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Troy Jollimore on the God Debate

Posted on Apr 2, 2009

By Troy Jollimore

(Page 4)

There is also good reason to resist Micklethwait and Wooldridge’s attack on the idea that Bush’s religiosity, and that of the electorate, had bad effects on his domestic policy. Their reassurance that “Bush and his fellow theocrats ended up doing almost nothing to undermine American secularism” is surely premature: The truth of this claim remains to be seen. (It will depend in part, among other things, on the future behavior of his Supreme Court appointees.) Meanwhile there can be little doubt that Bush’s religious proclivities, and his desire to please his evangelical supporters, had negative consequences on the health of the American republic. Consider the ban on stem cell research, the drastic underfunding of scientific research in general, or the pressure on scientists to skew their research results in order to accommodate the administration’s views on global warming and other such matters. (It is worth noting that the latter two go entirely unmentioned in “God Is Back.”)

Or consider Bush’s backing of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. As Micklethwait and Wooldridge correctly observe, the measure failed to pass, but they neglect to mention that it lent momentum to other, parallel efforts—including the successful effort to pass California’s Proposition 8. The success of Proposition 8—another religiously inflicted social injury that barely rates a mention in “God Is Back”—casts considerable doubt not only on Micklethwait and Wooldridge’s benign view of religion, but also on their anti-judicial bias, and their populist contention that legislatures expressing the alleged will of the people are generally more capable than the courts of reaching acceptable positions on civil rights issues.


book cover


God Is Back


By John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge


Penguin Press, 416 pages


Buy the book


The view of religion as both benign and necessary has deep and insidious roots. In a revealing moment near the end of “God Is Back,” Micklethwait and Wooldridge write, “Secularists hoped that science would marginalize religion. In fact, the advance of science—particularly biotechnology—is raising all sorts of religious questions.” This, to my mind, is fascinatingly confused. The passage is designed to suggest that biotechnology has somehow found evidence for religious claims: If science “in fact” raises religious questions, then clearly religion is validated by science! But of course, what biotechnology raises is not religious questions, but moral ones. The thought that morality must be fundamentally religious in nature—that we cannot talk about values without talking about God—is a preconception, a prejudice, and one that many secularists are growing understandably tired of hearing repeated. (For my part, I must confess that I find morality much easier to understand without the mysteries and confusions injected by belief in God.)

One must already have faith in faith to conclude that the world must be seen through the lens of faith. And one must have such faith, too, to view religion in a predominantly positive light, given all that has been done in its name. Micklethwait and Wooldridge are surely correct to claim that religion—not God, but religion—is back. I remain, as yet, unconvinced that this is either an inevitable development or a happy one.

Troy Jollimore is associate professor of philosophy at California State University, Chico. His book “Tom Thomson in Purgatory” won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry in 2006.

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By truedigger3, April 6, 2009 at 8:08 am Link to this comment


Please stop the snotty lecturing and calling for
some posters to take courses in logic and English.
This is a public forum and not an academic journal.
The only prerequisite is commonsense and awareness
and understanding of current events and good grasp
of history and the world as is right now.
Yes, the poster has to express him/herself clearly
but he is allowed to make some grammatical and spelling mistakes.
About yourself, although you display prowess in abstract logic and philosophy when it comes to
simple commonsense and knowledge of history and
awareness of what is really going on, sometimes
you fail miseralbly, possibly I assume, blinded by
biases and preconceived ideas or just simple ignorance.

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By Leefeller, April 6, 2009 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

Troy Jollimore comments with:

” the dominant religions in America are nearly always associated with counter-progressive forces that frequently take their inspiration from (and frequently try to return society to) some set of pre-modern traditions or values”.

I find this statement questionably open to interpretation, for instance, my idea of progressive may not be the same as others, in fact the word progressive has been bandied around about as loosely as the the word god and neither may exist in reality, only in the minds of the deluded.

Above, Troy Jollimore uses the term “pre-modern” in order to be polite instead of saying the dark ages?

It may be many people have an aversion to the word change. For some people, dark ages would agree with them.  We know this to be true as women rights are still held in a dark a ages grip under supervision of religions, one does not need to cross the seas to discover this.

“We have trouble right here in River City”

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By Inherit The Wind, April 6, 2009 at 4:10 am Link to this comment

KDelphi, April 6 at 3:24 am #

ITW—“What” Rosenbaum “was” is debatable….

From what i know , she was a bitch.(Maybe she was just emotionally imature) if you believe otherwise, please make your case.

“Bitch” doesn’t really explain a brilliant, difficult, strong-willed woman who attracted people to her like moths to a flame and wrote of ideas and views in a way that hadn’t been written. Had she been male you wouldn’t call her a bitch, yet many men of genius were difficult and, had they been female would have been called “bitch!”  Beethoven, Picasso, Marlon Brando, Diego Rivera were all difficult, too.

I think anyone who puts a $$ sign on their coffin, is more than wierd. (I also have friends who are Wiccans…)They are certainly not THAT wierd!


Why?  We drape the other symbol of the US on peoples’ coffins all the time—the flag.  From her POV, the $ was more truly the mark of American independence and freedom and opportunity than the flag.  Both are merely symbols.  She also, in part, did it to PISS people off, something she didn’t mind doing to the end.  Is not the whole burial ritual concept in an of itself a bit weird from what it once was: A sanitary way to get rid of a corpse AND a way to let the loved ones grieve?

Rand was an absolutist (I am not on solid ground here, I admit), in that she liked to tell other people what morality should be, while she fu*ked their husbands and drank up their booze. Interesting…



Well, calling Rand an absolutest and a moral relativist (was that you?) is fundamentally contradictory.  Absolutest isn’t far off—she did tell other people how to live, sometimes to the point of obnoxious.  Actually, she only screwed one other person’s husband: Barbara Brandon’s husband Nathaniel.  I don’t defend it—but she didn’t pretend she wasn’t doing it.

I know nothing of her being an alcoholic—she was, however a chain-smoker, dying of either cancer or tobacco-induced heart disease—I forgot which.

If you choose to judge her writing by her personal flaws (and they were myriad) then how can you read Hemingway or William Burroughs?  How can you look at a Picasso or listen to Wagner, Richard Strauss or Beethoven—or Mozart?  One of my MAIN criticisms of Rand is that in her personal life she was a hypocrite.  Another is that she bent her philosophy to suit her emotional needs illogically—particularly the relationships between men and women.

I don’t know why academia doesn’t want to teach her work. I would have thought she’d be popular at the University of Chicago, but maybe only in the Economics Dept and not the Philosophy Dept. I do know that there doesn’t seem to be a political party based on the works of Sartre, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, Buber or even Nietzsche. 

Then again, I don’t know of any American philosophers other than Rand—I found philosophy majors to be the most impractical people in all academia—more so even than Creative Writing majors, so I didn’t study it.

The first time I read Rand I thought “What a fascist! But she writes a good read.”  Then I realized there was far more there.  She originally was willing to help HUAC and testify, being anti-Communist herself, but she quickly disassociated herself from it and the whole McCarthy movement. SHE saw it as being as un-American as the Marxists she hated.  She generally disassociated herself from the Conservatives for similar reasons.

Without getting into it, you can’t simply quantify Rand with a single statement—there’s much of value in her philosophy, but also serious holes.  What’s valuable is a philosophical basis for the value of capitalism and free enterprise—a “Why” to go along with Adam Smith’s and the economists who followed him’s “What”.

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By KDelphi, April 6, 2009 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

ITW—“What” Rosenbaum “was” is debatable.I said I didnt now much about it(I do mean “it”), was in over my head. Too many good philosophers to read, only so much time.

From what i know , she was a bitch.(Maybe she was just emotionally imature) if you believe otherwise, please make your case. I think anyone who puts a $$ sign on their coffin, is more than wierd. (I also have friends who are Wiccans…)They are certainly not THAT wierd!

Rand was an absolutist (I am not on solid ground here, I admit), in that she liked to tell other people what morality should be, while she fu*ked their husbands and drank up their booze. Interesting…

I have nothing against promiscuity as such, but, I think it is best to stay off of your friends spouses and to not sell your soul for money, if not for $1 million, as someone else said she didnt do..she sure as hell sold alot of books. To alot of suckers, I think.

I grew up around alcoholism. I dont buy the “disease” theory.

But, as I say, dont know Rand well.From what I know, I dont want to. Entice me, if you think she is worth it…most academics dont think she is worth teaching—-the ones i know. Maybe someone else does?

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By truedigger3, April 6, 2009 at 12:11 am Link to this comment

lastdaywatchers wrote:
“Brook Are you saying that Paul, Peter Matthew Mark and Luke and are lying”
No, neither they nor their master were lying.
Some were seeing or imagined seeing what they were looking for, some were outright mental cases, some
were fed up with Roman cruelity and were looking for a change and latched on the new teachings etc etc etc..
Yes, the majority were really true believers but that doesn’t make what they believed in true and

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By Outraged, April 5, 2009 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment

Re: DwightBaker
(part 3)

Additionally, on the other thread recently you made this comment:  “These comments were directed toward toxic assets
Now this group like the following has changed their need to punish you and I with their toxic venom.”

Yet, I said nothing venomous, yet you CLAIMED persecution (same ol’ tactic).  You also threatened me with this comment:


I am gone and I hope Christian is too. I reported these comments to the Editor of TRUTHDIG now it is up to them to ride herd over the likes of you and those like you , not mine never was. I have much more to do than continue to dialog in these manners.”

Again, HERE YOU ARE attempting to vilify anyone who disagrees with you.  I will again repost my comment, the one you have side stepped numerous times:


Your comments: “I live my life dedicated to the service unto my KING the LORD JESUS CHRIST and it is unto HIM I serve as a BONDSERVANT. 

Therefore I know the truth and the truth has set me free and it is to that end that I wanted to give back to all at my age of 64 the benefits of my life in knowing how to garnering enough support for us as a people to take the VESTED VOICES OF THE PEOPLE WITH THEIR VOTES to Capitol Hill in an legal organized manner and get things changed for the good—- so all would have their rights to life.

Now saying that is an apolitical and non-religious view of mankind and that is exactly what my KING wants done.”

False.  Jesus NEVER advocated intermingling with the politics of the day.  Quite the opposite.  He said (according to the bible at least):

At John 18:36:

King James Version: “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

American Standard Version: “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

Wycliff New Testament: “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my ministers would strive, that I should not be taken to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not here [now forsooth my kingdom is not of hence].”

New Living Translation: “Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”

Realistically, if one “FOLLOWS THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST”, one cannot be “of this world”.  Additionally, when one follows Christ, one does NOT put their FAITH in the workings of THIS world.  To claim that involving themselves POLITICALLY has any measure of validity concerning the teachings of the bible is pure poppycock, as Christ himself (if you believe) TAUGHT.  That is…at least, if one claims to BELIEVE in Christ’s teachings as they are recorded in the bible.

If your assertion were legit in any manner of biblical thought, you would not be striving for political kudos in an arena CONTRARY to the one Christ endorsed but also distained.

And this IS…. the CRUX of the matter.  If a person were to translate this to the MANY “false prophets” we see in the political arena… would be an OUTRAGE to Christ and his teachings

Your assumption that “to take the VESTED VOICES OF THE PEOPLE WITH THEIR VOTES to Capitol Hill” would be seen as an abomination to Christ.  There’s NO TWO WAYS ABOUT…..IF you BELIEVE.

Christ NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER….CLAIMED his kingdom to be a part of this world OR its politics.  NEVER.

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By Outraged, April 5, 2009 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

Re: DwightBaker
(part 2)

@ ITW…..You preach and teach a message of exclusion for your seemed ego manic self-profound reasoning that all are wrong except for your cultist and you. As those many that will be looking in to see the terrors in horrors that has gone on

And - for the ways one should go—- will surely result in the deeds for you to fit into the cult that you adhere to and belong.

@ Frank Goodman Sr…...The ravages by those opposed——to believed and/or practiced spiritual philosophies in words and deeds has led many of us——- to become their targets for chide and derisions remarks, almost unspeakable.  And done so without recourse for there statements made have been no lucid and moronic in content with absolutely no way to validate except from their so-called good sources.

@ Shenonymous…..And the utter and tragic scheme that I have been subject to is just rancor by those who have not a clue what is right or wrong and what is truth and what is fiction and most seem to pacified to just remain ignorant because they have found a home in the slums of non-academia.

And - And your words against HIM are those of the anti-Christ persuasion that was used by the first century AD despots

@ those that post the most…..they fail to never understand

And - their innate anger at every one about everything

And - Do they then melt down like a coward

And - go into a mindless wonder that runs around in their brain every word through their entire internal universe?

And - just a vigilante squad sent out to try and bring division to all those who do not fit in

And - just mindless chit chat, mishmash of moronic hub bub, tomfoolery around every turn——suspected voo doo in all the intruders that have come into their private universe———where the ones that post the most spill their wanton need to stay in control

@ Brooks….. back off and try your best to be kind caring and even tempered as best as you can.

These types of remarks certainly won’t win you any points with your fellow commenters, and are well recognized as UNCIVIL discourse.

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By Outraged, April 5, 2009 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment

Re: DwightBaker
(part 1)

Your comments show youself exactly that of which you accuse others.  The implication that somehow you are being persecuted (a typical religious tactic) and that your premise was supposedly to engage in civil conversation is suspect.  Someone truly interested in civil debate/conversation would NEVER engage in this vitroil since it’s instigation would obviously be met with indignation.

You continue to CLAIM one thing, however your words illustrate your ill intent.

“I tried to be reasonable but to that end that did not work, the chide remarks and outlandish comments keep coming.”

“You and your group came against me for no reason except that I acknowledged that JESUS CHRIST was MY KING.  And your group and you began to try to put me in some kind of a religious pigeonhole but there was none that I fit in.”

Chide remarks you have made:

@Freeyourmind…..I will not go into the many errors because for one I don’t think you would welcome it and it appears to me that you have not the notion of accepting any information that might change your mind or stimulate your thought processes.

@ dave24… is my supposition that many of you have been indoctrinated by some likes to comic book stuff and you are angry </b>and hate all who do not go along with your weird ideas.</b>

@ Leefeller….. The baker con artist

@ Leefeller and everyone…..Many of you are unhappy and that is not my problem it is yours.  Many of you are not educated and that is your problem not mine.  Most of you live in a delusional state and that is not my problem that is yours.

Also - what I did do was clearly show those that operate TRUTHDIG and many others that once TRUTHDIG encourages folks like you to chime in against normalcy you will,

And - or just see them as what I did——just a hard charge from the same group from one posting to another filled with rage and hate filled words and pharses that was nearly impossible to understand and many inside jokes filled with derision.

@ Shenonymous…..but some will come and try to steal from others as their vile and despicable UN-controlled ego’s calls out for them to do.

And you have proven in your words—- and by your footprints on the Internet——that you like to pervert the most civil and for some the most sacred times of the year——- with your ruthless and heartless need to chide and deride.

And - your needs to be merciless unkind in the need to reprimand and scoff others coming to comment—- those actions by your group must be stopped by TRUTHDIG.

@ samosamo…..Being removed from the ALTERNET family of misfits, morons, and attacks from the CRAZED RAT PACK CROWD

And - I suspect that Hanzen had a boiler room of some kind that had moronic pill heads all with computers

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By Brooks, April 5, 2009 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

Sorry Dwight -
I do not always play well with Christians. Especially ones that quote the bible.

So if they want to play nice, leave the bible at home and nobody gets hurt. lol <—-Humor :-D

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By Inherit The Wind, April 5, 2009 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER, April 5 at 9:43 pm #




Homer’s Illiad is a great tale, one of the earliest surviving fictions, but it’s not real. 

It takes a probable conflict between the Hittite Empire and the loose Minoan-era confederacy, over one of the most valuable stretches of real estate in the Mediterranean, the entry to the Straits.  This has been fought over many times.  The Hittite archives refer to “the matter of Wiliusa”.  Wiliusa may be the Hittite pronunciation of Willios, how the Greeks pronounced Illios, or, as we call it, Illium—Troy.

The memorials to the WWI battles like Gallapoli are visible from the NW corner of the ruins overlooking the sea.  I have been there and I have seen it.

But there was no war fought over an abducted Greek princess, no Achilles, no battles of the gods.  All that was Homer’s brilliant tale, but no more.

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By Brooks, April 5, 2009 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

christian96 - You are late. I do not want to repeat myself. Argue with my previous posts. When you are done reading them. Do research. Do not type anymore bible bs. It is your fantasy, not mine.

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By christian96, April 5, 2009 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

“But there were false prophets(teachers) among the
people, even as there shall be FALSE TEACHERS AMONG
YOU, who shall bring in damnable heresies, EVEN
themselves SWIFT destruction.  And MANY SHALL FOLLOW
their evil ways; by reason of whom THE WAY OF TRUTH
SHALL BE EVIL SPOKEN OF.(2nd Peter 2:1,2)

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By Brooks, April 5, 2009 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER - Do you talk like you type?

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By Inherit The Wind, April 5, 2009 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, April 5 at 1:12 pm #

what a boob you are, Inherit.  The man calls you a ‘wicca pagan atheistic hedonist’ and you take offense merely because it makes no sense.  Don’t you understand? we are dealing with RELIGION, not sense.  With emotional truths, not simple reasonable truths. If you respond to every slur that religious dingbats throuw at you, you will have no time to defend Zionist oppression and spread the Truth of Ayn Rand.

Besides, there ARE wiccan pagan atheistic hedonists since the wiccans (or pagans, I forget which) do not require a belief in a God.  Some of my best friends are wiccans, or might well be if I had ever known any, and you should be proud to be included among their company. Instead, you carry on hystrically against the loony with your usual presuppositions:  I’m a boob and I’m proud.

Y’know, FT…there use to be a little dog in my neighborhood that used to bark, just to get the dog next door barking, who would go on until ALL the dogs in the area were barking.  Meanwhile the little stinker who started it all would have stopped barking and was off to get into some other mischief…

So….look at what you started!  (BTW, the dollar sign on the coffin is a true story.  Rand described the dollar sign as the monogram of the US—made up of the U superimposed on the S)

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By Folktruther, April 5, 2009 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

Is that true, KDelphi, that Alyce was buried with a dollar sign on her coffin?  That’s even moe comic than her books.  I think she was more childish than evil, though.  You have reach a certain maturity to be considered evil.

Dwight Baker, have you the people ever met Trith?  I think you’d hit it off.  And as KDelphi memorably once said, you can make a perfectly good hat out of a single role of tin foil. It’s true!

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By Leefeller, April 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

Supposition defined as reality becomes a problem when the sales pitch becomes high pitched.

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By Paolo, April 5, 2009 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Ayn Rand certainly was an interesting person. She was a committed atheist who was once offered several million dollars to include the worship of God in her writings. She refused the offer with the contempt it deserved.

The only problem I have with religion is that, as Rand stated, it is based entirely on arbitrary assertions, rather than facts and logic. As such, religion makes a bad foundation for government.

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By Brooks, April 5, 2009 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

This will help.

Bible = Fiction

Now look up the definition of fiction

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By Brooks, April 5, 2009 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Did you research? Again…Do you even know if any of those characters even existed? Come on I read all the Conan the Barbarian books as a kid. Does that mean Conan was real? Did he fight against wizards, demon and armies? Go crawl back in your hole.

At least do some research, that does not include your bible.

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By lastdaywatchers, April 5, 2009 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

Brook Are you saying that Paul, Peter Matthew Mark and Luke and are lying

“when they talk about a risen Jesus with whom we walk and talk with and seen ascending up into the clouds of heaven”?

Are you saying they died a horribly death of being beheaded, nail to crosses, skin alive, feed to lions and see their families & KIDS done likewise

All over a lie they are telling???

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By Brooks, April 5, 2009 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

I said treat others as I wish to be treated. Then I made what would seem to be a harsh paragraph after.

If I in the future become delusional on anything, be it religion, politics, life, and whatever. Please feel free to firmly remind me I am delusioned. To recheck my misinformation.

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By Brooks, April 5, 2009 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

lastdaywatchers -

Heh. What do I base my life on? I base my life on the fact I have to work for a living, that if I want to live in this society I have to treat others as I wish to be treated, and abide by the laws.

Since you chose not to comprehend what I wrote, I will spell it out for you. You have faith in a book that was made up by men, for men. All those passages you quote are not original. The god you have faith in does not exist. Which in simple terms means your gods words are made up, make and make believe, a fairy tale. You have wasted how many years in preaching the non-existent? Now if you were to be found of reasonable intelligence you would know your wise was nothing short of stupid. Do you really want me to tell you what I think of your ABCs?

So I say again, go back to last comment. Research it. Hang up your delusions.

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By lastdaywatchers, April 5, 2009 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Brooks you say you don’t need proof, then what do you base your life on ??

Faith is not a what one imagine, the A,B,C of Faith is Action based on Believing in FACTS, which brings Confidence!!!

And saving faith is the faith that is based on GOD WORD which is proven and clearly seen by the wise!!

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By Inherit The Wind, April 5, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER, April 5 at 3:26 pm #


I just downloaded and read all her words that I could find and I am in agreement with 99% of them.

All of ‘em?  and your read ‘em all last night?  You know, “Atlas Shrugged” is about 1400 pages….the Fountainhead is 700 or 800—and you read them all?

Did you notice she is ABSOLUTELY a committed Atheist?

BTW, KDelphi, you understand even less about Rand than FolkTruther or DB—she was NEVER a moral relativist, always believing that ethics came from absolutes based on existence.

FolkTruther. You KNOW I’m not a Randian (though I’ve been randy from time to time…)

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By Inherit The Wind, April 5, 2009 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER, April 5 at 4:14 pm #

I tried to be reasonable but to that end that did not work, the chide remarks and outlandish comments keep coming.

“reasonable”—The DB definition:  Believe as I do or God and Jesus will damn you.  I’ve told you what to think, why aren’t you doing it?

And the new curve stated that about 42% of the population in the USA and Britain going after the atheist’s views on paganism, hedonism, sorcery, WICCA and witchcraft has a big audience leading them into non-civility.

Pure paranoid fantasy.  Atheist’s view on paganism, etc?  An Atheist sees no difference, DB, between YOUR superstitions and theirs.  Wait: There’s one—Your is responsible for the wrongful deaths of 10’s of millions of people since it began, maybe more than 100 million wrongful deaths.

WHY the premise is to do what you want?

Whose premise is that? No one here advocates that! Not from right to center to left to nutty left (like FolkTruther) advocates anything like that.

Another DB paranoid fantasy!

Take what is not yours.
Contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Condemning some unknown people for taking what isn’t theirs while he continually steals free advertising from TruthDig.  Note that I blanked out that info because I won’t help advertise it!

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By Brooks, April 5, 2009 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

lastdaywatchers - Do I need proof for the Tooth Fairy? Santa Claus? I do not need proof for them, your or any god, or any make believe fantasy.

Your god, you prove. You have none. Except faith. A bible written by ignorant men thousands of years ago. I say ignorant especially that if you are going to write a myth. At least do not plagiarize from other religions, and pass them as your religions original material. Oh ya… that is the foundation for your religion. That word of god that says… I am god because I wrote I am god. Brilliant. Research that. Think about it. Then do the right thing.

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By lastdaywatchers, April 5, 2009 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Brooks do you say “There is no heaven” because you cant see it?, Or do you have proof?

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By KDelphi, April 5, 2009 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Goodf gawd, I knew this would feed right into DWIGHT’S delusional system…

DWIGHT—Ole Alice Rosenbaum , eh? The anti-christian, anti-spirituality,anti human being bitch who was buried with a dollar sign on her casket!She was a complete moral relativist, and certainly wouldnt have criticized the gOP as you do! Youre way over your head here…so am I , but, I admit it. Where your so-called christian humility?

I hope that Jesus loved her, because no one with a conscience did. Read about her life, DWIGHT.

How ridiculous this “discussion” becomes. I see that someone has already pointed out Rand’s atheism to DWIGHT. If you ignore him, maybe he will go away??

Gawd only knows what she wouldve thought of you…you sure pick strange heroes. As someone lese asked, what 1% do you NOT agree with? Her sexual promiscuity, smoking or ravenous drinking?

What a hypocrit

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By Brooks, April 5, 2009 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

lastdaywatchers - Save the faith based fantasy. There is no heaven, try doing the right thing….because it is ....the right thing. If you can not. Who needs you.

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By lastdaywatchers, April 5, 2009 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

The most profound thing Jesus (who is God) said is this
“What profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul”

Meditate on that and maybe you will come to the understanding of what life is really all about!!!

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By Shenonymous, April 5, 2009 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

The problem is DWIGHT, when you start speaking for We the People you are on extremely shaky ground. We the People in America at the least are 300 million strong.  What makes you think you speak for any of them except for yourself?  When you mouth the words of others, such as Ayn Rand, you really need to explain all the points being made you are using, one at a time! That you don’t shows you do not understand what they mean. You only think you do.  You don’t seem to see yourself well. A lot of blathering and pimping the work of others while you are at it. 

This may come as a surprise, but Ayn Rand is not venerated by as many as you might think.  Some of her ideas were progressive but others definitely were not.  For instance, Noam Chomsky, a most prominent contemporary left-wing, egalitarian proponent linguist and analytic philosopher, using the definite article, calls her ‘the’ most evil thinker of modern intellectual history.  That is no minor comment. At the other end of the intellectual spectrum, extremely conservative commentator, the late William F. Buckley, declared her as dead as is her philosophy. A very careful reading of Rand is quite necessary before spouting her ideas.  Of course there is the impulse to cherry-pick those ideas that are appealing while throwing away the rest, just as is done with historical facts cherry picked to give a foundation for one’s beliefs.

The inability to engage in independent thinking is a function of having been indoctrinated by dogma, the handmaiden of religion.

Nevertheless, if you are praising Ayn Rand, what do you do with the notion of faith?  She rejected faith as completely antithetical to reason.  What do you do with “organized” religion?  She was aggressively against organized religion and mysticism of any kind.  How do you reconcile this newly found philosophy with your own beliefs? By the way, you did not say what 1% of Rand you did not agree with.  Tell you what I’m going to do, if you forget the word ‘we,’ I will forget the word ‘you.’

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By isa kocher, April 5, 2009 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

for a philosopher to make this argument after nearly a whole decade into the 21st century is sad. there are so many logical inconsistencies that one doesn’t know where to begin. first of all religion is not a natural category. there is no way to define religion so that all who claim that identity are included while all who disclaim that category are excluded. that doesn’t even begin to address the question of classifying third party attributions. many who claim to be religious deny that claim to others. many who claim not to be religious are accused of religion. that indicates a priori, that religion is an eminently artificial attribution based solely on opinions and prejudices. it is a folk category, ethnoscience.

science on the other hand is a method of assessing knowledge. and arriving at a verifiable system of explanation. it says nothing about ethics, morality, or anything related to approval disapproval or decision making in any way.

any argument about religion versus science is like arguing between driving a truck and who’s got the sexiest armpits. it’s absurd, irrational, illogical, useless, meaningless, prejudice, intolerance, no matter which side you are on.

can science tell you which is the worst Abba song. can religion answer a problem in college calculus. sdoes science get that spoon out of the garbage disposal. does religion make make TV ads more interesting.

this argument is just dumb, almost, not quite, but almost as dumb as saying how dumb it is.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 5, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

I have seen this before Dwight. Would you stop advertising your schtick please. Relevance to the discussion? Tangential at best but really, no.

We need to live together as a group and retain our individuality as well. A tough proposition for those who have decided that others cannot live in ‘sin’ on their watch and they are deputized by their god to enforce ‘his’ laws on everyone. Being secular in gov’t isn’t synonymous with being a-theist or even agnostic. Though it is often portrayed that way by those who wish for a strict theocratic gov’t. Something we have never had here since 1776. Nor should we want it—-ever.

For anyone who is against what I do for myself with other consenting adults is “if you don’t like it than don’t do it.” Too often they want to mind my business as well. To take from one of the flag slogans of the 1770’s “Dont tread on me” with a rattler that will warn you off but if you continue to approach you will be bitten for your infamous authoritarianism.

My motto is “live and let live” how does it equate for you Truthnotlies and Dwight Baker? Is such a personal moral philosophy and affront to you and your deity? It shouldn’t be if you would “mind your business” as I do my own.

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By Leefeller, April 5, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment


In the past people have posted on TD who were not who or what they purported to be, I sense this may be on an upswing and happening more often lately?

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By Brooks, April 5, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

Dwight - You are the reason Christianity is dwindling.

Where are you getting this crap? You should be honest and admit you are copying and pasting into comments. Once in a while it is OK. You do so much, you are just OBNOXIOUS! Stop.

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By Leefeller, April 5, 2009 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

For some the need to not be alone in mind, requires a movement or cause to fall behind This can be political or religious, once the falling behind begins, the mob mentality could be construed obsessive, protective of mental security of opinion, just not rational?  During the Inquisition, people paid for an upstairs window to watch the Inquisition do it’s handiwork, could one call this sick, mentally ill, uneducated or something else?

TD, has a liberal acceptance of allowing posters much latitude, even allowing off topic posts.  Freedom of posting should be for all, even those found annoying or obnoxious. On occasion a point of no return did seem apparent but not only a require different opinion.  Discussion and learning require tolerance and freedom.
If I agreed with all who post here, I would be gone.

Night-Gaunt, your observation may be correct, changing of the tide seems to support your premise of anguish building on itself.

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By Shenonymous, April 5, 2009 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHT, you apparently take for belief what you want out of history and leave the facts to the birds as if they were feed seed, nonexistent.  I am really sorry for whoever cannot see that the history of mankind under the mantle of religion has been the bloodiest and most cruel business imaginable.  The free thinkers, call them atheists if you demand, do have a clue about what is right or wrong: killing is wrong, exploitation of other human beings and animals and the earth is wrong.  What is right is for people to have the freedom to have a decent life as they themselves see fit, the freedom of speech, self-determination, and respect for their beliefs and counterbeliefs without militant intent to wrest their beliefs away and to be able to achieve within the bounds of morality what will make them feel fulfilled as a human being.  Knowledge of virtues and vices has been around for inestimable millennia.  Don’t pretend these have just arrived on the scene with Christianity.  Atheists do have beliefs.  They are freely thought beliefs about many things that include the nature of life and the nature of the universe.  They have become vocal because their right to voice has finally been given. 

Without having to provide a propaedeutic on what it means to be a free human being in body and mind, which all religion denies to us, the notions of fealty, submission, denial of one’s humanity, if not through volition, then by militant means, this is what religion demands and exacts from its willing vassals. 

As the world becomes more and more homogenized through exchange of goods, life styles, values morph to include ideas of worth, ideas not thought of before such as the idea of freedom and liberty.  As these values enlarge, the stranglehold religion has had on the human mind and then by default, on the human body, will decrease.  Technology is facilitating that exponentially.  Eventually religion as it is known today will disappear.  What is happening today is the anguish of the last throes of religion and the religionists are spasmodic about it.  More pressure, more death and destruction is being inflicted, more insanity, more hysterical reaction are what the theists are administering.  They are in defiance of the altruism that is written in their own holy books.  Were they true to their own benevolence and philanthropy religion would take a rightful place among human involvement and respect for what could be seen as sacred.  As it is, religion is political and power hungry, it is greedy and selfish and religions only go reactively for the worst dictums in their doctrines.  It is their history they have to fight and struggle against not the atheists or freethinkers.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 5, 2009 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

I don’t know who is running AltNet but they removed me about 4 weeks ago and even removed all of the postings I had done! They never answered why so I have moved on to here and several others. Whatever criterion they use it is weird. I see those who called for other poster’s death remains while mine are gone. Who knows exactly why? I will not stoop to denigration of another but their writings are fair game as are my own. To me those who lower themselves to attack another ad hominim have run out of any real reasoning to their words. Please let us stay civil?

By the way you write it suggests to me Dwight Baker that your first language wasn’t Merkin English beyond that I shall not go. Please educate yourself on writing more cogent an tighter sentences with less drawn out verbage. You do want us to read what you have to say don’t you?

We can still discuss this philosophical metaphysical neurological points while on other forums they can talk about the N.Korean launch can’t they?

Religion not only isn’t retreating around the world it is also getting more metaphysical, militant and puritanical. The four major religions are certainly getting more violent and strict as life becomes harsher from climate change and resource depletion. will explain just how the Dominionist/Third Wave form of Christianity is spreading here and abroad in increasing numbers. That includes persecution of ‘witches’ in Africa to this day!

However I disagree with the ‘new atheists’ about confronting and attacking religion as ‘mentally ill’ or that the followers are ‘stupid’ or ’ un-educated’ which simply isn’t true. Once you pass the threshold of belief it doesn’t matter what any other information contrary to it will come for they will filter it through their new world view and use their marvelous mind to fit it into their paradigm or ignore it. Atheist/Agnostics are still very few on this planet and will remain so until there is a fundamental alteration of the human neuro-complex and not before. Evolution supports ‘creationism’ is that round-a-bout kind of way! Ahh, such irony. If it weren’t for Nature ‘god’ wouldn’t exist!

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By Folktruther, April 5, 2009 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

what a boob you are, Inherit.  The man calls you a ‘wicca pagan atheistic hedonist’ and you take offense merely because it makes no sense.  Don’t you understand? we are dealing with RELIGION, not sense.  With emotional truths, not simple reasonable truths. If you respond to every slur that religious dingbats throuw at you, you will have no time to defend Zionist oppression and spread the Truth of Ayn Rand.

Besides, there ARE wiccan pagan atheistic hedonists since the wiccans (or pagans, I forget which) do not require a belief in a God.  Some of my best friends are wiccans, or might well be if I had ever known any, and you should be proud to be included among their company. Instead, you carry on hystrically against the loony with your usual presuppositions:  I’m a boob and I’m proud.

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By christian96, April 5, 2009 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

I am thinking all this garbage against Christianity
is a childish denial of commandments not to do something(probably a sexual nature) that your childish small mind WANTS TO DO!  Enjoy your pleasures and suffer the consequences.  If it was just you chosing to suffer, I wouldn’t be so concerned
but it isn’t just you.  You are taking other people
down the road of suffering with you, especially
children.  You have to die someday.  You will pay for
the suffering you brought upon others.  For God’s
sake quit trying to rationalize your selfish desires
behind some type of intellectual discourse.

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By Leefeller, April 5, 2009 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Troy Jollimore has made many valid points, though madness of delusions would ignore them and find them unpalatable. It may be important to be wary of Jollimor’s cautions and concerns with diligence, for freedom not to believe may be under attack. 

As Frank Goodman, Sr mentions, debating non existence is silly, though the right to defend non belief may be necessary.

Sincerity of Baker’s comments seems in question,  substrata seems to be missing only constant melodrama of a solipsistic nature acting to an audience of oneself.

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By samosamo, April 5, 2009 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, April 5 at 8:44 am
****I don’t fully believe that Tolkien wanted to ACTUALLY set up a new Norse-like religion.****

I am sure he wasn’t trying to build any religion but he and/or his son christopher relate that the mythologies of rome, greek, egyption motivated him to create a mythology by an englander as those other mythologies for rome, greece and egypt. But, no, I don’t really think he did it to create a sort of new religion.
I encourage you to read ‘Hurin’s Children’ soon and if you don’t have tolkien’s ‘Book of Unfinished Tales’ you are missing a lot that was not included in the LOR trilogy.
This post is grown far too big and I am signing off of it.

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By elsongar, April 5, 2009 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

I’m told my office stapler is God. If it wishes to staple, it will see to it that I or someone else picks it up and operates it. If it chooses not to staple, it will not.If I believe I’m making the choices, I’m merely deluding myself. If I step on it or throw it away, it will still exist beyond the physical because it is God. It may transmute into my Magic Marker. Or it may be everything.  My stapler knows that however I may question its power or existence, there will be someone who will apply some ‘logical’ argument about rocks or whatnot to prove that it is indeed God.

I’ve talked to a minister of the Christian religion about his God. Asked him some questions about his God’s power. Got the same answers I got about my stapler. God is beyond all knowing. He demands our faith. If he wants to lift the unliftable rock to prove that he can, well, He’s God. If he wants to fail to lift that same rock, it’s not because he can’t-it’s because he chooses not to. Can’t get past that kind of reasoning.  It’s a form of logic—-not really—- it’s “logic” based on blind faith.

There’s nothing to discuss here.
You either believe, or you use real logic-which can’t provide an answer either way because this is FAITH we’re talking about here, folks. To put it another way, you can choose to chuck the logic and buy into the faith for your own personal reasons (Pascal’s Wager, more or less) or you can take your chances .

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By freeyourmind, April 5, 2009 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

Mr Baker, you have done no research on anyone, it is clearly obvious to us all that you are just full of shit. And your brains are in chains. None are more enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. And if you want to get me booted form this site then go ahead, there are plenty of good sites out there, ones without your fucking shit.Oh, by the way did I say fuck you I might have forgot. FUCK YOU Peace

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By Shenonymous, April 5, 2009 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

With all due respect, and you state the debate fairly well, it is not that simple Frank Goodman, Sr.  The argument cannot be reduced to the simplistic terms you propose:  IS! ISN’T!  However, most of those who say GOD IS, wants to force their IS on the rest!  Through military action, meaning violent action.  The Jews are not imperialistic, and do not flagrantly force their IS on the world, but as a skill learned then insidiously through their astute control of the financial power by proxy either invites envy so much that they inspire exalted resentment or summon others to emulate their point of view which is without a doubt affected by their view of existence, Jahweh’s world as the chosen. If they are the chosen and if they exhibit the arts and skills of moneymaking, then why not join the crowd is the way the logic goes. There are many converts to Judaism.  The model is the intelligence with which Jews express to the world that is their character.  Not that there is not ignorant and stupid Jews!  But that is not what they are known for.  Than when we say the word ‘they’ we mean an ethnic group collected together because of a religious substructure.  It is mainly because they have learned the art of making and keeping money that they have been vilified as followers of Yahweh.  The outward picture though, in spite of their talents, the Jews have not ventured on world conquest.  They did engage in the conquest of their local region and engaged in genocide of their own as a study of their history will show. 

The religious issue takes the “earthly” reason and elevates it to a “heavenly” reason for future benefit which is much more affective and effective on the rabble.  It works as a psychology.  Surely you understand that?

Your argument condensed to IS/ISN’T does not show the effect religion has had on the entire world.  People have been by the millions upon millions murdered in the name of deities, monotheistic or pantheistic.  This has been continuous since man invented a god to stand with them in the face of war. What shall we do with those murdered?  Shall we just throw up our hands and say, “Oh, that is human nature?”  I’m sorry but the argument is not so uncomplicated.  Religion in and of itself has many moral qualities, but it also has many immoral qualities.  When it does damage, it becomes heinous and vile. We could give a history of this desperation, but to what end here?  People need to find some things out on their own, that way it becomes indelible.

Freethinkers (albeit from the atheist crowd) will continue to rage against the religious who use, let us say irreverently, pimp their religions in the name of their god to assume control of the world using the most depraved and monstrous action against humans.  It defies all moral rationality.

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By Leefeller, April 5, 2009 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

Another Troot

Over many, many years, religions competed with each other for power and minds to indoctrinate.  So it was in the end only three religions remained from the long peaceful process of indoctrination and dividing up the world into three religious entities. Three powers to behold, the Catholics, the Muslims and the Paliniites. 

All three leaders decided on parading around the new three flags world together. A grand parade it was, showing off their new costumes in each of their retrospective shiny new Muliamobiel, Palinmobiel and Popemobiel as all the happy mutchkin’s cheered as their leaders passed because all were so happy to see how great the world had become and they all lived happily ever after.

FYI: Ever after is a long time.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 5, 2009 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

You want a “reconciliation” and start by heaving insults.

You attribute motivations to me that have no basis.

You don’t even TRY to defend my valid criticisms of your bizarre association of Wiccan Pagans, Atheists and hedonism.

You continue to seek free advertising from TruthDig without paying for it.

Either you are totally irrational or you think other humans are so irrational or stupid you can pull a big one over on them—that you are a rational, caring and honest person who offers one path to personal and world peace. 

Of course, your continual irrationality, your vicious attacks on anyone who challenges your absurd notions, and your continual quest for free advertising for your OWN web site demonstrates just the opposite.

Go ahead. Ask the admins of TD to punish or ban me for stating this factual, defensible assessment.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., April 5, 2009 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

In the God debate, what is the proposition? Is it that God exists, or that God does not exist? As an atheist, one could debate the non-existence of God. As a Christian, one could debate the existence of God as the God-head of three persons in one. As a Jew, one could debate the Chosen People concept. As a Muslim, one could debate the authority of The Prophet. As a Hindu, one could debate the concept of monotheism with many manifestations. As a Buddhist, one could debate the 12 fold way. As a Native American, one could debate the Great Spirit. As a skeptic, one could debate the futility of proving anything, much less a God.

So what is a debate? Just what is it that the atheist denies, and what is it that the theist affirms? Is the existence of God or non-existence a matter of fact, or a matter of truth? Bishop Anselm said that if God exists at all in any concept worthy of his religion, God is that than which nothing greater could be conceived. That could mean that God is larger than anything else.

To argue that God is omnipotent, it could be understood that God could create a stone so large that God could not lift it. But, since God has total free will, it could be argued that God could create a stone so large, but that he could chose not to lift it. He could also refuse to create such a stone to prove that he is in charge, or that he could create one to prove that he could.

You may wonder where I am going with this. The trivial pursuit of such a quarrel should be beyond the pale of so astute a crowd. Yet, it is exactly what takes place here. A childish quarrel of “Is!” “Ain’t!”

Since, most serious religions of this age agree that God is spirit of all existence in all time. As spirit, God is not a thing, a person, or a being, but a necessary manifestation of all that is or could be. It is like infinity, not defined, not reachable, conceivable as inconceivable negation. Thus, there is no conceivable number such that a number one greater could not exist. Likewise, there is no conceivable size such that it could not be divided into two. Division by zero is not allowed, and division by one changes nothing.

God could be neither created nor destroyed. If God exists, God would certainly be comprehensible by any astute sapient being anywhere in physical existence, and known by any spiritual being whatever, in any condition of spirituality. So, if you are spiritual and sapient, what are you quarreling about? If not, why not, and why quarrel about it? Can man rise above the trivia and the substantial and try to comprehend a spiritual existence not subject to debate?

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By Inherit The Wind, April 5, 2009 at 5:58 am Link to this comment


You should vet your own posts for logical consistency before you make a fool of yourself posting garbage like this:

” As a consequence in that group there have been less understood by many that have brought about the nepotism and return to WICCA pagan atheistic hedonism.”

“Wicca pagan atheistic hedonism”?  What the hell does that mean?  It’s fundamentally contradictory to its core and shows you don’t have a CLUE what ANY of those four terms mean. 

1)An Atheist cannot be a Wiccan or a pagan.  Most Atheists have VEHEMENTLY opposed hedonism as a lifestyle.  Certainly Marxist Atheists saw hedonism as a consequence of capitalism and Christianity.

2) A Wiccan is only a “pagan” because YOU define all non-Christians (anyone not your flavor of Christianity) as a “pagan”, “heathen” or “heretic”.

3) “Pagan” refers in fact to a specific tribe, I believe, that no longer exists.

4) Hedonism, is, of course, always defined by someone ELSE. Many claiming to be Christians use their “faith” as a weapon to get sex and lots of it (especially for men), which is really what hedonism is all about, right?  From Rasputin to David Koresh to the variant polygamists out west, Christianity is a tool used by men to get lots of promiscuous sex.  Hedonism is not Wiccan or Pagan and CERTAINLY NOT Atheistic.

You continue to show your ignorance by not recognizing that Atheism and Agnosticism (which I am) are NOT the same thing at all.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 5, 2009 at 5:44 am Link to this comment


Hurin’s Children is on my shelf, waiting to be read.  I don’t fully believe that Tolkien wanted to ACTUALLY set up a new Norse-like religion.  But it really looks like he wanted to create this “world” that he WISHED had that history, kind of like “wouldn’t this work as a better mythology?”

I don’t know much about Alternet, but I can see why they heaved DwightBaker off if he was flooding their bandwidth with massive numbers of posts all stealing advertising for his religious organization.

altlic, April 5 at 1:21 am #

Human consciousness has been evolving over the millennia. One theory is that up to the time of the Greeks, human cultures functioned more as a collection of schizophrenics.  That is to say, modern-day schizophrenics give us a clue as to what a standard consciousness was like back then.  City states formed around a central building and/or god-incarnate which informed the consciousness of the inhabitants. They heard voices and saw visions which were triggered by this centralized source of authority.  There were no police; control was internal.

Since then, individuality has become a predominant feature of the human psyche.  The Greeks took a big step, but so did the cult of the Christ.  Jesus (who probably didn’t exist) supplanted the old “Law” with the individual responsibility of love, albeit in the presence of a “modern” universal deity.

In its own way, this is just as xenophobic as DwightBaker’s posts.  It’s also a misinterpretation designed to, yet again, hold up Christianity as somehow “superior” for breaking any and all laws in the name of “love”...that worked out real well over the next 2000 years didn’t it?

From the Council of Nicea through the suppression of the Arian Church (the early liberal one), through the early Dark Ages, through the Crusades, the sack of Constantinople, the efforts to rule over kings and emperors, the establishment of the Inquisition, extreme definitions of heresy, supporting the brutal conquest of the Americas, indulgences, burning and hanging witches to poisoning our schools’ science classes, Christianity has been anything BUT a religion of “love”.

In fact, the Hammurabi code that was picked up the ancient Hebrews and codified into a LAW that applied to all and allowed (at least in concept) the humblest person to oppose a king if the Law was with him is the foundation of our Constitutional republic, and our basic guaranteed rights, not “love” and “faith”.  It sets up an objective standard of conditions that can be evaluated to decide what is RIGHT, regardless of the status of the person or persons involved.  It is the glue that holds our society together.  Law and the ability to trade with each other is the alternative to banditry and the strongest and cruelest simply stealing it at the point of gun or sword.

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By Brooks, April 5, 2009 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

Yo Dwight - Hello. Are you thinking? Try to contain your ambiguity to a couple short paragraphs. Hey maybe try to make a point. Maybe answer something. At least try to keep your delusion to yourself.

Your nonsense is so long, I do not want to bother reading any of your test.

So start with answering this. Why did you link those ridiculous videos? Simple one. Try and keep your answer short.

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By shemp333, April 5, 2009 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

The point of the book being discussed is completely false.  Religion is not “having a comeback”.  We should cheer it’s passing.  Every year more and more people make no claim to any religion.  Religion is the march backwards.  Science and rationality are the path forward.  Let’s keep on marching forwards for the good of us all.

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By John Crandell, April 5, 2009 at 2:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Never mind these gawd-awfull questions. Forget about thousands more troops being sent off to Afghanistan,
the corruption on Wall Street and so many now living on the street. Let’s hear about Paul Moyer’s impending retirement!

Who can EVER forget the evening he tried to conduct a live interview at KNBC with acclaimed author Gore Vidal. Good old Paul decided to get aggressive right off the bat and asked a brazen question regards the writer’s sexuality. Good old blood and guts turned the scene to blood and gore and replied to Moyer: “Well why don’t you stand up, drop your pants and show the audience your amazing heterosexual apparatus.” (or words to that affect).

Instantly, Moyer looked like he was in need of a Heimlich Maneuver and barely managed to (quickly) end the interview. Without a doubt, it was the most amazing moment in live television history. Why Vidal didn’t get an Emmy I’ll never know!

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By altlic, April 4, 2009 at 11:39 pm Link to this comment

“One last thing, as einstein put it, it is all relative, relative to each person and to have everyone the same, how boring.” -samosamo

Spoken like a man of his times.  It reminds me of hearing Alice Kooper say the worst song ever was ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon because he wants to be able to argue with people. “Living life as one” would be sooo boring!

“It is only to the individual that a soul is given.” - Einstein.

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By samosamo, April 4, 2009 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, April 5 at 4:24 am
****samosamo I think you gave me too many points.  DWIGHT must be ahead at least by 17.  I’m ashamed to take even 3. Oh,... why don’t you just give them all to him. ****
Maybe, it is hard to count and like you I have more comments here than I would like to have but it could have been more. But as I put it in one of those last ones, a post like this creates alot of clutter pondification.(hot air and gas)
And as dwight put it, I am tired and turning in.
One last thing, as einstein put it, it is all relative, relative to each person and to have everyone the same, how boring.

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By samosamo, April 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

By DWIGHTBAKER, April 5 at 12:55 am
****I wanted to look at some of your work what I found was just too inaccessible.  So I gave up.***

Thanks, I appreciate that, I have read a lot about how, christian missionaries from the old world came over and helped to ‘straighten’ out these heathen red skins here in america. It really has me pissed off and I don’t appreciate any religious zealot forcing their beliefs on others or claiming superiority of others especially when it is done to hide the true purpose of stealing their land decimating an existing civilization of tribes that had an infinitely more beautiful spirituality of the world and a creator than ANY organized religion has or will ever have.
You will see a post here about my ideas that will give a wee peek of me but as far as your claim to access my works, that is like trying to compare clothing and gods and such which goes against my idea of a real spiritual feeling, it is personal.
Good to see you don’t claim membership in those traitorous institutions. I hope the world we all leave to all our children and grandchildren will be intact and remain so.

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By Shenonymous, April 4, 2009 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment

Maybe, Outraged, he is getting ready to try to walk on water.

samosamo I think you gave me too many points.  DWIGHT must be ahead at least by 17.  I’m ashamed to take even 3. Oh,... why don’t you just give them all to him. 

Yeah, they have been squealing on tv all week about N. Korea and their nukes pretending to be a satellite launch.  What exactly is so surprising?

The flaw in your thinking DWIGHTBAKER is that not all atheists are alike and are not of one tribe.  That is a sign of tight brain syndrome.  Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Dennett, Mills, Onfray, et al are militant atheists.  They react to the centuries of persecution atheists have endured.  Atheists just don’t get the press the other persecuted folks get, such as the anti-Semites, anti-gays, Islamophobics, etc.  Other kinds of atheists exist who plainly have no belief in a supernatural being responsible for the appearance of this universe, and no mental anguish baggage to lug around.  They just want to live and let live.  Course the freaky militant religionists just can’t stand it.  They have to have hissy fits, like DWIGHT.  The next flaw in your thinking DWIGHTBAKER is your argument that atheists need a God in order to be atheists.  Yeah, that is logical, but that is also like saying humans need glow in the dark bracelets to be humans.  It is non sequitur.  Atheists simply say there is no evidence that the universe was created by a supernatural being.  The fact that some who call themselves atheists are also social human beings and need a group like the religionists do. 

The interesting thing that has just happened on this forum is that one guy, DWIGHTBAKER, seems to have gone over the edge of sanity.  He is making this forum a magazine for Shenonymous.  For all the posts he copied from AlterNet that were mine (I am Shenonymous and no other, always use my own ID everywhere and everybody knows I yam a woooomaan) there is nothing very radical as he is melodramatizing it to be.  I rarely go to AlterNet.  The setup there is not as good as TD’s.  They don’t notify of posted comments, neither does CommonDreams which I hardly even visit these days. DWIGHTBAKER more than occasionally your powers of logic are nonexistent. And your incoherent citations don’t say which forum nor who exactly is saying what.  I have already suggested he take a course in the literary arts of composition and logic, I reiterate my suggestion.  Gad, DWIGHT, you go back as far as 2007 for my posts?  My goodness.  Do you have the forum title as I forget where I was having such fun with the Jesus guy. Those were pretty good valid questions for the state of the economy.  And that April 4 comment must have been in 2008 about Jesus’s mom and dad and what they did with all his holy things like toys.  Or maybe Jesus didn’t have any toys as a kid.  Poor thing.  But but but wasn’t he the son of God?  Man that was a good post!  Read the whole thing. I get really profound.  Thank you again DWIGHT!

I seem to have struck some disharmonic chord in DWIGHTBAKER’s psyche.  That is the way it is.  The world is made up of all kinds.  Wouldn’t forums be utterly boring if we all had the same point of view?  Irreverence is in the eye of the beholder.

By the way I really like your re-post of my Sunday, November 23, 2008 to Tao Walker.  That was a nice piece of writing.  Thank you.

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By Leefeller, April 4, 2009 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

Non being of a deity becomes more and more like the person who would use hate of the albatross from around their own neck and say it belongs to others at the same time, empathy after time, becomes long of tooth and becomes no more.

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By altlic, April 4, 2009 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment

Human consciousness has been evolving over the millennia. One theory is that up to the time of the Greeks, human cultures functioned more as a collection of schizophrenics.  That is to say, modern-day schizophrenics give us a clue as to what a standard consciousness was like back then.  City states formed around a central building and/or god-incarnate which informed the consciousness of the inhabitants. They heard voices and saw visions which were triggered by this centralized source of authority.  There were no police; control was internal.

Since then, individuality has become a predominant feature of the human psyche.  The Greeks took a big step, but so did the cult of the Christ.  Jesus (who probably didn’t exist) supplanted the old “Law” with the individual responsibility of love, albeit in the presence of a “modern” universal deity.

Today we are living through a transition - vast, chaotic and stochastic in nature - that could be described as the cult of the personality (with it’s concomitant features of isolation and alienation).  If we are very, very lucky and survive this brand of psychosis, we will end up at the singularity: a synthesis of human- and cyber-intelligence that can only be guessed at.

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” Albert Einstein.

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By samosamo, April 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, April 4 at 11:28 pm
*****(Hey, FT, you arrogant ignoramus: How do you feel about Eru, called Iluvitar in lieu of Clio?  (Tolkien’s invented creator myth).)**********

Now here is a myth I will comment on, christians, jews/hebrew, catholic, islam, greek/roman mythologies are just that mythologies, attempts to explain ‘why’or ‘how’ and so is tolkien’s works. I would think since you brought these names up that you are aware of tolkien’s purpose. Not to create some childish fairy tales but to create an ‘english’ mythology of the creation of the world as he decided if those others could have theirs he would have one for the ‘british iles’. His is my favorite though I haven’t read much of the others except for being raised as a WASP. But, for what is real in the way that there is a universe, I just am not sure and I don’t think anyone is supposed to be. The sad thing is far too many ‘know’ what is and if you aren’t with them, you are against them.(where have i heard that before?)
I also assume you have read tolkien’s ‘Hurin’s Children’, that’s a pretty awesome story that not too many people would read their children to sleep with at all.

I don’t know why and I will have wait for more information but it could be a defining moment for obama.

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By Dave24, April 4, 2009 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

DwightBaker, as I stated previously, you’re nuts.  This isn’t a personal attack; it is an observation.

And I enjoyed your response from earlier, Shenonymous.

“There can be but little liberty on Earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven.”
- Robert Ingersoll

(If you haven’t heard of him, please do check him out; his insights are exquisite.)

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By Brooks, April 4, 2009 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Why didnt they shoot the damn thing down? It went over Japan, and japan said it would. Now N. Korea knows Japan is scared to defend itself. Watch them test another one next week over Tokyo.

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By Outraged, April 4, 2009 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

A wealth of information at this site, revealing many of the tactics employed by supposed god-fearing hacks.  From CrusadeWatch:

Missionaries employ various strategies to destroy other religions/cultures and convert people to their religion/denomination. The exact strategy deployed depends on the target population’s situation. There are 7 categories of conversion methods: 1)Pre-evangelism 2)Personal Evangelism 3)Preaching Evangelism 4)Persuasion evangelism 5)Pastoral evangelism 6)Programmed evangelism 7)Prayer Evangelism. All the methods employed come under atleast one of these categories though many come under multiple categories. Here is the listing of the prominent methods employed.”

Some highlights:

* “Communication Manipulation ( 3 items )
Communication is the key to evangelism. It is not what you say BUT ‘HOW YOU SAY’.  Evangelists understand this concept better than anyone else. All the missionaries are trained in Marketing and Journalism. Marketing techniques are used to push their product (Jesus=Salvation; Other religions=Hell). Journalistic techniques are used to spin their stories, manage media and create stories about non-christian religions”

* Creating ‘LEFT-BEHIND’ fear ( 2 items )
This strategy works wonders on psychologically weak people. Evangelical Christians believe that theirs is the only true religion. They usually ask the non-christians the question of ‘What would be their fate in case Christianity is the true religion and native religion is false?’. Evangelicals then describe the fate of non-christians in terms of hell, lake of fire and blood-thirsty ‘second coming of Jesus’ etc and advise the natives to play safe. Many psychologically weak non-christians want to play safe and convert out of fear of being ‘LEFT-BEHIND’

* Denigration and Hate Spreading ( 11 items )
According to Christianity every non-christian religion is a work of Satan and every non-christian worships Satan. These strategies are primarily used to motivate their fellow missionaries and to create ill-will among non-christians about their religion

* Disaster Relief Exploitation ( 8 items )
Missionaries view disasters as a GOD send opportunity. They utilize disasters in two ways

1)Disaster Relief: “This Tsunami(disaster) is one of the greatest opportunities God has given us” says K P Yohannan, President of Gospel for Asia. Many like him do not have objection to taking advantage of hurting and suffering people are going through. In the name of disaster relief the victim’s basic needs such as food,clothing, housing, medical needs are provided with a condition that they convert to christianity.

2) Satan Propaganda: Missionaries claim that the disaster stuck their region or village because God is angry with them. GOD is angry because non-christians worship devil and are under Satanic influence. Most of the victims will be psychologically weak and under manipulatable conditions because they lost their family members , property and undergoing depression. According to Southern Baptist Convention’s official guide on Evangelism: The motivation behind Southern Baptist Disaster Relief efforts can be summed up in one phrase:? A cup of cold water in Jesus’ name.?”

*Fear of “End of World” (Acocalypse)  ( 3 items )
Missionaries brainwash and instill a fear that ‘end-of-the-world’ is coming. Missionaries ‘guarantee’ heaven (as if they own that dreamland) to converts and those who don’t convert are cast in the ‘Lake of Fire’. Guillible,illiterate and weak fall prey to that concept and convert.

* Fooling non-Christians to do missionary work ( 1 items )

Missionaries always keep up the ante that ‘Christians around the world are persecuted because of their beliefs’.

Maybe Dwight’s just trying out his “sea legs”.

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By samosamo, April 4, 2009 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

According to msnbc, North Korea just shot a rocket over Japan. Now what? The stock market will fall like a rock, oil and gas will hit the stratasphere and obama will get to invade his first foreign country.

That is real news, the link that is. My guesses are pure conjecture, for now.

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By Brooks, April 4, 2009 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER - Atheism does not need God or Christianity. Look up definition. We do not believe in fairy tales. Never did, never will. You miss the point god does not exist, which means the delusion is only in your head. You could see your doctor for that, they can prescribe medication to help.

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By samosamo, April 4, 2009 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

Score: dwightright - 20
    shenonymous -  9

Looks like dwight wins by attrition. Not sure what dwight thinks he is proving but he sure is long winded and boring. Plus it looks as if his life was devastated by being kicked off alternet. Welcome to the club. There are worse things in life than being kicked off alternet. But I think I know what dwight should do and that is start his on church. From his spiel I would say there are a bunch of people that would pay to hear he/her tout the glories of a god, save some souls, sing some hymns and hand out proclamations for his congregation.
But really, dwight are you conservative or neoconservative? Or democrat? Or neoliberal? Do you belong to the heritage foundation, hoover foundation or cato or all of them?
I also think it is a mistake for robert scheer to put a post like this out here as it really doesn’t provide any meaningful discourse, only bickering. What a waste.

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By Brooks, April 4, 2009 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is nothing worse for the planet than religion. Writing something as dumb as God is back is ridiculous. Belief in god is on a steady decline in the United States. Christianity is probably the worse thing ever allowed in the U.S. The cult followers indoctrinate their children into having faith that some invisible bearded guy that is watching over them, and knows in advance if they will end up in heaven or hell. Which means Christians truly do not believe in free will. The morals god teaches are genocide, murder, rape and killing of innocent children and babies. One would think Christians never actually read their bible.

One has to think what if there was no religion? How many advances in science would there be? How many cures for diseases? Think we could have a high percentage of our population not involved in meaningless garbage, some of that time would obvious help our society. It is a shame I will never see that in my life time.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 4, 2009 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHTBAKER, April 4 at 11:10 pm #


TRUTHDIG founders, management, editors and its readers have the right to know the facts.

Well, they certainly aren’t getting any facts from you!  Just invented, made-up bile.

You rant and rave about “atheism” but you have NO idea, and I mean NO IDEA what Atheism is, or what Agnosticism is other than what it’s not: Belief in God the way YOU claim to believe in God.

(Hey, FT, you arrogant ignoramus: How do you feel about Eru, called Iluvitar in lieu of Clio?  (Tolkien’s invented creator myth).)

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By Shenonymous, April 4, 2009 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Looks like DWIGHTBAKER has gone gaga over Shenonymous.  Do you have a point Dwight?

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By Inherit The Wind, April 4, 2009 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

I must say this is a mildly amusing thread.  While claiming to preach “Love” and “Jesus”, DwightBaker continues his campaign of hate and outlandish accusations against anyone challenging his propaganda.  Yet TruthDig continues to allow him to advertise his web site and movement without paying for it.

I NEVER trust the loudly preachin’ religious like DwightBaker.  They always turn out to have larceny in their hearts—as DB is stealing advertising from TD.

The fundamental illogic of the abrahamic religions that demands that God cares whether you eat beef or pork, that demands that you follow inane rituals of pretending to cannibalize your savior, of stoning girls to death for DARING to accuse men of rape, shows that it was ALWAYS a power play.

Do you think for one minute if DwightBaker was in control he wouldn’t be just like the Taliban, punishing anyone who DARED challenge his belief structure?  No, I think he’d be just like them, but with a cross instead of a crescent.

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By Compton Stokes, April 4, 2009 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The question should be,  does the soul exist? And if it does then what exactly is it.
If the soul does not exist and our lives are really just a brief flash of physical existence, then truly anything goes because there are sure to be no repurcussions from any of our actions, other than the most eternally insignificant, such as physical harm or death, because after all, none of this really means anything, right? We are just cosmic accidents and there is no design behind any of this.
Many ancient seekers were able to identify that the way the soul manifests itself is through conciousness. As long as the soul is present in a body, it has conciousness and is valuable. The second the conciousness is gone from the body, it is just a lump of rapidly deteriorating matter and nobody wants much to do with it, because it starts to stink badly.
If those of a scientific bent believe that conciousness is merely created by the right combination of chemicals then why haven’t all these brilliant scientific minds been able to bring a body back from the dead or to create even a blade of grass from chemicals, let alone any other life form? Dont we have enough chemicals on hand? I suggest that science is often guilty of the same hubris, and self complementing, that it accuses the religious minded of having.

I don’t know about you but when I see my friends Ferrari, in all of its brilliant intracasy, I would be idiotic to think that it had no designer and just automatically manifested itself somehow through a combination of events and chemicals.
Most people do not believe that this universe is entirely random. Most that I speak with aknowledge that there is some sort of energy or power at work, though energy and power do imply some sort of a cause or instigator.
However many that I speak with would never believe in a god that has real identity, like you or me. But if their is some sort of driving power in this Universe and I was created by it, how is it that I have something that it does not? Namely an identity or a personality? Simple math tells me that a subset cannot have anything in it that the original set does not posess.
How do I have an identity but this “energy” does not?

I am obviously quite small, infinitissimal in fact, in the grand scale of things.Alone I am of little any real value. As a matter of fact, alone I am truly operating for my own benefit and usually at cross purposes to all around me. All you have to do is go on the freeway to witness this attitude. We have very little true compassion on this planet because everyone is convinced that they are alone in this state of affairs. In my view, this state of alone-ness is the real cause of what we know as evil on this planet, completely caused by our misconception of who we really are, where we came from and why we are here.

My little finger is worth an enormous amount of money to me and my insurance company as long as it remains connected to me and serves me properly. Were it separated from me, it would lay valueless on the floor, because its real function is to serve me, the whole being. I am afraid this is where many peoples lives are lived , in this valueless state of not really knowing what their real purpose is. They may claim that they have it figured out and that life is just about getting as much happiness and pleasure as one can out of life, but there is always that possibility that they may be wrong and that some of the ancient seekers were right. That a life not single pointedly focused on understanding the truth of existence is a wasted life. But you needn’t worry, they also suggested that you get many chances at it until you get it right.

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By Folktruther, April 4, 2009 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

The reality of the various gods is not the central point; you might as well and as usefully debate the reality of the Tooth Fairy or Tinkerbell. (Although I am utterly convinced that the Truth Fairy is Perfectly Real, and, if we are good, brings us good thoughts in our dreams at night.  The proof is the solving of problems that occurs while we sleep.)

But other than obviously existent creatures like the Truth Fairy, the major question is not the reality of the supernatural, but the barbaric and perverted values supernatural religions instill.  The sacred atrocities and holy massacres of the Old Testiment of the Bible has been replicated ad infinitum in history. As has the war justified in the Spiritual Treasure from the East, the Bahavad Gita.

It is the MORALITY that is crucial and should be attacked in religion, not their myths.  The myths legitimate anti-people values and the irrationality that is needed to justify them.  personally I find some of the myths charming.

I seem to remember the demented Trith warning Inherit that soon he will stand before the White Throne of Judgement and have his sorry ass thrown into the Great Lake of Fire.  This is much more satisfying than threatening to raise his income taxes.  Earthly punishments just doesn’t have the same ring, and Divine and earthly power is nothing if not a purvaeyer of punishment.

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By JJ Moore, April 4, 2009 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Happened to read a book recently that tries to move away from the awed deference to religion typical of most creative adventures.  “Where Angels Fear to Tread”, by Yolanda Pascal, took genres where religious themes are commonly embedded and turned them upside down with a dollop of humor and wit.  And skewers fascism to boot.  Well worth reading in this Christianist age.

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By Shenonymous, April 4, 2009 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

Close to my way of thinking, I consider that was a splendid reply you gave Dave24! Agreed there are many riddles and mysteries about existence let alone experiential phenomena.  As a long time skeptic, I am not prone to believe the fantastic can be taken as the real.  I believe that observable events in the world (that is, nature) are explained by natural causes without assuming the existence or non-existence of the supernatural.  When it comes to evidence for the subjective, that is, the mind, we are on more iffy ground.  Seems like we have minds, but how to prove it will depend precisely on what we define it to be and what kind of evidence we accept as proof.  The mind seems to be a different species than concepts even though we cannot grab it with our hands.  We really only “know” the world through inference and actually only see the world as two-dimensionally.  We infer the third dimension and even more remotely space and time.  The idea of God is a concept since that supernatural being has not been directly experienced and therefore by that very nature is not experienced in the way we experience our minds.  That is most likely why human incarnations have showed up in various religions, not just Christianity.  I think you have given a condensed but fairly reasonable explanation of how some beliefs in the existence of deities may have emerged.  Verifiability seems to be the key concept with a direct ratio of amount of verifiability equals the reliability of belief.  I think your conclusions are on the mark.

Night-Gaunt you state the very problem that exists with unverifiable belief and the heart (not meat) of the problem.  I hate to pick meat off of bones.  And the God issues is a bone of contention. No? I like your rundown of deism and the subject could be furthered enjoyed in discussion.  Nearly like you, I think that psychology is where it all happens (ah, the heart is the brain in this case) beliefs that is.  But problems arise when we talk about psychology, the emotions, the mind, etc., as they are only speculatively verifiable, which is what religionists do.  Seems like there are religions in the world that are more “dangerous,” meaning life threatening and both suppressive and oppressive to those not of their particular belief system and those are the ones that need to be strongly challenged and opposed.  These dangerous organized “spiritual”-based groups are found in the west and the east and middle east. 

It would be difficult if not impossible to dispel the need for religion in the entire world.  And while holding an atheist position, it is not my agenda to rid the world of religion.  It is from a practical or as some would call it, pragmatic, attitude.  The conscious level of well-informed people of the world in general are relatively low in number and understanding otherwise known as intellection is a psychological process of a certain maturity that comes about through education and sophisticated abstract thinking about the merits of various forms of experience.  Not that most people are not capable of this level of understanding.  It is that they have not had the education whether formally or through some other system, or from autodidacticism.  The need for moral interaction among a large population goes without saying and religions do provide platforms for moral behavior if only to control the kinds of crimes and misdemeanors humans are engineered for.  Whether people adhere to the “stated” and accepted morals is another question to consider another time.

I rather doubt we will enter a neo-Dark Age.  Mysticism is faddish because by its lack of verifiability people get bored.  The human is always seeking answers, The Truth over trooth.  Mysticism is a species of trooth.  High tech will provide a whole different civilization I think.  the pangs that is felt by some I think is the embryonic stage of a more enlightened humanity.  All birthing is painful.

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By truedigger3, April 4, 2009 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

What a waste of time and energy discussing the existence or no existence of a God.
All along history we had Gods. Even the most primitive cultures had and have Gods. And Gods come
and go. We had Amon, Zeus and Jupiter etc etc etc.
What makes our current God any different? It is the
same ole same ole. It is a product of a fertile imagaination to satify a need to explain things and
cushion and guide humans against the hardships and nasty surprises of life.
If there is a God, then why he created such misery,
sufferings and injustice etc etc etc. And I do not
want anyone answering that question by saying it the
fault of humans because they had a free will and screwed things up.  To me that is screwed up answer and logic that is pure nonsense.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 4, 2009 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

Ah definitions first then we can get to the meat of the problem. Except that you must believe in him without question or proof. So proving something without violating the God of it is a problem Shenonmous. I await your Sampsonian task of ontological proportions. Epistomology is for the naturalists like me.

“I am not an atheist: I am simply a non-deist, because deisim seems only to promote small thinking and prevent wisdom. The obsession with “god” puts shackles on humanity.”Ivan Hentschel.

Deism from deity but it is theos which means ‘god’ as such in Greek. [Though to be linguistically precise, god means to call the theos not a name or nomenklature of one.] So Theism is what you mean. Do you ever hear of anyone being called or call themselves an “a-deist?” No. Deists believe a god created all things then made a hole in space/time, jumped in and pulled the hole in after ‘him’ leaving everything else to run on its own. However I do agree with your sentiments on the matter. I am without a need for theos. It is like a 5th wheel on a car. An unnecessary redundancy & useless appandage of my mind. If the 90% or so of Humanity were deists in their religions we would be much better off. At least they wouldn’t have such elaborate rituals and laws and such to deal with one who may be listening but would not interfere.

Psychology is at the heart of it and it all flows from the brain and how it works. Those of us who don’t have a need for it are mutational variants as one would find in a large population. One of Nature’s stabs at variability for the genome. It is constantly going on as humanity continues to evolve.

With the major schism of Christianity forming in Africa, Asia and Latin America going back to the primitive type of Christianity their ways of dealing with modernism will be brought to the fore. Witches are still being attacked in modern Nigeria and Uganda. Zambia declared itself a Christian nation in 1991. I suspect we are moving into a new Dark Age where hightech and mysticism will be in contest in a rapidly degenerating world so watch out! We in the USA are not safe from the Dominionists who are Calvinists and Calvin is one harsh person. Kiss you rights good by if they do take over here.

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By Dave24, April 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous:  I would accept as proof an event, an action, or truly verifiable pattern that transcends naturalistic explanation.  There are many mysteries and unknowns relative to our daily experience and general understanding, but at present the place-filler for such ignorance should be a question mark, rather than the notion called “God.”

I remain open to the possibility of a deity existing, much in the same way as I am open to Santa, Big Foot, and the Tooth Fairy, so long as evidence is provided; that is, evidence that stands on its own, rather than alleged revelations or ancient scribblings written by authors who knew nothing of germs, the universe, genetics, or in many cases, morality. 

These authors, by no fault of their own, were ignorant about the majesty of nature, so it’s understandable why myth was created and believed in.  Imagine living near volcanoes, seeing comets and eclipses, and not knowing what was going on, or why we were alive at all.  Fabricating god-like beings is a way of understanding the world.

But in 2009 there is no excuse, especially with the knowledge provided by the scientific method.

The level of conviction should be determined by the amount of evidence.  And even then, conclusions remain open to change, which is something religion inherently resists.

I hope I answered your question; if not, please let me know.

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By samosamo, April 4, 2009 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

I have seen several instances of conservative operatives trying to subvert commentary on a web site. I have seen the useless blittering about religion, god and what is right for everybody else. This post is a good example but I have seen worse. Recently I counted 40 comments on a post by 1 person that was just spewing the right wing crap he thought everyone else should be paying attention to for their own sake. Now there appears to be the evangelical neoconservative operatives trying their damnest to convince people of their ‘lack of faith’, the same faith of w’s faith based presidency. But faith is what has got this country in the pickle it is in and faith ain’t gonna save anybody except those criminally minded hacks that use faith as a tool to control. This post is used up now and further commentary is just idiotic bickering. Lack of eternal vigilance has its cost.

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By Shenonymous, April 4, 2009 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Dave24, although I have rather agreed with your premises and your logic, I have a couple of non-rhetorical questions.  With respect to religion, I have none, so I have no agenda except the pursuit of truth, but not trooth: What would you accept as proof that God exists (in the first place)?  And as a runner up?

Leefeller, how shall we answer rhetorical questions?  Rhetorically!  On the rhetoric of truth…Truth is evasive if one is looking for The Truth.  The Truth is an archetype and I’ve never known anyone to catch one of those by the toe.  There aren’t any zoos for archetypes either, so unless you have a bowed cross, uh, make that a crossed bow, yikes, make that a wooden cross bow, there I got it, it will be very difficult to catch anything as evasive and transparent as The Truth, it is a chimera.  Now if you asked how one can accept the accuracy of a 3000 year old manual as trooth, that would require a less evasive answer.  Here is one way:  First one should gouge out their eyes (not for the sake of being grotesque but so blindness is not a problem but is ‘just’ a condition and becomes a metaphor for the blindness of the mind, ah so says Lao Tze), then put on an aluminum hat and sit lotus style in the direction the earth turns, sing a Leonard Cohen tune (any one will do) and rub your tummy with your left palm, sometimes stamping one’s feet helps if the trooth is a difficult birth.  Then wait.

In the words of venerable Lao Tze:
The Way that can be experienced is not true;
The world that can be constructed is not true.
The Way manifests all that happens and may happen;
The world represents all that exists and may exist.

To experience without intention is to sense the world;
To experience with intention is to anticipate the world.
These two experiences are indistinguishable;
Their construction differs but their effect is the same.

Beyond the gate of experience flows the Way,
Which is ever greater and more subtle than the world.

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By bravebear, April 4, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think, therefore I am God.

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By Leefeller, April 4, 2009 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Differences of opinion conjured and titled as hate, seems simplistic for an obvious reason, arguments are not supported by reason of individual perceptions.  The whole of religion is open to debate by the simple premise it has no bases for being, other than delusional indoctrinations.

It should be noted being confronted with ideas other than ones own, should not be perceived as hate. Hate as a word is a burned bridge and has been used often to simplistically define opposite views and end discussion.  Comprehension may indeed be a problem with individuals problems defining words.

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By Dave24, April 4, 2009 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

Oh Dwight, how you amuse.

You said: “Because you and some others commenting do not believe in history, archeology, ancient writings ETS. And it is my supposition that many of you have been indoctrinated by some likes to comic book stuff and you are angry and hate all who do not go along with your weird ideas.”

A classic case of psychological projection.

On a side note, here’s your chance, Dwight. 
Prove to us infidels that God exists; give us specifics rather than references.

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By Leefeller, April 4, 2009 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

Attempting to catch the evasive truth, as reality of the now the present is never absolutely accurate.  How can one even accept the accuracy of a 3000 year manual as truth, especially with unquestioned absolutism in front of it?  So, than they use the word faith instead of logic?

Why cannot the religious folks keep it to themselves? The comfort of the Pew, should be equal for those who wish to be comfortable in their unpew.

Baker since you lumped many posters as being a San Francisco group,  in several of your postings what are you talking about regarding the “San Francisco Group or crowd?

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By Dave24, April 4, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

DwightBaker, you’re a lunatic.

That said, humans are animals—we’re creatures objectively equal to all other living forms.  To think “God” made us intentionally is arrogant, and to think a “spiritual realm” hidden behind reality is concerned with actions here on Earth is utter manmade fabrication. 

Before anyone can talk about God’s alleged Will, prove that God exists in the first place.

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By elsongar, April 4, 2009 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

“I read your last comment now I am a bit puzzled.”

Here’s another puzzler for you: Is the following an assertion or a question?

“Many of the things that you stated were not right according to history in any way?”

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By Leefeller, April 4, 2009 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Attempting to catch the evasive truth, as reality of the now the present is never absolutely accurate.  How can one even accept the accuracy of a 3000 year manual as truth, especially with unquestioned absolutism in front of it?  So, than they use the word faith instead of logic?

Why cannot the religious folks keep it to themselves? The comfort of the Pew, should be equal for those who wish to be comfortable in their unpew.

Baker since you lumped many posters are maybe all in several of your postings what are you talking about regarding the the “San Francisco Group or crowd?

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By lastdaywatchers, April 4, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

The Apostle Paul said it best when wrote

“If Christ be not risen, then our faith is vain”

But he also said

“The power of Christ, is the power unto salvation”

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By freeyourmind, April 4, 2009 at 10:33 am Link to this comment


When Moses told the children of Israel that he received the two tables of the commandments from the hand of God, they were not obliged to believe him, because they had no other authority for it than his telling them so; and I have no other authority for it than some historian telling me so, the commandments carrying no internal evidence of divinity with them. They contain some good moral precepts such as any man qualified to be a lawgiver or a legislator could produce himself, without having recourse to supernatural intervention.

When I am told that the Koran was written in Heaven, and brought to Mahomet by an angel, the account comes to near the same kind of hearsay evidence and second hand authority as the former. I did not see the angel myself, and therefore I have a right not to believe it.

When also I am told that a woman, called the Virgin Mary, said, or gave out, that she was with child without any cohabitation with a man, and that her betrothed husband, Joseph, said that an angel told him so, I have a right to believe them or not: such a circumstance required a much stronger evidence than their bare word for it: but we have not even this; for neither Joseph nor Mary wrote any such matter themselves. It is only reported by others that they said so. It is hearsay upon hearsay, and I do not chose to rest my belief upon such evidence.

It is, however, not difficult to account for the credit that was given to the story of Jesus Christ being the Son of God. He was born when the heathen mythology had still some fashion and repute in the world, and that mythology had prepared the people for the belief of such a story. Almost all the extraordinary men that lived under the heathen mythology were reputed to be the sons of some of their gods. It was not a new thing at that time to believe a man to have been celestially begotten; the intercourse of gods with women was then a matter of familiar opinion. Their Jupiter, according to their accounts, had cohabited with hundreds; the story therefore had nothing in it either new, wonderful, or obscene; it was conformable to the opinions that then prevailed among the people called Gentiles, or mythologists, and it was those people only that believed it. The Jews, who had kept strictly to the belief of one God, and no more, and who had always rejected the heathen mythology, never credited the story.

It is curious to observe how the theory of what is called the Christian Church, sprung out of the tail of the heathen mythology. A direct incorporation took place in the first instance, by making the reputed founder to be celestially begotten. The trinity of gods that then followed was no other than a reduction of the former plurality, which was about twenty or thirty thousand. The statue of Mary succeeded the statue of Diana of Ephesus. The deification of heroes changed into the canonization of saints. The Mythologists had gods for everything; the Christian Mythologists had saints for everything. The church became as crowded with the one, as the pantheon had been with the other; and Rome was the place of both. The Christian theory is little else than the idolatry of the ancient mythologists, accommodated to the purposes of power and revenue; and it yet remains to reason and philosophy to abolish the amphibious fraud.

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By DavidPabian, April 4, 2009 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

It’s actually pretty simple:  Anyone who says that he/she believes in “God” is too ignorant of myth, culture, history, archeology, science to have an opinion on the matter.  Therefore, the assertion of a god’s existence is proof in itself that the person making it is unqualified to do so.

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By samosamo, April 4, 2009 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

It is interesting to read all the ideas people have of religion and their certified idea of god. Endless chatter. Dogmatic opinionated redundancy for self satisfation of ‘why’. Has to be the extinction gene at work. Just another part of no body being absolutely identical to another, the real absolutely amazing thing about this universe where we are but a itsy bitsy teeny weeny part of.
“what have you done? Locked him in His golden cage? Bent Him to YOUR religion; resurrected from the grave! The god of Nothing, all you see, God of everything, inside you and me. You will be praying soon to all the gods you can count”.

By christian96, April 4 at 2:07 am
I did go to bed early, I did get up at sunrise and looked to the east to marvel at it and then started my day.
I wish I could stop commenting to all these religious god articles, there a much much better things to do in a day.

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By jmndodge, April 4, 2009 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

eileen fleming,

  Your comments are very appropriate. The change from Jesus invitation to “follow me”, and the radical relationships which he made during three years of public ministry, are not longer the central focus of what we describe as Christianity.  Our focus has become more based on the religious, the formal, the creedal and the political aspects of the religions known as Christian.  We find ourselves protecting self interest, passionate to extend influence and control, and rarely percieved as bringing “good news” to either the sinner or the poor. 

As a retired pastor, I find it a reality that the phenomenon we know as “American Evangelicalism” is basically in conflict with modern society.  It is the conflict which is causing it’s growth, as people are more easily encouraged to fight against a percieved enemy that to be found going around denying themselves, and doing good. Religion as shaped by our modern culture warriors, is a far greater danger to “Christianity” than society or modern culture.  The simple invitation to follow Jesus, and become people of the way, is welcomed in any culture and modernity is not obstacle to that way of life.

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By godistwaddle, April 4, 2009 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

Sounds like Cheney’s “last throes of the insurgency.”  Religion is dead; it just hasn’t listened to the news.

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By elsongar, April 4, 2009 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

“. . .it was predicted that knowledge would increase and mankind would run to and fro before the end of this dimension arrives. . .”

So are we to assume that, prior to the time of Daniel,before this ‘prediction’ was made for the future, “knowledge” hadn’t been “increas[ing]”  and mankind hadn’t been “run[ning] to and fro”?

We’re not talking caveman times here. Assuming Daniel and his contemporaries knew what knowledge is (After all, they had a word for it.) they must have known that its natural tendency is to “increase”. And, if we assume the Bible is a true indicator, mankind was doing quite a bit of “run[ning] to and fro” in Biblical times, too.

“From out the crimson flood of mother’s love
Their journey will begin on rock-strewn paths.
The chosen, spewing forth from crowded spires,
Will crush with flaming hearts the darkened rose.”

I threw in a few well-worn images and enhanced the language a bit to make the whole thing sound prophetic. Just off the top of my head—in about five minutes. I especially like the “spewing forth from crowded spires” part. Wait around a few hundred years to see if it comes true.

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By Leefeller, April 4, 2009 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

As John Catt suggests, you know as successful marketing organization, religions do develop the so necessary emotional attachments, but they do not really have a trade mark. On the other hand they are seem to have a protective jealous streak of non acceptance of differences, for example: In Ireland, the Catholics and the Protestants and the well known the factions of Islam killing each other over who is right in Iraq and around the world.

Is religions protection not so much for monetary reasons as for the control of the mind? Peaceful existence of religion has spotty,  nor has religion been very acceptable of acceptance toward nonbeleavers.

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By freeyourmind, April 4, 2009 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.

I believe the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.

It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and, in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive anything more destructive to morality than this?  Thomas Paine

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By DonaldJ, April 4, 2009 at 6:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

(part two)

The chakras are definitely there… You take an imaginary double-barreled shotgun, and aim it up inside you at your 7-chakras, and fire.. reload, and fire.. reload and fire till a light flow happens… A flow of liquid blue light… Step into the flow, and you have freed yourself from religion’s mass-insanity… You have cleared the path to the afterlife, from religion’s insane obstructions… You have escaped the zoo… You have escaped Slavery… You are now exploring Truth…

The Prophetic “noah’s arc” you speak of, is essentially the shackles that prevent you from thinking, meditating, being reality… Your religions are sending you to Hell’s recyclement… Some of you actually believe all that god-crap…

Bottom line..  Who created god..?  Someone who feared life created god…  God is the hero of the slaves…  Christianity is the religion of the slaves…  Democracy is religion’s military, to maintain the slaves being unaware that they are slaves…  Our present day slavery would make the ancient Romans proud of our tyrant-class democracy slavery system, in which the slaves actually don’t know they are slaves born into slavery…  The god concept reinforces slavery…  It provides the meek and the insane their imaginary friend…

The god concept is a mirror vision of the big bang concept..  both just gorilla-class scams to suck money out of the mindless ape-class masses, in defending the innocent masses from the toilet-class money-parasitic masses…

Include that stuff, and now you’ve got some of the truth about the god-fantasy…

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By DonaldJ, April 4, 2009 at 5:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The book, and books although well done, miss a few of the points which are difficult to verbalize.. deemed unworthy to even consider, and inappropriate to present, which would likely damage sales…  To create such a book in all honesty, one must also include the more controversial concepts hinted at in the following… 

Who created god..?

(A Israelite Roman slave created god, to give his people some illusionary hope that there’s more to life than just being expendable Roman slaves in hell on earth…

“The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin”

Of course it did!.. The Romans exterminated the Slave’s new politically-incorrect leader.. and announced to the slaves, that from his death, they were all thus absolved of any responsibility and guilt for their coupe attempt upon the government, IF they paid their taxes on time… and they did, and things went back to normal… The Romans told the slaves that he died for their sins… But now look what that thing has evolved into.. an amazing abomination of complete and utter nonsensical insanity…

I’m finding that the “god factor” is a lot more than, “worshiping an idol”... It seems to have grown to be hormonal, conditioned, pain/reward themed, compensating for loss, compensating for lack of confidence, fear based, justification for homosexuality, and much more, rather less.. The list goes on and on into just about every trigger that triggers humans to d, or to not do something…

What you call “Ark”, located in the top center of the right brain hemisphere, is the human creative center of the brain…  It’s where religion installed its imprisonment-conditioning in you, to cause you cerebral nerve plumbing restriction migraines should you try to think out of the box.. should you process thought using more than 7% of the mind…  You delete the conditioning in exploiting a be of “blasphemy” the conditioning can’t process.. and when the conditioning tries o destroy you, you cut power to your thought processing, and it destroys itself..  freeing your Being from dogma insanity…  Freed to see reality and truth…  Freed from religion and its pretend gods…

This “Ark” thing is how the great god scam holds you and your family to tithing, to maintain their 2000-year ongoing group wine and cheese party, at the expense of the masses..

The “Ark of the Scam”... To escape the Ark’s evil, all you need do is mentally heal your creative center, or that Ark thing will pull you into hell… Your religion is essentially “hell’s kitchen”... You are nothing but a mindless slave… Christianity is the religion of the slaves…  God is the fantasy king of the slaves

The “Ark” is the conditioning which holds your mind in bondage… Religion is “the unclean beast”, the great vampire, sucking the life out of you, like they suck on each other’s penises… Why is it that your religious masters do so much enjoy resting warm soft testicles upon their chins..? Religion claiming “the beast”, is like “the plugged toilet complaining that the bathroom stinks”... Religion IS the beast, hiding behind a church… Religion is “Satan wearing a god-mask”...  That’s your “god”...

end part one…)

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By Outraged, April 4, 2009 at 2:03 am Link to this comment

Re: Shenonymous

Your comment: “There is always that aspect in religions or quasi-religions (belief systems) that there is something wrong with the world in which humans find themselves.  Yes of course there are ugly aspects in the world, the Misguideds, Miscreants, and Misogynists, but it is not the world that is repugnant, rather it is beautiful in many ways.  It is a matter of a healthy or unhealthy perspective.”

Well put.  Thank you.

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By Shenonymous, April 3, 2009 at 11:56 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, ciao.  Genuinely sorry about that statue.  I vividly remember seeing it on television years ago and seeing the roughly created sculpture carried through the streets by the sincerely protesting students.  It was an act of idealism if I ever saw one.  Oh yeah, the one in Tiananmen Square was another.  I most assuredly agree with the rest of your comments about the monotheistic gods except I would add all gods not only want to display their power they command submission. Eve is seen by the three Abrahamic religions as the first sinner, ah yes a woman! but, Adam was the first to submit! Oh boy, a man! You are so right about the first myth, which by the way is repeated in many other cultures. 

The Pandora myth appears in Hesiod. The Navajos have the First Pair as well, the man transformed from corn the woman from lightning.  The Bushongo people of Africa believe creator Bumba vomited up the first people, oh boy!  The Zunis had a pair of gods, Sun Father and Moonlight-giving Mother to create their people.  The ancient Egyptians, before the writing of the Hebrew Bible (Adam/Eve story) had Khnum who also made men from clay, oh and egalitarian as they were, women were made from clay too. In the European traditions, the Norse myths of their pantheistic gods created the first man and woman from an ash tree and an elm tree and similar tree/human creation stories show up in Native American myths.  This is only a very brief list.

Buddhism, having no god, is not actually a religion although many have transmuted it as such.  The five ethical precepts and philosophical tenets of Zen Buddhism are humanistic instructions. 
1.  I will be mindful and reverential with all life,
    I will not be violent nor will I kill.
2.  I will respect the property of others, I will not steal.
3.  I will be conscious and loving in my relationships,
    I will not give way to lust.
4.  I will honor honesty and truth, I will not deceive.
5.  I will exercise proper care of my body and mind,
    I will not be gluttonous nor abuse intoxicants.
There is some kinship to other traditions such as the Greek principles of the virtues, and Western culture’s the Judaic 10 Commandments without all of the jealous God submission gibberish. Among the problems in Zen is submission to a roshi, (in Buddhism, the equivalent of a cleric) even though it is “supposedly” for one’s good to assist the human somnambulists in “awakening” from ordinary foggy cognition. Buddhism depressingly renounces this world.  There is always that aspect in religions or quasi-religions (belief systems) that there is something wrong with the world in which humans find themselves.  Yes of course there are ugly aspects in the world, the Misguideds, Miscreants, and Misogynists, but it is not the world that is repugnant, rather it is beautiful in many ways.  It is a matter of a healthy or unhealthy perspective.  Better not to think of any god for what you are thinking with is still your own mind.  The human imperative is to keep it.

If mankind’s mind is so limited, christian96, then why didn’t your smart God, you know, that omnipotent one, make it able to comprehend the divine?  There is too much to view anyway.  It is the voraciously inventive human arrogance that thinks it needs to observe the totality of an immense creation (whatever that could mean).  It is kind of a megalomania.  Well if what you say is true, then all the putrid human psychoses will follow them into the alleged “other” dimension.  What makes you think anything will change?  Exactly what “different” perspective will knowledge and understanding be understood from?  Understand understanding?  Isn’t that what you said?  Sounds redundant.  Are you sure you are not on drugs?  Mankind would run to and fro?  Want to explain that gimmicky phrase?  Would that be like Country/Western Line Dancing?  So what if there ain’t no mo?

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By christian96, April 3, 2009 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Leefeller——You are correct.  My memory is
fading in my old age.  It was “That’s all, Folks!”
I believe it was last night I said I was going to quit staying up into the wee hours of the morning
making comments on this site, but here I am.  Still
shooting my mouth off after 2a.m.  For me, right now,
it is “That’s All Folks!”  I’m going to bed.

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