Bibles for Porn on college campus

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Bright Shadows
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Bright Shadows » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:12 am UTC

Sharlos wrote:Wow, you really like putting words in other peoples mouths don't you?

(S)he just misinterpreted an easy to misinterpret statement, that attempting to reconcile faith and reason was pandering to idiots, and not anyone else. Of course, I'm sure psyck0 is able to remember that many religious people are quite smart. He's just implying that enough of them aren't too bright that he/she can generalize. Which is still... questionable? Just not on the same line as Le1b's post.

Psyck0, it might help your views become less inflaming to others if you didn't start by calling massive groups of people stupid. Just a thought.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:20 am UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:I have never seen anything that has even remotely demonstrated any intellectual superiority from atheists or atheist schools of thought. All I have seen is a snide, unearned sense of superiority, not disimillar to the unearned sense of moral superiority from radical religious types.
A quick Internet search turns up Linus Torvalds (inventor of Linux) and Kurt Vonnegut as atheists.


I've been putting up with this sort of drivel for a long time. The top graduating student from my high school, Christian. From my university overall, Christian. From my department, Christian. From my Grad program, Christian. Many of my best professors were practicing Christians. One of the better math students I've ever known was Muslim. As someone who wrote his grad thesis on the history of science in the era of Newton, I can't help to have noticed a great many brilliant scientists who were active religious apologists.
And I'm willing to bet all those Christians and that Muslim you know aren't the kind of religious people that get atheists worked into a froth over. How many of those people hate homosexuality simply because it is written that they should? How many of those people embrace and embody the benevolent and loving portions of their faith and eschew the dark and hateful portion?

Don't get too pissed off at atheists who flip their shit. Call a douche a douche when it's necessary, as in this case, but remember that they're not pissed at *you.* They're pissed at the idiots that give your beliefs a horrible, hateful, blood-soaked name. Speak up and let them know that's not what you're about. (Because right now you're just perpetuating the self-fulling cycle of each side pissing off the other because they're being such jerks about everything.)
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Bright Shadows » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:28 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:I think it's really only the Judeo-Christian religions that are problematic, and Judaism not so much. The others are very focused on having their rules apply to all people, not just followers.

We just have issues deciding which statements warrant using in our doctrine, a bit...
In 1st Corinthians, Paul actually tells the church to not worry about people outside the church and their judgment for sins. God's supposed to handle that. Chapter 5 verses 12 and 13, if you're interested.

I like this verse, as it makes things much less troublesome. No need to stone my gay neighbor, or even run him out of town. God will judge him as He sees fit, and in the mean time, my job is just to become closer to God and help add to the disciple count according to God's plan.

Evangelical denominations tend to side more with us having a responsibility to, uh, evangelize. By keeping people from sinning, as one step. I'm not too sure how it works, and that's killing my explanation. The last part might even be totally wrong. I am honestly unsure. Anyway, whatever denominations and however they work out that Paul can be ignored there, the idea is that it's really not all of us that go trolling around in dead-fetus-mobiles to discourage abortion.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Le1bn1z » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:49 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:
Le1bn1z wrote:I have never seen anything that has even remotely demonstrated any intellectual superiority from atheists or atheist schools of thought. All I have seen is a snide, unearned sense of superiority, not disimillar to the unearned sense of moral superiority from radical religious types.
A quick Internet search turns up Linus Torvalds (inventor of Linux) and Kurt Vonnegut as atheists.


Never said atheists were anything less than religious types. My best friend is a diehard atheist, and I'm marrying an agnostic. As I said, historian of science. You don't have to explain to me that there are smart atheists. I just get worked up about people telling me Christians are dumb.

I've been putting up with this sort of drivel for a long time. The top graduating student from my high school, Christian. From my university overall, Christian. From my department, Christian. From my Grad program, Christian. Many of my best professors were practicing Christians. One of the better math students I've ever known was Muslim. As someone who wrote his grad thesis on the history of science in the era of Newton, I can't help to have noticed a great many brilliant scientists who were active religious apologists.


And I'm willing to bet all those Christians and that Muslim you know aren't the kind of religious people that get atheists worked into a froth over. How many of those people hate homosexuality simply because it is written that they should? How many of those people embrace and embody the benevolent and loving portions of their faith and eschew the dark and hateful portion?


Well, I know its just bad luck for you, and its not your fault because often you'd be right, but in my case...um... zero on the hate bit. I have the fortune of being an Anglican from Toronto, Canada. We don't do the whole American hate-froth thing. Except for hockey, but that's entirely reasonable. I roomed with a gay dude for a year in undergrad, have gay family, as does that top student out of my Grad program and gay friends. My church has had gay parishoners for as long as I can remember.

Don't get too pissed off at atheists who flip their shit. Call a douche a douche when it's necessary, as in this case, but remember that they're not pissed at *you.* They're pissed at the idiots that give your beliefs a horrible, hateful, blood-soaked name. Speak up and let them know that's not what you're about. (Because right now you're just perpetuating the self-fulling cycle of each side pissing off the other because they're being such jerks about everything.)


Sorry, if someone calls me an idiot in the strongest terms, I am going to smack them down. I only take it personally when its personal. This guy was explicitly personally insulting, and he deserved to be chewed out, personally. I've nothing against atheism, or atheists. Just this guy and his/her smug friends who think they get to stomp all over me and mine because.... well.... because in their insular world nobody calls them out on it.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Sharlos » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:09 am UTC

Le1bn1z wrote: Sorry, if someone calls me an idiot in the strongest terms, I am going to smack them down. I only take it personally when its personal. This guy was explicitly personally insulting, and he deserved to be chewed out, personally. I've nothing against atheism, or atheists. Just this guy and his/her smug friends who think they get to stomp all over me and mine because.... well.... because in their insular world nobody calls them out on it.

Except for the part where you 'smacked down' the wrong person. The only contribution I've made to this thread is mentioning how funny I thought the idea of trading bibles for porn is.

You seem to hate the idea of some people who are atheists generalizing all Christians as stupid, and then go out and generalize all atheists as Christian-haters who believe no Christian in human history made an intelligent contribution to society.

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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Le1bn1z » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:20 am UTC

Sharlos wrote:Except for the part where you 'smacked down' the wrong person. The only contribution I've made to this thread is mentioning how funny I thought the idea of trading bibles for porn is.

You seem to hate the idea of some people who are atheists generalizing all Christians as stupid, and then go out and generalize all atheists as Christian-haters who believe no Christian in human history made an intelligent contribution to society.


In this case, please read the past posts. I was not even remotely going after you. I was going after psych0 who wrote:

psyck0 wrote:On the other hand, there are those of us who feel that religion is inherently so stupid and harmful that none of us should be moderate in our opposition to it, and that attempts to "reconcile" it are merely postponing the inevitable, as well as pandering to idiots. You can't reconcile reason and faith. There is no logic to faith.

So in that sense, I don't care about pissing off religious people or being confrontational as long as it spreads the message. They're not the target audience, anyway.


It was at him, and not anyone else, that I was directing my anger. I'm actually on the same page as you. The concept is hillarious, and I support it as a shining beacon of self-defeating ironic hypocracy. I love it. But psych0 was personally insulting. I went after him. I don't know how you got to the idea of me having a problem with you.

Again, please, please go back and read my other posts, and then decide if I'm trashing on atheists. I never once said what you claim I said, or came close, and I'm not thrilled at being taken out of context like that. Frankly, I thought you were pretty funny, and would expect better than this.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby folkhero » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:55 am UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:In this case, please read the past posts. I was not even remotely going after you. I was going after psych0 who wrote:

When you quote someones post and immediately under that quote you write "your post seriously pissed me off," it certainly appears that you are going after the person you are quoting.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Goldstein » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:03 am UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:
Princess Marzipan wrote:And I'm willing to bet all those Christians and that Muslim you know aren't the kind of religious people that get atheists worked into a froth over. How many of those people hate homosexuality simply because it is written that they should? How many of those people embrace and embody the benevolent and loving portions of their faith and eschew the dark and hateful portion?


Well, I know its just bad luck for you, and its not your fault because often you'd be right, but in my case...um... zero on the hate bit. I have the fortune of being an Anglican from Toronto, Canada. We don't do the whole American hate-froth thing. Except for hockey, but that's entirely reasonable. I roomed with a gay dude for a year in undergrad, have gay family, as does that top student out of my Grad program and gay friends. My church has had gay parishoners for as long as I can remember.

Just to explain what's going on here, zero on the hate bit is what PM was expecting; he's -- quite explicitly -- saying that the type of people who are great achievers aren't the kind of religious people that get atheists worked into a froth. The idea being put forward is that these Christians don't represent the sort of fundamentalism that atheists so often look down on whilst proclaiming intellectual superiority. It might, then, be unjustified to attempt to link intelligence with beliefs, but perhaps reasonable to link intelligence with attitudes towards believing. From that position, atheists can have difficulty understanding how the intelligent Christians you know can essentially fall for the same sort of approach to religion (i.e, having faith) as their more fundamental counterparts.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby aleflamedyud » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:42 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote:On the other hand, there are those of us who feel that religion is inherently so stupid and harmful that none of us should be moderate in our opposition to it, and that attempts to "reconcile" it are merely postponing the inevitable, as well as pandering to idiots. You can't reconcile reason and faith. There is no logic to faith.

So in that sense, I don't care about pissing off religious people or being confrontational as long as it spreads the message. They're not the target audience, anyway.

Faith just means I have one more axiom than you do.

I think it's really only the Judeo-Christian religions that are problematic, and Judaism not so much.

Thanks for totally giving us a pass and everything, but I do think you should rethink your terminology. Greco-Christian and Judeo-Islamic would be more appropriate given how the three major monotheistic faiths actually operate in practice. Judeo-Christian, unfortunately, is a way for American politicians to say, "We have a huge hard-on for our Christianity but don't want those Jews over in NY/NJ/DC to feel too left out. All the stuff we actually do will still totally be Christian, though."

It's one of about three to five "told-you-so's" they're trumpeting now in their increasingly successful recruitment drives, and a real thorn in the side of moderates. I mean, this is one of the things that moderates promised would never happen during the advent of religious tolerance.

I got to say that I've thought this myself over the years, particularly when someone does something particularly dickish about their atheism/secularism. For example, in Britain secularists are making an uproar about a bill that would let religious schools teach sex-ed different from state schools, all while the state sex-ed curriculum pushes a definitely ideological (though it's New Labour healthist rather than religious) agenda of its own. Or for another example, atheists who consider the Bible equal to smut. All of us who've opened the damn thing at least once have seen the horrible things people did in it; that's part of why we consider it valuable! A book that didn't contain the filth of humanity's sins wouldn't be much good for teaching moral lessons since it wouldn't correspond to the real world.

And it's not as though you can learn anything at all from porn, except possibly which sexual positions will, when tried by non-experts, cause mild injury.

I have never seen anything that has even remotely demonstrated any intellectual superiority from atheists or atheist schools of thought. All I have seen is a snide, unearned sense of superiority, not disimillar to the unearned sense of moral superiority from radical religious types.

Note that prominent "New Atheists" have usually claimed that men and women of intellect who held to a religion were simply professing it to deal with the pressures put on them by an intolerantly religious society and would today have "come out of the closet" as atheists. I've got more basis in fact than this when I go trawling history looking for movers and shakers who were Jews.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Aikanaro » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:43 pm UTC

Bright Shadows wrote:
Princess Marzipan wrote:I think it's really only the Judeo-Christian religions that are problematic, and Judaism not so much. The others are very focused on having their rules apply to all people, not just followers.

We just have issues deciding which statements warrant using in our doctrine, a bit...
In 1st Corinthians, Paul actually tells the church to not worry about people outside the church and their judgment for sins. God's supposed to handle that. Chapter 5 verses 12 and 13, if you're interested.

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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby psyck0 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:14 pm UTC

Religion is problematic inherently, because it demands faith despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It denies reason. Sure, individuals can live with the contradictions inherent in religion, because humans are practically designed to live with contradictions and hypocrisy, but religion as a whole, in any form, slows scientific progress (because it tells people that it is OK to believe something without any evidence whatsoever to support that belief, which is incredibly damaging for scientific literacy- compare US scientific literacy to that of any largely atheist country and see why) AND provides one more source of differences between people for bigotry, hatred, smugness etc. to operate.

Bright Shadows wrote:
Sharlos wrote:Wow, you really like putting words in other peoples mouths don't you?

(S)he just misinterpreted an easy to misinterpret statement, that attempting to reconcile faith and reason was pandering to idiots, and not anyone else. Of course, I'm sure psyck0 is able to remember that many religious people are quite smart. He's just implying that enough of them aren't too bright that he/she can generalize. Which is still... questionable? Just not on the same line as Le1b's post.

Psyck0, it might help your views become less inflaming to others if you didn't start by calling massive groups of people stupid. Just a thought.


I didn't call anyone an idiot. I called religion stupid. I didn't call religious people stupid. There is a large distinction. Religion is by definition a "stupid" belief because it demands blind adherence if you have any kind of dogma. Very smart people can believe or do stupid things. Pauling thought vitamin C cured the cold, and he's my hero.

Leibniz, I'm not attempting to "prove" anything. This is obviously not the place for that, and it has been demonstrated clearly that attempting to engage in debate with religious folk about their religion is like butting your head against a brick wall, because the various dogma they hold are inherently above questioning. Still not calling people stupid, that's just a fact of faith.

aleflamedyud wrote:Note that prominent "New Atheists" have usually claimed that men and women of intellect who held to a religion were simply professing it to deal with the pressures put on them by an intolerantly religious society and would today have "come out of the closet" as atheists. I've got more basis in fact than this when I go trawling history looking for movers and shakers who were Jews.


Don't put words in the mouths of "new atheists" (a non-existant group, anyway). I have no problem believing that religious people can be very intelligent and make large contributions to science and society, and I've never heard anyone else claim that they can't. Religion is merely a limitation, one set of beliefs that they are unwilling to challenge (if they are true believers, anyway) which might have held them back from making other discoveries, or might not if the beliefs didn't conflict with their research.

I didn't come here to fight about religion, anyway. I came to explain why this group is taking these actions.

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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Atlas. » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:47 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote: Religion is merely a limitation, one set of beliefs that they are unwilling to challenge (if they are true believers, anyway) which might have held them back from making other discoveries, or might not if the beliefs didn't conflict with their research.



To be a true believer or true Christian you don't have to willing except all church doctrines without question. There may be some who just unquestioningly accept whatever they are taught, but some people are just naturally submissive to authority they happened to be brought up Christian so they are. I think it says more about their natural personality that something inherent in faith. That being said there is also a large number who do question and who do think. To make a broad statement saying that all Christians follow in lock step is a pretty big distortion. It is good to seek truth, and if that truth seeking leads someone to God that shouldn't be dismissed as blind following.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby tzvibish » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:57 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:
tzvibish wrote:For all those making a big deal out of it on the Internets: You have successfully completed their objective, and they send their sincere thanks.

Actually, we're doing what they should be doing, rather than trolling. We're discussing methods and ethics and various other things, rather than saying "OMGWTFRELIGIONBBQ" and then confronting non-confrontational people that were perfectly ok with their lives and not bugging anyone.


Firstly, I never said that we shouldn't talk about it, just that their objective is most likely publicity and not a true and honest effort to make atheists out of believers. If it was a real effort, then you'd think they would be a little less brash with the "Bible is Evil" argument.

Secondly, I wasn't referring to the discussion and rhetoric on ethics and protest, I was referring to the comments that simply make a big deal out of it. Comments that say "Oh me yarm THEY"RE NUTS" do nothing but further their publicity stunt.

For the most part, the conversation has been enlightening. Forgive me for not being clear enough in my rushed statement.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Le1bn1z » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:58 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote:Religion is problematic inherently, because it demands faith despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It denies reason. Sure, individuals can live with the contradictions inherent in religion, because humans are practically designed to live with contradictions and hypocrisy, but religion as a whole, in any form, slows scientific progress (because it tells people that it is OK to believe something without any evidence whatsoever to support that belief, which is incredibly damaging for scientific literacy- compare US scientific literacy to that of any largely atheist country and see why) AND provides one more source of differences between people for bigotry, hatred, smugness etc. to operate.

Bright Shadows wrote:
Sharlos wrote:Wow, you really like putting words in other peoples mouths don't you?

(S)he just misinterpreted an easy to misinterpret statement, that attempting to reconcile faith and reason was pandering to idiots, and not anyone else. Of course, I'm sure psyck0 is able to remember that many religious people are quite smart. He's just implying that enough of them aren't too bright that he/she can generalize. Which is still... questionable? Just not on the same line as Le1b's post.

Psyck0, it might help your views become less inflaming to others if you didn't start by calling massive groups of people stupid. Just a thought.


I didn't call anyone an idiot. I called religion stupid. I didn't call religious people stupid. There is a large distinction. Religion is by definition a "stupid" belief because it demands blind adherence if you have any kind of dogma. Very smart people can believe or do stupid things. Pauling thought vitamin C cured the cold, and he's my hero.

Leibniz, I'm not attempting to "prove" anything. This is obviously not the place for that, and it has been demonstrated clearly that attempting to engage in debate with religious folk about their religion is like butting your head against a brick wall, because the various dogma they hold are inherently above questioning. Still not calling people stupid, that's just a fact of faith.

aleflamedyud wrote:Note that prominent "New Atheists" have usually claimed that men and women of intellect who held to a religion were simply professing it to deal with the pressures put on them by an intolerantly religious society and would today have "come out of the closet" as atheists. I've got more basis in fact than this when I go trawling history looking for movers and shakers who were Jews.


Don't put words in the mouths of "new atheists" (a non-existant group, anyway). I have no problem believing that religious people can be very intelligent and make large contributions to science and society, and I've never heard anyone else claim that they can't. Religion is merely a limitation, one set of beliefs that they are unwilling to challenge (if they are true believers, anyway) which might have held them back from making other discoveries, or might not if the beliefs didn't conflict with their research.

I didn't come here to fight about religion, anyway. I came to explain why this group is taking these actions.


Sweet heaven, man, you come off like a Fox news commentator. "I never said they were stupid, I just said that what they believe panders to stupid people, and they seem to have fallen for it, but, you know...." No. We don't. You were pretty darn strident in what you thought of religious people, and it didn't come off as "smart people with dumb beliefs."

But whatever. Now let's look at your claim that "religious people are not open to debate," a pretty bold statement for someone who clearly has put zero effort into religious history. i say that, because nobody who had would make such a claim.

In fact, there are very long and rich histories of religious debate, both with non believers and between schools of religious thought. Hence conversions to and from various religions by smart people. Do remember, for example, that Newton nearly didn't get his degree because of his controversial anti-trinitarian stance theologically. Leibniz got into deep trouble because of his eccumenical work. The Confucian, Mongol courts would cold open religious debates between representative religions. The Jesuits very nearly got to the Emporer because of their ownage of these events.

But before you dismiss the entire history of all religious thought as contemptuous of reason and religion as incompatable with rational thought, I suggest putting even the minimal amount of effort into researching that.

Consider sources as varied as the Leibniz-Clarke correspondence on the nature of time and space (with large sections on rational theology), Rousseau's "Confession of the Savoyard Vicar," Leibniz's Theodicy, Locke's theological work or even the Sermons of John Wesley as good places to start. Hell, just compile a list of the founders of the Royal Society. Read them. Or Descartes. I'm not saying they were right. Just rational in their religious questioning. And just so you know, NO, being religious does not mean accepting all doctrine, or any doctrine, without question. Minimal effort in your research will elucidate this point.

True, there are and have always been anti-rational strains of religious thought. John Calvin's ghost haunts us still! But that does not preclude sophisticated thought on, questioning of, modification of and even abadonment of religious doctrine.

This has a great deal to do with the porn-swappers, because their credo, like yours, is that religious types are beneath rational discussions, and therefore all you can do is...well.... be a bit of a dick (them, not you) and if you can't beat what you hate about your opponent, I guess, join in!

True, rational conversation takes longer. It's frustrating and not always successful. But surely its superior to performing the rhetorical equivalent of throwing feces at the wall.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby The Reaper » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:59 pm UTC

tzvibish wrote:For the most part, the conversation has been enlightening. Forgive me for not being clear enough in my rushed statement.
sorry for being unclear. i meant the group was trolling, not you... :3

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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:20 pm UTC

Atlas. wrote:
psyck0 wrote: Religion is merely a limitation, one set of beliefs that they are unwilling to challenge (if they are true believers, anyway) which might have held them back from making other discoveries, or might not if the beliefs didn't conflict with their research.


It is good to seek truth, and if that truth seeking leads someone to God that shouldn't be dismissed as blind following.
I think part of psyck0's point is that you CAN'T arrive at God from a scientific starting point. You can surely theorize that a higher being exists, but you can't arrive at God as a *conclusion.* Or even as a theory, actually, since that requires a fair amount of proof.


In fact, there are very long and rich histories of religious debate, both with non believers and between schools of religious thought. Hence conversions to and from various religions by smart people. Do remember, for example, that Newton nearly didn't get his degree because of his controversial anti-trinitarian stance theologically. Leibniz got into deep trouble because of his eccumenical work. The Confucian, Mongol courts would cold open religious debates between representative religions. The Jesuits very nearly got to the Emporer because of their ownage of these events.
Okay, you're trying to prove that religion doesn't hold back scientific advancement by outlining various people whose work was stunted because of religious politics. Let's not forget that when science was trying to prove the Earth revolves around the Sun, religion was calling such claims heresy and punishing people severely for making them.

Don't even TRY sticking up for what Christianity has been in the past. It's been absolutely horrid and fucking disgusting. It's brought us the Crusades, the Dark Ages, fought against the Renaissance, and even today its adherents display unnecessary hatred toward their fellow man based on a book about...loving your fellow man (except not that way, God will hate you.)
That's not what Christianity IS. That's not what Christianity MEANS. At least, it's not what it SHOULD mean. But you can't just shove all that bad crap under the rug and act like you're being unfairly attacked because someone HATES every fucking negative thing your faith is responsible for. Stop defending the negatives. Point out some positives.

And maybe don't give up on dialog so easily. You and psyck0 don't seem to both be complete idiots, so you should actually be able to have a discussion on reasonable grounds, once you stop shouting at the effigies you've build of each other.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Le1bn1z » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:54 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:
Atlas. wrote:
In fact, there are very long and rich histories of religious debate, both with non believers and between schools of religious thought. Hence conversions to and from various religions by smart people. Do remember, for example, that Newton nearly didn't get his degree because of his controversial anti-trinitarian stance theologically. Leibniz got into deep trouble because of his eccumenical work. The Confucian, Mongol courts would cold open religious debates between representative religions. The Jesuits very nearly got to the Emporer because of their ownage of these events.
Okay, you're trying to prove that religion doesn't hold back scientific advancement by outlining various people whose work was stunted because of religious politics. Let's not forget that when science was trying to prove the Earth revolves around the Sun, religion was calling such claims heresy and punishing people severely for making them.

Don't even TRY sticking up for what Christianity has been in the past. It's been absolutely horrid and fucking disgusting. It's brought us the Crusades, the Dark Ages, fought against the Renaissance, and even today its adherents display unnecessary hatred toward their fellow man based on a book about...loving your fellow man (except not that way, God will hate you.)
That's not what Christianity IS. That's not what Christianity MEANS. At least, it's not what it SHOULD mean. But you can't just shove all that bad crap under the rug and act like you're being unfairly attacked because someone HATES every fucking negative thing your faith is responsible for. Stop defending the negatives. Point out some positives.

And maybe don't give up on dialog so easily. You and psyck0 don't seem to both be complete idiots, so you should actually be able to have a discussion on reasonable grounds, once you stop shouting at the effigies you've build of each other.


Oh sweet Jesus Murphy.

OK. First, not talking about Christianity holding up or progressing science in history. I've read enough on the subject not to get into it. But this thread has been really frustrating for me becuase I keep on having to repeat myself because people respond without reading my posts. I'm saying it is quite possible to speak of religion rationally. Thus the list of titles, none of which have much to do with the physical sciences, save for Leibniz-Clarke.

As for Christianity being "fucking disgusting" I think you'll find that its more people who have been fucking disgusting. Again, why the artsy has to explain this on the math comic site will forever boggle my mind, but here we go: basic differentiation between correlation and causation.

You have found a historical correlation of people being Christians and "fucking disgusting." OK, I have a headache, but we'll leave it for now.

Now, do a little more research. You will find Bhuddists, Confucian agnostics, Taoists, Jews, Muslims, Dogmatic atheists and Effective atheists also being "fucking disgusting." Exhibit A - Stalin, Exhibit B - Mao, Exhibit C - French Revolution.... list goes on.

So, now we see a broad data set of "fucking disgusting" people, some of whom are Christians, many of whom are not. But they all seem to be "fucking disgusting", regardless of formal religious doctrine.

Now, does this suggest:

1.) Christianity, Bhuddism, Atheism etc all independently cause dickishness OR
2.) Christianity, Bhuddism, Atheism etc are all present in people who have "fucking disgustingness" caused by another cause, say, human nature.

If you follow the intellectual history, you'll find that the revelation that "dogma causes evil" is not a new one; in fact, the all encompassing nature of human limitedness, selfishness and cruelty extending even into religious thought, feeling and dogma is not a new one. C.S. Lewis does a great job highlighting this point in his theological works. However, after WWII and the terrors of totalitarianism, some started to notice that eliminating this or that religious family does not eliminate the will to evil.

Generally, religious families like "Christianity" are far too broad to claim so broad responsibility for the ills of Western Civilization, especially since its mitigation has neither sped progress nor eliminated the darker aspects of our civilization.

It does bug me that this new Dawkins school of atheism seems so militantly adverse to any sort of actual research. This would be easier if I could discuss this on a more detailed historical level.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Maurog » Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:48 pm UTC

But, surely you understand that there is a difference between "let's kill people because I am crazy/want power" and "let's kill people because this book says so and I believe it"? If there is a certain manifesto which claims that, say, rich people should be killed and their possessions distributed among the poor, and a group of people following said manifesto kills some rich people and distributes their possessions among the poor, would you say the manifesto has nothing to do with it and they are just being "fucking disgusting" like humans tend to be?

It's easy to say "oh, anyone can kill the rich and give their stuff to the poor, look at this Robin Hood fellow, he didn't have any manifesto, and yet managed just fine". Sure he did, shall we now conclude that the manifesto and its writers are completely free from blame?

If I stand before a crowd and preach that Christians are evil and they kick puppies and want to steal your children and make zombies out of them, and then the crowd lynches some Christians, am I blameless, since it's just humans being disgusting, nothing to see here, move along citizen...
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby psyck0 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:35 pm UTC

Sure you can talk to religious people about religion. It just doesn't get you anywhere. You can have debates within or between related sects about trivial details and occasionally convince someone that the bible actually says that the trinity is all the same person instead of three separate people or some equally useless debate, and occasionally people even convert when you convince them that this other god really better represents their values, but the real meat of the subject that atheists care about is the validity and usefulness of religion, not that trivial crap. We say it is at best useless and at worst an impediment and a force for evil in the world, and no religious person will ever agree with that, so debate is pointless.

PZ Myers wrote:This is old news. The NY Times has an article on the expanding agenda of creationists to include denial of lots of other phenomena that make them uncomfortable. We've known this for years! It isn't just creationism; those beliefs have a surprisingly high correlation with denial of climate change, denial of HIV's role in AIDS, anti-vax nonsense, rejection of the Big Bang, dualism, etc., etc., etc. At the root of these problems is discomfort with modernity and change, resentment of authority, anti-intellectualism, and of course, goddamned religion, which is little more than a rationalization for maintaining barbarous medieval values. So, yeah, face the facts: creationism isn't just a weird reaction to bad science instruction and those annoying godless liberal college professors — it's just one symptom of a deep-seated mental derangement.

One example from the story:

In Kentucky, a bill recently introduced in the Legislature would encourage teachers to discuss "the advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories," including "evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning."

They often do this, taking the opportunity to try and get a whole slate of dogma incorporated into law. This one, from State Reprehensible Tim Moore of Kentucky, is just particularly stupid, but characteristic of the genre. I'm just impressed that now human cloning is a theory — I thought it was a technique.

They also mention the recent South Dakota resolution.

"Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant," the resolution said, "but rather a highly beneficial ingredient for all plant life."

Change the wording a little bit, and substitute "shit" for "carbon dioxide", and it's still just as true.

I have been repeatedly told that going to the root of the problem, the unwarranted deference given to religious views, is a tactical error if what we want is to improve the citizenry's understanding of biology. What these kinds of absurdities reveal, though, is that creationism is just one wretched excrescence of a whole body of pathological thought…and that focusing on one symptom while avoiding the cause is pointless.


PZ Myers sums up my views far better than I can. He's had far more practice at it- he's been fighting religiously motivated stupidity as long as I've been alive.

Oh, and I don't give a shit what religion we're talking about, they're all equally useless. Except maybe buddhism. They don't actually seem to do anything.

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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Texas_Ben » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:04 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote: We say it is at best useless and at worst an impediment and a force for evil in the world, and no religious person will ever agree with that, so debate is pointless.

Nice of you to speak for all nonreligious folk there. There's no "we" to atheism; I'm an atheist and quite comfortable with religious folk. You're just an asshole.

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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:24 pm UTC

Texas_Ben wrote:
psyck0 wrote: We say it is at best useless and at worst an impediment and a force for evil in the world, and no religious person will ever agree with that, so debate is pointless.

Nice of you to speak for all nonreligious folk there. There's no "we" to atheism; I'm an atheist and quite comfortable with religious folk. You're just an asshole.

Enh; I would be agreeing with him 100% if I hadn't had the good fortune to meet people who both ascribe to religion AND ALSO are actually pretty awesome.

I can't really go around saying "religious people are idiots (except for my friends)".

psyck0: Not all religions preclude science as a means of discovery. Most worthwhile Christians have already figured that out. Religion IS CURRENTLY something that is frequently either useless or an impediment. I'd say it's doing great harm in the Middle Eastern theocracies where societal law is determined by the Koran. But it's doing so in the same way that communism and socialism were doing great harm in Russia during the Soviet era. It's not inherently evil - it's just easy to use for evil.

We don't need to convince everyone that their religion is a lie or useless. A) It's impossible, B) it's unnecessary. There are PARTS of religion that are evil, such as any that actively forbid seeking knowledge on one's own, but again, they're not INHERENT to religion itself, since not all religions exhibit that.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Aikanaro » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:28 pm UTC

Difference between psyck0, a lot of the theists he hates, and the like on one hand, compared to Texas Ben, sane theists and atheists, etc on the other hand, is adherence to what I think of as the Meta-Commandment:

Whatever you believe, try and live your life such that if at the end of it you find out you were wrong about whether God exists and/or which religion is the right/wrong one, your words and actions don't make you end up looking like a douche. Silliness is okay, just not a douche. Try and focus on actions that are admirable regardless of whether God exists or whether it's all a lie.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Telchar » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:54 pm UTC

Texas_Ben wrote:
psyck0 wrote: We say it is at best useless and at worst an impediment and a force for evil in the world, and no religious person will ever agree with that, so debate is pointless.

Nice of you to speak for all nonreligious folk there. There's no "we" to atheism; I'm an atheist and quite comfortable with religious folk. You're just an asshole.


Yes, because whenever somone expresses an opinion, it should be taken as the gospel of every organization that person belongs to. Nice line of logic....asshole.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby TaintedDeity » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:56 pm UTC

You missed the bolded 'we' did you Telchar?
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Telchar » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:59 pm UTC

Does it matter? Should I also assume he is speaking for all white people, or whatever racial group he belongs to, because he used the term "we"? Avoiding assumptions about who and what someone is talking about leads to clearer communication. So does using less vague pronouns, but jumping down psych0s throat seems premature.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby psyck0 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:36 pm UTC

Aikanaro wrote:Difference between psyck0, a lot of the theists he hates, and the like on one hand, compared to Texas Ben, sane theists and atheists, etc on the other hand, is adherence to what I think of as the Meta-Commandment:

Whatever you believe, try and live your life such that if at the end of it you find out you were wrong about whether God exists and/or which religion is the right/wrong one, your words and actions don't make you end up looking like a douche. Silliness is okay, just not a douche. Try and focus on actions that are admirable regardless of whether God exists or whether it's all a lie.

That's just a variant of the old "believe in god just in case" fallacy. I'll live my life however I want, thank you very much. If there is a god, it's the biggest asshole in the history of the universe and I'd rather be punished for eternity than worship something who thinks wars, plagues, famines, bigotry and hatred are great things to do to people and to encourage in worshippers. I don't give a flying shit about any religion, period. You don't seem to get that.

Oh, and just 'cause I hate religion doesn't make me immoral. It just makes me a dick in some people's minds.

Marzipan, I also have several very close friends who are christians. I am able to moderate my views so we don't discuss it. They know my general feelings towards religion, but they also know that I still think they are very intelligent and fantastic people. As I said, that doesn't preclude them holding a stupid belief. I'm sure I have some that haven't been pointed out to me or that I haven't been convinced to change. I also understand that religion doesn't necessarily preclude science, but it still promotes ignorance and faith instead of reason. You can't deny that we'd have a much better shot of stopping environmental damage or attaining gay rights if there weren't masses of idiots convinced that their pastor and some stuff old book knows better than all of modern science. The number of educated opponents to those problems are absolutely miniscule compared to the number who are simply adherents to the cult of ignorance that religion can encourage. Sure, it is possible for religion not to be an obstacle, but more often it causes great harm and so I think that we should do away with it.

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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby TaintedDeity » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:45 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:Does it matter? Should I also assume he is speaking for all white people, or whatever racial group he belongs to, because he used the term "we"? Avoiding assumptions about who and what someone is talking about leads to clearer communication. So does using less vague pronouns, but jumping down psych0s throat seems premature.

Assuming he's talking about race would be kind of silly seeing as this thread isn't about race... nor is about that thing that psyck0 just did so let's quit this.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:09 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote:That's just a variant of the old "believe in god just in case" fallacy. I'll live my life however I want, thank you very much. If there is a god, it's the biggest asshole in the history of the universe and I'd rather be punished for eternity than worship something who thinks wars, plagues, famines, bigotry and hatred are great things to do to people and to encourage in worshippers. I don't give a flying shit about any religion, period. You don't seem to get that.
I agree that such a God would not deserve my admiration, and that's why I'm not a Christian. But there are flavors of Christianity that don't focus on those plagues or famines (or don't hold to the idea that God caused natural disasters to incur worship), and there are religions in which there just flat out is NOT a god that requires your worship.


Marzipan, I also have several very close friends who are christians. I am able to moderate my views so we don't discuss it. They know my general feelings towards religion, but they also know that I still think they are very intelligent and fantastic people. As I said, that doesn't preclude them holding a stupid belief. I'm sure I have some that haven't been pointed out to me or that I haven't been convinced to change. I also understand that religion doesn't necessarily preclude science, but it still promotes ignorance and faith instead of reason. You can't deny that we'd have a much better shot of stopping environmental damage or attaining gay rights if there weren't masses of idiots convinced that their pastor and some stuff old book knows better than all of modern science. The number of educated opponents to those problems are absolutely miniscule compared to the number who are simply adherents to the cult of ignorance that religion can encourage. Sure, it is possible for religion not to be an obstacle, but more often it causes great harm and so I think that we should do away with it.
Yes, there are a number of people who cling to religious beliefs instead of dealing with the facts. Those people are ignorant and/or sheltered and/or just idiots. Telling them how flat-out 100% their religion is isn't going to help a damn thing, though. Yes, creationism is an idiotic belief to adhere to in the face of carbon-dating evidence, but if you want to make that point, you can make it without going out of your way to invalidate even more of someone's beliefs - if you don't, they won't be receptive to what you have to say about ANY of their beliefs.

We don't need to *do away* with religion, we just need to do away with some of its implementations and move toward a general societal agreement that religion is personal and has no place in the determination social policy. Doing away with religion would accomplish that, yes, but I *don't fucking think that it is possible.*
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby G.v.K » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:30 pm UTC

Maurog wrote:But, surely you understand that there is a difference between "let's kill people because I am crazy/want power" and "let's kill people because this book says so and I believe it"? If there is a certain manifesto which claims that, say, rich people should be killed and their possessions distributed among the poor, and a group of people following said manifesto kills some rich people and distributes their possessions among the poor, would you say the manifesto has nothing to do with it and they are just being "fucking disgusting" like humans tend to be?

It's easy to say "oh, anyone can kill the rich and give their stuff to the poor, look at this Robin Hood fellow, he didn't have any manifesto, and yet managed just fine". Sure he did, shall we now conclude that the manifesto and its writers are completely free from blame?

If I stand before a crowd and preach that Christians are evil and they kick puppies and want to steal your children and make zombies out of them, and then the crowd lynches some Christians, am I blameless, since it's just humans being disgusting, nothing to see here, move along citizen...


the problem is that most of the time whatever justification people give for their actions is just bullshit. a flimsy pretence. religion happens to provide a very pretty facade for individual vice.

i would recommend seeking out the exemplars for a religion and read what they have to say about it rather than always looking for the worst case examples. would you dismiss Relativity Theory just because most people that talk about it don't know what they're on about or would you go and read/listen to somebody who does?

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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Accipiter » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:47 pm UTC

G.v.K wrote:the problem is that most of the time whatever justification people give for their actions is just bullshit. a flimsy pretence. religion happens to provide a very pretty facade for individual vice.

i would recommend seeking out the exemplars for a religion and read what they have to say about it rather than always looking for the worst case examples. would you dismiss Relativity Theory just because most people that talk about it don't know what they're on about or would you go and read/listen to somebody who does?

I don't think the example works. You are comparing apples and oranges. Relativity is a Theory, to deny it you have to fight against the best arguments for it since somebody giving bad arguments for it doesn't have any effect on the good arguments. But Maurogs post was talking about the effects of texts which is separate from it's truth value. To judge the effect you have to look if the net effect is good or bad.(don't ask me how to do that) That includes worst cases and exemplars and many many cases where it has almost no effect.

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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:00 pm UTC

G.v.K wrote:the problem is that most of the time whatever justification people give for their actions is just bullshit. a flimsy pretence. religion happens to provide a very pretty facade for individual vice.

This premise/realization is fairly integral to everything I've been saying, so I figured I'd highlight it.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Dauric » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:09 pm UTC

... I had a few thought on this fracas, but then I realized what bugs me about psyck0's posts:

He's holding a dogmatic position. End of story, end of debate.

Just as he points to Christian dogmatics as people you can't debate with, and I agree that there are many that fit that description, neither can you debate with his dogma and in that debate and discussion with him is just as useless.

It's the same problem with any dogmatic position, be it a religious, political, scientific (and people with scientific dogmas really bug me because real science is the antithesis of dogma), anything. It's not a matter of a firmly held position on a topic, it's the argumentative dismissal of any evidence or thought contrary to the dogmatic position.

I know this because I used to be one. I stopped being one when I realized that I was holding a dogmatic position, and that Science is ill served by any dogma because the nature of Science is inquiry, a methodology opposed to dogma. I'm still an atheist, but I am perfectly willing to acknowledge that there are things in the universe humanity has not been able to satisfactorily explain. This is not "believing in God just in case" because I have no data pertaining to God one way or another. I have no hard data pertaining to intelligent extra-solar life either, that does not mean that I particularly deny or acknowledge it's existence. I think it's highly improbable that there is only one rockball in our universe given it's size, with beings arguing over a data network, but I have no evidence to support that idea. With a lack of evidence either way I simply cannot give a conclusion. With no hard data giving a conclusion in either the affirmative or the negative is a misuse of science.

When science is ruled by Dogma you get astronomers who believed their planetary method was the only way to determine longitude, when a master clockmaker made a masterpiece of engineering that could do so more accurately than the astronomers could the dogmatics barred it from the Longitude Prize, and even when the clock was proven accurate they locked it away "Because it is such a miracle of engineering it could never be replicated". Science ruled by dogma ignores new evidence and declares things impossible that more creative minds find ways to accomplish.

And in that, Dogma, not religion, is the difficulty in the advancement of humanity. Dogma is the rooting of one's mind in one place with no flexibility, no mobility. Dogma prevents exploration both physical and mental. It is the closed mind that is more of a threat to humanity than any system of belief.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby tzvibish » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:27 pm UTC

G.v.K wrote:the problem is that most of the time whatever justification people give for their actions is just bullshit. a flimsy pretence. religion happens to provide a very pretty facade for individual vice.


Just to extend this point to its logical end, when you take away religion from those people, they will still find something, anything, to latch onto that will obviate the requirement of rational thought to cope in this world. These people aren't "religious", they're narrow-minded and intellectually lazy. Taking away religion isn't going to solve that problem.

This is the way I approach my religion: I'm 95% certain that this world did not come about by accident. This is not becuase a book told me so, but because I know the math, and some of the science, and I know that the odds of this [gestures around the room] happening from primordial stew are borderline ludicrous. You can't prove that [insert deity here] created the world, but it's also pretty hard to believe that the odds are in accidental creation's favor. This is not dogmatic, this is rational thought. The logical assumption is that if it nearly impossible for it to happen on its own, then something probably guided it in the direction it is going.

The question that remains (and this is where things can get wildly outside the bounds of rational thought) is who cares? Should I be grateful for this thing that made the world? Should I be scared? Does this thing have a plan for us? These are all questions that religion tries to answer, for better or for worse. Since nobody has the definitive answer at this point in time, it is, as Dauric has pointed out, dogmatic to insist otherwise.

I also want to echo what some have said above: Religion doesn't cause evil. People cause evil. Everyone has free will, and there is no such thing as hypnotic coercion. Any act you do upon another human being is done of your own accord, and you alone are responsible for those actions.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Le1bn1z » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:10 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote:Sure you can talk to religious people about religion. It just doesn't get you anywhere. You can have debates within or between related sects about trivial details and occasionally convince someone that the bible actually says that the trinity is all the same person instead of three separate people or some equally useless debate, and occasionally people even convert when you convince them that this other god really better represents their values, but the real meat of the subject that atheists care about is the validity and usefulness of religion, not that trivial crap. We say it is at best useless and at worst an impediment and a force for evil in the world, and no religious person will ever agree with that, so debate is pointless.


sigh. I don't know why we even have libraries. So few people seem ever to use them.

Just the most cursory, tiny, little bit of genuine research on your part and you'd disprove your thesis. Or at least be able to have an intelligent conversation on religion. My problem isn't just that your wrong, its that you so clearly know nothing about the issue, and would never make any effor to change that. People can change their minds about substantive religious issues (not just "trivial" ones) and, indeed, often convert to atheism, just as some atheists take up religion.

One of the better authors on this is the early work of Johnathan Israel, who is sort of like a Richard Dawkins guy who actually bothered to read a book on the subject he sounds off about and to do original research. He knows more about religion, reason and the enlightenment than any man breathing today, and you channel a great deal of what he says about the value of religion, or lack thereof (though he does it without contempt for his subject, and offers substantive proof and reasoning to back it up.)

Point is, he did a great deal of work on the Dutch Republic, and noticed how the biggest Libertines (practicing atheists, confessed Christians) were behind the hard-line Calvinist Party, particularily the House of Orange. He also noticed the incredibly turbulent intellectual life of this society, ever swaying between hardline fundamentalism and free-religion liberalism. The big debate of the time was over religious tolerance, and people ranging from atheist Spinoza to liberal Christians like Episocpus were able to greatly influence opnions in traditionally hard-line Calvinist areas, like Amsterdam and Zeeland, especially. The Universities of the Netherlands and "Illustrious" schools (fancy prep colleges) were hothouses of debate sorrounding the validity of the litteral truth of scriptures, the extent of religious and civil authority, the nature of revelation, the primacy and universiality of reason and even the divinity of Jesus Christ, as Newton did.

Basically, atheists, liberals and agnostics were able to 1.) converse with and 2.) radically change the minds of practicing Christians.

Heck, even the Catholic Church likes to preen over the radical shifts brought on by their wrestling with Aristotle in the middle ages. People don't know just how much "conservative" Catholic theology is a product of one of the most radical encounters and concilliations of an atheist/agnostic/diest and a theistic philosophy. The anti-Christians who brought in Aristotle were able to force the Church to radically alter their positions on a great deal of everything.

But did it ever occur to you that you might be wrong? I think that is the danger of conversation, in the end, people fear admitting they are wrong. You have so far shown very, very little evidence of putting any time or effort into understanding the subject upon which you so confidently pronounce.

Like the aristotelean, you see a superficial phenomenon in your everyday life, and decide you then have enough to build a system that explains everything, which, I believe, is one of the characteristics of religion you claim to detest.

Such standards might suffice in the classical world, but we live in a post-Baconian age (Bacon, you recally, was the Christian who successfully argued such trivialities as: 1.) Neither contemplative reason nor revalation can explain the workings of the natural world and 2.) The workings of the natural world and human society can only be ascertained by the exhaustive examination in detail of their phenomenon, looking for physcial evidence of how things work. I know. What dogmatic foolishness his religious philosophy is.) In our age, you have to do the grunt work, not just sound off a la Bill O'Reilly or X Southern politico, with no evidence, no research, no work and very little thought.

In place of intelligent reasoning and hard research, the best you can come up with is porn.

P.S. I know I come off as annoying. Throwing broadsides of facts at people, I'm told, is considered unfair by some. Sorry to all those who made the effort to trudge through all this stuff. I know its hard slogging, but this is sort of my thing.
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Aikanaro
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Aikanaro » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:24 am UTC

psyck0 wrote:
Aikanaro wrote:Difference between psyck0, a lot of the theists he hates, and the like on one hand, compared to Texas Ben, sane theists and atheists, etc on the other hand, is adherence to what I think of as the Meta-Commandment:

Whatever you believe, try and live your life such that if at the end of it you find out you were wrong about whether God exists and/or which religion is the right/wrong one, your words and actions don't make you end up looking like a douche. Silliness is okay, just not a douche. Try and focus on actions that are admirable regardless of whether God exists or whether it's all a lie.

That's just a variant of the old "believe in god just in case" fallacy. I'll live my life however I want, thank you very much. If there is a god, it's the biggest asshole in the history of the universe and I'd rather be punished for eternity than worship something who thinks wars, plagues, famines, bigotry and hatred are great things to do to people and to encourage in worshippers. I don't give a flying shit about any religion, period. You don't seem to get that.

Actually, I think of it as Pacal's Wager, but working both directions, and only applying to the morality of my actions. Let's say that I use coercion, manipulation, and a whole bunch of nasty things in order to try and convert people to Christianity. If I'm right about God, then maybe, MAYBE, I did something good. If I'm wrong, I did a whole lot of evil, for nothing. Or let's say that an Atheist uses humiliation as a tactic to turn people to Atheism. If HE'S right, then yeah, he did a good thing. If he's wrong, then he did harm, for nothing.

However, let's say that an Atheist and a Christian (or other religion, doesn't matter) both use civil discourse to try and turn people, and also spend time doing other charitable works (the one because of a belief in secular humanism, the other because it's what he thinks it's what God wants him to do). If EITHER ONE is wrong, then they've 1: Engaged in a bit of moot silliness, with no real harm done, and 2: Still done a lot of good through their charitable works.

That's what I mean about living your life with the assumption that you might be wrong. Just try and make it so that no matter what you find out in the end, you can still look back and feel good about most of what you did. If I find out I'm wrong, and somehow know when I die that there is no God, and all my beliefs were a lie, I'll feel silly, maybe a bit stupid, but I'll still be able to take pride and comfort in most of the actions that I took due to a motivation by religion. Can you say the same about your own actions and motivations? If so, I have no complaints, and you're presumably a good person , /shrug. If not, well, yeah, it's your life to live, but then that means I DO have the right to call you a douche :P
Dear xkcd,

On behalf of my religion, I'm sorry so many of us do dumb shit. Please forgive us.

Love, Aikanaro.

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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Le1bn1z » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:53 am UTC

Aikanaro,

Not so sure about hedging bets. Way back in undergrad, we used to have a joke about hedging our bets in case the Ancient Egyptians were right. Better study up on the Book of the Dead!
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby nowfocus » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:01 am UTC

Probability doesn't work like that. Its not like if you created a 1000 universes, god would only exist in 1000*p of them, where p is the relevant 'probability' that god exists. Its either there in all of them or none of them.
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Aikanaro
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Aikanaro » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:10 am UTC

Oh, I'm screwed if I have to hedge my bets to make sure I'm a friggin' SAINT, but I can still hedge them very nicely to make sure I'm not a douche, and that's I, or anyone else can really try for :P

I'll try and draw a nice graph explaining it later, but I need to get ready for work now, sorry.
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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby jakovasaur » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:46 am UTC

1. Real-life trolling is definitely a dick move, but if it's done well, it can be hilarious and beneficial. How else would you describe South Park? That show does nothing but insult and subvert our society's values, and it is not only one of the funniest shows of all time, but plays a pretty substantial role in our culture.

2. This particular stunt is decidedly less original, and as such is not very amusing.

3. Is Psycko trolling this thread? Perhaps he is actually a hardcore theist, and his persona is a carefully crafted ruse to turn people against atheists!

I think it's pretty much impossible to have meaningful, civil discourse on the whole "theism vs. atheism" issue.
One side believes some version of: "Your most fundamental premise, the foundation of your belief system, is nonsensical and immoral"
While the other side believes some version of: "You are ignorant of the most basic truth there is, and God is gonna wreck your shit in the afterlife"

I don't think I've ever heard anyone give any ground while having this debate, and more often than not, somebody gets their feelings hurt. That's just a natural consequence of hearing that someone thinks that you are as wrong as you could possibly be, and are living your life incorrectly.

The good news is, most of us live in societies where we are allowed to disagree to this extent, and have learned that people, regardless of their stance on this issue, can be both shitheads and non-shitheads.

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Re: Bibles for Porn on college campus

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:59 pm UTC

jakovasaur wrote:I think it's pretty much impossible to have meaningful, civil discourse on the whole "theism vs. atheism" issue.


Well, its the religious peoples fault really.
A 'real' aethist says "there is no evidence for god". A proveable statement.
Religious people say there is a god, and offer not proof. Or they say something like "this tree is amazing beautiful -- therefor god exists".
Or you get the highly illogical ramblings "Because you can imagine god he exists" or "Because you can imagine a fire hotter than the hottest fire in existance, god exists"

Other than that, you just have anecdotal testimonials that are neither verifiable nor testable.

If I say "Unicorns exist" its up to me to prove they do. <---- Thats religion.
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