Top Leaderboard, Site wide
July 22, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed





War of the Whales


Truthdig Bazaar
Mogul: A Novel

Mogul: A Novel

By Terrance Dean
$10.20

more items

 
Report

Christopher Hitchens: Religion Poisons Everything

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Jun 6, 2007
Hitchens
Edward McNamara

By Jon Wiener

Editor’s note: Christopher Hitchens died Thursday, Dec. 15. (You can find Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer’s remembrance of his friend here.) Jon Wiener spoke with Hitchens in 2007 about his views on religion and the book that would turn out to be one of the milestones of Hitchens’ career. For more on the subject, you can read Mr. Fish’s remembrance of and interview with the public intellectual here.

***

In his latest book, “God Is Not Great,” Christopher Hitchens makes the case against religion and for “free inquiry and open-mindedness.”  Hitchens, of course, is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, a visiting professor of liberal studies at the New School, and author of many books.  He spoke recently with Truthdig’s Jon Wiener.

Jon Wiener:  You show in your book how many horrible things men have done because of religion. In Belfast, Beirut, Bombay, Belgrade and Baghdad, men kill other men, and say God told them to do it.  But why blame God for the bad things that men do?

Christopher Hitchens: I don’t blame God.  I blame religion.  I don’t believe there is such a thing as God. Religion makes people do wicked things they wouldn’t ordinarily do. It doesn’t make them behave better—it makes them behave worse.  You couldn’t get people to hack away at the genitals of their newborn children if they didn’t think there was a religious obligation to do so. The licenses for genocide, slavery, racism, are all right there in the holy text.

Wiener: Yes, the Old Testament is full of these horrors.  But it also contains the Ten Commandments, prohibiting killing, stealing, adultery, and lying—isn’t this a good thing?

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
Hitchens:  No.  it’s not.  Because these are prefaced by a series of injunctions to fear a permanent, unalterable dictatorship.  The first three commandments say “just realize who’s boss.”  Let’s assume the story of Moses is true, even though archaeologists have utterly discredited it.  Do our Jewish ancestors have to put up with the insult from us at this late stage that, until they got to Sinai, they thought murder and theft and perjury were OK?  Of course not.  There would have been no such people if they thought that.  There has never been a society or civilization that did warrant those things. And you don’t need divine urging to see that they’re wrong yourself.

Wiener: There’s one other commandment, the tenth—thou shalt not covet.

Hitchens: That is a particularly horrible crime of dictatorship, namely the crime of thought.  It says you can’t even think about this.  To say you’re not allowed to steal your neighbor’s possessions—including his wife—that’s one thing.  But to say you’re not allowed to envy your neighbor is absurd.  It’s impossible.  And the spirit of envy can lead to ambition and innovation and initiative.  I would say that’s an immoral commandment.
 
Wiener: Let’s talk about Islam.  You point out that the 9/11 terrorists said Allah wanted them to fly planes into buildings.  But there are something like a billion Muslims in the world today, and only 19 of them flew planes into the World Trade Center.  Why hold all of Islam responsible for the acts of those 19?

Hitchens:  I don’t.  Islam in fact has one advantage over Christianity—it doesn’t have a papacy.  There is no center that can say “we condemn this” or “we support this,” the way the church supported Franco Spain and said prayers in Germany on Hitler’s birthday by order of the Vatican.  But the centers of legislation and authority in the Islamic world, such as Al-Azhar University in Cairo, have a lot of difficulty condemning suicide bombing.  In fact they’ve never got around to doing it.  They can’t seem to condemn even the blowing up of other Muslims—in Iraq, for instance, where they are blowing up each other’s children and each other’s holy places. No words seem to come from either Sunni or Shiite religious authorities there or elsewhere in the world saying “this is wrong.”  That’s because they don’t really think it is.  If it’s done for their cause, they surreptitiously sympathize with it, and you can detect that surreptitious sympathy if you read any of the statements from the Muslim authorities.  That’s a grave crisis for Islam—and for us, too.

Wiener: Are you saying Islam is worse than other religions?  It seems to me your position has to be that all religions are equally bad.

Hitchens: The position I take in the book is, of course, that all religion is equally stupid and an expression of contempt for reason and an exaltation of the idea of faith, of believing things without evidence.  But that doesn’t mean I think a Quaker and a Bin Laden are exactly the same.  They all have individual disadvantages.  I would say that, with Catholicism, the mad insistence on celibacy is peculiarly deforming.  With Islam, the problem is that it claims to be the last and final revelation.  All that’s required now is that everybody realize the truth of this book.  That’s extremely dangerous preaching, in my opinion.

Wiener: Don’t Christian fundamentalists say pretty much the same thing?

Hitchens: Yes they do.  But I think there is a real problem with Islam of intolerance in that way—it forbids itself to have a reformation.  That’s fanatical and actually murderous right now.

Wiener: Is the problem you have been describing religion per se, or is it the monotheistic religions of the West: Judaism, Christianity, Islam?  Are Eastern religions different and better?  Especially Buddhism, with its compassion for all living things; especially Tibetan Buddhism, with its impressive leader, the Dalai Lama.

Hitchens: The Dalai Lama claims to be a hereditary god and a hereditary king.  I don’t think any decent person can assent to that proposition. You should take a look at what Tibet was like when it was run by the lamas.  Buddhism has some of the same problems as Western religion.  Zen was the official ideology of Hirohito’s fascism that was used to conquer and reduce the rest of Asia to subservience.  The current dictatorship in Burma is officially Buddhist.  The Buddhist forces in Sri Lanka are the ones who began the horrific civil war there with their pogroms against the Tamils in the 1950s and 1960s.  Lon Nol’s army in Cambodia was officially Buddhist.

Wiener: Let’s talk about the U.S.  Polls show that 94 per cent of Americans believe in God, and 89 per cent believe in heaven; of those, three-fourths think they will go to heaven, but only 2 per cent think they will go to hell.  This seems laughable, but what’s the harm in people believing they will go to heaven after they die—and see their mothers there?

Hitchens: All you have to do is promise them 72 virgins, and they’ll kill to get there. That’s what’s wrong with it, along with the fact that it’s a solipsistic delusion.  And the spreading of delusion in the end isn’t a good thing, because credulous and deluded people are easy to exploit.  People arise who are aware of that fact. 

If belief in heaven was private, like the tooth fairy, I’d say fine.  But tooth fairy supporters don’t come around to your house and try to convert you.  They don’t try to teach your children stultifying pseudo-science in school.  They don’t try to prevent access to contraception.  The religious won’t leave us alone.  These are not just private delusions, they’re ones they want to inflict on other people. 

Wiener: Of course, you are right that we have Pat Robertson and, until recently, Jerry Falwell, saying horrible things in the name of religion. Both welcomed 9/11 as payback for America’s tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.  But we have also had Martin Luther King and Daniel Berrigan and William Sloane Coffin.  Why not conclude that religion can lead people to do good things as well as bad?

Hitchens: Let me start with a question: Can you name a moral action taken, or a moral statement made, by a believer that could not have been made by an atheist?  I don’t think so.  I’ll take your case at its strongest—that would be Dr. King. Fortunately for us, he wasn’t really a Christian, because if he had followed the preachments in Exodus about the long march to freedom, he would have invoked the right that the Bible gives to take the land of others, to enslave other tribes, to kill their members, to rape their women, and to destroy them down to their uttermost child.  Fortunately for us, he didn’t take that route. 

The people who actually organized the March on Washington, Bayard Rustin and A. Phillip Randolph, were both secularists and socialists.  The whole case for the emancipation of black America had already been made perfectly well by secularists. I don’t particularly object to the tactic of quoting the Bible against the white Christian institutions that maintained at first slavery and then segregation.  But there’s no authority in the Bible for civil rights—none whatever.  There is authority for slavery and segregation.

The widespread view among white liberals that black people in some way prefer to be led by preachers is a condescending one.  It leaves out heroes of the movement like Rustin and Randolph, and has licensed the assumption that people like Jesse Jackson and, much worse, a complete charlatan and thug like Al Sharpton, are somehow OK because they’ve got the word “Reverend” in front of their names.  That’s done enormous damage, not just to black people, but to the country in general.  It’s the Falwell equivalent.

Wiener: What about practical politics for progressives: since almost all Americans believe in God, for progressives to attack, ridicule and dismiss religion as you do is political suicide that will ensure religious Republican domination forever.  Instead, we must argue that God is not on their side, and we must respect the fact that people belong to different communities of belief.

Hitchens: If you want to argue that God is not on their side, you can’t argue “that’s because he’s on my side”—you have to argue there is no such person. Marxism begins by arguing that people have to emancipate their minds. The beginning of that emancipation is outgrowing of religion.  If religion were true, there would be no need for politics; you’d only need to have faith.

Wiener: I know you’ve often been told that everybody has faith in something—for most Americans, it’s Jesus; for you, it’s reason and science.

Hitchens: That’s not faith, by definition.  You can’t have faith in reason.  It’s not a dogma.  It’s a conviction that this is the only way that discovery and progress can be made.

Wiener: The intelligent person’s argument for religion is that religion and rationality don’t compete—they deal with different parts of life.  Religion answers questions that science doesn’t: Why do the innocent suffer? What is the meaning of life?  What happens when we die? 

Hitchens: I wish it was true.  But, in fact, religion doesn’t keep its part of the bargain here.  It incessantly seeks to limit first discoveries and innovation in science and then their application.  Galileo, of course, but more recently discoveries about the possibilities of limiting the size of your family.  Really, they don’t want us to reconsider our place in the universe, because if we face the fact that we live on a tiny speck in an immense universe, it’s going to be difficult to convince people it was all created with that tiny speck in mind.  It’s not possible to believe that nonsense if you have any interest in science.

Wiener: The final killer argument of your critics is that Hitler and Stalin were not religious.  The worst crimes of the 20th century did not have a religious basis.  They came from political ideology.

Hitchens: That’s easy. Hitler never abandoned Christianity and recommends Catholicism quite highly in “Mein Kampf.”  Fascism, as distinct from National Socialism, was in effect a Catholic movement. 

Wiener: What about Stalin?  He wasn’t religious.

Hitchens: Stalin—easier still.  For hundreds of years, millions of Russians had been told the head of state should be a man close to God, the czar, who was head of the Russian Orthodox Church as well as absolute despot.  If you’re Stalin, you shouldn’t be in the dictatorship business if you can’t exploit the pool of servility and docility that’s ready-made for you.  The task of atheists is to raise people above that level of servility and credulity.  No society has gone the way of gulags or concentration camps by following the path of Spinoza and Einstein and Jefferson and Thomas Paine.


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By nf, August 4, 2007 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

It is a difficult world we live in.  Many of the people we like and admire are still caught in the santa claus, easter bunny, angel moroni, and yes jesus mohammed trap of their youth.  Why not just read your daily horoscope and have a few laughs over a plate of

Carbonara and a glass of delightful frascati.

Report this

By John Borowski, August 4, 2007 at 4:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My dear Mike Mid – City. (Besides Doug, I’m the only one here who is religious). How do you know the personal history and preferences of all the other extreme right on this file? Do you all work in the same right wing boiler room? If I were an extreme right-winger, I wouldn’t patronize this type web page. I would find the extreme right wing web pages more to my liking. On the right wing web page, you could cluck – cluck and all of the rightys would cluck – cluck back in full agreement. All of you would be pleased as a pig in warm mud with your “truths”.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, August 3, 2007 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Air head thought of the day

If   C.I.A. agents doing their interrogation of suspected bad guys or gals, say they are going to become their god, how does that work if they are interrogating an atheist?

Actually I was thinking of Rob during his Marine days on this one.  So god becomes the person in power, the one with the upper hand, the guy with the gun to the suspected persons head.  When the C.I.A. uses the term god, all the religions of the world should take offense, (seems they should be aganst war too) unite demand the C.I.A. to define their use of god or ask them not to use the word god at all. Using the word by the C.I.A. can make an unbeliever of anyone.

blackbird pie

Report this

By John Borowski, August 2, 2007 at 5:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here we have an individual after using his intelligence and perspicacity writes religion is poison. He could have written that religion is the elixir of life. In either case, he is a person that expresses his opinion with out malice. After analyzing the bloody pages of religion, he concludes that religion is poison. There are child rapes, stealing by ministers and priests from god’s pockets and many other abominations. The public will never know most of the abominations. I am sure in any barrel of rotten apples there are a few good ones. Judging by the millions of dollars the Catholic Church is paying out for the rape of children, it is prevalent not only in this country, but throughout the world. These evils have not started yesterday, but rather have been going on for centuries. This situation is analogous to a corrupted city hall. If the people of that city turn their heads away and make believe they see it not, it will snowball into even greater corruption. I’m sure any decent religious person wants a religion that is not corrupted

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, August 1, 2007 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

John Borowski

Sometimes it is hard to decern tounge in cheek, but your humor is noted. 

As far as your asking “why do you use pseudonyms” Your name is a case in point.  The last person to ask for real names was Jack the Lady Ripper alias Fido Fulloolupa he should have used a pseudonym too!

Fig newtons

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, August 1, 2007 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Doug,

Not all your windy dissertations elude me, this one caught me eye. Yes is has been a slow week. 


“So, how are you going to fare in a greater reality then, Leefeller?  Will you too ”shrilly deny the fact” or will you, like poor Lefty, even be able to discern between the “proof, science or god”?  People in the uSA are far more narrow-minded and bigoted than they care to imagine. That sadly includes the so-called modernists and the aethists as well as the other more ill-informed fundamentalists of all religions.”

Your greater reality is interesting and ammusing, only because I shrilly deny the greater part, especially since you are the definer.  Reality is only reality, greater or lesser would be a sales approach, similar to religions you find ill-informed.  Being called a fundamentalist is charming,  facts defined by you are nothing more than conjuncture. Your all knowing approach is amusing, in your greater reality. 

Are you serious, do you actually believe what you have attested too? I believe you are funning us.  Especially when you call yourself we.

Sometimes I envision posters being several college students trying to writetheir first term paper collectively.  Other posters have suggested they were just having fun after I asked them. 

A narrow minded cup of

Hot Java and crumpets

Report this

By Hemi*, August 1, 2007 at 12:33 am Link to this comment

Re: #91269 by Douglas Chalmers

“The brain-dead have spoken…....duh! Instead of “Bravehearts in Kilts”, we merely have a bunch of wankers in this forum” - Douglas “my ancestry is of no consequence” Chalmers

This makes you “Lord of the Wankers”. Enjoy the bully pulpit Sir Douglas. Just for clarity your highness, whom are you addressing with “we”? Are there visitors here that we the “brain-dead” cannot detect? I’m guessing they are either “other dimensional” or simply voices in your pompous head. My “brain-dead” money is on the voices. Good for you not being Scottish. The haggis, man skirts, tossing poles and the Loch Ness myth is embarrassing at best. Who could blame a hepta-dimensional being for distancing itself from such a primitive culture?

Bagpipes

Report this

By Douglas Chalmers, July 31, 2007 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

#91225 by Leefeller on 7/31 at 6:05 pm: “... You mentioned you were Scottish.  All I can say to that is I am sorry.  Please, I beg you, please do not wear your kilts when kissing the blarney stone ....Your magical beans do not make sense to me, but what do I know being an airhead…..”

Well, thanks for the so-called “respect”, Leefeller. While you arre at it, kindly note that I said that my name was Scottish, not myself, although my ancestry is Scottish. That is…... oh, why should I bother to explain. Its obviously been a slow week for you lot (last week as well, eh?). Neither did I say anything about some “select few” - that is your drivel.

As you say, though, “must admit I was trying to follow your premise, but it eludes me…”. I can’t help you - that’s what comes from believing in nothing. The result is thus nothing - typical of an “aethiest” - who hasn’t the ability to comprehend the obvious ...or his part in it.

As “science has proven the existence of god”, you should note that I respect your opinion but do not buy into it. Also, I like the marmalade (it never was Scottish) but I detest bagpipes - unless they are played by a true Scot (you wouldn’t know what that is, either).


#91184 by Hemi* on 7/31 at 3:53 pm: “...“Lighten up, Francis.” - Sergeant Hulka…”

The brain-dead have spoken…....duh! Instead of “Bravehearts in Kilts”, we merely have a bunch of wankers in this forum http://www.kiltmen.com/

Quote: “The Art of Peace is a form of prayer that generates light and ‘heat’. Forget about your little self, detach yourself from objects, and you will radiate light and warmth. Light is wisdom; warmth is compassion…..

The Path is exceedingly vast. From ancient times to the present day, even the greatest sages were unable to perceive and comprehend the entire truth; the explanation and teachings of masters and saints express only part of the whole. It is not possible for anyone to speak of such things in their entirety. Just head for the light and heat, learn from the gods, and through the virtue of devoted practice of the Art of Peace, become one with the Divine….”

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 31, 2007 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

Doug,

You mentioned the 7 dimensions, and you stated the existence of god has been proven by science.  Then you lumped Atheists with all religions and proposed atheists were of the old order, you offered the real skinny, something much better, seems your comments are perceived to be quite pretentious by me, I must admit I was disappointed, because we agree politically on most issues. 

Now you have called us airheads, (which may be deserved by me)  I believe you are referring to most of us on this post, but your comment was not clear.  You mentioned you were Scottish.  All I can say to that is I am sorry.  Please, I beg you,  please do not wear your kilts when kissing the blarney stone.

Your magical beans do not make sense to me, but what do I know being an airhead.

Look Doug, your opinions and beliefs are respected by me, when you state that most people except for the select few will understand what you are talking about, you may loose most of your audience, must admit I was trying to follow your premise, but it eludes me, your 7 dimensions and statement that science has proven the existence of god are not palatable to this atheist. You should note, I respect your opinion, but do not buy into it, as you are not buying into mine.

bagpipe marmalade on toast

Report this

By Hemi*, July 31, 2007 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

Re: #91125 by Unregistered commenter

“Religious lackeys, why do you use pseudonyms instead of your proper names? How can Jesus up the clouds take your names and bank account numbers? I’m sure the banks will not accept this arrangement.” - UC

That is “Jesus up in the clouds” I suspect? That is a unique proper name you sport, what is the origin? And your account number?

Kielbasa

Report this

By Hemi*, July 31, 2007 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

“As interesting as that is, you are wasting your time talking to the airheads (I’m being polite) in this particular blog topic, duh!” - DC

Despite the abundant time wasting you can’t leave us, can you Doug? You are hooked and in need of some “airhead” rehab. Don’t take the advice of an airhead, seek professional help.

“Him that has gall in his mooth canna spit honey.” – Scottish saying

Report this

By Hemi*, July 31, 2007 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Slow week, eh Doug?

“Lighten up, Francis.” - Sergeant Hulka

Report this

By Douglas Chalmers, July 31, 2007 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

#90907 by Hemi* on 7/30 at 3:12 pm: “...Descartes, who said “I think, therefore I am” was sitting in a bar having a beer. (Yes, even French philosophers enjoy the odd brewskie now and then.)......
The bartender walks over and says: “Hey Rene’, how ‘bout another beer?”...
Descartes says “I think not” and disappears….”

Oh, yah. “Hey bartender, gimme one one whiskley, one bourbon ....and one more beer!” - John Lee Hooker

” I guess, wearing kilts and kissing the blarney stone will do that for you .....The delusions seemed to be real… (Leefeller), Hemi.

 

 

#90943 by Furluge on 7/30 at 6:12 pm: “...Bill - When Einstein talks about God he’s not talking about the Judeo-Christian god. ......His description of God is that God is the natural world itself, and thus has no personality. It’s more referring to the natural order of the universe….”

 

As interesting as that is, you are wasting your time talking to the airheads (I’m being polite) in this particular blog topic, duh!

Then again, “Maybe we should be treating each other as if we were all Gods.  With the respect we all deserve….” (#89453 by Mike Mid-City on 7/25 at 11:56 am).

Report this

By John Borowski, July 31, 2007 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Religious lackeys, why do you use pseudonyms instead of your proper names? How can Jesus up the clouds take your names and bank account numbers? I’m sure the banks will not accept this arrangement.

Report this

By Furluge, July 30, 2007 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bill - When Einstein talks about God he’s not talking about the Judeo-Christian god. He’s referring to the “God” concept as put forth by Baruch Spinoza, look it up on wikipedia. His description of God is that God is the natural world itself, and thus has no personality. It’s more referring to the natural order of the universe.

As for Jefferson, he’s not exactly a bastion religiousity. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t he do a version of the bible with all the supernatural stuff taken out?

Report this

By Hemi*, July 30, 2007 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

Descartes, who said “I think, therefore I am” was sitting in a bar having a beer. (Yes, even French philosophers enjoy the odd brewskie now and then.)

The bartender walks over and says: “Hey Rene’, how ‘bout another beer?”

Descartes says “I think not” and disappears.

Beer Nuts

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 30, 2007 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

Thought we were done for.

It has been said by the great Unyun, this is not the ungospil, but instead an unopinion sort of like Fox Not the News.

The great pop must be mixed with old crow and it should be known that we are all not connected to the great pop, but are intertwined with what was unsaid to be before the great pop.  The seven demensions comes only after indulging in large amounts of the great pop and old crow, not before.  True understanding of the reason for the existence of existence itself becomes very clear to the selected mind after seven deminsons has been obtained and held for several years in a great White House. 

At this time god’s existence is proven in your mind only, which is the mind of science, so it can be said science has proven the existence of god.  Simpletons, all religions, atheists and the rest of the world will never understand, so be it.

Hostess Twinke

Report this

By Hemi*, July 30, 2007 at 12:51 am Link to this comment

Re: #90688 by Mike Mid-City

“90643, J.B.

Huh?”

Ditto Mike!

What in the ???

Holy crap, did the nurse spill the tray of medications?

Report this

By John Borowski, July 29, 2007 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Religion does poison everything, but unfortunely it will never be eradicated. One proud feather in my hat will be that from birth to death I was not inveigled by the religious devil. This means out of all the people that have lived on this earth I belong to the tiny one percent that didn’t succumb to their BS. After reviewing their track record down through the ages and you haven’t arrived at the same conclusion I do means to me you are not only insulting your human dignity and intelligence, but you are insulting the very god you profess to believe in. I purchase the CDs instead of the book and after reviewing them, I donated the CDs to the library. To think that the only war like society that is evil and insane in the universe is the only one that represents a god is ludicrous.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 28, 2007 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

CAPTAIN CANADA


“That too asserts an unprovable principle that must be accepted on faith - the non-existance of God” ( god).  A comment sponsored by opinion absent of reason, the triteness is yours. 

Attacking Hitchens is fine and dandy, let him defend himself first year term paper and all.

Chicken Botox

Report this

By CaptainCanada, July 28, 2007 at 3:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rather trite stuff from a trite literateur. Religion is not the cause of strife, murder, bloodshed and mayhem. Religion is simply the expedient, the fall guy, the justification for strife, murder, bloodshed and mayhem. Are we to assume that - absent religion - all peoples would get along in sublime coexistence? Nor does he explain how we are to arrive at a non-religious world. If religion is so prevalent, it must have some origin in human nature in that it fulfills some sort of human need. What is to replace it? Philosophy? And how long would it take for competing philosophies to come to blows? Atheism? That too asserts an unprovable principle that must be accepted on faith - the non-existence of God. And then debates would start as to the correct set of arguments in support thereof and so on. Religion is not the cause of human strife. Fear, greed, and jealousy are the causes of human strife and near as I know atheists are as possessed of these attributes as any Christian, Muslim or Hindu. How easy it is for the chain-smoking dilettante to dismiss the even seemingly atheistic ideologies such as Nazism and Commununism on account of servility inculcated by the orthodox church in communism’s case and Hitler’s apparent respect for Catholicism. Sweeping remarks based on meager analysis. Hitler admired Catholicism for its organizational structure and apt use of symbolism - not for its content - and Stalin still required the brute force of a terroristic state and all the machinations of propaganda to enforce the so-called ready made religiously-induced servility of the Russians. Neither in any case explains the rampant bloodthirstiness and callous disregard of humanity exhibited by these two atheists. How do these atheists stack up to a Reinhold Niebuhr or a Dietrich Bonhoeffer? The argumentation here is adolescent and reeks of a first year university student’s term paper.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 27, 2007 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

Billy,

Hallery Ass, especially the Chompers bit.  Tangent and cats Cradle.

geat, love it.

Java and more java

Report this

By -Michael, July 26, 2007 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Re:  #89625 by Mike Mid-City on 7/25 at 9:58 pm

Got it. 

You incorrectly assumed that your answer would not be satisfactory to me.  I found it to be thoughtful and honest – what more could I ask? 

Interesting Merry-go-round analogy.  I’m not sure of my position at the carnival, perhaps in the beer tent.  Billy would definitely be the barker. 

Cotton Candy   - Michael

Report this

By -Michael, July 26, 2007 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

Re:  #89589 by Leefeller on 7/25 at 7:28 pm

“Your belief is your belief, I find it amusing that the agnostic guy Mike the fence sitter has the most problem with both of us.  Being on the fence is not a very comfortable position.  He seeks proof from you.”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I don’t have a problem with anyone in this forum, and I most certainly don’t seek proof from Mike; I made this clear in my post.

I’m not out to discredit anyone or force my opinions on anyone, as long as no one is getting hurt.  This forum is about an exchange of ideas. 

You’ve played out the fence-sitting jabs.  Instead of continuing to ignore them I’ll attempt to explain why they are not applicable. 
There is a difference between sitting on a fence and looking over it.  Some that are on one side of the fence or the other are happy to lounge in their hammocks and ignore their neighbors.  Some like to throw empty beer bottles over the fence.  I prefer to peer over the fence and engage my neighbor. 

Your third accusation, that I am not comfortable with my position, is not quite accurate.  Akin to the Twain quote I’ve referenced, I try not to build a fortress around my truth.  Because of this, I remain open to all possibilities.  So yes, it is a bit uncomfortable when I’m challenged, but the understanding that I gain is far more valuable than avoiding discomfort. 

Ostrich plumage.  - Michael

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 25, 2007 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

Sorry this post may come up twice, so Mike is like the two mint fence posts up the arse instead of one.

Mike Mid City and Mike

Your belief is your belief, I find it amusing that the agnostic guy Mike the fence sitter has the most problem with both of us.  Being on the fence is not a very comfortable position.  He seeks proof from you.  Mike is uncomfortable with his position, his arse is getting sore and he is getting grumpy not knowing.  It is not up to the atheist to prove anything.  So here is Mike, he is yours! 

Mike, make your decisions or do not, it does not matter to me and I would say other non believers.  I truly believe Mid Mike City is very comfortable with his decisions, I respect his belief as he respects my unbeleif.  So Mike enjoy the fence post up your arse!

Artichokes and T Bone steaks

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 25, 2007 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

Could we say the incomprehensible feeling of being a believer is nothing more than a placebo for those wandering the enchanted forest. .  That is why we have our enchanted Unyun.

Almonds

Report this

By -Michael, July 25, 2007 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Re:  #89453 by Mike Mid-City on 7/25 at 11:56 am

Mike,

First let me apologize, judging by your tone, I assume that I’ve pissed you off.  This certainly was not my intent.  I’m not sure how I earned the head-up-the-ass comment; I’ve said many times in this forum that no one has it all figured out.

I’ve already participated in the “God exists, no He doesn’t” argument.  It can go on (and has gone on) ad infinitum.  The anticlimactic result from this interchange invariably is that the believer ‘knows’ and can not prove the improvable. And the nonbeliever ‘knows’, and can’t prove a negative. 

For example, your “Examine the created, every thing we see, touch,…” argument. 

Indeed, the world is an amazing, beautiful place.  But it could twice as beautiful.  Conversely, if the world were half as beautiful, we would still consider it amazing.  Beauty is relative.  Can I explain it with out a theory?  Alas, my friend, I can not.  The foundation of our knowledge is theoretical.  Are you suggesting that theories are generally unacceptable sources of information? 

Rather than rehashing an irresolvable argument, I was attempting to take a different approach here by issuing a challenge based on the fallibility of man. 

By all means live as you do.  As I’ve mentioned earlier, you seem to have things pretty well hashed out.  Your generosity and connection with the community is admirable.

Re:  “It’s working for me.  I’m a much happier man then I’ve ever been in my life before.”


Careful here.  A happened after B, so B caused A.  This is casual inference.  Additionally, I could be happy after following the teachings of the spaghetti monster; this does not speak for his validity, just the effects of my belief. 

Negra Modella.    - Michael

Report this

By -Michael, July 25, 2007 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

How does a Buddhist priest order a pizza?


Make me one with everything.

Report this

By -Michael, July 25, 2007 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Re:  #89176 by Douglas Chalmers on 7/24 at 1:30 pm

Scottish, eh?  Dig the whiskey, hate the food.  I see Billy has already sunk his teeth into you.  Fell right into his trap…

Re:  “Through real meditation, we can eventually come into dim contact with Its Universal Mind”
The brain is an inexplicable organ.  It is generates gobbledygook when it sleeps, impairs rational thought when it is traumatized, and a slight change in the levels of neurotransmitters can prompt clinical depression and schizophrenia.

Here are some extracts from the following Time magazine article:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101030804-471136,00.html

“In 1967 Dr. Herbert Benson, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School…  …found that when they meditated, they… …increased their theta brain waves—the ones that appear right before sleep.”

“Dr. Gregg Jacobs, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School… …[meditators] managed to lower activity in the parietal lobe, a section of the brain located near the top of the head that orients you in space and time.  By shutting down the parietal lobe, you can lose your sense of boundaries and feel more “at one” with the universe.”

“…the neurons in the brain will adapt themselves to direct activity in that frontal, concentration-oriented area of the brain.  It’s what samurais and kamikaze pilots are trained to do.”


I’m certainly no expert.  But I feel that the brain tries to compensate for a lack of sensory input by creating perceptions.  These perceptions have to come from somewhere.  I conjecture that if you are reading “Clifford the Big Red Dog”, for example, you may develop a deep connection with Clifford’s egalitarian view of the world.

I’m certainly not negating the positive effects of mediation, they are well documented.  But to trust your mind when it is in an altered state is a bit like believing that Native Americans are communing in your closet after your trip wears off. 


A traditional pudding made of the heart, liver, etc., of a sheep or calf, minced with suet and oatmeal, seasoned, and boiled in the stomach of the animal.  …Yummy!  - Michael

Report this

By Hemi*, July 25, 2007 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

“(nasal tone): class… class… Class… CLASS… SHUTUP!!!!!  thank you.  Hemi, hand me that knife (flltptpttpp) thank you.” - Billy the Dik

I knew you looked familiar. Sister Mary F’n Elephant! I gotta tell ya that the cargo shorts are a big improvement over the habit sis.

Necco Wafers and Grape Juice

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 24, 2007 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

Ryan,
Thanks for the insight, you brought me back into focus. Nice to know that I am not alone.

You stated,

“Chalmers and Any Other Deluded Bastards needing some great force or other reason to deny simple mortality, give it up. Live and savor.your life, accept that you’ll dissolve into dust and then it’s over, and that’s all we know for now.” (hopefully it is over before you dissolve into dust, I prefer to say, cease to exist, the dust thing is a little harsh.)

Was trying to make sense of Chalmers, but found his premies out of kilt, no pun intended. I guess, wearing kilts and kissing the blarney stone will do that for you.  The delusions seemed to be real, but not at the same time. 

eggnogin

Report this

By Hemi*, July 24, 2007 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

For: #89161 by nf

“We should be past this. We do believe in rational and logical thought don’t we?  Are we that afraid of death that we can’t accept the non-existence of some super-human entity that will save us from the ultimate fate of all living things? What is it about humans that some think that death is unthinkable?”

“We” and “some” are the key words here nf. Bible and “super-human entity” are concepts that are still taught and adhered to cradle to grave. I left that behind only 18 months ago. That there are some people willing to discuss and explore their supernatural beliefs in this and similar forums is not a bad thing.

Why is death unthinkable? I’m greedy, how about you? I have this thing for making a carbon footprint. For those living in wretched conditions though, god and an afterlife is hope for the hopeless. I think that’s a huge part of why Constantine adopted the Pauline Church. Christian people will not rise up and risk their next, better life by treating Caesar as Caesar treated them. Wow, what a scam and still going strong. Of course there are parallels in other faiths. This is a bit out there but is it possible we believe in a next life as a corrupted survival technique? Survival of the faithful if you will? Just a thought.

And so we have discussions with people that adhere to various forms of organized religion. It is hard to avoid them they are all around us.

Mojito

Report this

By Douglas Chalmers, July 24, 2007 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

#89158 by -Michael on 7/24 at 12:13 pm: “...Doug:  Or do you prefer Douglas?  What a wonderfully English name, “Douglas Chalmers”… Incidentally, just because Hitchens is a bloody Brit, doesn’t give you free reign to abuse the word, “realize” in this forum .....it’s important that we know what you are, so we can efficiently berate you…... Cheers!  - Michael…”

Oh, so “god” intended me to spell my words according to Webster, eh, Michael? Ha, ha, so now we have it that God is really an American construct for excusing its headlong rush into global imperialism. The truth will out on TruthDig, hey?

Genuinely sorry about the habitual relapses into Anglophobia. “Doug” will be fine thanks and thank you for your kindness but actually “Douglas Chalmers” is 100% Scottish (no, I’m not living in Scotland). Of course, Hitchins isn’t, though, poor sodden Brit.

The Bhagvad Gita is very interesting but my translated copy is fine until you get to the last paragraph and its back to “do what you will” anyway. Proof that all religious texts have been doctored to some degree at some stage. The picture of Krishna in the chariot whispering in Arjuna’s ear before the great battle is revealing - I’ve quipped it as “Now, press the button!” - after all, we’ve all been through this before…...

Actually sets of 7 dimensions - like an ‘upstairs’ and a ‘downstairs’ from this framework of 7 dimensions we are sitting in, too - each of 7 dimensions. Takes a bit of thinking about so I won’t rabbit on.

But, yes,  “the Big Bang is connected with everything on a spiritual level” as well as a physical level (in all those sets of dimensional frameworks). We are part of Its creation and we have Its ‘blueprint’ in our hearts and souls. Through real meditation, we can eventually come into dim contact with Its Universal Mind. As It is all-knowing (It has complete knowledge of Its creation), It must also be in contact with us although we are usually unaware of this or Its Love and guidance.

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides…” because jealousy and denial are rampant human emotions. People no longer seem to want to admire progress and are desperately willing to attack each other out of their unhappiness and discontent with materialism. Thank you for wanting to “efficiently berate” me though, ha ha, I can handle it.

No, I don’t “have it all wrapped up” and I only know “X” but by seeking and searching for TRUTH and by learning to recognize it as It is, and by discriminating in a positive manner, much is eventually revealed. It is a never-ending and challenging journey - to the stars! In the meantime, only vote for politicians who tell the truth!!! Learning to be BRAVE is the first clue….. much of the rest is compassion and kindness!

But “avoiding Armageddon” might not be as easy as one would hope. There is still an awful lot of misery and anger in the world and healing that takes a new path, not more wars. Islam is rebelling against 80 or more years of injustice from the West. Asia has a more self-developmental peaceful view but they also have a long memory about Western exploitation.  Learning to live and to work together requires a more thorough appreciation of cultures and values as well as honesty about history and our part in it.

In fact, “Apocalypse Now” was as correct a title for that movie timewise as it could have been back in the 1970’s. We should be grateful for whatever Providence there is that no more nuclear weapons were detonated in either the 1950’s (Korea, Curtis Le May and the H-Bomb), the 1960’s (Cuba, etc) or the 1970’s (Mutual Assured Destruction - MAD). And its not over yet by any means! Its really taken an awful lot of effort to prevent that from actually happening so far…....

Report this

By nf, July 24, 2007 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

Why argue the details of the bible or any other book purporting to be the word of god ?  Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and to a degree Daniel Dennett present very compelling arguments both written and spoken as to why we don’t need organized religion and in fact why it is a dangerous pastime in this age.  We should be past this. We do believe in rational and logical thought don’t we ?  Are we that afraid of death that we can’t accept the non-existence of some super-human entity that will save us from the ultimate fate of all living things ? What is it about humans that some think that death is unthinkable ?

Report this

By -Michael, July 24, 2007 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

Doug:  Or do you prefer Douglas? 

What a wonderfully English name, “Douglas Chalmers”…  Incidentally, just because Hitchens is a bloody Brit, doesn’t give you free reign to abuse the word, “realize” in this forum.  Truth Dig was founded by red-blooded Americans and you will spell your words as God intended them to be spelled! 

On a more serious note, I’m kind of slow; Where exactly are you coming from, and how can you presume to have it all wrapped up?  Here is my feeble, biased opinion of your position (so you’ll have to ameliorate any incorrect assumptions).  You see, it’s important that we know what you are, so we can efficiently berate you. 

You are some sort of follower of Bhagvad Gita. 
You think that there are 7 dimensions (please elucidate).
You feel that the Big Bang is connected with everything on a spiritual level. 
Being in tune to this spirituality will allow us to evolve mentally and culturally thus avoiding Armageddon. 
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the weak and the tyranny of evil men. 

Cheers!  - Michael

Report this

By Hemi*, July 24, 2007 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Re: #89130 by Mike Mid-City

“89095,-Michael

Where did I ever say Jesus is the son of God?”

Well, make up your minds. I can’t tell the players without a scorecard. Son? I didn’t know she had a kid! She looks good though, don’t you think? What’s appropriate to send a deity for a newborn? What about one of those child monitor systems? Oops, my bad. Yeah, yeah, all seeing, all knowing, all right already. It’s damn hard to shop for someone who made everything.

Angel Food cake

Report this

By -Michael, July 24, 2007 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Re:  #89130 by Mike Mid-City on 7/24 at 9:43 am

I was anticipating the ‘Jesus is not a man’ reply.  Sorry, just trying to save time.  This doesn’t change my point:  How can you be assured of his legitimacy?  If he is your “bridge to God”, I would imagine that this is paramount in living your life by God’s will.

Report this

By Hemi*, July 24, 2007 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

#89111 by Douglas Chalmers

“People in the uSA are far more narrow-minded and bigoted than they care to imagine. That sadly includes the so-called modernists and the aethists as well as the other more ill-informed fundamentalists of all religions.”

For those playing along at home, what and where are you? Your writing tells me you have found yourself a seat above the fray. Just for shits and giggles if you don’t mind.

By the by, here is an alternate spelling: “atheists”. You say expresso I say espresso. Expresso, espresso, fuck it pass the coffee. We moved beyond spell check, brain farts and typos before you arrived Douglas. We do what we can and will clarify to keep things neighborly. Or not.

Cappuccino for my bung hole!

Report this

By Douglas Chalmers, July 24, 2007 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

I don’t “want a revolution”, Michael, but if that is the word for turning away from a path to sure destruction, then so it is. It only need happen in one’s own thinking and behaviour. The only thing that mankind and womankind on this Earth has earned is its own extinction. In this age, that could very quickly happen ....and by our own hand.

Which god will people blame then? Whenever there is a problem, we hear people like the Hitchens’ moaning about “god wouldn’t do this for me” or “god wouldn’t do that for me” and threatening not to believe any more. Who cares? But have they ever tried “offering more that 50%” of themselves as you said? Hardly!

No “Bodhisattva won’t you take me by the hand’ if I am in some drug-induced stupor. That is no path to enlightenment. “Tune in turn on and drop out” has proved to be just another disaster. Wrecking the subtle fabric of one’s own brain and endocrine system just for kicks really is again only another form of denial.

Yes, we did evolve from something whether it was from the biological soup or a more basic human form. If you are a creationist, just think how far we have regressed from our presumed perfected state, though! Nothing that the Universe created was by chance and especially not a “god-like” creature capable of saying “I am” instead of merely “it is”.

Then again, those who follow certain more primitive paths involving the vain worship and adulation of shrubs or burning bushes must curely have no regard for their own ultimate future. They certainly have none for others. Better to end up on “Betelgeuse” or Planet X than to have their karma….... that really is Steely Dan’s oats!

Report this

By Douglas Chalmers, July 24, 2007 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

#89086 by Leefeller on 7/24 at 7:23 am: “...Your statement, “As far as there being a “god” is concerned, once again science has proven that there actually is one but we humans have ever more shrilly sought to deny the fact.” .....What proof?

No, Leefeller, the old conventional “definition of god” read “more like an insurance policy” because that was what people wanted in an insecure existence with no fallback on a medical science nor a lot of other things we now take for granted. Many still had little faith in other regards and wars followed wars.

I think I have answered most of your questions in my subsequent post - #88907 by Douglas Chalmers on 7/23 at 2:16 pm - but whether you or I actually accept “believing in the existence of god” or not matters little to the Reality of the creation of the Universe and our recent appearance as homo sapiens.

Now that you seem to have gotten over your “Unyun rings” indigestion, perhaps you would like to take a serious look at what I did say. Its no use hiding behing an aversion to orthodoxy and their concepts of “god” as I already pointed out. There is an anti-god movement in the USA which has an agenda to deny everything spiritual. They are as regressive as the old order we should be leaving behind.

We all have an SQ as well as an EQ and, hopefully, an IQ. As far as “proof” is concerned, science is as much or more at a stage of conjecture than religion. There “might” have been a big bang but they still can’t seem to unravel the dark matter and dark energy mysteries convincingly. All we know is that their string theories and such are lineal nonsense.

As we live in something like seven dimensions, science will be a very long time catching up with Eastern religions. Stating that ‘time’ is the 4th dimension is rather like admitting that you always were rather dumb. Nothing has changed. There is another easily measurable dimension but after that you really have to start thinking, ha ha…...

People who have put their faith in fantasies and illusions like “old glory” or the value of “money” have a big shock coming to them. The fact is that they won’t be able to encompass facing the truth about their msitakes as well as their personal shortcomings and denial is the first retreat. Delusion and insanity are the next forms of avoidance of reality.

Considering that we already live in a world full of delusions, we are all then already generally insane or we soon could be. Whether someone drops the bomb or we find out that there really are people from outer space or California disappears into the Pacific in the next earthquake, there is a lot of adjusting to be done in human thinking.

Just like this discussion is mired along with Hitchins’ book in prosaic thinking about outdated concepts, we have to revolutionise our own inner thought processes before we can take on more truth. The human brain is really that weak. But then, so far you have neither been able to type my name correctly (Douglas Chalmers - not ‘Chambers’ or to even spell “espresso” correctly).

So, how are you going to fare in a greater reality then, Leefeller?  Will you too ”shrilly deny the fact” or will you, like poor Lefty, even be able to discern between the “proof, science or god”?  People in the uSA are far more narrow-minded and bigoted than they care to imagine. That sadly includes the so-called modernists and the aethists as well as the other more ill-informed fundamentalists of all religions.

Report this

By -Michael, July 24, 2007 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

Re:  #88907 by Douglas Chalmers on 7/23 at 2:16 pm

It’s fun to imagine that our “universe had a reason for creating us.”  It’s also cool to dream about reaching a Zen level of super-consciousness. 

Back on earth, were reminded that we evolved from an ape-like being.  And that we are really not that far removed from our fellow animals.  We all know right from wrong and the best way that this world should proceed.  The problem is that “man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin”.  Sure, we do what we can when it doesn’t terribly inconvenience us or interfere with our family’s welfare, but do we ever conduct ourselves altruistically?  Thoreau suggests that true giving is offering more that 50% of what you have – how often does this occur? 
This selfish/family-oriented mentality is precisely why communism doesn’t work; on paper it works like butter. 

You say you want a revolution, well, you know… we’re all doing what we can

Bodhisattva won’t you take me by the hand?

- Beetle Juice and Steely oats   - Michael

Report this

By -Michael, July 24, 2007 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Re:  #88901 by Mike Mid-City on 7/23 at 1:59 pm
“Why can’t I have a relationship with Jesus?”

Never said you couldn’t, Mike.  Who the hell am I to question your right to practice religion freely?

I merely sought to understand why man would place his devotion to man, and not God (exclusively).  You claim that Jesus is the son of God; the foundation of this faith is the word of man.  Since it is not intuitive for most people, I’m led to believe that this claim is based in man-tainted dogma.  Not to belabor the point, but man is fallible. 

Peace   - Michael

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 24, 2007 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

#88852 by Douglas Chalmers on 7/23 at 10:31 am

Your statement,
“As far as there being a “god” is concerned, once again science has proven that there actually is one but we humans have ever more shrilly sought to deny the fact.”  What proof?

You go on to argue the point, but still the statement above should stand on it’s own, with out all the qualifiers you had following it.

Your definition of god reads more like an insurance policy.

Your political concerns seem to be in agreement with mine, but your statement above is not a proven fact, or is it?

Since I am quite comfortable not believing in the existence of god, why do you say ”shrilly deny the fact” , are you referring to the proof, science or god? 

expresso

Report this

By Ryan, July 23, 2007 at 10:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chalmers and Any Other Deluded Bastards needing some great force or other reason to deny simple mortality, give it up. Live and savor your life, accept that you’ll dissolve into dust and then it’s over, and that’s all we know for now. Maybe that’s all there is and I’m okay with it, that’s the reality without human pretense to create “meaning” beyond the turning of the Earth. Any cursory review of history clearly demonstrates how the concept of a “god” evolved from “gods” and the needs to assuage fear of mortality and brutality in ancient life. Not only is “god” an obvious human construct, it’s pointless. We don’t need it. Grace, courage, compassion, it’s all possible without it. Deal with it.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 23, 2007 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

Mike Mid City,

We do not worship our divine Unyun, we make Unyun rings, for that is his Unyun flesh and we drink Unyun Juice for that is his life juice, then we have massive Unyun breath. for which we remember O Devine Unyun.

You can have Unyun life juices and I will have the

Unyun Rings

Report this

By Douglas Chalmers, July 23, 2007 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

#88882 by Leefeller on 7/23 at 12:40 pm: “...You threw out a lot of tid bits, let me choose one….. “Only a return to accepting one’s own spirituality as well as the spirituality of others can ever change anything”.  What do you mean by spirituality, since you mentioned it several times…?”

Well, instead of Hemi*s ‘Baked Ziti’, actually “fixating” on what he/she referred to as “the shiny object at the center of the (big) bang” will bring us to the realisation that It is the Source of our being in all totality and always has been. That is something we can never divorce ourselves from.

Whether we choose to repudiate our position as the Universe’s most stupid creation and to regress further into a semi-sentient kind of more animal-like creature is up to us. We can’t perhaps imagine it but it can be done. After all, according to the evolutionists, we were all once neanderthals or such-like so it is possible to revert to that state.

What kind of an idiot would do that to themselves? Well, there are plenty ......just look around and you will see that some seem to have have already started! Add a few steroids, a genetic mis-match or two and hey, presto! Even the Catholic church is advocating human-animal hybrids these days - easier to delude or to have mind-control over, I guess?!?!

That is to say that what degree of human advancement we do have is precious and we should hold onto it. Letting others take it away from us by involving ourselves in wars and man-made famines and artificially created poverty, etc etc, is fatal for our own spiritual progress in the longer term. Whether we do such things willingly or merely acquiesce still counts against us.

What is meant by “spirit” is that we all have some small spark of that “original Source” within us. It is our conscience and our intuition or guiding light. In some, it is quite dormant and it is up to them to cultivate it. In a few, it is quite active and they know from personal experience that it is their most valuable asset as well as the living centre of the very core of their existence in this life and beyond.

To go a little further, the human race has never bothered to learn the reason for its profane existence. If we go back far enough though, we find that the Universe had a reason for creating us. We have yet to live up to the potential vested in us and, if and when we do, much wisdom is availablbe to us. In the East, that state is referred to as Enlightenment. In the West, we foolishly believe that it was merely the name of period in our history. Either way, it is a level of realisation which marks us as less stupid and evolving rather than involving.

So, you see, through this connectedness with the Great Cause or the Source which existed at and before the big bang, we can, if we go deep within ourselves beyond our conscious and sub-conscious minds (the R-complex, etc), gradually reach the super-conscious states through which great inspiration is accessible. That is the only path to real knowledge and real progress. This has been proven often by those who have tried diligently enough.

The real clue to our progress, both spiritual and any other worthwhile kind, though, is to always follow the “golden rule” of doing to others as we would have them do to us as best as we can. This builds a subtle bridge into the future whereby we always reap the rewards of good thoughts and actions (karma - action and reaction is opposite and equal). That, then, carries us beyond our animal natures and into a more pure and wise existence.

When we choose that path instead of the opposite, we progress. What is more, all others we come into contact with progress to some degree as well. Great positive change is then possible. Without that effort, though, we inevitably fall back into the pit of tribalism, warlord-ism, gargster-ism and so forth and all the vices and weaknesses overtake us in the wilderness of materialism. You know the story,  Leefeller

Report this

By Hemi*, July 23, 2007 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

Re: #88852 by Douglas Chalmers

“If we choose badly, we will “move on” to a more limited existence”

Look, my point was let god define god and to this point they, he, she, it is a no show.

And we all move on to a more limited existence, it’s not a choice. “Luck be a lady to-night!”

Fried Green Tomatoes (Nice with Frank’s Red Hot!)

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 23, 2007 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

Douglas Chambers,

Glad to see you here,  but having some problems with you opinions of conjecture.  Your posts make morgan-lynn griggs lamberth [skeptic griggsy] look like Occam’s Razor, and he or she is 7 different people and growing.  You threw out a lot of tid bits, let me choose one of several that I have questions on. 

You stated the following. “Only a return to accepting one’s own spirituality as well as the spirituality of others can ever change anything”.  What do you mean by spirituality, since you mentioned it several times?

Your comments seem to work on assumptions when you say “let’s take it”  why would we assume?  I guess it turned out to be two questions. 

cool tall pint of Grolics

Report this

By Douglas Chalmers, July 23, 2007 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Quote #88840 by Hemi* on 7/23 at 8:53 am: “...I think due to human limitations, some have expressed that the best course of action is to move on. That’s not denial of something beyond our comprehension and ability to describe, that’s pragmatic. Make the best out of what we have rather than continue fixated on the shiny object at the center of the bang ......Baked Ziti…”

Well, I had my cheese sauce with the vegetables, not the ‘ziti’ thanks, Hemi, but a ‘zito’ is merely one half of a marriage. Thus, it is not really possible to “move on”.

Anyway, where do you propose to move on to? This is about our existence in the Universe. What you said is that we are so pre-occupied with our infintesimal existence that we can still dismiss our part of it…. or in it. Not so!

The Universe will not allow us to do that and we (the human race) will end up being kicked severely by the consequences of our blind stupidity as a result. Global warming is only beginning and it is only a part of what can happen. What happened in Japan last Monday is a warning.

If there is one thing we humans have yet to realise, it is that we can never move on from this planet or this Universe. We can move up a bit, though, by diligently co-operating with the ‘creative Force’ in our own survival and spiritual as well as material advancement.

What Hitchens was whining about is our collective failure to do exactly that. As long as we continue to allow ourselves to be blind-sided by the Bushes and Blairs and those who work through them, we will always fall into the old ways of seeking mere material gain by depriving each other and being controlled by our fears and anxietes.

We certainly can “Make the best out of what we have” though by avoiding our current woeful “fixation” on such a bunch of wankers who have been leading us backwards to a ‘new world order’ in a stone-age revival after one of them actually presses the button in their delusions of grandeur.

Then again, it might be an Obama or the next Clinton. Its up to us to sort them out for a change. Pretending that what they offer us is any kind of “shiny object” will always lead us to failure. It is already written so many times in our own history as well as the folk lore of religions.

Its all very well to wish that the moon would turn into a cheese so that you can feast forever. It will not happen. The real new age or new world order has to be worked for by everyone who wants to go forward into it. The alternative is a slide backwards in to mass slavery in the radio-active slime of the results of our collective wrong thoughts and actions.

We are almost at the end of the valley of decision. There is no escaping this choice. We can either work our way out of the trap which has been created for us by the schemers or we can never go forward as a race. It is by mutual co-operation that we can save ourselves. Any more petty “fixations” on nationalistic supremacy and it all will soon go “bang”.

If we choose badly, we will “move on” to a more limited existence where we will have to evolve again from the mess we have created and all that we have attained will be lost. It won’t mean so much to the few remaining primitive tribes but it will especially be a disaster for us in more developed civilisations who have totally forgotten how to live rough off the land. Most will not survive….

Report this

By Hemi*, July 23, 2007 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Douglass,

“Thus “god” is Light and “It” was manifest in the beginning as the original creation. What we conceive of as the original creator was the “original cause” or whatever brought the manifestation of original dark potential and the first rays of light of the big bang into being.

To deny that is the utmost of absurdity but that is exactly what humans have a tendency to do as a result of their weaknesses and limitations. Denial or refusal, of course, changes nothing except it makes our continued existence on this planet all the more temporary.”

I think due to human limitations, some have expressed that the best course of action is to move on. That’s not denial of something beyond our comprehension and ability to describe, that’s pragmatic. Make the best out of what we have rather than continue fixated on the shiny object at the center of the bang.

Baked Ziti

Report this

By Douglas Chalmers, July 23, 2007 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

Wow, 1,000+ posts already, eh? You guys can get used to it ....one of the forum topics I post in is running to 80+ pages and still going strong.

There is something about the opinions of a guy who smokes in this day + age .....never mind someone who shoves his fingers up his nose when he takes a puff, duh…. its a kind of neuroses.

To get to the point though, Christopher Hitchens says “...I don’t believe there is such a thing as God….” thus how can he then go on about religion? At the outset, he has given himself the right to presume that “God” is a “thing” and that it is more or less passe to dismmiss “it”.

Again he says “...Religion makes people do wicked things they wouldn’t ordinarily do….” but this isn’t religion so much as the human tendency of denial manifest in the most pernicious and the most vicious manner. That already exists without either religion or belief in God.

However, to remain in context with the subject of “religion” and “god”, let’s take it that mankind has generally become more savage because of his/her refusal to accept that he/she was once “divine” and now has little chance of redemption from his/her animalistic path of regression and savagery.

That is real denial, no doubt about it. People in denial or such a negative state of refusal about their own failures thus become desperate and have, like Hitchens, given themselves the right of denial and refusal of others’ spirituality as well. Thus we have all of the genocides and abuses ad infinitum.

Only a return to accepting one’s own spirituality as well as the spirituality of others can ever change anything. It has nothing to do with any kind of politics or nonsense such as “the rule of law” as mans’ law and mens’ doctrines are as flawed as those who use them.

As far as there being a “god” is concerned, once again science has proven that there actually is one but we humans have ever more shrilly sought to deny the fact. Ironically for the Hitchens’ though, both evolutionists and creationists have come to the same conclusion - that there is an original creation!

Or, at least, science has proven both camps wrong by asserting the “big bang” as the origin of creation and not merely some old white man with a beard up in a cloud somewhere. Evolution has to follow as surely as day follows night - as it really was all darkness in the beginning.

Thus “god” is Light and “It” was manifest in the beginning as the original creation. What we conceive of as the original creator was the “original cause” or whatever brought the manifestation of original dark potential and the first rays of light of the big bang into being.

To deny that is the utmost of absurdity but that is exactly what humans have a tendency to do as a result of their weaknesses and limitations. Denial or refusal, of course, changes nothing except it makes our continued existence on this planet all the more temporary.

One day, the Universe will bid us all (or most of us) goodbye with a good kick up the ass. We will have deserved it but little or nothing will remain to remind Nature of our soon-to-be-forgotten existence as a planetary race of the most useless un-spiritual creatures ever to have evolved on the face of the Earth.

Report this

By -Michael, July 23, 2007 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

Re:  #88762 by Mike Mid-City on 7/22 at 9:31 pm   “No one knows the mind of God.  That is why I follow the teachings of Jesus.  At least His teachings do no harm.”
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Hi Mike.

Hmmm.  No one really knows the mind of Jesus either.  Jews and Moslems don’t accept that he is the son of God.  Jesus could have been a really nice guy who decided that the world needed some guidance.  He could have been a con artist that sought a free meal where ever he went.  He could have been psychotic who erroneously believed that he was the son of God.  Or… he could be the son of God.
Either way, I never understood why believers put their efforts in focusing on figures such as Jesus, Mary, the Pope, Mohamed, etc.  It seems to me that (if you believe) one would strive to establish a direct relationship with the Big Guy; everyone agrees that men are fallible. 
And the Bible?  Why would I need a manual to understand God?  Why the mystery?  Do we blindly accept the word of those who said they communicated with God? 

Doesn’t God know that there are folks applying His gift of reason to reason Him out of existence? 

If we accepted the Bible as a collection of stories, and we surmise that the commandments were actually derived from the mind of a man, does man or God loose anything?  Will we suddenly start killing and stealing?

The whole business is convoluted. 

Despite the predictable, ‘I come with a sword’ quote which atheists love to throw out; I think the fundamental nature of Jesus is worthy of study.  But you can no more establish a relationship with Jesus than you can God, can you?

Chicken is nice with hot butter and Rice   - Michael

Report this

By Rob, July 23, 2007 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

Mike,

At least jesus’s teachings do no harm? “If the bible had said that Jonah swallowed the whale, you would ‘believe’ it”. Can I at least quote from the King James version of the bible some of those ‘enlightened’ passages that jesus is made to say?

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth:  I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (So much for jesus and his family values agenda)

“I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be aready kindled?”  (Luke 12:49)
“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth?  I tell you, Nay; but rather division:  For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.  The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”  (Luke 12:51-53)  Sounds like we caught jesus on a bad day?

“And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good?  there is none good but one, that is, god:  but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”  (Matthew 19:16-17) This suggests rather strongly that none other than god “is” good and that jesus must not have behaved in an entirely good manner himself. 

I know its unfair to use the ‘bible’ as a source of jesus’s words and thoughts.  It’s also unfair to take little ditties out of context.  But have you read the bible?  It is so nonsensicle, so random in its rants and raves, one barely knows what context would mean in this marvel manuscriptpenned by god almighty himeself.  god was as ignorant as the people who wrote about him!

“I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”  (Revelation 22:16) In Isaiah 14:12, St. Jerome, translated the Hebrew “morning star” into the Latin term “Lucifer” (light bearer), an name commonly ascribed to Satan by christians, and represents the fallen star, an ancient symbol for the fallen or evil one.  So it would seem that jesus is—- Satan.

“Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.  (Matthew 16:28) and Rev:3:11 “Behold I come quickly…”  A liar by anyone’s reckoning.  2,000 years is a mighty long time.  If he was coming back, this would be a good time!

I could go on with the marvelous , enlighteded words of jesus, but what would be the purpose for you?  Your ‘belief’ borders on ‘wouldn’t it be nice’ if there was some supernatural person who cared what I thought and what I did and wouldn’t let mean, bad things happen to me, and if they did I would go to heaven?  Yes, that would be nice. 

I wonder what you could contribute to this life if you weren’t so crippled by dogma and gibberish?  I wonder?  Thank you Bertrand Russel.  (She, I looked up the spelling of my role model to assure it was rightly spelled- and so it goes)

Report this

By Hemi*, July 22, 2007 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

Hey gang,

It will take me a while to catch up. My PC crashed and I lost a lifelong friend. Been a tough week. Everything we’ve hit on has been hitting on me as you can imagine. When you sort through all the comforts available through both spirituality and intellect (and believe me I have this week), nothing beats a good laugh and cry session with old friends. Heck, nothing beats old friends except lots of old friends. I have nothing enlightening to share, only that I missed you guys too. Yes Michael, we are social creatures even old Mister Misanthrope.

Mike MC, good lady minister at the service. The scripture readings were vague for my friend but her off the cuff remarks captured his essence and she proved a great MC for everyone who spoke. I was to the edge and back a few times this week Mike.

Glad to see you all here and the thread alive beyond 1000.

Matzoh Ball Soup

Report this

By cinadr, July 22, 2007 at 10:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

it’s no more ridiculous to say there is a god than to say there isn’t one.  religion and god, whatever that might be, are seperate matters.  it’s the arrogance of man to know or not know god. 

there was no mention of art in the interview, which for me is evidence enough for something beyond us, beyond science and reason and still somehow a part of us, what you might interpret as god. 

there is an innate sense of right and wrong in all of us, a voice that religion needlessly and selfishly reinterprets for us.  perhaps it is the voice of god that an athiest can hear clearer than the believer.  live your lives and live a good life, something from the middle of your spines that you’ve known all along.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 22, 2007 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

Mike Mid City,

Glad to see we can still post, even though we are in the archives of Truthdig.
Brainwashing can be done by anyone even atheists.  Guess the point is, brainwashing as Billy said and I agree,  indoctrination is done and cannot be born into the human.  Of course this would cover many other things learned from each individual family, society and religion. Learning can be brainwashing, that is why She said we should always have our filters on.

Yes, I agree with the 45 years of Bull Pucky, if you look at the history of labor it goes way beyond 45 years though.  The lying to the public is more apparent with communication like the web being less controlled for now. At&T is working on that one.

Your tolerance of nonbelievers is appreciated by me and it seems other posters as well. Sad that you are the exception instead of the rule.  Thanks. 

Rice pancakes and strawberries (no gluten?)

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 22, 2007 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

Way bitching wicked cool you guys passed 1000!  Scattered storms are predicted, travel plans changed, have access to Intenet and have some minutes to check mail, read various forums, make short posts (but you know me there’s tomes of anal retentive comments inside, so I’m doing all I can to hold most of it back-but seeing what has been going on since I left, I might have diarrhea of the mind when I get back though, so brace yourselves, it will be regular shit). Just wanted to reply to the one who keeps bringing up Occam’s Razor:  The use of the razor metaphor in the principle Occam’s Razor (choosing the shortest route among competing routes to explain phenomena) is that one should “shave off” extraneous assumptions and to make as few as possible. Sort of BTD’s style.  It is akin to Aristotle’s Efficient Cause and the term was actually coined not by William of Ockham but by Wm Rowan Hamilton.  It is not that “All things being equal, the simplest answer tends to be the right one,” “it tends to be the BEST one.” Right does not equal best.  If you are going to use a classic example, get it right.  Invented truth is an oxymoron or did that notion escape you? 
Loved the psych and Billy story, how can one guy be so perceptive?  Leefeller and Hemi- it’s so good to see you keep those dawgs in line. Your thinking is impeccable.  Sure wish Rob and Mark were in the fray.  Hey MM-C, hope you are well and eating lots of peas. — Shenonymous Meticulous
The people are lovey here, oh and the food and wine!  OMU

If there’s going to be peas, let there be mushy peas.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 20, 2007 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

Can reason and abstract thought searching for truth be called brain washing?
Can an atheist be brain washed not to believe?

Any comments?

When I think of brain washing I think of religion not atheism, but of course I am biased.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 20, 2007 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Of course I forgot to mention Bertrand Russell, me the name dropper.

Well we can tell the moslems that their fairy tails are nothing more, just before they chop off our heads.

An Atheist martyr, Billy can be first!

Heineken without the lemon

Report this

By nf, July 20, 2007 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, Don’t forget Dawkins. He is brilliant.

I too am happy to see this thread developing along a different thought line.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how those in the 3 to say 20 something age group of indoctrinated Islam children can be re-educated before they strap on the suicide belt ?  How do we tell them there is no Santa Claus and have them believe it ?

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 20, 2007 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

Hitchen Posts

Harris, Hitchens and others provide reason over blarney. It may be working.  Recently the July 16,  San Jose Mercury News had a front page article “Atheists come out of the closet”, nice to see the general media providing articles the subject,  letting more people know they have an intelligent alternative to the hocus po-cuss.

The article estimated that, 1 to 10 percent of the population may be Atheists, it went on to say the younger population is less likely to accept religions stories and fables.  Evidently in the Santa Clara Valley there is a group that calls itself the “brights” and they meet and discuss ungodly subjects, sort of like what we do here, except they are like the Rotary Club. 

Younger people being less accepting of religion may be the spark for wars,  instituted by establishment, to direct and control the non believing part of the population or even exterminate them?

Anyone notice, morgan-lynn griggs lamberth [skeptic griggsy] has two more members?

Mid Mike City, we may not have to squeeze this thread, notice more new folks are jumping on.  As non believers move out of the closet, the percentage may move up much higher than 10 percent.  Not afraid of termites, but have a phobia about clowns. (Hey maybe that is why the pope scares me?) Termites in my studio, are annoying, when they fly into my wet oils.

Rob, glad to see you are still with us, the post you were talking about, not sure if I was checking out the correct one?

Billy, I always use morse code when using a hammer, nice touch.

Norwegian Pancakes, huckleberries and whipped cream.

Report this

By nf, July 19, 2007 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

Rob,

I saw that lecture several days ago. As usual Harris was excellent.  His genius for presenting the atheist argument is as good as it gets. We can only hope that he continues this difficult work.

Report this

By Rob, July 19, 2007 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

Guys,

If you would like to listen to a lecture given by Sam Harris in Aspen, here is the link.  It says everything we have been trying to say for these last few weeks.  If you truly would like to hear a ‘reasoned’ conversation catch this chance.  Thank you Bertrand Russel!

Believing the Unbelievable: The Clash Between Faith and Reason in the Modern World (mp3)

Believing the Unbelievable: The Clash Between Faith and Reason in the Modern World (Windows)

Believing the Unbelievable: The Clash Between Faith and Reason in the Modern World (Quicktime)

Report this

By morgan-lynn griggs lamberth, July 19, 2007 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fine, everyone. Look up! According to Barna, a Christian group that polls, up to 20% of the young are non-theists.That indeed shows that religion is not the built-in force for anyone but nonsense others put them through or they themselves self-brainwash to believe.It is a matter of using emotions to get to the religious.Has anyone any ideas on how to do so? I challenge the religious to overcome the ignostic challenge to make the supernatural meaningful, not just a mere feeling that there just has to be something behind and beyond the universe.With theists, all is mere guesswork for that mere feeling.That mere feeling has nothing to do with the universe, but is just that- a mere felling. A feeling that gets people into wars as well as inspire them to do good.

Report this

By Reality Checker, July 19, 2007 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

Everything that is EVIL has a built in self destruct mechanism.

Also how do these Muslim fanatics going to take over? It is like saying the right wing fanatics are going to take over here.

They might try and cause a lot of problems in the process but it is too late for them now, the meek are inheriting the earth, haven’t you noticed what’s happening?

Report this

By nf, July 19, 2007 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Mike Mid City,

“Not sure but it looks like Hitchens supports the war only because he has a grand distaste toward the medieval moslem controlled governments.  Hence, a part of the religion topic of his book.”

Hitchens is not the only one addressing the problems that face the west by the Islam religious/political agenda. Sam Harris in his book “The End of Faith” alludes to the possibility of genocide as a solution to dealing with this world threat. This is certainly a difficult thing to contemplate.

We must find the answer to the religious fanatics before they force rational human beings to do the irrational.

Report this

By Reality Checker, July 19, 2007 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

The worst crime in history is the ongoing conspiracy between the churches and the governments of the day to keep God and Jesus in some invisible place called heaven and all the devils in another invisible place called hell. Thereby leaving this world for them to control and manipulate.

“Hell is empty, all the devils are right here” WS

All the horrendous crimes have been and are being committed by governments and churches throughout history.

The sacred books of the world were not written by religions, they were written by Holy men for people not for religions to use to justify their deeds that commit in the name of God.

When you realize that the sacred laws of the scriptures are descriptive laws like the laws of science and not prescriptive laws as the government and churches want us to think they are, you will move into a deeper level of understanding.

The trap you are in is a manifestation on the duality of the mind.

Jesus said if thine eye be single your whole body will be bathed in light. He was referring to the possibility to perceive the oneness of things beyond the duality of the mind.

If you are looking for stability, you will never find it in the mind which is a very unstable place indeed.

Feelings are much more powerful than any idea, mental concept or belief system.

Report this

By morgan-lynn griggs lamberth [skeptic griggsy], July 19, 2007 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, Hitchings goes for the kill!One should show relgions as the nothings that they are! Christinsanity, Moses’s Folly, Mohammed’s Lunacy, Smith’s Fraud, Buddha’s False Path, the Hindu Illusion and the Tao Fancy- they all stink.What good one finds there is a mere placebo that one can find elsewhere.We need no divine purpose and love and a future state; our own purposes and human love and this life suffice! What relgions offer is a chimera.Theologians build castles in the air while scientists make life more livable.Bayard and Ruskin as humanists did an excellent job; King followed humanist principles after all as he used facts and reason,rather than the whims and tastes of the men of yore!Cheny-Bush use faith-based nonsense to guide us toward the 8th century!

Report this

By Doug Taylor, July 19, 2007 at 11:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: #87899 by Mike Mid-City
” It’s shock value, even the smoking is “in your face” so that the interviewer and we the audience are always on the defensive. I think Ann Coulter uses similar self promotion.”


  But there is a huge difference between Coulter and Hitchins. They may both be loathesome people, but at least Hitchins is on track with this book,even if he makes comments that some may not like. You can be a jerk and still be right. In the case of Coulter, there is only the jerk, with a lot of unsubstantiated ad hominem sprinkled about.

Report this

By -Michael, July 19, 2007 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Speaking of not being well read, I had to Google “Dr. Peter Venkman”.  I knew I stole that cats&dogs; line from somewhere… thanks.

I don’t think it would be an its-all-the-same-only-the-names-would-change situation in the classic Bon Jovi sense. 

Obviously there are a number of variables that couldn’t be surmised.  I think that there would be other institutions/organizations that would fill the void left by empty pews.  There will always be the leader and the led.  There will always be a desire for camaraderie, belonging, and acceptance.  We are social creatures. 

  I’ve only got a couple sociology classes under my belt, perhaps others can contribute.

One last prediction though:  The Vatican would unleash a fury of nuclear bombs on America.  I’m convinced they’ve got more nukes than they have extra virgin olive oil. 

Bruschetta - Michael

Report this

By Hemi*, July 19, 2007 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

Re: #87966 by –Michael

Michael,

Thanks for getting me up to speed. I might be opinionated but I’m certainly not well read. And isn’t that a fine mess?

Good take on my question. So, what you are saying is nothing would change only the names?

10 bonus points for referencing Dr. Peter Venkman.

Stay Puft Marshmallows

Report this

By Hemi*, July 19, 2007 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Re: #87899 by Mike Mid-City

Mike,

Hitchens is not “my guy”. You have a better chance of being “my guy” than Hitchens. I can only speak for me but I think Hitchens makes a few good points, it attracted me to the thread and here I am. I don’t know how to read this man. I can’t decipher whether he is the outward prick we all see or is he a different prick and this outward shtick gets him interviewed. Squeaky hinge gets the grease. It’s shock value, even the smoking is “in your face” so that the interviewer and we the audience are always on the defensive. I think Ann Coulter uses similar self promotion.

Mike, consider the people here aren’t gathered as members of a non-theist/atheist/agnostic club. I know there are such groups but this is not one of them.

I think Hitchens’ whole take on King was to make his point for the organizers of the march being secular socialists. So, there are moral people other than Christians. King was a Christian in that Paul’s New Testament reforms the Old to some extent otherwise there are no Christians. So, as Michael would point out, Dr King was able to navigate the minefield that is the Bible. Once again was Hitchens being outlandish to bring attention to his point? What he does not bring up is that King being at the forefront and a lightening rod gained the attention of this Christian dominant nation. A secular socialist no matter how well intentioned would have been ignored. I think King was a true Christian believer unlike our presidents Clinton and Bush who are superficially Christian because it suits their agendas. I think King was a flawed (aren’t we all) person but I think his outward persona matched his beliefs unlike the other two.

I didn’t let this guy get away with anything. I just haven’t commented on every point.

Ovaltine

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 19, 2007 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

Mike Mid City,

Reading into the book, Hitchens does not writea glowing report on the Bush triad.  Evidently the Bush’s all belong to different Christen Faiths, Hitchens states quite clearly this is for obvious political reasons and blatant form of hypocrisy.  It is obvious to me that many people attend church for peer acceptance or community, social reasons, but the Bush’s lack of integrity places their motives in question. 

Not sure but it looks like Hitchens supports the war only because he has a grand distaste toward the medieval moslem controlled governments.  Hence, a part of the religion topic of his book.

Hitchens support of the war is something he has not yet mentioned in his book, but I have not finished it.  Mike, it is easy to attack the messenger and not the message, especially if you disagree with them.  We see it all the time in politics.

For instance I love the messenger, beloved oak tree,  but for personal reasons I dislike

Oak Balls

Report this

By -Michael, July 19, 2007 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Re:  #87773 by Lefty on 7/18 at 1:20 pm

“If a believing so strongly in something so preposterous, so fantastic, for which you have no evidence, isn’t delusion, then there is no such thing as delusion.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yeah, but it is a perfectly understandable delusion.  (have fun with that one)

I’ve met many lucid, thoughtful, wise, creative, happy, intellectually gifted, believers.  I’ve also met some atheists that couldn’t find their own ass with map and a flashlight.  Belief or the lack thereof does not a beautiful person make. 

‘You are here’  - Michael

Report this

By -Michael, July 19, 2007 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

Re:  #87826 by Hemi* on 7/18 at 3:40 pm

Re humanist manifestos

There are three of these, published by the humanist association - Written in 1933, 1973, and the late nineties.  My point is that all doctrine is fallible.  We retain nuggets of wisdom from drug abusers, lunatics, and egomaniacs.  Reasonable persons are able to differentiate between the viable and the impractical.  Do we revise old doctrine and discard the previous version like a textbook?  In the case of the Bible, no one has the authority to do so.  The only alternative is reasonable interpretation.  You mentioned earlier that the Bible allows slavery.  What do you think the percentage of believers that condone slavery is? 

All sources of information are potentially flawed.  Utilitarianism, for example, can be an efficient philosophy for resolving a dilemma.  Conversely there are many situations where it fails miserably.  Do we discard it, or keep it in our bag of tricks? 

Re: What would change if the believer/nonbeliever ratio were reversed (all of the sudden)? 
Seems rather frivolous to conjecture, but I would say that conflict and division would ensue.  Believers would be feared and discredited.  They would be ousted from positions of authority, and influence.  Discrimination lawsuits would flourish.  The very foundation of our country (freedom of religion) would tremble.  People always fear those who are different.

Also, women and children would scream in the streets and dogs and cats would start living with one another. 

And Billy would stand atop a knoll and gleefully howl at the moon.

And then the Lord would strike down upon thee with great vengeance, and fuuuuurious anger.

Orange juice pulp (fiction)  - Michael

Report this

By morgan-lynn griggs lamberth, July 19, 2007 at 4:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hemi, so right. How can God know the details of the future before they happen? And if He did, then we don’t have free will! That is one example of many that my signature says logic is the bane of theists.If God is omni-moral, He cannot commit wrongs; but as omnipotent,He can.Being disembodied ,He cannot have a mind and so cannot think.A mind has to have substance and therefore embodied.God cannot know how to swim, so He knows less than we.So, He is an inchoherent notion as the ignostic argument shows.Theology is just a series of guesses about the supreme mystery, surrounded by others, to putatively explain existence but in the end admits of not doing so.Theodicy is just a series of dodges to exonerate God for His clear involvement in wrongly permitting evil. And soteriology is just the justification of the divine protection rackett. Fr.Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic…

Report this

By Hemi*, July 18, 2007 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

Re: #87852 by nf

nf,

You hit on all the high points. The one thing you infer is the possibility that God is bad. Oooooooooohhhh! That would make as much sense as surmising God is good. God is good or bad or both or not there. God is not.

Most of what you mention has been piled on by semi-enlightened people over the centuries. Sort of if you guys believe that, it would be advantageous to me if you believed this too.

That a primitive man could experience an earthquake, see a boulder roll down a hill and expand on the knowledge that “I can roll a small stone” there must be a big guy rolling that big stone. Big guy, we never see, causes random events, call him “Big Kahuna” and we move on. Very easy to imagine the beginnings, hard to imagine we haven’t progressed farther into accepting there are undiscovered answers that don’t involve a thinking, planning, creative entity or group there of.

Unplanned

Report this

By nf, July 18, 2007 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

Why would anyone believe in a god that they believe is omni, omni, omni, who creates this massive universe to support this human experiment that he (god) already knows knows the outcome of (the experiment - because he is omnicient) and in the meantime communicates to these very same humans, that (a) they have free will and (b) if they use their aforementioned free will and behave badly that he (god) will then proceed to torture them for such time as he deems necessary. How does anyone reconcile this in their mind. Why would anyone want such a god to exist anyway ?

Please be patient with me, as a lifelong atheist I have been baffled by questions like this.

Report this

By Hemi*, July 18, 2007 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Re: #87804 by -Michael

Michael,

You lost me on the “second Manifesto” ref, what?

You mean “live simply….

Yeah well, the golden rule and no voluminous threat.
Just a suggestion. You can always add the invisible
Klingon later.

Let’s say “all of a sudden” just for kicks.

Unicorn

Report this

By -Michael, July 18, 2007 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

Re:  #87741 by Hemi* on 7/18 at 11:59 am

Re:  “If you, Sharpton and everyone can see the horseshit, why live with it?”

For the same reasons that the Secular Humanists hang on the second Manifesto with its flaws (“…a minimum guaranteed annual income”, “Travel restrictions must cease”, etc.)  The second manifesto reads as if it were written by a bunch of grape-soda-drinking-hippies.  What was the date on that… ahhh, 1973.  Far out, man. 
    Thankfully these were pretty smart hippies and they continued the anti-dogma tradition (isn’t that dogma in itself?).
    It’s fairly obvious that writings carry with them the burden of cultural influence.  The older the book, the more far removed it is from today’s (relatively) evolved culture.  Shall we change the 2nd manifesto?  Hell no, it’s historical, interesting, and generally quite insightful.  So, of course, we live with it. 

Every church evolves, to include the RC church (regression is a form of evolution:)).  I continuously hear of believers who ‘shop around’ for churches because they want to find one on their wavelength.  If you look hard enough, you can find one that condones condom use, doesn’t condemn you for abortion if that condom breaks, then conducts the wedding ceremony when you decide to bat for the other team. 

You’ve read too far into my ‘everybody likes mike’ sermon.  I was certainly not suggesting that we emulate him.  I was simply illustrating that believers can have this whole “existence” thing wired pretty tight. 

What would change if the believer/nonbeliever ratio were reversed? 

I don’t know.  Do you mean all of the sudden, or over a period of normal evolution?

Pot brownies   - Michael

Report this

By Hemi*, July 18, 2007 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

Re: #87693 by Leefeller

Hey Lee,

“So Hitchens is correct when he suggests, it is imperative that religions inflict their dogma on other people or their house of cards will fall.” - Leefeller

Maintaining and expanding their “force field” against the “photon torpedoes” of secular thought. They need the buffer zone and the conflict or they lose believers. Why the conflict? So that you can see the bad guys. Mind you nobody has seen the “Commander In Chief” but look, the enemy is right there.

UNbelievable

Report this

By kikz, July 18, 2007 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

somewhere Dante is laughing….smile

Report this

By Hemi*, July 18, 2007 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

Re: #87688 by -Michael

“I grow weary of this argument.  It is a mantra that atheists love to regurgitate at every opportunity.  Why do you think Sharpton refused to argue about biblical arguments in the debate with Hitchens?  There is no shortage of horseshit in the Bible.  No surprises here.”

If you, Sharpton and everyone can see the horseshit, why live with it? What is of importance? To believe that God wrote all this horseshit and that is enough to continue living with the smell? Or, there are a few enlightened thoughts here, lets cut to the chase and compost the rest?

I think the horseshit is kept as a fall back position. “Well if things don’t go our way we can always get Biblical on our opponents.” For instance you have this oft-quoted passage: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” What is the meaning of household? Is it used in a broader sense meaning home, homeland, community? Or is it whatever you need at the moment. Jesus goes from “Prince of Peace” to “Prince of Pieces”. Not love incarnate just angry Jew with an eye on the throne. He wanted conflict and upheaval as that was the only way he would ever be accepted as “King of the Jews”. It’s a campaign speech. It’s OK to vote liberal if your pop’s a conservative. Interpreting this passage in the most benign modern light possible it is saying you will be in conflict with the people around you and I meant for that to happen. Honor thy mother and father, love thy neighbor and do so by being in conflict with them. WWJD? He would tear the world apart starting at the family level if we let him. How many families have suffered from this passage alone? I’ve known a few.

“Don’t listen to me, I’m an asshole; but Mike is the sweetest guy you could meet.  If you don’t think the world would be better off with more Mike’s in the world, you are deluded yourself.”

First, how many Mike’s are we talking about? And if you are an asshole, why should I believe you that Mike is a sweet guy? How would you know, asshole?

Sorry Michael, I just can’t help myself. I don’t think you’re an asshole but you’ve got to learn not to hang the curve ball over the heart of the plate. I enjoy the interplay with everyone here. I’m very happy that Mike MC has made a better life for himself. Mike is making amends for bad choices and is enjoying the physical and mental benefits of helping others. His story vaguely parallels that of Saul of Tarsus (doesn’t every sinner’s). That said neither man’s life is worthy of emulation. Yet Saul is the road map for a significant portion of the world’s population. A book that gets to the origins of the Pauline Church is “The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity” by Hyam Maccoby. Wikipedia has an encapsulation of Maccoby and his theories http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyam_Maccoby. Give it a read; it takes only a few minutes.

As far as “Believers and nonbelievers alike can get it right.” OK, more than one way to skin a cat. If the percentage of believers to non-believers in the world was reversed, what do you think would change?

“Why would you assume that seculars are less apt to be deluded?” How ‘bout one less source of delusion.

Michael, continue doing what you do. I am jousting and learning along with everyone here.

Untied

Report this

By morgan-lynn griggs lamberth [skeptic griggsy], July 18, 2007 at 11:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ockham removes God as an explanation as God requires ad hoc assumptions as in the arguments for God that Hume and Kant and so many others have shown up.Richard Swinburne does not understand the razor: he thinks that God is simpler than our complex universe, but as Dawkins shows God is ever so complex[ He would have to be thus in order to hear prayers in thousands of languages and dialects and guide the universe.] No, what counts are the assumptions and the universe fits the bill in that we know about it and thus do not have to have ad hoc explanations for it.Existence itself[the universe] is the first cause and explanation, the greatest and necessary being and through natural selection, the “designer.” Natural causes are the primary and efficient causes, not some meaningless word.That is Antony Garrard Newton Flew’s presumption of naturalism[ before he entered his dotage, unfortunately].We no more need God as a personal explanation,contrary to Swinburne, than we need Thor,gremlins or demons as such. Logic is the bane of theists. Father Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 18, 2007 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

Hemi,

All people should have the right to believe in anything, as long as it does not infringe or harm another human being.  As a born again Atheist, it is my belief that all people are created equal but some with less common sense, reason and thought, or the capability to use them.  Why is it imperative for religions to do the following?  as Hitchens states “The religious won’t leave us alone.  These are not just private delusions, they’re ones they want to inflict on other people.”

Seeing the light as the Christians call it, makes them want to shove a bible up anyones arse, it could even be another believer, but one not as pious as the bible shover believes.  Never good enough!  This obsession and need to convert the heathens or if that does not work, in the old days burn them at the stake or off with their heads.  Moslems seem to be worse in some ways, it could be our western media slant and neocon war drumming, but Hitchens describes some heinous crimes committed in the name of all religions that are quite compassionless.

What the religious do not understand or care to understand, is this non believer does not care what they think, believe or do, as long as it unnfringes. 
Religion’s obsolete traditions and excessive authority are the weak links in religions armor.  Atheists do not believe, therefore they can not be controlled by religious dogma.  So Hitchens is correct when he suggests, it is imperative that religions inflict their dogma on other people or their house of cards will fall. 

Stay out of
the cooking sherry

Report this

By -Michael, July 18, 2007 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

#87439 by Hemi* on 7/17 at 8:56 am

Re:  slavery/misogyny

I grow weary of this argument.  It is a mantra that atheists love to regurgitate at every opportunity.  Why do you think Sharpton refused to argue about biblical arguments in the debate with Hitchens?  There is no shortage of horseshit in the Bible.  No surprises here. 

Christians live their life with the Golden Rule close to their heart.  Or how about the trendy, “what would Jesus do?” interrogative.  While Christians (et al) have certainly demonstrated bigotry towards gays, women etc., the wise believer can not find a spot for prejudice in his heart. 

No one has disputed my bottom line (as it is indisputable).  Believers and nonbelievers alike can get it right.  Both have to define the path to righteousness. 

Why would you assume that seculars are less apt be deluded?  What evidence do you point to?  The inability or unwillingness to think critically leads to delusion; this condition does not take hold in believers alone.  I think that many believers have an extra roadblock (dogma), but I haven’t met anyone who wasn’t agile enough to negotiate this obstacle. 

For the life of me, I have no idea why you feel it’s necessary to make these sweeping statements that dismiss the pious life as faulty. 
You would think that the relationship that you’ve established with Mike (and others) would prompt you to step off of that pedestal.  Don’t listen to me, I’m an asshole; but Mike is the sweetest guy you could meet.  If you don’t think the world would be better off with more Mike’s in the world, you are deluded yourself.

Unity   - Michael

Report this

By Doug Taylor, July 17, 2007 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#87522 by Lefty on 7/17 at 2:36 pm
(494 comments total)

#87382 by Doug taylor on 7/16 at 11:01 pm

* * *

Occam’s razor states that all things being equal, the simplist answer tends to be the right one. What Hitchens and Nietzsche are saying is that the simple answer of a godless universe has been swallowed up in the elaborate ruse of invented truth.An invented truth rife with meaningless words to give it “value”. And humanity has suffered ruthlessly for it ever since.
====================================================
This would be a pretty accurate description of commercial speech!
  Only if your buying what I’m selling.

Report this

By Hemi*, July 17, 2007 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment

““It looks like standard print number seven of the Rorschachink blot test, but that’s just me.” - BTD

Keep the installments coming Billy. That’s some funny schtick. You got enough to put us over 1000?

Tartar Sauce for those Crabcakes!

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 17, 2007 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

Hemi,
Great food for thought.  Heading out for the day but will try to respond this evening.  We have our homework cut out for us.  Order of the day, some mulling over, I had better pick one for mulling I will try to focus on the one below for now. 

“The religious won’t leave us alone.  These are not just private delusions, they’re ones they want to inflict on other people.” – Hitchens
The infliction of ideas, like it.

Glad to see you still with us on the thread. Agree with you on the Bushites, they are one classic con job.

Danish and Java

Report this

By Hemi*, July 17, 2007 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

Leefeller,

I went back over the interview. Imagine that! There are a number of good discussion points there we have yet to wear out.

“And the spreading of delusion in the end isn’t a good thing, because credulous and deluded people are easy to exploit.  People arise who are aware of that fact.” – Hitchens

I think many of our current government representatives are these people. Most are highly educated, the president for one. (I think his stumbling and bumbling is entirely an act to disarm the simple minds that he controls. I think many Christian right-wingers look at that and think, “he is one of us” just a “regular guy”.) They maintain or even take on a religious affiliation to attract brainwashed voters. Bush Jr. is a Methodist. Bush Sr. an Episcopalian. Jeb Bush a Protestant converted to Catholic. Whatever happened to “Faith of Our Fathers”? Well it would appear that the Bush family can’t agree on a road to faith or have they conveniently covered all the bases? I vote the later. To me the Bushes are phonies that don’t believe and use believers to maintain their position. Jr. and Sr. have participated in the Pagan rituals of the Yale Skull & Bones secret society. No true Christian would do so. They aren’t the only ones. Kerry, Clinton, Reagan, Nixon were all non-believers posing.

“The religious won’t leave us alone.  These are not just private delusions, they’re ones they want to inflict on other people.” – Hitchens

Kind of a no brainer. In order to have religious freedom you first need freedom from religion. Just look at the uproar caused last week with the Hindu prayer in congress. Moronic Christian group bullying the Hindus. Nice, show those savages whose invisible friend is boss. That our elected officials are sitting there listening to any kind of invocation to a God or Gods is repugnant. That they have to pray for guidance in what’s right and wrong is ludicrous.

“But there’s no authority in the Bible for civil rights—none whatever.  There is authority for slavery and segregation.” – Hitchens

You can’t have it both ways. If it’s in there it is the “Word Of God”. God was a slaver. God hates integration. God hates minorities. “He” created them and yet “He” despises what “He” created. If these inconsistencies do not prove to you that the Bible was merely the work of corrupt, malevolent, power hungry, dead men you are brainwashed as well as morally and mentally incompetent.

“If religion were true, there would be no need for politics; you’d only need to have faith.” – Hitchens

Like I’ve said earlier in this thread there would be no need to convince anyone. We would all be of one mind. Hitchens is slightly wrong here in that you would not need faith. There would be no need for even the word faith. If it were true you would just know and there would be incontrovertible proof available to all, not just a chosen few. No faith in God, just fact in God. God’s existence would be self evident, provable and a non-question.

“The task of atheists is to raise people above that level of servility and credulity.  No society has gone the way of gulags or concentration camps by following the path of Spinoza and Einstein and Jefferson and Thomas Paine.” - Hitchens

Not everyone is as evolved as those men. Even they had their moments. We are all not born with sin as the Bible says. We are born with a desire to survive and from the beginning of time survival was based on power. Power of some sort over the world around us and each other. It continues today and everything we see wrong can be attributed to our quest for power. Power equals survival. Insert the word power for God, faith, democracy, petroleum, land, money and it all becomes clear. Not simple, just clear. Knowing what’s behind everything does not take away the desire. Very few will “live simply so that others might simply live”.

Baked Ziti

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 17, 2007 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

Mike Mid-City

Humility seems to be absent in Hitchens forays. 

May have posted this way back, but during an interview the question was, “Mr. H. (or any name you want) what makes you an expert, (king of the surf), (all so knowing) (talking head on the Tele) ? 
Answer, “I had cards printed”. 

Self promotion usually entails a mercenary approach to selling your product. Hitchens is no different, just better at it, have to give him credit, he is also knowledgeable..  Yes Hitchens is Pompous, self righteous and a bit obnoxious, especially if you disagree with him. 

Today,

crabcakes

Report this

By Doug taylor, July 17, 2007 at 12:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche wrote in the preface that “there are more idols than there are realities.” In, Toward a Genealogy of Morals, he wrote “Man would sooner have the void (God) for his meaning that to be devoid of meaning.” He was a classical philologist by profession, an historical word deceiferer of the Classics. Thus, he pretty much invented the term “linguistic phenomemology” which simply stated, means that there are far greater a number of words in language which have no meaning, either empirically or rationally than there are words with definable meaning. Such meaningless utterences exist in the subjective but without any means for objective scrutiny,kind of like the word “centaur” or “holy spirit”.
  That Man is the inventer of all religions, is, I’m sure, a concept agreeable with Nietzcshe and implicitly stated by Hitchins in his book and commentary. It is because of this invention that the meaning of God gets lost in the reality of the empirical absence and rational illogic of such a concept.
  The birth of religion arose from the absence of science and a preponderence of immature nievety. It has lasted this long, because man does not want to accept the fact that God is an empty concept which gives meaning to the empty concept of meaning.
  Were it not for the moral and political void left in the wake of the fall of Rome,Catholic Christendom would never have come to power. That it did, has provided us with a long and sad history. History exists only because of conflict. Conflict exists only because of power struggles . Power struggles which include man’s inhumanity to man. And what better examples than The Inquisition and Islamic Jihad. All because man could not face the truth that we live and die alone, did he have to create an elaborate multitude of lies and call them all religion to stave off such a horrifying truth.
  Occam’s razor states that all things being equal, the simplist answer tends to be the right one. What Hitchens and Nietzsche are saying is that the simple answer of a godless universe has been swallowed up in the elaborate ruse of invented truth.An invented truth rife with meaningless words to give it “value”. And humanity has suffered ruthlessly for it ever since.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 16, 2007 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

Nothing to say but saying it just the same. (not the first time)

Must admit, She went out with a bang, could be more like three and half sheets to the wind. (hope they let her on the plane)  We have been Unshed!

Passing the UnYun was quite an extraordinary feat also quite liberating.  Well things are slowing down on the Hitchen Post.  I will try to read a little faster maybe come up with some insight on Hitchens Book,  After She, this feels like a ghost town. 

morgan=lynn griggs lamberth, are you one person with four names or you four different people?  Unregistered commenter, that can be a good sign for this unreligion post, but my experiences have proven that unregistered posters usually do not respond.  Register with a shorter name and it would be to you benefit to go back and read all 499 of Billy the Dik,s posts to get a handle of this thread. 

Boy this is a real pain, I finally have plenty of time on my hands and nothing to say, I know, I can go read Hitchens Book.

Some say unnatural some say natural!

Please Pass the
Grits

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 16, 2007 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

Billy is correct, the Whole UunYn nothing but theUunYn, should provide unanswers to all the religions of the world.  So this may take many begots to finish or unbegots depending on your preference. 

Oatmeal with strawberries.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 15, 2007 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

See what happens when you turn your back and go unshopping (that’s when you can’t find anything you were looking for!)

I can’t stop laughing.. OMU (Oh My Unyun!) I am deranged, it is true, but I have a lot of lofty company.  I’m with the program.  We now have The Ungolden Rule According to Hemi.  Leefeller, it has to be the Poop of Undying Unyunness.  It was waiting to be uncovered. yuk yuk yuk…The entire un- section of the unambiguous Oxford English Dictionary has to be the un-bible. I want the Holy Unyun for the dashboard, I’m ready to buy.  No rosaries, cause then we’d have to have all these repentence prayers. But how about plastic pop-beads from the 60s or 50s I think (my mom had a whole drawer full I found when she became unalive). I think she would not have unloved it!.  You add—-ay to all words to make Pig-Latin as in eefellerLay, illytheDikBay, ikeMid-CityMay, emiHay, henonymousSay, and we can add the newest member who keeps picking his/her god-thing nose, organ-lynngriggslamberthmay, duh! 


French Unyun Soup
I am unruined forrrrrevvvvvverrrrr r r r r   r
Where’s my plane ticket?!!
J help!

Note to m-lgl: We’ll get to it, soon, Dahlink.  You are probably right about everything, but maybe not…

Report this

By Hemi*, July 15, 2007 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

The Goldunyun Rule

“Do unyun to others as you would have them do unyun to you.” - Pious Maximus Bulbus


Ditto on the Corona She!

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 15, 2007 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

She and Billy

I proclaim today “Great Unyun Sunday” now we get respect.

Unyun fits quite well with the whole concept of importance and divineness, We can call our pope His Unyunness.  By golly, I think we have got it! Unyun devine after all their was once Andy Devine. 

How about the “Holy Unyun” or the “Sacrid Unyun”, “Whole Unyun”, She you need to go on vacation, you are becoming deranged like the rest of us.  Blessed Unyun, does not the Unyun listen when we pray? 

Okay,  all of us can contribute to the Unyun bible, (we have already been doing that)  or writeour own ungospels.  We need a moto,  how about this “we do not know, nor do we care”?  (Billy can Embellish) We can writein Latin to keep the masses ignorant. How do you say Unyun in Latin or Greek, maybe English is the way to go. (Pig Latin may work) 

We can make some money here to rival the Catholic Church, lets start by selling plactic Holy Unyun’s to go on the dashboards, our rosaries could be made of perl onions on a string with one onion for the big copulas. 

Setting up the bureaucracy could be fun, I will donate my studio to get the Unyun rolling since since I have not named it yet!  Unvisions and Unvoices speake to my unmind and I listen. 

Deranged yes, but I love it! your   (Hale Unyun)

(Pious Unyun)

French Fries

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, July 15, 2007 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

Eureka!  Now an onion is divine! That, I could learn to worship! Layer after layer after layer!

Uh-oh…Let’s see Leefeller,… could we call it the Church of the Sacrifice of the Unyun?  We could have Unyun Day, a national holiday, and unyun festivals in Bakersfield, California!  OMG. Love ‘m in the morning, love’em in the evening, love’em at supper t y m e

The churches would have those unyun copulas on the top, like those Ruskie ones,

A fertile mind is a sin to waste.

Fried unyuns, OMG, javole!

Report this

By morgan-lynn griggs lamberth, July 15, 2007 at 3:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, what do others think about the ignostic and Ockham arguments?They show that the God notion does not even begin to make sense and that the cosmological, ontological and teleological are superfluous in a way or else just more to show there is probaly no god.Theists cannot dodge the fact that if their Sky Pappy is not the Supreme Robot while having free will and incapable of doing wrong,neither would we be robots were we likewise.All theodicy is a mere dodge to exonerate Sky Pappy, the ground of being. That ground of being is more meaningless word play.Another point of inchoherence is that many maintain that all people worship the same god,but that is false, for if in one religion He is triune and in others he is not, then there is a contradiction plus some relgions posit many gods.Just more theistic braying!So ignosticism carries the day! Please do check out Paul Kurtz’s “The Transcendental Temptation” for a look at the supernatural and the paranormal as nonsense. He shows the mere human make up of the religious figures- Moses, Yeshua, Mohammed and Joseph Smith. He shows that the arguments for God are null. See his take on the paranormal.Kurtz is Mr. Secular Progressive, founder of Prometheus and initiator of humanist research groups.By the way, how much damage has Billy Graham done to public rationality! Hello Bizby and other atheists and agnostics!

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 14, 2007 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

She,

The whole thing was made up, the circus had just come through town.

B&B on the rocks

Report this

Page 3 of 9 pages  <  1 2 3 4 5 >  Last »

 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook