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Ear to the Ground

Atheists Know More About Religion Than the Pious

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Posted on Sep 28, 2010
James Jacques Joseph Tissot

Well, this is awkward. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life undertook a study in which nonbelievers correctly answered more religious knowledge questions than the devout. Mormons and Jews also scored well and, like atheists, know more about Christianity than Christians.

Here are some of Pew’s surprising findings:

More than four-in-ten Catholics in the United States (45%) do not know that their church teaches that the bread and wine used in Communion do not merely symbolize but actually become the body and blood of Christ. About half of Protestants (53%) cannot correctly identify Martin Luther as the person whose writings and actions inspired the Protestant Reformation, which made their religion a separate branch of Christianity. Roughly four-in-ten Jews (43%) do not recognize that Maimonides, one of the most venerated rabbis in history, was Jewish.

In addition, fewer than half of Americans (47%) know that the Dalai Lama is Buddhist. Fewer than four-in-ten (38%) correctly associate Vishnu and Shiva with Hinduism. And only about a quarter of all Americans (27%) correctly answer that most people in Indonesia—the country with the world’s largest Muslim population—are Muslims.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 4, 2010 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

Leefeller:
You got too much time on your hands, pal!

But I laughed my .... off!

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By Joan, October 4, 2010 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Well, Gil,

The import of my observation that people become therapists or psychologists to keep their own fragile psyches intact is startling news to the laity who often view such professionals as having their acts together, unlike the rest of us poor struggling everyday “joes”. But surprise! these supposed godlike entities are just like the rest of us, working to say afloat.

Gil and Shenonymous,

Why deflect from this observation to attacking Maani?  I have not heard him appeal to strategic therapy or applying systems theory. He counsels as a man of God. He appeals to God for ultimate salvation.  Although I am sure he utilizes earthly services to assist those he can, he is crystal clear that he teaches about prayer and Scriptures rather than dissect the minutiae of another’s psyche.

Is don’t see what Maani has to do at all with my observation about psychologists. What a ruse!

She,


As usual you, argue and argue, drowning in the bounteous flood of your own words. As I defined for your convenience in my post already, I am NT Yahwehist enough to raise a sword if evil threatens. 

Leefeller,

I have more for you ...stay tuned.

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By Joan, October 4, 2010 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Leefeller,

Thanks for the warm welcome back.

You’re a kibitzser and funny and clever, a good contrast at times to the headier dialogues but kibitzers have to be careful that what’s funny to them does not slash another’s heart.

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By Joan, October 4, 2010 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Elisalouisa ,

I am delighted that my post struck a chord.

Actually went to Catholic school, K-12, but in college went on my own path, some 40 years in the deserts of my choice. It was Yahweh through Jesus who fancied me enough to bring me to His Promised Land…and as the Bible says, I learned Yahweh does keep His promises. 

Due to time constraints I seldom blog anymore but this is a fascinating subject. So I’ll keep checking in.

I admire your courage.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, October 4, 2010 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Excellent cartoon video Leefeller!!!!

I laughed, I cried… good stuff.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, October 4, 2010 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Not every 81 year old atheist is so cruel and embittered by life and doubt of their destination after death.. makes allot of sense now Dr. G!

My ole sailing buddy of 88 years passed away a couple of years ago.. I’d sail with almost every week, with others whom also have no belief in the afterlife or God or anything like that… they subscribe to the skeptics magazine.

Yet, we never attacked each other nor would he be angry at me for sharing my thoughts and beliefs… we never had an exchange like we’ve seen on here.

Yet, my heart was broken because, for with all his knowledge, intellect and life experience ( and he being one of nicest and kindest and generous person I’ve known ) he simply couldn’t lend himself an opportunity to look into what I was talking about… for he never really saw anyone ‘walk the talk.’

Yet, some can only see the Christ if He is living in those who profess Him… and that may reflect how I’ve been doing spiritually, to my shame.

Yet my ‘belief’ is beyond pie in the sky.. I’ve SEEN things which I wish no man to see for themselves… for it is TOO MUCH TO FATHOM and take in… I have seen proof of the spirit world which further solidified the Word and its explanations of things in this world and the surreal things as well for me.  I know with that statement, the doubt is going to curl up and rise ever further.. but I must share this with you.

Maani helps out those in need NOT because he wishes a nicer place in heaven or to reach heaven in the first place… I think he does because his heart, conscience and the Word COMPELS him to ACTION…. and in all that, his actions are not for him to boast, but to show as an example of gratitude for his position in life.. grateful for not being one of those in great need…. but glad to help out.. NOT for points or otherwise, that view is from the outside looking in.

And we have people on these boards who REALLY NEED love, compassion and understanding… but they just don’t know what love is to begin with.

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By Leefeller, October 4, 2010 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

A fantasy reality for the fantasy contented, FYI:
We may be able to all agree on this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfuwNU0jsk0&feature=player_embedded

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By Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 4, 2010 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

Well that explains it all to me. “As an aside, because you are relatively new to the boards, you don’t realize how long a history some of us have with each other, and what we know about each other.”

So I have unwittingly blundered into a cesspool, and naively thinking this was a bunch of strangers commenting on a news article, I allowed myself to get trapped in your feces.  Well, even a brilliant psychologist can screw up, and I certainly did—not the first time in my eighty-one years either.  I’ll take a shower, fumigate the acquired stench from your association (with a few exceptions, of course) and consider myself lucky to have escaped from the thirsty mob of “loving,” kindly, peaceful Christians foraging for heathens to excoriate, with nothing more than a few bruises.  Have fun all you Jesus-loving altruists, and keep up the good work spreading his loving message—it looks so good on you.

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By Maani, October 4, 2010 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Dr. G:

“Do you know these people you fantasize about and insult with your rude characterizations?  Do you know enough about them to insult their marital status, drinking habits, educational level and psychological makeup.” (To EL)

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!  The only difference here is that EL states it openly while you simply insinuate it!

As an aside, because you are relatively new to the boards, you don’t realize how long a history some of us have with each other, and what we know about each other.  And while I think EL was out of line in those comments (yes, I can also DISagree with EL on occasion…), YOUR question, while admittedly a question, is asked in such a way as to presume that EL does NOT know.

One thing I do agree with EL about is that not just Leefeller, but almost (that’s “almost”) all the atheists here are a truly angry, fearful, sour bunch who continually (as opposed to occasionally) resort to negativity in order to make their points.  Yet even with some of the “equal” retorts by EL, and the righteous indignation of EL, Joan, Napoleon and myself, a quick read through this thread shows that we express a much greater degree of contentment, perhaps even happiness, as well as (are you listening, Dr. G?) self-confidence, than most of you do.

Peace.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, October 4, 2010 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

The ‘right’ has money and maybe religion in common ( but for sure and THAT is their bond, thus the hegemony )...

Yet those who are purported to be the ‘left’ having maybe not even money or God in common.. why you suppose some who are NOT for the status-quo are so unorganized and at each others throats you wonder?

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By Inherit The Wind, October 4, 2010 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

Maani:
I stand corrected on the “stone” parable—but as you noted it didn’t change my point.

As for your fellow religion defenders here: I am not an Atheist. I am Agnostic. There are major differences.  To me, there is no significant difference between Catholics and Protestants. Actually there no significant differences from my perspective between Christians and Muslims.  Would you be offended it I kept referring to you both directly and obliquely as Muslims?  Yet I am respectful enough not to do so.

Maani: You’ve muddied the waters on going to heaven. Because now good works don’t mean anything.  Or do they? If they don’t then my point about being more concerned with heaven is yet again validated.

Think about it: If your motive for helping someone out of pain or danger or starvation is selfish because you want to go to heaven, isn’t that STILL better than being pure in your faith, but letting them starve and/or die?  Because REAL good works aren’t tokens, like picking up a cigarette butt because it’s ugly.  They are things that make a difference in someone else’s life.

I think about George Burns’s line in “Oh! God!”

“You can love, cherish and take care of each other. Or you can kill each other.”

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, October 4, 2010 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

What is interesting is how one person berates another at length yet cannot take the reaction from the berated… aren’t we all hypocrites at times?

Who is the nut job and who is thinking clearly here? 

Without drowning in their sea of many words and ill directed discourse…

Thanks for your kind words and assistance Elisa!

How the title of this article should read is:

Atheists THINK They Know More About Religions Than The Pious THINK They Do.

Or maybe just leave it like it was authored, and simply state that its true, non-believers know more about ‘religions’ because the believers are focused on ‘living’ out their beliefs and ‘doing’ what is says like Maani has shared he does, and ‘walking the path’ which some folks here have stated they try to do daily… and they hate for it… interesting isn’t it…

Are the folks who are irreligious or pious on their own knowledge and merits being HATED on and ridiculed by those expressing their faith and beliefs? ( at least at first, for I have blasted back in haste with angry words after being attack.. making a sly-type defense of others myself ).

Remember, the research attempting to blow holes into something that takes ‘faith’ to believe and better understand is ‘ridiculous’ when you consider it…

And also, are not the secular scholars, both then and now, writing from a perspective attempting to show any possible faults in the faith, the purpose or mindset of the faithful?  So their research and final outcome can be so biased… much like the responses of the non-beleivers is full of bias, anger and discust… because the see believers and ingnorant like chattel following the mass consensus and state manipulation? 

How so if one believing in the ‘hallucinations’ can also perfectly describe to you about the realities of chattel service to the hegemony and other realities… things that some of you ( will NOT honestly admit due to pride and fear ) didn’t have a clue about before reading it from a believer… and that is upsetting, for it doesn’t fit their paradigm mind.

For all religious people are seen as fanatics and misinformed minions… and only scholarly and the learned have ‘woken’ up from the mass distractions… but yet worship that dollar over the LORD… and that, they cannot see clearly no matter what! 

And are all the summations of those faith bashing scholars correct and accurate 100% whereas the inspired men writing the scrolls and scriptures NOT correct and accurate -100%?... come on now, where is the reason in that?

At least meet folks half way in reasoning to say folks may make mistakes and new thoughts and facts come into play… like how science is truly determined to expound truth by-way of empirical evidence… yet one’s hypothesis is destroyed by another, even more ridiculous but nicer to chew on.. since it is a new concept on whatever… itching ears love hearing weird stuff to feed their already made up scratchy minds.

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By garth, October 4, 2010 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

Fried Oersters!  That’s the ticket.  I was drivin’ to New Orleans and stopped at neon sign that read, Fried Oysters.  Being from New England, I’d never tasted fried oersters.  We stopped, I ate and they conquered.  Besides soft shell crab, I’ve never tastes such ambrosia.

Beware, all those who enter (comments) here who aren’t in on the joke.  It’s a mind game, a sort of Fun House in words.

And it will go on and on until you drop out or you choose to stop receiving updates.


I was listening to Stephani Miller a fews back and the topic was ‘Personal Responibility’.  A ‘truck driver’ called in to reaffirm the theme, Personal Responibility.’  The only problem was that when he was asked what road he was on, he had no idea.  No there’s an example of personal irresponsibily.

The reason he had no idea is that he was not a truck driver and he was not on some road.  I’d guess he was some manager of some affiliate station.

This is ALL a big hoax.  Round and round we go.  Petraeus laid down the law to Pakistan.  Whaaa?

Pakistan?  I thought we were fighting in Afghanistan.  Osama Bin Laden spoke and they said it sounded like him.  They have voice recognition technology to prove with certitude that a voice belongs to someone.

Bin Laden lives in a cave, and nothing says I’m living in a cave more that a long flowing robes.

The Bible is what it is used to represent.

Try reading it cover to cover.  You run into deep trouble around Genesis 2.  It’s all down hill from there.

Try reading it as the Christians suggest, and you still get bogged down. Try reading only the parts you like, the poetry, and that’s where you might find some relief.  But the zealots want to put it in context, and disregard any real inspirational value.

This is the penultimate step in disinformation. 

Gimme d’em fried oersters.

But the Christian Brothers of the Oil Man, BP has spoiled that as far as I trust.

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By Leefeller, October 4, 2010 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

On reflections; mostly off empty Tequila bottles; I find the Pious can be a bit uppity in their Sanctimoniousity…....  Why am I remanded of myself, on my birthday when I turned twenty one and my parents decided I was old enough for them to tell me, Santa Claus really did not exist?

Unfortunately my parents forgot to tell me about the tooth fairy,..... I only found out about her years later…. on my own.  After a five dollar bet with my brother Clyde ..... I pulled one of my teeth to prove the Tooth Fairy exists.  Well so far the fairy has never showed up, but I am still not paying Clyde!

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By Leefeller, October 4, 2010 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Geeze elisalouisa, quoting Nemesis dost seem a miracle a tad above those normal miracles.  I have seen the lite, (usually me)....... the (gawd).... the (sun) streaming through the leaves and while eating my holy (toast) ,.....all at the same time while laughing out loud from the pettiness of those stylish self flogging doormats!

Yahshua…....Yahsuaheight…..people, I still prefer…. git yur hunch right!

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By Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 4, 2010 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

elisalousa,

Do you know these people you fantasize about and insult with your rude characterizations?  Do you know enough about them to insult their marital status, drinking habits, educational level and psychological makeup.  You are the sickest person I have encountered on any website and your ability to denigrate people with your despicable name-creations betrays an awfully serious dementia, one that tells me that you infest many websites in search of prey for your Christian-venom injections.  I’m curious; how do you now the relationship status of “shenonymous”?

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By elisalouisa, October 4, 2010 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

As a matter of fact those Saturdays at the park where homeless people were aided was not by just one person thing, I was privileged to be part of it. Does that matter? Why would I mention that? Go visit a homeless shelter, do a day’s work there and then come back and comment.

On a rip are you SheShrill? It’s been a while and the venom has certainly built up, especially without a man to take it out on.
Look in the mirror Ms. She, take a good look and see in yourself what you hurl on to another.You and weefeller should go to counseling together.You have a man to look down on and he has what he needs, a women who gets her kicks from a man who looks up to her. No equal relationship possible here. You give the inpression She that you have been under psychiatric care for some time, to no avail. Many atheists are lost in that manner.Thus the persistent push to marginalize people who believe. Check out Carl Jung.

It’s no use Napolean, some are too far gone.

Now for a breath of fresh air.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, October 4, 2010 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

Shenothing… why do you keep digging us this garbage?

Do you suppose you will created doubt in those believers?

And you keep heaping insults and demand ‘how’ you and your smarties are ‘correct’ in your dissertations…

If you are single and lonely, it is clear to see and understand why… for who could live with such a shill?

There is a scripture about that, you’ll love it:

Proverbs 27:15-16

“A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like retraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.”

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By Shenonymous, October 4, 2010 at 5:16 am Link to this comment

elisalouisa, October 4 at 1:35 am – ” Having visited homeless
shelters and known some who work with the homeless as you do, I
know the courage it takes and the mental strain such work can result
in.”
 

Does that mean you only visited and watched others work with the
homeless but did not work with them yourself?  Were you not
courageous enough to help or were you too mentally strained to do
such work?  Or are you waiting for the weezers and All-Inclusivers to
care for the homeless?  Do you just watch others do good but not
yourself?

Are you also a non-credentialed psychologist?  All the advice you are
freely giving Truthdippers who you think cannot take care of
themselves is so extensive. 

In your not-so-Christian attitude you have not offered to help Mr.
Leefeller, who actually is a humorist who is not as you imagine but is
an image you have created to hate.  Are you a Yahwehists too?

Joan, October 4 at 12:19 am – ” If Maani is emotionally insecure for
conferring with others, then you take first place for insecurity for
needing to bludgeon anyone who effectively stands his ground against
your dubious conclusions.”
  Are you an expert at recognizing
insecurity?  Where does Dr. Gil show insecurity?  And exactly what
ground did Maani stand against Gil Gaudia’s professional opinion?  And
did Gil Gaudia really bludgeon Maani?  In what way did he bludgeon
Maani?  You kind of mess around in a lot of generalities just to make
some off the wall criticisms.  Are you needing company too?

What is a Yahwehist?  As the drivel and dross goes, it is based on the
Jewish word for God, Yahwehism may be found among trinitarians,
twinitarians, and onenessers.  They all have in common the belief that
the name Jesus is derived from the name of the pagan Greek god Zeus. 
They recant and deny the name of Jesus, these substitute the Jewish
name for God, Yahweh.  Some will say the name Yahweh is the name of
God the Father and Yahshua is the name of God the Son.  Some will say
there is no salvation in the name of Jesus or Yahshua, and only in the
name Yahweh.  In reality they are Zeusians (uh, Greek).  And Jesus’s
name was really Joshua.  So the entire Christian religion based on Jesus
is an evil putrification of the real Savior, Joshua.  Ho hum.  And the
Hallelujah Yahweh dances have been proven to be ancient devil-snake
circle dances, so they are Satanic worshippers.  This is a very peculiar
cult and defies all sanity. http://yahwehism.com/  and they believe in a
second creation because the first one was such a dud.  Associated with
http://www.yahwehism.com/html/yahowah.html 
Havana nice day Yahwehists and all. LOL

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By elisalouisa, October 4, 2010 at 4:31 am Link to this comment

Please take care of yourself Maani. A friend of mine started his own Mission for the homeless so to speak. Each Saturday he would feed the homeless at the parking with donated turkeys that he had cooked. Donations of clothing were distributed to those in need. It took its toll on him and also his family as he took on their problems. Hopefully, you are part of a larger organization where there are others who understand and you can bond with.

Napolean: “And then they attempt to put you down further… trying to sense an elevation or superiority of some sort thinking they really ‘stuck it to someone’ by their retorts and tongue lashings… as they use their words with hidden contempt… how can such viciousness be relied upon for help, for decent advice or conscience recommendation when you receive such a welcoming slap?”

Good points, which leads me to:

Your posts continually reflect the anger and hurt within you leefeller, you seem to be at the boiling point. The booze you consume may help for a short period. The lowly name calling you allow yourself to indulge in aimed at me and my ilk as your idol Nemesis would say, does you more harm, reinforcing that rage within. Perhaps Maani, Mr. G. or someone in your area could assist in alleviating you of the hatred that poisons not only your body but also your soul.

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By Leefeller, October 4, 2010 at 3:03 am Link to this comment

“Christians are, in fact, not doormats for the purportedly ‘more enlightened’ atheists among us to spit on and then call us religious hypocrites for chastening them for their bad manners, for our daring to demand that atheists treat us with the dignity all deserve in virtue of being members of the human race.  So much for the enlightenment of the atheists among us.”

Feeling like a doormat and not really liking it? Seems uncomfortable and hurtful and unpleasant and not something those darn New Atheists should get away with,..... You want the old Atheists back, the roll over and take it like a Heretic Atheists, the ones who used to go screaming and shrieking to the stake,..... ah what entertainment….... those where the days!  Showing a little hell on earth where we, there is more where that came from.  Those Heretics who died quietly really were not all that entertaining, probably because they had their tongues cut out?... Well at least they were out of the way and set an example for the rest of those unmannered infidels, always so out of line making you feel stupid and you never know when one might be hiding in the closet.

Sanctimonious seems most adequately defined, when accredited to the Pious for hypocrisy seems a leading word when the pure as the driven snow Pious say Heretics are going to be the devils dishrag, ...................So which are you?...... a bad mannered enlightened dishrag .....or a Sanctimonious Pious human doormat demanding dignity?

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By Maani, October 3, 2010 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

EL:

“Your courage abounds Maani. Having visited homeless shelters and known some who work with the homeless as you do, I know the courage it takes and the mental strain such work can result in. How do we care for the homeless? A question that shall be in the foreground even more as unemployment figures increase.”

It is already figuring.  Even in the relatively small geographic area in which I do my outreach, there are several new homeless people who appeared in just the past few months.  It really is sad and upsetting.

She:

“Maani, does that mean you dabble in the underprivileged’s psyches?  Is that ethical for a non-professional?”

Since I see no “LOL” here, I will assume you are being serious.

As a minister who is trained in pastoral counseling - which includes both in-faith and general counseling (and one who has the addition of advanced courses in psychology) - I am not considered a “non-professional.  In this regard, I don’t “dabble” in ANYONE’s psyches: I offer professional counseling in the areas in which I am trained.

Peace.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, October 3, 2010 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment

Just on an aside… ever consider, as our responses and jabs at each other show… if can anyone be trusted to lead / govern without relying on guaranteed impunity and can be trusted to NOT show preference, alliance or disdain for those they perceive to be inferior to themselves / their pedigree?

And thanks, I am not afraid to share my real thoughts and try NOT to have too much ‘high’ wording to make my point and not lose half the audience in lieu of my arrogance.

Sure I express myself, and freely most times, yet folks write their words carefully to keep from exposing their true colors or being politically correct as far as they can decipher from their words ( and believe NEVER to blunder or speak in fallacy, which again, is a fallacy in itself stating you don’t misstate ), don’t they? 

Reminds me of childhood, where it was the same stuff on the playground with the bullies and little miss know-it-alls… and they could never really learn anything outside their pedigree or other than what mommy, daddy and their own minds tell them is right, fine and dandy.

And then they attempt to put you down further… trying to sense an elevation or superiority of some sort thinking they really ‘stuck it to someone’ by their retorts and tongue lashings… as they use their words with hidden contempt… how can such viciousness be relied upon for help, for decent advice or conscience recommendation when you receive such a welcoming slap?

To point something out:

There are biblical Christians ( more like disciples of Christ ) living amongst us today… the Word unifies them, not words spun in circles like on here.

I also like how some folks consider themselves ‘sane’ enough to point out the faults in others… and can do so simply by reading the typing on their electronic screens… and of course, because a group of PHD’s at some university somewhere said it so… it is so and used as reference…. until some other group of phd’s at some other university do another study which expels, debunks and refutes that previous study…. and repeat.. and now go back a few thousand years… and you see the empire has worked really well for some time now… in their WMD’s ( weapons of mass distraction ).

We’ve been pitted against one another, differentiated to our cores and dissected like the chattel they think us to be…. and we still attack each other and further muddy the waters to our hearts content instead of forging forward with said differences but still with the hope of solution and betterment for our well-beings… but seems like only real noble people put their differences aside without attacking indifference… but I digress and falter yet again, as you can plainly see.

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By Shenonymous, October 3, 2010 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

Maani, does that mean you dabble in the underprivileged’s psyches?
Is that ethical for a non-professional?

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By Shenonymous, October 3, 2010 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

Maani, October 4 at 1:17 am – ”I hope that answers your
question.”

Yes, sufficiently.  Thank you.

Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 4 at 1:33 am – precisely.
___________

What would it matter if people became psychologists to keep
themselves from straying from the path of their own sanity?  Is that a
criticism?  Guess the secret belief isn’t secret anymore!  How eminently
funny.

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By Maani, October 3, 2010 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

Gil:

“If you are correct Joan, (and who knows, you may well be) when you say, ‘It supports my secret belief that people only become psychologists to keep themselves from straying from the path of their own sanity,’ then does that apply to poor maani? I hear he dabbles in that field himself.”

Aye, Dr. G, but there’s the rub: I only “dabble” in it (i.e., it is only a third or less of ministry), while you have been steeped in it for, what, 40 years?  50?  Big difference, methinks.  LOL.

Peace.

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By elisalouisa, October 3, 2010 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

Your courage abounds Maani. Having visited homeless shelters and known some who work with the homeless as you do, I know the courage it takes and the mental strain such work can result in. How do we care for the homeless? A question that shall be in the foreground even more as unemployment figures increase.

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By Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 3, 2010 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

If you are correct Joan, (and who knows, you may well be) when you say, “It supports my secret belief that people only become psychologists to keep themselves from straying from the path of their own sanity,” then does that apply to poor maani? I hear he dabbles in that field himself.

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By Maani, October 3, 2010 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

She:

“So Maani, aren’t you a self-styled psychologist who ministers to the homeless?”

I’m not sure what you mean by “self-styled.”  I have taken advanced courses in psychology (though I do not have a degree in it, nor nearly as much academic knowledge or “years of service” as Dr. Guadia) and studied pastoral counseling during my ministerial studies. 

However, you are conflating two aspects of my ministry.  Although I do, on occasion, offer psychological counseling to some of my homeless charges, the majority of my ministry to them is outreach and advocacy, including helping move them from the street to housing, including social services.

Re counseling, I provide such both “in faith” (i.e., for believers with specific faith-related issues) and in general (alcoholism, addiction, domestic violence, family, children, etc. - and my clientele is admittedly mostly, but not exclusively, believers).

I hope that answers your question.

Peace.

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By elisalouisa, October 3, 2010 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

Beautiful quotes Napolean, especially Ecclesiastes 3:11.

I must comment as to faith and works Maani. If you truly have faith, works are also part of who you are. The word Grace has always intrigued me for many reasons. Your patience abounds, and we are all the better for it.

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By Shenonymous, October 3, 2010 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

So Maani, aren’t you a self-styled psychologist who ministers to
the homeless?

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By Leefeller, October 3, 2010 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

Dear Joan nice to see you too!

Of course I like to make mischief, all in demented fun I assure you and in good taste of course. As for sinking me teeth into anything; those large tasty sanctimonious bulls eye Pious on a spit, .......turning cheeks seem to do nicely!

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By elisalouisa, October 3, 2010 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

Sock it to ‘em Joan. Thank you for your encouragement and enlightening, to-the-point post. Such energy is good for the soul, one sentence especially worth repeating, in fact several:

“Christians are, in fact, not doormats for the purportedly ‘more enlightened’ atheists among us to spit on and then call us religious hypocrites for chastening them for their bad manners, for our daring to demand that atheists treat us with the dignity all deserve in virtue of being members of the human race.  So much for the enlightenment of the atheists among us.” 

So you are Pauline enough. Very good term. Frankly, you have the courage in taking a stand that some of my Catholic teachers had. If you care to share, I would be interested in knowing what other websites you frequent.

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By Maani, October 3, 2010 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

Gil:

“Maani, you poor insecure soul; don’t you even have a clue that your need to ‘have had three of my atheist friends…read through part or all of this thread, and every one of them agrees with my assessment of the situation,’ demonstrates that you do not have the emotional and cognitive strength to deal with this situation on your own?”

I suppose this would be true if my having those friends read through the thread was, in fact, a “need.”  However, I am equally happy to leave you with your illusions about me, and your armchair diagnosis of my ego condition.  My guess is that, were we to meet in a local bar or coffee shop and strike up a conversation, your assessment of me would be quite different.  And, I suppose, my assessment of you might be different as well.  I think that’s the best either of us can say at this point.

ITW:

“Your interpretation of Jesus interpreting Torah is no different than mine…However, many of your fellow Christians have argued here that the NT REPLACES the OT (and, by direct implication, Torah). Like Paul. It is THAT interpretation that makes Christianity seem hypocritical.”

You are right that too many Christians take that position.  But I don’t see that Paul is one of them.  And I think “hypocritical” is the wrong word here: it is simply bad theology.

“I’m no expert but Jewish tradition is filled with examples of parables similar to Jesus’ judgement of Mary Magdelene: ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,’ i.e., an evaluation of Torah, in reasonable and real circumstances.”

Actually, it wasn’t MM; that is a common error.  First, it wasn’t a prostitute (which Mary was) but an adultress (and the NT does distinguish between the two).  Second, there is no reason to infer from the text that it was MM.  Other than that, I agree with you.

“I’ve argued with fanatical Christians that Jesus was a Jew and followed Jewish law (Torah) and that they have made him out to change that law.  You are a rarity.”

Thank you.  However, I am not as rare as you may think - at least, in my experience, most of the Christians (and particularly ministers) I know agree with our position.

“Now I’m not going to back down on the idea that Christians are obsessed with heaven and getting there, and that much of the motivation to ‘do good’ on Earth is for the selfish end of reaching heaven.”

If that is what they believe, then they do not know their NT very well.

James does say, “What doth it profit…though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?...Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone…A man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works…Wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”  (Note the critical phrase “BY my works.”)

However, Paul makes it clear which is more important:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST.” (Emphasis mine.)

Paul adds, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ…that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

So although both the “law” and “works” are important, neither “grace” nor “justification” can be attained by them, but only by faith.

Peace.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, October 3, 2010 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

- Proverbs 1:7

And also, this is quite encouraging, something the grand philosophers and learned skeptics could mull over while they sleep tonight:

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

- Ecclesiastes 3:11

Love you all, have a good night and a great week!

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By Joan, October 3, 2010 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

Gil Gaudia,

If Maani is emotionally insecure for conferring with others, then you take first place for insecurity for needing to bludgeon anyone who effectively stands his ground against your dubious conclusions. It supports my secret belief that people only become psychologists to keep themselves from straying from the path of their own sanity.

Leefeller,

You still like to make mischief instead of saying something to sink your teeth into. Why not put yourself out there like Elisalouisa or Maani?  You and GG picking apart Elisalouisa when she put you in your place after taunting her by appealing to her Christian beliefs was just cheap, oh clever one. 

Elisalouisa,

I’m as much Yahwehist as I am a Christian, believing in the OT God who smotes His enemies as much as His NT messenger, Jesus, who counsels us to be courteous and patient even with the world’s self-made moronic.  Yahweh, however, understands some of His errant children who for all His efforts are so inexplicably and immorally recalcitrant that they deserve nothing less than some good old fashioned divine retribution.  I am Pauline enough and old enough to have learned that being a good person, a good Christian, means giving a good rebuke at times. Christians are, in fact, not doormats for the purportedly “more enlightened” atheists among us to spit on and then call us religious hypocrites for chastening them for their bad manners, for our daring to demand that atheists treat us with the dignity all deserve in virtue of being members of the human race.  So much for the enlightenment of the atheists among us. 

I am old enough, understand human nature enough and Christianity enough to understand why Christ said he did not come to bring peace to this earth but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)

So Elisalouisa, don’t hesitate to rebuke those whiney namby- pambies among us who can dish it out but can’t take it when called on it and start the guilt tripping stuff to deflect from their own boorish behavior. It’s just a battle tactic. Keep posting. And when necessary, rebuke.

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By elisalouisa, October 3, 2010 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

Maani:  Any verbal defense and/or retaliation will only lead to more mudslinging. What solution is that?  That is not what these threads are about. We did have a few good laughs and just that was worth it.

Sometime back Folktruther mentioned the book Constantine’s Sword subtitle The Church and the Jews by James Carroll. Your posts concerning Christianity and the Bible ITW indicate you might enjoy reading this book. James Carroll is quite thorough in his condemnation of the Catholic Church, especially for the anti-semitism that was/is prevalent throughout the centuries.
The history of Christianity and its influence on the Western world is covered starting from the early days on through the centuries. As Charles Morris of the Atlantic Monthly tells us: “A triumph, a tragic tale beautifully told. . . . a welcome throwback to an age when history was a branch of literature.” Another critic commented that “more than a chronicle of religion, the dark history is the central tragedy of Western civilization, its fault lines reaching deep into our culture.” FYI

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By Inherit The Wind, October 3, 2010 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Maani,
You may say that Jesus abided by and believed in the 10 Commandments,  but they were in place long before He was born.  The “intent” of the Declaration being part the Constitution may sound very, but point of fact it is utterly irrelevant.  The Constitution is a foundation of and in law and the Declaration has no legal standing whatever. 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal”. 

This, the MOST fundamental of the ideas of the Declaration weren’t put into law until after the Civil War, and weren’t finally forced into law until 1965.  So, no, the Declaration is NOT part of the Constitution.

I’m no scholar but I thought it was Mary that was of David’s line.

Paul was playing a legal argument worthy of the late William Rehnquist.  But the bottom line was: He wanted to expand Christian membership and the Greeks he had convinced weren’t going to join if they had to get circumcised.  So he came up with this sophist argument to get them accepted.

Your interpretation of Jesus interpreting Torah is no different than mine—you’ve mistaken me here.  However, many of your fellow Christians have argued here that the NT REPLACES the OT (and, by direct implication, Torah).  Like Paul. It is THAT interpretation that makes Christianity seem hypocritical.  I’m no expert but Jewish tradition is filled with examples of parables similar to Jesus’ judgement of Mary Magdelene: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, ie, an evaluation of Torah, in reasonable and real circumstances.  There is a parable about a boy who is a mute who in his desperation to pray in the synagogue, blows a whistle—clearly a violation.  The people are outraged but the old wise rabbi begins to cry and tells them that the boy IS praying and his whistle should be welcome by them.

IOW, I’ve argued with fanatical Christians that Jesus was a Jew and followed Jewish law (Torah) and that they have made him out to change that law.  You are a rarity.

Now I’m not going to back down on the idea that Christians are obsessed with heaven and getting there, and that much of the motivation to “do good” on Earth is for the selfish end of reaching heaven.  The death obsession begins young “Cross my heart and hope to die!” Really?  Well, we all are going to die so why hope for it?  When I heard on TV Jerry Fallwell saying “Are you as sure for heaven as if you’re already there?” I knew it was all about self-interest disguised as piety.

As an Agnostic I have no problem with the next question: Suppose you knew that God wasn’t going to let you into heaven no matter how many good deeds you did, would you still do them?  (you might, but would others?)
But I have to praise you for a very thoughtful post there.
ITW.

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By Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 3, 2010 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

Manni, you poor insecure soul; don’t you even have a clue that your need to “have had three of my atheist friends (yes, I actually have atheist friends!) - including a Ph.D. scientist, a cognitive behavioral therapist, and a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist - read through part or all of this thread, and every one of them agrees with my assessment of the situation,” demonstrates that you do not have the emotional and cognitive strength to deal with this situation on your own?

I tell you what; because I take pity on you, (and recognize that I may be taking unfair advantage of someone) I will end this discussion with an encouragement to you to ask your “cognitive behavioral therapist” friend to recommend a good therapist to help you build up your faltering ego.  I will even apologize if I have inadvertently said anything that you have perceived as an insult, when all I had in mind was constructive advice to help you seek much-needed support.

Good luck!

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By Inherit The Wind, October 3, 2010 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

Maani, this is your best argument. I mean that sincerely. I wish more Christians were like you.

“[Napoleon] manages to try to explain how the 10 Commandments are directly linked to Christ…They are?”
Perhaps not as “directly” as you are reading his interpretation.  By way of comparison, it is similar to the way that the “intent” of the Declaration of Independence is “linked” to the Constitution: it is not “in” there specifically, but its “gist” is.

“He then tries to show that Christ ended the idea of family lines in Judaism — even though he was prophesized and is supposed to be of the House of David.”

It depends on how you look at it.  If one believes in the “immaculate conception,” then, yes, the bloodline was broken patrilinearly, despite the fact that Joseph was of David’s line.

“The implication of a ‘new’ Covenant is that the old one wasn’t good enough…God, the Omnipotent and Omniscient makes a Covenant via Abraham that isn’t good enough and has to be revamped…including abandoning circumcision — the mark of the Covenant.”

Actually, there have been a number of Covenants, including with Noah, Abrahamic, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Israel (as a whole), and David.  Each one adds to the ones before.  And it is simply not true that the New Covenant “abandons” circumcision.  Jesus was circumcised, as were all His (male) disciples.  Paul was circumcised, circumcised Timothy, and warned the Corinthians against uncircumcising themselves (spiritually).  What Paul actually said was, “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

“All the laws of Torah can be re-evaluated and tossed because SOMEHOW they no longer apply, even though they supposedly were dictated by God to Moses.”

Not so.  As you yourself point out later, “Jesus Christ NEVER argued against Jewish law.  He offered…MEANING and interpretations of that law, but never its abandonment.”

Indeed.  Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, til all be fulfilled.”  But you fail to see the most imporant thing here.  Jesus did not come to start a new religion, but to teach Jews how to be better Jews.  And THAT could only be done when they understood that what is important is not the LETTER of the law, but the SPIRIT of the law.  You seem to be arguing the former - which is exactly what fundamentalists do.

“Christians concentrate on how you get to heaven via accepting Christ…yet He didn’t seem particularly concerned with that, but MORE with how we treat each other.”

Not so; He was concerned with both.  “How we treat each other” is about the temporal world; our lives in the bodies we have.  “Getting to heaven” is about the spiritual world; the disposition of our souls.  In addition to the parable of the “narrow gate,” don’t forget that Jesus also said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one gets to the Father but through me.”

“Yet, as we can see, the followers ALWAYS COME BACK TO THE SAME POINT: Theirs is the ‘true’ faith and all others are false.

Of course.  Because every faith is “exclusive” to one degree or another.  That is the nature of faith and religion.  What is important is how we “see” and treat those of other faiths while we are here.

Peace.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 3, 2010 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

Are you here to discuss or to preach at us?

Napolean DoneHisPart, October 3 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Interesting the arguing over argument and words and using so many collegiate words at that, and more words with more fantastic meanings which when one reads through it a couple of times… still has to decipher what it was the author was ‘trying’ to say while also ‘trying’ to sound intelligent and sophisticated… Oh boy.

Why do we try to insult, outshine and make another look less than?  It just makes that insinuator look like a buffoon.. it shows lack of humility and a wall of arrogance and pride which detracts from further discussion and further learning / understanding our world, what we’re are talking about and each other.  So grow up folks.

The men Jesus called out to become his first disciples were fisherman, a tax collector and some other folk who were more ‘country’ and non-educated than the educated, learned and influential NON choices he made.

Look at 1 Corinthians 1: 18-31 or just simply read here:

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

19For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,

23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,

24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,

29so that no one may boast before him.

30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Since this is not an argument or a discussion but a sermon, the last line, 31, seems to be describing you to a tee…especially the boasting part.

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By Maani, October 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

Gil:

“I can’t resist the bait—you are such a tempting target.  I will not respond to your ‘clinical’ observations, because I do pity people who suffer from feelings of inferiority, low-self-esteem and other emotional deficiencies, and so I will allow your insults to go unaddressed.”

Well, I suppose it makes sense, then, that I feel bad for people with feelings of superiority, arrogance, and delusions of grandeur…

“But do read your own words, ‘your insistence on resorting to sarcasm, insult, presumption, disdain, invective and dismissiveness,’ and tell me honestly (if you can) that they do not reveal a strong need for some psychotherapy on your part.”

Honestly, no.  (And yes, despite my being a flat-earth, 6000-year-old universe, I-am-created-from-mud-and-not-from-an-ape believer (LOL), I can be honest with myself).  Because I don’t understand why my statement of fact would require therapy.

I know that it will make zero difference to you (or She, Lee et al), but I have had three of my atheist friends (yes, I actually have atheist friends!) - including a Ph.D. scientist, a cognitive behavioral therapist, and a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist - read through part or all of this thread, and every one of them agrees with my assessment of the situation - even though two of them (I’ll let you guess…) think my belief to be unworthy even of discussion, and agree wholeheartedly with almost everything you and others have said.

And by the way, the woman who does CBT (who is about 15 years younger than you) believes, based on your posts here, that you are “locked into a mindset, attitude and approach that, at his age, is unlikely to be modified, much less to change.  Save your breath: you might as well be debating with a wall.”

I assured her you were not a wall, but a real person with lots of good, intelligent things to say - even if you cannot learn to say them with anything even approaching respect.

Peace.

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By Shenonymous, October 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Except for presumption, my list is just like Leefeller’s. and I must
admit to taking glee in using all of them from time to time especially
when there are bigots and intolerants against atheists around.

There is still lots of the beautiful day to go out and enjoy.  See ya
laters alligators.

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By Leefeller, October 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Following list is also a small part of a much longer list from my analyst;

“Leefeller insistence on resorting to sarcasm, insult, presumption, disdain, invective and dismissiveness,”

I can add more to this small list, but my analyst says I should try to cut back! Only difference compared to a few posters here, is I know when I am using them.

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By Shenonymous, October 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

”EL and I happen to agree on many things, just as She, Lee, GG
et al agree on many things.”
  Problem is Maani, and you don’t
read very well either, She, nor GG do not express they agree with
each other, even though our sentiments show coincidentally that
we do. We do’nt need each other to think for ourselves. We don’t
need each other as crutches.  Leefeller only agrees to the degree
that the great Unyun nudges him to and in his infinite wisdom, that
sees we are right!  He does not solicit our agreement and he shows he
definitely does not need us either. So the hypocrites live in your own
back yard where you and elisalouisa gush over each other’s religious
views.  That really comes out like a laugh riot too.  You simply don’t
realize what fools you show yourselves to be.  That you two snuggle
up in your ideas must feel warm and fuzzy.  I dare say you ought to
contact each other and get together with a couple of teabags.  Not
letting others speak for me, I prefer to boat down the Ganges alone
and like Emerson, extol the virtues of self-reliance, me and my latte. 
Poor elisalouisa cannot help herself but to lump the entire universe of
atheists into one barrel not able to make fine distinctions.  It shows a
crippled mind by my calculation.  It does take a certain amount of
critical thinking to be able to do that.  Why I would be willing to say
that all Christians are not alike.  Some are just like my relatives! 
hahahaha

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By Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

Maani, since you are so psychologically astute, you should be able to understand the following without any need for an explanation from me.

Despite the fact that you are not paranoid, your low self-esteem, feelings of inferiority, or the scars from your childhood abuse, should not interfere with your ability to comprehend the statistics.

This is but one of many studies which come up with the same conclusion:

“The relationship between countries’ belief in a god and average Intelligence Quotient, measured by Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg.[6]
Nyborg also co-authored a study with Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Ulster, which compared religious belief and average national IQs in 137 countries. [6] The study analysed the issue from several viewpoints. Firstly, using data from a U.S. study of 6,825 adolescents, the authors found that atheists scored 6 g-IQ points higher than those adhering to a religion.
Secondly, the authors investigated the link between religiosity and intelligence on a country level. Among the sample of 137 countries, only 23 (17%) had more than 20% of atheists, which constituted “virtually all the higher IQ countries.” The authors reported a correlation of 0.60 between atheism rates and level of intelligence, which is “highly statistically significant.” This portion of the study uses the same data set as Lynn’s work IQ and the Wealth of Nations.
Commenting on the study in The Daily Telegraph, Lynn said “Why should fewer academics believe in God than the general population? I believe it is simply a matter of the IQ. Academics have higher IQs than the general population. Several Gallup poll studies of the general population have shown that those with higher IQs tend not to believe in God.” [7]

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By Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 3, 2010 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Maani,

I can’t resist the bait—you are such a tempting target.  I will not respond to your “clinical” observations, because I do pity people who suffer from feelings of inferiority, low-self-esteem and other emotional deficiencies, and so I will allow your insults to go unaddressed. But do read your own words, “your insistence on resorting to sarcasm, insult, presumption, disdain, invective and dismissiveness,” and tell me honestly (if you can) that they do not reveal a strong need for some psychotherapy on your part.

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By elisalouisa, October 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

What can I say Maani?  You tell it the way it is.

Shall my succinct remark be twisted and given another spin?

If past history on these threads is an indication of what is to be you know the answer. Hopefully, the compactness of my comment shall dictate the brevity of the spin. Considering the long winded nature of some, this may be only wishful thinking on my part.grin

Wishful thinking is something even atheists resort to, the cornerstone of which is that there is no God.

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By Leefeller, October 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

Athiests do not all dance to the same drummer nor does it seem Atheists from what I have seen here, have a tax free pedophile colony to support any individual atheist fetches, habits or illusions!

Lumping Atheists together seems only one more simplistic step placing the Pious in the hot seat for Atheist lampooning, in addition to all the other great material which Atheists have at their disposal to lampoon with.  From the pious; take a choice, intelligent, stupid or moronic comments perpetuated by the multitudes of fanatics who believe in the blind cause, called religion deserves respect?  Possibly if they kept it to themselves and respected that others really find the whole cult thing ludicrous.

Maybe for the Pious; either hypocritical or not, .....covering each others ass is part of turning both cheeks?

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By Maani, October 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

EL:

“From your tone and manner Maani you are not only well educated but a gentleman.”

Thank you again.

Shenonymous said (in reference to EL’s comment that, “Maani, thinks otherwise and I agree”): “The constant habit of attaching oneself to others shows a lack of self-confidence,” and added (to another post, “Oh yeah, for Maani (and elisalouisa, his new appendage)...”

Leefeller added: “So Maani thinks otherwise? We seem to have Maani speaking for elisalouisa and elisalouisa does the speaking for Maani?”

I see.  So it’s okay for the atheists here to agree with each other, but not okay for the believers to do so.  EL and I happen to agree on many things, just as She, Lee, GG et al agree on many things.  I am not “speaking for” EL, nor is she “speaking for” me - nor has she “attached” herself to me, much less “constantly.”

The hypocrisy here is absolutely astounding.

GG said (to EL):

“You say, ‘From your tone and manner Maani you are not only well educated but a gentleman.’ [Your] snide implication, ‘not like that ignorant and boorish Gil who claims to have a Ph.D. but probably was kicked out of elementary school and besides, insults anyone who disagrees with him.’ You say, ‘The question that goes through my mind is why some must continually put down and yes, try to stomp out the life of those who hold the line of defense in such discussions.’ [Your] not-so-subtle implication, ‘like Gil and his ilk who unfairly bring up science and logic and reason in an attempt to crush our cherished fantasies…’

Gil thus once again PRESUMES the intent of EL’s comments - in such a way, I might add, that borders on clinically paranoid.  (And yes Gil, I know that you are a psychologist, so I don’t use that term without knowing its definition…)

Yet Gil then adds, “The poll showed that Atheists know more about religion than Christians.  One logical reason might be that they simply are more intellectually curious and have carefully examined religion in order to decide if it is for them…”

Were I as paranoid as Gil, I might say that his “not-so-subtle implication” is that believers are not, or cannot be, intellectually curious and carefully examine their religion.

He goes on, “Let’s face it, contrary to what you may think, most atheists have arrived at their position because they have studied the objections to religion that have been raised by scholars (including Jesuit priests, theologians, philosophers and scientists) for centuries.”

Again, were I as paranoid as Gil, I might say that his “not-so-subtle implication” is that believers do not, or will not, study the objections to religion as proposed by Gil, and yet still arrive at their position.

Gil continues, “Another reason might be that intelligent and educated people may be less inclined to accept the supernatural than others…”

Once again, were I as paranoid as Gil, I might say that his “not-so-subtle implication” is that believers cannot be “intelligent and educated people.”

Note that I am simply following Gil’s presumptive logic here.

I am singularly unimpressed with the way many of you (almost entirely atheists) are engaging here.  You are all obviously intelligent people, and you all bring up excellent points and comments - even if I disagree with most of them.  But your insistence on resorting to sarcasm, insult, presumption, disdain, invective and dismissiveness is neither helpful nor conducive to intelligent and effective discourse, and, frankly, does not do justice to your knowledge or intelligence.

Peace.

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By Leefeller, October 3, 2010 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

Sanctimonious meanderings and then some entertaining self flogging, this seems a nice touch…... well here anyway! Watching someone taking a large dump on someones front porch then expecting a treat?  This is a new one for me almost too hard to watch, maybe I will cover my eyes like when I watch a horror movie?

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By Shenonymous, October 3, 2010 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

You continue to be sloppy in your accusations without any specific
reference to what I have said.  You talk all around the barnyard.  Did
you notice that you have not pointed out even one fallacy you claim
I committed?  And some in this world do call me Dr. too but I don’t
advertise it that much unlike the elisalouisa who doesn’t really
qualify but gives the implication that she does, lots of laughs. 

I never care who applauds my views or not.  I’ve been criticized up the
wazoo and extolled the virtues of my thought up the same wazoo.  It
matters not on this electronic ghost populated medium.  If you appreciate
what I say one time that doesn’t nullify it the next time you disagree with
me.  Your ruing your appreciation shows ficklelness and inconstancy of
mind, like a petulant child.  I don’t care one whit if you are or are not
humble.  You are what you are and show some of it in your writings.  But a
moment of clear and honest self-reflection would not do you any harm.

Here is a song for you Napolean.

“Disease Of Conceit”

There’s a whole lot of people suffering tonight from the disease of conceit
Whole lot of people struggling tonight from the disease of conceit
Comes right down the highway straight down the line
Rips into your senses through your body and your mind
Nothing about it that’s sweet
The disease of conceit.

There’s a whole lot of hearts breaking tonight from the disease of conceit
Whole lot of hearts shaking tonight from the disease of conceit
Steps into your room eats into your soul
Over your senses you have no control
Ain’t nothing too discreet about the disease of conceit.

There’s a whole lot of people dying tonight from the disease of conceit
Whole lot of people crying tonight from the disease of conceit
Comes right out of nowhere and you’re down for the count
From the outside world the pressure will mount
Turn you into a piece of meat
The disease of conceit.

Conceit is the disease that the doctors got no cure
They’ve done a lot of research on it but what it is they’re still not sure

There’s a whole lot of people in trouble tonight from the disease of conceit
Whole lot of people seeing double tonight from the disease of conceit
Give you delusions of grandeur and evil eye
Give you the idea that you’re too good to die
Then they bury you from your head to your feet
From the disease of conceit.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, October 3, 2010 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

And to think I actually respected and applauded your views and their delivery…

How easily and quickly we destroy that which took so long to muster. 

Guess the topics of religion, politics and money DO quickly separate people who may have like minds and have a desire to better their surroundings and those around them…

You can tell from my words what I do for a living now?

Or somehow draw out from my inferences that I ‘feel’ inferior to you or the ‘doctor?’

Unbelievable the arrogance or the implied humility you’d like me to ‘feel’ on your behalf or due to your profound wisdom and many definitions of things…

That scripture I shared points out the dilemma faced with much pontificating such profundity that you actually miss the real meat of the matter…

It is much too lovely of a day outside to be sitting here and going back and forth like this… it is futile…

“throwing pearls to pigs” it says.

I apologize for my shortcomings and my pointed attacks, for I tried to slyly express them in a failed tongue-in-cheek way… and that was an ill-intention I saw but arrogantly wrote it and clicked it away in haste and to ‘get back’ at someone also missing out on a beautiful day.

Pointing out your fallacies from your many words… it is a fallacy to think we don’t mess up or misstep… so I suggest you proof read your own words ( as I do mine ) and correct yourself, just like any good author would ( and finds MANY mistakes doing so, not just typos, but in reason ).

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By Shenonymous, October 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

”we ALL foolishly fail at every attempt.. but guess only I will admit
to it.”
  Ohhhh you are sooo good.  A laugh riot. You clearly belong
to that tribe called the “weezers and All-inclusivers.”  Misery does
love company and if there is none, why just make it up!  5Yups!

I’d say that long term employment in a field that uses intellect above
all is some kind of testimony to successful attempts.  And the fact that
a nerve of yours (called envy) was hit squarely is further proof.

Those lacking bona fide sophisticated intellect often launch an assault
on those who really do; it is the strategy called leveling the perceived
betters.  It is all right for the truth is really known and obvious.

Uh…kindly show the slippery slope arguments I have presented,
Napoleon DoneHisPart.  I’d say you emphatically Have Not Done Your
Part. 

”Guess my myopic, muted and minion mind isn’t quite sharp enough
to sharpen the tools found herein these affluent discussion boards.  Pity
me.”
and {i]” I am sure my sin, my shortcomings and my failures are
GREATER than all of yours… yes, that is me you step on and ignore
daily on your way to your latte…”  Most definitely!  So glad you see
that!  Owning up to one’s shortcomings can be seen as a virtue by some
who appreciate contrition.  It is called self-effacement, if you didn’t
know.  There may be hope, which is more fruitful than faith.  But
whining about it won’t do you much good, you do know that don’t
you?  But if you look around here, you can find some comrade whiners.


Ohhhh, the Kenya coffee is sooo good.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, October 3, 2010 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

Thanks for the attack fellas 8^)

I knew it was just a matter of time…

Of course I meant everyone who’s trying to sound like an intellectual…. and we ALL foolishly fail at every attempt.. but guess only I will admit to it.

Funny to use other religions to support or defame another… is that logical?  Of course Muslims don’t believe Jesus and His Eternity… if they did, what would their religion stand on?  But Jesus did say the one who comes after him is a LIAR….

Our collection of “empirical evidence” for whatever any person’s argument for ANYTHING is readily available… you can have your sand and put your head it in FOREVER if one likes…. and we have that choice as well. 

You truly can believe anything you’d like… and YOU DO!!! So do I… but my choice was made after year of searching, questioning ALL PATHS AND RELIGIONS and further contemplating as seeing how Christ was different…. one simply need read his words, his points.. but you won’t do that… oh you will, but only to pervert, malign and further distort things… which we see in society today and we’ve seen in the retro-progression of many religions.

Me frowning at intelligent discourse?  Hardly is the case.

Me frowning on slippery sloped arguments and the pages upon pages of fallacies and idiotic argument WE ALL PRESENT as our best efforts and attempt to truly understand ourselves, our world and the idea / concept / ( or according to me ) the TRUTH of God… well…

Guess my myopic, muted and minion mind isn’t quite sharp enough to sharpen the tools found herein these affluent discussion boards.  Pity me.

I did think twice submitting that last post, surely anticipating the fomenting anger those words would spark… but I did it anyway.  I’m not ashamed or embarrassed in the least nor think I’m wrong… nor think anyone of you are WRONG ( don’t recall stating so anywhere )... but maybe some just don’t see things as they are… that’s all.  I don’t claim to know it all, nor have a clear grasp of all things as some have already made up their minds and decided “THEY KNOW” already what is important, true and factual for them… yet the black swan has appeared and for centuries only white swans were thought to exist… so there.

And I’m so sorry for ruffling your feathers and upsetting your nice Sunday.. your day off… day of sports, retreat or whatever we choose to distract ourselves from our wonderful and meaningful lives… well at least mine has a meaning and a purpose… or two.

And no, I don’t think myself to be in another level or circle other than the PHD’s and RN’s and CEO’s and supposed other titles which bring meaning and identity to one’s life… which is really an empty and society based meaning… kind of like having the Mercedes and not the Totoyota… sort of means somehting to you and others who see, doesn’t it?

I am sure my sin, my shortcomings and my failures are GREATER than all of yours… yes, that is me you step on and ignore daily on your way to your latte…

Cheers.

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By Shenonymous, October 3, 2010 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

Napolean DoneHisPart, October 3 at 2:35 pm
”Interesting the arguing over argument and words and using so many
collegiate words at that, and more words with more fantastic meanings
which when one reads through it a couple of times… still has to
decipher what it was the author was ‘trying’ to say while also ‘trying’ to
sound intelligent and sophisticated… Oh boy.”

Oh boy is right!  What a shrinking retort, and to whom exactly? 
Cowardly, I’d say.  Is the world pious too undecipherable?  It is in the
title of the article, so I’d say if the word was too intimidating, one
should avoid this forum like the plague.  But I would say the strategy to
disarm the intelligent is common to adolescents. 

All the biblical references are useless without showing what one means
by using them.  First of all it was not the Jews who crucified Jesus, if
indeed he was crucified, which is still debated among the
archaeologists. Most Muslims do not think he was. There is only one
reference in the Qur’an:
http://www.contra-mundum.org/schirrmacher/crucifixion.pdf
Sura 4,157-158 reads:
“... and they (the Jews) have said, ‘Verily we have slain Christ Jesus the
son of Mary, the apostle of God’. But they slew him not, neither
crucified him, but it seemed to them as if (or: he seemed to them to be
crucified). They did not kill him with certainty. No, God took him up
unto himself.”

It is interesting to note that the Qur’ân does not even mention or hint
at the meaning of the crucifixion of Jesus as the ‘salvation’ of His
people. It is very likely that Muhammad, who came into contact with
heretical monophysites and other Christian sects of his time, had never
heard a true, biblical representation and explanation of the meaning of
the crucifixion, which is therefore not to be found in the Qur’ân.

But that Muslim ignorance cannot be the truth since it was the Romans
who executed Jesus for allegedly being a subversive to Roman
authority. I really wish more vociferous posters read more history.
It is a pity to keep correcting them out of the paucity of their
knowledge.  Furthermore, translation also means interpretation.  Which
is what the entire Bible is, nothing but translations since the original NT
books were written in Greek, which presupposes the goat herders, etc.,
understood and could write in the Greek, these Hebrews were not that
educated, not educated much at all, least of all in the literary skills of
writing in Greek.

While I might challenge the notion of faith in its essentialness, their
belief would be all right with me if the Christian religionists would
simply say they operate strictly on faith as Kierkegaard cleverly and with
some decent logic espoused.  Scientists also operate on faith and belief
but there is a big difference in that they are open to revision when
better data is acquired. Science works with probability.  Religion does
not have such an open door policy.  Nothing in religious belief is based
on demonstratable fact.  Therefore, faith is all religionists have.  But
they are preposterously adamant that they have the truth.  Yet when
challenged, they pull out biblical references as what?  Arguments? 
Absurd in the world of rationality.

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By Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 3, 2010 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

Here’s an insight into part of the problem: people like “Napolean DoneHisPart” love to disparage intellect; call wisdom, “foolishness”; and denigrate the use of intelligence, logic and reason; all the while glorifying blind obedience and the value of plain, simple ignorance.  It is saddening to see such a disdain for one of humans’ greatest abilities—the use of their brains, which has evolved over eons, while at the same time adoring the thinking of ancient, desert nomads who did not have enough knowledge to keep animals’ (and at times,  their own) excrement out of their food.  What a pity!

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, October 3, 2010 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Interesting the arguing over argument and words and using so many collegiate words at that, and more words with more fantastic meanings which when one reads through it a couple of times… still has to decipher what it was the author was ‘trying’ to say while also ‘trying’ to sound intelligent and sophisticated… Oh boy.

Why do we try to insult, outshine and make another look less than?  It just makes that insinuator look like a buffoon.. it shows lack of humility and a wall of arrogance and pride which detracts from further discussion and further learning / understanding our world, what we’re are talking about and each other.  So grow up folks.

The men Jesus called out to become his first disciples were fisherman, a tax collector and some other folk who were more ‘country’ and non-educated than the educated, learned and influential NON choices he made.

Look at 1 Corinthians 1: 18-31 or just simply read here:

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

19For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,

23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,

24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,

29so that no one may boast before him.

30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”

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By Shenonymous, October 3, 2010 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

Since I am always leaving you gifts:
For some further good Sunday reading, try the Truthdig article “An
Atheist Manifesto” by Sam Harris, one of the newAtheists, at
http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/200512_an_atheist_manifesto/
for some enlightenment of what atheism is more or less about.

Oh yeah, for Maani (and elisalouisa, his new appendage)

http://www.rhapsody.com/-search?query=Man of Peace - Bob
Dylan&searchtype=RhapKeyword (copy/paste it in your browser as it is
too long to link from Truthdig)  BTW:  you get 25 free plays a month! at
Rhapsody) You might have to figure out how to do it, it is a little bit
tricky, but worth it if you can do it.  Happy listening.
If you can’t hear it, here are the words…
“Man Of Peace”

Look out your window, baby, there’s a scene you’d like to catch
The band is playing “Dixie”, a man got his hand outstretched
Could be the Fahrer
Could be the local priest
You know sometimes Satan, you know he comes as a man of peace.

He got a sweet gift of gab, he got a harmonious tongue
He knows every song of love that ever has been sung
Good intentions can be evil
Both hands can be full of grease
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

Well, first he’s in the background, and then he’s in the front
Both eyes are looking like they’re on a rabbit hunt
Nobody can see through him
No, not even the Chief of Police
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

Well, he catch you when you’re hoping for a glimpse of the sun
Catch you when your troubles feel like they weigh a ton
He could be standing next to you
The person that you’d notice least
I hear that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

Well, he can be fascinating, he can be dull
He can ride down Niagara Falls in the barrels of your skull
I can smell something cooking
I can tell there’s going to be a feast
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

He’s a great humanitarian, he’s great philanthropist
He knows just where to touch you honey, and how you like to be kissed
He’ll put both his arms around you
You can feel the tender touch of the beast
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

Well, the howling wolf will howl tonight, the king snake will crawl
Trees that’ve stood for a thousand years suddenly will fall
Wanna get married ? Do it now
Tomorrow all activity will cease
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.
Somewhere Mama’s weeping for her blue-eyed boy
She’s holding them little white shoes and that little broken toy
And he’s following a star
The same one them three men followed from the East
I hear that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 3, 2010 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, October 2 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

“Many have died out, such as the Greco/Roman religion of Zeus/Jupiter, the Egyptian gods that were worshiped for over 3000 years, and the pre-Columbian religions of the Aztecs and Incas”.

I’ll have to dispute that they died out, I’ll bet there is a cult of followers whose families are intertwined with those sects to this day, somewhere.
*************

Probably.  You can find people who will subscribe to anything.  Remember Comet Hale-Bopp and the sect that committed suicide, convinced that was the way to hop a ride with ET to heaven, since ET’s ship was hidden behind the comet?

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By Shenonymous, October 3, 2010 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

Oops, errata:  just as in ancient ‘Greed’,  should have been ‘just as in
ancient Greek’!!!!  I think greed is the same whether ancient or
presently.

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By Shenonymous, October 3, 2010 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

To not show one has knowledge is like stepping in cow shit and
saying to everyone, “I knew it was everywhere in this barn!”

The pious:  All the focus has been on the atheists, so now it is time
to turn attention to the pious and what the pious knows.  First of all
there are kinds of piety.  There is liberal piety and conservative piety,
devoid of those adjective’s, liberal and conservative, current use.

Liberal meaning by dictionary definition: tolerant, unprejudiced,
unbigoted, broad-minded, open-minded, enlightened.  Progressive,
advanced, modern, forward-looking, reformist, and yes…radical.  Also
wide-ranged, flexible, and generous.  Antonyms include: narrow-
mindedness, judgmental, bigoted, strict, and restricted, careful and
miserly.

Conservative – reactionary, traditional, conventional, orthodox, old-
fashioned, hidebound, cautious, unadventurous, conformist, devout,
unoriginal.  Antonyms: unconventional, unorthodox, atypical,
extraordinary, avant-garde, curious, open-minded, unbiased,
nondiscriminatory.

Pious – religious, devout, god-fearing, churchgoing, holy, godly, saintly,
dedicated, reverent, dutiful, righteous, sanctimonious, hypocritical,
insincere, self-righteous, holier-than-thou, unrealistic. Impious:  well it
is imagined what the opposite of pious is.

Plato was the first to write about piety in his dialogue the “Euthyphro.” 
There he demonstrates his knowledge about the meaning of piety and
its importance to understand its meaning.  Known as Eusebia in ancient
Greece, the word ‘piety’ comes from the Latin pietas and means ‘dutiful
conduct.’  Today, ‘piety’ is understood as “religious devotion and
reverence to God.”  However, in ancient Greece, Eusebia meant neither
of these exclusively.  It was the ideal which dictated how men and
women interacted, how a master should speak to a slave, how one
addressed a seller in the marketplace as well as how one conducted
oneself toward the gods.  Well, we don’t have slaves anymore, or rather,
we don’t nominate people to be slaves even though their corporate
masters see them as such by not paying them decent wages, and trying
not to pay them at all! 

I submit that today just as in ancient Greed, what God wants is not as
easily grasped as conventional wisdom would have it.  From the atheist
point of view, this is a moot declaration since for them no interacting
God exists. But from the point of view of the religionists, it becomes a
paramount issue.  What does God want?!!!  Many many many people
have given answers because they believe they can actually speak for a
God who himself declares he is unknowable!  Amazing hubris.

But let us continue anyway, in our delusion.  I am here speaking in the
voice of a religionist.  I supposed that if religionists like elisalouisa and
Maani, can speak for atheists, the reverse is also true.  Is that not fair?

But to squarely talk about piety on this forum, it is necessary to see
what it is considered to be.  So before going on, what do the
participants on this forum say it is?  Taking the overtly religionists
first, elisalouisa, what say you?  Maani, what do you say?  Then the
purported atheists, would you be so brave as to say what you really
believe piety to be?  This is my definition:  If one were to be pious,
there would be an attitude of obedience, devotion, and Sorge (in the
sense that Martin Heidegger meant the word sorge, as unbounded care)
towards one’s parents and other older persons and this is fundamental
morality.  I would say that piety is such a virtue and no more than this
and it has nothing to do with an attitude towards any God.

Not all atheists are alike, nor are all atheists militant against the
religious and that is a difference the religionists are obliged to learn if
they are to criticize atheist and atheism with their alleged Christian
honesty.

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By Leefeller, October 3, 2010 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Gawd Damn! .......Leefeller and I wrote the above without seeing Shes comment?  Maybe there is something to this thing called,...... common sense??

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By Leefeller, October 3, 2010 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

elisalouisa question; “Can one assume knowledge is lacking because it is not presented?  Maani, thinks otherwise and I agree”.

Anwser; Yes!

So Manni thinks otherwise? We seem to have   Manni speaking for elisalouisa and elisalouisa does the speaking for Manni?  This Sanctimonious, pious and oh so pure as the driven snow righteousness thing, is coming together nicely now,........ I am beginning to see how it works!

Can one assume ignorance is present because knowledge is nowhere to be seen, has never shown its face and spews meanderings from a 3000 year old goat herders manual? Leefeller thinks so and so do I!

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By Shenonymous, October 3, 2010 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

”Can one assume knowledge is lacking because it is not presented?
“[/I]  The short answer:  Yes

The expanded answer: If one does not demonstrate one’s knowledge,
it is ridiculous to claim that one knows. It is a kind of intellectual
constipation caused by prideful conceit.  If one thinks they have
knowledge and makes a claim they do, then it is without a doubt
out of some kind of fear that their “knowledge” is specious to not
demonstrate it. For then it would be up for serious critique.  But, if
one does not claim to know, then there is no worry and others can
assume ignorance is the mental condition.

“Maani, thinks otherwise and I agree.”
The constant habit of attaching oneself to others shows a lack of self-
confidence.

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By Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 3, 2010 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

Elisalouisa,

In the spirit of pleasant intellectual discourse, I will attempt to accept your challenge and engage in a more appropriate discussion of the original topic which was, “Atheists Know More About Religion Than the Pious.” (Check the headline.)  But first let’s examine your most recent contribution to that end, and then I’ll proceed.

You say, “From your tone and manner Maani you are not only well educated but a gentleman.”

Elisa;louisa’s snide implication, “not like that ignorant and boorish Gil who claims to have a Ph.D. but probably was kicked out of elementary school and besides, insults anyone who disagrees with him.”

You say,“The question that goes through my mind is why some must continually put down and yes, try to stomp out the life of those who hold the line of defense in such discussions.” Elisalouisa’s not-so-subtle implication, “like Gil and his ilk who unfairly bring up science and logic and reason in an attempt to crush our cherished fantasies.

I will leave aside those comments in which you claim others “debase the parents’ of his adversary”; engage in “Name calling,” probably are “boozed up posters” and all your other overt as well as covert insults, and get to the point.

The poll showed that Atheists know more about religion than Christians.  One logical reason might be that they simply are more intellectually curious and have carefully examined religion in order to decide if it is for them.  Most believers (not all) are merely blindly following what has been forced upon them from early childhood.

Let’s face it, contrary to what you may think, most atheists have arrived at their position because they have studied the objections to religion that have been raised by scholars (including Jesuit priests, theologians, philosophers and scientists) for centuries. Most believers have been taught to believe by their parents and other adults, and usually do not question.

Another reason might be that intelligent and educated people may be less inclined to accept the supernatural than others, and atheists as a group are more educated and intelligent (I can provide you with references to this claim, if you like).  It is no accident that a high percentage of National Academy of Science members are atheists.  Nor is it an accident that over 90 percent of people on death row are Christians or Muslims.  These are just a few facts, among many, that support the idea that education, intelligence and non-belief are highly correlated..

I will admit that the study probably has many flaws, some of which may have been already pointed out somewhere in this site, but except for die-hard fanatics, the correlation between education, intelligence and skepticism is probably strong.

What say you to this?

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By elisalouisa, October 3, 2010 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

I assume the question, “What is the benefit in believing in a God/god”  is of a personal nature and answered as such. I cannot speak for other believers. Prayer and meditation to certain deities, saints, etc. may assist in bringing certain events about; that brings into play the power of the mind and also the energies involved. Can one assume knowledge is lacking because it is not presented?  Maani, thinks otherwise and I agree.

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By Shenonymous, October 3, 2010 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Good Sunday morning -
Napolean DoneHisPart, October 2 at 11:36 pm ” What is the
benefit, if any, in believing in a god / God ( the idea of heaven
and eternal life aside)?”
  The short answer is

None

#2 – A little more, but expanded answer, just to humor you.
But first, it is suggested that anyone really interested take a
comparative religion course or two or three.  Hell, get a Ph.D. in it. 
Why not? 

Working with only the traditional idea of god, as there could literally be
millions of “personal” gods that people fabricate for themselves then
see events as influenced by them thereby gaining benefits or harm.

Ancient Egyptians had gods that interacted with the people and the
pharaoh acted as an intermediary, much like the clergy of today’s
religions allegedly do.  I.e., the Pope and priests.  The people believed
their ditties (as Leefeller would say!)  ROTFLMAO were present at all
times and in control of the forces and elements of nature and their
myths explained these forces.  If they gained the favor of a god, then
they would be granted a reward of the survival of their soul. 

I guess the ancient Greeks and Romans thought belief in Zeus (or
Jupiter, as in jumping Jupiter!) provided some comfort that the world
was taken care of by personified forces.  Sometime they copulated
with the gods thereby producing semi-ditties (Oh isn’t that what the
Christian god did?  Yikes).  Problem with the Greek gods and goddesses
is that they were very much like ordinary people (oh yeah). The under-
lying moral principle that operated with the Greek gods was that they
rewarded honorable behavior and obedience, and people who
dishonored themselves or defied the gods usually paid a high and
dramatic price. They did have Hades.  But sometimes obedience to one
god meant disobedience to another then the ordinary person was in big
trouble. The Olympians showed little concern with the anxieties and
perplexities of ordinary people and had no concern with their
immortality, so you can put that aside.

The Greek gods provided moral, or immoral, modeling for men and
women to emulate.  They were more into glory and pleasure for
themselves than for any mere mortal.  For instance, Zeus was often an
unfaithful husband who had affairs with numerous other goddesses and
ordinary women and fathered many children out of wedlock!  His
brother, Poseidon? Same thing!  Well there you go.  the reality is that
contemporary humans emulate the Greek Gods not the Christian one. Let’s see, the Hindus think their gods are symbols of morality, both
good and bad.  And felt the truth about their divinities were secret and
arcane knowledge they did not have privilege to.  But occasionally
Krishna and Kali and Shiva, et al did show up in daily life and ordinary
activities as teachers sharing their thoughts with the denizens.

There are many African religions that believe in gods that interact with
ordinary people, as there are in Australia, the native Americans (South,
Middle and North), all of Asia, etc., etc., etc., that often involve an
intermediary such as a shaman. 

Benefit from believing in a god is what one wants to believe is a benefit
from supernatural sources.  What do you believe Napolean DoneHisPart?

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By elisalouisa, October 3, 2010 at 5:29 am Link to this comment

“Why has this discussion thread fallen into talk about foreskin and other banalities?”  Good point Napoleon.  Let’s just go on to your next question, which you most likely put out to bring this thread back to a real discussion.

“What is the benefit, if any, in believing in a god/God (the idea of heaven and eternal life aside?)”

It never occurred to me to ask that question. Knowing a higher source created the universe is part of who I am, my very being. Words such as pious, sanctimonious have no bearing in this belief. That spark that is within goes on after the body is dropped and put to use in whatever manner the creature chose. Is the essence of that spark reborn in our offspring? Does such a spark go on to a higher plane or lesser level?  Perhaps a collective pool?  Can that spark accomplish all of the above?  My beliefs become less pronounced at this point.
One does strive to better life knowing there is a strong possibility that the saying “What goes around comes around” is alive and well and also because the fact that all life is connected becomes very clear. Thus past, present and future are intertwined and energy is not wasted. Parsimony? Occam’s razor? My curiosity is again getting the best of me.

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By elisalouisa, October 3, 2010 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

Maani “your presumption is breathtaking: how do you know that I don’t also have a Ph.D. - or maybe even two?  Just because I don’t “crow” about it by stating it after my name does not mean I don’t.”

 So true.  From your tone and manner Maani you are not only well educated but a gentleman. The question that goes through my mind is why some must continually put down and yes, try to stomp out the life of those who hold the line of defense in such discussions. This brings to mind a poster so at wit’s-end to crush an opponent his desperation led him to debase the parents’ of his adversary in, to put it mildly, a most basic crude manner. Name calling, again a watered down term, was this poster’s specialty. Such attitudes are catching and serious posters then exit the thread, leaving the name callers and less than humorous boozed up posters the decimated thread. The good side: excellent posters arouse one’s curiosity. Example: the term Occam’s Razor being put out as to meaning. That is what these forums are meant to do Maani, you are one who participates in such a manner.

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By Leefeller, October 3, 2010 at 1:42 am Link to this comment

Leefeller explainging Leefeller

Leefeller:

“Absolutist meanderings forging on without circumspection, most uninteresting. I see the potential need for John Mannie the baptist to receive his ares on a platter again, even though he never seems to notice it and Nemesis is not available right now to remind him.”

“This is quite possibly the most incoherent assembly of unintelligible sentence fragments that I have yet seen.  LOL.  Care to explain a little clearer?

Peace.”

Explained once more with less Tequila on me breath!

Pious Peaces of poo meandering through the lawn of thy heretics day,  meandering with absolutist certainty poo droppings of nonsense; fictitious myth, or not so tall tails, touted as fact or true as the sky is blue.  Sanctimonious flocking, oh so flocking the heard bleating and meandering dost drop much poo!

Mannie, and others like John the Baptist were handed not their heads, but their arises on a platter by Nemesis, though they did not know it at the time; Nemesis is not here right now to remind them.

Poo.

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By samosamo, October 2, 2010 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

****************


Around 150 comments and still nothing settled.
Makes it appear that no one knows as much as is
believed and half as many know more that was
even guessed before. To each, his/her own
opinion.

More information than I need for sure.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, October 2, 2010 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

Why has this discussion thread fallen into talk about foreskin and other banalities?

And the name calling… well, I don’t have to watch CNNothing and FAXED News to hear the mudslinging.

And no one had response to my particular rantings… which shows me y’all don’t want to play with me anymore ;(

Ok, sarcasm aside….

Question- 

What is the benefit, if any, in believing in a god / God ( the idea of heaven and eternal life aside )?

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By Shenonymous, October 2, 2010 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

While I read the Qur’an, I’ve never read circumcision discussed in
any of the verses.  Nevertheless, it was my mistake when I said
Muslims do not practice that rite of passage.  I was curious and
checked it out and much to my chagrin I discovered my blunder. 
My bad and my apologies for the error.  That throws my entire
theory about Jesus being verified as a Jew that way out the
proverbial window.  The subject of circumcision was presented in
a British melodrama I saw on TV not too long ago where it was used
to verify members of an Islamist group and I assumed they were right. 
Apparently they were wrong to say that was a measure.  The wages of
not checking out information can lead to awkward situations.  I own up
to whatever faux pas I commit.  5 Yups for egg on my face.  Maybe I
can save it for some egg flower soup, since it seems to be the season
for soup.

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By elisalouisa, October 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

You Gil Gaudia, Ph.D. also have a good sense of humor. I presume you are the author of “Outside, Looking in” which has received very good reviews according to Amazon. At TD you are not on the outside, for most posters here are Atheists or Agnostics. It’s a demanding battleground for believers to defend their turf.
Many posts profess to have the answer as to why believers are just that; fear, whatever in the sky, childhood brainwash, etc. In response, one may state what is felt to be the cause, obvious or sutle, as to the reasons for atheism that some posters proclaim. Indulging in spirits (alcoholic) could make one more strident as to their atheism, Christopher Hitchens and Gore Vidal being shining examples. Alcohol bolsters their inner being, providing the courage necessary to continue their charade.
A toast to the spirit of tolerance. “Cheers” as one TDer would put it.

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By Maani, October 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

Gil:

“I had promised myself that I wouldn’t allow any puerile commentators to lure me into a personal argument, but I’ll make an exception in your case, maani.  You call me sarcastic, obtuse and now imply that I am not living up to the expectations of a Ph.D.  Whenever people start mentioning my doctorate, I become immediately aware that they are probably dealing with feelings of inadequacy or inferiority.  With the exception of coming to the defense of Leefeller who was insulted by a Christian soup-maker, I have stayed exclusively with the topics under discussion or subjects that you or others have raised, such as, in the latest instance, the circumcision of Jesus and Paul.  Why is it appropriate for you to discuss the foreskin of the son of god but it becomes sarcasm when someone else does?  For your information, this is a topic that has been discussed by theologians the world over, so if you feel incompetent to handle it, you may bow out gracefully and leave it to other more knowledgable and articulate respondents.”

“Inadequacy…Inferiority.”  Yes, I’m sure that would please you.  However, your presumtion is breathtaking: how do you know that I don’t also have a Ph.D. - or maybe even two?  Just because I don’t “crow” about it by stating it after my name does not mean I don’t.  That said, EL is correct that a Ph.D. is no guarantee of intelligence, much less discussion or debate skills.

I made a statement about Jesus’ circumcision based on someone else bringing it up.  It was a statement of fact (or, if you must, opinion), with not a whit of sarcasm attached.

Are you really so dense that you do not know the difference between a straight statement of fact or opinion on the one hand, and sarcasm on the other?  Or are you simply being deliberately obtuse to get a rise out of me?  If the former, that is truly sad.  If the latter, then congratulations.

Peace.

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By Leefeller, October 2, 2010 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

Discussing the foreskin of anyone seems an unworthy topic, why not his right and left testis, one for the liberals and the other one for the Conservatives, even the non Sanctimonious or the real cream of the crop pious should see the moronic slant of this part of the discussion (or is Manni being sarcastic?)  and why is it even a topic, must have something to do with gawd allegedly mooning Moises? 

By the way from where in space did Gawd come from anyway? Its like he just pops around off holiday to warn folks they need to watch their P and Q’s but never seems to break up any fights between the kids?

Gawd all knowing, does he watch Fox News because they are all balanced or Jezzabella for the Mideast slant?

Lets see it’s Gawd will, that heinous happenings are rampart in the world have been since (Adam and Eve?)  of course it makes so much sense to me…...... Damn Snake!

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By Shenonymous, October 2, 2010 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

Allegedly Christ was a Jew.  Therefore, like Obama, his birthright is
in question by those who have nothing better to contemplate except
for circumcision.  If Jesus was a Middle Easterner, a Jewish Middle
Easterner, then his circumcision became a testament to his Jewish-
ness, especially for Roman verification, and for those same Romans
who executed him as a Jew, as Muslims do not circumcise. 

When atheists are spoken about in the plural, it is a fallacy to attribute
anything to them as a group. It would be like saying that all Christians
throughout history and including today’s are responsible for the murder
and torture of people during the Inquisition and on all of the Crusades. 
Of course, most who violate reason are rarely aware that they do.

When speaking of a group, qualifications are required.  For instance,
some atheists know more about belief in and worship of a superhuman
controlling power than some professed religionists.  Some don’t.  Those
are more truthful statements.  It is silly to make any other kind of
inclusive declarations.  It is a sickness of the weezers.  Well there are
some facts about religion, but religion itself is not factual.  And
Nicholas Hagger is not an authority on the facts of the supernatural. 
Being an atheist, I take great exception to atheists as described on this
forum by elisalouisa who is grossly mistaken.  elisalouisa you ought to
do more research for facts.  Not being an atheist, elisalouisa, it is
arrogant of you to say what they as a group or as individuals do or do
not want.  It is preposterous as a matter of fact. It is only some sort of
weak bombastic bravado for you to say what atheists do or do not
want.

It has always been a tendency for thinkers to personify ideas.  For
instance Boethius, Christian philosopher of the 5th and 6th centuries as
he was awaiting his execution for suspected conspiracy and treason
against the king of the Ostrogoths, in his writing Consolation of
Philosophy,
he personified philosophy as a woman. 

This inclination of humans to personify ideas, I think, is how gods and
goddesses came to be invented from stories told by cave dwellers. 

Personification is an ontological metaphor in which a thing or
abstraction that has no concrete reality is represented as a person.
(Metaphors We Live By - Lakoff and Johnson)  The Sumerians are
thought to have been the first civilization in the history of the world.
FYI:  In Sumerian cosmology, the primeval sea (Abzu) existed before
anything else and within that, the heaven (An) and the earth (Ki) were
formed. The boundary between heaven and earth was a solid (perhaps
tin) vault, and the earth was a flat disk. Within the vault lay the gas-like
‘lil’, or atmosphere, the brighter portions therein formed the stars,
planets, sun, and moon.  The mythology of the Sumerian creation has
great breadth and depth and beauty and is incredibly fascinating and
seems to be the source of all religious stories from then onward,
including the Greeks and the Abrahamic religions.

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By Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 2, 2010 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

Elisalouisa,

You have a good sense of humor and a creative way of expressing it. Too bad the cognitive areas are not up to the same level.

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By Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 2, 2010 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

Elisalouisa,

You have a good sense of humor and a creative way of expressing it. Too bad the cognitive areas are not up to the same level.

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By elisalouisa, October 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

                                Good soup goes a long way

                                                especially in the winter

 

As to whoever being insulted by an anonymous soup maker, elisa responds: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
Good soup goes a long way, especially chicken soup in the Fall and winter. 
Take that Mr. GG.

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By elisalouisa, October 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

We all indulge in saracasm now and then, I with a touch of remorse at times. I shall quote Mr. Feller on that subject:
By the way, when it comes to the flocking followers,........ sarcasm is necessary for sanity’s sake of the sane.
===
I respond that sarcasm is necessary for you Mr.feller, it helps relieve the anger within you toward a higher source of power that you feel is responsible for whatever your life may be.
As to Mr. G’s “Ph.D” assisting in his understanding of sarcasm, don’t count on it Maani. A “Ph.D is no guarantee as to common sense. Here on TD there seem to be no rules as to debate; sarcasm is but one tool, with lying not far behind.
Garth:
“Take for example, the two most religious countries in the World today, US and Israel.  Together they can be thought of as the Bible incarnate.  The US is the NT and Israel is the OT with a Torah thrown in for good measure.”
Elisa: The Bible of the Christian religions I am aware of has both the “Old Testament” and the “New Testament,” the complete Bible. Some may add or take away certain books; versions vary somewhat. The Torah consists of the first five books of the Bible, the basis for Judaism and Judeo-Christian religions and accepted in all Christian branches to my knowledge.
Dictionary definition of the word “religion” from Apple Dictionary: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.
Do atheists know more about this? I don’t think so.
Quoting from one of my previous posts:
“Religion cannot be defined as a collection of facts, i.e. the more facts you have the more religious you are. Nicholas Hagger in his book Encyclopaedic History The Light of Civilization  Prologue page xii defines religion as fundamentally
about the inner experience of the soul unfolding to God.” Atheists deal in facts, which is not the definition of religion and therefore they have no idea what religion is about.  One might say that atheists are more knowledgeable in Christian doctrine which alone could lead to a dead end.
Your comment Garth that the US and Israel today “can be thought of as the Bible incarnate” is so mind boggling a response is not called for.
As to wishful thinking Garth, I have mentioned in my previous posts that some atheists do not want a world where there is a God. That is the ultimate in “wishful thinking.”

Peace.

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By Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 2, 2010 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

I had promised myself that I wouldn’t allow any puerile commentators to lure me into a personal argument, but I’ll make an exception in your case, maani.  You call me sarcastic, obtuse and now imply that I am not living up to the expectations of a Ph.D.  Whenever people start mentioning my doctorate, I become immediately aware that they are probably dealing with feelings of inadequacy or inferiority. 
With the exception of coming to the defense of Leefeller who was insulted by a Christian soup-maker, I have stayed exclusively with the topics under discussion or subjects that you or others have raised, such as, in the latest instance, the circumcision of Jesus and Paul.  Why is it appropriate for you to discuss the foreskin of the son of god but it becomes sarcasm when someone else does?  For your information, this is a topic that has been discussed by theologians the world over, so if you feel incompetent to handle it, you may bow out gracefully and leave it to other more knowledgable and articulate respondents.

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By Shenonymous, October 2, 2010 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

In that case I’ll leave it up to Gawd’s discretionary fund.

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By Leefeller, October 2, 2010 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

She,

Me apologies, I believe I have found out the problem and it has nothing to do with the Sanctimonious, Pious or even Ewowe.  I use Opera as my preferred browser of choice, for the speed of it and for some reason it re formats only Shesters posts? They become next to impossible to read?

So I believe it may not be your problem She, but mine, like my love of sarcasm in debate or anytime dealing with handicapped people who seem to have their brains tied behind their backs, who love to bring out the bible and meander all over the place like some of those Star Trek folks.

I will now reread your post.

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By Leefeller, October 2, 2010 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

She,

Me apologies, I believe I have found out the problem and it is not anything to do with the Sanctimonious or Ewowe.  I use Opera as my browser of choice, for the speed of it and for some reason it re formats only Shesters posts and they become next to impossible to read.

So I believe it may not be your problem She?

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By Maani, October 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

Gil:

“You say that I engage in ‘continued unnecessary and unhelpful sarcasm’ but you were the one who began discussing circumcism — Paul’s and Jesus’s — so why not take it wherever it goes?”

You are being deliberately obtuse.  Take the discussion anywhere you like - legitimately. However, sarcasm is always unnecessary and inappropriate in intelligent debate.  I would think a Ph.D. would know that.

Peace.

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By Shenonymous, October 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, I did apologize.  For some reason the formatting gets f’d up
sometimes.  I thought it might be a divine sign.  But I guess not.

Here is it again just for you, Leefeller… maybe doing a tiny url will
help.

Adam’s apples?  Aw, just being funny.  Oakie doakie…I don’t see
how anyone can argue that the Pippins were not goddam apples,
since God promised hell if they were even tasted.  Now I say Pippins
because they are best for apple pie.  And if one were going to sin and
go to hell for a taste test, then the apples ought to be the best ones
for the job of making pies.  Tart as they are, and since Eve was a tart
then the apples fit the babe in the story.  Now while it is true the sin
was disobeying the Big Honcho, we all know that this like Major Dude
was supposed to know everything for all eternity, both past, present,
and futucha, so we know the fated couple were pre-planned to commit
the big Sin and you wonder why God didn’t take out a Traveler’s
insurance plan so he could recoup his losses.  But we all know why. 
If they didn’t Sin then they would not have had to populate the earth
so that this God-Guy could have lots and lots more Sinners to assuage
his Ego.  Like who in hell wants to go to heaven anyway?  Like, what the
F would eternity be like?  What is so great about bliss, for what the F is
bliss?  Is it the same for everyone?  OR will there be over 115 billion*
and counting different blisses that would inhabit heaven? That is how
many people is supposedly have been born on the earth since
humankind appeared.  But of course that does not count those
pre-simians. Nor does it count the molecular machines where the
atoms got together, quite accidentally by the way, and accidentally
human DNA began, and it was downhill ever since.  Us poor saps.
* http://tinyurl.com/3yw8q9z

Ho hum, all because of this Egotistical Divinity who for some odd
reason needed company, as if it could not make better company than
ever slow evolving humankind.  Oh yeah, the also doesn’t take into
account all those who will rot in hell.  How many do you think that
adds up to?  God ought to take a tally to see if it was worth his time. 
Oh, and time is another problem. But we will let that one go for now
since we only live in the moment anyway. 

Being cheeky, however, we could wonder why Augustine became sick of
sex?  What in his life was the cause of his misogyny?  But being the
tyrant he was, he wanted everyone else to stop having sex thereby
ending God’s frolic of having company and making God think of other
ways to have fun, other entities he could punish and send to hells of
various kinds.  So according to Augustine, God made a big mistake in
making these hairless simians. Augustine thought he ought to correct
God.  Do we wonder how God took that flagrant undermining of his
plan for eternity?  We also have to wonder if Adam had a good sperm
count?  But according to Genesis 4:1-2, a direct translation from the
original Hebrew text says, “And the man knew Eve his wife [you know
what that means, right?]. And [but] she conceived and bore Cain, and
said, “I have gotten a man of Yahweh.” And she continued [yacaph] to
bear his brother Abel.”  So it looks like Adam wasn’t even the father,
Yahweh was.  So god fathered two boys.  The bible never said that they
were twins but whatever, one was a murderer.  If Cain and Abel were
not identical twins they must have been fraternal.  But that would have
been odd for god to impregnate Eve twice, and who would have had to
ovulate two uva.

Oh well, so much for myth.  Seth comes along as Adam’s first progeny
signaling many more assignations betwixt the aging Adam and the ever
young Eve (by the way Eve must have been exactly as old as Adam, who
was 130 years old when Seth was conceived). Duh.  The story gets even
dicier after that.

Sorry folks, I will try to be more careful in the fewtcha, even if you don’t
care.

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By Shenonymous, October 2, 2010 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Unless “we” are Jewish, we weren’t given anything, for Yahweh is
the god of the chosen people.  I was just told that by a Jewish friend
yesterday.  So it is difficult to see how we were given the decision to
choose good or evil.  Of course you have to believe the Garden story
to believe anything close.  Or… more reasonable is that our genetic
molecule atomatons avoided evil in order to survive.  How does one
really go about a search for the Truth “in all its reality”?  Wouldn’t
one have to already know what reality is so that when truth bumped
into you, you would recognize it?  So how many here would say that
they know what reality is?  I bet none! 

What ifs are fine for creating stories to comfort the fearful.  Playing the
what if game is setting up the hypothetical and tantamount to inventing
something plausible when one cannot use one’s reason to shape their
beliefs. 

From Old testament to New… same author can be sensed and
understood… much like anyone who is a reader can decipher the style
and perspective of their favorite author…”
  Did you ever hear of the
Council of Nicaea and then later King James’s translator?  Every good
Christian ought to know that!  How funny that one would simply believe
the bible was originally written as a consistent story from Genesis to
Revelations, especially since it originally was written in the Greek and by
untold number of goat scribblers and ignorant foot soldiers like Paul. 
Then the collection of translations after translations with books left out
and others touched up a bit, that is, crafted by clerics to BE
CONSISTENT. 

“We might not know everything just yet,” but we know a lot more than
the cave dwellers did.  Or maybe you don’t think you do?  And by the
way, why didn’t the cave dwellers have the Bible?  No, we do not have
to consider that some supernatural being made anything for us or even
us.  Don’t forget if there were no god, there wouldn’t be any atheists.

” Take for example, the two most religious countries in the World
today, US and Israel. “????? WRONG!  Some one is forgetting
Indonesia! Indonesia has more Muslims than any Arab country.  The
percentage of Muslim population is 88.2%, but Pakistan has 92.3%
although the overall number is about 25 million less than Indonesia. 
The world total of Muslims is 1,571,198,000 (that is 1 billion 572
million 198 thousand) and growing, whereas there are 13.3 million Jews
neither growing nor dropping and Christians with 2 billion 39 million
and dropping.  The USA has a little over 11% of all Christians in the
world and 78.4% of its entire population are Christian.  But it is not as
Christian as Venezuela which has a 98% Christian population. 

If God had been a liberal, we wouldn’t have had the Ten
Commandments—we’d have the Ten Suggestions. – Sir Malcom
Bradbury

The idea of a good society is something you do not need a religion and
eternal punishment to buttress; you need a religion if you are terrified
of death. – Gore Vidal

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By Leefeller, October 2, 2010 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

I happen to know a person who knows more about Harry Potter than Harry Potter himself. What does this mean? Fairy Tales and Fiction can be a dogma as one sees from the experts on pontification of the bible and the long tails attributed to it.  Paul Bunions and his Blue Ox Babe tried, but did not make it, well probably because they cut all the trees down?

I don’t know about yous guys, but I wouldn’t want to go to heven, because I suppose it would be full of pedophiles and popes! I knew a guy in the service who was named Chico the Mormon, he said he was not going to heaven because he had his on planet picked out?

I attempted to read the Shesters comment on Adams apple but had trouble reading the format?

As a Heritic who really does not know more than the Pious about all their Sanctimonious hoopla, I would give stepping in the the shoes of the Sanctimonious just for the hell of it a try, but only until Tequila time.

Me thinks my incoherence trumps any Pious meandering. Understanding my cryptic comments can be a problem for the faithful because of my dogma to utilize truth, fact and reality.

Actually I am beginning to believe the blind flockers need the Heretics to keep them motivated to learn more about the myths they so need to bone up on. 

By the way, when it comes to the flocking followers,........ sarcasm is necessary for sanity’s sake of the sane.

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By garth, October 2, 2010 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Someone here averred that atheists do indeed know more than the religious.  That’s why they’re atheist.

The reason for studying religion, I found is that it teaches a lot of gymnastics in logic and introduces a philosophical vocabulary that you won’t find on the street.  Veddy interesting.

I found the study of western, God-based, religion to be sort of wishful thinking, leading to great expectaions and war-like attitudes when those beliefs are challenged.

Take for example, the two most religious countries in the World today, US and Israel.  Together they can be thought of as the Bible incarnate.  The US is the NT and Israel is the OT with a Torah thrown in for good measure.

Is it any coincidence that these two countries still hold onto the idea of solving any and all problems with violence and war?  Checkout Andrew Bacevich’s new book.  They’re holding on to 20th century ideas.  They can’t let go of war and just try diplomacy.

It is wishful thinking in that it reminds me of when I was growing up and just trying to get enough to eat.  A parent would offer us a ‘Wish’ sandwich.  That’s two pieces of bread thrown together and you wish you had some meat.

It’s tough giving up the wishful thinking when it’s so embedded.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, October 2, 2010 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

What if-

God left us his diary, written by fallible and faulty men describing a suggested path to peace and community with the reality of our place among His Omnipresence ( John 3:21 ).. to some kind of relation to Him that would make sense of pain, suffering and what is foul and ugly… yet aren’t these sprung from the CHOICE people make daily?

Thus our reality has been warped and propelled into a certain direction… and we run around putting other people’s fires out… don’t we?  And others put out ours… if we’re not ‘in tune’ enough with Mass Conscience or the Spirit to stop them ourselves. 

Oh Yeah.

We were even given a decision to see good from evil, choose yes or no for anything ( the Garden and the one choice among them all ), choose and be able to distinguish, if one so desired again by choice, to see what IS from what isn’t… for we all fall short of doing, saying, thinking and acting right, prim and propwer, right? 

And fire is good for cooking and heating, but not for touching… basic things, although we are warned, some still touch the fire to see if what they said was true…. so if YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW IF WE ARE JUST CRAZY AS HISTORY ALWAYS TEASED US TO BE…. THEN BE LIKE A BEREAN AND EARNESTLY SEARCH YOURSELVES to see if what folks are saying is true… but not like a scholar to defend your already biased position… but as one searching for the Truth in all its reality….

Some say I’ll believe it when I see it…

Well, some were fortunate enough to see it.. and the mass ignorant and distracted majority instigated by a small minority of those at that time killed the author of life…

“You must believe it in order to see it” I say.

If you believe yourself to be a loser… guess what?

If you believe yourself to be looking for God and not more fodder for your ammunition against God’s Message to YOU, then you’re being like that Saul guy who graciously was born again into Paul.. to the amazement of himself and ALL who knew him / of him… so WOW, PEOPLE CAN FLIP FROM EVIL TO GOOD IN SHORT TIME…. Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the GIFT of the Holy Spirit… POW!

Or do I have a PERFECT audience reading this and should quite now?

What if God somehow allows some folks to be able to familiarize themselves with his common authorship among the 30 some odd ‘writers’ or those who penned the collection know as the bible… thus their collection.

From Old testament to New… same author can be sensed and understood… much like anyone who is a reader can decipher the style and perspective of their favorite author… so can all supposed scripture ever written under whatever religious connotation can be understood, distinguished and presented by those who see, who know…. who have made themselves like little children and allowed God, the Master Teacher, to teach our pea-nutty brains… for we know not everything just yet, now do we? 

You learn something everyday, right? 

Or least you suppose to like your momma says.

On the motion of the Spirit on the earth ( before the Adam and Eve story my friend, so let’s truly start at the beginning )... we need consider before Adam was God and what He made for us… we should start there… for God’s obvious essence is found in what is REAL & LIVING ( people, animals, nature, etc…. ).

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By Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

Speaking of sarcasm, here’s a bit from another writer (I wish I could take the credit, because he raises some interesting questions)

In Exodus XXXIII :13, we find Moses saying to the Lord, “Now therefore I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight . . . “  And then . . . 
XXXIII :17,  “And the LORD said unto Moses, I will
do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou
hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.”

XXXIII :18, “And he (Moses) said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.”

XXXIII :20,  “And he (The Lord) said, Thou canst not see my face: for there
shall no man see me, and live.”

XXXIII :21,  “And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me,
and thou shalt stand upon a rock”:

XXXIII :22, “And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth
by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by”:

XXXIII :23, “And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see
my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.”

In this story, Moses, after pointing out how much he has done
for God, insists that he ought to be allowed to see God,
not only for his own sake, but for the Israelites as well. God tells him
that no one can look upon God’s face and live, but he
would allow him a glimpse of God’s glory. So God shelters Moses in a
cleft in the rock, covers him with a divine hand, and
after passing by, allows Moses to look at God’s backside.
What is meant by “my back parts”? Was God showing his robe and the back of his head, heel and sandals or did he show his parts, that is to say, head, back, rump, legs, calves, heel?  Could it be that “show me thy glory” means let’s have a peek at your wanger?
Did God streak Moses?

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By Gil Gaudia, Ph.D., October 2, 2010 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

maani,

You say that I engage in “continued unnecessary and unhelpful sarcasm” but you were the one who began discussing circumcism—Paul’s and Jesus’s—so why not take it wherever it goes?

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By PatrickHenry, October 2, 2010 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

ITW,

“Many have died out, such as the Greco/Roman religion of Zeus/Jupiter, the Egyptian gods that were worshiped for over 3000 years, and the pre-Columbian religions of the Aztecs and Incas”.

I’ll have to dispute that they died out, I’ll bet there is a cult of followers whose families are intertwined with those sects to this day, somewhere.

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By Maani, October 2, 2010 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Gil:

“Speaking of ‘circumcision.’ I read somewhere that a number of Christian churches or other organizations claim to possess Jesus’ foreskin…What, may I ask, maani (since you seem to know so much about Jesus, his thoughts, his intentions, his plans, his penis, etc.) would be the significance of the location of that bit of protoplasm…”

Absolutely none.  And your continued unnecessary and unhelpful sarcasm aside, one can assume that Jesus was circumcised because all male Jewish children of His time were.

Leefeller:

“Absolutist meanderings forging on without circumspection, most uninteresting. I see the potential need for John Mannie the baptist to receive his ares on a platter again, even though he never seems to notice it and Nemesis is not available right now to remind him.”

This is quite possibly the most incoherent assembly of unintelligible sentence fragments that I have yet seen.  LOL.  Care to explain a little clearer?

Peace.

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By Shenonymous, October 2, 2010 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Good grief, the formatting got all weirded out.  Maybe Gawd struck
me daid!

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By Shenonymous, October 2, 2010 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Adam’s apples?  Aw, just being funny.  Oakie doakie…I don’t see
how anyone can argue that the Pippins were not goddam apples,
since God promised hell if they were even tasted.  Now I say Pippins
because they are best for apple pie.  And if one were going to sin
and go to hell for a taste test, then the apples ought to be the best
ones for the job of making pies.  Tart as they are, and since Eve was
a tart then the apples fit the babe in the story.  Now while it is true
the sin was disobeying the Big Honcho, we all know that this like
Major Dude was supposed to know everything for all eternity, both
past, present, and futucha, so we know the fated couple were pre-planned to commit the
big Sin and you wonder why God didn’t take out a Traveler’s insurance plan so he could
recoup his losses.  But we all know why.  If they didn’t Sin then they would not have had
to populate the earth so that this God-Guy could have lots and lots more Sinners to
assuage his Ego.  Like who in hell wants to go to heaven anyway?  Like, what the F would
eternity be like? Borrrring!  What is so great about bliss, for what the F is bliss?  Is it the
same for everyone?  OR will there be over 115 billion* and counting different blisses that
would inhabit heaven?  That is how many people is supposedly have lived on the earth
since humankind appeared.  But of course that does not count those pre-primates, and
does not count the molecular machines where the atoms got together, quite accidentally by
the way, and accidentally human DNA began, and it was downhill ever since.  Us poor saps.
Ho hum, all because of this Egotistical Divinity who for some odd reason needed company,
as if it could not make better company than ever slow evolving humankind.  Oh yeah, the
also doesn’t take into account all those who will rot in hell.  How many do you think that
adds up to?  God ought to take score to see if it was worth his time.  Oh, and time is
another problem. But we will let that one go for now since we only live in the moment
anyway. 
* http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fact-or-fiction-living-outnumber-dead

Being nachurally cheeky, however, we could wonder why Augustine became sick of sex? 
What in his life was the cause of his misogyny?  Being the tyrant he was, he sourly wanted
everyone else to stop having sex thereby ending God’s frolic of having company and
making God think of other ways to have fun, other entities he could punish and send to
hells of various kinds.  So according to Augustine, God made a big mistake in making these
hairless simians. Augustine thought he ought to correct God’s Work!  Do we wonder how
God took that flagrant undermining of his plan for eternity?  We also have to wonder if
Adam had a good sperm count?  Because according to Genesis 4:1-2, a direct translation
from the original Hebrew text says, “And the man knew Eve his wife [you know what that
means, right?]. And [but] she conceived and bore Cain, and said, ‘I have gotten a man of
Yahweh.’  And she continued [yacaph] to bear his brother Abel.”  So it looks like Adam
wasn’t even the father, Yahweh was.  So god fathered the two boys.  The bible never says
that they were twins, but whatever, one was a murderer.  If Cain and Abel were not identical
twins, they must have been fraternal, being born one right after another.  But that would
have been pretty odd for Gawd to impregnate Eve twice in one day?  Or… she would have
had to ovulate two uva.  That doesn’t really make any divine sense.

Seth comes along as Adam’s first progeny signaling many more assignations betwixt the
aging Adam and the ever young Eve (by the way Eve must have been about as old as
Adam’s ribeye, who was 130 years old when Seth was conceived). Duh. You think she was
still ovulating at that ripe old age?  The story gets even dicier after that.  Oh well, so much
for myth.

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By Leefeller, October 2, 2010 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

Why don’t we start with Adam and Eve, those who do not know the whole story do not feel a need to know, but seems their is a need to discuss the bible with all its interpretations illusions and deceptions must be done, but from the beginning.  Starting in the middle seems most insane. So why did the guy in the sky who made the world in 7 periods of time give Adam his apple?

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, October 2, 2010 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

Gentlemen, what you may fail to see is your fallacy in following the typical barrage of doubt created by those before you… you are continuing their train of logic, and this stuff supersedes and defies logic ( there I said it ).

Your arguments against my explanation of biblical history to modern history and my attempt to help connect the dots is evident that the same arguments still exist… yet no one is being convinced.

People on the outside call certain folks ( and now I’m labeled this which is interesting ) an apologetic.

The disciples were called christians first in Antioch.  The term christian was a word created to attempt to insult, discourage and point out this new group / cult of followers of some guy named Jesus, the Christ ( Yeshua Ha Mashiach you meant to say Inherit ).

You may find yourself looking into the house from the outside through only one window fellas… and your understanding, your ‘view’ and conceptions are limited due from your point of view, can you humbly agree with that?

Wouldn’t had the Jesus cult fizzled away during the first or second century?  Surely not all those people, living ‘underground’ in most major metropolis at the time didn’t keep up the ‘untrue’ story for what, almost three centuries until the state began to infiltrate the movement?

You folks are so scholarly, so smart and up to speed on these things, and yet cannot see them for yourselves… :(

Who truly benefits being Christ like? 

Those who are seeking, not the one is ‘satisfied’ with their life, not one who is ‘convinced’ there its all hooey and a tool for mass enslavement ( which is evident in many religions, including groups calling themselves christians ).

God didn’t throw out one covenant and start a new one because of his failure.. couldn’t be man’s failure… I mean, are you folks infallible?  I’m sure some wives love that strong approach some men have ( kidding ).

Following Christ ( as prescribed and defined in scripture, not your pastor or one’s personal doctrine ) is the most backwards thing, the most anti-social move anyone can make…. in the eyes of the world…

Turning your cheek when one strikes you?

Handing over the rest of your stuff when some it is stolen?

NOT MUCH MAKES SENSE, I agree with you wholeheartedly on that point…

Reminds me of this interesting quote:

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

  - F. Scott Fitzgerald

You folks do not agree, believe and thus do not see… but it is not necessary to use the same barrage of name calling and even paradigmatic argumentative points of view which are not your own arguments… as my arguments for Christ are not new or my own arguments…

But can you explain what I saw one morning @ 5am, which was transparent, made sound, and was before me for 8 seconds prior to vanishing…

No dream, no ‘under the influence’ episode or nonesuch.

What is interesting is I’ve always desired to ‘see’ something that would give me an insight, a ‘fact’ if you will or proof to me that the spirit world is like it is described in the bible….

And I got what I wanted… and believe me, I asked to NEVER see anything as difficult to see what I saw…  I don’t any more proof of the coexistence of good and bad, right and wrong, up and down, the world’s way and the Way.

You think I RAN to being a christian?  Is that lifestyle attractive?  Is it attractive to deny this world’s pursuits to seek and save the lost, to feed the homeless.. to deal with broken and disheveled people? 

The Way is not to live a safe ‘Amerikan Dream’ in this supposed christian nation.. hahaha.. THAT is the propaganda and misleading in christianity you folks may be pointing out.

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