss by yet another brit/northern european observer mystified by american religiosity and hoping for the best.
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 6, 2012 - 10:26pm PT
A thought on morality:

If we say there is evil in the world, than by extension this assumes goodness
If we assume goodness there is also morality
If we have “morality” the implication is we have a moral law giver

If we have no moral law giver than there is no moral law
If there is no moral law than there is no good
If there is no good than by extension there is no evil

So why do I need a moral law giver?
Morality has no value unless there is something transcendent that it gives it value.
Without this attachment there is no greater good, no enlightened self interest – that would be brainwashing.

What is left – and many an honest atheist concedes to the fact – is that morality is an arbitrary false social paradigm enforced upon us, just another way for the Fittest to have their way to control the masses. The truly liberated states a big “F.U” to anything other than his desire and predilections. Up comes the rise of the Ubermensch

“What is good?- All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man”
Friedrich Nietzche
jfs

Trad climber
Upper Leftish
Sep 6, 2012 - 11:03pm PT
HFCS,
Let's talk it out...

HFCS: No, let's not.

Take your questions to the Christian thread. There you can talk about the blood of Christ and the Holy Trio to your soul's content. This thread's a celebration of the athiest life.

Meanwhile...over on that OTHER thread...that "Christian thread"...

HFCS: Also, if you want to believe in a way that's beyond the purview of reason, then of course that's your business. But don't expect others to leave it at that. Others want to participate; they don't want to withdraw, to bail. Culture wars are afoot, much of them have to do with religion and bs beliefs about how the world works

Ok. Carry on.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 6, 2012 - 11:30pm PT
jfs, still taking pot shots from far left field just like last year, huh? Another beleaguered Christian, I feel sorry for you guys, wish you could adapt, for your own good. As Dr. F pointed out, it's all chit-chat, just for fun, no rules, no standards; even if you believe in resurrection and ascension, just like your 11th century ancestors, you can post here, it's all legit, so have at it.
jfs

Trad climber
Upper Leftish
Sep 6, 2012 - 11:45pm PT
ha! far left field, eh? ok, that's accurate at least some of the time.

i didn't notice that i was beleaguered. i'll keep an eye out from now on. sounds like i should with all these atheists runnin' around the place...y'all just might get outta hand.

i just notice things...parallels and similarities...contradictions...from time to time when i stumble into these threads. sometimes i like to point them out. can't help it really. knee jerk...

you can take me however you like. i've got no say in that. =)

maybe i'll stumble back into this thread in another year and take another pot shot. ya just never know. you might be so lucky.

cheerio. no ill will intended.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 7, 2012 - 07:37am PT
jfs, hey it's all in good fun, all that matters is that we're both kickass climbers, lol. Till next year or whenever, take care and climb hard!

P.S. Hope you're voting for Obama :)
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 7, 2012 - 09:02am PT
What is left – and many an honest atheist concedes to the fact – is that morality is an arbitrary false social paradigm enforced upon us, just another way for the Fittest to have their way to control the masses.

Uh, no. Did anyone here say that? I said something like it's a cultural construct, because it is. The rest you are making up (and trying to sound clever) because you have no other way to rebut.

Buncha BS.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Sep 7, 2012 - 09:33am PT
What on earth would compel someone to quote from their book of jewish zombie fairy tales, in a thread discussing atheism, as if A) people even bother to read said fairy tale quotes and B) that fairy tale quotes are some kind of authority?

It's gobsmacking idiocy...addressing a group who value rational, logic based, scientific arguments with Grimm Bros in a yarmulke
splitter

Trad climber
Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:52am PT
^^^ prollie for the same reason atheist post their lame azz vids over on the other thread, eh?
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:58am PT
^^^ prollie for the same reason atheist post their lame azz vids over on the other thread, eh?

Pretty much my thoughts as well. It's sorta funny, really, although I'd say atheists are much more - to borrow a recently used term - actively beleaguered by those who just assume you ought to believe in the fantasy tales to which they subscribe. Whatever. I subscribe to Cartman-ism: I do what I want!
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 7, 2012 - 12:01pm PT
Uh, no. Did anyone here say that? I said something like it's a cultural construct, because it is. The rest you are making up (and trying to sound clever) because you have no other way to rebut.

Buncha BS.

1) Did not say nor imply that anyone said that.
2) Among the many components of "the Debate" are the problems of good & evil and the genesis of Morality.

You still haven't dealt with my contention - A – theism has to work real hard to address these issues.

Clever – really? Not my intention – but you still stand on a slippery slope in defense of morality outside of a transcendent Moral law giver. Just admit that when distilled down the ideas of good and evil are arbitrary “cultural constructs”

I subscribe to Cartman-ism: I do what I want!


proves my point
Farouk

Boulder climber
Sylvan Grove
Sep 7, 2012 - 12:23pm PT
God-Damn-it get back to being an atheist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 7, 2012 - 04:17pm PT
GOSH DANG IT!!!!
IM STANDING AND APPLAUDING U ALL !!!!
CHEERS ! I'm tipping aTecate up over my forehead with U all!
I've been trying to live the "responsable" life lately. Which meens less climbing. And more work. Or looking for work. But tuning into ST lately has been my greatest enjoyment! I've looked foward to reading what U people have written!I have to admit most of the time i feel like an atheist. Most of my time is spent living in the "world" where I feel void of God. I fill my head with numbers, and check lists, and money, and politics, and PTA. It's hard to hear God when that shites so loud. But when I'm reading His word, or talking about Him, or praying, or praising Him,

HE'S RIGHT THERE!!!

So; WE have enjoyed deliberating with U. The ONLY thing that could make it better. Is , if we could do this around a campfire, expecting to go climbing the.next day!
Cheers,
KEEP LOOKING UP!
BB
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 7, 2012 - 04:32pm PT
PRob said:

2) Among the many components of "the Debate" are the problems of good & evil and the genesis of Morality.

You still haven't dealt with my contention - A – theism has to work real hard to address these issues.

As a life long Atheist and active member of the American Society of Atheists, neither myself not any other Atheist I know, and I know many, has any problem at all with "addressing" the issues of good and evil and the morality.

Period.

And you, not being an Atheist, have no clue about how we deal with anything and you certainly don't speak for us, as you seem to be trying to do.

In fact, it is YOU, PRob, and other people like you in this regard, who actually "need" help dealing with good and evil and morality.

You NEED someone, a god, a religion, a "authority figure" to flat out tell you how to think and what to think, about good versus evil and morality

Atheists don't have that "need", we don't need "help" from anyone or any thing.

We are fully confident in making our own private logical and rational decisions.

You, collectively, need the authority figure to know what to believe, and so you buy into the fairy tale of the Big Guy in the Sky.
WBraun

climber
Sep 7, 2012 - 05:01pm PT
Norton -- "we (atheists) don't need "help" from anyone or any thing."

Such stupid talk.

The minute you have tooth ache you cry like a little girl and run to the dentist ......
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 7, 2012 - 05:11pm PT
Werner, HAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHhHHHhHAAAABABA!
U SO FUNNY!
U CRACK ME UP!
BB
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 7, 2012 - 05:52pm PT
Werner, the world is tired of your "stupid" talk.

You need to get some new material.

Now go put your little hands together and pray to your imaginary friend.

Like the rest of the "stupid" children.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 7, 2012 - 06:48pm PT
It's hard to hear God when that shites so loud. But when I'm reading His word, or talking about Him, or praying, or praising Him,

HE'S RIGHT THERE!!!

Pure delusion
He is not there, he is In your mind and your mind only
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 7, 2012 - 06:51pm PT
God Never Changes!
He's Always Is!
There's Nothing New To Him.....
Especially from outward pressure.
His Name Is IAM
IMO
BB
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 7, 2012 - 06:53pm PT
Yea, I put Him in my mind. And He put Himself in my heart
IMO
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 7, 2012 - 06:54pm PT
Please remind me how God can create everything from nothing.

But something can't evolve from a lower form already present.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 7, 2012 - 06:58pm PT
Already present from WHERERERERERRERERERE?
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 7, 2012 - 07:00pm PT
There was never Nothing!!!

If God could exist forever, then something was already Here
That means that there was never a time when nothing existed.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 7, 2012 - 07:13pm PT
John 4:7-10
This is what God Is!
From there ANYTHING is possible !
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 7, 2012 - 07:16pm PT
So you have no answers,
just bible quotes that are nonsensical

we have answers, but you don't believe them

A paradox of biblical proportions
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 7, 2012 - 07:18pm PT
That's the TRUTH!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Sep 7, 2012 - 07:43pm PT
I AM GOD

(That's the beauty of being an athiest, I can say those things and get away with it. Well.... maybe. Once I told chick that I was A GOD and she replied that I was dyslexic.)

I actually like God's name: G-O-D.

I love hearing chicks say his name over and over.

"Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! OH, GOD! YES!!!!!!!!"
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Sep 7, 2012 - 07:45pm PT
From the birds that sing, In the tallest trees.
To the human life, of you and me.
From the desert sands, to the place we stand.
He is God of all, He is Everything.


From the autumn leaves, that will ride the breeze
To the faith it takes, to pray and sing
From the painted sky, to my plank filled eye
He is God of all, He is everything


I'm giving my life to the only One
who makes the moon reflect the sun
Every starry night, that was His design.
I'm giving my life to the only One
who was and is and yet to come
Let the praises ring, 'cause he is everything



Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Sep 7, 2012 - 07:49pm PT
Message to the true believer:

I want you to kill me.

Since I don't believe in your god (or any god for that matter) and because I actively speak regularly on the anti-virtue of the christian faith… Then I should be killed.

So, if you are a true believer you should kill me. And you should be proud to be doing gods work when you do so.

I'm asking for it. Feel free to follow your lord and savior and end my existence. After all I can be thought of as less than human in your worlds and you have the backing of your lord.




Studly

Trad climber
WA
Sep 7, 2012 - 07:53pm PT
No one wants to kill you Jingy, you kill yourself by what you say.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 7, 2012 - 08:39pm PT
I think U want the "I like the muslim life" thread.
HAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHHHHHHHAAAABABA
Still Laffin
BB
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 7, 2012 - 08:41pm PT
I like the life life
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 7, 2012 - 09:08pm PT
what WHAT?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 7, 2012 - 10:50pm PT
P.Robb What is left – and many an honest atheist concedes to the fact – is that morality is an arbitrary false social paradigm enforced upon us, just another way for the Fittest to have their way to control the masses.

actually, you only believe that God is "something transcendent that it gives it value."

you cannot prove it... as such, your morality is "an arbitrary false social paradigm enforced upon us" by the church...

once again, you only believe...

to Ms. Hussar: the entire narrative of the New Testament directs us to consider the witness of miracles performed by a person, and the miracle of life after death of that person... as a fulfillment of prophesy. That that fulfillment is contested obviously isn't a part of the Bible, let alone the possibility that, over the 100 or so years of writing the books of the New Testament, a period during which parts were selected, the stories reported were far from the original sources.

Given that there is little argument that the New Testament was written by people, many of them, and heavily edited, one certainly has to take a bit of care in accepting it as evidence of anything.

Of course, you are free to believe anything you choose. And though it is a Christian attribute to evangelize, it is hard to understand why you take on that mission on the STForum... where you seem to pop in from time-to-time to opine on these topics related to Christianity, and little of anything else.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 7, 2012 - 11:15pm PT
Remember, morals are only active when two or more people are gathered together. I see atheism as a way of secluding oneself from societall inclusion. Thus their morals usually pertain to the me, myself ,and I wisdoms
IMO
BB
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Sep 8, 2012 - 02:20am PT
^^^
Another clueless non-athiest

Why do the religious always try to vilify the non-religious?

Is it to make themselves feel better about the fact that they believe in bizarre ancient mythoogy?
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Sep 8, 2012 - 07:50am PT
my general complaint to atheists is their failure to acknowledge their own belief systems.

and what is belief? i think it can be defined as the acceptance of something to be true that you have no way of knowing for sure on your own.

so--atheists "believe" that there is no god. there's a recent book by an atheist, god--the failed idea, which sounded interesting but, i have to say, didn't impress me. atheists generally close their minds. they have tight little systems of their own to market. they ignore huge bodies of important evidence, dismissing it outright because it doesn't "fit". how many times in history has that proven to be the fool's course?

that said, i think ed's comment, directed to others on this thread, should be directed to spider savage, the mother of all these recent pesky belief threads:

And though it is a Christian attribute to evangelize, it is hard to understand why you take on that mission on the STForum...

i challenged spider to put his own cards on the table, but he hasn't done it yet. he sent me a text message shortly after that--a good 2-3 weeks ago--saying that, yes, he would do so, but he wanted to choose his words carefully, as he does in prayer. i think he's had enough time to read through the thesaurus six or seven times.

bottom line, in all belief there is risk. the greatest comfort to such risk is the securing of "fellow travellers" who share your beliefs. every believer on the planet craves this. christianity seems to be laden with an ungraceful compulsiveness. it becomes its own worst enemy in trying to win believers, mostly because it has to try. rarely do christians speak with sincerity, from the heart. if they did, the world would be converted within a decade. atheists, on the other hand, are obviously battling things they've grown to hate. they really have no way of knowing whether there is a god or not, but if they admitted that, they would fall into the agnostic category, which isn't nearly as sexy.
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 8, 2012 - 08:25am PT
P.Rob,

If I could understand what your contention is, I'd respond. Are you saying that because we don't believe in a "transcendent Moral law giver" we atheists are necessarily immoral or amoral or both?

Such an assertion is no less absurd than me saying that all christians are perfectly moral. Clearly if either were the case it would be reflected in crime statistics and other demographic data. Why then is, as just one example, the incidence of teen pregancy so much higher in the bible belt?

It may also surprise you greatly to learn that the vast majority of the world's population do not believe in a "transcendent Moral law giver". Even many societies that have some kind of religion as part of their culture do not believe in a single personal god. Why have these societies not decended in to utter chaos? Why do they even care enough to make laws? For that matter why do largely christian cultures bother to make laws governing morality if those laws are "god-given".

Just admit that when distilled down the ideas of good and evil are arbitrary “cultural constructs”

I wonder if you aren't arguing with yourself. Of course "good" and "evil" are cultural constructs, but they are in no way arbitrary. They have evolved over time to guide human behavior in order for society to function. They are the perfect example of a morality outside of religion or belief in a "higher" power. These concepts have never been absolute but have changed greatly over time. Basically the ten commandments are just accepted cultural practices codified, no differently than the state and federal laws we make today. Name any one, or any other of "god's laws" and we can examine how it originated to serve societal harmony and how it may have changed as attitudes and beliefs may have changed.


my general complaint to atheists is their failure to acknowledge their own belief systems.

and what is belief? i think it can be defined as the acceptance of something to be true that you have no way of knowing for sure on your own.


Tony, there is a huge difference between saying "I'm pretty sure a condition does not exist because there is zero evidence for it" vs. "There is no evidence but I'm going to believe it anyway."

But then you are the kind of guy who just wants to believe regardless of evidence or logic.

We can play some semantic games and say that atheists have faith that there is no god. It really doesn't matter. I play that trick on predatory christians myself... I tell them everybody has faith in their own way, but what I'm really doing is redefining the word to avoid an unnecessary argument.
WBraun

climber
Sep 8, 2012 - 09:00am PT
khanom -- "the vast majority of the world's population do not believe in a "transcendent Moral law giver"

khanom, the man who's been all over the planet makes this assertion.

Or is it really you just Google around and then in your fertile mind start thinking .......
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 8, 2012 - 09:37am PT
and what is belief? i think it can be defined as the acceptance of something to be true that you have no way of knowing for sure on your own.

interesting statement... as a scientist I'm open to theories regarding physical phenomena being provisional, and dependent on empirical evidence. Further, this evidence is reported with enough detail to allow independent confirmation, that is, someone else can build the same experiment up (or do the same observation) and see the same thing. Reproducibility.

Further, we use these empirical tests to eliminate theories, when those tests are consistent with the theories, we do not say that they "prove" the theories... consistent is what it says.

Therefore our theories are tested to the limits of accuracy and precision of the observations and experiments. This doesn't mean that big things aren't hiding in those error bars, the majority of stuff in the universe, the Dark Energy and Dark Matter, only have subtle interactions, so subtle that they largely hid in our observational error bars from the glimmering of their possibility (in the 1930s to the 1990s).

What does this have to say about morals?

I like to remind people that your morals are a measure of how well you adhere to your ethical system. It is interesting idea since it depends on the idea that we have a choice. In a given situation we get to choose what to do, we have free will.

Most philosophical and religious text will establish the "fact" of our free will immediately... since it is the most important concept regarding the establishment of an ethical system.

But the fact of free will is hardly established, and is certainly questionable in terms of empirical evidence. We've been around this block on various other threads, but here one might address why the "fact" of free will is so universally accepted. Without its absolute existence the idea of morality becomes a somewhat bankrupt notion.

I am open to the idea that our traditional concepts of "free will" may not be correct, especially upon the evidence from empirical studies that indicate our actions precede our awareness of them...

...my belief is that we can actually learn something from the scientific study of behavior which informs our concepts of morality. Modifying the notion of "free will" has a huge implication on this whole area...

...but notice that "god" wasn't mentioned in any of this... because "god" is not relevant to the discussion, in that sense, it is atheistic without a strong statement, that is, we can hope to understand life on Earth, and ourselves, without evoking supernatural causes.

WBraun

climber
Sep 8, 2012 - 09:47am PT
Every living entity by it's own desires has the free will to choose ......
jstan

climber
Sep 8, 2012 - 09:49am PT
and what is belief? i think it can be defined as the acceptance of something to be true that you have no way of knowing for sure on your own.

I think not.

By this definition a person believes they will live to 120 years. You have no way of knowing and people do live that long.

Believing is taking as true beyond question a premise for which there is either bad or no supporting data.

While I take issue with your definition I applaud your effort to define the terms we use. This is so seldom attempted and the failure invariably fractures unnecessarily the body politic.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 8, 2012 - 10:13am PT
Believing is taking as true beyond question a premise for which there is either bad or no supporting data.


John, is believing then also taking as true beyond question a premise for which there IS
supporting data?

why did you eliminate this obviousness from your definition?

just curious
WBraun

climber
Sep 8, 2012 - 10:27am PT
Morals

The atheist will say "do this and it will be good".

Theist will say do not this because ultimately "God can see that this so called "good" will ultimately in the long run become not good and defective.

Thus the scientific method would be to test the two ......

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 8, 2012 - 10:30am PT
you wouldn't propose to test something that wasn't testable...

that was in Feynman's video clip, but perhaps it was subtle, he referred to being able to ask a question, by which he meant how would you formulate a scientific question that was testable... how do you make a hypothesis based on theory.

at this juncture, there is not scientific test of the existence of God, unless you are proposing one...
...on this point I believe everyone agrees.
jstan

climber
Sep 8, 2012 - 10:31am PT
See how much we gain from talking definition?

"Believing" is taking as true beyond question a premise for which there is either bad or no supporting data.

In the normal course, given data, we often use things as though they were true until such time as they are shown not to be true. Life is a continual process wherein understanding improves.

Belief is an altogether different phenomenon that assumes perfect knowledge. That assumption invariably fails to one degree or another.

(I was trying to be succinct.)
WBraun

climber
Sep 8, 2012 - 10:35am PT
There is God's message to test it against.

Whether you believe in God or not test it.

Feynman is not God nor Ultimate Authority on what is scientific.


khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 8, 2012 - 11:12am PT
khanom, the man who's been all over the planet makes this assertion.

WBraun, the man who made up his mind about everything so long ago he's forgotten that he hasn't learned everything.

The scientific method would be to explore all alternatives and test them. Did you test if a god exists? How?

Nope, instead you retreat to the safety of your little valley and your long-established, narrow view of the world. Don't get me wrong, I rather like the way you look at some things at least as expressed here. But when your world view is challenged you don't seem to cope well at all. That says to me that you are too afraid to explore alternatives which means when you talk about "science" you must mean something other than science.


It is a simple fact that not everyone believes in a god. No, I didn't google that. And according to teh Wikipedia I may be wrong in asserting that the "vast majority" do not believe in a personal god. But there are serious problems with the estimates they provide which we can explore if you care to. Oh wait, that's right... you don't care to travel much outside your pre-conceived notions.

So part of the problem is simply that not all religions have a personal god at the center. Buddhism may be spiritual and many adherents believe in deities in a loose sort of way. This isn't something I googled, it's from personal experience getting to know other cultures.

The point I was trying to make here is that belief in a god is not universal and not a pre-requisite for moral behavior. Even if you say that there are only around 2 billion people on this planet that are not guided by morality dictated by a god that's still a huge section of the population that mysteriously isn't out raping an pillaging at every opportunity.



Edit: Werner, if somebody wrote in a book that gravity doesn't exist, would you accept that as a valid test of the existence of gravity? "God's Message™" as you call it is basically whatever you wish to pull out of your ass.
WBraun

climber
Sep 8, 2012 - 11:21am PT
The scientific method would be to explore all alternatives and test them.

Yes, then you better do them before you make stupid statements about me.

You'd be very surprised about Buddha if you actually did your so called scientific tests ......

khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 8, 2012 - 11:30am PT
Yes, then you better do them before you make stupid statements about me.

Ah, but I guess this doesn't apply to you, right?
WBraun

climber
Sep 8, 2012 - 12:06pm PT
Guessing won't help you since that's all you seem to do here ......
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 8, 2012 - 12:34pm PT
At least I guess that's WBraun's best guess.

I'm not following you WBraun. I'm just showing you the mirror. How do you look?
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 8, 2012 - 04:42pm PT
Not till Ben Franklin has erectis homo human been able to bottle electricity. ONLY 160yrs. ago
Something that can not be seen. Yet EVERYONE believes its there! Even atheists. Because we can prove th theory. Ben believed in elect. before he could prove it or measure it. Took Faith! And he was rewarded. How much Faith do U have that electricity will come out of that outlet and power ur TV? Just because scientist can't prove the theory of the ability of Jesus's sacrificed blood to cover my blemishes before Gods eyes. So that I am able to approach Him and relate with Him. Since theres no proof, U won't take the first step. Thus U won't ever be able to see God. When U close ur materialistic eyes. And open ur heart. God will take the scales off and u'll see with spiritual eyes and He will delve U Great Wisdom!
Until then know the first five books of the NT. It took man ten thousand yrs to write the Bible. What else did they have to do? There was no TV.
Jus Pruvin
BB
P.Rob

Social climber
Pacomia, Ca - Y Que?
Sep 8, 2012 - 04:50pm PT
P.Rob,

If I could understand what your contention is, I'd respond. Are you saying that because we don't believe in a "transcendent Moral law giver" we atheists are necessarily immoral or amoral or both?
Khanom, Ed , Norton

The post below is my post on the original post “Athiest’ (sic) thread. Hopefully this will bring some clarity.


Aug 25, 2012 - 12:48pm PT
My experience with the proclaimed and committed atheists in my life – this includes siblings with advanced degrees operating at a world class level in their respective fields –all real solid individuals. Enlightened self interest is how one of my partners describes it. These are People of veracity and above reproach. That said, anything militant is natural suspect in my mind. After all militant is just a catch phrase for fundamentalist reactionary ready to bludgeon anyone and anything that does not kowtow to their strict doctrine – an expected acquiescence if not we will shout louder and longer until you do prime directive – “resistance is futile….” Reciprocity & respect for the process should be foundational in any discussion in my opinion

Thank you to the proclaimed and committed Atheists on ST – even the shrill & whiney ones and you know who you are - for you help to promote ideas and discussions. Strength and encouragement to you all …………. For myself I do not have enough faith to be an atheist – please know I tried. In the end I give thanks to Darwin and praises to Gould! All power to Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris! In part due to your teachings I believe in God

“Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true.”
Blaise Pascal

“Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed”
Blaise Pascal


Perhaps the following illustration – though crass – might help. Our use of paper money is a social agreement. Behind it, or what gives it value is nothing more than the collective agreement. Previously, our monetary system was based on the gold standard. Behind the paper, behind the collective social agreement, was something Transcendent – precious metal. The real value of money was not the paper but the transcendent worth of the gold backing the social agreement.

You all have brought up some great discussion points, but at this moment I do not have time to respond – my Daughter and her girlfriend are taking me out to dinner for my birthday – burgers, beer and small batch whiskey – maybe we can agree that might be the start of transcendence ;0)

The quote below is for your consideration

“The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.”
― Richard Dawkins
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Sep 8, 2012 - 07:38pm PT
I just watched most of movie IMAX: Hubble

I have to say... with more than an estimated 50 billion galaxies in the limitless universe...


I find it less likely that a god that spoke to complete illiterate nomads 2000 years ago totally man made. And I find it difficult to believe/imagine that other human beings who are semi intelligent could possibly believe that load of shite.


Picture clearly showing no god creating the universe
Picture clearly showing no god creating the universe
Credit: Jingy
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 8, 2012 - 07:51pm PT
“The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.”
― Richard Dawkins

I find this inspiring and unquestionably true
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 8, 2012 - 08:06pm PT
Science investigates things that exist

Just because scientist can't prove the theory of the ability of Jesus's sacrificed blood to cover my blemishes before Gods eyes.

Tell us were God is, or what we should look for, so we can train our instruments on him, and we will.

But since You can't even define what God is, where he is, what energies he uses to do his deeds, scientists will obviously never be able to investigate him.

If you claim God has done something, we Can investigate it, and determine how the event occurred, and if it was done by God or not.
So far, apparently God hasn't Done a Single thing, according to the world at large.
Because if It was proven that God did something, then it would be a Giant Break through for science, and plastered all over the News.

Can see the Problem Science has with God,
he doesn't exist in science, because he doesn't do anything, there are no tests to be done,
because he can't be defined or substantiated in any way, he is untestable, and unfalsifiable.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 8, 2012 - 10:46pm PT
How do U guys box (copy) past texts and move them to ur post? Whith an iPhone. I need help

Anyway;

NO! Science investigates theories! Things that don't exist until they say they do. The biggest mistake they've made is with carbon dating. If I slaughtered my cow yesterday. And put a t-bone in the microwave today. U'd say it's a month old. I'm saying CD has everything to do with heating and cooling. I could put a t-bone in the freezer and take it out in a year and U'd say its fresh.
God is everywhere! He's in me and even in U. To find Him turn around He's right behind U. To know Him read the Bible!
Definition of God Is Love! Can U measure the amount of love for ur parents? Or ur ice cream, or ur favorite route?
I bet if U asked the world at large; millions would tell U God is working Miricules in their mediocre lives everyday.
He is untestable with ur device of measurement.
IMO
BB
klk

Trad climber
cali
Sep 8, 2012 - 10:48pm PT
ok.

that's almost as good as weldit.

props
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 8, 2012 - 10:48pm PT
Tony, a gentle nudge. You are defining "faith."

Belief's much different, a la St. Thomas, who believed, so he claimed, only when he could physically inspect the wounds. Belief rather implies proof.

I think Dr. F is telling us lack of proof doesn't necessarily mean non-existent deities (let's be fair you Mid-East-Centrists), it just means it can't be proven they exist. I'm totally cool with that, yet I pray. It's private and that's all I wish anyone needed to say about this painfully drawn-out (yawn) discussion. No disrespect.
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 8, 2012 - 10:58pm PT
Blueblocr, you are either incredibly ignorant or very talented troll.


Which is it?
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 8, 2012 - 11:23pm PT
IM AN IDIOT!











But like George Michaels says;






"BUT I GOTTA HAVE FAITH,FAITH,FAITH. BABY!"
IMO
BB
Psilocyborg

climber
Sep 8, 2012 - 11:38pm PT
Atheism is no more a belief system than abstinence is a sexual position
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 9, 2012 - 12:01am PT
What's a troll?
I haven't seen that term in the Bible.
Have they been provin by science?
Jus being serious
BB
Pate

Trad climber
Sep 9, 2012 - 06:48am PT
i'm a little let down that there is no Bosun Particle thread.

thats really all we needed, we have it now.

imagine that, all these thousands of years the delusional searched for a creator in the sky, and all along it was something tiny inside of them.

i believe in physics.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Sep 9, 2012 - 07:10am PT
certain scientists seem to come full circle on atheism. fred hoyle was a famous one. another would be simon conway-morris, whom i've mentioned on other threads, who engaged in a rather lively debate with the late, more atheistic, stephen jay gould.

the granddaddy to that debate was pierre teilhard de chardin, whom those of protestant culture seem to prefer to ignore. conway-morris, in an email exchange i had with him, voiced concepts i was familiar with, but when i mentioned teilhard, he seemed to want to withdraw back into a cambridge-comfortable belief system which included the portraying of napoleon as the worst devil in history. i think it was stephen hawking, another cambridger, who made the statement that, once you learn its physical machinations, there isn't much left in the universe for a god to do. but hawking hasn't seriously considered a mulitiverse, nor the prospects of a kardashev scale.

i've come to suspect that teilhard, being a jesuit, may have gained much of his point of view, which he expressed in the paleontology of his day, sub rosa. his good friend, biologist julian huxley, declared that most of it was well over his head, but nowadays even the strictest of scientific cosmologists seem to be detecting the hand of engineering in our physical and biological evolution. panspermia becomes a legitimate speculation. i think hoyle's statement about the triple alpha process pertains as well to certain aspects of astronomy, biology, anthropology, archaeology and human history: the universe is a set-up job.

bringing it back on topic here, note the sherpa saying on the cover of this book:

pants on fire
pants on fire
Credit: Tony Bird

the universe seems like a big thing. the dimension of time seems mighty lengthy, but unlike other dimensions, we don't seem to be able to travel backward in the opposite direction on it. contemporary physics gives us a new take on both of these items. it could well be a multiverse, not a universe. there could actually be parallel universes, there could be a number of other dimensions (aside to ed: how many dimensions do you, pardon the term, believe in? 3? 4? 5? 10? 11? even more? seems like a pretty important question), all of which could make it a hell of a lot more exciting--and complicated--than pretty pictures coming out of the hubblescope or the esoteric clues in the bible.

ah, wee sleekit mousie. faith, they told us, is what good little altar boys have, and we should never question divine authority. i was lucky to get through all that without some priestly hand on my shoulder beginning to grope lower. too many of those poor devils tried to follow the lead of st. thomas aquinas, who chased women out of his life with a candelabrum, working up an aristotelian system sister mary ignatius could explain, as long as everyone stays above the belt.
Pate

Trad climber
Sep 9, 2012 - 07:26am PT
better you believe.


that's blind faith. that's moronic.

not sure why so many people in the west feel like there's so much to be learned from religion in the east.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 9, 2012 - 07:36am PT
Welcome back Pate
We missed you
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 9, 2012 - 07:45am PT
. The biggest mistake they've made is with carbon dating.

There is no problem with Carbon Dating
The only problem is the lies that the Christian Church makes up about carbon Dating not being an accurate dating tool.

I've seen the propaganda they produce, with their little pamphlets saying that carbon dating is not accurate, and so many of other things about evolution can't be trusted
They tell us the eye couldn't have evolved, the flagella on bacteria are impossible without ID, and the Gould's theory of punctuated equilibrium proves creation..

It's pure Lies
all proven over and over to be untrue
Why would they need to lie?
Science doesn't make up lies to keep scientists in the fold, the facts are enough for us, they reveal reality
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Sep 9, 2012 - 07:56am PT
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Sep 9, 2012 - 08:03am PT
carbon dating was doing great until somebody thought it might be good idea to run a test on the shroud of turin. i remember time magazine, back when we subscribed to that propaganda organ, doing a big run-up hype on the test. oh, how painful is was for the clerics to part with a smidgen of their sacred relic, and how enlighted and scientific of them to go along with it. within a year afterward, when the shroud was dated to around renaissance europe, time ran all these scientific arguments about how the test could have been contaminated, etc. etc. that was too big of a sacred cow to skewer.

i generally concede the shroud business to aggressive catholics. sure, jesus passed through the shroud. people who get abducted by aliens pass through the walls of their bedrooms and into the bellies of big flying saucers. buy one, why not buy the other?

if you want to put the shroud of turin in perspective, stop by the town center of prato when you're in the vicinity of florence, italy. prato is a nice contrast to overgloried, over-the-top florence. there is a curious bit of architecture in the cathedral on prato's central square, a beautiful outdoor pulpit reminiscent of the seashell in the birth of venus. i asked about it. it seems the cathedral of prato has custody of another holy relic, the genuine, dyed-in-the-wool garter of the blessed virgin mary, come down to us through holy tradition and divine providence these two long millenia. once a year, they trot mary's rags out onto that balcony so's the faithful can look at it. exciting stuff, but not quite the draw it used to be.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 9, 2012 - 08:08am PT
The Shroud of Turin has been proven to be way less than 2000 years old
and proven to Not have anything to do with the Real Jesus

But people will believe what they want about it anyway.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Sep 9, 2012 - 08:37am PT
how painful is was for the clerics to part with a smidgen of their sacred relic, and how enlighted and scientific of them to go along with it. within a year afterward, when the shroud was dated to around renaissance europe, there were all these arguments about how the test could have been contaminated, etc. etc.

 Its almost as if the clergy that provided the shroud to be dated were showing a great deal of faith when they provided the tapestry to science. They just knew that they were right and that that was the sacred cloth that was draped over jesus' body after the public cross hanging

Then of course, when science found that it was not possible for the cloth to have been around during time its was said to have been, well then, that's when they decide to put their faith in their lord and shun science for ever…. to their own demise.



Just like with all faith that walks beside you on the beach, when you look back you find that you have been walking alone the whole time, imagining your friend talking with you, when in reality, you were always alone and didn't really need any of the mind-play.


There is no god, check out what Hubble has come back with for proof

and proven to Not have anything to do with the Real Jesus


 If there ever was one


they trot mary's rags out onto that balcony so's the faithful can look at it. exciting stuff, but not quite the draw it used to be.


 That is some funny shit!! I never knew that… As if mary thought to herself "This belt is more sacred than all the rest, I'll hang on to them forever, handing them down to my son (thought he was killed) who will be sure to keep them sacred eventually for them to be viewed by strangers in Italy, miles away from where I originally lived"… yeah… that sound plausible…

BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 9, 2012 - 09:21am PT
I haven't been to church in 40 yrs. What I know of the world I learned from conversation. All these scientific theories are a big IF. If this rock has was 10ft below the surface and it has this much carbon its gotta be at least be a million yrs old. Well call it a half a million to be safe. The next rock is 20 ft. deep and twice as much carbon so it has to be twice as old.
And what about the evolution of animals. "if" somehow circumstances allowed "life" to pop out of thin air he'd be standing there goin I need a mate so I can populate. I surely dont want to go extinct. I'll pull my rib out and clone myself. Then I'll have someone to play with. (told U I was an idiot) But where would any thoughts of survival come from? It had NO brain! It would have just layed there and wiggled and died of starvation.
How could anyone have blind faith in any of those madeup "if" scenarios
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 9, 2012 - 09:34am PT
aside to ed: how many dimensions do you, pardon the term, believe in? 3? 4? 5? 10? 11? even more? seems like a pretty important question

the interesting question is what determines the dimensions of the universe?

if you ask me, I would say the universe has infinite dimensions, which in a weird way connects to a zero dimensional universe... one is at the high temperature limit, the other at the low temperature limit.

as the universe "cools" (mostly by expansion) the dimensionality "reduces," so for the most part, we appear to live in a 3+1 dimensional universe, but there may be places where higher dimensionality exists even in this universe, where energy densities are high enough

the idea of dimension is probably better approached by process, however, for instance, how would you describe the physical process of making a measurement of length, or of time, or anything else? taking a quantum mechanical point of view, measuring distance you "translate" a state from one point to another.. interestingly, the translation operator on that state is the momentum operator. The properties of 3 space are tied up in the properties of the momentum operator...

now you have to generalize the idea of operations on states into dimensions... for time it is the energy operator, etc... these operations form an algebra, and that algebra can be described as a topology

so what are all the operators?

some are not apparent at the "temperature" we find ourselves at... that's why we go to accelerators and bang electrons, positrons, protons, etc, together... those "high energy" interactions uncover the operators on the quantum systems that describe what matter is built out of, and how those bits interact. And in the context of what I wrote above, those operators describe the topology of the universe.

as the "temperature" increases, the probability that a state can evolve into any other state increases, and in some ways, that causes the dimensionality of the universe to go up... the question is what limits the dimensionality? the maximum "temperature" we'd estimate is the Planck mass of the universe, and there may be limits to the "natural" number of operators, certainly the state of the universe is identical to the vacuum state, which sets a minimum temperature (can't be zero).

that's some of the thinking that goes into the question... at least as I have been thinking about it...

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 9, 2012 - 09:36am PT
here's a relevant obit. in the NYTimes today:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/education/gabriel-vahanian-85-death-of-god-theologian-dies.html

'In “Wait Without Idols,” Mr. Vahanian identified the origin of the problem facing “Death of God” theologians as he saw it:

“It is easier to understand oneself without God than with God. The dilemma of Christianity is that it taught man how to be responsible for his actions in this world, and for this world itself. Now man has declared God not responsible and not relevant to human self-knowledge. The existence of God, no longer questioned, has become useless to man’s predicament and its resolution.”

“This, then, is the irony of the cultural tradition of Christianity: it has bequeathed us the idea of the death of God.”'
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 9, 2012 - 10:29am PT
What I know of the world I learned from conversation.

Blueblocr, that really explains a great deal about your complete ignorance of basic science. And I really do mean basic.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 9, 2012 - 11:15am PT
Thanks
So what's ur excuse?
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 9, 2012 - 11:41am PT
BLUBLOCR said:

And what about the evolution of animals. "if" somehow circumstances allowed "life" to pop out of thin air he'd be standing there goin I need a mate so I can populate. I surely dont want to go extinct. I'll pull my rib out and clone myself. Then I'll have someone to play with. (told U I was an idiot) But where would any thoughts of survival come from? It had NO brain! It would have just layed there and wiggled and died of starvation.
How could anyone have blind faith in any of those madeup "if" scenarios

Blu, when you said pretty much that same thing yesterday, I just took you for a troll.

You know, the kind of troll that says something SO obviously uninformed and shockingly factually ignorant that is posted purely to poke fun at the trolls own stupidity.

BUT, that makes twice now you have posted such language. it is now clear to everyone that you are not a troll, but one of a certain block of the population that is truly clueless

Your above words are similar to someone saying over and over that 2 plus 2 is 5.

You completely deny "science" and the rigorous proofs of "evolution"

You must have failed basic high school biology.

Your lack of even the most elementary science education is shocking, for an adult.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Sep 9, 2012 - 12:02pm PT
Do you feel better about yourself now Norton?
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 9, 2012 - 12:18pm PT
"As the universe cools by expansion the demensionality reduces"
Yea, kinda like cement ! It's a negatively charged, xtra dry mass that when water is added. There is an explosion of action to get back to some sorta equalibreum. Thus heating -expanding. Until charges equal out and cool. Where the dimension is found smaller.

"I swear that slab I just pored was 3/8" bigger when I started!"

This coincides my theory of the world was once a much smaller globe. (that's why all the continents look as though they would fit together). Then God called on Noah to build an Ark. Then God directed certain pairs of the living creatures aboard. And God did comence it to rain
40 days. And He added water to the earth. And it heated and expanded. Now it's gettin smaller.
IMO
BB
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 9, 2012 - 12:21pm PT
Then God called on Noah to build an Ark. Then God directed certain pairs of the living creatures aboard. And God did comence it to rain
40 days

yeah Studly

especially after reading this

Blu is free to post his opinions, and so are you and I
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Sep 9, 2012 - 12:35pm PT
i appreciate that response, ed. gonna take awhile to wrap my brains around it.

the interesting thing about the god/no god debate is that everyone, on either side, seems to have a pretty sure idea about what god might be. isn't that kinda hard for christians, who in their next breath tell us god is way beyond the possibilities of human comprehension? and what about atheists, who seem to know all about something that doesn't exist? i'll bet that if both sides could set aside the existence question in a short truce, they might at least discover some surprising agreement as to what god isn't.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 9, 2012 - 12:36pm PT
Ur Right!
"U must have failed basic HS biology ..."

That was my last period of the day, and I left at lunch to go get stoned and shred som pools!
I think ur education on evilution is your "belief" and U put way to much faith in it...
I don't see any proof!




And at least my mind is still open enough to keep on learning.
IMO
BB
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 9, 2012 - 12:39pm PT
And still there is a difference between shaving and cutting your head straight off...
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 9, 2012 - 12:46pm PT
I think ur education on evilution is your "belief" and U put way to much faith in it...
I don't see any proof!

yeah, ok

start by retaking grade school basic spelling

and then maybe a high school "critical thinking skills" class

you just don't see any "proof" of "evilution"?

start by reaching behind you and feeling the remains of your prehensile tail, you know that short little bone in the middle of your butt that serves no purpose "any more"
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 9, 2012 - 12:58pm PT
TB,
It's easy for Christians to say who God is:
The Lord is my shepard;
I shall not want.
He makeith me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His names sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You ARE with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comefort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.
Amen.
BB
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 9, 2012 - 01:13pm PT
Well blue, I should think it's obvious that you don't see any proof because you didn't bother to look.

You christians like to claim atheists don't see the evidence for a god because we closed our minds or hearts or whatever.

But you just closed your brain. You can't know what the science is if you don't read about it and rely instead on hearsay and speculation.


FWIW, as I stated earlier I was brought up christian. Like many other atheists here as a kid I believed in a god. Then I grew up, received an education and developed some ability to reason these things out. Apparently you did not, which is incredibly sad.


Incidentally, I don't think I need to make excuses -- I'm not the one who doesn't know that radioactive decay and freezer burn are two different things.
splitter

Trad climber
Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Sep 9, 2012 - 02:29pm PT
Norton -- ...that serves no purpose anymore.

Not so, the coccyx does have several functions.

I do have a science/med background and recall from my neuroanatomy & cadaver dissecting days of being fascinated by the long strands which extend from the coccyx. I must say that they resembles a horses tail hairs, but they are not hair (at close inspection) but rather strands of fibrous tissues (filum terminate) which gives longitudinal support to the spinal cord. Plus (in a nutshell) there are nerves, tendons & muscles attached to it (coccyx) eg. glut muscles, sphincter muscles, etc.!

Many biologist used to consider the coccyx a vestigial organ, but current opinions in biology have changed and it is now generally accepted that there are no true vestigial organs.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 9, 2012 - 02:34pm PT
K, don't be sad. My brain is open now! I find some of the things u'all say are hard to except. (if it goes against the bible)because I am so confident in the relationship with my creator, I fully trust His Word. I have read Darwin's origin book, YAWWN ! But I do want to know what U believe about it. So it will help me more understand U.
That's Great! U were handed the Bible when U were a kid. I'm sure U have more education
On it than a lot of others. U could be the smartest person in the world but it wouldn't get U everlasting life. God said U must go to Him with a contrite heart in order for U to see the Kingdom of Heaven.
IMO
BB
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 9, 2012 - 02:35pm PT
good point!

No doubt Blu will consider this correction to be proof that there is no proof of human evolution

case closed
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 9, 2012 - 03:05pm PT
I find some of the things u'all say are hard to except

Me too -- I accept them as true.


But why is it that you can believe in a single ancient book and not the entirety of modern (and ancient for that matter) science? You only believe it is the word of god because the book itself says so.

You are essentially guessing and hoping that you are right.

Is that how you live your entire life?


When driving and turning one direction or another leads you off a cliff and to certain death, do you just guess?
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 9, 2012 - 03:30pm PT
I put my face in the dirt when I approach the Lord.
And He lifts me up, and dusts me off!
Would u do that for me?

Questioning and hoping yes! I question everything,
And I'm hoping for your salvation!

Guessing? I don't believe in guessing or luck!

Jus Sayin
BB
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 9, 2012 - 06:19pm PT
everyone, on either side, seems to have a pretty sure idea about what god might be.

at this point, I am sure that I have no idea what god might be... I just don't see the need to invoke god in the universe, at least to explain the universe... the universe seems quite explainable by just "natural" means...

khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 9, 2012 - 06:45pm PT
To me life, the universe, and everything is so unbelievably cool and complex and exquisite that the very notion of a cosmic all-powerful designer is truly offensive.

Nature on it's own is far more beautiful than some deity made up by frightened humans to exert political control.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Sep 9, 2012 - 06:47pm PT
Nature on it's own is far more beautiful

awe shucks... I just blushed.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 9, 2012 - 07:15pm PT
Sorry Ed, I only read your first couple paragraphs this morning. Back to it now.
I also condone the possibility of infinite demensions I think this would allow god to see into the past, present and future...like He says He does!

Can U see a possibllity with some sort of "high energy" interaction with earth could could essentially accelerate our preceivable time line? Like if we got bombarded with an excessive amount of the Suns radiation. Wouldn't that in a manure of speeking toast us? Couldn't that make rocks and fossils act older than they actually are?
Thanks for your eloquent input!
BB
jstan

climber
Sep 9, 2012 - 07:25pm PT
Not so, the coccyx does have several functions.

I do have a science/med background and recall from my neuroanatomy & cadaver dissecting days of being fascinated by the long strands which extend from the coccyx. I must say that they resembles a horses tail hairs, but they are not hair (at close inspection) but rather strands of fibrous tissues (filum terminate) which gives longitudinal support to the spinal cord. Plus (in a nutshell) there are nerves, tendons & muscles attached to it (coccyx) eg. glut muscles, sphincter muscles, etc.!

Many biologist used to consider the coccyx a vestigial organ, but current opinions in biology have changed and it is now generally accepted that there are no true vestigial organs.

Just imagine. A website where interesting stuff like this crops up. Would you believe.......
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Sep 9, 2012 - 07:32pm PT
I still like the atheist life.

No reason to beg for forgiveness no reason to feel guilt for existing as a human instead of a god.

Batshit has a better story


bwahahha


BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 9, 2012 - 07:49pm PT
K. U are truly blessed to be able to look around and see and appreciate gods handywork!
I look forward to it everyday! But I also see kids in my daughters first grade class that only get one meal a day. And some with only one parent and they're so withdrawn they won't even look at u. And some are so crazed they go insane. U can't hardly control them. Let alone teach them. This is all happening at our local public Josshua Tree Elemntary school. I've started volunteering as teachers aid to try and help her out. She needs it! But sincerely, if it weren't for Gods direction. I wouldn't be there caring, and I wouldn't be there helping out.
I'd prolly be at the crag thinking of myself.
Jus fixin
BB
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 9, 2012 - 09:11pm PT
But sincerely, if it weren't for Gods direction. I wouldn't care, I wouldn't do anything.


Honestly... that does not speak well of you. Would you not do it because you care? Because you are human?



That's pretty pathetic.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 9, 2012 - 09:12pm PT
What's not to like....your Sundays are guilt free!
WBraun

climber
Sep 9, 2012 - 09:14pm PT
What!!!!

You guys didn't go climbing today so ya all feel guilty ......
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Sep 9, 2012 - 09:27pm PT
I have a Catholic friend who said she's good because she's afraid of going to Hell. Not, simply, because she wants to be good.

Me no understand.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Sep 9, 2012 - 11:16pm PT
Some people have looked into the matter of good and not good actions and found that christians and secular people do them in equal measure. So doing good is not a matter of christianity, though it is in BBs illusions. It may be right in his/her own case.

Researchers have also found that atheists generally know the bible better than most american christians.

God-speaking and good-speaking is a different matter - there is a lot of imagebuilding within the christian community - God- and good-braggers.

Though there are also people who are really humble, and not bragging about it.
slayton

Trad climber
Here and There
Sep 10, 2012 - 12:56am PT
Seriously. Do not respond to BLUEBLOCR. Unless you want to spin your wheels, spin your wheels, spin your wheels.

I enjoy contradictory points of view but that sh#t is stupid light.
Pate

Trad climber
Sep 10, 2012 - 07:23am PT
monday september 10, 2012
Dalai Lama weekly official tweet/facebook post

"All the world's major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness, can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether."
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Sep 10, 2012 - 07:36am PT
Welcome back Pate!

I thought of you last week when I was traveling through "Pate Valley" in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 10, 2012 - 07:46am PT
I think the atheist afterlife will be even more fun.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 10, 2012 - 08:29am PT
" Atheist after life, fun?"
Yea! Prolly a lot of nude solo caving!
Jus Josh'in
BB
Pate

Trad climber
Sep 10, 2012 - 08:39am PT
in atheist afterlife you get to be a proton.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 10, 2012 - 09:14am PT
Nice to see ever more climber people going rogue - kicking the bronze-age superstitions of Abrahamic religion to the curb and taking up the cause of the "a-theist" life.

Here's another fine piece by Sam Harris regarding "free will."

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/life-without-free-will

This piece hints to the further challenges in intellect, attitude and culture that lie ahead. You can't help but wonder what fraction of humanity will be up for it though. (esp after reading some of the posts on this thread, lol)

Isn't it a wonderful thing our wills are free? that is, free of demons... free of demonic possession... free of the devil. Archiac superstitions, yes, that umpteen millions of our early to ancient ancestors took to be real; and, it is worth noting - souls (or wills) possessed or free? was the original historical concern of so-called "free will" discussions by the Church and learned men (mostly philosophers and theologians).

My will: Free of demons, yes. My will: Free of causality, no. Conversations concerning "free will" are meaningless without distinguishing being free relative to what - in this case, causality or demons.

I hope future generations will get around to getting clear on this better than our generations have. Still we've come along way. Well, some of us. :)

.....

Pate, nice to see you posting up again. But, alas, this place remains as dumb as ever - at least concerning the more cerebral topics.

Aye, it's the world we live in.
WBraun

climber
Sep 10, 2012 - 09:22am PT
But, alas, this place remains as dumb as ever

I been saying that for years.

Except I used the word stupid since it has so much more emphasis.

That word really gets under some peoples skin here and they start having these epileptic knee jerk reactions ,,, hahaha

Ho man .....
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Sep 10, 2012 - 09:29am PT
(Yeah, . . . what he said.)
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Sep 10, 2012 - 09:49am PT
okay, bluebloc, here we go.

atheistic kurt vonnegut once expressed great admiration for the king james version of psalm 23. he felt the nameless translator in the group of scholars hired by james ii of england gave us poetry on a par with shakespeare.

i would differ with vonnegut there. i think it's poetry on a par with longfellow, whose lovely language has not stood up well against the literary criticism of the past century. pretty words, second-rate ideas. if you think the ST gang is rough, try joining the real dead poet's society.

i have a two-part quarrel with your psalm 23:

1. i am not a sheep. i think being a human is kind of a terrific thing, and humans who resemble sheep (haha, getting back on topic here) are not, shall we say, living up to their potential.

being a sheep isn't a bad thing, for a sheep, but the best life for a sheep is not being shepherded around by some lordly human. (you know where that ends up, right?) rather, it's to be out there on its own in nature, foraging, f*#king, having lambs, palling around with fellow sheep in the herd, enjoying the view under the open sky, butting those who need to be butted (don't you dare, locker), and eluding wolves by rockclimbing (back on the topic again).

i don't know how the noisy christians on ST have lived their lives, but there was no god giving any of this promised help and shepherding in mine. i learned the hard way to figure life out for myself and stand on my own feet. when i've gotten tangled up in the underbrush of life, i've had to learn to extricate myself all by myself. when i've found myself pursued by wolves, i learned to run like hell and get up on the rocks. all the padres who sang that little "oh god has been doing this for you" song didn't have a clue.

here's the deal with god: you're on your own, just like every other living creature on the planet. learn to fly and chirp on your own. eventually you will realize that death is not something to be afraid of.

2. gloating over privileges given in preference over imagined "enemies" is not becoming of a spiritual person. throughout the theology of the west--christians, jews, muslims--there is a strong strain of divine privilege over the damnable remainder of humanity--the nonbelievers, the heretics, the goyim, the infidels. this unthinking monotheism pays a price for such inherent egotism in a stunted spirituality which rarely gets beyond its herd/sheep mentality. the "personal relationship" with an imagined, powerful deus ex machina is closely ushered by an overweening clergy and orchestrated to squalls of bathetic, sycophantic flattery (trying to choose my words carefully here, spider).

whatever the ultimate truth of existence, i think we are here to do our best and to get along with others. religious systems which don't foster that aren't worth squat, as vonnegut would say. stop and think for half a minute. god don't need your stinkin' flattery. from carl sagan, another atheist who had started to come around: "to the buddhist, god is so great he doesn't even have to exist."
___

i find ed's remarks (no, not that skeleton key to the maze of multidimension) signal to most discussions of atheism. like with myself, i don't think ed quite calls himself an atheist, but he brings up a subject which usually comes in an atheist's next breath: morality. without the sanctions of religious belief, why don't we just live life as a pleasant free-for-all?

the answer to that comes in another key word from ed: nature. i find it unlocked in a little exchange in one of the old jacques cousteau television programs. after a long dive in a fascinating coral reef, immersed in its myriad of vibrant, competitive, balanced life, cousteau asks falco for his impressions. "oh captain, it's so moral."

but i'd take the word "nature" a little further. as i've argued with ed frequently here, i think that there are more things, perhaps i have to say in the multiverse--rather than heaven and earth or the universe, than are dreamed of in his philosophy. it's interesting that we may have common ground with our scientifically challenged bluebloc here. science which ignores the patently confirmable paranormal cannot be true science, no matter its sophistication and successes. the definition becomes not nature, on its own terms, but "normal" nature. the history of science has shown many times that that's the hard way to learn. scientists who have not ignored this realm--hynek, vallee, moss, mack--start singing strange tunes. some, like puthoff, become strangely silent. and ed occasionally finds himself among strange conference-fellows.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 10, 2012 - 09:56am PT
Some of you atheists and a-theists might recall this exchange...

(after getting canned for her "atheism")


David Drumlin: I know you must think this is all very unfair. Maybe that's an understatement. What you don't know is I agree. I wish the world was a place where fair was the bottom line, where the kind of idealism you showed at the hearing was rewarded, not taken advantage of. Unfortunately, we don't live in that world.

Ellie Arroway: Funny, I've always believed that the world is what we make of it.

.....

It's a constant battle.

Keep the charge. Keep pushin it.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 10, 2012 - 10:30am PT
This is rather gauche of me to step into this discussion at this stage, not having read the intervening posts, but cosi fan tutti, eh?

Tony, that makes two of us, and I was around Jesuits. It was rumored in the sacristy as we donned our cassocks and surplices that our prish old fart Jesuit, Father , only molested boys who passed the indoctrination profile exam.

He would take aside a boy after mass, telling him he had to take this test if he wanted to remain an acolyte. He placed on the table a bible, a wallet and a bottle of scotch. Now, for the Jesuits, the object of the test was to determine a candidates suitability for the priesthood and their order in particular. If the bible were to be chosen, he's likely to be a good candidate for orders. If the wallet were to be chosen, this would indicate a more worldly vocation, like banking. If the bottle of scotch were to be choen, the man was more likely to be a bum than a credit to the human race.

If the boy were to choose all three, they offered him a try-out.


I read in Daniel Duane's novel wherein God consciousness is explicated to the protagonist by a shoe resoler in Camp 4. Looking for Mo. Good read, good food for thought. As I regurgitated the idea in my mind, put some things down on paper, and came to the possibility that God exists solely in my mind and that you all are concepts I create as I roll along. God I am, is what it came down to for me, and I scared the sh#t out of myself. It's not a comfortable thought, anyway.

Any comebacks? Ed, you constantly amaze me with not just what you've read, how much you must have thought about what you have read, and how clearly you explain these complicated ideas to the crew. It is partly this that precludes me believing or having faith in a system which I alone have created, am creating, and will keep on creating in a universe that is infinite and therefore indescribable in totality. It is this which is scary, that I could imagine an end to it! KF*#K!!!

That last is in exasperation at this writing system where I can't go back and edit because the backspace key and the arrows fail and I can't edit. I wan't commenting on what I wrote, but what the system won't allow me to do. If I were my own creator, and yours and yours and yours and this whole shebang of a universe, why would I bother to supply myself with a crappy sriting system? Or have plagues or nagging spouses or any other of life's littel problems?

Guy Noir, help me!
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 10, 2012 - 11:26am PT
TB
NICE! TAKE A BOW!
I gotta read it again
BB
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 10, 2012 - 11:31am PT
Mouse, why you gotta bring Lorenzo da Ponte into this? He was good God-fearing man.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 10, 2012 - 11:33am PT
Catching up, the carbon dating "dilemma"--Should we allow the Shroud to be examined? Or not? It's very easy to see why the Cards were disgruntled over the results. It helps disestablish the church because it undermines faith in the ressurection, which everyone knows is a conspiracy concocted by the brethren and sistern.

My first GF, Liz #1, worked all her life for an archemological firm in the Sacto area, and specialized in C-dates. I'd like to try to sound her out about her professional opinion. God willing, she may even speak to me!

Or should I not say that way here?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 10, 2012 - 11:49am PT
Because "everybody does it"!!!

That's my understanding of how the phrase can be translated. Simple Opera Buffoonery, aka a "SOB story," can be potent satiric stuff, no? God-fearing or not.

"Just because you think all your friends gotta think that way does not mean you gotta exist like that. I'm gonna tell your father when you decide who He is. He had the first word, I'm sure He'll have the last one, too."

"You thinking what I'm thinking again, Ma?"

"You're going to buy me that new belt I love?"

Conversation with Mother Mary in a waking dream
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 10, 2012 - 11:58am PT
in atheist afterlife you get to be a proton

actually, all your protons are recycled...
they will be to the end, and even then, they serve an important role in that end.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Sep 10, 2012 - 01:19pm PT
haha, mouse--same territory for me, but different cast of characters. in retrospect, rather fortunately, my mentor during puberty was quite heterosexual--to the point where he "confessed" that he engaged in the chaste dating of nuns. he'd also mix me an old fashioned as i came of legal age, and i've retained a taste for them. cool guy, but i'm afraid the merry holy avalanche came crashing down on him in a different way.

the jesuits came later, in the form of three years at loyola university of chicago, where i received excellent education from lay professors, but found the priests to be rather out of it. the jesuit order has a dark side. your story seems spot on. you know about the black pope, right?

all your protons are recycled...
they will be to the end, and even then, they serve an important role

ed, you're taking sides there. in nature, nothing is important--it merely is what it is. and what is this "end" you speak of? a scientific apocalypse?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 10, 2012 - 05:36pm PT
For insight, we need more polling among and limited to atheists, evolutionists, naturalists, scientists, otherwise smart educated secular people. (Enough political polling, its quantity is downright ridiculous. Sorry Muslims and Christians, you don't count on this one.)

For instance, there is the claim inspired by the sciences: We are "matter grown to consciousness." I wonder what fraction of the aforementioned believe in this claim.

Of course I do, but I wonder just how small my minority is and how it's trending per year or decade esp now with the whole world linked in and online.

.....

Until we figure out the exact mechanism or mechanisms leading to consciousness (or sentience or intention or will) I am not at all prepared to say that the yellow jacket wasp I just dispatched in the kitchen window (and that inspired this post) didn't have it. In fact, if forced to place a bet, I'd bet this lowly stinging sensation did have consciousness (sentience, intention, the works).

Until science (or perhaps just as well, analytical bioengineering) of the future figures it out, I am more than happy thinking of consciousness as biomagic. How's that for atheist open-mindedness, lol!

Remember Arthur C. Clarke,
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I think Clarke's insight here applies equally well to "any sufficiently advanced" biological function as well. Hence, bio-magic, with a bit of a wink.

.....

I thank the Gods of human imagination / personification (this week, esp the ancient Greek River Gods, Potamoi) everyday for my modern atheist outlook and lifestyle. :)


Tags: 1 "matter grown to consciousness" 2 "matter grown to sentience" 3 bio-magic (biomagic)
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 10, 2012 - 05:46pm PT
We are "matter grown to consciousness." I wonder what fraction of the aforementioned believe in this claim.

count me in, Fructose!

and perhaps I can save Werner the labor of a reply:

You are all stupid and Gross Materialists.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 10, 2012 - 06:00pm PT
Norton, why am I not surprised. Verily, you're one of the smart ones around here who values science and science edu!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 10, 2012 - 06:10pm PT
Tony, like your sheepish grin!

Yesterday afternoon, when The Reverend and I were cruising out Le Grand way on our own way to the Guadalupe Summit south of Bridgewater, north of Le Grand were three big-horned rams in a laffably large paddock for just three goats. "Looks pretty cushy, Jeff, but where's the rest of the family?"

Down the road, a good half-mile or so, on the other side of the road was a penned-up flock of the nannies, like a hundred maybe.

And the Rev said to me, he said, "Mousie, if one of those rams believed in God he'd ask for them to be moved at least a few hundred yards closer."

Alas, they are the goats of Matt. 25: 31> Cast into darkness. But with at least a shot at goat paradise. :)
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Sep 10, 2012 - 06:57pm PT
I agree
but don't prefer the terminology
"matter grown to consciousness."

something more like
"the sum of the material complex creates consciousness"

But not that
Maybe someone can refine it for the masses.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 10, 2012 - 07:10pm PT
"matter grown to consciousness"
Well, if Carl Sagan were alive, you could take it up with him. It's his phrase.

Maybe someone can refine it for the masses. -Dr. F

No refinement necessary, not for this ol boy.

Hits the nail right on the head, imo. Resonates perfectly with my understanding, attitude, feeling of things.

Different strokes for different folks, eh? Even amongst the "atheists."

I know, try this one on for size...
Consciousness grown from matter.

That's mine. I don't think Carl would mind. ;)
cintune

climber
Midvale School for the Gifted
Sep 10, 2012 - 07:18pm PT
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 10, 2012 - 07:42pm PT
Yeah, Pate posted this too last page or two, I think.

increasingly convinced... beyond religion altogether

The evolution of thought in a holy man, imagine that.


But then again, he's late to the show, we've been pushing for this on this very site for at least a couple of years now. (A couple of us anyhow.)

grounding ethics in religion no longer adequate

To include no more stonings? No longer adequate? Imagine that.
splitter

Trad climber
Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Sep 10, 2012 - 07:54pm PT
Why should we be moral if we are just accidents descended from animals? We don't expect cat's and dogs, lions and tigers, etc., to be moral. Philosophers have been trying to explain morality without G_d for years. There is no answer or reason why we should be different to animals. But, in regards to the Dali Lama's statement, I agree that "religion" is not the answer. If you have read the four gospels, you would have come to the conclusion that JC also states this.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 10, 2012 - 08:00pm PT
Why should we be moral if we are just accidents descended from animals?

First off, I'll assume you're just a teenager more or less - perhaps on something of a character-building quest, say, and tasked to re-examine the basics - for asking such a self-evident question. (Better than assuming you're just a troll keen on wasting people's time.)

Because if you're not moral, if you're immoral, there's enough goodness in humanity - not to mention desire or lust for payback - to bring hell to your life right here on earth.

In this world, it pays to be moral, it pays to be cooperative, empathetic, good.

.....

"If you don't like the treatment, don't rob the banks."

BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 10, 2012 - 08:03pm PT
I'm feeling a little atheistic; after readin these atheist confermations.

"Matter grown to consciousness"

Bear with me. Did the bee that stung you. Sting you. By instinct. and then go "ha ha i got u back !". OR. Did he, get scared and said to himself " I'll sting him and get him back!".

I read ur post and decided to write U back. And I did!

isn't THAT consciiousness grown to matter?

Jus Split'in Hairs
BB
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Sep 10, 2012 - 08:05pm PT
Blue, why don't you pause for cause. For about three days. You're so tiresome. Or just take it to other threads.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Sep 10, 2012 - 08:07pm PT
Bear with me. Did the bee that stung you. Sting you. By instinct. and then go "ha ha i got u back !". OR. Did he, get scared and said to himself " I'll sting him and get him back!".

I read ur post and decided to write U back. And I did!

oh my goodness!

why, that is just THE most elegant and well reasoned explanation of evolution ever!

Thank you so much!

And best of all, you personally have proved just have wonderfully deep is the depth of the Homo Sapien gene pool! Quite clever of you!
MisterE

Social climber
Sep 10, 2012 - 08:33pm PT
but as Feynman explains in that video clip, he is not looking for "absolutes" as there is no indication that such at thing exists, or that it could be something that is studied.

Best post/quote of this whole thread - Thanks Ed

Although ElCap's post runs a close second. Damn funny, Will.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 10, 2012 - 08:33pm PT
10-4 BIG SPLIT!
Man created religion. Most of the NT is telling U what's wrong with churches.
It's Great to attend one, if U can find some good in one. JC gave the example of what a church is about. The Lords Supper! And anybody can do that anywhere!
Jus Cheer'in
BB
splitter

Trad climber
Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Sep 10, 2012 - 08:35pm PT
for asking such a self evident question.

Huh?

If it is so self evident, why is it at the center of so many university philosophical discussions & here on ST? It is pretty clear to me that mans "morals" equate to what's best for him/self when it gets right down to the nitty gritty/survival of the fittest life here on earth. What can you expect? Open yer eyes (yer lost in a fog "junior"/fruity/a self deceptive fog i might add). Take a look at all the world powers, what's going on in the ME (which includes/pulled in Russia).

The basic question is, where does morality come from? Survival of the fittest...Knott! How about GUILT? That is a part of moral conscience.

Fruitcake - you have been spewing your fruity garbage for several (3-4) years here on various threads. Talk about blind faith!

EDIT:
I'll assume your just a teenager, more or less.
I'll take that as a compliment! ;)

Unfortunately, impudent was included in the characteristical definition that accompanied my first & so far, lasting impressions of HFCS.
WBraun

climber
Sep 10, 2012 - 08:35pm PT
The sun rises in the east and never anywhere else.

Absolutely since the beginning .......
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 10, 2012 - 08:38pm PT
I didnt think u could answer a question

But I'm sure havin fun!


HAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHHHHHHHAAAABB
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters